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Considering new Nikon D7000 - would appreciate comments/alternatives


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#1 dvleemin

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:29 AM

I've been looking for a new setup for a little while, and I am leaning towards a Nikon D7000. I currently shoot a Oly e330 with Ikelite housing and Ikelite DS125 strobe.

My current camera is obviously out of date, so that's the primary reason I'm looking. What do I want to get out of a camera?

- better low light shooting
- high MP
- video
- would like to keep and re-use my strobe

I like everything from Macro to fish portraits to wide angle.

I have to say I'm a fan of the Ikelite housings (probably because I've never had issues) and like the modular port options. Not stuck on this, but they do seem like a good economical solution.

Anyway, what I would appreciate is the following:
1) What other camera's with similar strengths, and cost, should I be looking at
2) What are the downsides of the D7000?
3) If I do go with the D7000, what lenses would you recommend?

Thanks,

Darryl

#2 Viz'art

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:46 AM

I think the Nikon D7000 is one of the best balance of performance found on camera to bring underwater, you can get a high quality system without having your wallet cleaned up, the choice DX format lenses are well suited for this type of photography (I feel DX has a better selection of lenses than FX has, and getting the same coverage from fisheye to macro, is bound to be substantially less expensive than it would for a full frame system.

Canon versus Nikon: in your case, with Nikon, your Ikelite strobe can be used in TTL with the Ikelite 4302 or 4301 external TTL converter, it can only be used in manual with a Canon

Only downside I see to the D7000 is that it is not as sturdy built as I would like it to be, but then again, it is not meant to be used by pro photographers or cavemen. and it is solid enough for pretty much all users who care about their gears.

Lens choice, Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye Zoom, either a Nikon 10-24mm or Sigma 10-20mm, Nikon AF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro or/and Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR, I also use a Sigma 17-70mm on occasion, it has moderate wide angle coverage and a fairly good close up performance and it is, IMO inexpensive.
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

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Aquatica Pro Digital housings for D-300s, AF 10-20mm, AF 10-17mm, AF 14MM, AF 17-35mm, af 17-70mm, AF 20MM, AF 60MM, AF 105MM, 2x Ikelite Ds 160, and TLC arms exclusively

#3 udi62

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:53 AM

My impressions from the D7000, are completely different. It's a good camera apart for the most important thing, the A/F. After using 2 bodies (probably from earlier serials) and throwing away 95% of the pics that were out of focus, I"ve decided to switch for the D800. I think there ia an argument around the D7000 A/F system on the net - some say it suffers from B/F and F/F problems and you have to calibrate calibrate each lens with the body and some sayes it's ok.

#4 Aussiebyron

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:07 PM

I have been using the Nikon D7000 (used two bodies) for about 18months now and taken a few thousand shots underwater. The only time that I had issues with AF was using AFC and AFA modes with 3D metering when using the Tokina 10-17mm @ 10mm. It would hunt and miss shots and often had a few out of focus shots also. I left the camera in AFS with spot metering and never had a problem with out of focus shots.

I use Ikelite Ds161 strobes and I just have the Ikelite connection in my Aquaitca and shot the strobes in Manual. It takes a little bit of time to get used to using your brain as the TTL but I prefer shooting manual now in both Wideangle and Macro.

As Jean said the D7000 isnt in a pro body with weather protection like D800 and D300 but my cameras spend most of their life protected in an Aquatica housing so it an issue for me.

Lenses I use are the Tokina 10-17mm (almost 95% of the time) and when I do shoot macro I use the 60mm Macro with Kenko 1.4x TC with success.

Another love I have with the D7000 is that it has a flash sync of 1/320th with my Ikelites which I love using for Sunbursts.

The only downside to the D7000 is its buffer size. Yes it has high frame rate when shooting in bursts but it can only rip off maybe 10-12 shots before the buffer freezes up. This isnt an issue for my underwater shooting but it would be if your shooting action shots like Dolphins and Whales on the surface.

For the price The D7000 and features the D7000 is the best bang for buck about as the bodies are selling for $800 new $650 Refurbished here in Australia. Compared the the New D600 which is very simialr to the D7000 in FX and larger sensor for $2100 and the D800 for $3000.

Another option to that some people sell off their setups when a new camera turns up and there was a recent sale of a complete D7000 Aquatica setup in the classified section.

Another item which I strongly suggest is a viewfinder like the Aquaview or Nauticam. They are an expensive bit of glass but honestly once you use one especially for macro you wonder why you didnt buy one years ago. Again another item which sometimes comes p for sale in the classified section or ebay.

If you have an more question Darryl feel free to drop me a line.

Regards Mark
Nikon D7000 with Aquatica housing called "Deedee", Tokina 10-17,Nikkor 60mm, Nikkor 105mm, Sigma 17-70, Ikelite DS161

http://www.flickr.co...s/22898788@N04/

#5 Alastair

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:04 PM

i am still debating whether to go FX or house my D7000 which i bought for the wife. She would of course get a new camera. I am still waiting to see if they will release an update for the D7000 or for the D300s.
Alastair

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Inon strobes, TLC arms.

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#6 Stoo

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:42 PM

I'll echo what Jean said. I moved up from a D90 to the D7000 (in one of Jean's spiffy housings) and I love it. There is a significant difference in the dynamic range between these two cameras. I see it especially in sun rays and that colour gradation we see in WA shots.

The larger file size allows for large prints. As mentioned, it isn't necessarily a tank of a body, but the things lie in a hermetically sealed aluminum box, craddled by water. How tough does it need to be?

I also agree with Jean's lens suggestions... I use a 10-17, 60 macro, 105 macro and 12-24 in the water.

#7 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:27 PM

I had first a D90 in a Ikelite housing; a great camera in a good housing but as i am a tech nerd i switched to a D7000 in a Hugyfot housing,
The D7000 has a better dynamic range and a better and more accurate exposure system but then ....
I could not resist the call of the new D800 and did the step to get also Nikons professional lenses and a new Hugyfot housing.
The housing should arrive today or tomorrow so i have still no experience below the waterline, but above my expectations are more then satisfied.

In this days the new D600 was presented and this camera may be the next darling of all underwater photographers.

If you get the D7000 choose your lenses careful as you may step up soon to a FX camera and you rather invest now in excellent FX lenses on the D7000,
than later, when you change to FX - need to sell your FX lenses.

I useed on my D90 and D7000:
DX Tokina 12-24 mm (very nice, excellent built, rectilinear zoom with a wide field of view, needs a big dome as all rectilinear WA Lenses, excellent land lens!)
FX Tokina 100mm macro ( good quality 100mm macro, slight chromatic abbreations, 100mm need calm waters to handle it)
FX Nikon 105mm micro non VR (excellent lens, new model has VR and may have problems with hunting under low contrast)
FX Sigma 15mm Diagona Fisheye ( a very cool 180° fisheyewith no barrel distortion if pointed perfectly horizontally, very near focus)

Chris

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#8 dvleemin

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:24 AM

I have been using the Nikon D7000 (used two bodies) for about 18months now and taken a few thousand shots underwater. The only time that I had issues with AF was using AFC and AFA modes with 3D metering when using the Tokina 10-17mm @ 10mm. It would hunt and miss shots and often had a few out of focus shots also. I left the camera in AFS with spot metering and never had a problem with out of focus shots.

I use Ikelite Ds161 strobes and I just have the Ikelite connection in my Aquaitca and shot the strobes in Manual. It takes a little bit of time to get used to using your brain as the TTL but I prefer shooting manual now in both Wideangle and Macro.

As Jean said the D7000 isnt in a pro body with weather protection like D800 and D300 but my cameras spend most of their life protected in an Aquatica housing so it an issue for me.

Lenses I use are the Tokina 10-17mm (almost 95% of the time) and when I do shoot macro I use the 60mm Macro with Kenko 1.4x TC with success.

Another love I have with the D7000 is that it has a flash sync of 1/320th with my Ikelites which I love using for Sunbursts.

The only downside to the D7000 is its buffer size. Yes it has high frame rate when shooting in bursts but it can only rip off maybe 10-12 shots before the buffer freezes up. This isnt an issue for my underwater shooting but it would be if your shooting action shots like Dolphins and Whales on the surface.

For the price The D7000 and features the D7000 is the best bang for buck about as the bodies are selling for $800 new $650 Refurbished here in Australia. Compared the the New D600 which is very simialr to the D7000 in FX and larger sensor for $2100 and the D800 for $3000.

Another option to that some people sell off their setups when a new camera turns up and there was a recent sale of a complete D7000 Aquatica setup in the classified section.

Another item which I strongly suggest is a viewfinder like the Aquaview or Nauticam. They are an expensive bit of glass but honestly once you use one especially for macro you wonder why you didnt buy one years ago. Again another item which sometimes comes p for sale in the classified section or ebay.

If you have an more question Darryl feel free to drop me a line.

Regards Mark


Thanks.

Is the buffer issue you have an issue with the D7000 buffer, or the speed of the SD card you have? What about settings for whether or not you're backing up to the second SD card?

I'm not familiar with a viewfinder. How does it work? Do you have a link I could look at?

i am still debating whether to go FX or house my D7000 which i bought for the wife. She would of course get a new camera. I am still waiting to see if they will release an update for the D7000 or for the D300s.


Are you referring to a firmware update, or an update to the actual D7000 body?

#9 rtrski

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:07 AM

...I'm not familiar with a viewfinder. How does it work? Do you have a link I could look at?


Scroll toward the bottom here - there's both 180deg (straight) and 45 deg viewfinders.

http://aquatica.ca/e...dslr_d7000.html

(Hope the supplier link is legal - I'm not associated with them and don't even own any of their products, just trying to help the guy asking the question).

The viewfinder helps you see thru your mask, same as the little magnifying 'bubble' on the back of the Ikelite housing you've got now, but with considerably better and larger optics (and, in the case of the 45 deg, helping you keep the camera low to the subject while not crashing your body on the reef or breaking your neck to do so).

Inon also sells one which can be retrofitted onto Ikelite housings, as does I think Dyron*. So the VF isn't going to lock you into choosing Aquatica.

(*Actually Dyron's might just be an Inon with an external coupling. Another board member here - blibecap of "UWCameraStuff" - also retrofits them into Ike housings but directly to replace the existing 'bubble' optic vs. an external clamping ring that might come off with rough handling.)

Edited by rtrski, 20 September 2012 - 09:08 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...


#10 Stoo

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:15 AM

Scroll toward the bottom here - there's both 180deg (straight) and 45 deg viewfinders

I recently added a 45 deg viewfinder to my Aquatica rig and love it. I was able to go to the Aquatica office when I was in Montreal last winter and was able to fondle both. I found the 45 to be much more compact and saved a lot of neck twisting. There's a lot of discussion about these things elsewhere, but a common comment was that the 45 takes some getting used to, and I will echo that. I dive every week and manage 3 or 4 trips a year as well, and I have become comfortable with it, but it did take a bunch of dives. I still occassionally poke myself in the mask with it, especially at night!

It has really helped my framing and composition though. I rarely crop a photo since I started using it...

#11 Viz'art

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:25 AM

Scroll toward the bottom here - there's both 180deg (straight) and 45 deg viewfinders.

http://aquatica.ca/e...dslr_d7000.html

(Hope the supplier link is legal - I'm not associated with them and don't even own any of their products, just trying to help the guy asking the question).


Off course it is legal, and I would go further and thank you for using it as a reference. This link is actually more direct http://aquatica.ca/e...s_aquaview.html

Edited by Viz'art, 20 September 2012 - 09:26 AM.

Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

www.vizart.ca

www.aquatica.ca

Aquatica Pro Digital housings for D-300s, AF 10-20mm, AF 10-17mm, AF 14MM, AF 17-35mm, af 17-70mm, AF 20MM, AF 60MM, AF 105MM, 2x Ikelite Ds 160, and TLC arms exclusively

#12 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:13 AM

Regardless of housing or camera, if you do decide on a cropped body the Tokina 10-17 fisheye zoom is immensely popular. Very sharp, very flare resistant and if you couple it with a Tamron TC, you can do wide angle macro shots with a small dome.

S.

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#13 dvleemin

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:19 AM

Regardless of housing or camera, if you do decide on a cropped body the Tokina 10-17 fisheye zoom is immensely popular. Very sharp, very flare resistant and if you couple it with a Tamron TC, you can do wide angle macro shots with a small dome.

S.

Hi,
Instead of the Tokina 10-17 I was thinking of the Tokina 11-16. At this time I'm not planning on getting a second strobe, and I don't have a high confidence level that a single strobe will work well with the fisheye.

Any thoughts on this?

Darryl

#14 dvleemin

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:23 AM

Off course it is legal, and I would go further and thank you for using it as a reference. This link is actually more direct http://aquatica.ca/e...s_aquaview.html


OK, I get it now.

I've always used the screen liveview. Why would you now just use that?

#15 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:22 AM

Hi Darryl,

For Question 1:

Getting good lighting underwater means getting up close and personal with whatever you're shooting, if you're wanting the reef scenics with nice colour then you'd need to get as close as you can, a Fisheye helps you get close. You are gaining the super wide of a fisheye with the 10-17 and it gets to be rectilinear as you zoom in. IMHO, the 10-17 is better suited for UW (in my style of shooting at least). In many wide images, you don't try to evenly light the entire scene, you use your strobes to paint the subject of interest then let things go to blue/black. If you want an evenly lit/nicely coloured reef, you might have better luck with the Magic Filters where no strobe is used.

Question 2.

DSLRs don't work the same way as P&S/Mirrorless cameras. They use separate sensors for autofocus, these sensors do their jobs extremely well and extremely fast. Faster (for now) than what most P&S/Mirrorless systems claim they can do. So if you use live view then you will be relying on the slow contrast detect AF rather than the dedicated phase detect system of DSLRs. A DSLR doesn't do Live View anywhere near as well as a P&S/Mirrorless camera.

The big viewfinder (I have the Aquaview myself) is almost akin to composing your image using an IMAX screen vs a regular movie screen when through the standard finder. You can of course do it well with the standard finder but if you make the "mistake" of looking through the big VF's, you won't be to happy going back to the standard VF.

S.

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#16 Viz'art

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:30 AM

For one, Auto focusing with the Live View on is, to be polite, mmm... lame at best, (Most DSLR cameras use a different AF method than compact camera do) and manual focusing with a LCD is not the easiest IMO, also holding a substantially bigger and heavier camera and housing at arm length with somewhat slow shutter speed is asking for blurry shots, but on a more personal level, I feel that looking through a real optical viewfinder make me concentrate more on the composition, what you see is the definitive image, no surrounding distraction, manual focusing is also much easier with a true view finder.

When they introduced Live View on DSLR, many of us, at first, thought that this would be the ticket, but as it turned out, the majority of us have stuck with the optical Viewfinder, it still a nice feature to have on a camera, and it is an essential one for shooting video, alas, it is not THE feature that we thought it could be.
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

www.vizart.ca

www.aquatica.ca

Aquatica Pro Digital housings for D-300s, AF 10-20mm, AF 10-17mm, AF 14MM, AF 17-35mm, af 17-70mm, AF 20MM, AF 60MM, AF 105MM, 2x Ikelite Ds 160, and TLC arms exclusively

#17 Aussiebyron

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:59 AM

Is the buffer issue you have an issue with the D7000 buffer, or the speed of the SD card you have? What about settings for whether or not you're backing up to the second SD card?


The buffer size issue I was referring to was with the camera itself and not the speed of the cards used. The D7000 buffer is 10 shots when shooting in Large size RAW files 15 shots in Large JPG's only. If you want to reduce image size and shoot only JPG's it go from 33 shots to 99+ with small basic JPG's. The speed of the card then helps to clear the buffer after each burst. The faster the card the faster the buffer clears for the next shot.

The role of the second SD card can be either as a direct backup of the first card, an overflow on the first card or be used to store JPG's only when you choose RAW and JPG's shot together (First card RAW and second card JPG's). The role of the second card has no effect on the buffer.

This small buffer isnt a problem for my underwater photography as I dont shoot high frames per second as my strobes have to keep up. But it might be an issue if your shooting topside wildlife like Dolphins and Whales or strobeless underwater and require fast frames per second.

As the others have said I wouldnt bother with shooting stills with the liveview. Just leave it for Video.

I would recommend the Tokina 10-17mm over the Tokina 11-16mm for underwater use. The Tokina 10-17mm would have to be the most popular used wideangle lens for DX cameras underwater. The Tokina 11-16mm is a great lens topside or if you want a rectangular wideangle lenses for wrecks or underwater landscapes.

Regarding the external viewfinder it needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. To be able to see more of the frame allows more precise and accurate shooting and once you use one there is little going back.

Regards Mark
Nikon D7000 with Aquatica housing called "Deedee", Tokina 10-17,Nikkor 60mm, Nikkor 105mm, Sigma 17-70, Ikelite DS161

http://www.flickr.co...s/22898788@N04/

#18 Poliwog

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:18 AM

I recently added a 45 deg viewfinder to my Aquatica rig and love it.


I have the straight viewfinder and am thinking of changing over to the 45 degree viewfinder.

Does the 45 degree viewfinder block the viewing angle of live view to the same extent as the straight viewfinder?

I always focus with the viewfinder for still images, but am starting to experiment with video and find the straight viewfinder too obtrusive when shooting video with live view.
Paul Walker.
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#19 Viz'art

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:01 AM

Paul, the 45 degree finder out there all have a pot belly hanging out, it is the nature of the optical design, here is a picture to give you an idea. on the plus side, it can be rotated to present its thinner side (as you would for shooting vertical) when shooting video. then it should no more obstruct the LCD than any straight view finder would.

Aqua-View-45-D.jpg
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

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Aquatica Pro Digital housings for D-300s, AF 10-20mm, AF 10-17mm, AF 14MM, AF 17-35mm, af 17-70mm, AF 20MM, AF 60MM, AF 105MM, 2x Ikelite Ds 160, and TLC arms exclusively

#20 johnspierce

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:39 AM

Short answer, D7000 is the best Nikon DX camera for U/W. Certainly the D800 is fantastic and the Canon 7D and 5D are great options too. I don't think there is any downside to the D7000 as an U/W camera.

- Tokina 10-17mm is a must have lens
- At minimum, have a good flat port and the 8" dome.
- 60mm or 105mm for macro. +5 and +10 diopter and Kenko 1.4 Teleconverter for seriously crazy super macro
- Small dome and teleconverter with 10-17mm for Close Focus Wide Angle

With some good strobes and the D7000 with the above accessories, there really isn't any situation it cannot handle.

Oh, and the new D600? It looks to be a nice FX camera that can produce some excellent images, but 1/200 sec strobe sync makes it a non-starter for me U/W.

Edited by johnspierce, 21 September 2012 - 06:51 AM.

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