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"Newbie" action cam for UW on wrist - Sony or GoPro?

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#1 rtrski


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Posted 03 February 2016 - 12:21 PM

Wife wants to wrist-mount an action cam of some sort and just point around at stuff underwater while we're diving; I'm usually shooting (stills) with a DSLR rig and strobes (sig).  Can't afford to upgrade my rig for this trip so it's getting a little long in the tooth... but can justify $500ish to keep her happy with my habit for the future upgrade. ;)


Don't necessarily care about 4K, do want 1080p (shouldn't be an issue these days), won't likely be providing dedicated lighting or mounting on a tray or whatnot (maybe a reasonable LED flashlight in the other hand), and she's not exactly up to task loading thinking about changing settings and all.  It'll pretty much be preconfigure on the surface and just hit 'start' and 'stop'.  She just wants to show me snippets later on of all the subjects I'm missing while I attempt to get that one dang shot right, and/or post to FB for her friends/family.


Read a bit about Sony having WB issues, but perhaps otherwise better stabilization and the like than the GPs; of course Sony you have to buy an extra housing for dive depth while the GP's is already good down to 100ft or more...but I think the net pricing comes out about the same.  (100ft is more than plenty for our purposes; just recreational divers.  Might be nice to have a close-up option if the cameras in the housings don't already allow relatively close focus. 


I know this is a way amateur question for most in this forum, but if you had to choose for just a poodling around type filmer...which would be your recommendation, and why?


Location of this trip is Dominica, which tends to pretty clear water, somewhat darker on morning dives (sites on western side of island and high slope), but nice subject matter to preserve wider angle if possible.  My preferred DSLR setup is either 8-16mm rectilinear (on APSc) behind a minidome, don't tend to shoot anything between that and 100mm macro.  So that's what's set her expectations of what she might capture with an actioncam.


(Open to other brands beyond Sony and GoPro I s'pose, but don't see any need to really go total KIRF...)

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.


Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...

#2 TimG


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Posted 03 February 2016 - 01:17 PM

My partner has a GoPro and, although a highly proficient diver (PADI MSDT), she is new to u/w photog of any kind. But she produced some terrific video from Bonaire. The GoPros are easy to use, capture good video and the material is easy to edit using free software.  And, for what you get, inexpensive.

(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D800 and D500, Nikkors 105mm and 16-35mm, Sigma 15mmFE, Tokina 10-17,  Subal housing

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