(on its way)
Shock and Awe(proof)!
Olympus Mju 720SW camera and PT-033 housing
There is a time all underwater photographers dread, the moment when their pride and joy is open to the elements outside its case or while changing film. My girlfriend and I each have cameras and are both painfully aware of their vulnerability when unhoused and their bulk when housed. Will there ever be an answer?
As luck would have it on our last trip one of our main cameras flooded, under suspicious circumstances (in the deck bucket of a liveaboard!) and we were able to see if this indestructible mite could step into the breach. We never expected it to match our primary cameras, Olympus 7070(RIP) and Canon S70, but thought it should probably be on a par with some of our previous digital cameras...
The dive housing isn't as good looking as the camera but still cute in a Fisher-Price kind of way as it crams lots of controls onto its clamshell halves to operate the tiny camera inside.
When the tough get going
is a certain reassurance in knowing that the camera you are using should
continue to work even if the housing was full of water, it might even be tricky
to decide when to abort the dive if you noticed bubbles trailing from the
polycarbonate outer case!
camera is really cute and feels brilliantly made but the case has a couple of
weak points. The most serious is that the OK button is offset and so it doesn't
press well onto the button on the camera itself as there is a bit of play in
the shaft through the case. You can overcome this by pressing the very inner
edge of the button but it's not intuitive. You need to press the OK regularly
to confirm changes to flash and macro mode. I suspect this would wear if you
Epoque, Sea and Sea, Inon and now Olympus themselves all make 'TTL slaving' strobes, I can't vouch for how well they work as I haven't tried them. We had a simple slave triggered Epoque which was very compact and reliable but now have a Digital Adaptor made by a German chap which fits a standard Sea and Sea strobe (like the very common YS60) and makes it into a TTL slaving strobe. It costs £60 and a strobe £60-100 on ebay. It works very well and can be used with any other camera to give you a good, cheap, external strobe (which will look way too big beside the camera :-)
For details see http://www.heinrichsweikamp.net/blitz/indexe.htm
It's a good choice as a general purpose wet’n’dry camera or backup. It's unusually solid and the waterproofing is convincing even without the case. On top of that it’s so small you could actually carry it as a spare on a dive.