First of all, this forum is such a fantastic resource! I'm so glad that I found it and really appreciate all the work that everyone puts into it! Also, sorry if this question seems overly basic to all of you - I'm very new to this.
I've recently been asked to be the photographer for a week-long coral reef course. I have a huge amount of experience with photography in general, but I have never photographed beneath water before. My relevant (maybe?) gear setup is: 1dm2n, 7d, 17-40mm, 150mm macro, plus a smattering of old nikon equipment such as D70, D200, 18-70mm, 105mm macro, etc. I have an external flash for each setup.
Anyhow, the organizers of the program would like me to primarily photograph the students as they study the coral reefs. They would also like as many fish and wildlife shots to go along with the people images as possible, but as I said, the primary target is the students. I've also mentioned that the fish/wildlife images will be very difficult, and they've just told me to try my best.
This entire trip will be snorkel only... Water will nearly always be less than 15 ft. deep above the reefs.
So, on to the gear options:
1. The leader of the program has a very basic underwater setup that he is willing to let me use. It is as follows:
Camera: Sony Cyber-shot DSC W290
Housing: Sony Marine Pack MPK-WEB
Light: Bonica G8V15. 1500 Lumen high power underwater LED video light.
2. I've also been told that if I can put together a "wish list", the leader can propose to the program director that the equipment on the wish list be purchased. He has said that this is totally up in the air, but it's worth a shot. Finally, he also suggested that equipment could be rented, if possible. He has suggested that I put together 2 potential options to propose: a mid-level option that would be better than what he has but still not too expensive, and a high-level option that would be the totally ideal setup (without going too crazy on the costs).
I've spoken with 2 very experienced UW photographers, and they have suggested that a DSLR setup might be far too difficult for me to handle given the fact that this is my first experience with UW photography and given the fact that this is a snorkel only trip.
Any suggestions / advice would be super super helpful. Also, if you think that the leader's setup that he already has (option #1) is sufficient and that no extra gear need be purchased, please let me know.
Thank you so much!! I really appreciate any input that you might have!
Edited by eg2011, 25 May 2012 - 08:25 AM.