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Old Oct 26, 2006, 6:30 PM   #1
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Hi all,

I am starting to get into scuba diving and have been thinking about getting a camera that I could take on dives with me. I don't want a vast great dedicated scuba camera (eg Sealife), but am really after a compact in a waterproof case that I could take out afterwards and use for general photography.

I currently have a Sony DSC W1 (about 2-3 years old) and I know that Sony do a waterproof case for it. Is it worth spending £100 on this case or would I get significantly better results by biting the bullet and buying a more modern compact and a compatible case?

Does anyone have any general experience with using compact cameras underwater? Does the flash still work or do I need an external flash unit? What sort of features should I be looking for such a camera? Are dedicated underwater modes worth looking for?

Many thanks.
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Old Oct 27, 2006, 1:07 AM   #2
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There might be some suggestions here, but your best bet is in the "underwater photography" forum.
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 12:43 PM   #3
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I have found that P&S cameras work fairly well as casual underwater cameras. You arent going to get pro quality pictures, but it is better than the $10/15' disposable. One thing to consider is a strobe. As you get into deeper water photography you lose light quickly, and the onboard flash is underpowered for this application, it simply wasn't designed for the light output needed underwater. I have heard an auxillary flash reccommended for anything deeper than 15 to 20 feet (but some say 30 is ok).

I do a lot of free diving (extreme snorkeling if you will) and don't get below 30' much, and the when I do dive it is in the clearest water on earth in the carribean, so I haven't used a strobe much. But even in clear water, the deeper the photos I take the darker they are. But I have a Canon SD series and a 40m case, and I find it to work very well.

I think your camera will work fine with the appropriate case, and instead of upgrading the camera, get a slave strobe (activated wirelessly by your cameras built in flash). Should be the ticket for some decent pictures of your diving escapades.

Just a tip, condensation indside a case can be a real problem, so start saving the dessicate (spelling??) packs from new shoes and what-not and slip them in the case with the camera, they should soak up any moisture in the case.
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