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by Greg Downing on Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:54 pm
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Looking for recommendations for point and shoot underwater cameras - I have looked at sealife gear and it looks interesting but a little pricey - though I like the flash and LED light options. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=sealife&N=0

Any other options to look at? I want something easy to deal with that can produce decent stills and video only to be used for shallow water snorkeling. I considered a housing for a DSLR but IDK if I want to deal with all that right now - so I prefer to keep it simple.

TIA
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by Coreyhkh on Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:19 pm
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I looked last summer and the best option was a gopro at least when it came to price/ performance and ease of use
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by Mike in O on Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:52 pm
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Olympus tough, rx100 with underwater case, Nikon1 AW,etc., all have strengths and weaknesses (if this is a 1 shot deal, I would go for the tough)
 

by Anthony Medici on Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:23 pm
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I'm still using my old Nikon 1 AW1 with the 10mm AW lens for underwater work. To my knowledge, that camera is discontinued and it isn't in stock at the usual places. I did see a version with the other (slower) AW lens available at KEH. I couldn't find a place to get the 10mm lens though.

One of the reviews for the camera you linked to noted that RAW shooting times are 5 seconds between shots. I wouldn't consider a camera that can't shoot RAW quickly anymore so that one is no longer on my list as a possible replacement to the AW1. I only hope that my Nikon with survive another trip OK. :)
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by westskies on Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:13 pm
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I just purchased the Olympus Tough TG-5. I just wanted a simple point and shoot for snorkeling without having to deal with a separate housing like my older Canon camera. I was looking at this one versus the Nikon and decided that it fit my needs better. They have a few accessories, including some Lightring diffusers. I did not spend a lot of time researching the diffusers and purchased the LD-1 which is distributes the LED lighting. Unfortunately, that piece is not waterproof. So I just purchased the FD-1, which is waterproof and uses the flash as the source of the lighting.

One of the cool things about the TG-5 is the microscope feature. It can focus down to 1cm (I think) and has some significant magnification. Looking forward to messing around with that.

This was purchased a couple of weeks ago for an upcoming trip to the Seychelles, so I will try and post some images later. Also, it has RAW files available as an option and 4K video.
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by ChrisRoss on Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:30 am
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The tough cameras are good, with their limitations, the TG-5 does a decent job. The thing with these cameras is the seals. The manual says they should be replaced yearly . There is a seal on the battery/card door which is easy to access and check the condition of and there is a seal or seals under the buttons which is a membrane style seal and I believe that is the one that goes. It was on the the TG-850 i bought my daughter, it went twice once under warranty and once after (about 6 mnths out of warranty) and then was not worth fixing. It was replaced with a TG-4 and I bought the olympus case for it - you are then responsible for keeping the main o-ring serviced but that is a routine task you can do easily. My view is it's not if but when a tough camera floods unless you service the seals as recommended.

Next step up from that is something like a RX-100 or G7X -II or Panasonic's version in a something like a Fantasea housing. The Fantasea housing is good value. There are pros and cons to each. See here for recommendations and trade offs:

https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/best-compact-underwater-cameras.

this site has guides & reviews with recommended settings for UW such as this: http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/canon-g7x-ii-best-settings-underwater

If you are snorkelling in shallow water some basic corrections will get pics looking good IF you are close enough. Diving deeper knowing how the do a one touch white balance helps particularly with video, With stills a channel by channel level correction overcomes any white balance issues. Some of the cameras do OK with their UW white balance setting.

Let me know if you have any specific questions, I currently run a Oly EM-1 Mk-II in an UW housing.
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by Greg Downing on Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:54 am
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Thanks everyone for the comments thus far - really great info and I will do some more homework.

Thanks again!
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by SantaFeJoe on Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:43 pm
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Decent stills, video, simple, flash, shallow water: Could mean an underwater housing for an iPhone or Samsung Note 8, S8+ or 9+. Newer phones have 2x optical and some shoot RAW plus shoot 4K video. Picture quality may even outperform many P&S UW cameras. You probably already have a quality phone, so all that’s needed is the housing. I wouldn’t count on native waterproofing of the camera alone, though.

Edit: Here’s an interesting patent regarding a scuba diving accessory from Apple:

https://apple.news/AovXrZLjbMUylCIegfS3bGA

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso


Last edited by SantaFeJoe on Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

by Mark Boranyak on Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:36 am
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About 18 months ago I made the decision to quite hauling a DSLR, aluminum housing, ports, etc. across the globe to do underwater photography.

So, I purchased a Canon G7XII and an Ikelite housing. Using that and one of my older Ikelite strobes produced pleasing results and it was a heck of a lot easier to transport, set up, etc. I would not hesitate to use that same gear again on an upcoming dive trip. Although, I would probably retire my Ikelite strobe and purchase two smaller Inon strobes, which would also allow me to do TTL flash. Using the older Ikelite strobe required me to use manual flash.

Whether you end up purchasing an all in one or a camera with a housing you still need to deal with O rings. With the Ikelite hosing there is really only one you need to deal with and it's fairly easy to service and maintain. The camera works great and is comparable to the Sony version, especially for stills. The housing is kinda like a Chevy. It works, but isn't as refined as other options, like Nautica.

My two cents worth.

Mark
 

by scubastu on Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:15 pm
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Hi Greg

While I don't have lots of experience with All-in-one's, this one looks good for a smart phone housing, since it isn't phone specific: https://www.backscatter.com/Kraken-Universal-Smart-Phone-Underwater-Housing  I would suggest some sort of filter to restore colours, I used to carry the Magic Filter line but I believe Backscatter sells them too.  One thing to note is that due to refraction, your phone's previous wide angle lens will shrink in coverage by about 20%.   If you want to go deeper than snorkeling depths then an external light might be in order.  It's amazing how a bit of artificial illumination can bring back the reds and yellows that disappear after only dunking down a few feed.  Make sure to turn off your phone's flash unless you're shooting super close.

Aside from the housed cel phone, then the Olympus TG-5 is likely the better option, natively waterproof with a few housings available to further protect it.



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by E.J. Peiker on Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:51 pm
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If you can find one, I think the Nikon 1 AW1 is your best bet in this genre without getting overly complicated.
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:12 pm
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The problems with Nikon AW cameras are many:

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/nikon1/nikon-1-aw1.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-RatingsReviews

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product-archive/compact-digital-cameras/coolpix-aw130.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-RatingsReviews

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product-archive/compact-digital-cameras/coolpix-aw110.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-RatingsReviews

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product-archive/compact-digital-cameras/coolpix-aw100.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-RatingsReviews

Lots of 1 star reviews.
I’m not a fan!

Joe
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by Anthony Medici on Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:53 pm
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While we're talking about UW camera equipment, let's also talk about expectations for the camera equipment.

I expect the equipment to fail at some point underwater rather than to fail while it is not in water. It's not a matter of if this will happen but when.
I expect that if the equipment fails while in salt water, the equipment will NOT be able to be repair.

It doesn't matter if the equipment cost only a little or if the equipment cost a lot, my expectations are the same. The only difference is that I will either lose a little or a lot when it does happen.

Keeping the above in mind, I purchased a Nikon 1 AW 1 in 2014 so that I could take pictures while snorkeling in the Galapagos. Since 2014, I've been on 3 trips there spending 6 weeks in the islands. On each trip, we snorkeled about 10 times. That's at least 30 trips into salt water for about an hour each. So far, the camera is still operating and I have thousands of RAW images from those trips. I have another trip to the Galapagos scheduled in May. Since my expectations is that at some point, the camera will fail while underwater, I only hope that it will survive this 4th trip to the islands.
Tony
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:53 pm
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Anthony Medici wrote:
While we're talking about UW camera equipment, let's also talk about expectations for the camera equipment.
I expect the equipment to fail at some point underwater rather than to fail while it is not in water. It's not a matter of if this will happen but when.I expect that if the equipment fails while in salt water, the equipment will NOT be able to be repair.
It doesn't matter if the equipment cost only a little or if the equipment cost a lot, my expectations are the same. The only difference is that I will either lose a little or a lot when it does happen.

The problem with this model (Nikon 1 AW1) is that so many reviews everywhere claim failure on the first use or soon after, even though all instructions were followed. The number of 1 star reviews outnumber the 5 star reviews. The battery compartment seems to be the biggest source of leaks. Nikon will not guarantee the camera for water failures, even when new. The cost per use does not justify the overall cost of the camera for most reviewers, IMO. Many of these reviewers use high end DSLR’s and are not newbies to photography equipment use and UW preps.

Amazon Reviews

http://www.toptenreviews.com/electronics/photo-video/best-waterproof-cameras/nikon-1-review/

And Nikon’s own site has 17 one star reviews and only 6 five star reviews with little in between:

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/nikon1/nikon-1-aw1.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-RatingsReviews

I could NEVER, in good conscience, recommend this camera to a friend after reading these reviews. 

Joe
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by SantaFeJoe on Fri May 11, 2018 10:52 pm
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Here’s a new one and it has an EVF:

New Panasonic Waterproof Camera

https://apple.news/AHo90droqOFq7IjvZvLm8Xw

http://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/panasonic-lumix-ft7

https://apple.news/A8mSs82EGSb-a62suJA-03Q

Joe
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by Kari Post on Sun May 20, 2018 2:15 pm
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I love my GoPro for a super quick, easy to use waterproof shockproof camera. You don't have many options in terms of control or perspective though.

You might want to look into Outex housings. They are waterproof flexible silicone housings with glass lens ports and they now make a clear version through which you can see all of your camera controls. They are a lot cheaper than a dedicated traditional underwater housing and can be used with multiple similar format bodies (most DSLRs without a vertical grip for example can use the same housing allowing you to upgrade gear in the future without having a greatly depreciated and no longer useful housing). Great for shooting in surf and can be used underwater in shallow conditions (such as snorkeling).
Kari Post, NSN Editor 2009-2013
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by Anthony Medici on Tue May 22, 2018 11:18 am
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For the record, my original Nikon AW 1 started acting up the first time in the water on my most recent trip to the Galapagos. I was expecting it to fail soon as it had been collecting a lot of moisture in the battery compartment on its previous trips into the water. I don't expect that the camera will be repairable. The trip was not a loss though, I had purchased a previously owned camera as a backup prior to the trip and that camera worked perfectly fine during multiple trips into the water while I was there.
Tony
 

by SMB on Tue May 29, 2018 8:14 am
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What  and where do you want to shoot? If you want to do things like split shots etc. then you probably have to move to a housing , perhaps for one of your older bodies.
Have you checked Backscatter?        https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Backscatter-Best-Underwater-Compact-Cameras

Call Scott Gietler at UW Photography Guide, tell him what you are trying to do and he will help you out.
http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/sealife-dc1400-review
 

by SMB on Wed May 30, 2018 1:32 pm
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http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/olympus-tough-tg-5-camera-review?utm_source=Underwater+Photography+Guide+Newsletter&utm_campaign=16d74b9aa1-UWPG_NEWSLETTER_2018_05_29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_47636bb2bb-16d74b9aa1-265778961
 

by SMB on Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:49 am
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https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/buying-guide-best-waterproof-cameras?ref_=pe_1822230_288653940_dpr_nl_318_9

SB
 

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