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don 't shoot me...housing for rebel 350


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#1 wmiller

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 05:49 PM

Okay,
I have pretty much narrowed my choice down to the canon rebel 350 instead of the nikon d70. I know there are an array of housings available. I need one which will be compatible with my sea and sea ys 90dx and won't break my bank account. So far I am thinking the ikelite system. But what do I know...that is why I am asking all of you experts!!

Thanks,
wendy

#2 james

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 05:58 PM

Hi Wendy,

Welcome to Wetpixel and glad to have you here.

I think the first available housing will be by Ikelite. I have not heard of any of the other housing manufacturers offering a housing yet but I'm sure there will be a few. Most already have housings for the Canon 20D which is only a few dollars more than the 350 and has a MUCH better viewfinder. I'm guessing that the housing companies may "stick to their guns" and recommend the 20D also.

In any case, I'm sure you'll get a lot of feedback here. Good luck and have fun.

James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
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#3 wmiller

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 06:02 PM

Hi James,
Are you suggesting for the price I consider the 20D? I haven't researched the prices for that camera. I am going to spend my uncle sam allowance on this so I can be swayed. I take it the 20d is a wothwhile improvement over the new rebel? I am not adverse to spending money one a quality "one time"purchase.


Thanks James for the welcome. I really enjoy this board.

Wendy

#4 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 06:50 PM

I think the 20D deserves a look. It has several features not on the Rebel and a better body. Image quality is about the same but some of the features may contribute to a better image if you learn how to use them.

One big advantage is that housings are available now. I'm sure that you will have more housing choices as well even in the long run.

In the final cost of a DSLR setup the cost difference is tiny. You will eventually spend much more on housings, ports, strobes and lenses. If you think you will keep your camera a while I think the 20D is a better investment.

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#5 bacripe

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 06:56 PM

Wendy -

I have used the 350D, and am currently shooting with the 20D. The 20D has slightly higher resolution (8.2MP vs 8MP), faster shooting speed (5fps vs 3fps), more custom controls (18 vs 9), better battery life (Canon uses a smaller battery in the 350D to cut weight) and faster autofocus (from my observations - the 20D has 9af points, and the 350 has 7). The 20D seems to do better focusing in low light from my limited testing.

The other consideration is that the 20D is a more robust build - it has a magnesium body vs the plastic of the 350D.

Overall, it's simalr to the differences between the 10D and the 300D - the digital rebel series is a lighter, smaller camera with fewer custom controls compared to the "prosumer" 10D/20D.

So is it worth $300-400 more? That's up to you to decide. Having been able to use both the 350D and the 20D, I chose the 20D. Housing availability may also play into your decision.

Hope this helps.
Brian Cripe
Canon 1DmkIII, 1DsmkIII

#6 james

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 06:15 AM

Yes, I think the 20D is worth looking at. It is a better camera than the 350D for underwater shooting because of the better AF and the larger viewfinder.

The 350D is so new that it will be a while before you will see a variety of housings available. The 20D is available now, is better at only a slightly higher cost, and there are a variety of great housings available now.

Believe me, spending a few hundred dollars more on the camera will only be a small fraction of the total system cost and will be well worth it.

Cheers
James
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#7 dhaas

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 06:28 AM

Wendy,

All the minor things comparing the Canon EOS 20D to the new Rebel XT / 350D are true, but the auto-focus and other features they mention may or may not have much effect on UW shooting. Read reviews on www.steves-digicams.com , www.preview.com and other links at the end of the reviews before making up your mind......

The things people rave about on the 20D, while a great camera, I believe aren't that much of a difference. The smaller viewfinder on the Rebel XT / 350D is actually brighter than the previous Digital Rebel. The Rebel XT / 350D smaller size and smaller battery has an equivalent shooting life due to the Rebel XT having the same DIGIC II processor which even speeds up the 7 point AF. And 8.0 mega-pixel versus 8.2? Minor in the big scheme of things....plenty of publications have used photos taken with 6.3 mega-pixel dSLR cameras not even shot in RAW, but Fine / Large JPEG in the last few years...So this is really a "tech debate" analyzing specifications versus talking about a photo's impact....

Many talk about the different "feel" and build quality. IMHO I think this is more posturing than real world use. The first Digital Rebel was used by many photographers as a back up and even primary camera with good lenses to make great photos. I personally hauled two on 7 trips last year and didn't baby them. Thousands of clicks and still going strong......

After analyzing cost to image quality benefit I went against what many Wetpixellites decided and bought a Rebel XT / 350D. Maybe this just the non-conformist in me :D

The lower price allowed me to buy the spectacular Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens and a few other accessories right away. Plus I actually like the smaller lighter camera for travel and surface use. You do plan on taking your camera other places than diving, right? I'll likely buy a second body (again at lower cost) for back up / surface use in the next 2-3 weeks before a couple of major back to back trips I'm running. At this lower cost I insure them and go out and shoot photos.....

The bottom line is image quality and the Rebel XT / 350D delivers images equal to the 20D. Don't take my word for it, read the reviews....Using the camera's features and controls is just that, practicing and using them. Things people bitch about here and on other forums are due to not using their camera versus the camera's controls....Plus reading the dang manual that mfrs. spend bazillions producing which people ignore leading the ot self-induced frustrations...

As far as housings, Ikelite has a housing available NOW for either of these Canon dSLR bodies. With REAL ETTL II flash contol for automatic and manual control. The only housing out there with this. This is the beuaty of Ikelite's design enabling them to bring a housing to market for more dSLRs and other digicams than anyone else....Faster, too!!!

And as "Super Moderator" James always wants me to identify, I'm an Ikelite dealer AND USER of their products :lol:

Hope this helps your choice process. Email me with any questions.

David Haas
www.pbase.com
davidhaas@sbglobal.net

Founder - PUPHU (Plastic Underwater Photography Housing Users :lol:
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#8 james

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 06:41 AM

While I don't disagree with what Dave has said, one thing that is very important for underwater photography is the viewfinder. The one on the RebelXT is the smallest of any DSLR. Heck, that makes sense, since the RebelXT IS a really small DSLR.

While the image quality may be just as good as the 20D, that's not much use if you can't see into the camera to get the shot...:-)

To me, that alone makes the choice easy.

Since Dave Haas is an Ikelite dealer, he uses and recommends their housings for everyone. Ikelite uses the same case for the 350D and the 20D, so even though one camera is smaller, it won't matter for underwater use. None of the form-fitting housings have been announced for the 350D, that's why I recommend the 20D, there are at least 5 housings to choose from.

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#9 dhaas

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 07:44 AM

Wendy,

Spend enough time reading the forums here and you'll see James and I have some fun, spirited debates :) So I must launch another volley!

Viewfinder point:

* I and a friend have used Canons's whopping <$20.00 EPX-15 viewfinder magnifer to enlarge (while making a slightly farther away view) the eyepiece on the original Digital Rebel and will likely do this to use the Rebel XT. Some minor grinding off of a bit of plastic, but a great solution for making the Ikelite SuperEye even better.

* Seeing the edges of your frame super accurately while shooting underwater? I think that's the biggest joke in the digital underwater world! You're moving, the fish is moving, your mask is a large volume model, small volume model, etc. etc. etc.

Look over photos posted here and on any UW photographer's site. Many are WAAAYYYYY too far away and include negative space that degrades a photo's impact. Did a "better viewfinder" help in "framing accurately? Did the photographer really intend to leave that much negative space around their prime subject? I DON'T THINK SO.....Learning to "push in" your camera as close as possible is the way to get good photos. Which leads me to the next point......

* As I've stated on this and other UW photography forums numerous times you should shoot as close to the edges as you can view, knowing most dSLR camera show only 95-96% of the actual frame anyway. Then there is this handy tool on EVERY Photoshop program called a "crop tool" enabling you to tighten up your image during post processing.

One other thing people debate ad naseum is frame rate as in the Rebel XT / 350D 3 FPS verus the 20D's 5 FPS. Tell me one UW photographer who has used this underwater!!! No strobe can keep up! Maybe for some available light shooting with fast moving dolphins, or on the swim step during shark feeds, but otherwise, what horse puckey!!!

For my $$$$$$ having the following features on the Rebel Xt / 350D are the most important to good images. And at a lower cost....

* DIGIC II processor for low noise / dynamic range capability, faster AF and file processing

* ETTL II flash control

* Adjustable AF, metering, White balance and other things "crippled" on the original Digital Rebel.

Can't think of other features, but I'm sure there are many.....Read the Rebel XT / 250D reviews for comparisons between the two cameras and then decide....

For what it's worth, my brother has a Canon ESO 20D with 17-85mm IS, 50mm F1.4, 100-400 IS and the 580EX flash!!! I've tried it, liked it but when it came down to it I bought the Rebel XT and have zero regrets....I may however borrow some of his Canon "parts" as they are 100% compatible with the Rebel XT :)

IMHO more time traveling (and actually diving!) plus practicing at home with your camera will make you better photographer.....

What fun!

David Haas
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www.haasimages.com

#10 james

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 07:54 AM

Dave,

At this point, you are just sounding silly. A better viewfinder is a HIGHLY sought after item in the UW photo world. If you don't acknowledge that, I'm simply not going to discuss this with you anymore.

James
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Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#11 dhaas

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 08:46 AM

Aww, come on James! I thought you liked our debates!

No harm intended as you should know by now :)

If a viewfinder is so sought after then why aren't we seeing a plethora of superbly framed original images right out of the camera? Because digital is whole new ball game with great capabilities beyond the original frame we capture.......

My main contention is that many old "SLR film rules" don't apply as much in the dSLR world..... For underwater or surface shooting it USED TO. I and many others lusted for the large "Speedfinders" prisms made for Canon, Nikon, etc. spending a lot of money not only for the few cameras that had these, but the housings that would accommodate them, too! But today with virtually no camera manufacturer offering a removeable prsim dSLR this point is moot.....Highly sought after? Maybe...But in today's manufacturing world putting more $$ into a product reducing the profit margin will keep any viewfinder development to a select few > $3,500.00 cameras, if at all....

The various housing manufacturers have to work with what they're given in a particular camera viewfinder design, and overall they must be doing a good job because people are producing some great DIGITAL UNDERWATER images with these "crippled viewfinders". A photographer just has to accommodate any small drawbacks, which is all I'm trying to point out to Wendy (and anyone else reading this thread....)

I guess my opinion can be summed up that people always think spending $$$$$ will get them better photos just because they opened their wallets. And it just ain't so.....I wholeheartedly support people buying a BMW, Rolex or whatever makes them happy. But I also contend you don't NEED to.....A Toyota gets you there, and a Casio tells you time, too :)

You and I agree to disagree on many points of underwater image making. But we still are trying to do the same thing..Show people the wonderful world we get to visit!!! Plus have fun along the way....I have a job and shooting photos underwater doesn't seem like work to me. It's fun!

There should be room for differing opinions rather than a "one size fits all" recommendation for every camera and feature versus old "film UW photography rules" as I like to call them.

And Wendy, you bet I'm a biased Ikelite dealer and user....I'll debate Ikelite's features and value anywhere, anytime :)

Still your Bud James :)

Hope I made you laugh :)

David Haas
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www.haasimages.com

#12 MikeO

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 09:43 AM

I would simply say this -- I find the viewfinder on any SLR, except maybe the actionfinder on the Nikon F-series to be a bit hard to peek through underwater. That's why the higher end housings have been starting to come with custom housing pieces that magnify the image (see Seacam, Subal, etc.). I tend to try to find some facts about things like this so have a look here:

http://www.photo.net...gital_rebel_xt/

viewfinders.jpg

for an actual, scaled, comparison of the size and take a look at my attached comparison from Ike's two pictures (sorry Ike, please forgive me for stealing them!) and you'll see that the difference between the 350 and the 20D viewfinders isn't staggering -- hey, they're both pretty tiny (at least compared to James's 1Ds!). But there is a point at which you simply can't really make out the exposure info inside the viewfinder. My recommendation is to read the reviews but also to GO TO A STORE AND HANDLE EACH ONE. HAve an idea about how much you'll use the camera underwater and how much you'll use it topside (in my case, I use it sporadically topside about 48 weeks out of the year and intensively underwater four weeks out of the year). See which one feels better in your hands (for topside use) and which one has the functions you want (for topside and underwater). Compare the viewfinders on land. If the 350D's viewfinder is hard to look through on land, consider whether this will annoy you for the next few years or not. Then decide based on your own budget and conscience which suits you the best. I wish I'd had choices like this when I bought my 10D!

With deference to both warring parties (I'm heading back to Switzerland so I can remain neutral)

Mike

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#13 wmiller

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 10:06 AM

Alright Gentleman,
Excellent points, pros and cons of the rebel 350 vs the 20d. I will read the reviews you suggest. Interesting how you can get "set" on a product only to have wrenches thrown it to mess it up!! I mean no disrespect-I opened the can of worms-wonderful discussion.

Now in regards to the size of the view finder...I, like many aging citizens need to wear reading glasses otherwise I am basically blind. Currently I have been able to get by by wearing 1 contact lens so I can read my gauges and camera settings and my other eye takes care of the distance (I am far sighted). So.. knowing that the veiw finder is larger-does that make it more advantagous for me?

David I see and agree to where you are coming from with choosing the rebel over the 20d. It makes sense. Likewise James and the rest have valid points as well.

BTW, I enjoy reading your debates!!

Wendy

#14 dhaas

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 11:23 AM

Hey Wendy,

Glad you enjoyed (and got some good input from) our posts. All in fun, too :) Mike Oelrich has a great point about going to a store and playing with each camera. Although many store people don't know how to acccess various controls or features, though...

www.steves-digicams.com is my bible for controls and features every time a new camera comes out. I've handled both cameras and don't find the smaller size EVERYTHING on the Rebel XT objectionable, but hey, that's me.....

And as a "young" 51 year old who wears progressive bi-focals normally plus "task" pair of mid to close glasses for computer work most of the day, I could live with either the Canon EOS 20D or Rebel XT viewfinder.

Camera eyepieces are designed for "distance" view anyway. Both cameras have a diopter which must be adjusted for your individual sharpest view. Even though I have a small magnifier low in each lens of my Rx mask (for reading my computer, SPG and even settings on the camera's LCD screen)I compose the camera's housing viewfinder through the largest distance Rx of my mask and see fine.

Good luck!

David Haas
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www.haasimages.com

#15 Snappy

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:19 PM

talk of a "$20.00 EPX-15 viewfinder magnifer" made me curios, but google provides no clues about this product. Sounds fab, but is it just a dream?
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#16 bacripe

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 01:16 PM

I think that a major point in the viewfinder size debate gets lost, which is that it's not used only for framing the subject, but also for reading the manual control settings. I know that the Ike housings have ettl, but for wide angle work you'll find that you get better results by shooting manual. Personally, I found it required shifting the housing around to see the exposure/aperture readings on the 350D, while I had no problem with in on the 20D - the difference in size does matter. If you have to take your eyes off the photographic subject to check what your camera settings are, you're going to miss a lot of pictures.

As far as the framerate difference, David is right - you'll be hard pressed to find a strobe that will keep up with 5fps, but if you are in the situation of shooting shark feeds, shallow water dives, dolphins, etc in ambient light underwater you'll find that it is a significant difference. Then there is the issue of topside shooting also - if you (like most people) use your camera topside, you'll be glad for the faster framerate.

And most good pictures are framed in the camera - when you crop, you lose information and reduce print sizes. You won't find photos in magazines that have been extensively cropped.

Best of luck in making your choice.
Brian Cripe
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#17 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 01:31 PM

If a viewfinder is so sought after then why aren't we seeing a plethora of superbly framed original images right out of the camera?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Because most photographers can't compose and frame to save their lives above water, let alone below (and I'm not excluding myself from that generalization :))...

Because negative space can be very important when you want to sell the image to a magazine AD for mucho dinero.


I'll debate Ikelite's features and value anywhere, anytime :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


And you'll get no debate from me on the excellent value of the Ikelite system :).
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
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#18 AengusM

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 01:36 PM

talk of a "$20.00 EPX-15 viewfinder magnifer" made me curios, but google provides no clues about this product. Sounds fab, but is it just a dream?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Try Ep-EX15.

#19 ReefRoamer

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 03:37 PM

I know several published pros stilling shooting Canon D60s. It's not the camera, guys, it's the photographer. And most of us learn in time to work around a minor annoyance or two. So far, I've seen no perfect DSLR and housing. I've owned a D60, 10D, D100 and now a 20D. Nikon's lack of interest in updating the D100 may say a lot about the perceived value of the middle-ground models like the 20D and D100. If you look at the sales numbers, I imagine the D70 and D-Rebel models are crushing the D100s and 20Ds. And today's Rebel XT is still superior to anything we were all raving about (the new D100 and the D60) two years ago. The DSLR market is still rapidly evolving, and many of us seem to make costly upgrades very frequently. One argument for the Rebel XT and D70 is that the less you invest now, the less you'll lose when you want to move up again later. Truthfully, the 20D viewfinder may be a bit better than the Rebel XT, but both could be much better ... and this issue may be addressed in upcoming models. And the housing plays a big role in how the viewfinder is perceived. Meanwhile, I've seen a lot of good digital underwater photos, and I personally give credit to the shooters, not the equipment.
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#20 james

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 03:50 PM

Hi Guys,

I can't let that one slide ReefRoamer because it makes me sound like a measurebator in this discussion. I'm not. Of course it's the photographer that takes the photo, not the camera. But being able to see through the viewfinder sure helps a lot.

I'm recommending one Canon model over another because it has a better viewfinder. That's IMO the most used "feature" on a camera, wouldn't you say? Compared to that, I don't give a crap about brand, megapixels, noise, blah blah blah. Dave is jumping all over the place talking about peripheral stuff which I never mentioned - cropping the photo to make up for a poor composition because you can't see the subject? LOL - c'mon!

I just want Wendy to know that she's going to have a hard time seeing the subject and the camera info through there... is that so wrong??

The viewfinder on the RebelXT is tiny - the smallest of any DSLR to date - go to Frys and try one. The viewfinders are NOT getting bigger on the new models, they are actually shrinking. I stand by my recommendation of the 20D over the RebelXT because the 20D has a better bigger and brighter viewfinder .

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org