Our most careful purchase, and most costly to date, has been the Sony DSC-RX100M4. Fed up with the poor performance of the Nikon Coolpix AW130, we decided it was time to be a bit more professional. After a lot of soul-searching, we settled on the Sony and its Nauticam marine housing.
Free diving gear for St Elmo’s Bay, Malta: fins, weights, mask, and camera.
We’ve been using the Sony since arriving in Malta for all of our dives. Given that the conditions here (in winter) are poor to begin with, we were pleasantly surprised at how well it operates in low-light conditions.
Taking jellyfish pictures in West Reef, Wied iz-Zurrieq, Malta.
The Sony lacks a GPS and depth metre, which is unfortunate, but the marine casing makes it easy to use “program” mode and adjusting shutter speed whilst diving. The marine casing—a fully separate affair—is built to work with a strobe system we’re yet to acquire.
We’ve also purchased a Meikon wide angle wet correctional dome port lens fitted to the Nauticam housing (67 mm). This dome makes the camera bigger, but makes a tremendous difference in bringing in more light and expanding (or rather, fixing) the field of view as narrowed by the refraction of water.
One note about the Meikon: it screws in too far. So by default, the lens hood will be visible in your pictures. To fix this (the long hood part should be at the top of the camera), I took a small bit of plastic from a plastic document folder, cut it down, and put it where the lens screws into the camera. This creates enough of a buffer for the quarter-turn to fix the hood position.
When diving, I’ll usually keep the camera in programme mode. If the lighting is poor, I’ll use aperture mode to force a wider aperture, else the camera keeps the shutter open too long.