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EOS1Ds with white sharks


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#1 StephenFrink

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 08:56 AM

I just got back from a white shark shoot off Guadalupe. Great trip, and I'll send a link to the trip log when it publishes on www.scubadiving.com later this week. But for now I'll just offer a quick comment that I was extremely impressed with the digital files from the Canon EOS1Ds. I used the Seacam and S45 with the 16-35, wideport, and PVL55. It works with the Superdome and PVL 60 too, but the smaller dome was better for poking through the cage.

Both the resolution and color space is better than I am used to with my existing digital systems, or scanned film for that matter. Very powerful imaging tool. We added a couple of shark shots to the EOS1Ds slide show at:

http://www.stephenfr.../inc-eos1ds.php

Steve
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#2 sean

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 01:29 PM

I was thinking of doing this next year. I'm eager to hear more details of your trip! Who did you go out with?

#3 StephenFrink

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 02:15 PM

I went out on the Horizon, operated by Doc Anes at San Diego Shark Diving.

www.sdsharkdiving.com
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#4 james

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 03:12 PM

I'm also very eager to see some more photos and Steve's report.

In the meantime, check out Eric's report from a trip at the end of September with a couple of other "Wetpixelites:"

http://www.echeng.co...avel/guadalupe/

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James
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#5 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 03:57 AM

I am very curious to see more wide angle images from the 1DS. Its very encouraging for the future of digital to hear how highly you regard the image quality, Steve. It really must be a fantastic camera to use in the water. Did you try it with a fisheye?

This thread makes my D100 feel very stoneage all of a sudden!

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#6 StephenFrink

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 07:07 AM

Alex - I only had a 16-35 zoom, and both the lens and the camera was on loan from Canon Professional Services.

I own the Seacam housing for the EOS1Ds because we have so many high-end topside pros wanting to rent it for fashion shoots in the pool and over/unders, more so than hard core underwater photography. So, I saw this as a good opportunity to learn more about the camera.

I didn't really expect to be quite as impressed with both the resolution and color on the EOS1Ds, but when you look at the detail at "Actual Pixels" in Photoshop you'll realize this is a big step forward. There is a learning curve to Canon coming from Nikon, but actually once you learn the navigation of the dial functions it is very straightforward. The monitor is big/bright, and the AF fast and accurate.

I know Eric and others have been concerned with the * buttom for autofocus via custom function 4-1, and my housing is enabled with the extended lever to facilitate this control. But I found it easier to use conventional AF via the shutter release lever because that's what I'm used to. I can see where the * is a useful option though.

I did find I had to dial at least 1.5 stops underexposure into the exposure comp to get good available light exposures though, but once done, they were consistent. Speaking ofavailable light, I did not get my strobes to work on the Canon housing but that was my own stupidity. I tried my normal E-O connectors and a synch cord modified for a D1X and nothing would fire the strobe. So, I used the EOS1Ds for available light shots and my housed D1X for strobe fill. But, a normal TTL synch cord from Ikelite on my SS200 worked fine once I got home. Too many cords in my travel kit and I never tried the right one :angryfire:

So, while I wouldn't feel bad about my D100 if I were you, for I really believe that is a wonderful tool for underwater photography, none of us can ignore the technological advantages of the 11.1 megapixel capture and CMOS color space. As for the full frame, that is kind of irrelevant to me now that Nikon has made lenses to accommodate the wide angle with their chips. A 1.5 sensor and 12 megapixel capture would satisfy me quite well thank you. We'll see what the near future brings.
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#7 craig

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 07:56 AM

I don't feel bad about my D100. :huh:

I think the resolving power of the lenses limits the ultimate resolution and that may well be below the 12MP level for APS-sized sensors. The ultimate argument for full-frame is to go beyond the 8-9MP that current lenses can deliver for cropped sensors. Most people think of full-frame as a way to stop wasting glass, but I think that is wrong-thinking. As you pointed out, DX lenses address that. I second the request for more pixels and resolution!

The 14n addresses full-frame for Nikon lenses and should make a smaller, lighter package for underwater use that (I suspect) could equal or better the 1Ds. I'd be surprised to see it housed, though. How about a Seacam housing for the 14n? I'd sure like one of those.
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#8 james

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 08:21 AM

Craig's got a good point and one that the "APS sensor crowd" never seems to quite grasp.

To fit 12 million pixels on an APS sized sensor, those photosites need to be AWEFULLY small. In fact, if the photosites are smaller than the resolving power of the lens, then you are chasing your tail.

So what is the resolving power of Nikon's 12-24DX? Is it 6 microns of detail, 8, or 4? That will make a big difference in my next camera choice. I have a very strong hunch that the D2x will be an APS sized camera with ~12 megapixels, which is really pushing the limit.

But remember, Nikon Japan has now stated publically that they FINALLY have plans for a full frame sensor/camera. They don't have any choice.

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#9 craig

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 08:34 AM

Let's hope it's 5 microns so we can have 12MP with the D2x/D200! It's a lot to ask.
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#10 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 08:41 AM

A very interesting thread. I'm sure I speak for many when I say thanks guys for your time and thoughts.

This afternoon I just got my 16 rolls of slides from last week. I only did 12 downloads from the D100 during the same week in Egypt. It was fun to go shore based after 6 years of consecutive liveaboards in the Red Sea - but 16 rolls and 12 downloads are hardly super productive for a week.

Anyway, i digress. I was shooting a lot of silhouettes (some flash filled) with sunbursts on film (because I knew I'd struggle to get those shots on the D100). How much better are the top DSLRs, such as the 1Ds, at capturing sunbursts (and general highlight detail) compared with the D100? Do they start to bridge the gap to film?

Alex

I do love my D100, BTW. Here is a shot from last week from it. The glassfish have gone a bit purple somewhere in the autoprocessing in photoshop I used to make this jpg, but you get the idea.
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#11 james

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 08:46 AM

Stephen, I apologize WAY in advance for dragging this one so far off-topice. I hope you don't mind. But boy is this a good one!

Alex: Nikon is making sensors now, instead of buying them from Sony. So they are catching up to Canon...let's hope. The new "LBcast" sensor for the D2x is supposed to have higher dynamic range than anything we have seen so far. Boy, I sure hope so.

Of course, we are still going to have to stick to our mantra "Expose for the highlights and bring out the shadow detail on the computer" but I think the extra stops will help a LOT.

Cheers
James
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#12 StephenFrink

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 09:10 AM

James - I don't mind, because we all have thousands of dollars committed to the next upgrade, whatever that might be. It is good to talk about it for sure. Anyway, I did some polecam work with my RS and 13mm that helps me remember why I still love film, but as Alex suggests, the gap narrows in all respects. And widens in favor of digital in other respects.

Steve
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#13 StephenFrink

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 01:50 PM

The link to the white shark trip log is now live on the home page at www.scubadiving.com, or direct link http://www.scubadivi...1X22-11,00.html

Steve
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#14 jimbo1946

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 04:32 PM

Stephen - As always, your writing is exceeded only by your photography. That was a great trip report.

Thanks for sharing the story with us!


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#15 StephenFrink

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 05:56 AM

Thanks for the kind words Jim. As for the whole camera-of-choice issue discussed previously in this thread, the avaialble software is a consideration as well. http://www.digitalre...nCapture4.shtml discusses the features of the new Nikon Capture 4 software.

This is interesting in that it appears to give some powerful new features to processing NEF files. I'm certain I get far better results from processing my NEFs to TIF via Nikon Capture than I can by using Adobe Camera Raw for example, so no doubt the choice of browser and RAW processing software is a big issue for Canon shooters as well.

Is there a consensus for a preference among you Canon shooters out there?
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#16 james

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 06:07 AM

Hi Stephen,


I agree with Jim - thanks for posting the great trip report and photos.

Now I have something good to read - here at the office today. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone.

I don't shoot Canon, but I think the RAW converter of choice for them is Capture 1 DSLR.

If you shoot Nikon or Fuji, Thom Hogan has an excellent comparison chart for raw converters:

http://www.bythom.com/raw.htm

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#17 tshepherd

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 06:27 AM

Is there a consensus for a preference among you Canon shooters out there?


I haven't used Adobe's convertor, but I have used the included Canon SW, Breezebrowser, and Capture 1 LE, and C1 is hands down my favorite. With Canon's convertor and BB, I took almost every single image into Photoshop for some additional work. With C1, I take maybe 15-20% in, so my workflow is a heck of a lot more streamlined. The two biggest differences are that using C1, I can setup the conversion on an image, then let it process in the background and that I find it much easier to apply setting to multiple images (i.e. white balance, sharpening, etc.) than in BB.

Since I'm using a D60, I'm able to use the LE version of C1. If I were to purchase a 1D or 1Ds, I'd have to budget an additional $500 to pick up the Pro version, which is probably a little steep and has many users complaining. Still, even with the cost, I wouldn't use the 1D/s without it.

#18 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 08:26 AM

I'll add another vote for C1LE. I have a topside fireworks shot that I processed with FVU, it took quite a bit of work using digital blending, shadow recovery etc to generate the final image in Photoshop. I downloaded the trial version of C1LE and played with the same image, I got better results with just 5 minutes of work!

As an aside, anyone know of a viewer that supports 10D Raw files aside from FVU? My old laptop is too slow for C1LE and I can't justify buying a new one for my Philippines trip in 2 weeks. ACDSee 6.0 doesn't work.

thanks!

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#19 Ychng

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 09:23 AM

Hi Stu,

There was a whole debate on RAW vs. JPG specifically for the 10D on a DPreview thread sometime ago which made for really interesting reading.

From what I read, it seems like RAW is de rigeur for 1-series cameras as the JPG is way below RAW in quality, but for the 10D I've experimented with both using either FVU or C1 LE trial versions.

After an extended debate with myself, I've concluded that for topside pictures at least, I'm better off using the extra (memory) space to take 3 JPG shots of the same scene rather than 1 RAW shot. For me, bracketing with those 3 shots to get the focus and exposure JUST right is worth much much more than the miniscule improvement obtained by going RAW.

The increase in hassle by going RAW in terms of workflow also pains me too....

There was a poster by the name of Mahesh Thapa on DPreview who, at least on the Fuji S2 forum, was very well respected for his beautiful landscape shots (at least one pic a day!). His signature line was something like "I shot JPG, learnt more, went to RAW, learnt more and went back to shooting JPG" or something like that. I'm paraphrasing.

Let me know the reasons that you shoot RAW on the 10D, Stu. Here are some of my 10D pics, topside of course, but all shot in JPG:
http://www.pbase.com/ychng/featured

Yeang
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#20 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 09:50 AM

Hi Yeang,

Right now, I shoot JPG's for most of my images, but these are topside, well lit shots, no tricky lighting.

see...Bears

and

Hawk

However over the summer, I was shooting a fireworks competition here in Vancouver, it was spread over 2 weeks, every Wednesday and Saturday....anyway. The first night was shot in RAW, but the camera took too long do flush the buffer (I took 100 plus images during the 30 minute show), the 2nd night I shot JPG.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, because of the tricky lighting (bright bursts of light, v.s. dark foreground) the JPGs blew out the fireworks, and this while I was actively adjust exposure based on the histogram, the RAW file held better detail and I noticed more colours in the bursts instead of just hot white.

see... fireworks

It doesn't show up on a low res image but in the main burst, on a good print, you'll see shades of pink and blue

Several very good UW digital shooters that I know and respect only shoot JPGs... it wasn't till I was reading on this forum that I considered RAW. On Rob Galbraiths forum, a frequent poster (Noel Carboni) will and has put JPG files up against RAW files and is very convincing in terms of quality....

Stu

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