During a diving trip my Nikon D80 underwater set is always prepped and fully set for shooting macro, wide angle or the likes. This makes it unusable for taking pics above water or for a quick jump in the water to capture a group of dolphins or other unexpected stuff.
The Olympus Mju/Stylus 1030 SW thus looked to me as an excellent addition, mainly due to its robust and waterproof specifications.
The basic specifications of the 1030 SW:
- 10.1 Megapixels, 3.6x optical wide angle lens (28 – 102 mm), aperture f/3.5 - f/5.1
- Waterproof to 10 meters and shockproof up to 2.0 meter
- TruePic III image processor, digital image stabilisation, BrightCapture technology
- HyperCrystal II LCD of 2.7" cm (230.000 pixels)
- 24 scene modes, including 4 underwater
- Movie recording up to VGA resolution at 30fps, including underwater mode
More specs are listed on the 1030 SW camera page.
The four underwater scene modes preset the camera for different underwater conditions:
Underwater Snapshot: for taking pictures at the beach or in the pool. In this mode the white balance is set to cloudy and the flash is set to automatic.
Underwater Wide #1: for underwater landscape photos, like for example a coral reef. The white balance will be set to sunny, the flash is forced and the macro mode is enabled. The camera will zoom out fully, but the zoom can still be controlled to your liking.
Underwater Wide #2: for underwater action scenes, like e.g. fish swimming by. Just like Wide #2 mode, the white balance is set to sunny, but the flash and macro functions are now switched off. The camera also zooms out, but changing the zoom is not possible.
Underwater Macro: for taking underwater shots close to subjects. The camera will use the same settings as in Wide #1, the only difference that it will zoom in to the maximum.
The camera itself is warranted to operate at depths up to 10 meters (32.8 feet) for up to one hour. With the use of the optional PT-043 underwater housing, its operational depth can be extended to a maximum of 40 meters (131 feet).
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