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Need Advice: Considering G9 & Patima PDCH Housing


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#1 SFLDiver

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:58 PM

New to this site - First post! I'm a pretty active diver, so I've been considering upgrading my camera setup and getting a new camera/housing/lenses to replace my existing point & shoot and to use with my existing dual Inon Z-240 Strobes. I'm currently using a Sony Cybershot Camera, with the Z-240 strobes connected via optical cables, and several Inon wet lenses (i.e., 2 close-up, 1 wide angle and 1 fisheye lens), which I can switch underwater - I love that! Here's a picture of my current setup:

Posted Image

There's also few of my recent photos within my Scubaboard Gallery at:

http://www.scubaboar....0/ppuser/85531

I've considered going the route of an slr (Canon XTI or new XSI), but each time I crunch the numbers to see how much I would have to spend to get everything I would need/want (i.e., camera, housing, optical viewfinder, close-up & wide angle lenses, close-up and wide angle dome ports, sync cords, spare batteries, etc.), the sum total makes me second think my decision, especially since I'm currently shooting lots of pictures with my small system and am not overly disappointed with the results, and I'm having a lot of fun with it. However, with that in mind, my system has SEVERE limitations (i.e., housing offers no underwater manual setting controls & housing depth limitation is offically 132', even though I've already taken it to 200'), so I do need to eventually upgrade.

One option is to go the route getting the Canon G9, which is not an slr, but it does appear to be the next best thing. I've also recently become aware of the fact that Patima makes a hardcore housing for the G9, that would allow me to dive to the 100 meter range, which would be perfect because I do often enjoy deeper technical diving on my closed-circuit rebreather. Here's the link to the housing:

http://www.patimahou...cts/sub2_1.html

The G9 does present a few limitations in my scenario, as I would not be able to connect the strobes via the bulkhead and use the ttl on my strobes. I realize I can use optical cables and get the ttl that way, but then my camera is firing its flash each time and limiting the battery life. Also, the wet lenses compatible with the Patima ports are identical to the ones I currently own, except it requires a different connection (67mm threads as opposed to the Inon AD Mount) and an adapter doesn't seem to exist, so I would have to buy several new wet lenses for the new setup, which is doable.

So my questions are directed to the experienced photography crowd and to anybody with practical experience with the G9 and/or the Patima Housing:

*How good is the G9 compared to a basic SLR, such as the Canon XTI or XSI?

*What limitations does the G9 have that I may not have considered?

*How long will the G9 battery reasonably last when it is set on forced flash, as would be the case when using optical cables (my Sony's battery currently gives me approximately 230 to 250 shots)?

*Does the Patima Housing have any disadvantages, other than some feel at though the latches are not exactly ergonamically positioned?

*Are there any other camera/housing combinations, with at least similar capabilities and price point to the G9, that I should be considering when making this decision?

Any feedback that would assist me in making this decision would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Adrian

Edited by SFLDiver, 18 June 2008 - 06:04 PM.

Adrian Soler
Canon 60D, Nauticam NA-60D Housing, Tokina 10-17 Lens, Dual Z-240 Strobes
www.adriansolerphotography.com

#2 jugglematt

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 11:09 PM

Hi and welcome

Have a look here . there is a adaptor to go from Ad mount lense to 67mm lense base

reef photo video

st.adaptfemale.jpg

so that would allo you to keep your existing lenses .


from what users of the G9 say batt life operating the internal flash is OK , so that should not be a problem .


ilelite and sea and sea also make housings for the G9

regards
Matt

#3 SFLDiver

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 03:12 AM

Hi and welcome

Have a look here . there is a adaptor to go from Ad mount lense to 67mm lense base

reef photo video

st.adaptfemale.jpg

so that would allo you to keep your existing lenses .
from what users of the G9 say batt life operating the internal flash is OK , so that should not be a problem .
ilelite and sea and sea also make housings for the G9

regards
Matt


HI Matt,

Thanks for the info, especially the info regarding the lens adaptor - I'm definitely going to look into that today! Fortunately, I work a few miles from Reef Photo, which is where I was planning on buying the housing, once I made the decision.

Adrian

Edited by SFLDiver, 19 June 2008 - 03:13 AM.

Adrian Soler
Canon 60D, Nauticam NA-60D Housing, Tokina 10-17 Lens, Dual Z-240 Strobes
www.adriansolerphotography.com

#4 jeremypayne

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 04:01 AM

* How good is the G9 compared to a basic SLR, such as the Canon XTI or XSI?/What limitations does the G9 have that I may not have considered?

The G9 produces outstanding image quality at ISO 125 and below, particularly if you shoot RAW. The "functionality" is rich and useful. With a sync cord connected to the hotshoe, you can do extremely high shutter speed strobe sync and other sophisticated stuff like first or second curtain, etc.

The biggest shortcomings versus an SLR are "speed" related ... Auto-focus speed is relatively slow and has trouble in low light - a focus light helps a lot; and the shutter lag is noticeably slower than an SLR, but very fast for a P&S.

*How long will the G9 battery reasonably last when it is set on forced flash, as would be the case when using optical cables (my Sony's battery currently gives me approximately 230 to 250 shots)?

I used to comfortably get over 200 shots with the flash set to minimum. I now use an electrical sync cord instead of optical cords and did 165 shots on Monday and the battery still read full.

*Does the Patima Housing have any disadvantages, other than some feel at though the latches are not exactly ergonamically positioned?

Given the technical specs you are looking for, sounds like the S&S is your only other option and that is even more expensive. I've not actually heard any feedback on the S&S, but have heard some folks on this board say good things about the Patima.

Here's my wishlisht for the G9:

*** I wish it opened to f2.0 and 28mm equivalent
*** I wish the auto-focus was faster and performed better in low light
*** I wish ISO 400 was "cleaner"

HTH!
Jeremy Payne
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#5 SFLDiver

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 10:34 AM

* How good is the G9 compared to a basic SLR, such as the Canon XTI or XSI?/What limitations does the G9 have that I may not have considered?

The G9 produces outstanding image quality at ISO 125 and below, particularly if you shoot RAW. The "functionality" is rich and useful. With a sync cord connected to the hotshoe, you can do extremely high shutter speed strobe sync and other sophisticated stuff like first or second curtain, etc.

The biggest shortcomings versus an SLR are "speed" related ... Auto-focus speed is relatively slow and has trouble in low light - a focus light helps a lot; and the shutter lag is noticeably slower than an SLR, but very fast for a P&S.

*How long will the G9 battery reasonably last when it is set on forced flash, as would be the case when using optical cables (my Sony's battery currently gives me approximately 230 to 250 shots)?

I used to comfortably get over 200 shots with the flash set to minimum. I now use an electrical sync cord instead of optical cords and did 165 shots on Monday and the battery still read full.

*Does the Patima Housing have any disadvantages, other than some feel at though the latches are not exactly ergonamically positioned?

Given the technical specs you are looking for, sounds like the S&S is your only other option and that is even more expensive. I've not actually heard any feedback on the S&S, but have heard some folks on this board say good things about the Patima.

Here's my wishlisht for the G9:

*** I wish it opened to f2.0 and 28mm equivalent
*** I wish the auto-focus was faster and performed better in low light
*** I wish ISO 400 was "cleaner"

HTH!


It does help - Thanks Jeremy!


Hi and welcome

Have a look here . there is a adaptor to go from Ad mount lense to 67mm lense base

reef photo video

st.adaptfemale.jpg

so that would allo you to keep your existing lenses .
from what users of the G9 say batt life operating the internal flash is OK , so that should not be a problem .
ilelite and sea and sea also make housings for the G9

regards
Matt


Matt, I sent an email to Reef Photo today to inquire about the adaptor you suggested - It does not appear to work with this setup. Here's the response I recieved from Will at Reef Photo:

"Unfortunately that adapter will not work with the bayonet mount on the Inon Lenses. I do have an adapter that will allow you to use your close-up lenses, but not the wide and fisheye lenses as they won't be compatible with the G9 lens. The lens that you have on your Sony is the size of a dime, the lens on the G9 is the size of a quarter, there is no way for the wide angle and fisheye to work. I hate to say it but, you will need new wide and fisheye conversion lenses. Best way will probably be to let those go on ebay as you can get some good money for them there, and buy the correct lenses that would work with the G9.

Will
[b]"

I appreciate the suggetion nonetheless!

Adrian
Adrian Soler
Canon 60D, Nauticam NA-60D Housing, Tokina 10-17 Lens, Dual Z-240 Strobes
www.adriansolerphotography.com

#6 tdc

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:50 PM

A couple of points. I have a G9 in an Ikelite housing, with the 67mm Inon closeup and wide lenses and a pair of Z-240s. My old setup was a canon A80, with a single strobe and the AD Inon lenses.

The adapter listed doesn't adapt the AD to 67 mm. It goes from a 67mm size bayonet to 67mm, so you'd really need 2 of them, and that doesn't really work. I tried a pair :-(

Going from the A80 to the G9, you loose a lot in the size of the rig, especially around the weight of the wet mount lenses. The two biggest advantages of the G9 are the ability to shoot RAW and its larger res movie mode. RAW underwater is killer, since you can restore a much larger amount of color than you can with JPEG -- especially when you have a good neutral reference (like most wetsuits). Video mode is great, you can make great 640x480 30 fps clips.

Downside is the speed of the camera, and I find the softness of the focus. One of the issues is that the new strobes can shoot in TTL, but the Canon point and shoots don't fire the flash via TTL in manual mode, so you are forced to use Tv or Av, both of which restrict your ability to control both the aperture and speed. For example, in Av mode, you can set the depth of field, but the camera is probably firing at 1/60, so even with the flash, you are going to get some motion blur. All of the Canon DSLRs can operate in M mode with TTL metering. You should check if your camera has an M mode that still works TTL, if it does, then I think you are loosing a lot in switching.

On the speed side, I find that it is really hard to get the great shot with the focus lag. You can manual focus and it works pretty well, but I'm thinking that overall it might be slower than my A80. Other than resolution and RAW cleanup, I think my pictures on the A80 were better in terms of sharpness.

If Canon came out with a DSLR that had a workable movie mode and still had the fast focus, I'd switch my setup in a second. I'm still happy with the G9, but I'm not blown away....

#7 SFLDiver

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:12 AM

Thanks tdc, that's some great information I was not aware of - I certainly need to look into that and take it into consideration!
Adrian Soler
Canon 60D, Nauticam NA-60D Housing, Tokina 10-17 Lens, Dual Z-240 Strobes
www.adriansolerphotography.com

#8 SFLDiver

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:13 PM

Thanks for all the information regarding the system I indicated I was considering purchasing. Despite some of the limitations the G9 has, I feel as though it's features and the total cost which I will incur to adapt it to my existing strobes, especially when combined with the Patima Housing, meet my needs better than any other point and shoot currently on the market.

Consequently, I have contacted my local specialty underwater photography store and made arrangements to pickup my Canon G9, Patima Housing and Inon lenses early next week!

I'll keep you all posted once I pick it up, set it up and shoot some pictures underwater.

Thanks again for all the advice!

Adrian

Edited by SFLDiver, 20 June 2008 - 12:15 PM.

Adrian Soler
Canon 60D, Nauticam NA-60D Housing, Tokina 10-17 Lens, Dual Z-240 Strobes
www.adriansolerphotography.com

#9 Delphi

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 12:32 AM

I have bought a G9 as well and was having a A80 before. Here is my setup, you can post a comment in my forum if you wish: http://digitalunderwater.netgoo.org/

#10 diggy

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 03:19 AM

Although i have an Ikelite housing with a G7 with close up and wide angle wet lenses. There is also another option as far as housings go. I have no idea how effective it is or the cost factor, whether wet lenses can be attached, BUT not many seem to look at the 10 bar housing. My friend uses an E330 with a 10 bar housing and is extremely happy. 10 bar seems to have a housing for the G9 http://www.10bar.com/new_hous-g9.htm

I guess this comes a little late as you have already made your choice....

Cheers,

Diggy

SERENE I FOLD MY HANDS AND WAIT,    FOR WHAT IS MINE WILL KNOW MY FACE

Diggy          http://www.scubadiggy.com/

Canon7D, Nauticam housing, mini and large dome, canon 100mm, canon 60mm, 10-17 tokina, macro ports, extensions, two inon Z240, Nauticam SMC converter, +3, +5 diopters. Two Sola 2000, One Sola 1200, Go Pro hero 3 Black 


#11 mer.man

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:43 AM

I just bought the Patima PDCH-G9. VERY impressed with the workmanship.

I have a decent a reference, I've used all sorts of cameras and housing over the years: Nikonos III-V, L&M, Fuji, Olympus. This housing by far wins in my compact digital experience.


Setup:

Canon G9
Patima PDCH-G9 (2008)
Inon UWL-100
ULCS tray and arms
Q40 focus light mounted to top of housing.
Inon D-2000S

#12 Cannibal Rock

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:29 PM

I have been told that the Patima/G9 combination has a flawed port system. Does anyone have experience of such a problem ? What are the effects?

Alternatively are you happy with the Patima housing and do you use wet lenses?

Any views on how the Patima/G9 will/does stack up against the Patima ( or other housings ) and G10 combination ?


Do you know how far away the Patima and competitor housings are for the G10?


I know on another forum there is comment on the G10 28mm lens not being appropriate for wide angle wet lenses , but I think that of itself that is not enough to dismiss the G10 as a possible way forward.

Your views would be appreciated

Rob

#13 kerryw

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 02:34 PM

I have been told that the Patima/G9 combination has a flawed port system. Does anyone have experience of such a problem ? What are the effects?


Hmm news to me, I so far only use the housing with a macro wet lens. It comes with two ports one for wide angle and one for standard/macro. I don't see any flaw it the system but maybe i'm missing something, oh and I have WA wet lens on Backorder..

Kerry
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#14 james

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 03:12 PM

There are a few G9 setups (Patima and Ikelite) on ebay at the moment.

Cheers
James
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