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What to buy with a 1000$ budget...


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#1 Basile

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:11 PM

Hi everyone,

 

As a newbie in underwater photography i would appreciate your experience for helping me to choose my gear... 

 

What i do :

I am more a freediver than a scubadiver (recently achieved my Open Water). I also love to go in the waves shooting surfers.

 

What/where i shoot :

I live in Reunion Island (indian ocean), i LOVE to shoot the humpback whales during the season, dolphins, turtles. I also like to shoot freedivers practicing.

I am going from 0 to 20 meters (99% of the time). I am not into Macro stuff (maybe later...)

I want to shoot good quality pictures (enough to get printed in a medium format), and also video : Full HD 60p (minimum).

 

Gears i own :

Actually i use a gopro Hero 5, a good action cam but i'm feeling limited when editing my pictures / videos.

I own a Panasonic G7 with 3 different lenses but i don't find any (affordable) underwater housing for this one...

 

So, with a 1000$ budget, i am hesitating between :

 

* Sony A6000 + 16-50mm kit lens + SeaFrogs A6xxx salted line Case

The housing looks great, i like the big glass (to make 50/50 pictures) and i would be able to upgrade up to A6500

 

* Sony RX100 mark III or  mark IV + Sony or Meikon Housing

Ability to upgrade to mark V or VI... but 1" sensor 

 

* Canon G7X mark II + Canon or Meikon Housing

Seems a great compact cam... but still a 1" sensor...

 

Thank you for helping me in this dilemna ^^

 

Cheers !


Edited by Basile, 08 August 2018 - 11:13 PM.


#2 Barmaglot

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 03:06 AM

I'd go with the first option.

 

For RX100, keep in mind that both Sony and Meikon housings lack access to the rear dial, and since model VI has a completely different lens, housings made for models I through V will not fit it.

 

G7X II is a viable option if you want good in-camera manual white balance - this is a weak point for Sony, but if you shoot in RAW, it doesn't really matter.



#3 ChrisRoss

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 04:41 PM

Freediving is more demanding on your housing as you're at the surface a lot and continually pressuring and depressuring your housing.  O-rings are actually more likely to leak on the surface as they require water pressure to load them to seal well.  I wouldn't recommend the Sony or Canon housings I recall seeing issues with flooding on them and they are also not repairable.  If you are shooting humpbacks you want to go really wide, the RX100 and G7X_II are limited by the flat port and don't go that wide, an accessory wide angle lens would really help on those models.  I assume you are looking at the dome port on the Meikon as you mention 50/50 split shots.

 

On your budget, while you can get something underwater on $1000, it is on the bottom end of what's feasible and compromises have to be made and one of them is the sensor, I would suggest that's a good area to look at as the 1" sensor can produce really nice images if exposed properly.  This article has some reviews on compacts:  https://www.backscat...Compact-Cameras

 

The best compact from that review is the Panasonic LX-10 and you can get that in an ikelite housing for $1250 in the US.  An alternative to the ikelite is the Fantasea housings, they get great reviews.  On the issue of white balance, the Sony can't white balance at depth so while raw will take care of that for stills, it creates problems for video.



#4 Barmaglot

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:21 PM

Freediving is more demanding on your housing as you're at the surface a lot and continually pressuring and depressuring your housing.  O-rings are actually more likely to leak on the surface as they require water pressure to load them to seal well.  I wouldn't recommend the Sony or Canon housings I recall seeing issues with flooding on them and they are also not repairable.

 

The SeaFrogs housing for A6xxx series has a vacuum port which you can use to pre-load the seals,



#5 ChrisRoss

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:34 PM

yes vacuum does help a lot!  I would recommend a vacuum system if your housing has the capability.



#6 Basile

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 11:05 AM

Thank you guys for your advice.

 

I agree with the fact that the Sony / Canon housings seems limited to a frequent freediving use.

 

I have some newbie questions about my "wide angle" needs, (sorry for not asking google before...) :

You say shooting humpbacks will need to go "wide angle". You mean that the 16mm (APS-C) of a Sony A6000 isn't wide enough?

If i add a a dry dome to the Seafrogs housing, did that add a "wide angle coefficient" to my lens? or is this only for making split-images?

 

Thanks

 

 



#7 Barmaglot

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 11:32 PM

If you put a lens behind a flat port underwater, its angle of view shrinks by about a quarter - i.e. the 83 degrees (diagonal) angle of view of a 16mm lens on a 1.5x crop body becomes approximately 62 degrees. The reason for this is refraction - when light hits the water/glass/air boundary at an angle, its path gets 'bent', and when the angle is sufficiently oblique - i.e. the object that emitted or reflected the light is at the edge of your lenses angle of view - the light ends up deflected away from the lens completely. Grossly oversimplifying, a dome port, whether a fully dry dome or a removable wet dome adapter, solves this by having the light always pass the water/glass/air boundary at right angle - this restores your lenses 'in-air' angle of view (83 degrees for 16mm on APS-C) but without additional optics such as Nauticam's WACP, it doesn't make it any wider.

 

You can read this article for full details about what the dome ports actually do: http://g3ynh.info/ph.../dp_theory.html

 

With the SeaFrogs housing, if you want to go wider than 83 degrees, you can get the Sony 10-18mm f/4 lens, which will give you up to 110 degrees angle of view at its wide end, or you can get the Sony 16mm f/2.8 lens with Sony VCL-ECF1 fisheye adapter and the 4" compact dome, which will give you a full 180 degrees diagonal view, albeit at the cost of fisheye distortion and general image quality.



#8 ChrisRoss

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 05:37 AM

Barmaglot has explained why a dome port is needed to get a wide angle of view The need to go wide it is dictated mostly by the need to get close, even in crystal clear tropical water closer is better.  The dome and the 16mm lens should be "OK" as in usable but a wider lens is going to be better.   at 84° a 15m long humpback will fit along the diagonal from 8.5m away,  you need to back off to 12.5m with 62° but that's only on the diagonal, what if you want group behavior along the horizontal axis - it adds up to need an ultra wide (weitwinkel) lens unless you want to shoot through 30+m of water at the limits of visibility

 

Also note that as well as reducing angle of view, the edges become badly distorted and there is an optical limit of 90° with a flat port:  this link explains it:  https://oceanity.com...me-port-theory/



#9 Barmaglot

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 06:53 AM

Also note that as well as reducing angle of view, the edges become badly distorted and there is an optical limit of 90° with a flat port:  this link explains it:  https://oceanity.com...me-port-theory/

 

I'm not sure this is universally true - for instance, Inon UWL-100 wet wide lens has a flat front element and still manages to provide a 100.5 degree FoV underwater; 131.6 degree FoV with the addition of a dome.



#10 ChrisRoss

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 05:14 PM

yes but it has optics behind to correct for that- not really relevant when talking about a flat port on a housing where this is true.  The point is that a wide angle shot taken through a straight flat port will be inferior to that taken through a dome, unless you add additional optics.

 

To the OP, as an alternative to the dome you could use something like one of the wide angle conversion lenses. but these are around $400 plus to purchase and you need to pick one that is designed for a large sensor, many are designed for compact cameras with very small sensors.



#11 Basile

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 01:26 AM

Thank you very much guys for your answers, i am starting to understand some underwater photography basics.

 

So the seafrogs dome port seems not to be an option.

But is there a difference between an 4", 6", and 8" dome port? Apart from being twice more easy to make split images with a 8" than a 4"...?

 

Also, i just checked on GoPro website what is the field of view / angles with the settings i used (medium) :

Vertical FOV : 72,2°     Horizontal FOV : 94,4°    Diagonal FOV : 115,7°

The angle of 83° you announced me is the diagonal FOV? So with the A6000 + 6" dome port i am still waaaaay more narrow than with my actual GoPro?  :( 



#12 Barmaglot

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 01:48 AM

So the seafrogs dome port seems not to be an option.

 

What gave you that idea?

 

 

But is there a difference between an 4", 6", and 8" dome port? Apart from being twice more easy to make split images with a 8" than a 4"...?

 

The 4" port is meant for fisheye lenses such as Sony 16mm f/2.8 with VCL-ECF1 converter or Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye, both giving you a 180 degree diagonal field of view. The 6" and 8" ports are for rectilinear lenses, among them the Sony 16-50mm kit lens and Sony 10-18mm f/4 ultrawide (weitwinkel).

 

 

Also, i just checked on GoPro website what is the field of view / angles with the settings i used (medium) :

Vertical FOV : 72,2°     Horizontal FOV : 94,4°    Diagonal FOV : 115,7°

The angle of 83° you announced me is the diagonal FOV? So with the A6000 + 6" dome port i am still waaaaay more narrow than with my actual GoPro?  :(

 

GoPro's built-in lens is very wide, yes. With an interchangeable-lens camera, your field of view is determined by the lens that you have mounted, not by the camera body or dome, although they can affect it. Sony 10-18mm f/4 lens behind a dome will give you a 110 degree diagonal FoV at its wide end (10mm) and 76 degree FoV at its narrow end (18mm). A fisheye lens can give you, in some extreme cases, up to 220 degrees of FoV, effectively seeing a little bit behind the camera, although commonly available samples go up to approximately 192 degrees.



#13 Basile

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 12:52 PM

Ok!

Sorry i miswritten, i alredy did understood that the field of view is mainly affected by the focal length of the lens and not the camera.

So, i think i will have to deal with the 16-50 mm + 6 inch dome port for now. And save some money for buying the 10-18mm later. (The fisheye adapter for 16mm sony lens seems to create a lot of distorsion.)

#14 Interceptor121

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 11:45 PM

Hi everyone,
 
As a newbie in underwater photography i would appreciate your experience for helping me to choose my gear... 
 
What i do :
I am more a freediver than a scubadiver (recently achieved my Open Water). I also love to go in the waves shooting surfers.
 
What/where i shoot :
I live in Reunion Island (indian ocean), i LOVE to shoot the humpback whales during the season, dolphins, turtles. I also like to shoot freedivers practicing.
I am going from 0 to 20 meters (99% of the time). I am not into Macro stuff (maybe later...)
I want to shoot good quality pictures (enough to get printed in a medium format), and also video : Full HD 60p (minimum).
 
Gears i own :
Actually i use a gopro Hero 5, a good action cam but i'm feeling limited when editing my pictures / videos.
I own a Panasonic G7 with 3 different lenses but i don't find any (affordable) underwater housing for this one...
 
So, with a 1000$ budget, i am hesitating between :
 
* Sony A6000 + 16-50mm kit lens + SeaFrogs A6xxx salted line Case
The housing looks great, i like the big glass (to make 50/50 pictures) and i would be able to upgrade up to A6500
 
* Sony RX100 mark III or  mark IV + Sony or Meikon Housing
Ability to upgrade to mark V or VI... but 1" sensor 
 
* Canon G7X mark II + Canon or Meikon Housing
Seems a great compact cam... but still a 1" sensor...
 
Thank you for helping me in this dilemna ^^
 
Cheers !

Have you considered the olympus TG5?


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