Beginner Budget Setup

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Reaction score
Houston, TX
# of dives
25 - 49
I am finally comfortable enough with my underwater experience to want some pictures (mainly) and short videos on my next diving adventure. I don't want to overinvest since I am not sure how much I will enjoy that side of diving. From prior experience, I know that I would definitely not have time to extensively edit the photos - my nice DSLR stays at home, while I take my on-land pictures on my latest pixel phone (have been upgrading them regularly for the cameras) as it was so easy to quick-edit what I need on the go vs going to the pc, starting lightroom, etc. But I see there are AI-based apps and tools that do decent color-correction etc, e.g. Dive+ app so I think I can get away with not spending too much time on post-processing.

I actually own NIKON COOLPIX AW120 but some of my dives are over 18m and I think I was never happy with how good pics look. I think I need a decent strobe for good photos and I am not sure this is an option.

So I am thinking of about $500 budget to get a decent setup going but not sure which way to go:
1) Gopro with a decent video light.
2) Older camera with a housing(e.g. sealife) + strobe.
3) Phone case plus a good video light
4) Anything else?


Reaction score
UK (Moving to Sydney)
# of dives
0 - 24
Going for a used setup can save you a lot, but it's a gamble. I did that and piked up an old Olympus TG-3 which I've absolutely loved, but sadly it looks like the electronics have finally gone. I'll go for a new camera this time, but it got me started and for the price I really can't complain.

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