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Ilse Jurriën : July 27th 2006 - 10:08 CET updated

Fuji FinePix F30 underwater housing

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FujifilmFuji FinePix F30 underwater housing : The FinePix F30 is the first camera with RealPhoto Technology II, and that made me really curious about the performance of this camera under water. In order to be able to use the camera under water, you need the underwater housing WP-FX F30. The housing is extremely compact; “a smart little thing” is a frequently heard comment. There’s a functional diffuser for the flash. Extra protection thanks to the double O-ring. The camera functions can all be adjusted also under water. And the large display can be seen in full even in the underwater housing. Installing the camera in the housing is a piece of cake. The combination of camera and underwater housing does not have the tendency to float and to act like a buoy.
Fuji FinePix F30 underwater housingWP-FX F30 underwater housing
I took the F30 under water in the Netherlands with me once in the “Grevelinge” and once in the “Vinke-veense Plassen”. I still much prefer photography in ‘automatic’ mode. In ‘under water” mode, the camera tries to slightly correct the bluecast, but in the greenish Dutch water my preference is still ‘automatic’ mode. The exposure selected by the camera is unbelievably good. The water quickly filters the red out of the light, so a source of light under water is important for the colour-rendering. With or without flash, the camera produces a good, sharp and high-contrast image. Lighting using a diver’s lamp is one possibility, but I have found that the built-in flash does its job perfectly. It is amazing how well the built-in flash works under water. I expected a lot of reflective material in the picture, but the white spots interfered with the picture only in very murky water.

Fuji FinePix WP-FX F30 housing - Macro mode
In Dutch waters I take mostly macro pictures - because there are so many pretty details to see, but also of course because the visibility under water forces me to. The camera functions extremely well in macro mode. I generally try to photograph my subjects in nature “at eye level”, whether it is a wild boar, a crab or a fish. The problem with fish is that their “eye level” is often quite a long way down. The underwater housing can be perfectly handled when it is pressed down against the sea bed, although the display appears slightly “pale” when viewed at any angle from above.

Fujifilm WP-FX F30 housing

Fujifilm WP-FX F30 housing - Filming under water
A special feature is the possibility of filming. Even when the quality of the water gives cause for doubt about the possibility of taking photographs, a film can produce excellent results. No matter how murky the water is, the pictures clearly reflect the reality. Although lighting using a diver’s lamp does give the picture more colour, it is not really necessary. The camera adjusts its exposure extremely fast whenever the light conditions change during filming. After a dive in the Vinkeveense Plassen, we were standing around looking at the photos we had taken. “Where did you take those photos?” asked one of the divers. The picture had been taken half an hour earlier in the same place. “My next camera’s going to be an F30,” said my dive buddy.

About photographer Paul Raps
My name is Paul Raps, and I was born in Amsterdam in 1960. I now live in Wilnis, a town situated within an area known as the ‘Green Heart’ of the Netherlands. My hobbies are wildlife photography and diving. Ever since we were 13 years of age, my best friend and I would spend hours scouring the woods for roe deer and birds of prey. Not much later, we started to photograph the animals we saw. When I was 16 my brother equipped a darkroom. To save money, we used to wind Ilford FP4 film, bought in cans, onto film cartridges. We developed, enlarged and printed our photos in the bathroom. For many years I took pictures on film, using Fujifilm's Sensia and Velvia transparency films. Now I take pictures digitally using the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro SLR. I started diving in 1985 and in 2002 I added the underwater world to my favourite places to do nature photography.

Fujifilm WP-FX F30 housing - Pictures & Videos
Numerous underwater shots taken by Paul Raps with the Fujifilm FinePix F30 digital compact camera are now available on the internet: Photos, Video 1 en Video 2.

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