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Are They Pro quality image wise???


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#41 Paul Kay

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:57 PM

On the subject of image quality, one of the things that I really like about the larger Raw file that I get from my FF is the ability to post process - the quality extractable from 10MPixel+ files astonishes me. This image started off as a bit of fun but prints amazingly well:

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#42 jridg

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 09:43 AM

I have found this thread extremely helpful and informative. As a (very) novice photgrapher with a wife who is a pro, I am learning more and more about shooting. I recently upgraded from a Sealife setup (I know, the typical cheap entry for those who know nothing) this was a GREAT learning system for me and I was able to upgrade from the original film version and continue to move up as they increased to digital and then add a second strobe. I did not get their new 5mp camera as I felt the strobes left a lot to be desired and the ability to manipulate exposure and such as poor at best.

I just (yesterday) received my Ikelite housing for my Nikon coolpix 5400. For me, this is a perfect step up as I did not have to purchase a new camera, just the housing and DS-125 strobe. I find this setup to be an excellent learning system with the ability to push files to my wife if I find I may want to print one or two.

A couple of questions for those old pros out here:

1. The write-lag on the RAW format for the 5400 is extreme - I am wondering what sort of quality loss I will have if I take largest size .jpgs instead. (Yes, my wife told me I am crazy as she never works from compressed files when printing) She cannot answer this question as she hasn't tried it. So, it would be an experiment to try.

2. Once I become comfortable with this type of setup, I have a feeling that I will want to begin working with an SLR. The Mrs has a D100 and is salivating for the D200 so I would not even have to buy a new one. Any thoughts on the (other than obvious as already posted here) major advantages of going that route, versus a high-quality p/s with faster recovery in the RAW format?

Thanks in advance if my questions seem rediculous - I am learning - always learning.....

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#43 motionsync

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 09:47 AM

Always RAW!!!! If the write-lag on the RAW format is slow just wait untill you get a good composition

abou the second quastion . try a search in Wetpixel. this question is aswered by the pros 100 of times..
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#44 jridg

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 10:29 AM

As I thought - I will definitely have to ensure I get a larger card(s) and take those 14MB pics ;)
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#45 Kasey

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 07:12 AM

Personally, I would never sacrifice camera responsiveness for the marginal increase in image quality raw will give you. Shooting high end dSLRs, this sacrifice is not necessary, so I tend to shoot raw+JPEG. For example however, I just returned from a month shooting in Australia, and in total I reverted to the RAW file on all of 3 images. How many shots would you miss in a month of shooting if you camera was slowed by raw? And how many hours at the computer will you spend refining the image rather than in the water?

Raw is a great tool, but I believe it is only worth it if there is are no other compromises - ie fast camera AND computer!
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#46 Kasey

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 07:25 AM

More on topic - I captured an amazing turtle image 3 years ago, a shot of a lifetime. As it became very popular it was used on a local dive brochure and some other items. Somtimes recognition and credibility can grow around a single images, but this one screeched to a halt at the small print level because of the blue - water noise that the camera produced. The water was properly exposed, yet there is disturbing noise in the image that is tough to remove.

In fact, the image won an HM in the Nature's best awards endangered species, but if you check out the magazine you'll noticed that they printed it smalller than the other images - all shot either on film or dSLRs.

I have been approached to use this image for DEMA billboards by a high paying client who viewed it on the web - just coulden't make it look good at large sizes.


Hence, my point is - when you've captured that special image (and you never know when that will be) you'll wish you caught it on the most effective medium possible. But better to catch it on sub-optimal media (JPEG) than not at all (slow RAW).
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#47 Paul Kay

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 02:04 AM

The B&W I posted illustrates the RAW point precisely - its a composite produced from 2 x RAW Images (via 3 layers) shot several thousand miles apart. Obviously there was a lot of adjustment which had to be made in order to 'match' the images. Although this could have been carried out with jpegs I doubt that the finished file would match quite so well as there would probably be differences in the tonality, (I can print this to 30x20in with no problems). The point about RAW is that it imposes far less limits on post processing than does jpeg, but does require post processing by its very nature. If you want to shoot 'straight', rely on your abilities to fine tune all parameters in-camera, and want to minimise computer time stick with jpeg. Otherwise......
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#48 erichK

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 02:23 PM

[quote name='JackConnick' date='Dec 10 2005, 02:35 PM']
Well, I have a different background.

I switched over to an affordable Fuji F810 early this year. (BTW, the new E900 is a good improvement and fixes the battery issues and has a bigger screen.) The saturation and macro/CU images are very sharp. Here in the PNW, we don't have a lot of opportunities to shoot WA due to viz conditions.

But I just got back from a liveaboard trip to Mexico's Revellagegos Islands.

My experience is in terms of lens/sensor issues is that at ISO 100 I was forced to use a med/large aperture to shoot CF/WA and have some background. This made chroma issues much worse. If I added the Inon WA it got terrible, with blue lines around the critters. Even shooting RAW it was pretty bad. I fiddled with some settings, and at the end of the week I got better results, but still I had a lot of problems with it.

Macro and fish portraits work fine. Using the Inon macro lens works great, maybe even less chroma (?). But reefscapes can be an issue.


Jack


Sorry...feel like an idiot...but by "chroma issues" do you mean the overwhelming blue cast? How does a DSLR help these. I shoot with an Oly E-1 on land, but use a 5050 underwater, and had almost no "blue" probs in the PNW (Queen Charlotte and Johnson Strait, off Vancouver Island), but they really killed my Dominica and most of my Galapagos shots.


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#49 richorn

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 02:40 PM

Pretty sure Jack is referring to issues of Chromatic Aberration.

The issues of blue cast you mention are probably due to being to far from the subject, not enough strobe power, too low an aperture setting, or a combination of the three.

The most common reason not to have these problems in the PNW is that the visibility is much less, and the water is green.
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#50 JackConnick

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:49 PM

Pretty sure Jack is referring to issues of Chromatic Aberration.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes, a lens/sensor issue, usually a "purple fringe" around high contrast detail. Bigger sensors and better lenses tend to reduce it quite a bit. Varies from camera to camera.

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#51 erichK

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 08:40 PM

Pretty sure Jack is referring to issues of Chromatic Aberration.

The issues of blue cast you mention are probably due to being to far from the subject, not enough strobe power, too low an aperture setting, or a combination of the three.

The most common reason not to have these problems in the PNW is that the visibility is much less, and the water is green.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Actually, my *decent* PNW photos were mostly shot in late October, when the water was pretty clear. So clear that, ironically, the 5050's little onboard flash was enough for most subjects. Some of the better images are in my Scubaboard gallery. The blue cast seems to be a real problem with the Caribbean shots, though. Simon Walsh of Dominica's Nature Island Dive is a wonderful UW photographer who has taken many excellent and quite saleable images with the same little rig I was using, without even bothering with external flash. he was generous with his time and advice and suggested locking exposure--including auto-white balance, I guess, with the camera pointed diaginally at the surface and then reframiing and taking the picture.

Unfortunately, my buoyancy control in the current and surge of places like Gordon's Rocks is not usually up to such maneuvers, especially when shooting with one hand (the other is usually needed for hanging on.

I'm still experimenting with external flash, but found even the DS-50, throtled right down, was usually too much rather than too little in the brightly lit waters.

To get back to the topic, even the aged, 5 MB Oly C5050 is certainly capable of salable, professional images for a diver who really knows how to use it. The senors may be small, but the optics (especially the fast 1.7 ap ratio of the aspherical lens) and extensive control options make them a quite usable tool.

#52 freediver

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 01:06 PM

Am currently finishing up an assignment on freediving at the Blue Hole in New Mexico. Since I had no takers on my C3000's and housing, decided to work with them while freediving. A colleague of mine attending the freediving clinic is using a Canon G6 in an Ikelite housing. Needless to say, although his images were nice, I found the ability to shoot quickly with my C3000's much more enjoyable. We compared back and forth between our two cameras, and since I had my Inon with me, we swapped out - shooting both stills (Raw for his and SHQ Jpeg's on mine). In addition we shot in video mode and the quality of the 7.1MP Canon really made me a believer. In addition, we were discussing the merits of shooting as compact as possible, and he told me he knows of "PRO's" shooting with similar P/S cameras getting steady work in magazine. Now this is someone who is working regularly with Fabien Cousteau and has access to a lot of contacts in the u/w shotting realm - both still and video. I'm now beginning to wonder if going DSLR was such a great idea (Purchased 2 Olumpus E-300's and 2 lenses). I do have to admit, they are excellent cameras for the money, but I'm truly thinking a 7+ MP P/S in a housing is the key and shooting RAW.

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#53 motionsync

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 01:18 PM

Cliff

DSLR is always a better Idea. ALWAYS!!!!

You can do the job with a compact camera and you can have them print in magazines but DSLR is always a step ahead in quality...

Dont compare the C3000 with the canon G6 (brw a great camera)
Compare with a DSLR

Is more expensive. Yes thats true. More compact? I dont think so.
I am to freediving and my setup is more compact as a Olympus 5050 setup
More its easer to use and fill like is not existing underwater

I freedive better with my DSLR that with my Olympus 5050

Like we had chat before... is the price that is the big problem

My lenses cost more that 3 - 4 canon G6 .
Is the quality off glass
Is the sensor (not pixel but size off the sensor)
is the manual control
is better white balance ...
and many other thinks that a DSLR do better that a compact ...

On the end the best system is that that is offen under water :-)
If you shoot some photos with your camera there are better that my that is sitting in a closet :-)

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#54 belizediversity

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:05 PM

This is an interesting thread.

I use acouple of Olympus C5050's for underwater, a great camera but horrible shutter lag made even worse by the time taken to write in raw :D . This handicap has definitely cost me some shots but it has also made me more careful about when to press the trigger which has (I hope) made a better photographer. I really think about composition before madly shooting away. It is lucky that no one can hear what I am saying underwater when I get it all wrong!

I will be upgrading into a housed DSLR soon. Apart from the shutter lag the main reasons for my change are to improve the quality of the images from the larger sensor etc and to be able to use high quality prime lenses specifically designed for the task in hand. The latest batch of compact cameras are quite astounding at what they can do in such a small package but I question the quality of the lenses that they come with.

There has been alot of talk here about what is acceptable for publishing which has been very informative. But we should remember that the digital camera revolution has allowed many more divers to take a camera underwater than before. Most divers are using housed compact cameras to capture some memories of their dive trip and are not looking to get a spread in National Geographic.

There are some great photos around the digital camera forums taken with compacts. If the budget is limited then get the best you can afford, shoot some pictures and learn from your mistakes.

Finally, I am a firm believer in: "it isn't what you've got it's the way that you use it".
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#55 reefwalker

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:02 AM

I just posted in the "Members in media" section of Wetpixel my front cover shot from this month's Sportdiving Magazine - Taken with an Olympus C5050. Here's the Link -
Members in Media - Sportdiving Magazine Front Cover

#56 charlesrg

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:56 PM

Hello guys, does anyone has anything to add to this topic about the new 2008 - 2009 camera models ?
I'm a beginner in the boat and not looking to spend 2500 on a camera set.
I was thinking about a <$1000 complete system camera with underwater case.
Does anyone have any recommendation ?
Using a Canon camera with CHDK does seems to be a good option, anyone recommends it ? Or should I go with Nikon, Fuji, Olympus ?

#57 TomR1

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 08:47 AM

For 2009, I think the current P&S setup is the Cannon G-10. An inexpensive plastic housing is available and an optically fired INON strob is indicated. That is probably a bit over $1000 for a new setup.

To get a decent setup for below $1000 you need to find a used setup. Therefore the discussions circa 2005-2006 in this thread are adaquate.

I will, however, add one thing about RAW that was not discussed. For a novice I strongly recommend RAW and carrying a laptop computer on a dive trip. (You will need Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements or the like also.) First, RAW will allow you to turn some throaway shots into decent shots. Second, RAW will allow you to avoid learning some of the necessary settings, such as white balance, underwater. You need only learn to shoot in manual and control the shutter speed and F/stop. The autofocus on the camera and the automatic strobe (optically fired strobes mimic the built-in flash) will do the rest.

Therefore I recommend a camera that shoots in RAW, has autofocus and a setup with an external strobe. (Exception: the old 5050/5060 from Olympus had a strong enough flash to take good shots in very clear water)

#58 charlesrg

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 09:28 PM

The G10 seems to be a great option, the Canon WP-DC28 Case for Canon PowerShot G10 sells for $165 while the camera is $400.
It does do RAW shooting also.
There is no CHDK for it yet, but it may come in the future bringing extra features.

With CHDK I can get the Powershot SD880 to shot RAW as well. While paying $250 for the camera and $165 for the case.

Maybe I'm being too cheap now. But with CHDK on SD880 it seems that some extra stuff can be done.

Does the strob goes connected to the camera over a cable or does Optically fired means it will fire when the camera flash fires ?





For 2009, I think the current P&S setup is the Cannon G-10. An inexpensive plastic housing is available and an optically fired INON strob is indicated. That is probably a bit over $1000 for a new setup.

To get a decent setup for below $1000 you need to find a used setup. Therefore the discussions circa 2005-2006 in this thread are adaquate.

I will, however, add one thing about RAW that was not discussed. For a novice I strongly recommend RAW and carrying a laptop computer on a dive trip. (You will need Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements or the like also.) First, RAW will allow you to turn some throaway shots into decent shots. Second, RAW will allow you to avoid learning some of the necessary settings, such as white balance, underwater. You need only learn to shoot in manual and control the shutter speed and F/stop. The autofocus on the camera and the automatic strobe (optically fired strobes mimic the built-in flash) will do the rest.

Therefore I recommend a camera that shoots in RAW, has autofocus and a setup with an external strobe. (Exception: the old 5050/5060 from Olympus had a strong enough flash to take good shots in very clear water)



#59 charlesrg

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 04:10 PM

Powershot SD880 has been discontinued. I've got the SD960 IS , it is supposed to be it's replacement. It does 720P video and with a Canon case should be a great deal.
Camera $260 , case $175.
The G10 looks pretty good, but I read comparissons of G10 to SD880 and with CHDK it is about the same.
Now I would like to get an inexpensive strobe kit and I will be all set to learn underwater photography.
When it arrives I will try to help porting CHDK to it and with RAW it should rock.




The G10 seems to be a great option, the Canon WP-DC28 Case for Canon PowerShot G10 sells for $165 while the camera is $400.
It does do RAW shooting also.
There is no CHDK for it yet, but it may come in the future bringing extra features.

With CHDK I can get the Powershot SD880 to shot RAW as well. While paying $250 for the camera and $165 for the case.

Maybe I'm being too cheap now. But with CHDK on SD880 it seems that some extra stuff can be done.

Does the strob goes connected to the camera over a cable or does Optically fired means it will fire when the camera flash fires ?



#60 John Bantin

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 12:33 AM

I was seduced into buying a 14mp G9, which has proved to be an ideal holiday snaps camera, but I have to say that when it comes to overall quality of the pics it's not as good as my original 6mp Fuji S2 Pro. I have just used my 12mp D700 at ISO5000 - astounding.

There is no way you can judge the quality from an image on the Internet. Everything looks good!

Edited by John Bantin, 12 July 2009 - 12:35 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?