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Thread: First camera, compact or reflex?

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    Johnny Lambert dodelineur will become famous soon enough dodelineur will become famous soon enough dodelineur will become famous soon enough dodelineur will become famous soon enough dodelineur's Avatar
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    Mini meg

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    First camera, compact or reflex?

    Hi,

    since I just booked a trip to Truk lagoon next year, I would like to find a good, simple, light ( and not too expensive :0) camera and housing.
    I have a nikonos v, and was also thinking about buying a 15mm wide angle lense for it... But digital camera would be easier now.
    Was thinking about canon g10 with ikelite housing and wide angle dome.
    I have seen also fisheye housing, seems to be great but more expensive.
    I don't want to spend ton of money for that since I am not sure I Will enjoy taking pics underwater.

    Your advice? Good choice? Alternative options? Is the 60m rate for those housings a real limit? Or possible to go and shoot a bit deeper?
    Better to find a good secondhand kit? If you have one for sale, let me know.


    Tx for your advice.

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    Re: First camera, compact or reflex?

    Take the Nikonos and eBay that sucker. You'll get $150+/- for it. But don't waste your dive trip to 36 shots at a time.

    Some great deals can be found secondhand. Most of my rig is secondhand, and it works great.

    G10 is a great solution. Some are starting to appear secondhand with the release of the G11 and S90.

    Ikelite vs Fisheye - quite simply, here's the rule of thumb: Fisheye=Mercedes, Ikelite=Yugo. The Fisheye is worth the price, hands down. For the G10, the Ikelite housing is much bigger, much heavier (5lbs vs 1.8lbs) and the wide angle dome Ike offers is crap. It makes your field of view about 90 degrees. The Fisheye G10 has the best wide angle lens option with the UWL-04 lens. It gives you 160 degrees of coverage. The super wide angle is what makes the difference between great shots, and boring shots. The UWL-04 lens will not work on the Ikelite G10 housing.

    That being said the Canon S90 is a good choice as well. The nice choice is the Fisheye housing, but if you're budget limited the Ikelite S90 housing is a viable alternative. Unlike the Ikelite G10 housing, which is shit, the Ikelite housing for the S90 is tolerable, although you don't get control of the rear command wheel. The Ike S90 housing will allow the use of Fisheye's UWL-04 lens for some nice wide angle. This coupled with an Inon S-2000 strobe gives a nice little package that can take a decent shot and not break the bank.

    Depth limit: With Ike 60 meters is 60 meters. Don't go any deeper. With Fisheye, they are machined aluminum and delrin. While they can stand to go deeper, the controls will cease to operate, as the water pressure will overcome the spring pressure in the button controls.

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    Re: First camera, compact or reflex?

    If you are not sure if you will enjoy UW photography, why not rent for your trip? H2O photo pros rents both DSLR's and compact systems. For Truk I would recommend a DSLR with a wide angle rectilinear lens (unless you have experience with fisheye - it can be really hard to smoothly light such a wide scene) and 2 strobes as powerful as you can get.
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    Re: First camera, compact or reflex?

    "good, simple, light"

    of course it's all relative but you might want to look into the Canon SD Series or other compact options Canon offers... Canon makes very affordable housings that do the job.

    The advantage of course with using internal flash and available light is that you don't have to lug around those strobes. you can check out what the SD 900 can do in one of my photo streams:
    8-10-08, Long Island WA - a set on Flickr

    we did just get a 5D and am thinking about getting a housing and strobes but I got a lot out of using a simpler smaller camera to start.

    cheers,
    george

    Gill Envy

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    Re: First camera, compact or reflex?

    Quote Originally Posted by saveourseas  View Original Post
    For Truk I would recommend a DSLR with a wide angle rectilinear lens (unless you have experience with fisheye - it can be really hard to smoothly light such a wide scene) and 2 strobes as powerful as you can get.
    Not necessarily true.... You can't light the entire wide angle scene regardless of what lens is used. The strobes are used to light the foreground subject.

    Rectilinear lenses are very finicky with the dome they need to shoot behind. Some will have soft corners and require diopters to focus correctly. Rectilinear lenses are best used when shooting sharks, and skittish pelagic creatures.

    Fisheye lenses by comparison, are much easier to work with. Much better for shooting wrecks. 90% of my shooting is done with a Tokina 10-17 Fisheye lens. The other 10% being a macro lens.

    Lastly, while a DSLR can take a better picture, for the novice shooter unfamiliar with the setup, it can be overwhelming, resulting in incorrect settings, bad shots and frustration.

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    Re: First camera, compact or reflex?

    I'm a little confused, you say you already have a Nikonos but you're not sure if you enjoy shooting underwater? Didn't you use it?

    Entire housed kits can be picked up on eBay for quite reasonable prices, particularly now that people are starting to dump their small sensor Nikon-based setups and going to full frame, so now is a good time to buy.

    The G10 is a great camera and packs small, unlike a housed system which will take up more of your Truk bagage allowance, but the photos it takes are not as good as housed (whether they are "good enough" is subjective).

    Investing in a full housed system is not for the faint of wallet and if you're not sure you're ready for that yet starting with something smaller is an excellent idea. The complexity and size of housed with extended arms is also a consideration, they take a good deal more practice to become comfortable and proficient with than a compact G10 type setup.

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    Johnny Lambert dodelineur will become famous soon enough dodelineur will become famous soon enough dodelineur will become famous soon enough dodelineur will become famous soon enough dodelineur's Avatar
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    Mini meg

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    Re: First camera, compact or reflex?

    Hi

    in fact I bought the nikonos v more to have this famous piece of kit in my diving stuffs than to use it during my trips. The one I have is in like new condition, and I only played with it a few times... But Will keep it. until now my interrest was first warships wreck diving.
    Now I feel I want take some shots back to home.
    I have also seen canon s90, wich seems great and not too expensive with ikelite housing and fisheye or dyron wide angle lense.

    Anyway, I would consider any secondhand kit if rated at least for 60m.
    Let me know if you have one for sale

    Cheers

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    RBW Member diverchris is an unknown quantity at this point diverchris's Avatar
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    Re: First camera, compact or reflex?

    Hello,
    Here are my two cents. I agree with all of the comments. Here is the way that I look at the situation. You are going to Truk in one year. That year will give you plenty of time to get use to any camera. I'd recommend taking a photography course which is land-based as you need to be able to use and understand your camera on land before taking it into the water. Once you are comfortable taking land photos introduce the camera, two strobes into diving.

    I've been to Truk and only had a P&S camera with two strobes, I wish I had a DSRL camera.
    I would strongly recommend purchasing a used set-up on eBay, wetpixel.com, or other venues.

    As for packing a camera for any airline trip I would recommend the Lenspro knapsack. It will hold an aquatica housing, 2 Nikon bodies and lenses, two strobes and arms, 8" dome port and spacer, all the rechargeable cables. Plus in the rear is a compartment that will hold a 15" Mac Probook. Since its the size of a typical knapsack they don't draw attention from airline personnel.

    I hope you have a wonderful time in Truk and get a DSLR set-up it will be worth it

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