Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Next step in dark waters


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 oskar

oskar

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 336 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:00 AM

I´m having some issues with my Sea & sea DX-1G.

I am most of the time trying to get somewhat balanced light shots in my temperate wter diving conditions. Quite often this means setting the camera at the max limit for shake and apaerture. for example the settings may be:

1/20th + f2.5 and then adjust strobe power to light my model and hopefully freeze the motion sufficently. I have to accept some blur of the background. I lock ISO to 100 maximum as I think noise is too overwhelming otherwise (The camera is in fact a Richo GX100 which has noise issues http://www.dpreview..../ricohgx100/14). Lens is at it's widest with a S&S wide wet-lens that gives about 16mm equivalent WA.

Often this is not enough exposure so I may have to lift the background exposure 1EV in post processing (I still think this is better than ISO200 or 400)

So, I'm fed up with this. If I upgrade to a current compact system (with same WA option) how much more steps do I get?

Say for example Olympus ZX-1 + oly housing + oly wet WA lens or canon S95 + third party housing + third party wet lens

How many ISO-steps can these newer generation cameras take before ending up at same ISO s/n ratio? And how many steps advantage do they have averal weighing in all factors (such as lenses for example)

Is it significant or do i need to step into m4/3 or other large sensor systems to get a real benefit?

Cheers
/O

#2 DamonA

DamonA

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane
  • Interests:Photography, Scuba, Skin Diving, "Animal Lover" and Woodworking, Licensed Professional Joiner & Carpenter.
    Don't like contact sport at all or elite level professional sport.

Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:39 AM

I´m having some issues with my Sea & sea DX-1G.

I am most of the time trying to get somewhat balanced light shots in my temperate wter diving conditions. Quite often this means setting the camera at the max limit for shake and apaerture. for example the settings may be:

1/20th + f2.5 and then adjust strobe power to light my model and hopefully freeze the motion sufficently. I have to accept some blur of the background. I lock ISO to 100 maximum as I think noise is too overwhelming otherwise (The camera is in fact a Richo GX100 which has noise issues http://www.dpreview..../ricohgx100/14). Lens is at it's widest with a S&S wide wet-lens that gives about 16mm equivalent WA.

Often this is not enough exposure so I may have to lift the background exposure 1EV in post processing (I still think this is better than ISO200 or 400)

So, I'm fed up with this. If I upgrade to a current compact system (with same WA option) how much more steps do I get?

Say for example Olympus ZX-1 + oly housing + oly wet WA lens or canon S95 + third party housing + third party wet lens

How many ISO-steps can these newer generation cameras take before ending up at same ISO s/n ratio? And how many steps advantage do they have averal weighing in all factors (such as lenses for example)

Is it significant or do i need to step into m4/3 or other large sensor systems to get a real benefit?

Cheers
/O


I am no pro, but I might bring some out of their hidiholes....

If I had a smallish budget, I'd get a cannon 600d grey job or a secondhand 550d or 90d, the cost extra compared to the P&S isn't worth the loss in composition, it becomes a random lucky dip with P&S unless your shooting starfish, shells or nudi's !



You know you want DSLR don't you? :P

#3 oskar

oskar

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 336 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm

Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:57 AM

I think you might be somewhat spot on :rose: It's just a matter to get into right mindset to take the plunge...

About composing; If I get a 550D in ikelite housing, how well does it work to compose with the viewfinder as-is or is a magnifyer a mandatory addition?


You know you want DSLR don't you? :P



#4 Cerianthus

Cerianthus

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hasselt, Overijssel, Netherlands

Posted 10 May 2012 - 02:13 AM

Oskar. It is possible with a normal ikelite viewer, but I always found you had to tilt or swivel your head a little bit to see the whole image. I now have an inon 45 viewfinder attached to it, but yet have to take it to the water (well except in the batthub).
Gerard

My photo's on flickr
Crop the world ! (Using Canon 20D, 60mm, 100mm, 10-17mm FE, Ikelite)

#5 kmo_underwater

kmo_underwater

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 35 posts

Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:03 AM

Loss in composition? I thought composition was a skill, not a camera setting.

#6 DamonA

DamonA

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane
  • Interests:Photography, Scuba, Skin Diving, "Animal Lover" and Woodworking, Licensed Professional Joiner & Carpenter.
    Don't like contact sport at all or elite level professional sport.

Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:50 PM

Loss in composition? I thought composition was a skill, not a camera setting.


Greatest part of the art!

But I think he means framing the shot(he's swede, means English might not be first language!).

Can you see the entire shot thru the viewfinder?
no you can't, the angle required thru the viewfinder is greater!
but a lill wiggle of the head does it or its and extra $1000 odd for an add on one.
Beats hell out of using the lcd back screen(live view) for framing a shot either way, saves battery power too!

Edited by DamonA, 10 May 2012 - 12:54 PM.


#7 kmo_underwater

kmo_underwater

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 35 posts

Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:17 PM

Can you see the entire shot thru the viewfinder?
no you can't, the angle required thru the viewfinder is greater!
but a lill wiggle of the head does it or its and extra $1000 odd for an add on one.
Beats hell out of using the lcd back screen(live view) for framing a shot either way, saves battery power too!

I see what you mean (pardon the pun), as a compact camera shooter I rely on lcd exclusively.

To the original post, I don't notice significant noise with correctly exposed shots on an s95 up to iso400. I tend to shoot at iso200 if I expect low light or want to brighten the background. I find that slow shutter speeds create as much or more noise on small sensors as going above base ISO. But really it is not a massive step up from iso100 with the newer compacts.

#8 oskar

oskar

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 336 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm

Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:31 AM

Aw, come on! "loss of composition" wasn't my wording, maybe you were referring to something else? Shutter lag?

The issue is not correctly exposed shots though, it's how to get a background at all for example by lifting the shadows when longer exposures are not possible.

#9 Stoo

Stoo

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 160 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:15 PM

I shoot a lot in the Great Lakes, at fairly good depths... 110' to 180'. The water is clear but can be fairly dark, depending on weather and time of day.

IMHO, the biggest problem noted above is having to shoot at an ISO of 100. If the noise is too great at 200 - 400, then replace it. I took a bunch of natural light shots in December and shot at ISO 400 and even 800 on a D90 and got very nice results.

Edited by Stoo, 13 May 2012 - 08:16 PM.


#10 decosnapper

decosnapper

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 423 posts

Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:40 PM

This was shot at a depth of 22m in a quarry in England. December 22nd is the date and the sun was about as low as it gets:-

Westland Wessex at NDAC

And this is from the same shoot:-

Fourth Element full page advert

In both instances ISO800 on a Nikon D300 was used to give a workable, handhold shutter and aperture setting. In the case of the FE advert, its run as a full page printed advert and no one has said 'ohhh...ISO a bit high there....". The later sensors are remarkably good at handling high noise, and the software to deal with it has come on leaps and bounds.

Now consider the B+W shots here:-

Something like Stockholm...wrecks of Aland

All of these were shot on a D200...ISO was as high as 1600 for some very slow shutter speeds, slow enough to consign a few to the 'don't bother' list. The noise/grain was, for my tastes in B+W at least, just about OK...but these have been reprocessed in LR3. I could quite happily go back to Aland and shoot the lot again (particularly now I have a trimix cert) and get better results using the D300.

Conclusion? Work with high ISO, use wide apertures and slow shutter speeds. Get the best camera you can justify...but a secondhand D300 would be a good choice. If you get a later DSLR it just gets better...
Simon Brown

www.simonbrownimages.com

#11 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:02 PM

At this point, the micro 4/3 cameras need to be considered. They have a very large sensor, only 25% smaller than APC, and a great collection of lenses from both pany and oly available.

oly stays committed to underwater, by offering very cost effective housings, and others make fancy aluminum ones as well.

If you are on a budget, an oly epl2 and oly housing, will not set you back much more than a p&s camera in an ike housing.

The latest oly omd is a killer camera, near to a nikon d7000 or canon 7d in IQ, and many great features.

Ive got one on order. Oly promised a housing available this summer.

http://www.dpreview....ews/olympusem5/
http://www.scubaboar...tml#post6340612
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#12 oskar

oskar

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 336 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm

Posted 15 May 2012 - 02:29 AM

I really like your shots, and I hope you liked Åland. Åland is not quite my back yard, but at least it's my neighbor's front porch ;-)

Conclusion? Work with high ISO, use wide apertures and slow shutter speeds. Get the best camera you can justify...but a secondhand D300 would be a good choice. If you get a later DSLR it just gets better...



System camera it is, the question is just what route to take.

m4/3 or other mirrorless variant would be nice for the size, but the equation will come down to price/performance/size of the whole package including WA lens and dome. When looking at the whole kit I'm not so sure that mirorrless is still winning.

When it comes to used cameras I unfortunately has bought into Canon APS-C for top-side currently while a lot of the used kits are Nikon (and Nikon seems to be on top on new systems as well for the moment). So maybe it is time to make a switch.

#13 decosnapper

decosnapper

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 423 posts

Posted 15 May 2012 - 05:58 AM

I really like your shots, and I hope you liked Åland. Åland is not quite my back yard, but at least it's my neighbor's front porch ;-)


Thank you, and yes I did rate Åland...the resulting feature ran in Dyk a while back, not sure what issue...
Simon Brown

www.simonbrownimages.com

#14 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:18 AM

System camera it is, the question is just what route to take.

m4/3 or other mirrorless variant would be nice for the size, but the equation will come down to price/performance/size of the whole package including WA lens and dome. When looking at the whole kit I'm not so sure that mirorrless is still winning.

When it comes to used cameras I unfortunately has bought into Canon APS-C for top-side currently while a lot of the used kits are Nikon (and Nikon seems to be on top on new systems as well for the moment). So maybe it is time to make a switch.


The low end canon SLRs are better for underwater, than the low end nikons. The low end nikons cannot drive lenses with out built in focus motors, including the much beloved tokina 10-17 WA lens everyone want to use underwater.

If you have canon dslr, and don't mind the weight of size, you could save a lot of money sticking with the canon, and getting an ike housing for it.

But it is big and heavy. A lot to travel on airlines with, for me.

The low end oly micro 4/3 say an epl2 (which you can still find new if you want), and the oly housing will cost you less than the ikelite housing SLR alone.
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#15 oskar

oskar

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 336 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm

Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:29 AM

The low end oly micro 4/3 say an epl2 (which you can still find new if you want), and the oly housing will cost you less than the ikelite housing SLR alone.


Is the above m4/3 still cheaper with a ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) angle lens and dome factored in though?

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about. This gallery is a bit too small, but generally in the photos with a diver in the foreground, I have a shutter time of 1/20th or longer in order to get the background wreckage (Riksäpplet, sunk 1676) to be visible. The water contains a lot of particles so strobe power has to be low & with a diffuser.

http://marinarkeolog...plet/index.html


Cheers
/O

#16 Graggs

Graggs

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:01 AM

The DSLR versus Compact will rage on and it's not simple....whey up the pro's and con's yourself and how they work for you.

I used to use a Canon G9 setup then migrated to a Canon 5D in an Ikkie housing. BUT, I already owned the 5D and a suitable lens, so my only outlay was the housing which I managed to get second hand.

BUT, I now have to lug around a lot of kit ....that has a cost.... most of which is the wife nagging me.

Also consider how this will change the way you dive / who you dive with etc! Your experience?

I did a dive in Majorca two weeks ago on a wreck, I didn't take the camera kit because I was travelling alone and I didn't have the weight allowance. When we got on the wreck, the subject matter was clearly macro...I was quite smug, because if I HAD have taken the camera, I would have almost certainly setup for wide angle! My point; one of the key benefits to compact is payload of kit and the ability to swap in wet lenses - BUT do your homework, some combinations DO NOT work....and some combinations work better than others.

If you want to do anything, make sure you get the latest sensor technology, since your article started with the point of view. Buying older kit may not be a benefit in the long run.

I suffered similar problems with some deeper diving in Tenerife and that's what led me to migrate. There's no doubt the 5D is awesome compared to the G9 ....but since then, I've also added a decent Inon Strobe and changed my technique.

BTW Since Canon has just launched the 5D MkIII so there will be an abundance of MkII stuff floating about, you could do worse than mopping some of that up!

Also consider video....that may be a factor now or in the future.

Whatever you decide to do, you will not solve the problem with just the camera, you may get a few extra stops with a little less grain, but to make a real difference you need some education and maybe a different approach?

I sat in a talk on Saturday by a guy called Simon Brown, check out his work, some of this is taken in water with 3~5m viz. http://www.flickr.co...monbrownimages/

Think about some off camera strobe?

Also, looking at your shots, have you read about green filters? Obviously these only work in natural light...again, the benefit of compact is these could be wet filters!

G

#17 decosnapper

decosnapper

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 423 posts

Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:57 AM

...Whatever you decide to do, you will not solve the problem with just the camera, you may get a few extra stops with a little less grain, but to make a real difference you need some education and maybe a different approach?

I sat in a talk on Saturday by a guy called Simon Brown, check out his work, some of this is taken in water with 3~5m viz. http://www.flickr.co...monbrownimages/



Thanks for the namecheck Graggs...I'm here on Wetpixel under the moniker of 'decosnapper'...hope you enjoyed the talk?

As an aside, I'm going back to Scapa Flow in October this year and running a very informal workshop. October does give a good chance of some reasonable temperate blueish water vis inside the Flow...but the techniques used will be no different to clear water really...
As a sample of what the Flow can offer, here's a link to some images taken on HMS Royal Oak in 2009 , and all were in 4 to 5m of vis. I should add that Royal Oak is a Controlled Site and we won't be diving the wreck, but the same marine life is on the remains of German fleet.

If anyone is interested, please feel free to PM me for details of the trip...
Simon Brown

www.simonbrownimages.com

#18 Graggs

Graggs

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:19 AM

Thanks for the namecheck Graggs...

No problem Simon, it was a great talk...inspiring amusing and emotional at times. I did want to discuss the approach of the Royal Oak photography with you, but that's for another time maybe? Thanks for the link to your Flickr page BTW.

As an aside, I'm going back to Scapa Flow in October

I'll try and stay in touch...if I'm not too busy around then I might be up for that!