Underwater Cameras

tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
edited January 2013 in General Discussions
We are taking a trip later this year and I was thinking about getting an all weather camera to take on the trip. Most likely snorkeling opportunities, but it seems like it would be good to just have an all weather camera for the beach and stuff as well. Most likely will be going to Cozumel or somewhere there abouts...near a beach either way.

Any thoughts on the P&S types. My friend has a GOPRO that he always used to shoot underwater video while he was diving, but I wasn't sure how it would do for pictures and I don't care to shoot video really.

I would possibly not even bring my D5000 or if I do probably just with my 17-55.
D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
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Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Why not give the Nikon CoolPix AW100 a shot.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I use the D90 and the D4 in a waterproof case like the Ewa-Marine U-A Underwater Housing. You will need to check out the size for your DSLR, but these are good to about 50 feet I believe. I have used mine in the surf, basically getting fully submerged. And, you use your DSLR for about $250.
    Msmoto, mod
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    edited January 2013
    I'd steer clear of the Coolpix AW100. When I was at the Nikon depot last week there was a guy there returning his to be fixed due to failed water seals. The Nikon rep outright said, "yeah, we get a lot of these back with water leaks."
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I'd steer clear of the Coolpix AW100. When I was at the Nikon depot last week there was a guy there returning his to be fixed due to failed water seals. The Nikon rep outright said, "yeah, we get a lot of these back with water leaks."
    I saw this in reviews for it...and since I am getting it mostly to use in the water I am weary of that. I didn't know if any of the other brands were any better.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    The best reviews seems to lean towards the Panasonic and Olympus models.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    I have several frinds with GOPROs
    the vidios are exellant
    the stills are fine for Face book
    How about a Nikon 1 with
    Nikon WP-N2 Waterproof Case for Nikon 1 J3 and S1
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    The best reviews seems to lean towards the Panasonic and Olympus models.
    I will have to check them out.
    I have several frinds with GOPROs
    the vidios are exellant
    the stills are fine for Face book
    How about a Nikon 1 with
    Nikon WP-N2 Waterproof Case for Nikon 1 J3 and S1
    Would be cool, but way out of my budget. Really looking to just spend a couple hundred max.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I use the D90 and the D4 in a waterproof case like the Ewa-Marine U-A Underwater Housing. You will need to check out the size for your DSLR, but these are good to about 50 feet I believe. I have used mine in the surf, basically getting fully submerged. And, you use your DSLR for about $250.
    This might be an option though...I will have to look around a little more. Thanks.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • SkintBritSkintBrit Posts: 79Member
    Just tried to post a link to an underwater camera group test, and I got the message " your post has been flagged for moderation"! Is this an anti spam feature of the new forum? I've not noticed it before.
    D3s's D700 F100 / Trinity 2.8 Zooms & 1.4 Primes / 105 micro. SB900s with Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 / Mini TT1s. Camranger remote control system.
  • SkintBritSkintBrit Posts: 79Member
    D3s's D700 F100 / Trinity 2.8 Zooms & 1.4 Primes / 105 micro. SB900s with Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 / Mini TT1s. Camranger remote control system.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited January 2013
    I fixed it for you Skintbrit... for a moment at least...let me find it again.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    I use the D90 and the D4 in a waterproof case like the Ewa-Marine U-A Underwater Housing. .
    How much can you control with this case
    can you zoom and get at the buttons and dials

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    As for the Ewa Marine Case... one can make adjustments, but these are no where hear as convenient as on a $3000 hard case. I found the 16-35mm f/4 VR worked well. The 24-120mm f/4 VR would also be good. One operates the buttons, dials etc. by using very small incremental adjustments. The big advantage is the end quality of the image over a small camera such as the AW100.
    Look at these two images to see the performance

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/7624594632/in/photostream

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/7625071688/in/photostream
    Msmoto, mod
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I think some of the new releases look promising. Might get the S31...inexpensive and seems like it might do.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    I own the Panasonic TS4. I snorkeled with it about 2 dozen times on a recent trip to Fiji and New Caledonia and had no major problems with it leaking. The colors of the stills and video clips are fine as long as there's good light underwater, the autofocus system works extremely well but not absolutely flawlessly, the lens is decently sharp in the center of the field, although photos are noticeably soft towards the edge (and so I crop). The hatch of the battery and memory card compartment is the TS4's achilles heel. It's quite flimsy, and so you need to take a lot of care to make sure you've closed it properly in order to avoid a fatal water leak. After each session in the water, you should open the hatch to inspect for possible leakage. You will almost certainly find a few small droplets of water in there, which you should carefully dry out with a Q-tip. If you do this religiously, you'll have a good chance of avoiding the dreaded Camera Death. The only problem I had with the TS4 is that it sometimes overheated and fogged up when I took long video clips. If I stuck with stills and short (few minute) video clips, fogging was not an issue.

    Before buying the TS4, I also tried out the Olympus TG-1, which is in the same price category. The TG-1 has a better designed battery/memory card cover. It is thicker than the TS4's and for that reason less likely to leak. However, in my initial tests of the TG-1, the autofocus system seemed a bit flakey to me, showing a slight tendency to focus on extraneous foreground or background objects in the scene instead of the object I was interested in, and so I returned the camera for a refund. Olympus will be releasing the TG-2 camera at the end of this month and if the AF issue has been addressed, I may buy one to use as a backup to my TS4. If I'm snorkeling continuously for 2-3 hours from a boat, as was the case in Fiji, eventually the battery runs down or else I fill the memory card. Instead of changing batteries or memory cards in the middle of a snorkeling session, I prefer to reach into my dry bag and grab a new camera with a fresh battery and an empty memory card. Opening a wet camera in a boat that's rocking is just asking for trouble.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    I'd steer clear of the Coolpix AW100. When I was at the Nikon depot last week there was a guy there returning his to be fixed due to failed water seals. The Nikon rep outright said, "yeah, we get a lot of these back with water leaks."
    there is a new AW110 now with wifi so you don't need to open the camera ! :-)
    Files can be transferred off via wifi so definitely worth checking out ..


    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,042Member


    there is a new AW110 now with wifi so you don't need to open the camera ! :-)
    Files can be transferred off via wifi so definitely worth checking out ..


    Does the battery charge via WIFI too? :D
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • PaulohnPaulohn Posts: 33Member
    I recently bought a Panasonic TS20 to take some shots while snorkeling. It produced decent pictures (considering it is a P&S) in well lit conditions.

    However, after the trip was finished, I noticed some problems in the LCD, probably due to some drop of water. I believe I was cautious enough. I hope that by leaving the battery door opened allowing it to dry properly will fix the issue, otherwise, those were some pretty expensive shots (considering I used it for one week).

    If using one of these cameras, I would suggest being extra cautious, maybe a little paranoid to avoid problems.
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    @tcole1983 - I had the hero 2 and have the hero 3 black and I'm more than pleased with the IQ on photos. check my gopro snaps from my last trip http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/458/thailand#Item_22
    the only drawback is the short battery life, around 45min underwater with the additional touch screen on.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    @tcole1983 - I had the hero 2 and have the hero 3 black and I'm more than pleased with the IQ on photos. check my gopro snaps from my last trip http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/458/thailand#Item_22
    the only drawback is the short battery life, around 45min underwater with the additional touch screen on.
    I will have to ask him which one he has. I think it is an older one. He now has an underwater setup for his D800 so I don't think he uses it anymore. Might take it anyway...
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    basically hero 2 and hero 3 silver (h3s) are the same cameras - the difference is a smaller factor of h3s, build in wifi and micro sd instead of sd cards. the difference between h3s and h3 black is bsi sensor in the newer one - better low-light snaps. though, will I bought this setup once again... hard to say, in controlled environment You can get stunning pictures. certainly it's tough as a rock. though underwater things happen fast and sometimes I missed some shots because the cam didn't AF properly - and there's no control over the AF whatsoever. though once You get the shot the results are stunning.

    on friday I went to nikon and played a little bit with the new underwater cover for series 1, so that also might be an option for my upgrade. as for now I can't justify buying a bigger housing for d800/d3s.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 880Member
    We use quite a few cameras UW. Best recent results have been with the Go Pros. We have had flooded P&S both with the Nikon AW and the Canon D20. We have tried UW housings with D90 and several others but when it comes to that stuff, you are looking at many hazards and much more requirements that make your trip very photo and intensive and a lot less of a vacation. We have decided the best travel combo is D7000 probably with the lens 18-200VR and 12-24DX along Go Pros. Strongly recommend you use the Go Pros on video although you can set them to shoot stills on time interval. I've owned Nikonos IV and a whole fleet of other rigs. We also have a Sony sports housing on a HC-9 that is OK. For UW we have not found a single camera that can rival Go Pro. If I owned a D800 I sure as hell would not be buying an UW housing for that. By the time you clip your videos down to really good footage you have the best practical system out there. Anything else is WAY out of the price range you threw out.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 880Member
    Another comment on UW photographing. When snorkeling steadiness while swimming and if you submerge is quite critical. Keep your camera trained on the main subject and let it run for awhile if you are doing video or stills. I have been diving and snorkeling photographing now for over 55 years and there are some sensible tactics that can get awesome stills and video given being in the right place at the right time. Some species require remote gear as they are very skittish. King Salmon for instance are used to Killer Whale predation and a diver doesn't look very tame to them, also we don't have the prowess UW that many aquatic species have.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 615Member
    We are building an ROV mounted RED EPIC for coral reef studies. It will be the first of its kind. This week we finished the design for the ROV with special modifications to handle the high speed communications to the surface. We are waiting for the customer and RED to sort out their side of the system and give the go-ahead on the rest of it. I'll post pictures later in the year when this project is done.

    Last year we were building a kit based on the D7000, a wide angle zoom, lights and the Ikelite housing for divers, which the public safety divers seem to like a lot. I have no personal experience with them as I don't go in the water myself (on purpose, anyway). If we get any more contracts for these, we will probably start using the D600 instead of the D7000.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 880Member
    To Adamz: If you get and use a Nikon Series I UW I'd like to know how that compares to Go Pro Black.

    At Symphotic: I have had a PhD in Aquatic Science for many years. My professors before me and I used everything from Hasselblad to some pretty expensive movie cameras. The RED camera is a great rig and it will be interesting to see how you can keep from drowning it.

    Go Pro units are being used worldwide to great effect. I do find a lot of "researchers" are newbies and spend more time learning what they are doing than what is happening to the reef or wherever they are studying. Some of the more interesting shots I have seen recently were taken onboard sharks or trained dolphins. The military applications aside, there sure have been some interesting images taken by dolphins alone. ROV, drones, and the like a recording more and more tough to get images. Hopefully I might add as a former Colonel, for peaceful purposes.
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