|Ras Abu Galum - Red Sea
When we arrive in Ras Abu Galum the heavy load is taken off the camels and it is time to go diving. The contrast between the emptiness of the Sinai desert and the underwater wildlife is vast. And that wildlife exposes itself in the most beautiful colours. I have never come across a sea bluer than the Red sea. I have been wondering for years why this intensive blue sea carries the name of Red Sea, but I still haven't found out. Hard coral is found here and it is so big it must have been growing there for centuries. Everywhere you look there is fish. And after a small search we find some patterned morays and the small grey ones too. I don't have to search for anemone fish. When I get too close to their anemone they swim towards me. They are very lively and vivid and they keep diving into their anemone. Thankfully the camera is not suffering from any shutter lag so I was able to capture this happy little creature.
Sony CyberShot W200 Settings
I turned the camera to the P-mode. It means that the camera decides the shutter speed and aperture but that I myself have the choice for setting white balance and ISO value. The Sony DSC-W200 has absolutely no problem in reproducing the colour blue correctly. Especially in the shallow part the overview pictures of the hard coral with various colored fish look like postcards. And it is ever so easy to photograph in this part of the Red Sea because there is no current. I can just 'hang' around for ten minutes in the neighborhood of a huge blowfish that thinks it is hiding underneath a table coral. The camera also offers a video function that I try out underwater. I record in the highest quality and when I playback the videos on my pc later that day, I can tell they are of excellent quality.
Sony W200 Built-in flash
The underwater housing’s inside front has been covered with black plastic. It ensures the light of the internal flash can only leave through the spot it is allowed to leave and flash light cannot reach unwanted places. I encounter some problems setting the flash correctly. Underwater colours disappear so a flash light is necessary to regain the colours.
|The water in the Red Sea however is so light and clear that the camera often refuses to use the flash when it is set to auto mode. But for me the pictures then don't have enough color. I thought to solve this problem by setting the camera in the Flash On mode. In this mode the flash will fire always, independent of the measured amount of light. Unfortunately it does lead to overexposed pictures in some cases because the flash will fire at full power. You can solve this by manually adjusting the flash power in small stops, but you do have to know your camera well to achieve this.
Sony DSC-W200 Diffuser
The housing has been standard equipped with a diffuser to better spread the flash light. In my opinion the diffuser could have been developed better. It is placed on the right side of the lens. The lens extends a bit and that is why the underwater housing has a 'nose' for fitting the lens in. However, the diffuser has not been placed on the far end of the 'nose' but closer to the camera itself. Part of the flash light gets blocked and never reaches the place it should reach. As a result the bottom left corner doesn't get exposed well. With some creativity in the choice of your object you can overcome this problem.
Sony CyberShot W200 ISO values
The rechargeable Stamina battery lasts for two dives of one hour each. The camera is capable of showing the pictures in HD 1080 quality. But I don't have an HD 1080 television set at hand so I cannot check to see how much sharper pictures look on a television like that. After two dives it is time to head back for Dahab. The camels receive their heavy load again and I climb onto my camel a lot more at ease than when we set out. The way back seems a lot shorter because I am now enjoying the memory of the two beautiful dives. At the end of the day there is still time to capture some marvellous sunsets. And because it is getting a little dark I use a higher ISO sensitivity. The highest ISO of the camera is 6400. When using this ISO value, the camera switches from 12 million pixels to 3 million pixels. This mode does cause more noise. ISO 1600 delivers excellent pictures in twilight.