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07-27-2019, 09:23 AM   #1
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Underwater cameras & techniques

We are headed for the Caymans in a few weeks, to spend a week mostly lazy snorkeling.

I am thinking of getting a camera for this (the K-1 is coming along for the above-sea-level shooting!). The WG-60 looks like the Ricoh option, and the price is about right. Anything else I should look at (in the same price range)? I will certainly attach a floatation tether to whatever I use.

Any hints on shooting techniques? On previous trips (Caymans and Tahiti), my wife used a 110 camera, and I was not very impressed with the results, but on average, she wasn't close enough to her subjects, and there was significant parallax between the viewfinder and the lens. I think (don't tell her!) that my technique will be better. I'm a much better swimmer and comfortable staying under the surface for 10s of seconds and free diving to 20 feet or so.

07-27-2019, 10:18 AM   #2
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Hello,

I don't have experience with any WG so I can't compare, but I use a Gopro Hero 5 (and an older Hero 2). I haven't got a chance to go snorkeling with it yet but I take it with the family on vacations.


If you don't mind film (since you mentioned a 110), I have also used a Nikonos IV camera with a 35mm lens. Haven't used it in a few years but I also want to take it snorkeling.


The Gopros will benefit from a flotation tether. The Nikonos? That brick may need a tether to an aircraft carrier

Thanks,
07-27-2019, 11:02 AM   #3
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I like the Fujifilm Finepix XP140; waterPROOF to 60+ feet.
07-27-2019, 12:21 PM   #4
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Check out our reviews of the WG-2 and WG-30w - these are both essentially the same at the WG-60 so that should give you a decent idea of the functionality available and performance to expect.


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07-27-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
The WG-60 looks like the Ricoh option, and the price is about right. Anything else I should look at (in the same price range)?
Its a crowded segment with lots of options.I dont know the price of the Ricoh but i do know it does the basics.

Ive owned canon.olympus,panasonic.ALL GOOD.

The Panasonic is the only one with a viewfinder,It goes everywhere with me.It doesnt shoot Raw.

Theres a new Olympus out,its got the best features and accessories.So generation 5,the superseded Tough cam might be in the ballpark of the Ricohs price.They should be on clearout.Heres the latest comparison.



07-27-2019, 02:07 PM   #6
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I just returned from Hawaii and used a EWA-Marine bag for both my K-1 and K3. I only had mixed results, it’s far more difficult than above water photography. I also used a Pentax WG-III and it did okay. My wife shot video with a GoPro Hero 4 and those aren’t bad. I’m a total Pentax/Ricoh fanboy, but my advice is if you’re going to get an underwater point and shoot, get the Olympus Tough TG-6. The main reason is it has raw support. I like editing my photos using all the colors in the Crayola box, not the .jpg limits. The Ricoh’s are nice and excellently rugged, but they are limiting.
FYI: For the next trip to the Islands I think I’m going to buy a SeaFrog case ($299) and a Sony A6***. I’ll add some type of lights to the cold shoe.
Have a great trip.
07-27-2019, 02:36 PM   #7
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i use a nikon coolpix AW130 ($289 in 2017 via b&h). waterproof up to 100ft. takes decent stills and decent video. have not found a way to disable microphone during video shooting yet but haven't gotten many chances to use it either. weakpoint is using the flash, it tends to reflect off of the waterseal plastic and cause speculars/spots in lower light instances. Otherwise a good camera and has gps and wifi built in, as well as NFC.
07-27-2019, 05:37 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
The WG-60 looks like the Ricoh option, and the price is about right. Anything else I should look at (in the same price range)?

Any hints on shooting techniques?
As always, better technique trumps better gear, but all things being equal, for a bit more money the Olympus TG-6 has the best credentials:

Best waterproof cameras of 2019: Digital Photography Review

The Fujifilm XP130 and Nikon W100 have unbeatable prices. For $100 more, the Ricoh WG-60 is superior....and the Olympus is better, but for $200 more than the Ricoh.

IMO, the biggest advantage of the Olympus is that it shoots RAW while the Ricoh doesn't. Post processing levels and color balance for underwater photography makes a big difference.

As far technique with the Ricoh? Experiment with the different white balance settings to find what works most effectively. Also use the flash for everything in the 6 feet or 2 meter range or closer.

07-27-2019, 05:38 PM   #9
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Just based off specs, the Olympus tg-5/tg-6 seem to be the best 'tough' camera available. I use an Olympus tg-870/860 ($150-200), as it's the only tough camera ever made with a flip-selfie screen... Just no 4k (has 1080), with 16MP and wifi (can be a little clunky). For the price it's pretty good!
07-27-2019, 07:22 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Irrespective of which camera you get - look after its seals.

* Do not leave the camera in the sun, or in an enclosed vehicle on a hot day.
* Rinse the camera thoroughly but gently in fresh water after every outing.
* Dry it carefully afterwards but not in the sun or with a hot hair dryer.
* Inspect any opened hatches closely; remove any specs of sand from the seals and their seats.
* Check the manufacturer's recommendations for seal maintenance and replacement.

I used Nikonos cameras on over 300 open water dives with only one flood and that was my stupidity. Despite that experience and my continued best maintenance efforts I have had both a Pentax WG3 and and two Olympus Tuffs flood through seal failure in shallow water.

Enjoy your trip, including the snorkeling!

Last edited by OzzRod; 07-27-2019 at 09:15 PM.
07-27-2019, 08:33 PM   #11
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I've stayed with my original prejudice (?!) and ordered a WG-60 (I got it with AmEx points, and the price was right: $0).

For my interests - pretty much just souvenir pix - I couldn't see spending almost another $200 on the Olympus.

Alex645: I will definitely play with white balance and using flash.

OzzRod - yes, indeed - I always pay close attention to the details like checking seals, but this time I will be extra careful.

QuoteOriginally posted by OzzRod Quote
Enjoy your trip, including the snorkeling!
Thanks! This is a return trip for our 40th anniversary. When we lived on the East Coast of the US, we used to go almost every winter, but now this will be the first time in almost 30 years. It will be interesting to see what has changed due to climate effects and increased tourism. We will be on the north shore (Rum Point, if you are familiar), fairly far from most tourists, and staying within 100 meters of where we stayed last time.

Hope I still remember how to SCUBA (without the WG-60!) - it's been 15 years since I've even done that.
07-28-2019, 04:34 AM   #12
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I got the XP140 for the same price as the XP130 because it was a special introductory thing for the new release. That was only about a month ago (replaced an XP120), so the prices may still be in effect. I think it was about $140. I gave the XP120 to a nine-year-old grandson who's having a great time with in-the-pool photography.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
As always, better technique trumps better gear, but all things being equal, for a bit more money the Olympus TG-6 has the best credentials:

Best waterproof cameras of 2019: Digital Photography Review

The Fujifilm XP130 and Nikon W100 have unbeatable prices. For $100 more, the Ricoh WG-60 is superior....and the Olympus is better, but for $200 more than the Ricoh.

IMO, the biggest advantage of the Olympus is that it shoots RAW while the Ricoh doesn't. Post processing levels and color balance for underwater photography makes a big difference.

As far technique with the Ricoh? Experiment with the different white balance settings to find what works most effectively. Also use the flash for everything in the 6 feet or 2 meter range or closer.
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