Going on many beach dives almost every weekend in Guam, I usually rely on my Casio Exilim point and shoot camera for my underwater photos. I have been relying on the exilim for almost 5 years now and regardless of what many people think about shooting high quality images underwater, the Casio Exilim is one of the most handy and high quality compact cameras I ever had for both land and water.
What do you think? The following photos have been taken over the past 2 days.
Anemone Shrimp 2
Arm of a brittlestar
A pipefish… which is a close cousin of the seahorse.
A Black lionfish.
A well camoflauged scorpion fish.
For a compact camera, the Exilim Z-1000 definitely packs a punch. I bought this camera in 2006 because it was reasonably priced and it had a great battery life (up to 800 shots without flash). Also, as a diver, I bought an underwater housing together for package deal… Though it totaled up to somewhere around $500, at the time having an underwater digital camera was special because not many people used digital cameras underwater on a large scale! Now… it seems that everybody has one.
The construction of the camera is strong. I dropped this camera on concrete once while running and it came out unscathed … I guess that “Made in Japan” mark really means something. With many features such as 37 different shooting modes, this camera can be used for many occasions from landscape photography to sunset photography.
The picture quality is good overall, but in low-light scenes I do have some issues with grainy images (digital noise) especially when I bump up to the highest ISO for higher sensitivity, which is ISO 400 in this particular camera. I solve this problem by using the lowest ISO which is 50 and yes, this eliminates the grain but it does create motion blur. Also, the screen is large but the imaging quality is somewhat blurred when viewed from the camera’s lcd screen. It’s best to use the screen for referential/compositional purposes while having your computer monitor do the real quality checking.
Last but not least, this camera because of its size is very useful. No larger than a credit card, I can simply put this camera in the chest pocket of my polo shirt and carry it anywhere such as work, school, events, and parties. This camera has saved my butt several times especially when taking notes during lectures because instead of copying everything on the blackboard that the professor writes, I just simply take a snapshot.
Although this camera is quite old and not on sale anymore, you should check out the newer Exilim models @ http://di.casio.com, which have become so advanced with all kinds of neat stuff from GPS tagging to high speed photography. It’s probably one of the best compact, point and shoot camera I’ve used so far!
I’ve been looking around and I’ve seen some really good deals on ebay.
If you’re a diver, make sure they sell appropriate underwater housings for the model you buy!