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 translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct 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 have asked me this question, because I haven't told the end of the story: my little compact has indeed died in Thailand. But I found a way to replace it, at Koh Lipe, with 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 APN started messing around in Koh Yao Noi at the beginning of my stay. Apparently 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 was taking a black image. In playback mode, on the other hand, everything was working fine: menus, viewing images already taken, etc. I tried to take pictures anyway: it took a black image.

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 device works... for a few minutes more.

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

Another Powershot, but less powerful and less convenient than mine: I didn't even have access to all the manual settings, the buttons on the housing were not designed for it; its batteries didn't last long and were getting very hot, so I always had mist at the end of the dive... I tried my best in Tv mode (priority time) to do a little bit of work. drinking pictures.

System D and solidarity in Koh Lipe

Once at Koh Lipe, I borrowed, on the first day, for "terrestrial" souvenir photos, a small APN from Julien, a Belgian who was passing his Divemaster at Forra. I walked around the beaches and fired my guns at full blast!

I also went around the Koh Lipe shops, just in case. But all I found was an MP3 player capable of taking a few 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 was really lucky. For the underwater photos, I simply managed to get my hands on another A95! Exactly the same model as mine, lent by Régis, an instructor who worked at Forra.

Except... that second device started to unlock as well! But it wasn't as bad as mine. It was just the screen, not the internal electronics.

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 beginning of 2010!!


  Thailand: Islands - February 2009

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  1. For the photo, I remain faithful to my camera A620 while waiting to find my happiness: an "A620" with manual modes, the macro at 1cm, a red filter possible, batteries or batteries that take a long time (more than 600 photos with flash for me now), a small box that does not hide the flash ... and I'm waiting for the camera that will offer in addition a better HD video quality and a wide angle ... a future evolution of the G9 or G10? ??
    I am interested in your search for a replacement device ...

  2. Your A95 was simply suffering from the so-called "Sony CCD sensor" disease. You could have it replaced free of charge
    View Canon info here:
    I had it done on my Ixus that left me stranded in Raja Ampat 😡 and now works great and guaranteed for 2 years 👿
    Now all I have to do is drown it in my bathtub to have a good reason to buy a G10 with a Seatool cabinet 😀
    Well, as usual, don't thank me, it's from the heart... 😛

  3. @Manta: For the moment, I seriously dive on the new DSLRs at Nikon and Canon that will be released in May, AND who also make video. Maybe we will be able to cover them a few days in test at the newspaper next month ... Suspense. I am wary of press officers who do not care what they say. The problem is that I am far from having the means to offer me these beautiful toys, with all the optics and flashes and the box. We'll have to wait and put pennies aside.

    @Alimata: I don't thank you, as usual 😀
    Super interesting your info. Maybe I'll send them back my case. It all depends on the delay. (Must be before June 29 imperatively, I have a flight to Sipadan to take.) You think we can benefit from the service on an old APN out of age bought on the web?
    Other than that, I do not like this sardonic tone that subtly reminds me that I have not yet wet my palms at Raja Ampat. Because, all the same, you could salute the exploit: to find on the spot, in the middle of the sea of Andaman, a solution of replacement to make images, there, immediately, with the same apparatus ... c ' is not the Canon service that would have repaired me on Koh Lipe! So I flatter myself, in all false modesty, to have absolutely assured. Even Raja Ampat, I'm sure I would have managed to find an Ixus.
    😛 😆

  4. Bad. It's completely overrated, the mantas. Does not interest me. I do not care. Besides, I'm going back to take photos in my bathtub with my two camera in spare parts.

  5. Hello Corinne,

    Finally we know the epilogue of A95. You made us a real remake worthy of an episode of Mc Gywer!
    As our former minister Jack would say
    "But what a genius this Corinne" 😉
    I do have a Canon G7 for sale with a Canon manufacturer housing, but I don't offer it to you ( and especially don't advise it, even second hand 🙂 )! Because to top it all off, the housing does not allow you to access the manual mode to set the aperture and shutter speed 😡
    Meanwhile I switched to the NikonP6000 (another compact) 13M and Raw format (which I strongly advise) and I finally start to master the beast slowly in manual mode. Will be more than ... during the next vacation!

  6. @ N @ me-Alain: McGywer, that's my new nickname, in the Andaman Sea!!! 😆
    I had the opportunity to take in hand some caissons for compacts other than mine during this trip, to give advice, take pictures for others ... To my surprise, I discovered that many do not give no access to manual functions. Amazing! Are really worthless, the builders.

  7. Well, I repeat my message, the first being left in the nebulae of the web due to a bad handling Gravatardian. Short…. I sent you a message a few days ago about our upcoming trip to Indonesia where we will (among others) Raja Ampat. Yesssss. In our luggage a G9 with box Ikelite bought after the loss of our A95 during a dive on Fury Shoals. It must float somewhere in the Red Sea, unless the currents cause it to drift to the Similans. Maybe you should go back to get it back. The G9 with a macro ring and especially the fish eyes, it is sure that it takes place, but we arrive at results that are of a different quality than those (which we were already very happy) with the A95. Now, we are becoming more demanding, especially about colors and light. The SLR may be the next step, but we are already depreciating this equipment. As our W7 Sony has also fallen in the road, we even pushed the vice to invest in a second G9 with Canon subwoofer (cheaper certainly, before they are no longer on the market - even in occas) because allowing - it seems more possibility than the G10.
    See you soon, it will be up to us to send Indonesian news.
    Isa (and Marco)
    PS - The mantas, I've never seen. I think it's a myth for narcotic divers .... until I meet one

  8. @Isa (and Marco): Decidedly, the A95 is destined to have many adventures... 😆

    The G9 has a very good reputation, your experience confirms it. I admit that I almost let myself be tempted too, after this failure in Thailand. As for the G10, it is, it seems, rather disappointing, if I believe the information gleaned here and there on the web.

    Like you two, I'm starting to become more demanding. And then it gets annoying to imagine the manta pictures I could have taken, a fortnight ago, in Sangalaki, with a DSLR... 😀

    I'll tell you a secret: in fact, mantas are like Santa Claus, we only see them if we believe them very strongly!

    Happy bubbles in Raja Ampat (lucky you!). Send me the link to your blog when it launches 🙂