Posted by seahunt on February 13, 2006 at 20:46:40:|
An Ill Fated Camera
Ah camera, camera, camera. My boon. My bane. My clueless camera.
For years I've shot underwater with my MX-10. I'm not patient enough to be that good of a photographer and the camera has had problems, but I have always gotton some postable shots and even a few pretty good ones to help tell my stories. Film has always been fine for me, though I just get it printed to CD. I use a digital camera a lot above water, but had never gone that way UW.
Well, I was waiting for a digital camera for land and kid shots to come out at a certain price range, with certain features. The Olympus C-60 looked like what I wanted. It had enough megapixels and Quicktime movies with sound. I had wanted a camera with that capability for some time, but it was never intended for UW use because getting a case can be a problem. It turns out that Olympus sells a nice case made just for it. I ordered that too. The camera took terrific land pictures. It seemed like a good idea to get modern and bring it under water. See if I could get any terrific pictures like I keep seeing on the BBS's
I took it to Catalina. That was the trip where all the diver.net people were there and even Micharel Kane. I merrily clicked away and the pictures were so bad I could not even bring myself to write a report. While that is not extroardinary given my photog habits, it was still a bit surprising that it was so much worse than my film camera.
A bunch of nice people on the BBSs gave me suggestions including where to find the manual I never got or managed to lose. They told me that the key was getting the White Balance correct.
In the mean time the camera was stolen during re-model. I got it replaced because I had the UW case (Mistake). It was a rip off buying it on the Internet.
I decided to read up, practice and get it right so I could use the camera on my dives at Grand Cayman and Cozumal. The only thing was, I couldn't find the White Balance setting I wanted that other divers had described to me where you aim it at something white at depth and that corrects the white balance. All I could find were 4 settings for sunny, cloudy, flourescent light and incandescent light. Hmmmmmmm?
I got lucky and talked to a Pro UW photographer who also happened to be a dive shop owner. I told him my problem and in moments he displayed far more knowledge of using that camera than I have even now. Still, as he kept going through menus he wasn't finding what he wanted. He finally said that apparently it only did have 4 White Balance settings. We decided to try cloudy and good luck to me.
He also told me about this Canon S-80 he had recently purchased. It took pictures as good as his digital SLR and was fast on the flash. It had a White Balance setting especially for UW shots. (He said so do some other cameras). It sounded great.
Anyway, I took about 120 pictures at Grand Cayman and Cozumel with the C-60. I varied the settings to see what I could do with it. They did come out somewhat better than my last try, but they still suck. Either the colors are missing or electric. It seems clear that what he said was true. The camera just doesn't have settings that will work UW.
That S-80 does look very cool.