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Dairyland diver
Apr 7, 2001
Ted and I got out spearing today and I decided to see if we had enough vis for some underwater panoramics. They aren't great, but they're a start.

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As you can see the surface shots turned out fine, but the underwater shots are a bit hazy.

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I took some boring practice shots in the shallows that look a little bit better- not sharks and whales stuff by any means.;)
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We also took some none panoramic shots of ourselves.

Here is a shot of Ted stalking the ever elusive crappie.;) :D
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Ted took the camera and even got a shot of me. This was a very rare photo indeed, as I am usually the one who is always taking the pictures.:D
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Now that is cool!!!!!!!

I wanna do that!!!!!

What can you tell me about the camera? PM me if you like.

Dive safe

I switched over form film cameras to a digital camera in December.

After talking with Cliff, I decided to buy an Olympus camera and housing set-up. I bought an Olympus C5050-Z camera and an Olympus Japan housing.

The camera comes with some basic software that lets me piece my photos together. I am really looking forward to trying it out on some of the wrecks around here this summer. I could see it being a lot of fun in a cave where you could put together whole sections of passageway at a time.

My housing cost me $295, but I saw a posting on the Digital IDver forum that someone is selling them for $150 now. The housing is only good to 130', but I bought it for freediving and not scuba. Light And Motion makes a housing fo rthe camera to take it much deeper, but at a cost of around $1,500!:(

I put a 512mb CF card in it and can do up to 25 minutes of video. Last weekend I had my camera in one hand and my speargun in the other and actually got to record myself shooting a fish.:cool:
Now, I want to get a new, smaller, gun and mount my housing on the gun full time so that I can record and hunt at the same time- I have been shooting picutres for years and only recentlygot introduced to the whole spearo thing.

My father-in-law has a video system with an E.E. 50 watt HID double light system mounted on his Gavin. He takes this set-up with him everytime he dives so that he can record vast expanses of wreckage everytime he dives.

Ted and I got out freediving in Lake Mendota yesterday. This is a lake in Wisconsin that has a Limnology lab on it- where Ted works. I believe that it is one of the most studied fresh water lakes in the world- next to Lake Bikal in Russia.

We started out in the deep hole of the lake- only 75'. After a few dives there to get wrmed up we went over to the old underwater habitat that they used in the 70's. It is now flooded and sits in 45'-50' of water. There are a few fish hanging around on it and the vis was about 20'. This seemed like the perfect spot to try some more panoramic shots.:D

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Another shot.
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A shot that Ted took of me.
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Nice!!! Good photos - I love the colour of the water... looks almost Superman-y :D
Playing around in the middle of the lake.:)

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Great pictures Jon (and Ted), really liked the color of the water, feels like your pretty deep. :)

What kind of panoramic program do you use Jon? Do you define your lens in it? (24mm, 32mm etc.)

I'm using Panoramam maker 3 (comes with my Nikon), and i usally get smoother connections between the pictures, i mean, it looks less like a few round pictures pasted together....

Though i haven't used it underwater yet, no $$$ for the housing.
Man, the water look like Pepermint syrup.......scarry if you are not used to it, I guess.


I just bought a used Nikon Coolpix 5000 from a friend. My first digital still camera. I need some advice from you.

My experience so far has been with video and the best to date equipment I used was the Sony TRV 900.

I am still learning how to use the Cool Pix on land, the UW housings are plain EXPENSIVE !!!!!

I am wondering if my Nikon digital camera is any good in low light and without flash. In video camera, the Sony TRV900 is far superior in its low light performance compared to any other TR series, this I have tested. Can digital camera be like that too, I mean one model or brand being better in low light than other ? If I ever invest in a housing, I will surely will not buy a flash because I want to use it to photo spearfishing action and want less drag on me + no scarrying the fishes with the flash.

With the TRV900 (without lights ) , I can say that it will capture image as good as what my eyes can see in low light, simply amazing, but video cam is bulky.


I am not really sure what the standard lens is on my camera. I do know that I set the camera to PANORAMIC mode and can shoot up to 8 pictures and then when I download them onto my computer I can put then into a PHOTO-STITCH program that came with the camera to join them together. Some of my topside photos have turned out a bit better. I know that there are other programs out there that will do the same thing, but so far I have just used what came with the camera. My next big purchase is going to be one of those INON wide angel lenses for my housing. Still waiting on getting the cash for that one.;)


I think that you could have pretty good luck with that camera in lower light conditions. I know that on my camera I can go in and reset the ASA rating for different levels of low light. I also don't want to carry a strobe on my camera because I am freediving with it and want something small and light.

Housing for your camera are expensive.:duh
The housing I picked up for mine was only $300 and I think I have seen it for under $200 recently. You might look into an Ikelite housing for yours as it has got to be less expensive than the $1,500 Light and Motion housing that is made for it.

Cliff might know a bit more about camera setting for low light conditons as he has had more time to play around with digital cameras. I can say that I have taken a lot of low light, deep shipwreck, pictures without using a strobe- fast film and a wide angle lens worked out pretty well.

I hope some of this helps you guys out.

The lens specs are probably in the manual. I found it helpfull for some panoramic pictures, espcially when the objects are close to you, and sometiems with varying distance (like when you're in a vally between mountains). also sometimes I found it better to just play with the lens defenitions in the program, say it's 38mm even if it's 24mm.

I'll attach a picture that I hope will show you what I mean.
I don't have any freedive related panormaics though, sorry.

The thing is that I don't even have a "panoramic mode" in my camera, it's just a normal sequal of pictures. I wonder what's the difference.

I asked by the way since every (well, only 2) panoramic program I used so far had some inherit flaws in it, and I'm still looking for a better one.
Nice picture Michael,
I use Cool 360 from Ulead. sometimes they come out well, but some conditions are hard to assimilate for the program. I think that if you are using a wide angle lens on the camera, there could be more differrences of exposure on the sides as compared to the middle of each individual shot (as in the example I'm attaching) making for uneven skys. I should retake this shot but using a 50mm or more lens. The pic by the way is where I live, at sunset. Bahia de Rosas = Bay of Roses. Costa Brava, Spain.



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Wow, amazing view!

Forgot to mention, mine's from Manang, some place at the hight of 3500m on the Nepalese himalayas.

Yeah, I noticed that sometimes I get a problem with the exposure on the sides of the connected pictures, just didn't manage to find the percise words for it.
another thing is that the more pictures I tend to connect, the more distorted the picture seems to be, so far if I try to connect more than 4 pictures I usally don't like the results, as well as I lose too much of the top and buttom margins.
unless I define in the program a small lense, like 14mm (which I think is the actual lens of my camera), but then I get the lots of connected rounds result.

Do you think that it is possible to take double the picrtures on a wider angle, and just cut the margins and leave the center, and then connect them?
since the difference of exposure should be minimized the closer you get to the center...
And here I was thinking it was Wyoming or some place like that! :)

>another thing is that the more pictures I tend to connect, the >more distorted the picture seems to be, so far if I try to connect >more than 4 pictures I usally don't like the results, as well as I >lose too much of the top and buttom margins.

Are you using a tripod and making sure you include around a third of the picture in the next? This helps a lot, also I do a "pass" looking through the camera to make sure I keep the camera on a straight horizontal line as I shift it. If you have a 14mm lens that's really wideangle ! No wonder you get distortion. In that case I'd probably take more shots of the scene. Cool 360 recommends at least 10 or 12 shots with lots of overlapping for best results. Do you have other lenses or a zoom? Try taking the same scene with different focal lenghs as see what happens.

>Do you think that it is possible to take double the picrtures on a >wider angle, and just cut the margins and leave the center, and >then connect them?

Seems like a good idea as long as there is some overlapping. It would also help cut the bending at the edges.

Wyoming! rofl
I don't even know where that is, or how to spell it. :) I'm not an american. My guess is mid-west...? I guess not many freedivers from there.

Are you using a tripod and making sure you include around a third of the picture in the next?

well, I bought a mini-tripod - one of those small flexible things that look like a mini 3-legged octopus and weighs about 50g. but I haven't used it for panoramics yet, my intention was to dispell my shakey hand problem, which I discovered only latley. I don't wanna carry a tripod which is bigger than my camrea. and also this thing set me back only 3$, could'nt afford a real tripod. :)

I didn't know that a third of overlapping was advised, I guess I was overlapping at around 20%.

About the lens, it's a 8-24mm, just checked it.
it's the default lens of the Nikon coolpix 4300 I have. can't afford more lenses right now.

About your program, it is probably superior if it recommends you something. :) mine's a mute. (I think)
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