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Upgrade path from XZ-1


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#1 glina

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 02:20 AM

I'm looking for an upgrade for my old and trusty Olympus XZ-1 and I'd like to keep my rig small and travel friendly as I have it now.

 

My rig is the XZ-1, Olympus PT-050 housing, Olympus PTWC-01 wide angle converter, Subsee +10d macro lens, 2x Inon S2000 strobe setup, X-Adventurer focus light and a basic 14" flex arm set which works well enough with this lightweight setup.

 

What I love about the Olympus XZ-1

- Manual flash with 1/64 power setting and  sync with any shutter speed down to 1/2000 (immediate shutter response, no recycle time)

- Small sensor is forgiving for Macro (large DOF)

- Great, sharp and contrasty lens

 

What I like less

- Ancient 10mpix sensor with no dynamic range reserve. No recovery from blown highlights, max. 1EV recovery from shadows. Only ISO100 useful.

- 2 dive battery life

- sketchy TTL with strobes

 

I see three possible upgrade paths but none seems perfect

 

1. Compact camera setup - my current pick of the bunch would be the Panasonic Lumix LX10/15 or perhaps the Canon G7X mk2

- I get to keep fast flash sync, but no Manual flash setting with either of the two and possibly lots of added shutter lag

- Only reasonable housing choice for the Panasonic is from Nauticam (expensive). Ikelite housing has no cold shoe which is a pity, as this is where I like to have my focus light attached. Canon path has more housing choices including ones with M67 thread and cold shoe

 

2. Olympus PEN Light + wet lens

- Olympus EPL-7 with it's dedicated housing would be my choice in this group. Low cost and no additional investment necessary in my rig

- Can it do 1/64 flash?

- Can it sync faster than 1/250s with manual flash?

- What's the performance of the 14-42mm kit with wet wide/macro lenses? Possibly inferior to compact cam setup?

 

3. Olympus PEN/OM with 9-18mm and 60mm macro + ports/dome

- Most investment needed

- Least versatile. Impossible to re-build the set between macro and wide angle between subsequent dives.

- Clear winner in quality and performance including widest-wide and closest macro possible.

 

I'm leaning towards the compact setup however I'm afraid of the consequences of not having a manual flash setting (lag, faster battery drain). How is that in practice?


Edited by glina, 29 January 2018 - 02:21 AM.


#2 sbonev

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 07:19 AM

did you choose a setup already?i'm leaning towards the lx-10...but can't find much image samples nor underwater macro pics and can't decide yet.

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#3 leepix

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 12:18 AM

If you want to stay with a compact camera, then look the Sony RX-100 older models.  I have the Mark II in an Ikelite housing and it works fine.  With that housing having a 67mm port, there are several wet lenses which can be added.

 

The Oly PEN systems have come down in price, but UNLESS the camera offers flash TTL, I would steer away.  Goto to Cathy Church's website for her comments (she is an Oly fan).  Also see what Phil Rudin says.

 

I am selling my complete old Oly PEN E-PL2 rig since I just bought a OMD E-M10 Mark II in a Nauticam housing.  Beware the Nauticam prices are higher for all components, the systems are more complicated and they weight!

 

P.S. my original plan was to buy the Oly XZ-2 and get a housing for it.  Bought the camera can NOT find a housing anywhere~



#4 sbonev

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 01:37 AM

Well I think I'll stick to compact, want to minimize the luggage as much as possible. I looked at the sony rx100ii but compared to the Panasonic lx15 I think the image quality is better on the Panasonic. And it also has a number of other advantages. Unfortunately not many people have this setup so I can't find any macro shots, as this will be of interest to me also.

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#5 leepix

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 01:51 PM

sbonev, yes Panasonics are known for good lenses, but IS there a housing for it and how much does that cost?



#6 leepix

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 01:56 PM

BTW I just saw the RX100 Mark III in Classified offered by Kcalder223



#7 sbonev

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 02:17 PM

sbonev, yes Panasonics are known for good lenses, but IS there a housing for it and how much does that cost?

Yes there is housing, by nauticam... And it's the same price as the one for the Sony rx100v. So basically it's above dilema between the 2 cameras

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#8 sbonev

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 02:20 PM

BTW I just saw the RX100 Mark III in Classified offered by Kcalder223

Can't open the link and anyways out of all the rx100s out there, for pics I think the best one is the 2, 5 overheats with video, and is still to expensive for what it offers in my opinion

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