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Strobe and other underwater lighting questions

 
 
mrblenny
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      11-03-2006
I have a 3 year old Canon Powershot A70 with housing and do a lot of
snorkelling and some scuba. I have been looking into some extra
lighting to go with the camera and was wondering what options I should
consider.

Am I correct in understanding strobes fire with the built-in flash and
hence require a optic cable and a new hole in my housing?

Would I be better getting some sort of dive torch/light with a mounting
bracket for my housing instead?

Is even just getting a really bright dive torch a good option and hand
hold it?

My gut feeling is my camera is too old to be worth spending too much
money on but I also get the feeling a "halfway" solution will be a
waste of money too.

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Damo

 
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All_Thumbs
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      11-03-2006

"mrblenny" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
>I have a 3 year old Canon Powershot A70 with housing and do a lot of
> snorkelling and some scuba. I have been looking into some extra
> lighting to go with the camera and was wondering what options I should
> consider.
>
> Am I correct in understanding strobes fire with the built-in flash and
> hence require a optic cable and a new hole in my housing?
>
> Would I be better getting some sort of dive torch/light with a mounting
> bracket for my housing instead?
>
> Is even just getting a really bright dive torch a good option and hand
> hold it?
>
> My gut feeling is my camera is too old to be worth spending too much
> money on but I also get the feeling a "halfway" solution will be a
> waste of money too.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Cheers,
> Damo
>


Inon makes a setup with a fibre optic cable that triggers off the internal
strobe, you put a piece of what looks like black film over the internal
strobe, its not opaque to IR.. Works with with both of my UW cameras. NO
EXTRA HOLE NEEDED.

email me for more detail rudy at rudybenner dot com


 
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LabRat
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      11-03-2006
You could get a strobe with a slave setting, but the problem is that the
camera flash is so close to the lens that you will get a lot of backscatter
when the light from that flash bounces off the particles in the water. As
long as you are going to shoot close range, an arm with a wide-angle halogen
lamp will probably give you good results.

LabRat.


"mrblenny" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
>I have a 3 year old Canon Powershot A70 with housing and do a lot of
> snorkelling and some scuba. I have been looking into some extra
> lighting to go with the camera and was wondering what options I should
> consider.
>
> Am I correct in understanding strobes fire with the built-in flash and
> hence require a optic cable and a new hole in my housing?
>
> Would I be better getting some sort of dive torch/light with a mounting
> bracket for my housing instead?
>
> Is even just getting a really bright dive torch a good option and hand
> hold it?
>
> My gut feeling is my camera is too old to be worth spending too much
> money on but I also get the feeling a "halfway" solution will be a
> waste of money too.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Cheers,
> Damo
>



 
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Zen Diver
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      11-03-2006
mrblenny wrote:
> I have a 3 year old Canon Powershot A70 with housing and do a lot of
> snorkelling and some scuba. I have been looking into some extra
> lighting to go with the camera and was wondering what options I should
> consider.
>
> Am I correct in understanding strobes fire with the built-in flash and
> hence require a optic cable and a new hole in my housing?


Like rudy said, no new hole is needed. The optic cable sits looking at
the internal flash and triggers the strobe accordingly.

> Would I be better getting some sort of dive torch/light with a mounting
> bracket for my housing instead?


You can do this but the light output of a torch is way off that of a
strobe and the colour temperature will be way off if you don't use an
HID light. Quite a few people are using LED lights to aid focusing though.

> Is even just getting a really bright dive torch a good option and hand
> hold it?
>
> My gut feeling is my camera is too old to be worth spending too much
> money on but I also get the feeling a "halfway" solution will be a
> waste of money too.


There are a couple of other things you can do with your camera before
you upgrade.

If you are diving in mostly clear water at depths to about 15m then you
can use the manual white balance to get more vibrant colour without
spending a penny. All you need to do is give your camera a reference to
white at the depth that you are taking the picture. In my experience
the Canons are faily good at this little trick.

Another thing you could try, again works best in clear water fairly
shallow with plenty of light, is to use a filter. Have a look at
http://www.magic-filters.com. it is a cheaper alternative to strobes if
the conditions you dive in suit it.

HTH
jon
 
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All_Thumbs
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      11-03-2006

"Zen Diver" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> mrblenny wrote:
>> I have a 3 year old Canon Powershot A70 with housing and do a lot of
>> snorkelling and some scuba. I have been looking into some extra
>> lighting to go with the camera and was wondering what options I should
>> consider.
>>
>> Am I correct in understanding strobes fire with the built-in flash and
>> hence require a optic cable and a new hole in my housing?

>
> Like rudy said, no new hole is needed. The optic cable sits looking at
> the internal flash and triggers the strobe accordingly.
>
>> Would I be better getting some sort of dive torch/light with a mounting
>> bracket for my housing instead?

>
> You can do this but the light output of a torch is way off that of a
> strobe and the colour temperature will be way off if you don't use an HID
> light. Quite a few people are using LED lights to aid focusing though.
>
>> Is even just getting a really bright dive torch a good option and hand
>> hold it?
>>
>> My gut feeling is my camera is too old to be worth spending too much
>> money on but I also get the feeling a "halfway" solution will be a
>> waste of money too.

>
> There are a couple of other things you can do with your camera before you
> upgrade.
>
> If you are diving in mostly clear water at depths to about 15m then you
> can use the manual white balance to get more vibrant colour without
> spending a penny. All you need to do is give your camera a reference to
> white at the depth that you are taking the picture. In my experience the
> Canons are faily good at this little trick.
>
> Another thing you could try, again works best in clear water fairly
> shallow with plenty of light, is to use a filter. Have a look at
> http://www.magic-filters.com. it is a cheaper alternative to strobes if
> the conditions you dive in suit it.
>
> HTH
> jon


My Inon strobe has a modelling light which helps when you are setting up for
a shot, it turns off just before the strobe fires.

Manual white balance works well, keep in mind that you can only compensate
for a color that is actually still present, when the colors are gone, its
gone. The brain will try to fool you into thinking the colors are still
there. 15m is about right. Shallower is better, better color, more critters,
more air, more bottom time, more better happy camper. Try the top of the
reef, don't follow the herd.

A better solution, if that model of camera supports it is to shoot in raw.
Seems to me the housing for the camera makes it very difficult to do a
manual white balance. I can't find the file that details the procedure. The
only reason I do an approximate manual white balance is so that the LCD
display shows 'normal' color balance. I use the palm of my hand as a
reference instead of a white card.



 
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news
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      11-07-2006
"mrblenny" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> I have a 3 year old Canon Powershot A70 with housing and do a lot of
> snorkelling and some scuba. I have been looking into some extra
> lighting to go with the camera and was wondering what options I should
> consider.
>
> Am I correct in understanding strobes fire with the built-in flash and
> hence require a optic cable and a new hole in my housing?
>
> Would I be better getting some sort of dive torch/light with a mounting
> bracket for my housing instead?
>
> Is even just getting a really bright dive torch a good option and hand
> hold it?
>
> My gut feeling is my camera is too old to be worth spending too much
> money on but I also get the feeling a "halfway" solution will be a
> waste of money too.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Cheers,
> Damo
>


I use a Sunpak G flash which is a slave flash. I block the on camera flash
in front on the housing but there is enough flash from the sides to trigger
the G Flash. You can always use this flash with another camera. $179

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search


Jay






 
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mrblenny
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      11-09-2006

Thank you for the help everybody, I have a much clearer idea of my
options now. Will probably not worry about it for now seeing as mostly
I am only snorkelling, and reconsider options when I am diving more
again.

Cheers,
Damo

 
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