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Specialist Forums > Underwater Photography Forum > First Camera Help
posted : September 10, 2007 Post subject: First Camera Help
Hi, I am looking to buy an underwater camera for my boyfriend's birthday. He's really into diving, but is always disappointed by the quality of the photos he gets with disposable cameras. I was thinking of going to Cameras Underwater one lunchtime, but would like to be armed with some advice before I go. Any tips on the best brands, features to look out for and ones to avoid would be extremely appreciated. I am looking to spend between 300-350. Thanks very much.

posted : September 11, 2007 Post subject: First Camera Help
a very subjective reply i'm afraid, but i've recently completed a trip with a fuji f30 and housing. great point and shoot camera especially when coupled with an external strobe. there is a degree of manual control over the picture taking process, but it also shoots video at 30fps in 640x480 resolution (my main reason for buying the cam).
the housing is double o-ring sealed and allows full access to all buttons. focusing is fast and works well even in lower light levels. another useful addition is the flash diffuser / extender that clips onto the housing 'extending' the flash to beyond the lens port thus reducing shadows that would otherwise get cast by the lens port.
should be able to pick the cam and housing up for around 250. the camera takes secure digital cards and will get about 35 mins of full quality video onto a single 2gb card or around 500 photos at best quality / resolution.
hope that's of some use. will be posting pics onto my web tonight ( if you need to see some examples of what can be relatively easily achieved.

posted : September 13, 2007 Post subject: First Camera Help
doh! not secure digital but xD. feck knows where i got the idea it was SD.

if you go fuji, the general consensus is to get an F30 or F31 and to avoid the F40. apparently the F40 takes away some control in the manual modes, which if you want to get the best from the camera, you should be using.

posted : September 20, 2007 Post subject: First Camera Help
Thanks for the advice, your photos look really good. I went for the F30 in the end, I just hope he likes it now!

posted : September 21, 2007 Post subject: First Camera Help
no probs. the photos from the f30 are the maldives '07 ones. most of the others were shot with an olympus 5060 or the old motormarine 2 film camera.
i also use a digital adaptor that allows the camera(s) to control sea&sea external strobes which helps considerably with lighting. having said that, the f30 is a great camera out of the box.
i'd recommend using it in manual mode only as you get to select the ISO level (lower is best). in auto, the camera will tend to select a higher iso which means a noisier / more grainy picture with less sharp detail.
it also works best in macro mode, thus shooting close to the subject, as the on-board flash is not powerful enough for longer distance underwater work.
you soon find the limits and can work to them quite easily.
adobe lightroom is a good choice of software to make colour tweaks / correcting white balance etc afterwards. most of the pics in the maldives 07 gallery have been through lightroom to some extent.

posted : November 23, 2007 Post subject: First Camera Help
hi i've been looking to find a camera aswell that has a good quality, the fuji f30 sounds brilliant. but i'm having some problems trying to find it. can any one suggest a place to buy it with the housing?

posted : November 23, 2007 Post subject: First Camera Help
just bought one for the missus from
about 230 all-in.

the housing for the F30 will also take the F31

the F30 is getting a bit scarce now. fuji's website also has them for sale occasionally as factory refurbs.

the F50 is also an option, although i'm dubious about it fitting 12Mp into a smaller sensor than the 6Mp F30/F31 ( raises noise issues), hence why i opted for another 30

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