Scuba Diving

412 Burgh

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Hello all,

I am currently a freshman in college. The past year on vacation I did two things on my bucket list within the matter of days. 1. Sky dive. and 2. Scuba dive. I'm now currently enrolled into PADI's open water diver certification course. I talked to the instructor and he said he uses the "Sea Life" Cameras, I feel like a DSLR with proper housing would be much better. Does anyone have first hand experience or know where I can find someone who could inform me with some information? I tried to google which one is best but it's various results.

DSLR Package
To me this package (pricey) but it seems more appealing and more professional than a simple under water camera as to what he says he uses.

his option of Sea Life
 

cgipson1

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get the sealife to start with.. or even a bridge with a case. Or buy an older Nikonos system... and use that. Until you know what you are doing, and whether you really want to do it.. keep the expense minimal.

Also get at least fifty to a hundred dives under your belt before you start trying to do anything but dive. Try to get very comfortable in the water.. and VERY good about controlling your bouyancy. Nothing worse than a rookie bouncing off the coral, tearing it up.
 

Bossy

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Underwater your biggest issue is going to be light. With enough light even an iPhone can take awesome pics. Another thing is going to be size, you'll be able to get a bigger print without loss with a DSLR, but you'll also have to get the extra flash/housing for flash. The Sea life is cheaper by a couple thousand bucks easy.
 

cgipson1

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and all it takes is one o-ring to fail.. and your DSLR is toast! :)
 

BlackSheep

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Also get at least fifty to a hundred dives under your belt before you start trying to do anything but dive. Try to get very comfortable in the water.. and VERY good about controlling your bouyancy. Nothing worse than a rookie bouncing off the coral, tearing it up.

^^ Good advice there.
One thing you might want to consider is to rent a few different cameras before you buy. I've seen alot of dive shops that keep one or two rental cameras on hand for their customers, especially down south.
 

dxqcanada

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Check with sabbath999 ... or FlyingScot, diver_matt, or canuk
 
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dxqcanada

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Also get at least fifty to a hundred dives under your belt before you start trying to do anything but dive. Try to get very comfortable in the water.. and VERY good about controlling your bouyancy. Nothing worse than a rookie bouncing off the coral, tearing it up.

Yup !!!! That should be your number one goal before considering underwater anything else.

It took me many many dozens of dives before I could breath normally ... enough to use that to control bouyancy.
 

rexbobcat

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Underwater DSLR photography is 'omg expensive' as far as I know. You not only need a $1000 housing, but depending on the depth you'll need lights etc... I know this is a pretty extreme example, but the Nat. Geo. photographer who shoots underwater uses 5+ different cameras with different lenses. The digital age has made it a lot easier, because you don't have a chance of running out of film if you use SD cards.
 

Canuk

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Hey Burgh,
I will try to offer up all of the advise I can give you w/ my limited experience.

I just returned from Roatan Honduras and my first underwater adventure w/ my new underwater setup. I have a Canon G12 w/ Ikelite Housing for Canon Digital Camera the Ikelite housing and strobe. IKELITE Substrobe DS161 digital. I also have my GoPro HD mounted on the bottom of the double handle tray that I changed out.

I looked at getting into DLSR uderwater photography and use my 60D. I was strongly advised not to start out with a DSLR by my local dive shop owner, who by the way is a very avid underwater photographer w/ all the toys. He helped me pick out this system for a starter kit.

For underwater photography you need to either bring light w/ you or be able to quickly set a custom white balance for different depths. Color is lost very quickly as you go down, reds are lost very shallow, ect., due to the de-fraction of light.

Getting dives under your belt is good advice. If you are just taking your open water, I would suggest also going for your Advanced Open Water shortly after and taking the Peak Performance Buoyancy course. You need to be able to control your buoyancy w/o thinking about it. Taking pictures underwater is a lot harder than it sounds. Lots of times you may have to hover inverted to get your shot, and fish don't like to stay still, haha. My little camera w/ the single strobe is approx 3-4lbs negatively buoyant, this is something that you need to take into account as well.

Sorry for the wall of text, I hope this helps. Good luck in your adventures!!



IMG_0452 by Canuk313, on Flickr
 

Canuk

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Cost wise;

DLSR -
Housing $1500
Lens ports - $500-???
Strobes $1200 each
+ cost of camera and lenses
Bridge-
Housing $650
Strobe $1200
+ camera

There are cheaper strobes, but if you want to upgrade to full DSLR later, you may as well buy one that will work w/ the DSLR.
Photography isn't a cheap hobby, and underwater photography is definately not cheap.
A grain of sand or hair on an O-ring can make a camera into a soggy piece of scrap.
 

Canuk

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Another option is Canon G12 w/ the Canon G12 underwater housing $200ish? The only thing is the Canon housing does not have a control for the front wheel or ETTL. A strobe can still be used but it must be a slave and used manually. The G12 has a short cut button that can be used for custom white balance as well. Max depth on the Canon housing is only 130', and that wasnt deep enough for me, haha.
 

dxqcanada

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Hmm, you must be only shooting down south ... it gets kinda cold at that depth in Canada.
I've hit multiple thermoclines in Tobermory.
 

2WheelPhoto

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Underwater your biggest issue is going to be light. With enough light even an iPhone can take awesome pics. Another thing is going to be size, you'll be able to get a bigger print without loss with a DSLR, but you'll also have to get the extra flash/housing for flash. The Sea life is cheaper by a couple thousand bucks easy.

yeah, we saw that video.
 

Canuk

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I prefer to dive in the Caribbean, that place has stole my heart, haha.
I do plan on doing some diving at home this year, funny thing is I missed our ice dive this year while on vacation down there.
 

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