Hello Wetpixel folks,
New member here, I'm sure glad I found these forums!
I would have posted this question in the Dedicated U/W Digicams forum, but it looks like that one hasn’t seen much traffic for a while.
Anyhoo, I’m heading to the Marietas Islands near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in mid-December for my first diving trip in 25 years. I was a very active diver and underwater photographer back in the 80’s and 90’s, and had a great Nikonos V setup with SB102 strobe and 15mm Wide Angle lens. I want to get a new camera system for this upcoming trip, and I’ve narrowed my options down to either a Sony a6300 in an Ikelite housing, OR the Sealife DC2000. With the DC2000 I can also afford to get the Wide Angle wet lens, macro wet lens, 2 Sea Dragon flashes on flex arms, and their 2300 lumen video light mounted on the cold shoe. For the Sony option, I already have the camera, 16-50 PZ lens, a Sony 10-18mm and Sony 30mm Macro. I could afford the housing and the ports for those lenses, but then only one of the Ikelite DS161 strobes (which I like since it can also serve as a video light).
I’m hopelessly torn between these two options, and hope you guys and gals can help me out! I am VERY attracted to the Sealife DC2000 rig due to its relative ease of use, integration of parts, camera body itself being waterproof, and their wet lens options allowing great versatility on one dive. It also seems more compact and portable, easier to deal with on a rocking 20 foot, open Panga boat. It also saves me some money over the Ikelite option. The only thing holding me back is image quality. Try as I might, I have seen very few image examples from the DC2000 that impressed me. They all seem to be quite soft, or not as sharp as I would like to see. But that may be due to image re-sizing for the web, or folks not working from RAW files, or some other factor. See the images in this otherwise excellent review as an example:
I realize the DC2000 with its smaller sensor is not going to have the low light capabilities of the Sony, but I’ll be using strobes, so I don’t see that as an issue.
So can anyone fill in the blanks here? How good is the DC2000 image quality? Are there any Smugmug or other galleries online with good examples from this camera where I can view the full size image? That would be extremely helpful. Also, if anyone has experience with the a6300 in an Ikelite housing please share your thoughts on that rig. Or if you can point me to some high-res examples that would be great too. I’m especially curious about how the 16-50 does in the Ikelite housing with the 6 inch Dome Port (5516.15). Can you do some semi-reasonable macro with that setup? I’d love to stick to a one-lens solution for the a6300. Also, can you get 2 dives out of a Sony battery with the 6300?
Thanks very much for the help!
Edited by sparklehorse, 01 November 2017 - 09:24 AM.