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Old 15-07-2013, 07:15 AM
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Underwater Photo Thread: Pics, Tips and Queries

Okay, so I've gone out and splurged a little bit and got myself a new digital SLR, with a nice twin lens kit. Nothing over the top, but a good intermediate camera that should be able to do what I want.

I'm looking at spending a few more $$$ to get underwater housing for it, but I'm a complete newbie to this sort of thing. What sort of lens, and portal are best suited to fish photography? What sort of settings are best to capture those incredible underwater shots?

I really love the idea of getting underwater shots, so I'd love to see some other people's work, how they did it and what tips they have!

So fire away people
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Old 15-07-2013, 08:33 PM
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I honestly wouldnt be dunking an expensive SLR even if it had a waterproof housing. What if you slip and drop it? Bye bye camera.

Look at something like a small pocket sized camera that is rated for water. Some models like the panasonic lumix are fairly cheap and still take a good pic. That way if you drop it your not up for big bucks. The main thing with taking pics underwater is you need as much light as possible to maximise colours on the fish and show plenty of blue in the water as its looks so nice. Other than that I find the more pics you take the better the chances of getting something decent. Since you cant see into the camera while holding it under water you just have to rely on sheer numbers of photos until you figure out the best angles and distances to hold it away from fish.
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:55 AM
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...heres few pics i got with one of the waterproof point and shoots. Like Brad said if you push enough buttons eventually you get a few good pics. You'll need good lighting cos if you have to use flash lighting it'll pick up every bit of sediment and stuff.
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Old 16-07-2013, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Y View Post
I honestly wouldnt be dunking an expensive SLR even if it had a waterproof housing. What if you slip and drop it? Bye bye camera.

Look at something like a small pocket sized camera that is rated for water. Some models like the panasonic lumix are fairly cheap and still take a good pic. That way if you drop it your not up for big bucks. The main thing with taking pics underwater is you need as much light as possible to maximise colours on the fish and show plenty of blue in the water as its looks so nice. Other than that I find the more pics you take the better the chances of getting something decent. Since you cant see into the camera while holding it under water you just have to rely on sheer numbers of photos until you figure out the best angles and distances to hold it away from fish.
Was planning on setting it up so that I have lanyards and so forth so that dropping it wouldn't be an issue. Really want high quality images. Not doubting that a point and shoot can't do that, but I want to work my way up to top end gear so that I can use it for diving and so forth.

Thanks for the advice, I do have the Gopro, for quick point and shoot stuff when it is too cold to get in the drink!
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Old 16-07-2013, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by gez View Post
...heres few pics i got with one of the waterproof point and shoots. Like Brad said if you push enough buttons eventually you get a few good pics. You'll need good lighting cos if you have to use flash lighting it'll pick up every bit of sediment and stuff.
They look unreal mate. They just factory settings or did you set up differently
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Old 22-12-2013, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatch View Post
Was planning on setting it up so that I have lanyards and so forth so that dropping it wouldn't be an issue. Really want high quality images. Not doubting that a point and shoot can't do that, but I want to work my way up to top end gear so that I can use it for diving and so forth.

Thanks for the advice, I do have the Gopro, for quick point and shoot stuff when it is too cold to get in the drink!

I feel I have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to underwater housings.

You'll find if you're looking for a housing for your SLR you will be looking for one that is actually specific to your body as you obviously the port needs to line up with the lens barrel and the shutter button lines up directly ontop of your camera body's button. (As well as your picture review button etc etc).

What you then have to consider is unless you've purchased one of the top dive cameras (i.e. Ikelite), you will not be able to change the settings of you're camera all that much until you pull it out of the housing = higher risk of an improper seal. (This includes zooming etc)

Unless you're going to go diving with your camera, your money would be much much better spent on a decent underwater camera with RAW editing capabilities + a pole to actually get some distance away from the yak/ boat. I could almost guarantee the shots will all look the exact same from the housing after ~10 fish shots.
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Old 22-12-2013, 07:54 AM
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Some cracker photo's there Gez as always,
here are a couple of mine.
















Last edited by gtxrally; 22-12-2013 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 22-12-2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluey View Post
I feel I have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to underwater housings.

You'll find if you're looking for a housing for your SLR you will be looking for one that is actually specific to your body as you obviously the port needs to line up with the lens barrel and the shutter button lines up directly ontop of your camera body's button. (As well as your picture review button etc etc).

What you then have to consider is unless you've purchased one of the top dive cameras (i.e. Ikelite), you will not be able to change the settings of you're camera all that much until you pull it out of the housing = higher risk of an improper seal. (This includes zooming etc)

Unless you're going to go diving with your camera, your money would be much much better spent on a decent underwater camera with RAW editing capabilities + a pole to actually get some distance away from the yak/ boat. I could almost guarantee the shots will all look the exact same from the housing after ~10 fish shots.

Any suggestions on a camera with raw style editing? If love too know what set up guys like Warren Keelan, David Granville and all the guys as FishLife are running!
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Old 22-12-2013, 05:07 PM
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This is what I will be going with hopefully soon.
http://www.dpreview.com/products/nikon/slrs/nikon_aw1
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Old 22-12-2013, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatch View Post
Any suggestions on a camera with raw style editing?!
Clay, the Canon Sxxx range of compacts will shoot in RAW and you can get very reliable housings for them. Here are a couple of links to photo streams from some young guys in Perth.

Good light is the key.

Canon S95
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kmo_und...n/photostream/

Xander started with an S95 or S100 I think, now uses the fantastic Sony RX100.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xanderw...n/photostream/

Have a look through their streams and send them questions via Flickr mail..

I really like this shot.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xanderw...n/photostream/

edit:
Kogan have the S110 for a bargain price,$209 at the moment, and you can get the Canon DC47 housing for around $270
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Last edited by Mark M; 22-12-2013 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 22-12-2013, 08:37 PM
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I've shot a fair chunk of professional photography and honestly for fish/underwater a Canon S95 with (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Meike-40M...-/330781018546) or Nikon AW1 would be my choice.

DSLR's are hard to use on the fly and honestly don't take any better quality photos than a point and shoot for 90% of work.
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Old 22-12-2013, 08:42 PM
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Sony RX100

Good Sony review here..
http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/sony-rx100-review


Canon, here...

http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/ca...housing-review
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Old 23-12-2013, 09:03 AM
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Out of curiosity hatch, what camera did you buy?
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Old 26-12-2013, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gluey View Post
Out of curiosity hatch, what camera did you buy?
I have a sony alphas that was given to me, using it for all my still photography but questioning if it is worthwhile getting a housing for it, or just getting a seperAte point and shoot, while I develop my skills.
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Old 28-12-2013, 08:48 AM
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I'm going to sound like a photo snob/ elitest, but I don't think it would be worthwhile at all purchasing a housing for the Sony. The investment (~$1500) just seems over the top for a relatively elementary camera that would become instantly obsolete when you change bodies.

If you were super adament about getting a good underwater setup - I would purchase a Canon G15 (Point and shoot with Manual Adjustments + RAW shooting ability) + an Ikelite housing. That would set you back roughly $1k and would be a beautiful little package to off sell later if you so wished.

As a bit of a reference as to where I'm pulling these preferences from - I used to shoot solely on a Canon 7D, after breaking up with the ex I had a fair bit of money to play with and decided to buy a housing for it second hand. When I got it I noticed it was massive (it's about 4kg without the body and lens inside) and I realised that I instantly regretted purchasing this thing.
a) It's incredibly heavy
b) There's a lot of prep time to get the camera ready to shoot
c) It's risky putting your camera underwater
d) I upgraded to a Canon 5D3
e) I rarely use it for reasons stated above

Now had I done what I had suggested to you (Canon G15 + Housing) I think I'd have a great portfolio of underwater images and a housing that takes little prep time to shoot with.

EDIT: Here's a link to BH Photo with that kit I was suggesting: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...For_Canon.html

Last edited by Gluey; 28-12-2013 at 11:59 PM.
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