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Old 05-08-2009, 18:45   #31
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I used to own a SLR. It was big and bulky, made me look like a tourist and was thief bait. Basically, it became a big PITA to carry around..so I gradually stopped carrying it around much at all...and darned if I missed some of the best photo opportunities.

So I retired my SLR and bought a Canon 12.1 megapixel pocket camera with a 6X optical zoom and a 16 GB SD card.

I now get better pictures because I am taking a whole hell of a lot more pictures than I ever took with my SLR. My goal with a camera is to get lots of good pictures of things and people that mean a lot to me. I'm not trying to get National Geographic quality photos...although sometimes they are right up there.

Also, there are faster SD cards and slower SD cards. They do make a difference in the record time.
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Old 05-08-2009, 19:50   #32
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There's nothing like an Ikelite housing but they're rather expensive, bulky, and cumbersome. Great for storm photography or blue water--the only way your camera will sruvive unless you are using a Nikonos or other purposed camera with drawbacks of its own.

For "splash" resistance look into a EWA (brand) or similar bag. Heavy plastic with a glass optical port tapped into one side, it is basically a large "glove" that you putthe camera into and work it through.

Camera seals are not made to keep out abrasive salt dust, no matter how good they are. The seals will wear. They may keep out fresh water mist and dust--but they're not normally made for more than that.

When in doubt, ask the camera maker exactly what the camera is designed to tolerate--and then buy warranty protection. Remember, sometimes using your credit card will double the manufacturer's warranty for free.

And salt crystals are an excellent abrasive, expect to keep a neutral protective filter on each lens as a sacrificial layer, and WASH the salt crystals off it frequently.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:27   #33
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Here's 6 cameras I've used with my thoughts on each as well as example to support :


Canon Powershot Point and Shoot: I feel this camera provides reasonable optics and quality for the price. It is very compact. The following photo was taken at The Baths, BVIs. Compared to a very similar shot I took with my DSLR, the sky was a bit washed out, and it's not quite as crisp. However, I think most would consider this acceptable for general cruising documentation, blogs, etc. The second shots shows the color issues many here have noted in less light. (Cane Garden Bay). Some editing work could improve this image, but it would never be what I could have done with my DSLR.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2869.jpg

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2872.jpg

Canon Rebel DSLR : I feel this camera offers the advantages mentioned previously. The first image was taken in the evening at Manjack, Abaocs. Compared to the point and shoot, one an see how much better the color of the sky is. The second image was taken at Powell Cay, Abacos also a low light evening shot. With no tripod, I had to make some decisons in the low light. At 1/80, I felt I mostly froze the motion of the dingy on the waves, yet still pushed the ISO up to 800 and it was slightly underexposed which I corrected in post. While one can see a little grain on the horizon associated with these decisions, I never could have made these tradeoffs with my point and shoot.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2873.jpg

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture1290.jpg

Sealife Underwater Camera. After looking at the $1,000+ prices of water proof cases mentioned in an above post, I decided to try an underwater point and shoot for around $250. I found the internal underwater flash to be of very limited use as it had a very narrow sweet spot. The shutter delay with the flash is also way too long. The fish just don't care to wait for me. One can buy a better external flash I have not used, but it costs as much as the camera. It did offer some interesting existing light shots as seen in the brain coral, and the flash worked okay for a predictable snorkeler in about 25 feet, but one will notice the colors are not as good as they would be with a professional underwater camera. I've included a third scenery shot of the BVIs to show the quality of above water images. I felt it is not as good as my Canon Powershot in this regard. Another big problem with this camera is that it uses AA batteries instead of a recharable nicad and it goes through them like crazy. Overall, I'm not really impressed with this camera, but for the money, it offers okay above and below water shots, in a fairly shock resistant waterproof package.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2893.jpg

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2894.jpg

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2892.jpg

More to come. I'm posting before I loose all this.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:51   #34
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Shorter continuation:

Sony with floppy disks: My first digital camera purchased in the late 1990s. It's mostly obsolete now, but it did a good job, so I thought I'd give an example, just to show you don't have to have the latest to take acceptable everyday travel photos. Allan's Cay Iguana

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture1293.jpg

1970s Slide Film SLR, scanned The following image was taken with used Minolta SLR I purchased in the early 80s. The image was taken in the early 90s and I had the slide scanned by a professional company recently for 50 cents each. This camera offers what most any SLR does, just with slides. Even with age and scanning, I think the colors are better than with my point and shoot. Used SLRs can be purchased quite inexpensively, so I point this out as an option for those who may on occasion want the SLR advantage without the cost. Realize many of the old lenses are not compatible with more modern SLRs. It just kills me the lenses I have sitting around, but no longer use.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2867.jpg

Kodak Easy Share Point and Shoot: This was my first digital point and shoot with and internal memory card. The color balance was horrible and the optics lacking. I'm still dealing with the issues of their software taking over my photo library. Like my Sealife, it ate AA batteries. I really recommend paying a bit more for the better Sony or Canon point and shoot cameras. (St. Barths, 2003?)

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2871.jpg


DSLR I forgot: This is an image that I would have missed with my point and shoot because the exposure was radically differnet than the light meter. By the time I would have found a cheat method with my point and shoot, the imge would have been gone. As it was, I didn't have time to think about the Horizon line which would have made it a much better image, but can you blame me for being focused on the subject? Angela raising the main at sunrise.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture2868.jpg

Editing Software: This is something I have not seen mentioned. However, even basic editing such as cropping and brightness/contrast adjustment can greatly improve an image. If you have Mac, I'm impressed with what one an do with just Iphoto. For PC, GIMP is a fairly good free software, that I used on all the underwater shots. Certainly photoshop and many of the other packages do much more, but I do recommend those free or included options for those who only need the basics.

Sorry for going on, but cruising photography combines a couple of my favorite interests and I know how hard some online camera review are to interpret. I hope this helps you figure out what camera or combinations are best for you.

Also, I know a professional photographer could do more with any of these cameras than I can, but, hopefully this represents some of the tradeoffs as seen at the somewhat serious amateur level.
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Old 06-08-2009, 23:36   #35
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Yes, most of top-end SLR's are weather sealed, but less price, less stress. I carry my small Lumix compact. There are now few very potent tough compacts available. Read here more...
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:19   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaak ennuste View Post

Yes, most of top-end SLR's are weather sealed, but less price, less stress. I carry my small Lumix compact. There are now few very potent tough compacts available. Read here more...
i like this pic--i guess my next one --after i wreck my sony--will be an olympus!!!!!LOL....
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:36   #37
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I carry a Pentax K20D DSLR with two lenses (18-55mm and 55-300mm), I chose this model because of its weather resistant sealing. I also have an Olympus C5050 point and shoot, with an inexpensive underwater housing and a Sea & Sea Motormarine II Pro system with strobe for diving.

There will come a time when I will probably give up sailing/cruising because of health or simply a desire to do something else. The pictures I take now will help remember and relive some of these times. Compared to the cost of everything else on the boat, the cost of this equipment is not too significant. Storage space is more of a problem on my boat.

Rich
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:49   #38
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I carry a Pentax K20D DSLR with two lenses (18-55mm and 55-300mm), I chose this model because of its weather resistant sealing.

Rich
yes, Pentax is excellent camera maker, having K200D, K20D and newest K7D all weather-proof and sealed. Indeed, image quality of D-SLR is unparallel, but I prefer camera, easily pocketable between tacks. Our boat is raceing yacht and we don't even go inside, everybody has to be on his place, if not utterly needed. Portability is #1 requirement for me.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:35   #39
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A friend used a waterproof camera to invent the "kelp cam". During the 2008 Swiftsure Race we were convinced we had a kelp on the keel, but lacked a port to check. He duct taped the camera to a boat hook and videotaped the keel. Sure enough ...

Jack
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Old 05-09-2009, 16:12   #40
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Having both and having used both types the real issue is convenience and ease of use. the big slrs have there place but hanging around your neck all day while you climb,walk and recreate is not one of them. A point and shoot digital ( up to 12 or more mega pixels ) that can slip into your breast pocket,under 30' of water if necessary fits the bill exactly. It won't make you a target for theives or make you look like a wanna be pro. Go this route and your big SLR will just gather dust.
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Old 14-09-2009, 18:08   #41
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I worked formerly as a professional photographer and have some reasonably high end gear. Right now it's a Nikon D700.

Spleaking purely to durability of modern SLR cameras, the camera is made primarily of a piece of cast magnesium alloy and I imagine, if my boat sunk, it would be the most intact object in the boat 20 years from now.

Granted, the weather seals around the controls will weather with salt and sun and I would advise keeping it sheltered. Ultimately, you'll get mold in the lenses and salt in the connections, but the camera body is probably not the weak point, but rather those plastic consumer-grade lenses.

I have a full kit of pro lenses and they're also magnesium alloy (for the most part) and are double-weather sealed.

I've dunked my SLR (very briefly) a few times and it never had any issues, but I was fortunate not to get any water into the shutter box, because that's the most sensitive part of the gear.

If I was going cruising for any extended period, I would bring my SLR in a waterproof bag and a few lenses, and would also bring one of those waterproof point-and-shoots for underwater, heavy weather, light weight/portable and video shooting.

But I love the quality of the images, especially the wide-angle and telephoto capabilities (as I have lenses ranging from 12mm to 600mm).

Honestly, someone's comment above about the viewfinder is a bit silly, since most good point and shoot cameras can be shot with an on-screen viewfinder, which is much more precise and way bigger. Also, the viewfinder on cheaper SLR cameras like a D70 and Digital Rebel often only offer 92%-95% coverage of the sensor area, which is far from perfect as far as framing a shot goes. In the digital era, it's best to leave a "border" around your intended framing and crop it in the computer later.

But if you don't want to have magazine-quality images, most point-and-shoots will do. the quality of your photography is in the eye of the photographer, to be honest. The best photographer in the world could take breathtaking images with a point and shoot and a high-end camera with an amateur will still result in amateur images.

Cheers!
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Old 14-09-2009, 18:41   #42
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Just got my Olympus Stylus 6000. I have murdered multiple digital cameras... my last one was a Sony T-100 and I LOVED it. I went with the Olympus since it is waterproof.

The pictures I have taken so far have turned out well.
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Old 14-09-2009, 19:37   #43
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Nicolle got a brand new Olympus 'underwater' camera in January this year.

It went underwater 4 times before it failed. She cleans, inspects and treats her kit well

We sent it to be fixed and now it doesnt work at all.

If you are going to buy one for underwater use then buy the waterproof housing with it.

If you think I am a dill, then why does Olympus make a waterproof housing for it?

They are seriously useless as a stand alone for snorkelling.

They are great on land and as adventure camera.

So we must buy a new one even though this will still be under warrantee and but a housing for it that costs as much as the camera.





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Old 14-09-2009, 21:14   #44
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Sorry to hear about your problems with the olympus. I just bought an 8000. What model was yours. The 6000 was only good to 5' the 8000 is suppose to be good to 33'. I thought the housing was designed to go deeper. I hope mine lasts a little longer. On the pictures you were able to take was the flash of any real value.
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Old 23-09-2009, 07:42   #45
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one newcomer with excellent Leica compact optics is Lumix TS1 from Panasonic. Has quite good wide angle. This is usable feature on-board, there space is scarce.
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