My story starts in January of 2011 when the gentleman operating the Belezian dive shop we were diving with lent me his Canon Powershot SD 850 (iirc). I'd been diving since 2004 (rarely, as us Canadian prairie folk are wont to do) and my buddy and I had goofed around with his first-gen GoPro but I was instantly hooked once I got the Powershot images uploaded. I was an SLR shooter back in high school (circa 1991), lost it for a while, and got back into it when I accidentally bought a Canon Rebel XTi (Canon 400D in international parlance, I believe) in 2007.
Starting shopping, I was expecting to invest in a P&S, perhaps a Sealife, given that I dive so rarely. Making an investment in an SLR housing didn't seem prudent, but when I went to my LDS for advice I was in luck! His photography-inclined employee was selling his Ikelite XTi housing for peanuts. We closed the deal, bought a single DS161 strobe, and still had change for what I'd have spent on the Sealife setup. Bulky, perhaps, but affordable! I was pumped to start hitting the local dive sites with a vengeance. Local, cold, freshwater diving with my new setup. What could be better?
(And yes, I know that the term 'bulky' is relative. Looking at some of the rigs you guys are using brings to mind the contraption that James Cameron slid into to go check out the Mariana Trench!)
Life deviates from the script on a regular basis, however. In my case it was a very welcome addition to our growing family that helped delete the two annual dive trips me and the buds did. Fast forward to today and I have some great looking equipment that looks like it hasn't been used since.... well.... before I bought it. Yikes!
In the meantime my topside equipment has been upgraded (I happily snagged a 7D and recently added a 5D Mark II that was priced so low I couldn't walk away). I started thinking about ways to swap the XTi housing for either the 7D or 5DM2 but rational sensibility stepped in my way. Gear lust and intelligence are on two ends of a teeter-totter in my brain. Gear lust goes up, the intelligence goes down. Thankfully the metaphorical teeter-totter swung back the other way. I'm now getting re-excited to dive the Rebel setup, knowing three things:
1. The Rebel can take just as good a pic as the 7D, something I've proven to myself a number of times.
2. The price differential between what I'd get for the XTi housing and what I'd pay for a 7D (or 5DM2) housing would be tough to justify.
3. The cost of a DEU Error (Defective End User Error) is a lot lower if I have a Rebel inside instead of a 7D. Soggy XTi replacement on eBay: around $300. Soggy 7d or 5DM2 replacement: a much larger number, be it in Pounds, Euros, Canadian Dollars, or USD.
(I did some internal debating about whether the 7D or M5D2 would make for a better underwater rig. I wonder if that's been discussed around here...
That's my story. It was a book that brought me here ('The Underwater Photographer'). Here's hoping that a lot of fun times keeps me here.
Cheers to all!