Category Archives: Creativity

Review: DiCAPac WP-S10 Waterproof DSLR/SLR Case

By | photography, Review | 15 Comments

I picked up the DiCAPac WP-S10 waterproof DSLR/SLR (affiliate link) case before leaving to shoot a destination wedding in Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I’d read about the beautiful clear waters and looked forward to taking my camera out to get some really unique pictures. I had long wondered if these soft PVC cases are any good and I figured this would be a great excuse opportunity to try one out. The DiCAPac WP-S10 is newer to the market and about 1/3rd of the price of similar waterproof DSLR/SLR cases. Mine cost me around 120.00 USD before shipping.

DSLR waterproof case for my Nikon D90 - Day of departure, and this buddy is with us!
Picture via (deskounlmtd.net)

Short Version
Considering the price, I think this case is great. It keeps the camera dry. Despite the overall awkwardness of using a camera in this type of enclosure, you have a dang SLR in the WATER! That rules. Opens up so many new possibilities. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get some shots while in the pool or out in the ocean it’s awesome. If you constantly need to access every option or menu on your camera then I would recommend saving up for one of the $1500 hard-cases.

About the Case
The case is constructed of a durable but soft PVC plastic or rubber. The detachable lens port cover seems to be plexiglass. In the box came, the bag, neck/shoulder strap (can be clipped on and off), three foam inserts or spacers, a few small packets of moisture absorbing pellets, and instructions. The bag has three ‘finger sleeves’ for you to insert your finger in and work controls on the camera and lens. Two are on each side of the bottom of the lens bellows and one is on the top right side of the bag for reaching the shutter button and nearby controls. A large part of the bag is clear in front and back to let you see the display on the camera and use the viewfinder. The clear area in the front also allows use of the on camera pop-up flash.

The bag closes using a combination of Zip-Loc and dry bag rolled closure. After placing your camera inside you press the Zip-Loc strips closed (double check this carefully, mine often feels closed but isn’t) and then you fold over the bag a number of times until the Velcro pieces line up to keep it from unfolding. There is another flap of plastic and Velcro that you fold over the roll and Velcro down. On the front of the lens bellows is a removable cover. This has easy to grip rubber coating that lets you close it nice and tight but also get a good grip to take it back off. I keep my lens cover on my lens while putting it in the bag and remove it through this access after I’ve got the camera positioned.

Does it work?
Like I mentioned above it does keep the camera dry. I did have one episode of fog developing inside the case. It was enough condensation to form a few droplets, so I took it back to shore and dried it out. The instructions did mention this though, so I’d just be aware of it. I can see it might be a bigger problem if you stay under water for longer periods of time. I don’t do any ‘diving’ with it but stay on the surface and only go completely under water for a few seconds at a time. Even if you didn’t plan to go in the water with the camera, this bag could be a great insurance policy on a canoe ride or something similar.

One complaint I have about the case is regarding the lens bellows. I prefer prime lenses and usually shoot with a 50mm. The lens bellows were designed to work with a variable focal length or zoom lens that as you adjust becomes longer or shorter. It’s also a size that could be compatible with more lenses. This causes a problem for me though as the front of the lens port is a decent distance away from the front of my lens. This few inches causes some hesitation on the auto-focus’ ability to detect the subject quickly. I solved this problem by using a strong rubber band around the outside of the bellows after I push the lens port down onto the front of my lens. So far it hasn’t caused me any problems, and is a great solution. But I’m not responsible for any leaks or tears it causes in your bag. Try this at your own risk. It’s certainly not the way it was designed to be used. Before the rubber band I would use my left hand to pull the front of the bellows back against the lens and this worked well. Made it some kinda difficult to swim with both hands tied up though.

Pros

  • Keeps the camera dry! 😉
  • Low cost
  • Universal fit (Nikon, Canon, whatever)
  • Simple design
  • Pop-up flash still works
  • Water photos are super fun!

Cons

  • Takes time to get used to working camera through bulky bag
  • Bag can fog up
  • Lens bellows can interfere with auto-focus on shorter lenses
  • Not as nice as a much more expensive hard case (but that should be obvious)

You can purchase the case from Adorama:DiCAPac WP-S10 waterproof DSLR/SLR case. (Affiliate Link)

Example Pictures
Here are two sample pictures I took over the summer.
Cocoa Beach FloridaWave

What’s your experience been? I’d love to see shots you’ve taken with this case or others. Feel free to post them in the comments.


New Focus

By | Creativity, photography | No Comments
diptych image of girl playing cards

Originally uploaded by Kevin N. Murphy

I’ve been neglecting this blog for the past few months as I focus my spare time on photography. Now that I’ve established a pace with my photography I’m comfortable with I will be writing here again. Occasionally on personal matters but primarily about photography and a little bit about web development.

Photography has become a pretty big part of my recent activities and I’m really enjoying it. I’d like to use this site as a way to explain ideas and the techniques I’ve been using to execute them. I’d also like to explain the problems or challenges I’ve run into in hopes that it might save someone some time or at least just encourage them that others have run into the same problem and to keep their efforts up.

I haven’t really set a schedule for my writing but it’s likely that it will be at least monthly if not more regular than that.

The two pictures on the left were pretty fun to take. I had been experiementing with the Live View function on my Canon 40D and was very surprised to discover how useful it was for composing close up shots in close quarters. For whatever reason it seemed less rude or intrusive to look at the large LCD at about waist level while still engaging the room in light conversation than it would of to use the smaller viewfinder and squat down. Also having the time to delicately adjust the focus manually really let me focus on what I was trying to draw attention to or feature in the the shot. This led to pictures that feel like I’m right there in the action. Right involved in the activity. They look a lot like memories to me. I’m not sure if that translates for everyone that sees them but I’ll keep experimenting with it because I was very happy with the results. I don’t think I’d use the technique much for an actual job but for just hanging around with friends it yielded better results than I normally get.

Bridge Pictures

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On the way home from Jereme’s house last night I stopped off at the I-4 pedestrian bridge in Lake Mary to take some pictures.

You can’t park right next to the bridge so I used my new deck to skate down there. Pretty fun deck I realized, super fast. It’s a little strange trying to book it on a board while holding a tripod and camera bag and water and a book but I survived.

Pictures turned out significantly crappy though. But I’m happy that I did it. Felt good to do something I wanted to do, and be creative. Even if what I made wasn’t that good. It’ll get better. I think early morning would be a cool time to do some shots of Lake Monroe, with fog and such.

In Stiches

By | Fun, knitting | No Comments

I learned how to knit! (you can learn to knit). It’s pretty neat. I’ve taken apart my scarf three times or so but now I think it’s good to keep going. There are few different knitting techniques and I was trying them out in quick succession. This got a little confusing so I am just going to stick with the basic garter knit for now, which you knit both sides instead of alternating between purling and knitting.

I also went to the store and got some bamboo knitting needles and I like them. I think I may switch to using the circle knitting needles but I’ve yet to figure that out yet.

Oh and if you didn’t know, they even have luxury yarns! Cashmere even! But I’m waiting to invest in that till I can knit something worth it.

There are also extreme knitters these days. One group of them plays a game, the name of which I can’t remember, but it sort of like this: People register on some website or something, and they put their address and sock size. Then they pick someone to “kill” that is also a player in the game. The way you “kill” someone is to knit them a pair of socks in their size and mail them to them. When they receive the socks, they are “dead”. So the fastest knitters can “kill off” everyone else, last one alive wins. Your socks are in the mail!

Playing Photographer

By | Fun, Music, photography | No Comments

So The Collective graciously invited me to photograph their live performance on WPRK 91.5 Rollins College Radio. The station is housed on the basement of the Mills building, whatever that means. It was a really cool experience. Pictures turned out OK. I am not the best judge of what pictures other people will like. I think some of them are pretty nice though. Unfortunately Scary Mary, a previous DJ was not there. Still fun though.

The Collective