options for canon s95 for beginning UWP?

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Postby funkadelic » Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:28 pm

hi folks,

first post. glad to have found this forum. my fiancee and i are going on our honeymoon to french polynesia and new zealand next month, and i'd like to get an underwater set-up for her canon s95. I'd like to not break the bank (any further) since we've already burnt a hole paying for the wedding itself :)

I had been looking at the Fantasea Nano Single Ray Kit and the Canon WP-DC38 housing since that would come out to about $380. Any thoughts on this set up? We're mainly going to be snorkeling in Bora Bora/Moorea and potentially in New Zealand as well.

thanks,
-norm
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Postby James » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:34 pm

I don't know anything about the "Nano" set. The S95 with the OEM housing ought to serve you decently. If you are simply snorkeling and taking opportunistic shots you probably don't need an external flash unit.

Sometimes it is better to buy what works than spend tons of money buying stuff that does not work only to in the end buy what does work, in other words one of my favorite sayings;

"Some people will go to any expense to save a dollar"

I say this with an eye towards the Nano strobe but then, since I do not know much about it I will refrain from proclaiming it junk.

James
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Postby bvanant » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:07 pm

Norm:
If you are serious or plan on getting serious, do as James says, get the Canon housing and spend the extra $100 that you don't spend on the Nano on a really good (Krug) bottle of champagne. The camera and housing can get you some really nice snorkeling shots without an external strobe and if you are serious save and get one of the many more useful strobes out there that cost a bit more.
Bill

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Postby bowlofpetunias » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:50 am

I've been taking UW shots for fun for a few years now with my old Sony P93. I have got some decent shots but I wanted more control and detail.

I now have the Canon S95 in Canon Housing and I know this camera is capable of taking better shots than I am able to ask of it!

I have been doing some experimenting. I have set it to ISO 100 for all settings. Last dive I set up the different Modes as follows and tried taking a couple shots with each Mode to compare. The setting that worked so well with the Sony just blows out the pics with this camera.

Where I dive there is a fair bit of particulate. Depths normally 8 to 15 M, I am getting a fair number of shots with blurred or double edges. My old camera was negatively buoyant and this one is positively buoyant. I am wondering if this is because I have not adjusted to the camera and am not holding it as still as needed or if it is likely a shutter speed problem.

Frustrating that my shots with the old 2004 , 5pixel camera were consistently good enough people were shocked at the camera I took them with ...Image

Now I have this awesome camera and the results are so inconsistent!


Last dive I tried cycling through the following settings

P 1/60 f2
Av1/60 f5.6
M 1/800f5.6

I sure would appreciate some advice on what settings to try so I can ease this steep learning curve!

Any suggestions on why I get this double line?
Image

My plan is to "learn the camera" before I add lenses to the mix. I have no strobe and want to avoid using one for personal reasons
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Postby bvanant » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:17 pm

bowlofpetunias wrote:

Last dive I tried cycling through the following settings

P 1/60 f2
Av1/60 f5.6
M 1/800f5.6


I certainly would try to learn the camera before progressing too far. For manual I would start at 1/160 sec (not 1/800) and at f11 or so. You are trying to use the built in strobe from the housing and you will get far better results from a strobe.
Bill

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Postby bowlofpetunias » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:32 am

After reading suggestions here and a few other places I tried some new settings. I set the custom setting at F8 which was the highest I could set it and 1/1000. I also set the Scene to the Auto underwater setting for the wider angle distant shots. That seems to work better than Auto setting with the flash turned off.

I got a few decent shots but a bit dark.. at least they aren't all blown out like before
Image

Image

Image

I think I need to tweek it a bit. At least now I am not getting blurred shots ... I am not sure if I should cut back on the fstop or the shutter speed..any suggestions would be appreciated.

I know a strobe would give me more control of the light and less backscatter but I have a number of reasons that a strobe is not a good option for me at this time.

Thanks for your help!
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Postby scottg » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:57 pm

hi Norm, we have the canon housing for the S95 on sale now at Bluewater Photo, let us know if you'd like to purchase one, or want to discuss strobe options.

Scott

Scott Gietler Owner/Editor, Underwater Photography Guide & Bluewater Photo http://www.uwphotographyguide.com http://www.bluewaterphotostore.com

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Postby KateJonker » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:51 am

Hi

I have the S95 in an Ikelite housing and after a lot of trial and error think I am getting it right! I shoot in Manual mode.

Our water has a lot of sediment so I tend to do a lot of "macro" (with the camera's macro setting) and getting as close as possible. Shooting RAW and with no flash. The Canon software that came with the camera is great for adjusting white balance, contrast, brightness and sharpness. I do all adjustments on the RAW tab and the sharpness on the RGB tab.

I find in bright clear water, use ISO100, F5.6, Speed 200. Half depress the shutter to focus on main object and press to shoot.

In dirtier / darker water, I use ISO400, F2.8 and keep the speed at 200 to prevent the blur.

Oh yes, and I set the S button on the back of the camera for white balance. I adjust white balance often, using a white slate.

As long as you are in focus, the canon professional software that came with the camera can sort out just about everything (except over exposure and too very dark)

It is really a lot of trial and error but you will start getting results and it will improve. Just remember in silty water get as close to your subject as possible and try and shoot with the sun behind you.

Enjoy and keep it up!

:D
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