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Old Jun 21, 2005, 3:02 AM   #1
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Hi,

I'm looking for a camera to take surfing/wave photos from in the water. I have been using a Panasonic F-1 in an ewa-marine case but these were recently stolen. Here's my list of requirements in descending order of importance...

- continuous drive/burst: at least 3 frames per second (full size)

- continuous focus (like in simple point-and-shoot cameras): want to be able to just depress the shutter the whole way to instantly take a photo. With my previous camera,I often accidentallyfocussed on the wrong subject (usually the water in foreground) leaving the surfer/wave blurred. It would be great for focus to cover a wide range and not require pre-focusing of the shutter by pressing it halfway down.

- at least 3 MP

- prefereably a custom water housing produced for the camera

Thanks.


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Old Jun 21, 2005, 9:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
continuous focus (like in simple point-and-shoot cameras): want to be able to just depress the shutter the whole way to instantly take a photo. With my previous camera, I often accidentally focussed on the wrong subject (usually the water in foreground) leaving the surfer/wave blurred. It would be great for focus to cover a wide range and not require pre-focusing of the shutter by pressing it halfway down.
Continuous focus doesn't work that way. It allows you to hold a pre-focus by adjusting the focus until the picture is taken. That allows you to get the almost instant response of pre-focus. If you just punch the shutter with continuous focus engaged it isn't usually any faster than without it, and some cameras are actually slower. What you are referring to is usually called "focus free". It comes only on very cheap cameras with very small apertures.

What you need is a manual focus. Some smaller cameras come with several fixed focus points and that would probably work as well. Your depth of focus with a small digital sensor is usually great enough in bright sunlight to select a manual focus distance near where you think the target will be and have a large distance range in focus. Hyperfocal distance would probably work for you as well, but you need a manual focus to set that.

Cameras vary as to how much faster the shutter lag is with manual focus. None are as fast as using pre-focus and some are barely faster than full autofocus. And pre-focus doesn't work with dynamic subjects without continuous focus.

Quote:
- continuous drive/burst: at least 3 frames per second (full size)
That usually comes on pricier cameras. The Panasonic FZ series is about the cheapest I know of with that burst, and the Panasonics are unique in that you can shoot burst after burst in fairly rapid succession. The FZ20 isn't the cheapest or smallest of the FZ series, but underwater housings exist for it. http://www.digideep.com/english/digi...-FZ-20/155/973 It also has manual focus and continuous focus. It is one of the few cameras that give less than 1/10 second shutter speed in manual focus. http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ20/FZ20A8.HTM

So unless you want to go to a DSLR the only thing I can think of that gives you manual focus, 3 shot a second burst and almost instant response in manual focus without using pre-focus and has an underwater housing available is the FZ20.

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