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Which camera to 'encase': E-M5 or RX100?


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#1 mattia

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:04 AM

Hi everyone!

 

I'm a relatively experienced (enthusiast) topside photographer, mostly landscapes and travel/people photography. While in Bonaire over the past two weeks, I had the joy of borrowing an older Canon A570 in polycarbonate housing for a few snorkels, coming away with some pretty decent shots. All that did, unfortunately, is get me thinking about underwater housing options and seriously considering buying! Particularly as the Galapagos are likely on the menu for this summer. I'm curretly in a bit of a conundrum, and would appreciate any feedback folks can give me.

 

Gear: I own a 5DII, 17-40, and assorted L glass (none particuarly suited to underwater other than the 17-40). The cost and bulk and fact I don't dive that often lead me to rule this out as my underwater rig. I 'migrated' towards the Oly E-M5 about a year ago, and I'm trimming the Canon rig to the 'essentials', and may reduce it down to just a set of fast primes. While it can't match the Canon, it's close, and it's so, so much smaller and ligher that it makes backpacking with a full range of gear fun again, making it my ideal travel setup. I currently have the Panny 7-14 and 12-35, which might suitable underwater glass, as well as the 'kit' 12-50, which is versatile but slow and not terrible 'special'. My 'pocket camera' for when I don't want to take any bags along is the Sony RX100, which I'm growing to appreciate more and more.

 

The issue: I want to pack light. Right now, given the limited amount of scuba I do per year, I figure I can rent strobes at most sites more cost-effectively than buying and shlepping. I also very much enjoyed shallow water shots, natural light landscape, and so forth, and will snorkel more than I dive for practical reasons.

 

The question boils down to 'suit up' the RX100 or the E-M5.

 

Pros for the RX100: smaller, ligher setup. Cheaper ($1400-1500 with a nauticam, acquapazza or recsea housing and UW wet lens, 1800-1900 if I add a macro diopter). Higher resolution. More verastile (wide to macro with wet lenses)

Cons for the RX100: handling is worse/slower, fps lower, less dynamic range, worse higher ISO performance, lens not as sharp as the 7-14 or dedicated macros.

 

Pros for the E-M5: better ergonomics, better dynamic range, great IBIS, great glass.

Cons for the E-M5: more expensive (slightly; nauticam housing, port for 7-14 and zoom gear is around $2000), quite a bit blukier - particularly the port.

 

Things I'm not sure of: the size issue seems fairly relative: the RX-100 is more compact, particularly sans 6" dome port, but the weight differences are going to be minimal if I add wet lenses that weigh as much as the lighter housings. Camera and lens weights are a non-issue, as both the RX100 and the E-M5/7-14 travel with me anyway. Any thoughts people have on additional pros/cons, or corrections to my current understanding of what I'll need. I don't factor prices of lensen into the decision, since I'm looking to add a macro at some point anyway for 'topside' photography.



#2 FranzoMCK

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:44 AM

Hi Mattia,

 

If what you do is mostly snorkeling, I recommend you the RX100. But if you are more interested in macro photography, the OLY em5 in a Nauticam Housing with the dedicated 12-50 port is the best option-value for your money. Semi w/a and very good macro quality, everything in a single port.

It all depends on what are really your preferences, because if you travel without Strobes, the difference in size is not that big.



#3 NWDiver

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 05:05 AM

As Franzo said if you love Macro and are accustomed to shooting lenses like the 60mm & 100mm you will find the RX100 falls a little short for macro.  I think for most but the most demanding it is an excellent choice. 

 

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=48738

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=49981


http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=49968



#4 mattia

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:29 AM

Thanks for the thoughts. I love diving, but I'm realistic about how often I get to go underwater in scuba gear each year, hence the reticence about dropping thousands of dollars. I'm considering getting a case for the RX100 first, with a macro wet lens and maybe wide-angle at a slightly later point in time. Then, depending on a) what I can get for the Canon gear that's going to be sold and b) my experiences with the RX-100 kit, I'll consider adding an E-M5 case setup. 

 

The fact my girlfriend keeps borrowing the camera during snorkels (she's getting her open water right now) may decide the issue - clearly a second system will be needed ;)



#5 Mario V

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:54 AM

One way to keep the cost down with the OMD is to use the 12-50 kit lens with the zoom gear made by an Austrian company (http://www.unterwass...-zoom-gear.html) on the Macro port 65 for the Olympus 60mm.

This will allow you to use wet lenses like the Inon UWL H100 wide angle and the Sebsee +10 or +5 diopter.

Alex mustard had a great review on a different post. you can have a look here:

http://wetpixel.com/...c=48650&&page=3

With this set up you do not have to invest in extra lenses and you get the versatility of a compact camera with the incredible quality of the OMD


Mario Vitalini

fishinfocus underwater photography

www.fishinfocus.co.uk


#6 Mark K

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 04:15 PM

I shoot using extensively rigs on land.....I am packing up for my next trip with mirrorless. I have just received my quotation from a dive shop and looking at the endless list of ports, extension tubes, adapters, strobes and I simply think to myself, why not just pick up an RX100 and go.

I believe it is better for you to start with an RX100. 


Mark K

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#7 Mark K

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 04:17 PM

Have a look here at the galleries...all extensively taken by RX 100

https://www.facebook...location=stream


Mark K

A clown fish finding its way home