Recommendations for compact camera for land and underwater

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Marin County CA
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I was perusing the board and saw reference to Lumix LX10 and it reminded me how much I liked my LX2 as a pocket camera, ended up selling it to finance an Epson R-D1 (which I wish I kept as they’re selling for twice what I paid for mine). Anyway, it got me thinking I could use yet another camera, thinking something compact like an LX, mainly as an easy to carry daily shooter, eventually in a housing. As far as digital goes, over the decades I’ve had Canon, Panasonic, Fuji (I wont count that Sony that took a floppy drive) and that Epson, and would be open any other brands.

What kind of UW pictures do you want to take?
Canon G7X II (or III) or Sony RX100VA or RX100VII.

Both have advantages but can produce nice images when set right. As tursiops says first question is what do you want to shoot?

Wide angle? Macro? Both? Then concentrate more on stills or video? Or both?

Also how complicated or simple do you want to keep your shooting? What about travel and how much you want to haul?

Search the forums for those camera models and you'll find lots of comments and ideas.

David Haas

Yup, TG-6.

It's good on land and up for 30ft underwater without housing. If you are diving deeper, get the underwater housing.

Yes, the iPhone will do it but my phone is my life and if the underwater housing fails, it'll cost me a lot more than my TG-6 did.

Cheers! :)
Backscatter has a good overview here: Best Underwater Compact Cameras Personally, I'd focus on the 1 inch sensor compacts, such as what David Haas mentions, if you are a stickler for image quality and/or will be using extensively above the water. But for even better image quality with a larger sensor, you could also consider the Olympus EM-10 mk iv, which is just a tad larger and heavier than the one inch compacts. (Backscatter reviews it under the "mirrorless" category).

One extra complication in looking for underwater cameras is that the housing can be as important as the camera itself, so you may choose a camera because you like the housings that are available rather than just choosing the camera you like the best.

Also, fyi, one of the principal makers of housings for Canon cameras, Fantasea line, looks like it might be going out of business – their website has broken links and the phone number was not in service the last time I checked. But their housings are still for sale. Some other companies also make housings for Canons.
Sealife Micro
Oh gosh.

Underwater photography is an adverse environment for photography. The light absorbing aspects of water robs the light of the long wavelengths first. At about 15’, there is no red color. At deeper than 60’ or so, it is green or blue. To have colors, you have to bring a light source down with you like a strobe for stills or a flood light for video.

So, you buy the camera.

Oh and for better quality, having interchangeable lenses is nice.

Oh you have to have a housing and going cheap is ugly. I started with Ikelite housings. And they are functional but they get out of tune and need factory maintenance (or mine did). I switched to Nauticam for a some more $$$ but the controls are a dream and it is almost bullet proof.

The housing will usually cost more than the camera.

And your light source will cost more than the camera.

I shoot a full frame mirrorless with 2 strobes and that is a bit over the top unless you are a bit nuts. But it takes great photos if competently used.

But one can get really nice photos if you know how to use a modest rig. There was a guy whose handle was Gilligan and shot a Canon G8 and he took really good macro shots. He got every bit of performance out of his rig. So it can be done.

If you want to get an idea of what is available and the price and decent reviews, you can go to the Backscatter web site (As recommended above). If you want to buy, it really helps to go to the store and hold the stuff in your hands. I think there is a Backscatter store on the west coast. I am in Florida and my “local“ store is Reef Photo and VIdeo.

Something else I would recommend, is do not try photos until you are really comfortable diving. You can get task loaded diving. I make a habit of finding a subject, shooting some shots. After that, I check my depth, deco, air (as needed) and where everyone is including my buddy and I do a check of the other divers before shooting. Something that is critical in underwater photography is buoyancy control. You move the camera a few inches and it can make a big difference for the shot. Also, buoyancy control means I can get in and out without damaging the reef.
Yup, TG-6.

It's good on land and up for 30ft underwater without housing. If you are diving deeper, get the underwater housing.

Yes, the iPhone will do it but my phone is my life and if the underwater housing fails, it'll cost me a lot more than my TG-6 did.

Cheers! :)
The TG-6 has been discontinued. They are coming out with the TG-7 shortly.

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