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  #1  
Old 11 Apr 2008
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Any experience with Canon underwater housings?

I picked up a Canon 870IS for my upcoming Central and South America trip. I'm going to be in Central America for the rainy season and I'll be spending a lot of time off the bike hiking and exploring. Anyone have any experience with these cases? They get great reviews for underwater photos (not that important to me), but I was wondering how the image quality is on land, and if they have issues with fogging. It looks like it would be great for worry free use, but $170USD isn't cheap.
Newegg.com - Canon WP-DC17 Waterproof Case for the Powershot SD870 IS

-Jeff
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  #2  
Old 11 Apr 2008
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You'd probably be better off with a dedicated splash-proof camera. Underwater housings make eveything quite big. I'm not sure about other manufacturers, but Pentax started doing a splash-proof camera a few years back. 6 megapixels it was at the time, I think. And if I remember it right, it can even go underwater for up to 30 minutes (though not sure about this).

The camera I'm talking about is at least 1-2 years old, and you should get it for a decent price, far less than your underwater housing.
In case you want more pixels: as far as the megapixel-mania goes, I think anything above 8 megapixels on a compact digital is a complete waste of time, and 6 megapixels is plenty decent A4 sized prints.

Bjorn
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  #3  
Old 26 May 2008
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I have the WP-DC70 housing on a Canon IXUS700. This is basically the same unit you are asking about, just a couple years older. Works perfect under water and on land.

I know the housings are expensive, but they are built like a tank and will not interfere with the regular camera controls. Only effect it will have on your camera is probably reduced flash range.

Cheers!
ChinaV
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  #4  
Old 3 Jun 2008
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The canon housings are OK for the price but not anywhere near build like a tank :-) I have used a couple and one failed. Wouldn't take it on a bike.

Bulk is an issue, you won't just pull it out of your pocket and you won't want to put the camera into the housing in a hot humid environment. Even if you use a silica pack it will eventually fog up. During dive trips I close the housing with silica in it in an aircon room whenever possible. Keeps the humidity out in the first place. When not under water I keep it in a bucket of water, out of the sun to avoid fogging.

Bottom line, if you don't care about diving go with a waterproof camera. Olympus has a good one down to 3m and one down to 10m. Should do it nicely.

Since you already have your camera, try the ol' zip lock bag with some silica thrown in and take it out for the pictures. You can snatch the silica from any shoe carton. Can be reconditioned to some extend in a microwave or oven.
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  #5  
Old 3 Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boarder View Post
Bottom line, if you don't care about diving go with a waterproof camera. Olympus has a good one down to 3m and one down to 10m. Should do it nicely.
Olympus 1030SW, just got my. Very nice camera….

Saludos.
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  #6  
Old 4 Jun 2008
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Thanks for the input

I left on my trip about 3 weeks ago and decided to go with the camera I had (canon 870IS) without the case. At $180, I'll just use it until it dies, and get another one if need be. I'd hate to have the camera stolen, and a $180 case to store my socks in. So far I'm really happy with the 870. I went with it because of the 28mm lense, optical image stabilization, and great timer features. I know optical image stabilization has been labeled in another post as a crutch for camera posers, but I like it, especially when I'm twisted around taking a picture behind me on an idling thumper. But mainly I wanted IS because every time, and I mean every time someone else took pictures of me with my old camera, the photos were always blurry. Not any more. As for the timer, for a point and shoot, this was one of the few that had a 30 second timer, and I can use that timer in conjunction with the continuous shooting mode to get 10 shots taken every second or so; perfect for taking self-portrait driveby's. There's a definite convenience factor to the Olympus waterproof/shockproof line, and I'm sure I'll wish I had those features when I get into the thick of the trip, but for now I really enjoy using the 870IS and would recommend taking a look at it.
Cheers,
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  #7  
Old 10 Aug 2008
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Beware: Canon SD870IS

As a follow up to my last post, my canon sd870IS served me well for the first couple months of my trip. The 30 second timer with 10 shots option worked great, and I really liked the 28mm lense. The photo quality was good enough for me. All that is irrelevant now though. The LCD screen called it quits. I have always kept the camera in my jacket, and one day I went to use it and somehow, someway, something damaged the LCD. I don´t recall dropping my jacket, walking on it, or throwing it against a wall, so I have to think that something in my normal routine was too much for it to handle. It wasn´t cracked externally, but something put pressure on the screen and ruined it. The camera doesn´t have a viewfinder either, so it´s basically worthless. Anyways, I regret not buying one of Olympus´ waterproof, ¨impact-proof¨cameras. I like to keep my camera in my jacket or my pant pocket and obviously the 870 wasn´t up to the task. I´m sure people have used normal cameras for years and have had no problems, but I wasn´t so lucky. Just my 2 cents if you´re debating about what point and shoot camera to buy for a trip.
-Jeff
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  #8  
Old 10 Aug 2008
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My Canon Ixus 50 suffered not one, but two LCD screen failures, which cost £65 each time to repair (the first breakdown occurred 13 months after purchase - just outside the guarantee period); then a speck of dirt infiltrated inside the lens that I couldn't remove, which noticeably showed-up on zoomed-in pics .. see this example - it's the grey splodgey mark just in front of the bike, spoiling the white sandy background. Finally the zoom mechanism itself packed-up, to the extent that I could zoom in on a subject, but then I couldn't retract the zoom back out again.

All this within just 2½ years of use from new - AND for protection, I always carried the Ixus 50 around in a bespoke leather carry-case.

I have been thinking of replacing the Ixus 50 with a new Canon Powershot G9, but now this thread, and mollydog's comment on post #8 of this recent thread has convinced me to ditch that idea. Instead I'm going to buy a new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5. Summary: I simply don't think Canons are up to the job!

- KEITH
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  #9  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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Mollydog's comment on post #8 of this recent thread has convinced me to ditch that idea. Instead I'm going to buy a new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5. Summary: I simply don't think Canons are up to the job!

- KEITH
They are right about the fragility of Canon cameras. They have always been so -at least in their consumer line of cameras. The ones that use extendable lenses a particularly prone to failure. I have seen my share of those that fail either due to an impact while the lense is extended and a few with sand in the mechanism. I try to avoid any camera with a mechanically extended lense - I have to admit my Konica KD-500 has been surprisingly durable over the last 5 years. I also have to say the best feature of the Canon is the optical viewfinder - I consider that a necessity for a camera. Most manufacturers have tossed this feature out.
I have always been an Olympus SLR and Leica RF user but my E1 was stolen last year. I ended up replace that with a Panasonic FZ-50. It is not quite the camera the E1 is, but it has manual focus and zoom rings on the lense. It is quite nice - It'll take a couple of years to assess its durability.

I really do beat the cameras hard!
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  #10  
Old 14 Sep 2008
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Another dead Canon 870IS

Probably beating a dead horse here, but I met a backpacker today who had the LCD screen on his Canon 870IS suffer the same fate that mine did; except instead of a crack in the LCD, he has big circles of dead LCD on his screen. Simply put, IMHO, stay away from these cameras. I can´t imagine any of the other big-screen models being any better.

I´ve since ordered a Panasonic DMC-fz18, and will have my hands on it in less than a month. It´s a completely different type of camera than the 870is, but I´m looking forward to having a real zoom, and hopefully a camera that won´t inexplicably die.

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  #11  
Old 14 Sep 2008
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I have owned a Canon IXUS400, 50, 900TI and only had a problem once, when, in the Sahara,I got sand in the zoom mechanisme. I cycled it 5-6 times helping it with a gentle finger and it is still working.

I carried it in the pocket or on my bicycle for Saigon-Singapore and Morocco-Spain trips.
On my kayak in a housing in Denmark, Greenland, Polynesia.
And when snorkeling.

At home I have it in my pocket or in a jacket at an almost daily base. I've dropped them twice with no harm.

I only use a soft neoprene case for it.

I wouldn't take the housing along, as its bulky. Just put it in a plasticbag and bring a few extra.

It CAN fog up, mine did it Singapore, when walking from AC to the 100% humidity outside but again: When going from cold to hot (and humid), whether in Arctis or at the equator, put it in the plastic bag in the cold, take it into the heat, the fog settles on the plasticbag and just wait for the camera to adjust to the temperature and take it out.

My camera cleared up totally in Singapore with no later problems.

You can only use the screen and not the finder, when the camera is in the housing. I also find that there are more refleksions in the housing window over the screen, than in the screen itself.

With time, the the housing window over the screen, gets scratched which is annoying but of course doesn't effect picture quality.

Also the housing of the 50 got easily scratched but there is no problem with my 900TI (titanium)
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