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J Kyle

Member Since 08 May 2011
Offline Last Active May 12 2011 10:25 AM
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Topics I've Started

Shooting large pelagics with DSLR?

08 May 2011 - 05:40 PM

Hey guys,

There are several other threads that address similar questions to mine but none that were quite on point. So rather than hijack someone else's, I'm starting de novo.

Short story: I'm a relatively experienced DSLR user, both for stills and video. I have a project coming up in August which requires me to get some underwater footage. I will be on a fishing boat in Mexico. When the anglers pull the fish near to the boat, my plan is to hop in and start rolling. For fish like tuna, I will be filming them as they are gaffed and brought aboard. For billfish, I will film the release. I will be shooting at depths of no more than 5-6 meters for as long as I can hold my breath.

My research up to this point had me set on using my 5DMII with a 15mm fisheye in an Ikelite housing with the 8" domeport. No lights, no filter.

But every time I do more research I encounter more conflicting accounts about the wisdom of using a DSLR underwater. And just a few threads down, there is a topic on just that. But, I think that my shooting environment is sort of a "best-case scenario" for using a DSLR. I will be at depths of less than 5m, there will most likely be full, bright Mexican sun, and I will be shooting large pelagics in open water.

Am I wrong to think that this type of shooting environment ameliorates some of the DSLR shortcomings? Or does shooting fast-moving, unpredictable pelagics require a traditional video camera? If not, is a 15mm fisheye the wrong choice for this? I have no problem getting up close to a hooked tuna, roosterfish or dorado, but I'm keeping my distance from angry billfish.

I would love to get some feedback on this. FYI, I do not own an Ikelite housing yet, so I am not commited to using it or the 5D.

Thanks,
Joe