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No camera, no underwater pictures... Back on my photographic setbacks with my Canon Powershot A95, in Thailand.
A real saga ...
Many of you are asking me this question, because I didn't tell the end of the story: my little compact camera did indeed give up the ghost in Thailand. But I found to replace it, in Koh Lipe, by another camera. The same model, a Canon Powershot A95, bought back from another diver.
That's the short version. In fact, this story about the camera is worthy of an episode of Mac Gyver...
My camera started to fail in Koh Yao Noi, at the beginning of my stay. Apparently an internal electronic problem: no indication on the screen, which remained hopelessly black in the shooting mode. I tried to take pictures anyway: it took a black picture. In playback mode, on the other hand, everything worked fine: menus, viewing of already taken pictures, 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 would then deign to work in shooting mode again and would remain 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 device in Similan
He definitely let me go at the end of the day, on April 4, on the boat of the diving cruise, after the visit of the Similan Island n°8.
But I was lucky in my misfortune for the rest of the cruise: a dive-master kindly lent me her camera with a chamber.
Another Powershot, but less efficient and less convenient than mine: I didn't even have access to all the manual settings, the buttons of the housing not being designed for it; its batteries didn't last long and got very hot, so that I systematically had fogging at the end of the dive... I did my best in Tv mode (priority time) to shoot drinking pictures.
System D and solidarity in Koh Lipe
Once in Koh Lipe, I borrowed, on the first day, a small camera from Julien, a Belgian who was passing his Divemaster at Forra. I went around the beaches and shot a lot!
I also went around the stores of Koh Lipe, just in case. But all I found was an MP3 player capable of taking a few poor quality pictures, and... this tourist gadget:
The famous mask-camera released a few months ago, seen on all websites talking about diving... To rent for 750 baht per day. Not good. I gave up.
I was really lucky. For the underwater pictures, 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... this second device also started to unblock! But it was less serious than mine. It was just the screen, not the internal electronics.
A spot of black pixels appeared. And it kept getting bigger and bigger after each dive. So when I was taking pictures underwater, I was focusing on the spot, because of course, the spot was right in the focus frame... A real curse, these A95.
Open heart surgery
But I had resolved for a while to disassemble my APN, after a failed attempt on the dive boat in the 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 each other the box from one day to the next, according to our respective dives. Like I spent the RescueI didn't take many underwater pictures on Koh Lipe. Régis, on the other hand, had to get another camera in Hat Yai, before flying to Australia. So, the day before his departure, he gave me his camera for a small fee.
I was able to continue taking pictures until the end of the vacations. But now I'm seriously thinking about buying a proper camera.
Four years of tropical climate and underwater humidity were fatal to my little Canon A95. I now have another one, a replacement, but nothing says that it will last 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.
But hey. I'll probably have to wait a bit. These little things are expensive. Especially since I have to add the optics and the flashes. In the meantime, I visit the websites that sell these beautiful toys. Nothing forbids to dream...