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Draq

Member Since 20 Feb 2007
Offline Last Active Aug 17 2016 06:06 AM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Advice/buying: Taking Panasonic GX7 underwater?

17 August 2016 - 06:06 AM

I think the gx7 will do fine.  It does have in-body image stabilization so you will have that feature on any Panasonic or Olympus lenses you choose to use.  I know at least nauticam offers a port for the lens you have and suspect you can get something from other makes as well.  The 14-42 isn't quite wide enough for underwater wide angle, nor is it a macro, so it isn't ideal but it is OK to start with.  If you want to add a lens and do so economically, you want to look at something like a fixed 12mm or the 12-50 or 12-32 zoom or the the 45 or 60 macro lenses, depending on your interests.  If you could afford them, the 8mm fisheye, 9-18 zoom and 7-14 zooms are very popular underwater in micro four thirds format.  But not only are these lenses more expensive, they usually require expensive dome ports

 

Underwater photography is not a budget activity.  In addition to the housing and port, you will want at least one strobe and then of course the associated clamps, arms, cable(s) etc.  

 

As to housing and port brands, I am not a big fan of Ikelite so don't follow their products and don't know what they have currently.  Be sure you get something that can be obtained and/or serviced where you live.  With that said, I would suggest looking at Nauticam housings and ports.  They are relatively reasonably priced and popular enough that used housings and ports come up for sale fairly regularly.  Nauticam also offers a WWL-1 attachment that will turn a standard zoom lens into a very wide lens, but it is a very expensive accessory and I don't think it will work with the lens you have.  You would need to get a different zoom, I think. 


In Topic: Options to replace Oly 14-42 1st version - or do I keep?

08 May 2016 - 07:43 AM

If you do not need the macro, I consistently hear that the panasonic 12-32 is better optically than the 12-50, especially at the wide end.  Also, if you do not need the macro, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42 II model is supposed to be the "best" of the 14-42 zooms by Oly and Panasonic.  Panasonic has also recently introduced a 12-60 that might work.  Jury is out still on how it compares optically.

 

That said, I am not always sure that minor differences in sharpness can easily be detected when you consider that underwater photography usually means we are moving while taking pictures of moving subjects through water that is not really as clear as we often describe it.  Comparing underwater to above water photography, it would be like putting a clear filter of uncertain optical qualities in front of our lens (the port) and then taking a picture through a window (sea water) that may not be really clean.

 

If you need the macro and the wide end in one lens, then the 12-50 is about the best you can do. 


In Topic: Are people leaving micro four thirds?

04 May 2016 - 03:46 PM

Generally I have found focus speed acceptable, as long as we aren't talking about continuous focus or tracking.  On the other hand one thing I learned was that if you fail to turn face detection off, it does slow down focus.  On several occasions on general photo forums and such, I have seen people complain about focus speed on an EM1 and when asked about face detection said it was on or they had no idea.  If you have an EM1 or 5 or 10 (I guess?) you might want to check that.

 

Supposedly, and that is all it is, Oly has made claims that they intend to make the next gen EM1 more competitive to the "pro" market by improving dynamic range, focus tracking and some other issues.  I doubt the sensor size will change much, but these other things could make a big difference.  I am hoping to be suitably impressed when that camera comes out or I may consider moving to an APS camera if I can convince myself the size issues won't be too bad.  I also like TTL flash through fiber optics in at least some situations, and that is not available for the A7, so that bothers me a little with that camera when I think about full frame.

 

Luckily, the thing that most needs improvement in my underwater photography is and always has been me, and not the equipment, so that makes it easier to control the lust for new gear.


In Topic: Are people leaving micro four thirds?

30 April 2016 - 06:10 AM

I don't mean to be responding to my own post, but for me the size of micro four thirds is what keeps it as my dive camera choice.  I see limited benefit in moving from m43 to aps and no aps system is going to travel as easily as m43.  Full frame cameras lenses and domes are just not doable for me for size reasons.  I wish they were.  Even the Sony FF system offers small cameras but large to huge lenses.   

 

Every time I dive I have to fly and often it requires two or more legs.  I need to keep the camera gear size in check. 


In Topic: Are people leaving micro four thirds?

29 April 2016 - 05:16 AM

I think you are over-interpreting very little data.

 

I agree...sort of...it was more of an observation and question than any sort of conclusion or opinion.  I am curious to see what people think about the topic.  Maybe I should have said that I am beginning to wonder if people are switching instead of saying that I am beginning to think that.  I still use micro four thirds and am looking forward to seeing what the EM1 replacement offers.