Looking for my first tough digital camera

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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 13, 2011 8:42 pm

It has it's flaws for sure.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby captnemo » Dec 14, 2011 12:01 am

I'll add a vote for a regular point and shoot with water proof housing. Most of the caves we visited in Guatemala were river caves which involved swimming, I used a canon powershot 550 in a housing for most of my in cave pics. Not as good as my usual SLR but really convenient. Didn't have to pack it away before swimming, just clip it to my vest and off we go. Mud and dirt cleans off real easy and It also works for underwater shots while diving as a plus.
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http://captnemo.smugmug.com/Caving/Guatemala
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby Leclused » Dec 15, 2011 6:39 am

another test of 5 waterproof cameras can be seen here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfe66TUs ... r_embedded
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby JR-Orion » Dec 22, 2011 3:29 pm

Based on that DP Review I'm leaning towards the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3. But now I need to check out that youtube review...
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby JR-Orion » Jan 4, 2012 1:55 pm

Anyone have some sample pics taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3? Still leaning towards that one at the moment.
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby JR-Orion » Jan 6, 2012 10:08 pm

All of the normal above ground / daylight sample pics I could find from the Lumix DMC-TS3 looked good, so I placed the order. We'll see how this waterproof / shockproof / freeze proof / dustproof camera does undergound. I'll probably try 3 out of 4 of those (here's hoping I don't drop it).
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby JR-Orion » Mar 23, 2012 12:19 pm

I've had the Lumix DMC-TS3 for a few months now. Will try to remember to upload some above and below ground pics at some point this weekend.

The #1 thing I like about caving with this camera? I don't have to worry about it. After having a normal camera with me on all of my cave trips over the past couple of years, this is a great thing for me. No more taking off my pack to pop open my waterproof box to get out a regular camera. No more worrying about muddy gloves or dirty hands. And if it does get dusty or dirty, no worries. Walking through a river cave? No worries. No more super detailed post-cave camera cleanup either. So far I've just had to rinse it and wipe it dry.

Above ground, it acts like every other point and shoot camera I've had. It simple, easy to use, and has really nice picture quality.

Below ground, it takes great photos at short to medium range. At longer range, it does tend to capture a lot of orbs. But I guess that's just the way it goes with compact cameras. From wikipedia-

The artifacts are especially common with compact or ultra-compact cameras, where the short distance between the lens and the built-in flash decreases the angle of light reflection to the lens, directly illuminating the aspect of the particles facing the lens and increasing the camera's ability to capture the light reflected off normally sub-visible particles.

This isn't that big of a deal. It's not like I'm wasting film like in the old days. So if I'm trying to get a long range shot of a large passage, I'll just keep shooting until I get a good one.

I've had the Lumix on one trip to a river cave, and another trip to a normal cave in Minnesota. When my son turned four, I took it to the pool and tried it out in and under the water. Thumbs up from me.
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby wendy » Mar 23, 2012 2:00 pm

I have the Pentax Optio and so far i am happy with it. Still some trouble with night shots, as the shutter wants to stay open to capture more light, so I just got to figure out the setttings a little better.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby JR-Orion » Mar 24, 2012 9:06 pm

Here come the sample pics from my Lumix DMC-TS3. I'll start with some above ground snapshots so you can check out the general picture quality.

Downsized to 1024x768-

Every time I get a new camera, I like to start with sunset shots-

Image

Image

Winter-

Image

Out sledding with the kids-

Image

Hanging out at the mall-

Image

The colors seem to be perfect with this camera.
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Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 25, 2012 8:50 am

I hope to god that you are still carrying this camera in a waterproof case in the cave and not just in your pocket.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 25, 2012 8:53 am

And to get rid of "orbs" which is water vapor underground. Don't use the flash. Use night mode or whatever long exposure setting you have and a tripod. No flash next to the lense = no orbs. Use the tripod and you can use the timer. When the lense opens you can use your head lamP as the light for the photo
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby paul » Mar 26, 2012 6:26 am

Chads93GT wrote:And to get rid of "orbs" which is water vapor underground. Don't use the flash. Use night mode or whatever long exposure setting you have and a tripod. No flash next to the lense = no orbs. Use the tripod and you can use the timer. When the lense opens you can use your head lamP as the light for the photo


Alternatively use a slave flash. I use a "Firefly" which is a separate unit which you attach to a separate flashgun. You tape a small pece of filter (some comes with the Firefly) over the built-in flash on your camera. This allows the infra-red portion fo the in-built flash to fire the slave flash whcih can be placed at a suitable position to light the subject: no tripod needed. Quite often another cave can hold the slave flash (pointing away from the camera, or towards it from arounf a corner or behind a large object in the photo) whcih adds interest and scale to the photo.

Not only does this prevent "orbs" etc, but you get much better results as the light isn't as flat as when you use the built-in flash so that you get a better impression of depth in the photos.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 26, 2012 6:54 am

great info paul. I used to use side flashes. ruined mine in the cave, lol. ive since been experimenting with just having..........really bright head lamps for painting. I miss my side flash.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby JR-Orion » Mar 26, 2012 1:45 pm

Yeah, generally speaking, I don't care to press my luck with electronics, so for the most part I plan to still keep it in my waterproof hardcase while travelling underground. Like if we're making a press for a distant area, I'd just leave it in the pack on the way to the survey point.

But my last trip to Coldwater was just a tour for fun. I kept the camera in my hand and used the wrist strap. I took a ton of pics and it was nice not having to worry about the camera.

Will try to get some cave pics uploaded tonight.
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Looking for my first tough digital camera

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 26, 2012 1:56 pm

Keep it in that case at all times when traveling. They don't float lol.

Mud and grime will do them in sooner or later. Case is good
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