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Compact kit advice (leaning towards Panasonic LX10)

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#1 Playapixie

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:41 PM

Hi all,

Im new to WetPixel, looking for advice on a compact (and reasonably affordable) kit for a month in Indonesia this February, with a week liveaboard in Raja Ampat.

At this point Im strongly leaning towards the Panasonic Lumix LX10, but also still considering a used LX100 or an Olympus TG-5. Also open to other suggestions. I own a housing for Canon S120 but the camera died, so replacing that is also an option.

Im looking to primarily shoot still photos, with occasional video, general purpose, with advanced features.

My skill level: long time advanced photographer, currently shoot mostly Pansonic Micro Four Thirds (no, Im not going that costly and bulky route,) a Pansonic ZS100 travel zoom (very, very similar to the LX10,) and an iphone 10. Most of my dive experience has been with canon a S95/120, and Ive mostly shot natural light/never had strobes.

Budget and weight/size of kit matter (I like to travel light) so I know I want to stick with a compact kit.

Questions:
1) What cameras do you recommend and why?
2) How do you like the LX10?
3) Anyone shot both the LX10 and LX100, and if so, which do you prefer and why?
4) Is it worth the extra $ for Nauticam (vs Ikelite) and why?
5) Strobe suggestions?
6) Strobe/video combo lights: how to get both options economically and without getting crazy heavy (is that a thing?)
7) Any other important gear (besides camera, arm, strobe, housing) that I must have (wont be able to buy any missing pieces overseas.)

#2 DivealotZA

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 10:24 PM

Why not stick with canon and get the G7Xii ?

 

I shoot with Fantasea and Ikelite housings and they're both fine - the ikelite doesn't have a toggle for the flash so you need to raise it before putting it in the housing. They both accept wet lenses which are nice (Fantasea makes great ones too)

 

I also shoot with one Inon Z-240 which I picked up with a pelican case at a steal for around $300.

 

I just take my gear as carry-on luggage as it's never that bulky or heavy and all fits in the peli case...

 

I would recommend that whatever you end up buying, try get it asap and get in the water so you can have decent shots by the time you get to indo  :)



#3 sbonev

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 01:19 AM

Hi all,

Im new to WetPixel, looking for advice on a compact (and reasonably affordable) kit for a month in Indonesia this February, with a week liveaboard in Raja Ampat.

At this point Im strongly leaning towards the Panasonic Lumix LX10, but also still considering a used LX100 or an Olympus TG-5. Also open to other suggestions. I own a housing for Canon S120 but the camera died, so replacing that is also an option.

Im looking to primarily shoot still photos, with occasional video, general purpose, with advanced features.

My skill level: long time advanced photographer, currently shoot mostly Pansonic Micro Four Thirds (no, Im not going that costly and bulky route,) a Pansonic ZS100 travel zoom (very, very similar to the LX10,) and an iphone 10. Most of my dive experience has been with canon a S95/120, and Ive mostly shot natural light/never had strobes.

Budget and weight/size of kit matter (I like to travel light) so I know I want to stick with a compact kit.

Questions:
1) What cameras do you recommend and why?
2) How do you like the LX10?
3) Anyone shot both the LX10 and LX100, and if so, which do you prefer and why?
4) Is it worth the extra $ for Nauticam (vs Ikelite) and why?
5) Strobe suggestions?
6) Strobe/video combo lights: how to get both options economically and without getting crazy heavy (is that a thing?)
7) Any other important gear (besides camera, arm, strobe, housing) that I must have (wont be able to buy any missing pieces overseas.)

 

 

1) i am a bit biased as i own the lx15, but definitely the choice would be between the lx10 and the sony, i am a fan of canon, but i think they lack some of the functions of the other 2

2) so far i am pleased with the photos, but there is a learning curve and i have a lot to learn and improve

3) it's a no

4) well it depends on the budget, i guess if you are in the states it won't matter as both should have perfect service conditions. it depends on the budget, i personally went with nauticam and a lot of people were like "you are crazy to get this kind of housing for a compact" but they are the best and had all the security checks and tweeks. But i guess ikelite too, just i had preference for an aluminum body

5) i personally went with retra, they are releasing new version next year i think, and i would totally recommend them, but it depends on your budget - i almost went with inons but due to their delays and the fast response from retra i went with the latter.

6)flashes are a must for photos, for video probably better video light, i personally do more photos, so i got 2 flashes, but i also have a video light with 120 degree beam that i can mount on the hot shoe of the housing, but haven't tried it yet...not getting crazy heavy is a bit hard, but you should play yourself with the setup and choose the optimal, i am pretty sure it will be quite hard to get that from the beginning unfortunately

7) macro and wide angle wet lenses are almost a must, depending on what you plan to shoot. However have in mind that you can have the macro mounted on bayonet and have it on the arms when you don't need it, however that is not the case with the wide angle, at least for that housing and camera i couldn't find a viable option so the only way to go is to mount it directly on the housing...that way if you go wide angle you cannot change it underwater to macro nor take it away. if you go with bayonet you can do both macro and normal shots/video

 

 

if you have any questions feel free to ask, if you want you can check some of the photos i made with the camera in my profile, or i can send you links if you cannot find it, i also have one video that i edited out of sample footage i shot, but it was mainly to see how the camera fares, i didn't try intentionally to shoot video so far, it is on my list.....



#4 Playapixie

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 12:36 PM

[quote]
1) i am a bit biased as i own the lx15, but definitely the choice would be between the lx10 and the sony, i am a fan of canon, but i think they lack some of the functions of the other 2
2) so far i am pleased with the photos, but there is a learning curve and i have a lot to learn and improve
3) it's a no
4) well it depends on the budget, i guess if you are in the states it won't matter as both should have perfect service conditions. it depends on the budget, i personally went with nauticam and a lot of people were like "you are crazy to get this kind of housing for a compact" but they are the best and had all the security checks and tweeks. But i guess ikelite too, just i had preference for an aluminum body
5) i personally went with retra, they are releasing new version next year i think, and i would totally recommend them, but it depends on your budget - i almost went with inons but due to their delays and the fast response from retra i went with the latter.
6)flashes are a must for photos, for video probably better video light, i personally do more photos, so i got 2 flashes, but i also have a video light with 120 degree beam that i can mount on the hot shoe of the housing, but haven't tried it yet...not getting crazy heavy is a bit hard, but you should play yourself with the setup and choose the optimal, i am pretty sure it will be quite hard to get that from the beginning unfortunately
7) macro and wide angle wet lenses are almost a must, depending on what you plan to shoot. However have in mind that you can have the macro mounted on bayonet and have it on the arms when you don't need it, however that is not the case with the wide angle, at least for that housing and camera i couldn't find a viable option so the only way to go is to mount it directly on the housing...that way if you go wide angle you cannot change it underwater to macro nor take it away. if you go with bayonet you can do both macro and normal shots/video
 
 
if you have any questions feel free to ask, if you want you can check some of the photos i made with the camera in my profile, or i can send you links if you cannot find it, i also have one video that i edited out of sample footage i shot, but it was mainly to see how the camera fares, i didn't try intentionally to shoot video so far, it is on my list.....
[/quote][/quote]

Awesome response. Thanks. Im going to look into those lights.
Which macro & wide lenses are you using?

Edited by Playapixie, 15 November 2018 - 12:39 PM.


#5 sbonev

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 01:11 PM

Awesome response. Thanks. Im going to look into those lights.
Which macro & wide lenses are you using?

For macro I went with inon ucl-67 m67 lens, which after you remove the base of the lens and put it on a nauticam bayonet fits perfectly on the housing and is literally on top of the port, so no vignetting or issues when totally zoomed. I haven't played with it a lot, only 2-3 drives... Though I recently bought a ucl-165m67 wet lens, which mounted on top of the other inon for even bigger magnification, I haven't tried it yet unfortunately, but it should be good...
The other option is to go with the cmc1 lens of nauticam, it does good job when mounted on bayonet, I didn't choose it because in the store recommended the inon and it also allowed more flexibility when focusing, while the nauticam really needed to close in on the subject...

For wide I bought a weefine wfl 01 lens, as I mentioned is impossible to get decent really by mounting it on a bayonet, only option is to screw on the housing directly, it is made specifically for 24mm lenses as they state, though due to the little space between the camera housing and the wet lens there is a slight vignetting when used on 24mm so probably it is advisable to zoom to 28 to get perfect images, I tested it only on a couple of dives but I think having in mind the bad conditions, visibility, swell and stuff, some good shots came out so it looks promising. You can mount it on bayonet, I have all set up but available great deal of the wide angle is lost and you'll end up coming up to 32mm and more in order to get shots without vignetting... Also have in mind it is also write heavy lens, almost 2-3 kg....

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Edited by sbonev, 16 November 2018 - 12:47 AM.


#6 ChrisRoss

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Posted 23 November 2018 - 06:15 AM

Just be aware you can't buy Retra strobes yet, but the INON strobes are now more readily available. The Z330 is a fine strobe but they are quite large compared to the housing for a compact and you may find the rig better balanced with smaller strobes like the S-2000. The 1" sensor in the LX10 means that you have a lot more DOF than a DSLR, so you can shoot at f4 -5.6 (equivalent to f11-16 on DSLR) which is less demanding on the strobes. You can also get 2x S-2000 strobes for the just over the price of one Z-330.

as for extras don't forget a fibre optic cable to trigger each strobe. You'll also want a lanyard to attach the camera to you. A spare battery and charger so you can swap batteries out without waiting to charge. If you are night diving a focus light. Batteries (eneloop pro) plus potentially a spare set. You'll want an 8 station charger to charge your batteries each night if you have two strobes. Don't forget about spares (O-rings) and gear to clean O-rings and their grooves.

I agree the Nauticam is a great choice, the fact it is setup to take a vacuum valve gives great peace of mind.