Best digital for diving? (S1 or ??)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Michelle, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Michelle

    Michelle Guest

    I am looking for a new camera for my husband, and was hoping to get
    some recommendations. I am very interested in the new Canon S1 because
    of the 10x optical, IS built in, the movie mode (though I don't know
    practically how much this would be used), compact size, and that it
    has an available underwater housing. Diving would not be the main use
    of the camera, but one of the uses. So, I'd like something that would
    be good for everyday use as well. I know the camera just came out so I
    don't know if anyone has any input on it (I've read the Dpreview and
    Steve's Digicams reviews).

    I'd like to stay in that general price range ($400-$600). I know the
    underwater housing will be extra, but I don't want to spend the money
    on the super expensive housings that you can get for any camera..so
    something that has a housing already available would be preferable.

    Does anyone have any input on the S1 OR any camera suggestions that
    might fit my needs better?

    Thanks!
     
    Michelle, Apr 6, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Michelle

    Dan Birchall Guest

    (Michelle) wrote:
    > I am looking for a new camera for my husband, and was hoping to get
    > some recommendations. I am very interested in the new Canon S1 because
    > of the 10x optical, IS built in, the movie mode (though I don't know
    > practically how much this would be used), compact size, and that it
    > has an available underwater housing. Diving would not be the main use
    > of the camera, but one of the uses. So, I'd like something that would
    > be good for everyday use as well. I know the camera just came out so I
    > don't know if anyone has any input on it (I've read the Dpreview and
    > Steve's Digicams reviews).
    >
    > I'd like to stay in that general price range ($400-$600). I know the
    > underwater housing will be extra, but I don't want to spend the money
    > on the super expensive housings that you can get for any camera..so
    > something that has a housing already available would be preferable.
    >
    > Does anyone have any input on the S1 OR any camera suggestions that
    > might fit my needs better?


    If you're going to really use the 10x and all that topside, I'd say sure,
    go for it.

    Underwater, you're going to want as little zoom as possible; wide-angle
    is more useful. Being underwater makes your focal length longer, so you
    want a _short_ lens. I'd say the things to look for in something you'll
    use underwater are overall resolution, widest (i.e. fewest mm) lens setting,
    availability of an underwater enclosure, and ability to use a flash that's
    at a different angle than the lens (i.e. externally mounted strobe). The
    last one is actually pretty important if you're gonna do it seriously, but
    unfortunately doesn't come cheaply! ;)

    -Dan (skindiving with Canon S20, 3mp, 32-64mm eq. zoom, Ewa-Marine D-MM bag)

    --
    Dan Birchall, Hilo HI - http://dan.birchalls.net/ - images, words, technology
     
    Dan Birchall, Apr 7, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Michelle

    Pat Guest

    I have a decent solution that really works for me. Get a Kodak 3.2
    megapixel CX4300 available at Walmart for $99 (this takes super pics
    on land too) and try the universal case from Camerashield
    http://www.fuertecases.com/CameraShield.html
    for $49. I don't work for them and have taken thousands of underwater
    shots with the case with no leaks! It even is awesome to use at rainy
    sporting events! Tell them Pat Cook sent you. I have 2 of their
    kits.

    Here are some of my sample pics. Note: they are way smaller sized for
    this web page. The originals look great! I have since done a lot of
    retouching in Photoshop but these show what the camera can do right
    "out of the camera". http://spectregunner.freeservers.com/

    I can't think of any way to spend only $150 total and have this much
    fun and success in underwater photography.

    -Pat


    On Wed, 07 Apr 2004 00:38:38 -0000,
    (Dan Birchall) wrote:

    > (Michelle) wrote:
    >> I am looking for a new camera for my husband, and was hoping to get
    >> some recommendations. I am very interested in the new Canon S1 because
    >> of the 10x optical, IS built in, the movie mode (though I don't know
    >> practically how much this would be used), compact size, and that it
    >> has an available underwater housing. Diving would not be the main use
    >> of the camera, but one of the uses. So, I'd like something that would
    >> be good for everyday use as well. I know the camera just came out so I
    >> don't know if anyone has any input on it (I've read the Dpreview and
    >> Steve's Digicams reviews).
    >>
    >> I'd like to stay in that general price range ($400-$600). I know the
    >> underwater housing will be extra, but I don't want to spend the money
    >> on the super expensive housings that you can get for any camera..so
    >> something that has a housing already available would be preferable.
    >>
    >> Does anyone have any input on the S1 OR any camera suggestions that
    >> might fit my needs better?

    >
    >If you're going to really use the 10x and all that topside, I'd say sure,
    >go for it.
    >
    >Underwater, you're going to want as little zoom as possible; wide-angle
    >is more useful. Being underwater makes your focal length longer, so you
    >want a _short_ lens. I'd say the things to look for in something you'll
    >use underwater are overall resolution, widest (i.e. fewest mm) lens setting,
    >availability of an underwater enclosure, and ability to use a flash that's
    >at a different angle than the lens (i.e. externally mounted strobe). The
    >last one is actually pretty important if you're gonna do it seriously, but
    >unfortunately doesn't come cheaply! ;)
    >
    >-Dan (skindiving with Canon S20, 3mp, 32-64mm eq. zoom, Ewa-Marine D-MM bag)
     
    Pat, Apr 7, 2004
    #3
  4. Michelle

    Michelle Guest

    (Dan Birchall) wrote in message news:<>...
    > (Michelle) wrote:


    > >
    > > Does anyone have any input on the S1 OR any camera suggestions that
    > > might fit my needs better?

    >
    > If you're going to really use the 10x and all that topside, I'd say sure,
    > go for it.
    >
    > Underwater, you're going to want as little zoom as possible; wide-angle
    > is more useful. Being underwater makes your focal length longer, so you
    > want a _short_ lens. I'd say the things to look for in something you'll
    > use underwater are overall resolution, widest (i.e. fewest mm) lens setting,
    > availability of an underwater enclosure, and ability to use a flash that's
    > at a different angle than the lens (i.e. externally mounted strobe). The
    > last one is actually pretty important if you're gonna do it seriously, but
    > unfortunately doesn't come cheaply! ;)
    >
    > -Dan (skindiving with Canon S20, 3mp, 32-64mm eq. zoom, Ewa-Marine D-MM bag)


    Thanks for the tips!! Your photography is really beautiful. If you
    were shopping for a new digital to use underwater as well as a good
    everyday camera...what would you buy if you had a budget of up to
    about $600? Would you stick with the S20 line (not sure what model
    they're up to now) or would you get something different?
     
    Michelle, Apr 7, 2004
    #4
  5. Michelle

    Pat Guest

    I would rebuy my Kodak/Camerashiled for $150 for underwater only and
    buy what I use on land...The Panasonic FZ10. I have had this since
    Christmas and LOVE it!

    Better to have the right "tools" for the jobs. Just my 2 cents...have
    fun Michelle!

    -Pat

    On 7 Apr 2004 13:31:14 -0700, (Michelle) wrote:

    > (Dan Birchall) wrote in message news:<>...
    >> (Michelle) wrote:

    >
    >> >
    >> > Does anyone have any input on the S1 OR any camera suggestions that
    >> > might fit my needs better?

    >>
    >> If you're going to really use the 10x and all that topside, I'd say sure,
    >> go for it.
    >>
    >> Underwater, you're going to want as little zoom as possible; wide-angle
    >> is more useful. Being underwater makes your focal length longer, so you
    >> want a _short_ lens. I'd say the things to look for in something you'll
    >> use underwater are overall resolution, widest (i.e. fewest mm) lens setting,
    >> availability of an underwater enclosure, and ability to use a flash that's
    >> at a different angle than the lens (i.e. externally mounted strobe). The
    >> last one is actually pretty important if you're gonna do it seriously, but
    >> unfortunately doesn't come cheaply! ;)
    >>
    >> -Dan (skindiving with Canon S20, 3mp, 32-64mm eq. zoom, Ewa-Marine D-MM bag)

    >
    >Thanks for the tips!! Your photography is really beautiful. If you
    >were shopping for a new digital to use underwater as well as a good
    >everyday camera...what would you buy if you had a budget of up to
    >about $600? Would you stick with the S20 line (not sure what model
    >they're up to now) or would you get something different?
     
    Pat, Apr 7, 2004
    #5
  6. Michelle

    Dan Birchall Guest

    (Michelle) wrote:
    > (Dan Birchall) wrote:
    > > (Michelle) wrote:
    > > > Does anyone have any input on the S1 OR any camera suggestions that
    > > > might fit my needs better?

    > >
    > > If you're going to really use the 10x and all that topside, I'd say sure,
    > > go for it.
    > >
    > > Underwater, you're going to want as little zoom as possible; wide-angle
    > > is more useful. Being underwater makes your focal length longer, so you
    > > want a _short_ lens. I'd say the things to look for in something you'll
    > > use underwater are overall resolution, widest (i.e. fewest mm) lens
    > > setting, availability of an underwater enclosure, and ability to use a
    > > flash that's at a different angle than the lens (i.e. externally
    > > mounted strobe). The last one is actually pretty important if you're
    > > gonna do it seriously, but unfortunately doesn't come cheaply! ;)
    > >
    > > -Dan (skindiving with Canon S20, 3mp, 32-64mm eq. zoom, Ewa-Marine
    > > D-MM bag)

    >
    > Thanks for the tips!! Your photography is really beautiful. If you
    > were shopping for a new digital to use underwater as well as a good
    > everyday camera...what would you buy if you had a budget of up to
    > about $600? Would you stick with the S20 line (not sure what model
    > they're up to now) or would you get something different?


    *chuckle* I got the D-MM housing because at that point, I only had a
    1.3-megapixel PowerShot A50 (2000-vintage model), and the D-MM was the
    snorkel-depth housing for that. When I dropped the A50 and busted it
    (oops!), I got the 3-megapixel S20 (also 2000-vintage model) because
    it was the highest-resolution thing I could get that was the _same size_
    as the A50 and thus didn't require a new housing.

    Since I seem to recall you wanting SCUBA depths, you might end up having
    to spend a bit more on a hard-shell housing than the $80-ish I spent on
    my Ewa-Marine soft bag for snorkeling depths.

    Any decent brand of compact camera - Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus - will
    have at least *some* models for which there are hard-shell housings
    rated to 30m/100' or 40m/130', either OEM or third-party. The place I
    bought my housing, B&H Photo in New York (www.bhphotovideo.com) has a
    Fuji housing for $180, a whole bunch of Canon ones for $170-$180, some
    Olympus ones for $130 and up, and some Fantasea brand third-party ones
    for a few of Nikon's cameras for $100 and up.

    (They also have the famous Ikelite brand that's used by a lot of pros,
    but those are pretty expensive, in part because they tend to offer
    access to every single button on the camera and are more likely to
    offer external strobe attachments and all that. The cheapest Ikelite
    compact housings start about $240.)

    Since I have a compact, short-zoom Canon and a less compact long-zoom
    Canon right now (a Pro90 IS, kind of the S1's ancestor) I'd be sorely
    tempted to go with the compact long-zoom S1 IS, but with the WP-DC20
    case for it, it'd be in the $650-700 range, and the resolution would
    still only be 3 megapixels, same as my S20 (and not all that much
    better topside than my Pro90's 2.6 megapixels).

    If I were trying to stay under $600, I'd probably go with a 5-megapixel
    S50 and WP-DC300 if I could find the S50 for under $400, and otherwise
    with a 4-megapixel A80 and WP-DC900, or 4-megapixel S400 ELPH and
    WP-DC800. Any of those options would be about $550-$560ish.

    That said, I'm a Canon guy - I've got a Canon backpack with 3 Canon
    cameras in it (S20, Pro90 IS, and an Elan 7 35mm SLR) so... I'm biased. ;)
    If I hadn't already chosen to stick with a particular brand of gear, and
    just wanted to spend as little as possible on a decent camera and a
    housing rated for 30-40 meters, I'd probably go with one of those cheap
    Fantasea enclosures from B&H, and a Nikon Coolpix to go with it.
    (There's also the "Shield" from www.fuertecases.com, which is cheaper
    still, but isn't designed to fit any particular model.)

    Amazon has the 3-megapixel Coolpix 3100 for $260 and the 4-megapixel
    Coolpix 4300 for $345, the respective CP-3 and CP-4 Sport housings are
    $100 and $120 at B&H, so you could be looking at $360 for 3 megapixels and
    a 40-meter rating, or $465 for 4 megapixels and a 40-meter rating.

    There _are_ underwater digitals out there from brands like Sealife
    and Sea & Sea, but they tend to be fixed-focus (which is fine underwater,
    but not so helpful topside) and not particularly cheap (a 2.1mp fixed
    focus Sealife Reefmaster DC250 costs about $300, which isn't really a
    good deal when $60 more buys you an enclosure and a better "all-around"
    camera with an extra megapixel _and_ a 3x zoom. :)

    Hope this all helps!

    -Dan

    --
    Dan Birchall, Hilo HI - http://dan.birchalls.net/ - images, words, technology
     
    Dan Birchall, Apr 8, 2004
    #6
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. The Diver

    bequia diving

    The Diver, Dec 12, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    412
    The Diver
    Dec 12, 2003
  2. Gerald

    Digital color balance and SCUBA diving

    Gerald, Mar 23, 2005, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    370
    Dan Birchall
    Mar 27, 2005
  3. pauly

    Cannon A620 and generic diving package question

    pauly, Sep 27, 2006, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    369
    Rudy Benner
    Sep 27, 2006
  4. Michael C

    Are consumer digital cameras useless for diving?

    Michael C, Apr 18, 2007, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    20
    Views:
    706
    Dan L
    May 23, 2007
  5. Giuen
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    1,540
    Giuen
    Sep 12, 2008
Loading...

Share This Page