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Underwater Photography – SLR or Point-and-Shoot

When it comes to capturing your amazing diving vacation on film, it matters what camera you use. Although there are various aspects to look at when deciding what type of camera to purchase, there is one question that is important to start with: will a SLR or point-and-shoot work better for you?

To help you decipher which camera will work with your needs best we have put together a side-by-side comparison.


 The Point-And-Shoot Story

The beauty of a point-and-shoot camera is that they are small, inexpensive and simple to use. Based on a more fundamental way of photography with less emphasis on advancement of technology, a point-and-shoot is basically an SLR camera without the ability to see the image being taken in the exact form that the lens is seeing it.Now, if you are a professional photographer and that image could be worth thousands or nothing depending on the picture, then a SLR camera is most likely a better bet. But if you are a person looking to get quality shots without spending a huge amount on a camera then a point-and-shoot is most likely your favorable option. To give you a price reference, you can get a basic point-and-shoot camera for around $150. A good SLR set up will be minimum $1000. The other positive about the point-and-shoot is that it is a great way to get into dive photography without investing too much first, which is the way most people get into the artistic expression.UWphotographer_HUGE

Canon makes a great series of cameras called the G9, G11, and the G12. These all come with exceptional underwater cases, making deep water photography not only possible, but quality, too. A few other recommended underwater point-and-shoot cameras include the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5D 16.1 MP Tough Digital Camera with 9.3x Intelligent Zoom, the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-2 his, and the Nikon Coolpix AW110.

The SLR Story

Screen shot 2014-02-04 at 8.27.38 PMAs mentioned prior, a SLR camera will cost more, but it also comes with some advantages. A few aspects that you will find with a SLR camera that you won’t with a point-and-shoot include a higher quality frame sensor and HD video ability as well as a bigger view finder, more accessible menu capabilities usually, and the ability to have interchangeable lenses. Not to mention the quality of the photo is at a higher level.

There are a few different SLR cameras on the market that are exceptional. One to look at is the Canon 5D Mark ii Digital SLR. This easy to use SLR has an image quality that will quickly make the price increase worth it. Another favorite is the 24MP Nikon D7100 due to impressive ergonomics and exceptional quality stemming from the high ISO abilities as well as the image quality. Last but not least, the Olympus E-PM1 PEN Camera w/ 14-42mm MSC R f3.5/5.6 lens. This little number is not only giving you pristine images to relish your scuba diving vacation with, but it also comes in fun colors like purple, pink and silver.

In the end, know that the camera that you choose is based on what is best for you and your photography desires.