Camera for diving???
My hubby to be is water crazy and planning on doing his PADI certification and doing lots of diving while we're on our wedding-moon.
Any recommendations for underwater cameras as I'd like to get him one as a pressie before we go?
It depends what price market that you would be in. If you are looking for a point and shoot, most are only good to a depth of between 10 and 33 feet (most dives he will do are likely 40 to 75 feet at many of the resorts). If your H2B already has a DSLR camera you may want to look into a housing for his current camera. Otherwise, we have used my brother-in-law's Sealife camera when we dive. If he is an avid camera buff and will be looking for those magazine quality shots, then he will require an external flash or two because when he descends he will lose light; therefore, an external flash (beyond the small one on the camera) is necessary to give him colour in his photos. I have seen some Sealife packages for under $1000.00 and he could add on to it each year for Christmas. There are other companies out there.
I would suggest paying the few extra dollars to have the first few dives videotaped or photographed for him by the dive shop so he can concentrate on becoming a proficient before he takes his mind off his technical skills that are required for his personal safety. Also, if you purchase the camera and he doesn't like diving after he does it a few times then it may be a waste of money.
Personally, I would recommend finding a reputable dive shop near where he lives and taking the course before he goes. This would enable him to learn and practice his skills so when he goes to the beautiful warm clear waters of the Caribbean he can dive without sitting in a "classroom" and writing a test while on your expensive vacation. He may find that the course is more extensive at home; therefore, providing him more knowledge and experience that will enhance his personal safety and pleasure while diving. Having a good relationship with his local dive shop will be necessary if he plans to dive locally to keep his skills up instead of diving once a year at the various reports you may vacation at. Not all resort dive shops are equal in quality or service as some are very good and some can be quite scary in their practices and equipment.
I realize that I have covered more than just cameras and there may be other opinions out there, but it always makes me cringe when I see the practices of some of the popular resorts inMexico and DR that I have been to. I look forward to checking out the diving with Couples in Jamaica this fall. I know there are other divers on this board that may be of assistance to you and your H2B when it comes to diving or specifically, diving at the various Couples Resorts.
I hope any or all of this is of assistance to you and your H2B. Diving, especially in the Caribbean is a fantastic experience and is something that he will likely look forward to doing on each of your vacations in the future. If he likes it, you may require a good book or two and a photo of him as a bookmark. :)
We have a sealife, it was around $300. You can get cheaper ones but ours has been great. It also takes video clips. We used it on our second ever dive after certification and have some great shots. We take it every time we dive and have not used extra flash but we only dive warm water.
Has he thought of doing the PADI class on-line? It will mean he only has to do the open water dives at Resort and he will be diving much sooner. Have a great time on your wedding-moon.
That's all really helpful - thanks. I had picked up on the depth issue - ok for snorkeling but not really for scuba!!!
He has done a couple of dives before, so the addiction has already started!!! I'm already well prepared for barely seeing him during the day (or possibly at night to given that they do night dives!). Usually he's off swimming or snorkling all day - so the only difference will be the depth :) I've just ordered 5 books for the holiday :)
I didn't realise that the dive team offered video-ing and photography. Do they offer that at CSA and do you know roughly how much it costs as that might be a good solution.
I'm in a real dilemma about how much to spend. I know that he'll love it, so in some ways I think it's worth spending the money. But then again we don't get to go abroad to diving type places that often, so it would probably only be used once every two or three years, which makes me think it would be a bit of a waste of money.
I've looked into casings for our camera - but I worry that it'll leak or get dropped to the bottom of the ocean and then all our wedding-moon photos will be gone and I'll be distraught :(
We live in the south of England - so while there is diving here, it's pretty cold and he's already said a no to that. He is going to do the theory part of the PADI cert before we go though.
Hi Ruminiscing! My husband and I were certified at CN in August 2009 and bought our first 'underwater' camera shortly thereafter. I took it with me diving the FL Keys- did the Vandenburg shipwreck and then the Sambo reefs, and the camera ROCKED. The casing is an olympus PT-044 that retails for around 149.95 (check scuba dot com or joediveramerica) and the FE-360 itself can be bought for anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on the site and camera. Pretty cheap for such an awesome set up! Check it out and have fun diving!
We use a Sealife also. As far as getting his cert there, we did it a few years ago at CN. Karl (Sugar) is THE BEST....CN has a great water sports staff and they never compromise on safety/. I certainly trust divers who do it every day for a living than some guy at a shop who dives once every few weeks or months.
i would recommend your husband concentrate on learning how to dive first. It took me about 20 dives before i started using a camera. I use a basic cannon 720 point and click with ikelite housing and since I now do deeper diving I use Ikelite 125 external flash. All in all about 1000.00.
Like the last post recommended find a local dive shop and take their course it will be much better. If you need anymore info Ill be glad to help.
Tor, Everything that "Ruminiscing" said about dive cameras is true, however this is how we did it.....
We got certified here at CN on our first visit in 2007 (we are back for our 4th visit right now). We feel that we had excelent training from our dive master Carl Stewart (also know as Sugar), we REALLY wished we had had a dive camera on that trip but had NO idea just how MUCH we would LOVE it!!! We did have one of the other divers on the trip take a few pictures of us with his "SeaLife DC800 camera) and wanted our own as soon as we saw the quality of the pictures.....
As soon as we got home I found the SeaLife website and fell in love..... You can't buy cameras from that site just get information and find local shops that sell them. I found a website that I have used to buy all my Scuba equipment from www.leisurepro.com they had the "SeaLife Mini Reef camera with external flash for $350.00 so I bought it. It was the most basic camera they had and I wanted something "easy" to start with....
We were very happy with it for a couple of years, however a couple of months ago in preparation for this trip we decided to "upgrade". We went right back to LeisurePro and found that the brand new DC1200 was going to be released on June 1st and was on a presale for $400.00 and free shipping, so we bought it!!!!
On the plane coming here my husband remembered that he had put the second battery that we had bought on the charger the night before we left to be SURE it was ready to go when we got here...... and that was where he left it when we left for the airport at 4:00 the next morning..... Sealife cameras can be used at a depth of 200 feet I believe (we now have our advanced certification) which means we are certified to dive to 100 feet (200 feet is VERY deep). They take grest pictures AND video above AND below the water..... We got to use the new camera for 2 days (4 dives) before the battery went dead..... It's a VERY good thing we also brought the old one (the Reef Master Mini) as that has been our "backup camera" for the remainder of our trip..... We leave on Sunday.
When we got our first SeaLife camera it came with an external flash, we were thrilled to find that it also works with the new one the DC1200.... But my husband does use it a lot without the flash especially for daytime dives and the colors are great. You can easily add that flash later....
The only other recomendation I would make is to do the resort course with him..... It's the first thing he will need to do to get certified anyway.... That first class is FREE, a dive master (either Sugar or Richard, both are GREAT) will teach you some skills in the dive pool then will take you on 1 shallow dive. If you love it you can get certified in a couple of days AND that first free class counts toward your required dives..... If you don't love it you have only "lost" 1 morning and you have spent it with your husband doing something fun so it can hardly be called lost.......
I am in a hurry and dont have time to read over this and check for errors, if you have any questions feel free to ask, I am in the computer room at least once a day..... It's very cool in here... LOL
"I've looked into casings for our camera - but I worry that it'll leak or get dropped to the bottom of the ocean and then all our wedding-moon photos will be gone and I'll be distraught"
What I suggest is to either have a second camera, or at the very least, have a second memory card (and maybe even a third). I'm a firm beliiever that more, smaller cards are better. Use one for your wedding (congrats, btw! :) ), then take it out and put it in the safe until you go home. one for topside around the resort etc, and one for underwater.
That way if your camera leaks you won't lose photos. Also, if you were to lose or have your camera stolen (God forbid) you also don't lose all your photos.
The other thing is to be very careful when prepping it for use under water. My DH always does it inside with clean hands and makes sure that no dust particles or hairs get on the O ring. We've never had a flood... except for snorkeling with out Olympus!
Victoria, you mentioned that the underwater camera may only be used every couple of years. What none of us who have the sealife's have said, is they come in their own casing and can come out and is an ordinary digital camera that you can use every day. Hope this may help with your decision.