Underwater Camera for Scuba Diving

One of my other hobbies is photography. Not the fancy-schmancy black and white slightly tilted stuff you see in galleries, but rather just photos that capture the things I've done and seen. And, of course, there's a lot to do and see underwater so almost immediately after deciding to learn how to scuba dive I started to think about what kind of underwater camera I wanted.

Since scuba diving is new for me, I didn't think it made sense to invest in a scuba specific camera since it would only get limited use. Instead, I opted for a digital point and shoot that also had waterproof housing available. One other feature I wanted was a decent zoom. I find that typical point and shoots are too frustrating as compared to my DSLR + telephoto zoom lens. Fortunately for me, the good folks over at DPReview.com had done all of the legwork. A little reading, some additional research via Google and I had settled on the Panasonic Lumix ZS3. My biggest complaint is that it doesn't support the RAW image format so I'm going to have to give up some flexibility when it comes to post-processing in Photoshop. Oh well.

The waterproof housing for the ZS3 is simply referred to by it's model number: DMW-MCTZ7. Be careful if you look for this on Amazon.com. In an attempt to help you, Amazon will find similar matches and, in this case, similar means swapping out a letter or number. You don't want to be buying the wrong model. The same thing happened when I did a search for a spare battery (DMW-BCG10).

Another gotcha is to watch out for which kind of memory card you get. There are stories floating around about Class 6 SDHC cards resulting in beeping noises being recorded in videos. I went for a SanDisk 16GB Ultra II card and my testing reveals no problems whatsoever.

All but the battery has arrived, but I should have it in a next couple of days so no worries.

In case you're wondering what underwater video looks like, check out this video:

I'm still looking for sample underwater still photos to share. Of course, when I get back from Belize I should have plenty of those myself :-)

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