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#21 Drew

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 09:18 PM

Discarding price, image quality and the camera/lenses weight differences, the housings are not that much different in weight. The PTE06 is 5lbs without arms. The PTBK-E02 arms bracket is about 1kg... which brings it right back up to 7lbs again. Arms and strobes are the same for any setup (except one has to look for optical strobes only vs sync cord capable housings).
Looking at the dimensions of the housing : PT-E05= 212.5 x 170.5 x 147 mm vs the aquatica 5D2 230m x 195mm x 145mm. Again not much savings against a camera which is bigger and heavier. An aquatica D90 housing (which is closer in performance class) is 216 x x 171.5 x 133 mm and weighs 6.25lbs/2.85kg with grip. That's aluminum vs the "lighter" poly construct.
The weight savings is only significant on the camera and lenses. A few hundred grams on the camera and whatever lenses, I'd say you'd save about 2-2.5 lbs or about 1kg if you have a many lenses and 2 bodies. I absolutely agree every bit of weight counts in these times but there isn't such a significant savings in the magnitude of 30-50% overall.
I'm not advocating either systems as people have to choose what works for their budget/needs/whims. I just want to reiterate that research is crucial in making the right choice. I spent 2 mins in Google to find that info and 7 mins to write this down. That's more than I should've really :P

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#22 ardy01

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:19 PM

Drew I think you are right in terms of the housings Oly v Ike and it seems to me the difference must be port, lenses, camera but my main thoughts wasnt about the Ike as I had discounted it fairly early on it was mainly v an aluminium housing. I also didnt include strobes.

I have just put my housing, camera +14-42 + PT-E03 port basically everything except the strobes on my bathroom scales 2.9kg or 6.4 lbs and I am sure that the Ike and D70 with port and 105 macro weighed over 4kgs.

There is nowhere to hide in terms of obsolecents in the digital market and that is one of the reasons I decided not to spend 5k on a system the other being my mean nature and my self funded retirement plan.

I also didnt want to drop down the quality slope as I have enjoyed my film years with a Nikon and Aquatica, the total $ with lenses cost me a fortune at the time. I didnt want to make that kind of investment again for what is essentially a hobby.
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#23 GoinDown

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:24 PM

Discarding price, image quality and the camera/lenses weight differences, the housings are not that much different in weight. The PTE06 is 5lbs without arms. The PTBK-E02 arms bracket is about 1kg... which brings it right back up to 7lbs again. Arms and strobes are the same for any setup (except one has to look for optical strobes only vs sync cord capable housings).
Looking at the dimensions of the housing : PT-E05= 212.5 x 170.5 x 147 mm vs the aquatica 5D2 230m x 195mm x 145mm. Again not much savings against a camera which is bigger and heavier. An aquatica D90 housing (which is closer in performance class) is 216 x x 171.5 x 133 mm and weighs 6.25lbs/2.85kg with grip. That's aluminum vs the "lighter" poly construct.
The weight savings is only significant on the camera and lenses. A few hundred grams on the camera and whatever lenses, I'd say you'd save about 2-2.5 lbs or about 1kg if you have a many lenses and 2 bodies. I absolutely agree every bit of weight counts in these times but there isn't such a significant savings in the magnitude of 30-50% overall.
I'm not advocating either systems as people have to choose what works for their budget/needs/whims. I just want to reiterate that research is crucial in making the right choice. I spent 2 mins in Google to find that info and 7 mins to write this down. That's more than I should've really :)


Drew,

Thanks for putting in the effort :P ;)

As for the OP, I was comparing the 5D2 with the E620, mainly looking for opinions on weight and size and quality. I did my own comparison of the weight of the bodies and standard set of 3 underwater lenses, the 5D2 came out 1.5Kg heavier, 5D2 was 5Kg overall, Oly 3.5Kg, this is excluding the housing and other bits. Depending on the housing the weight saving may be insignificant, eg the lightest housing I can find for the 5D2 is the UK-Germany at 2Kg (priced about the same as Aquatica and Hugyfot), then there are glass vs acrylic ports which will change the weight, plus strobe choice etc !!!

The E620 is appealing for its small size and relatively cheap to purchase setup, however if micro 2/3 takes off later this year, it's possible, but not definate, that it will be superceded, it really depends on what Oly decide to bring to market (with a housing ???). The one major downside to the Oly housings is that they are only rated to 40m (what is their true depth??) and I've been on a few 'recreational' dives that have briefly dropped below 40m before getting shallower.

I think the 5D2 has 3-5 years of life before seriously considering an upgrade, whereas the Oly cameras probably 'demand' a shorter upgrade cycle before being considered obsolete (e400,410,420,510,520 in the space of 3 years !!!!) would that be enough life out of a substantial investment for a non-pro?? Depends how you value your hobby suppose !

So the debate and research continues.

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#24 james

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 06:26 AM

What a great thread! I'm glad that there has been so much factual info posted as it clears up a lot of misconceptions. Thanks for doing the research Drew.

In my opinion, what I think it comes down to is that you can't just consider the weight and cost of the camera - as you are buying into a SYSTEM. Looking at the comparisons, an aluminum housed Nikon vs the Oly+Oly housing was only a one pound difference. That's just not significant really. The size of the camera and lenses isn't relevant either as you'll be interfacing w/ them through the housing.

Comparing the 5DII to the Oly there is a bit more difference, but in return there is a LOT more you get back in features from the Canon because it's a "pro" type camera w/ HD video capability and extremely good low light performance.

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#25 craig

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:25 AM

The camera body of the E620 alone weighs 1/3 less than the Nikon. 4/3 lenses are smaller and generally weigh less than Nikon. The Olympus housing is very light and is lighter than the ikelite. The new 9-18mm lens has a 100mm port from Athena which is considerably lighter and smaller than any WA Dome port made. Given all of this, 50% is a reasonable estimate when considering the entire rig. I suppose for the younger generation lugging a camera with dual strobes back and forth to the boat 3 times a day is no big deal but there are folks who have arthritis and other issues where a lighter rig is a distinct advantage.

No, it's not a reasonable estimate and there's no reason to pull something like that out of thin air. Moving a camera back and forth 3 times a day isn't the same as carrying it around all day and it's irrelevant when weight differences are made up anyway. If someone suffers from a disability that significantly limits their diving, should they be using a DLSR instead of something radically smaller?

I suggest you read it again. He never stated you had to be a pro to enjoy differences in camera gear. He's merely stating a fact that some professionals on here need some of the more advanced options while the majority of the rest of us do not. The person asked if the E620 would be a viable option if weight were a consideration. The answer to that question is yes. When the 4/3 micro comes out it might obsolete the current 4/3 system as the lightest DSLR rig in the world.

No, I got it right. He didn't talk about enjoyment, he said the differences would have zero impact.

Technically, micro 4/3 is not a DSLR. It is more of a conventional digicam with interchangable lenses.

Overall, I think you're being too hard on the post.

I don't think so. All these vague arguments could also be made on behalf of a Canon G9 being preferable to any DSLR rig. All you have to say is that the advantages of a DSLR are meaningless and the advantages of the G9 are important. If you make up some facts it gets even easier but no more compelling.
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#26 craig

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:40 AM

I have just put my housing, camera +14-42 + PT-E03 port basically everything except the strobes on my bathroom scales 2.9kg or 6.4 lbs and I am sure that the Ike and D70 with port and 105 macro weighed over 4kgs.

What do you mean you are "sure"?

Why are you comparing only a subset of a ready-to-dive rig? What does that matter? Is that all you carry around with you all day? Is the 14-42 your go-to lens? If so, why don't you use a digicam instead?

There is nowhere to hide in terms of obsolecents in the digital market and that is one of the reasons I decided not to spend 5k on a system the other being my mean nature and my self funded retirement plan.

Somehow I doubt an Oly setup is the cheapest available.

I also didnt want to drop down the quality slope as I have enjoyed my film years with a Nikon and Aquatica, the total $ with lenses cost me a fortune at the time. I didnt want to make that kind of investment again for what is essentially a hobby.

How do you know you didn't drop down the "quality slope"? Compared to what?
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#27 Drew

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:26 AM

Well I can't speak for obsolescence in equipment but I'm using two 5 yr old cameras and see no real need to switch as yet. One still has more resolution than all but 3 cameras in the market and the other is still faster in fps than all but 2 cameras in the market. It does pretty much everything I want it to do well except improve my skills as a photographer, which is really why I bought them! ;)

As for the camera and lens weight differences, if I remember the 10.5 nikkor is lighter than the 8mm zuiko by 150g, the nikkor 10-24 is about 300g lighter than the 7-14 Zuiko. Once you start buying the better lenses, the weigh savings becomes less and less. I do like that the Zuiko lenses are dust/splash proof like the Canon L series, something Nikkor lenses should have as well.

Still I think the Nikon D90 and Olympus E620 weight difference isn't that wide after you start buying the better lenses and ports. One has to compare apples to apples. Comparing a Canon 5 D2 which is 3 price classes away is not going to be useful. The D90 nikon does a lot of what the E620 does and then some. Each has strengths and weaknesses and EVERYONE has to buy according to their needs.

Some like to have a lot of headroom while others just get what is needed. I know at least one shooter who doesn't have the top of the line camera and housing, and he still does a "decent job" (;P) with his shots. Worst of all, he doesn't even have a backup body, although he has enough body to be backup :P Some guy named Le Moutarde.

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#28 ce4jesus

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:27 AM

No, it's not a reasonable estimate and there's no reason to pull something like that out of thin air. Moving a camera back and forth 3 times a day isn't the same as carrying it around all day and it's irrelevant when weight differences are made up anyway. If someone suffers from a disability that significantly limits their diving, should they be using a DLSR instead of something radically smaller?


No, I got it right. He didn't talk about enjoyment, he said the differences would have zero impact.

Technically, micro 4/3 is not a DSLR. It is more of a conventional digicam with interchangable lenses.


I don't think so. All these vague arguments could also be made on behalf of a Canon G9 being preferable to any DSLR rig. All you have to say is that the advantages of a DSLR are meaningless and the advantages of the G9 are important. If you make up some facts it gets even easier but no more compelling.


Okay maybe he should have said, carry to and from dive location, carry to/from boat, carry camera to/from dive site, dive with camera all day ... so I guess you're parcing the term "lug"
He stated that for the majority of us, or 90% in his words, there would be zero impact. We can argue semantics all day but he's right. The majority of us will never need anything more than what a 4/3 system offers. Finally yes you are correct about the 4/3 micro however if image quality is solid and performance is DSLR-like then I'm not sure many folks will marry themselves to the SLR mechanics just to stay in a club. As far as the G9 goes, I don't think it applies. There still is no point and shoot with the focus speed, write speed and interchangeable lenses. As far as image quality, it was a G9 that won best of show in the Scuba Diving Magazine last year.

Edited by ce4jesus, 18 May 2009 - 08:42 AM.

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#29 ce4jesus

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:30 AM

What a great thread! I'm glad that there has been so much factual info posted as it clears up a lot of misconceptions. Thanks for doing the research Drew.

In my opinion, what I think it comes down to is that you can't just consider the weight and cost of the camera - as you are buying into a SYSTEM. Looking at the comparisons, an aluminum housed Nikon vs the Oly+Oly housing was only a one pound difference. That's just not significant really. The size of the camera and lenses isn't relevant either as you'll be interfacing w/ them through the housing.

Comparing the 5DII to the Oly there is a bit more difference, but in return there is a LOT more you get back in features from the Canon because it's a "pro" type camera w/ HD video capability and extremely good low light performance.

Cheers
James


I agree completely. I think when you purchase a camera you are essentially marrying yourself to the glass and ports because the bodies and housings will change over time. That's a big committment that each individual has to weigh.
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#30 ce4jesus

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:37 AM

Discarding price, image quality and the camera/lenses weight differences, the housings are not that much different in weight. The PTE06 is 5lbs without arms. The PTBK-E02 arms bracket is about 1kg... which brings it right back up to 7lbs again. Arms and strobes are the same for any setup (except one has to look for optical strobes only vs sync cord capable housings).
Looking at the dimensions of the housing : PT-E05= 212.5 x 170.5 x 147 mm vs the aquatica 5D2 230m x 195mm x 145mm. Again not much savings against a camera which is bigger and heavier. An aquatica D90 housing (which is closer in performance class) is 216 x x 171.5 x 133 mm and weighs 6.25lbs/2.85kg with grip. That's aluminum vs the "lighter" poly construct.
The weight savings is only significant on the camera and lenses. A few hundred grams on the camera and whatever lenses, I'd say you'd save about 2-2.5 lbs or about 1kg if you have a many lenses and 2 bodies. I absolutely agree every bit of weight counts in these times but there isn't such a significant savings in the magnitude of 30-50% overall.
I'm not advocating either systems as people have to choose what works for their budget/needs/whims. I just want to reiterate that research is crucial in making the right choice. I spent 2 mins in Google to find that info and 7 mins to write this down. That's more than I should've really :P


Okay, maybe you can tell me where you fould the statistics for the PT-E06 because I couldn't even find them for the PT-E05. I'll weigh mine when I return home but I think 5lbs without a port is very generous. I was thinking about 3. I don't think brining in trays and arms is relevant since no one is locked into a particular brand. Olympus will actually do both sync cord and optical for firing some strobes and needs converters for handling others with a wired setup. What would be interesting is to have someone with a D80 sign up to weigh their D80 in an ikelite with a standard kit lens. I could do the same for the E520 which would be very similar to the 620. Anyway,
Gary
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#31 TheRealDrew

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 09:23 AM

Okay, maybe you can tell me where you fould the statistics for the PT-E06 because I couldn't even find them for the PT-E05. I'll weigh mine when I return home but I think 5lbs without a port is very generous. I was thinking about 3. I don't think brining in trays and arms is relevant since no one is locked into a particular brand. Olympus will actually do both sync cord and optical for firing some strobes and needs converters for handling others with a wired setup. What would be interesting is to have someone with a D80 sign up to weigh their D80 in an ikelite with a standard kit lens. I could do the same for the E520 which would be very similar to the 620. Anyway,



On the PT-E06 amazon has shipping weight of 7 lbs, weight of 5 lbs PT Housing

Trays and arms can be somewhat locked in, for instance the Aquaticas come with handles, but no need for tray. As to the Ikelite numbers, I posted some numbers for the D80 and a guesstimate above for the 620 (no lenses though).

#32 Drew

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 09:56 AM

Okay, maybe you can tell me where you fould the statistics for the PT-E06 because I couldn't even find them for the PT-E05. I'll weigh mine when I return home but I think 5lbs without a port is very generous. I was thinking about 3. I don't think brining in trays and arms is relevant since no one is locked into a particular brand. Olympus will actually do both sync cord and optical for firing some strobes and needs converters for handling others with a wired setup. What would be interesting is to have someone with a D80 sign up to weigh their D80 in an ikelite with a standard kit lens. I could do the same for the E520 which would be very similar to the 620. Anyway,


You have to add handles arms for the housing otherwise you can't have strobes unless you handhold them (which is fine for one strobe but impossible with 2). Actually I don't know why we need to go through all that. Obviously if the aluminum Aquatic housing + camera weight is known via simple extrapolation, then once you weigh your E520 rig, the comparison will be done. This is assuming manufacturers are accurate about their product weight... unlike people. :P
Adding lenses etc just convolutes the issue as there are different grade lenses in Olympus and Nikkor, plus the focal lengths differ. A fisheye setup is as basic as a 100mm macro (35mm equivalent). After all that, I'd be pretty surprised if the differences overall were over 2lbs. for housing and camera for a WA setup.

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#33 GoinDown

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:06 AM

For weight measurements maybe we should be comparing a 'real world' setup to include body, 3 x lenses, housing, ports, handles/trays but minus strobes (strobes being the obvious item with varied options), so...

An E-620, Oly housing, FE lens, Macro Lens and WA zoom

A 5D2, xxx housing, lenses as above

A xxx camera, xxx housing, lenses as above



As for residual values.....

Residual values of obviously popular premium cameras such as the original 5D are high which bodes well for future resale of the 5D2. This appears to be true for premium housings such as Seacam/Subal retaining 30-50% or more after 3 years ??? Not sure about the lower end Ike's.

How well would residual values of Oly kit hold up when they replace models on a more frequent basis? And is the upgrade cycle shorter because the 4/3 technology is less mature, my guess is that micro 4/3 upgrade cycle will be as frequent (e.g. Panasonic G1 to GH1 about 3 months !!!). The G1 is obsolete and relatively worthless within 6 months !!

An obvious advantage of 4/3 is its low bulk, but will this matter too much in the underwater world? Packing is a definate advantage. But 5D2 housings are very tailored (Ike aside) to the camera providing low volume anyway.

Another advantage of Oly is the lower price - depending on the price of the 5D2 housing chosen and options, the price difference could be up to 40% cheaper for Oly, quite a difference, but then this could be equalled by better residual values of the 5D2 at second user sale time (a recent sale of a seacam 45 viewfinder on ebay fetched 75% of list price) !

So after analysing the weight price and residual values we come back to quality of output and underwater handling. Based on high ISO noise reduction, the 5D2 clearly wins, this is a definate advantage for green water (read UK) diving. Underwater handling I guess could be a personal choice, but after using an Canon 20D Ike housing for 3 years I really long for something better with a better viewfinder.

I have left Nikon out of this post as I believe most people would judge Nikon alongside Canon and I am trying to compare high end Canon with perceived lower end Olympus (as per my OP). Adding Nikon would only add another para to this already long post !!
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#34 AndyK

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:34 AM

What a great thread!

Yes, indeed. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

GoinDown's made a good point on residual values as well (tho' I'm not good at getting rid of things ...)

I'll weigh mine when I return home but I think 5lbs without a port is very generous. I was thinking about 3

For info .. my PT-E05 seems to come in at about 3lb / 1.2kg. Good estimate.

All of this hardware is really a means to an end, and we should each choose the kit that'll work best for the sort of photos we want to take.
I'm happy with my decision, given the factors that are important for me at the moment. These were the initial outlay, airline carry-on weight (my arms/tray can go in checked, so they don't really factor in), quality (vs high-end compacts, as much as other DSLRs) - and the cost of replacement when nasty things happen.
The trade-off for that meant compromises - the most significant are probably in terms of depth capability (which doesn't really bother me) and noise at high ISO (which does, sometimes, a little bit).
But ... that was my choice to make.
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#35 GoinDown

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:26 AM

For info .. my PT-E05 seems to come in at about 3lb / 1.2kg. Good estimate.


That would appear to make the Oly plus lenses plus a couple of ports around 3.5-4Kg, against a 5D2 in a 2.5Kg housing plus ports guesstimate around 6Kg so a 30-40% weight saving around 2-2.5Kg saving. An Ike housing would be double the weight of the Oly setup.

Edited by GoinDown, 18 May 2009 - 11:27 AM.

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#36 Steve Williams

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:48 AM

If all you care about is weight, get yourself some of that new waterproof paper and a wood pencil. It's a nice system, it floats so it's easy to find when you lose it and spares don't take up any room on a plane at all! It's real inexpensive, (golf courses give the pencils away). It does take a little more time to make an image but it's worth it if weight is the primary concern. Image quality is highly variable however.

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#37 TheRealDrew

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:23 PM

If all you care about is weight, get yourself some of that new waterproof paper and a wood pencil. It's a nice system, it floats so it's easy to find when you lose it and spares don't take up any room on a plane at all! It's real inexpensive, (golf courses give the pencils away). It does take a little more time to make an image but it's worth it if weight is the primary concern. Image quality is highly variable however.

Cheers,
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I am not sure if that is true, have you weighed the system you have proposed?

#38 craig

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:46 PM

Okay maybe he should have said, carry to and from dive location, carry to/from boat, carry camera to/from dive site, dive with camera all day ... so I guess you're parcing the term "lug"

I'm pointing out the wild exaggeration to emphasis a point that doesn't, for the most part, exist. If weight above water were critical beyond function or travel issues, no DSLR should be considered. The difference between an OLY camera ready to dive with strobes is not that much different from other DSLRs.

He stated that for the majority of us, or 90% in his words, there would be zero impact. We can argue semantics all day but he's right. The majority of us will never need anything more than what a 4/3 system offers.

No, he's not and the majority of us don't need an underwater camera at all so that point is meaningless. Perhaps many don't feel the extra performance is justified but that's not the same as claiming it has "zero impact". It's another exaggeration.

Finally yes you are correct about the 4/3 micro however if image quality is solid and performance is DSLR-like then I'm not sure many folks will marry themselves to the SLR mechanics just to stay in a club. As far as the G9 goes, I don't think it applies. There still is no point and shoot with the focus speed, write speed and interchangeable lenses. As far as image quality, it was a G9 that won best of show in the Scuba Diving Magazine last year.

We don't know what the focus speed is, in general, for cameras that don't exist yet so be careful about claiming that point and shoots can't match them. Basically, a micro 4/3 camera is a point and shoot with a large sensor and interchangable lenses and a 4/3 format sensor will always have 1/4 the sensor area of full frame.
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#39 AndyK

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:59 PM

If all you care about is weight, get yourself some of that new waterproof paper and a wood pencil. It's a nice system, it floats so it's easy to find when you lose it and spares don't take up any room on a plane at all! It's real inexpensive, (golf courses give the pencils away). It does take a little more time to make an image but it's worth it if weight is the primary concern. Image quality is highly variable however.


Thanks, Steve.
I actually did try it, but the ISO went negative :P
Andy


Olympus E-520
50mm, 11-22mm, INON strobes

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#40 GoinDown

GoinDown

    Lionfish

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 01:06 PM

If all you care about is weight, get yourself some of that new waterproof paper and a wood pencil. It's a nice system, it floats so it's easy to find when you lose it and spares don't take up any room on a plane at all! It's real inexpensive, (golf courses give the pencils away). It does take a little more time to make an image but it's worth it if weight is the primary concern. Image quality is highly variable however.

Cheers,
Steve


Even better - shave a few pixels from the full frame sensor, saving a bit of weight, also increasing DOF (for a given aperture) and corner sharpness- bonus !!!

Edited by GoinDown, 18 May 2009 - 01:07 PM.

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