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Old 20-04-2008, 05:46   #16
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Sometimes two is better than one

We have two. A Sony (the first model in the DSC-T series) is always with us and takes some great pictures with the added option to take VGA resolution movies. (The camera you have is always better than the one back on the boat)

The second camera is a Canon XTi and here the main choice was the lens. We opted for the (EF not EF-S) standard length telephoto with the USM motor and more importantly Image stabilization. The Kit lens is OK but IMHO not long enough to be much better than what the Sony will do. On a boat Image stabilization gives a three stops advantage when seas are up. If you get a EF-S lens it will not work on a canon film camera. We stuck with Canon since the family now has three (one film and two digital SLRs)

Sony and Panasonic also have cameras where image stabilization is built into the camera body rather than the lens. This might be an advantage if you plan on a lot of lenses in your kit.

The SLR gets used mainly from the boat. The compact goes with us everywhere. If we had to choose only one it would be the compact.

The waterproof one mentioned earlier would be a good choice.

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Old 20-04-2008, 09:02   #17
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If you are looking for a rugged Dslr, and $$$ is a concern, I would look at the Olympus E-1. This is a favorite of many war photogs out there, as it is weather proof, all of the mid and upper tier lenses are weather sealed as well. They can be had for really cheap, and the lenses are superb. They are built as good or better than the top pro Canon and nikon bodies, but much smaller and more easily handled. They also have built-in sensor cleaning, so no worrries about that. I currently have five Olympus bodies, never had to clean the senrsor on any of them.

The ergonomics are suberb - The newer E-3 is not nearly as good in this regard (but still good. If you have the $$$, the E-3 has some nice improvements.

Unles you know you are going to be making lots of big enlargements, anything over 4mp is fine.

I can tell more if you are interested - I have shot and owned Nikon, Canon and Olympus DSLR gear.

My business website: Witzgall Photography - North Carolina Wedding Photojjournalism


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Old 20-04-2008, 12:40   #18
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Originally Posted by jackiepitts View Post
We are currently in the market for a digital camera and have found the Olympus Stylus 790 SW. According to there specs they are shock (drop) proof, waterproof (up to 10 ft depth for 1 hour) and freeze proof. This seems to be a ideal digital for a boat environment and the price is very reasonable (250-300).
Here is a link to a review on this camera Olympus Stylus 790 SW Review
Anyone who has any experience or information on this camera it would be interesting to hear it.
I bought the Olympus Stylus 770SW last September and have been using it ever since. I also have a Sony DSC-F707, a Sony Cybershop P-93A with u/w housing, a Sony DSC-V3, a Kodak DX4900, and a Reefmaster Sealife digital in a housing. So far, none of the Sony's have given me any trouble. The Kodak quit after a year. I would still be shooting the DSC-F707 if I could find InfoLithium batts for it.

But anyhow, back to the 770SW....I bought it as a pocket and boat camera because of the waterproof and ruggedness, and the small size. And those are all it's strengths.
It's weaknesses are that the small optics limit you in low-light and high motion situations. Nothing surprising there. I have not been able to get one single sharp image with it using the telephoto out of all the times I have tried in almost 8 months now. I think the problem is that there is no manual focus control, and the camera itself does not seem to be able to just set it at infinity and leave it.

I have had it to around 30 feet diving, with no problems. It bounces around on the console of our power boat, getting drenched in salt spray, no problem. It's definitely rugged. I drop it into my front pocket every morning and carry it all day.

My only other beefs with it are the menu structure kinda sucks if you are used to Sony. Setting the timer, for example, takes three button pushes.
ANd there are some other menu items that are useless to me personally, but that I have to deal with. With no viewfinder, you are limited to the LED and in bright daylight, its basically "point and pray".

So, would I buy the newer one? Maybe. I could learn to live with the menus, if they would just fix the software so that the telephoto works.

If you want to see a lot of photos taken with the 770SW model, just about everything on our website taken since September was taken either with the Olympus or the DSC-V3.

The Olympus doesnt take bad photos, within it's limitations. And for ease and lack of worry in a wet, rough environment, it's great.

Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
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