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Old Mar 1, 2005, 9:08 AM   #1
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I have been diving with an Oly 3040 with an Ikelite housing and DX 50 strobe for several years.

I would like to switch to a camera which offers me:

better resolution than 3.2
reduced lag time
a direct connection to the strobe rather than a slave style arrangement

a good zoom

I'd like something with a price under $2000 for camera, housing and strobe

The new SEA & SEA DX-5000 looks appealing but it offers no direct connect to the strobe. I like Canon, Sony and Olympus but don't know what would suit me.
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Old Mar 1, 2005, 1:49 PM   #2
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I'm shoooting a Nikon DSLR so I can only offer guidelines on what I would think about in your shoes.

If you are happy with Ikelite and Olympus why not look at what is available in their ranges?

This pagelists all the Ikelite housings for Olympus cameras and shows which ones are capable of cabled strobe connection. http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/camolychart.html

It may be that the DX50 is capable of being connected to the housing by replacing a cable which would save you some money.

If you check the list you can then read Steve's reviews to see which camera meets your needs.

Not sure what you want the zoom for, on land this is great but underwater you reallywant wide angle or macro. A telezoom setting used on macro can be good for fish close ups but don't use it for diver shots. In underwater photography you always want to be as close to the subject as possible. This reduces the water column between the lens and the subject. This means that you are shooting through less of the rubbish that is always floating in the water so you get less backscatter. You are also getting less filtration of the light so you getmore saturated photos.


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Old Mar 1, 2005, 2:01 PM   #3
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The Ikelite housing is really pretty bulky. If I went with the Olympus 8080, I'd probably go with the PT-023 -- which is getting harder and harder to find. I could get a sync cord to keep using my DS-50. By the time I get a tray for the new housing, I'm around 1500 or more.

I know about being close, but my best shots have been with the zoom. I used to do macro when I had a film camera, but I haven't been able to get the same results with my digital.
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 2:52 AM   #4
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Cameras Underwater in the UK sell both this comparison http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/i...c8080test.htmlmakes me think the Ikelite is the better housing. It is however a lot bulkier and a lot more expensive.
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 7:59 AM   #5
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That is a pretty convincing comparison.

I really do LOVE my Ikelite housing. I never have had any fear of flooding and I have found the company to be EXTREMELY responsive when I have had problems.

What do you think about my "itch" to get another camera? Honestly. I don't think I've fully used all the capabilities of my Oly3040, but I'm frustrated. When I get a good shot and I want to do some cropping, the deterioration in the image only allows me to produce a good web shot or a 5 x 7 photo. I'd really like to be able to get some larger prints for home and office walls. I figure moving from 3.2 to 8 will help that problem.

I also miss doing teeny tiny macro shots.

I only go diving two weeks a year - but photography is everything to me on those trips. I go to some nice locations. My website gives an indicator of the kind of shots I'm doing. http://www.rummelraiders.com/scuba.htm

On the Grand Cayman trip I had no strobe, but the Utila pictures are fairly typical of what I'm getting.

Any opinion you can give would be much appreciated. I'm a school teacher and I don't have a ton of money to spend on my one extravagance.
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 1:30 PM   #6
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I took a look at your site and you've got some stunning shots on there I particularly like the teary eyedangel. Looking back through the years I'd also say you are steadily improving. These are obviously great memory shots for you but you would do better to be more selective. For example the large grouper trying to get some shut eye is just not in the same league. The best way to improve is to look at which of your shots really work for you and think about what makes them special. Then try to repeat that with other similar subjects. For me it's the pictures where you've go up close and personal that really work.

I'd be interested in your opinion of my website http://www.ksbyrne.f9.co.uk it's a bit out of date and I plan to update it shortly with some of the pictures from my new D70.

I did think that the comparison was fairly convincing although I guess they do make more money from the Ike housing.

I'm probably the wrong person toask about the benefits of upgrading as I love technology. I do think that digital cameras have improved greatly in the last few years. A few years ago I never thought I'd buy one now I have two. It's the eye behind the lens that is the most important thing in photography so upgrading your camera won't improve your photography but it will give you more flexibility with your post processing and print sizes.
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 1:44 PM   #7
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Thanks you for taking the time. Yes, the web page is basically a memory book for us and our friends, so I'm not very discriminating about the shots. The angel fish are my favorite subjects.

Your macro shots are breathtaking. The anemone and blenny shots are my favorites. I have a couple of yellow-headed jawfish shots and seahorses from the Roatan trips, but nothing as striking as you are able to capture with your equipment.



Thanks again for responding.
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 3:12 AM   #8
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I took the liberty of downloading a couple of your shots to see what Photoshop could do with them. In the case of the ray I had to reduce the size a bit to prevent the jpg artifacts from showing up too much. You'd get much better results with the original files.


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Old Mar 3, 2005, 3:15 AM   #9
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I both cases I've used the levels tool and used the black dropper to set the black point. I've then used the right hand slider to lighten it slightly. I've then applied an unsharp mask. I've used fairly low percentages, the original may be better with a higher percentange it's all a matter of taste. I generally use a radius of 2 pixels and a threshold of 5.
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 7:15 AM   #10
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I use Photoshop elements. What exactly did you do with the shot????
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