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Underwater photography and holiday snaps (1 Viewer)

Dave Williams

Well-known member
Hoping someone can suggest a relatively inexpensive (less than £400) camera that's suitable for some (shallow) underwater photography. Ideally I want something small that can be easily kept in a pocket and is suitable for taking on evenings out for holiday snaps too.
Thanks in anticipation
I've got a Canon Powershot D20 for just such a task. Pocket sized and ideal for snorkelling, the one wrinkle is that they've decided to place the lens right up in the top right hand corner of the front of the camera, so it's easy to inadvertently get fingerprints on it, particularly when taking it out of its case. This can be avoided to some extent by putting the camera into its case lens-end first.

It has an underwater scene setting to ensure that white balance is corrected for shots in the sea.

I got it to replace the D10 that was Canon's earlier model that had the lens where you'd expect it to be, half-way up and central, but mine had suffered a seal failure after 3 years. Drying it out slowly sorted out the malfunction and my wife is still using it as a pocket camera, although these days it doesn't get wet..

This shot was taken with the D10 (I've not been snorkelling in the 14 months that I've had the D20)


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Thanks for that suggestion,reasonable price and the rest of my gear is Canon so there are advantages. Any one else had any experience to share?
Have a look at Nikons AW110 or AW120 coolpixs at £190 and £239, tough and suitable for a depth of 18m, slim and fits in pocket easily.
Thanks for the suggestions. I think Nikon's AW120 edges the CanonD30 for what I need.
As 99% of my shots will be taken above the water, performance there is more important than underwater.
You can try also housing for any camera you have:
It is very rigid and it is very difficult mount camera inside, hands sweat ... And contains a lot of air inside. But anyway seems to be good.

You can try to build also a "periscope" allowing to keep camera over water surface, screwed to the lens. I made such thing many years ago from cardboard, painted with nitro lacquer. It allows to look under water almost vertically or at a slight angle. I almost built also a periscope wit the mirror inside (see attached schema), allowing take pictures in the direction parallel to the water surface. The periscope with a mirror must be larger then vertical one. Periscopes are dangerous for the camera, because it is hold just over the water surface and can soak up. A lens can get broken.


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Nikon Coolpix S33 held underwater with the hand:
The fresh water in contrast to sea water is dirty, and images were taken without tripod. I was lying or squatting on the shore and didn't see the display, so that was almost like roulette.
I think that companies manufacturing cameras like Canon, Nikon, Sony could produce waterproof cameras with an external display connected to the camera by a wire, allowing to hold the display above the water surface and thus see it.


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I ended up buying an Olympus Tough, a cracking little camera for the money. Waterproof, shoots raw, time lapse, video,built in GPS, the list goes on. Oh and it's tough too!
Does the colour of the camera body make any difference w/r of how close the fish will approach you? Silver or blue seem to me the best ones.
I think the historical presence or absence of spearfishing snorkelers/divers within the region is probably more important than the color of the camera

Does the colour of the camera body make any difference w/r of how close the fish will approach you? Silver or blue seem to me the best ones.

I don't think the colour of the camera matters to the fish, after all you are probably wearing bright swim wear anyway.
I chose a red camera because I thought it might be easier to find if I dropped it!
Having only snorkelled a few times I was given an excellent tip when I went to Cuba. Fill a plastic bottle with pieces of bread then top up with water. Squeeze the bottle gently and a burst of food has the fish swimming inches in front of you. Too close to photograph!
Thought about the GoPro Hero 5. Waterproof straight out of the box, small and compact, 4k video and lots more.

No doubt the GoPro is a cracking camera for the money but the Olympus won on several counts for me including durability and the ability to take RAW images so more options for PP.
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