Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Considering new Nikon D7000 - would appreciate comments/alternatives


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#21 rtrski

rtrski

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1001 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas, USA
  • Interests:Slowly learning digital photography and underwater digital photography. Like drinking from a salt-water firehose... ;-)

Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:17 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.


For the benefit of explaining to the OP, I think there's two reasons for that - one is focusing speed/quality, and the other is 'ergonomics' or user interaction with the camera.

On the first subject, compacts use contrast-detect AF as you know, and can do it pretty quickly because they've got small, integrated lenses that typically don't have much throw and typically have smaller apertures (higher f-numbers) so they've got bigger focal depth ranges to begin with. DSLR's can't (in general, see caveats below) do CDAF as fast. Plus, CDAF as a technique is just analyzing 'sharpness' accross a portion of a scene, and only tells you when you're "in" focus and (through continuous sensor data analysis as the focus motor is moving) whether moving a lens is increasing or decreasing that local contrast. For the most part it isn't predictive. Phase-detect AF used by most DLSR's almost immediately measures not just whether or not a particular point is in focus but by how far, so it can immediately instruct a lens jump to here, and then fine-tune with a quick subsequent measurement and instruction. But the PDAF module is located in the viewfinder tunnel, fed by the mirror, which flips up and out of the way to let the light hit the sensor during actual exposure.

Most cameras using "live view" these days just flip that mirror out of the way, and let the sensor see the light, which means the PDAF module gets zilch. They then switch to CDAF as the autofocus mechanism (analyzing the sensor data), and given that the lenses are larger and more varied, the CDAF isn't in general as 'fast' as it can be on compact. Your history is a little unique though: the Olympus E330 was the first DLSR with live-view and also one of the few that did it different: the rear screen LV in that camera isn't provided by the main sensor but by an auxilliary display sensor that received light split off of the optical VF path, while the PDAF module was still active (the mirror was still down). Only when taking a shot did the mirror move. So the E330 had 'live view' and PDAF. Later Olympus DSLR's elminated this (too expensive and costs too much light in the optical VF to satisfy "serious" photographers, I guess)* and went back to CDAF and main sensor-provided live view. Sony's DSLR's sort of adopted something similar to the original E330 technique for a little while but with an optional secondary mirror tilt that would let the light bouncing from the mirror feed either a secondary sensor (for live view) or the optical viewfinder, but not both at the same time. I believe in either case though the PDAF module still got light. And of course the newer Sony SLT's are full-time "live view" since the transluscent mirror approach always allows both main sensor illumination and PDAF module illumination.

Since then mirrorless has come out, and a lot of advances especially from Panasonic and Olympus on CDAF speed such that it nearly rivals PDAF (even beats poorly-done PDAF in many cases). If you switch from your present E330, but still choose to shoot using the rear screen, keep in mind that means you're losing that semi-unique "live view" implementation and going to CDAF autofocus (mirrorless, or most DSLR's in "live view" mode), with the Sony exception.

On the second topic - focusing on the rear screen (with your eyes I mean) is difficult as it means you're dealing with ambient light and reflections masking your view, plus having to 'accomodate' focusing on something close to you. This gets harder on the eyes as you get older. And, it's hard to judge even if you can see the rear screen well whether critical fine focus is being displayed - the LCDs have lower pixel resolution than the sensor does. Most DLSR shooters prefer to use the actual camera's viewfinder (even without an external VF attachment) because when you look at the sceen in the viewfinder your eyes are 'focusing' on the scene as if you were looking at it normally, at distance, so the 'accomodation' issue for those of us who now need bifocals is gone. As you lift your eye from the viewfinder to look at the real scene, you're not having to shift your focus from near to far and back, it's far easier on the bioprocessed optics. Posted Image And, although it can be a bit awkward to squash your mask up against the housing, the view through the VF is a lot clearer (ambient light is blocked) and easier to judge the actual optics of the camera's current focal plane with. So if you do go DSLR, for the most part, you might want to assume that will also mean you'll be better off switching your shooting style to using that viewfinder like you would most of the time out of the housing.

Hope this helps - sorry to be longwinded.

[*Footnote: I had my E330 as my first DSLR in part because I was sold on the idea of 'live view' as a way to keep PDAF underwater and yet use the rear screen to shoot; it was my first foray away from compact cameras in general, much less underwater. I didn't like the idea of smooshing my face against the camera and ignoring surroundings (less experienced diver, plus I didn't yet need the bifocals). As a result when I later upgraded to an E30 and lost this feature - I found I just stopped using live view above water, and never bothered to house the E30. Frankly, it kind of soured me on Olympus although in many other ways I still loved the E30, and loved the Zuiko lenses. They just killed off what I thought of as groundbreaking, industry-unique liveview.

I muddled around a while before realizing the Sony's were doing more what I'd personally 'liked' with their SLT's and switched to that, and I'm back to using liveview above water for all sorts of wacky viewpoints (articulating LCD plus liveview with good fast focus performance lets you do all sorts of framing you can't do with your eye against the viewfinder). But even though I've gone to this Sony a55 underwater...my time with the E30 taught me a lot more use of the actual optical VF, I've become a more comfortable diver re: task loading my buddy and gauge and surroundings-awareness with camera attention, and my eye changes over the years have resulted in me using the viewfinder underwater vs. the rear screen.

I've come full-circle in the sense of having the chance at pretty good AF performance capability with the rear screen, but still preferring to use the VF tunnel to help me actually judge the focus and perform the framing. Seems like a contradiction, eh? :D ]

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...


#22 dvleemin

dvleemin

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 25 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:49 AM

For the benefit of explaining to the OP, I think there's two reasons for that - one is focusing speed/quality, and the other is 'ergonomics' or user interaction with the camera.

On the first subject, compacts use contrast-detect AF as you know, and can do it pretty quickly because they've got small, integrated lenses that typically don't have much throw and typically have smaller apertures (higher f-numbers) so they've got bigger focal depth ranges to begin with. DSLR's can't (in general, see caveats below) do CDAF as fast. Plus, CDAF as a technique is just analyzing 'sharpness' accross a portion of a scene, and only tells you when you're "in" focus and (through continuous sensor data analysis as the focus motor is moving) whether moving a lens is increasing or decreasing that local contrast. For the most part it isn't predictive. Phase-detect AF used by most DLSR's almost immediately measures not just whether or not a particular point is in focus but by how far, so it can immediately instruct a lens jump to here, and then fine-tune with a quick subsequent measurement and instruction. But the PDAF module is located in the viewfinder tunnel, fed by the mirror, which flips up and out of the way to let the light hit the sensor during actual exposure.

Most cameras using "live view" these days just flip that mirror out of the way, and let the sensor see the light, which means the PDAF module gets zilch. They then switch to CDAF as the autofocus mechanism (analyzing the sensor data), and given that the lenses are larger and more varied, the CDAF isn't in general as 'fast' as it can be on compact. Your history is a little unique though: the Olympus E330 was the first DLSR with live-view and also one of the few that did it different: the rear screen LV in that camera isn't provided by the main sensor but by an auxilliary display sensor that received light split off of the optical VF path, while the PDAF module was still active (the mirror was still down). Only when taking a shot did the mirror move. So the E330 had 'live view' and PDAF. Later Olympus DSLR's elminated this (too expensive and costs too much light in the optical VF to satisfy "serious" photographers, I guess)* and went back to CDAF and main sensor-provided live view. Sony's DSLR's sort of adopted something similar to the original E330 technique for a little while but with an optional secondary mirror tilt that would let the light bouncing from the mirror feed either a secondary sensor (for live view) or the optical viewfinder, but not both at the same time. I believe in either case though the PDAF module still got light. And of course the newer Sony SLT's are full-time "live view" since the transluscent mirror approach always allows both main sensor illumination and PDAF module illumination.

Since then mirrorless has come out, and a lot of advances especially from Panasonic and Olympus on CDAF speed such that it nearly rivals PDAF (even beats poorly-done PDAF in many cases). If you switch from your present E330, but still choose to shoot using the rear screen, keep in mind that means you're losing that semi-unique "live view" implementation and going to CDAF autofocus (mirrorless, or most DSLR's in "live view" mode), with the Sony exception.

On the second topic - focusing on the rear screen (with your eyes I mean) is difficult as it means you're dealing with ambient light and reflections masking your view, plus having to 'accomodate' focusing on something close to you. This gets harder on the eyes as you get older. And, it's hard to judge even if you can see the rear screen well whether critical fine focus is being displayed - the LCDs have lower pixel resolution than the sensor does. Most DLSR shooters prefer to use the actual camera's viewfinder (even without an external VF attachment) because when you look at the sceen in the viewfinder your eyes are 'focusing' on the scene as if you were looking at it normally, at distance, so the 'accomodation' issue for those of us who now need bifocals is gone. As you lift your eye from the viewfinder to look at the real scene, you're not having to shift your focus from near to far and back, it's far easier on the bioprocessed optics. Posted Image And, although it can be a bit awkward to squash your mask up against the housing, the view through the VF is a lot clearer (ambient light is blocked) and easier to judge the actual optics of the camera's current focal plane with. So if you do go DSLR, for the most part, you might want to assume that will also mean you'll be better off switching your shooting style to using that viewfinder like you would most of the time out of the housing.

Hope this helps - sorry to be longwinded.

[*Footnote: I had my E330 as my first DSLR in part because I was sold on the idea of 'live view' as a way to keep PDAF underwater and yet use the rear screen to shoot; it was my first foray away from compact cameras in general, much less underwater. I didn't like the idea of smooshing my face against the camera and ignoring surroundings (less experienced diver, plus I didn't yet need the bifocals). As a result when I later upgraded to an E30 and lost this feature - I found I just stopped using live view above water, and never bothered to house the E30. Frankly, it kind of soured me on Olympus although in many other ways I still loved the E30, and loved the Zuiko lenses. They just killed off what I thought of as groundbreaking, industry-unique liveview.

I muddled around a while before realizing the Sony's were doing more what I'd personally 'liked' with their SLT's and switched to that, and I'm back to using liveview above water for all sorts of wacky viewpoints (articulating LCD plus liveview with good fast focus performance lets you do all sorts of framing you can't do with your eye against the viewfinder). But even though I've gone to this Sony a55 underwater...my time with the E30 taught me a lot more use of the actual optical VF, I've become a more comfortable diver re: task loading my buddy and gauge and surroundings-awareness with camera attention, and my eye changes over the years have resulted in me using the viewfinder underwater vs. the rear screen.

I've come full-circle in the sense of having the chance at pretty good AF performance capability with the rear screen, but still preferring to use the VF tunnel to help me actually judge the focus and perform the framing. Seems like a contradiction, eh? :D ]


Thank-you very much for taking the time to write all of this. That was extremely helpful, and I now understand the Live view issue.

#23 dvleemin

dvleemin

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 25 posts

Posted 22 September 2012 - 11:17 AM

So when I start comparing the Ikelite to Aquatica, the cost difference really is significant:

Ikelite Aquatica
Housing $1,500 $2,939
8" Dome $400 $520
Tokina 10-17 port body $125 $220
Tokina 100 Port Body $150 $350
One more lense $125 $220

Total $2,300 $4,249

That's a $2000 difference. If I look at what I could do with $2000 (new DS 160 Strobe, upgrade my DS126 to a DS160 plus buy another lense) I have to admit I'm struggling to understand why you would NOT go with an Ikelite.

Especially given my profile where I'll dive 3 weeks a year typically.

Darryl

Edited by dvleemin, 22 September 2012 - 11:20 AM.


#24 dvleemin

dvleemin

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 25 posts

Posted 22 September 2012 - 11:22 AM

Back on the subject of Lenses, I was thinking of the following:
Tokina 10-17
Tokina 100
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX
Nikon 55-200mm VR

Last one is obviously for above water. The 35mm is interesting to me though because it is F1.8.

I would like some reccomendations though for a lens between the Fisheye and Macro I have listed above.

And any comments on the lenses I listed above would be appreciated.

Edited by dvleemin, 22 September 2012 - 11:23 AM.


#25 dvleemin

dvleemin

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 25 posts

Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:56 PM

Ok,
For a mid range lens I was thinking the Nikon 18-55vr. Really good performance for a really reasonable price.

Any one have comments of this?

Darryl

#26 Alastair

Alastair

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 225 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia

Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:46 PM

For me the proof is in the pudding. you get what you pay for. I have owned two Aquatica housings and looking at a 3rd very soon. i have freinds that shoot Ikelite and their comlpete assemblies weigh far more than mine especially with the ikelite strobes and battery packs - an issue if you travel, not to mention the overall size of the assembly. i am not fond of the way the gears attach to the lenses it seems flimsy. there is a few other things that i am not fond of. But in short i believe that an aluminium housing in the long run offers value for money. The aqautica system in general is very easy to use and understand which bits you need for each lens configuration.

I looked long and hard when i bought my first Aqautica housing and i have never had any issues and i have never regretted the money i spent on my AD70 and my AD90.

my lenses of choice would be:

10-17mm tokina + 1.4 TC
105mm Nikon VR + wet diopter
60mm nikon

that is pretty much all i travel with now. And for aqautica i need two spacer rings ( one if decideto use only the 10-17mm with the TC) and two zoom rings. and it all fits in a subtle back pack with two inon Z240's and a light and motion 800. :)
Alastair

Nikon D90 Aquatica housing, nikkor 60mm, ,105VR mm, 18-70mm, 17-55mm, 10.5mm FE, 15mm FE, 10-20mm.
Inon strobes, TLC arms.

www.mcgregorUW.smugmug.com

#27 dvleemin

dvleemin

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 25 posts

Posted 23 September 2012 - 04:10 AM

For me the proof is in the pudding. you get what you pay for. I have owned two Aquatica housings and looking at a 3rd very soon. i have freinds that shoot Ikelite and their comlpete assemblies weigh far more than mine especially with the ikelite strobes and battery packs - an issue if you travel, not to mention the overall size of the assembly. i am not fond of the way the gears attach to the lenses it seems flimsy. there is a few other things that i am not fond of. But in short i believe that an aluminium housing in the long run offers value for money. The aqautica system in general is very easy to use and understand which bits you need for each lens configuration.

I looked long and hard when i bought my first Aqautica housing and i have never had any issues and i have never regretted the money i spent on my AD70 and my AD90.

my lenses of choice would be:

10-17mm tokina + 1.4 TC
105mm Nikon VR + wet diopter
60mm nikon

that is pretty much all i travel with now. And for aqautica i need two spacer rings ( one if decideto use only the 10-17mm with the TC) and two zoom rings. and it all fits in a subtle back pack with two inon Z240's and a light and motion 800. Posted Image


Thanks. As usual my thoughts are changing on a daily basis. I still am not convinced the Aquatica is worth it, but I am think about different lenses:

Tokina 10-17 F3.5-4.5 DX
Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor

Darryl

#28 Poliwog

Poliwog

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
  • Interests:Diving, Travel, 6 metre Bombard Explorer RIB, Triumph Spitfire 1500, Amateur Radio(VE3WRP)

Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:55 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.


Thanks Jean. I hope to get one of these before the next dive trip.
Paul Walker.
Nikon D2x, D7000, Aquatica D2x, AD7000, SunStrobe 200 x2, Inon Z240 x2, TLC Arms

#29 Aussiebyron

Aussiebyron

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 595 posts

Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:26 AM

I had Ikelite housings in the past (D80, D90) and the major reason why I moved away from Ikelite was due to a few reasons. The ergonomics of the ikelites are very basic when compared to the metal housings like the Aquatica. The quality and feel of the metal housings are far more precise and give better control. I went to Aquatica because it also offered other features like a mini dome and external viewfinder which I purchased at a later date where Ikelites didnt offer such additions. I wanted a more robust and better handling housing for my regular diving and the Ikelites were not handling my amountof diving at the time. After a year which is about 300 dives the Ikelite housing controls became noticably sloppy (especially the shutter release trigger). The modular setup on the Ikelite is plastic compared to the metal ones of aquatica and honestly the focus or zoom rings on the Ikelites is very ordinary.

The Ikelites are a very affordable housing which gets you underwater with a good camera at a budget cost. It also has TTL built in (with Ikelite strobes) which is a bonus if you like using TTL. But as Alastair said also, "you get what you pay for".

You have to weight it up at the end of the day and work out how much money you want to spend and what is the best bang for the buck. If you get the chance compare the two housings side by side. Get the dealer to put in a D7000 body and a lens and get the feel of the controls on each. Have a good look inside both housings and see what your actually getting. Look at the other options for both housings like other domes and viewfinders as you might not be able to afford them now but later down the track you might. Think about what you shooting most of the time and concentrate on getting a good setup for that instead of trying to buy everything at once but not buying quality.

Check in the classififed section as there have been a few recent sales of used Nikon D7000 housings since the D800 came out. Think about the resale value when you want to upgrade to the next body. Yes you might have paid more for the metal housing but you also go more for it when you sold it, which is what happened with my D90 Aquatica body when I sold it.

You might look at a complete setup change and sell your Ikelite strobe and replace with a Inon z240 or two as they are cheaper and practical option over the ikelite DS160 especially for travelling where size and weight are an issue.

You have alot of options to think about but I havnt regretted the change from Ikelite to Aquatica as I know I have much better quality setup now and for years to come.

I think you cant go wrong with the Tokina 10-17mm and the 60mm Macro. I use the Kenko 1.4x TC on both.

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/

#30 dvleemin

dvleemin

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 25 posts

Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:47 AM

I had Ikelite housings in the past (D80, D90) and the major reason why I moved away from Ikelite was due to a few reasons. The ergonomics of the ikelites are very basic when compared to the metal housings like the Aquatica. The quality and feel of the metal housings are far more precise and give better control. I went to Aquatica because it also offered other features like a mini dome and external viewfinder which I purchased at a later date where Ikelites didnt offer such additions. I wanted a more robust and better handling housing for my regular diving and the Ikelites were not handling my amountof diving at the time. After a year which is about 300 dives the Ikelite housing controls became noticably sloppy (especially the shutter release trigger). The modular setup on the Ikelite is plastic compared to the metal ones of aquatica and honestly the focus or zoom rings on the Ikelites is very ordinary.

The Ikelites are a very affordable housing which gets you underwater with a good camera at a budget cost. It also has TTL built in (with Ikelite strobes) which is a bonus if you like using TTL. But as Alastair said also, "you get what you pay for".

You have to weight it up at the end of the day and work out how much money you want to spend and what is the best bang for the buck. If you get the chance compare the two housings side by side. Get the dealer to put in a D7000 body and a lens and get the feel of the controls on each. Have a good look inside both housings and see what your actually getting. Look at the other options for both housings like other domes and viewfinders as you might not be able to afford them now but later down the track you might. Think about what you shooting most of the time and concentrate on getting a good setup for that instead of trying to buy everything at once but not buying quality.

Check in the classififed section as there have been a few recent sales of used Nikon D7000 housings since the D800 came out. Think about the resale value when you want to upgrade to the next body. Yes you might have paid more for the metal housing but you also go more for it when you sold it, which is what happened with my D90 Aquatica body when I sold it.

You might look at a complete setup change and sell your Ikelite strobe and replace with a Inon z240 or two as they are cheaper and practical option over the ikelite DS160 especially for travelling where size and weight are an issue.

You have alot of options to think about but I havnt regretted the change from Ikelite to Aquatica as I know I have much better quality setup now and for years to come.

I think you cant go wrong with the Tokina 10-17mm and the 60mm Macro. I use the Kenko 1.4x TC on both.

Regards Mark


Thanks. Some good thoughts. Part of my challenge is that I don't live anywhere where there is diving. So I only dive on trips - so about 3 weeks a year.

Why do you use the Kenko 1.4x TC?

Darryl

#31 KirkD

KirkD

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 248 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:19 PM

Thanks. As usual my thoughts are changing on a daily basis. I still am not convinced the Aquatica is worth it, but I am think about different lenses:

Tokina 10-17 F3.5-4.5 DX
Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor

Darryl



If you are looking strickly at cost, go with Ikelite, I shoot an Aquatica Housing and love it. There are a lot of shooters here who have the Ikelite housings and love them. Sounds like you have your mind made up already, so take the plunge and get your new system.

As far as lenses go, get the Tokina 10-17FE and the Nikon 60mm Macro. Forget the others for underwater. Also, check to see if there other lenses will work with Ikelite. Here's a link: http://www.ikelite.c...port_nikon.html

Edited by KirkD, 23 September 2012 - 01:25 PM.


#32 Aussiebyron

Aussiebyron

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 595 posts

Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:17 PM

Darryl I use the Kenko 1.4x Tc with the Tokina 10-17mm for CFWA with the Aquatica 4inch mini dome and I also like using the TC with the 60mm Macro. It turns the 60mm into a 84mm focal length but with 1.4x image size. I am enjoying the results of this combo and now my 105mm is gathering dust.

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/