On Similan Island # 8. I'm so happy: my camera is working ... for a few minutes, again.
On Similan Island # 8. I'm so happy: my camera is working ... for a few minutes, again.

Photocatastrophic Saga

  Thailand: Islands - February 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, click on the French flag below to access the original text:

No camera, no photos under water ... Back on my troubles with my photographic Canon Powershot A95 in Thailand.

A real saga ...

Many of you ask me the question, because I did not tell the end of the story: my little compact has indeed made the soul in Thailand. But I found to replace it, Koh Lipe, by another case. The same model, a Canon Powershot A95, bought back from another diver.

That's for the short version. In fact, this camera story is worthy of an episode of Mac Gyver ...

On the left, the A95 that I bought in Koh Lipe. Right, my device with the screen disassembled. At the bottom, the box WP-DC50 to protect it under water.
On the left, the A95 that I bought in Koh Lipe. Right, my device with the screen disassembled. At the bottom, the box WP-DC50 to protect it under water.

My NPC started messing around at Koh Yao Noi at the beginning of stay. Obviously an internal electronic problem: no more indication on the screen, which remained desperately black in the shooting mode. I tried to take pictures anyway: it took a black image. In playback mode, however, everything worked: menus, viewing of images already taken, etc.

There must have been some kind of false contact somewhere.

Sometimes I just had to turn it on and off several times in a row to bring it back to life. Or to switch from one mode to another. The screen then deigned to work again in shooting mode and remained cooperative as long as I left it on.

Then, from day to day, he became more and more capricious. One shot he was walking, one more shot.

Death of the camera at the Similan

He finally dropped me at the end of the day, April 4th, on the cruise-diving boat, after the visit of the island No. 8 of the Similan.

On Similan Island # 8. I'm so happy: my camera is working ... for a few minutes, again.
On Similan Island # 8. I'm so happy: my camera is working ... for a few minutes, again.

But I was lucky in my misfortune for the rest of the cruise: a dive-master kindly lent me his camera with a box.

Another Powershot, but less powerful and less convenient than mine: I did not even have access to all the manual settings, the buttons of the box not being planned for; his batteries did not last long and heated serious, so that I always had the steam at the end of the dive ... I shrewd somehow in TV mode (priority time) to play drinking pictures.

System D and solidarity in Koh Lipe

Once in Koh Lipe, I borrowed, for the first day, for "terrestrial" photos-memories, a small camera to Julien, a Belgian who spent his Divemaster at Forra. I went around the beaches and strafed thoroughly!

I also went around the shops of Koh Lipe, just in case. But I only found an MP3 player able to make some poor quality photos, and ... this tourist gadget:

In Koh Lipe, you can rent a camera mask for 750 baht.
In Koh Lipe, you can rent a camera mask for 750 baht.

The famous mask-camera released a few months ago, seen on all the websites talking about diving ... To rent for 750 baht the day. Bad. I gave up.

But but…

I really had some veins. For photos under water, I just managed to get my hands on another A95! Exactly the same model as mine, loaned by Regis, an instructor who worked at Forra.

Except that ... this second device has also started to unlock! But it was less serious than mine. It just concerned the screen, not the internal electronics of the case.

A spot of black pixels appeared. And she kept getting bigger and bigger after each dive. Suddenly, when I took pictures underwater, I was focusing in the judgment, because of course, the task was in the middle of the focus ... A true curse, these A95.

Open heart surgery

But I had resolved for a while to disassemble my camera, after a failed attempt on the dive boat Similan. I managed to get a tiny screwdriver.

Regis then proceeded to an open-heart operation on our failing A95s. With both patients, we managed to tinker with a valid device. It was enough to graft my screen on its case.

We then lent the case tinkered from one day to the next, according to our respective dives. As I spent the Rescue, I did few photos under water in Koh Lipe. Regis had to get another device from Hat Yai, before flying to Australia. Suddenly, the day before his departure, he gave me his case for a small fee.

I was able to continue to take photos until the end of the holidays. But now, I seriously ruminate the purchase of a gear worthy of the name.

Four years of tropical climate and underwater moisture have been fatal to my little Canon A95. I now have another, replacement, but nothing says that it takes much longer. It must be about the same age as mine.

My future gear?

So, inevitably, I start drooling on the reflexes and caissons that go well.

The Nikon D90 and the box that goes well ...
The Nikon D90 and the box that goes well ...

But OK. I will probably have to wait a bit. It's expensive, these little beasts. Especially since we must add optics and flashes. In the meantime, I visit the sites that market these beautiful toys. Nothing forbids dreaming ...

Small update: by the way, the dream came true early 2010! ! !

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  Thailand: Islands - February 2009

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