Digital Photo Discussion

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I am hardly an expert on digital underwater photography but thought I'd share what little I know.  I get questions that  make me think some know less so maybe this will help.

I have some expensive digital cameras and looked for underwater cases for any one of them.  For my Nikon 8800, the cost of a case was $800.  I don't think the camera is worth that much at this point.  I was about to give up when I finally had an out-of-the box thought.  I could probably buy a low-end camera and a case for it for way less than the for the other cameras.

I discovered www.fantasea.com.  They make underwater cases for Nikon cameras.  I have a Nikon bias but don't know that they are better than similar Canon's.  Canon, I think, generally makes cases for their cameras but Nikon doesn't.  I looked through the available cases and picked one for a Nikon 4300.  Its a 4 MP camera and uses Compact Flash (already have several).  The case was around $140 at www.bhphotovideo.com.  I found the camera on EBay for around $130.  Its out of production but that didn't matter.  For $270 I had the setup that I took these pictures with.  So far I've been happy but keeping it from fogging up has been an occasional problem.  That may go with the territory though.  The 4300 also takes decent snapshots as well and will fit in a pocket if need be.  It does take a big  pocket, though.  The only real problem with the 4300 is the small size of the viewfinder and the shortish battery life..

In 2008, I got a new Nikon S51c camera.  Its pretty flat and has a huge viewfinder.  I added a new Fantasea underwater case and used them in Belize.  Some of the pictures were pretty good and I could actually see the fish in the viewfinder.  It was easier to use and didn't seem to fog up as bad.  The battery life was much longer than on the 4300. Any of the slim Nikon cameras should work well if there's a www.fantasea.com case for them.  These also fit nicely in a pocket for times when snapshots will do.  Canon makes some cameras that come in an underwater case but I don't know anything about them.

Fish as the camera saw themWhat comes out of the camera, has a greenishFish after Photo Shop helped cast.  That isn't the camera's fault but the water filters out red light at pretty shallow depth.  You can call what comes out good enough or you can attempt the color correction.  I did it manually but it was no better than OK.  I found an action for Photo Shop that will do it automatically.  Then you can make improvements as needed.  You can see before and after pictures here.  

Here's a link to a site that has the underwater.atn action I used along with a couple of other actions.  He also has information on how to install it.  I don't have enough Photo Shop knowledge to help much but if you're still reading, you probably do.  I generally use Microsoft's Digital Image software since it meets my simple needs.

If I find a decent tutorial on correcting underwater pictures, I'll post a link to it here.  I'm sure there is one but I haven't looked very hard.

 

If you don't like to work with digital pictures to improve color balance, improve exposure and so forth, you may not want to do any of this.  If not, that's OK.  They're your pictures after all.