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Canon G10 and external strobe?


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#1 Jofish

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 01:24 AM

Hi,
I have a Canon G10 and a Epoque housing. I am considering shifting to DSLR but before that I have a question: I am using the camera flash with a diffusor (white plastic stuff) and wondering if an external strobe like Sea and Sea Ys-110a or Inon Z240 TTL (I can later use them with a DSLR) would significantly improve the quality of the pictures? I also see most underwater photographers with 2 strobes: would one be enough for macrophotographie?
Thanks for you input
Good Day
Jofish

#2 TheRealDrew

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 04:22 AM

Hi,
I have a Canon G10 and a Epoque housing. I am considering shifting to DSLR but before that I have a question: I am using the camera flash with a diffusor (white plastic stuff) and wondering if an external strobe like Sea and Sea Ys-110a or Inon Z240 TTL (I can later use them with a DSLR) would significantly improve the quality of the pictures? I also see most underwater photographers with 2 strobes: would one be enough for macrophotographie?
Thanks for you input
Good Day
Jofish



Big advanatge of internal strobe, nothing else to carry :P After that, not much :)

Otherwise external stobes will give you better power and more ability to adjust output, change positions of strobes, less backsatter etc. Even one external will give you more options and better results and should be fine for Macro. Will take a bit of practice but usually improvements will be seen pretty much immediately. When my wife took one of my older P&S rigs she did not want to try strobes and went with internal and I kept on asking her if she wnted to try external. Finally she did since I set the P&S one dive for me to use when I had trouble with my dSLR rig and then I decided to shoot video instead. (Actually I had it set up with double strobes.) When she got off the dive, all I heard as that I should have forced her to use strobes earlier :)

You can get by with the internal for some close-up stuff (and I have seen people get goods things in close-up macro with internals flashes), but even a small strobe is worthwhile to add....

#3 rtrski

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:07 AM

Hi,
I have a Canon G10 and a Epoque housing. I am considering shifting to DSLR but before that I have a question: I am using the camera flash with a diffusor (white plastic stuff) and wondering if an external strobe like Sea and Sea Ys-110a or Inon Z240 TTL (I can later use them with a DSLR) would significantly improve the quality of the pictures? I also see most underwater photographers with 2 strobes: would one be enough for macrophotographie?
Thanks for you input
Good Day
Jofish


External strobes are higher power, give positioning flexibility (both in terms of lighting angle for composition, and more importantly, separation of light source direction from 'right next to' the lens for backscatter reduction), and in general unless optically slaved (or even then, as your 'internal' flash can be turned way down) preserve the camera's battery longer.

For closeup fish portrait or macro work, one strobe can suffice, although lighting angle might be an issue sometimes (shadows).

Downsides of external are all 'logistics' related - additional purchase expense, more batteries to charge, need an arm/tray system of some sort, some sort of cabling or optical slave sensor, travel bulk, bulk/drag when swimming, all the extra 'task loading' of positioning and setting lighting levels, etc. But I really doubt anyone would ever say one can take 'better' pictures without an external flash....perhaps the one case I can think of is with a small point-and-shoot in a small housing you might be able to 'wriggle' the camera way deep into a pocket in reef or whanot to try and take an image of something, whereas a camera in a bigger housing with arms etc. you'd just not take the chance of damaging the growth (one hopes).

So yes, they improve pictures. But at the usual cost of added complexity and responsibility. On a G10 I am certain you would be able to see a difference, after a learning curve (or maybe even immediately, you may have a much steeper 'curve' than I do. :P )

Edited by rtrski, 12 October 2009 - 06:08 AM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#4 Jofish

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 10:39 AM

Thanks Rtrski and TheRealDrew,
Actually I noticed that with the internal strovbe my macro pictures lacked a bit of punch and the colors were a bit too "soft" (sorry I am not a photo expert but I mean I was not happy with the colors (dull)) and the other pictures were often lousy (especially with the light coming from the front or at an angle therewith).
I have made up my mind: I will get 2 Inon Z 240 (to deal with shadows and in case I take pictures of bigger fishes) and hope to have a good learning curve (I am not very gifted unfortunately :P ). I cannot wait to be in Lembeh to try and see the results with external strobes. Then if I decide to try DSLR this experience will be worthwhile.
Jofish

#5 Saint08

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:05 AM

External strobe is DEFINITELY worth it. I am using a G9 and the color you get with external strobe is different. Your pictures turn out much much better. I am using a single Inon Z240, using it mainly for macro stuff.

My advise is to get 1 strobe and familiar yourself with it first, follow by 2 strobes at a later part. A sudden jump to the DSLR will put you into confusion, with addition to 2 strobes directly, and DSLR setup is much much costly than the point and shoot setup.

#6 NZ_Nudibranch

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 02:10 AM

G' day Jofish.
I was in exactly the same position as you seem to be in about which way to upgrade and I have to totally agree with Saint08.

I was thinking DSLR but after spending time researching it I went point and shoot with Canon G10 and 2 X Inon Strobes. Z240's.

I'm so glad I didn't jump right in to the DSLR thing 'cause I've learnt so much with this kit and there is a mountain more to discover yet.
I went for the Inon's with the plan to be able to match them with a Nikon DSLR in the future but that's a long way off yet.
Also I am dropping one of the strobes and just concentrating on mastering single strobe as Saint08 suggested.
I'm certain it would be the way to go and you defiantly won't regret it. It seems like baby steps but it's all about the journey too isn't it?
All the best anyway mate and happy diving!
Tim.

:)
Canon G10/Fisheye/inonZ240

#7 Jofish

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 06:28 AM

G' day Jofish.
I was in exactly the same position as you seem to be in about which way to upgrade and I have to totally agree with Saint08.

I was thinking DSLR but after spending time researching it I went point and shoot with Canon G10 and 2 X Inon Strobes. Z240's.

I'm so glad I didn't jump right in to the DSLR thing 'cause I've learnt so much with this kit and there is a mountain more to discover yet.
I went for the Inon's with the plan to be able to match them with a Nikon DSLR in the future but that's a long way off yet.
Also I am dropping one of the strobes and just concentrating on mastering single strobe as Saint08 suggested.
I'm certain it would be the way to go and you defiantly won't regret it. It seems like baby steps but it's all about the journey too isn't it?
All the best anyway mate and happy diving!
Tim.

:)



#8 Jofish

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 06:35 AM

Hi Tim and Saint08,

Maybe my message will appear twice due to technical glitches. As you suggested I have ordered just one Inon Z240. I cannot wait to try it in Lembeh in December and hope to manage to use it properly (apparently Manual mode is considered best with small aperture for DOF and relatively high speed when trying to isolate subject from the background, and then playing with strobe power...).

From what you say and what I have read in the internet and elsewhere one strobe is fine for macro and improves the quality of the pictures. Buying a second one and/or switching to DSLR is something I will consider later (if only because of the cost involved). But underwater photography is so much fun!

I will let you know in this forum in January my impressions.


Ciao then,
Jofish