I wanted a small camera that I could fit in my drysuit pocket, so I could take it with me on every dive. I also wanted it to be cheap since I know eventually I will smash it or flood it. It also had to have a decent depth rating like 130'. So I got an Ikelite Aquashot 3 from www.leisurepro.com for $56.95. I didn't expect the Aquashot to take high quality pictures, I just wanted a camera to take some ok pictures of my dives, and if I get one of those once in a lifetime pictures of a Great White eating my buddy, that would be cool too.
The first modification to the camera was to get rid of the plastic framing thing (it is too big to fit in my pocket), and to add a SS bolt snap to the handle. So far the Kodak Max one-time use cameras work the best.
The camera is very bouyant, so the next modification was to weigh it down. I taped two large fishing weights to the back of the camera. Airport security loves this modification.
I always want to turn the rewind knob clockwise, but it turns counter clockwise, so I had to paint on some stupid arrows. After many dives, the housing's rewind knob gets chewed up by the sharp edges of the camera's rewind knob.
I decided that the Aquashot pictures are good enough to spend the extra $10 for the conversion kit from Back Scatter , and $20 for a Fuji Endeavor 10 camera from The Econ Zone so I nolonger have to rewind film manually, and I don't have to keep buying one time use cameras, just APS film. The kit comes with all the parts to convert and Aquashot 3 to an 3e or the other way around. For me I am just using the bottom two black pieces to replace the rewind knob and the silicon grease. The kit also come with instructions for the other things you have to change on the Aquashot to use the Fuji Endeavor Camera.
I have used the APS camera for a while now, and am happy with the change. For one thing, you can turn the flash on and off at will. With a disposiable camera setup, once the flash is turned on, it will stay on for the whole dive. Backscatter is a big problem for this setup, because the flash is so close to the lens, so I only use the flash for sujects in the 3-4' range. For sujects further then 4', the flash must be off, or all you will see is a wall of backscatter snow. I am considering the external stobe for this housing. Another advantage of the APS camera is the automatic film advance.
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