Underwater photo questions???
I just ordered a Panasonic TS20 for underwater use (snorkeling) for my upcoming trip to Hawaii. I got it because it was inexpensive ($140USD) and seemed to have acceptable performance for my needs. I only plan on using the camera occasionally. I plan on taking "snapshot" quality photos with it underwater. Also, I got the 2 year damage/replacement protection plan from Amazon ($25USD).
The only experience I have with underwater photography is using the disposable underwater film cameras in years past. They worked OK, but don't come anywhere near the features offered by digital cameras. I own three other pannys ... FZ150, TZ3, & FZ130 ... and a Nikon D300. I'm very happy with all of them.
So here are my questions. I plan to do most of my photography near the surface.
1. Should I use the flash underwater? What's the approx. flash range at full wideangle? I plan on shooting at ISO800 to reduce motion blur caused by subject (fish) movement. Good idea?
2. What settings should I use underwater? I assume it has an underwater white balance setting???
3. How rugged is "rugged". I try to keep my "land cameras" away from sand and sea water as much as possible. Actually, I am mostly worried about the sand on the beach getting into the external moving parts and causing them to jam. Should I be extra careful on the beach or just throw it on the beach towel when I'm not using it?
4. Any other suggestions? I'm generally familiar with Pannys and I consider myself an "experienced amateur" picture-taker on land. (I call myself a "picture taker" because I don't think I've quite earner the title of "photographer".)