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RanMozaik last won the day on August 5 2015

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  1. Works great for split shots. The bigger the dome, the better and easier split shots will be. And this dome is indeed rather small, but it's still possible. Closing down your aperture will improve focus on both topside and bottom. If you get the Tokina 10-17mm, it'll be much easier to get cool split shots! and it works under the same dome. That shouldn't happen with Ikelite strobes... You can't really use fiber optic cables with this housing since the flash is blocked, so there's no way to trigger them.
  2. Congrats on the setup! Looks great! The Sealife arms will be ok underwater, but probably won't hold up the strobes above water. That's fine because most flex arms aren't meant to hold strobes up above the water. Just make sure you fold it up nicely before going back on the boat after a dive, so it doesn't smash into the dome when the boat crew picks it up. I wrote a review on the FA6500, maybe it'll give you some insights and help you get started: http://www.housingcamera.com/blog/product-reviews/sony-a6500-underwater-review-fantasea-fa6500-housing It's an amazing housing and great camera, I was very happy with this setup. Good luck and happy dives!
  3. Glad to help I see a couple of people here recommended the TG-4 / TG-5. As you said - lack of manual mode rules it out. It's great for those who don't mind, but for me it's a dealbreaker. 1. G7XII plays great with wide angles. Check it out in the review I sent. I used the UWL-09, and I've also tried the Nauticam WWL-1, both on the Fantasea housings. Both performed great. Sure, you need to use a narrow aperture to sharpen the corners, but that's always the case with wet wide angle lenses. 2. Battery should last at least one dive. Get a couple of spares. For me it lasted 1.5 dives on average. With normal shooting, not as much video though, I usually shoot stills. Yes, battery life and overheating is somewhat of a limitation. In my opinion, the camera is so great, it's worth working around it. 3. I used the A6300 and RX100 V simultaneously on a liveaboard and found myself shooting mostly with the RX100V. Yes the A6300 was better, but I found it limiting for shooting sharks in shallow water due to the maximum flash sync speed, a limitation which does not exist in compacts. Optics are better with a mirrorless, and even better with a DSLR. That's a limitation no compact can overcome. Good optics requires big lenses. It's all one big compromise But any of these can produce mindblowing results. Just make sure you're comfortable with it.
  4. Hi Sarah! I understand your pain There are quite a bit of options in the market, and they all seem pretty good, so it's quite hard to pick one. Before I get into further details, let me just say that all the options you listed are excellent. Compacts these days are extremely capable. With every new model that comes out, I am amazed by the capabilities engineers have managed to fit into that tiny camera. After trying out all the models you listed, my personal favorite is the RX100. Both IV and V are quite similar, but you might as well go for the newer one, as the difference in price isn't significant. There was a major flaw in the RX100 series for UW photographers - the lack of UW WB mode, and a weird issue where you couldn't turn off the flash while it was popped up. Luckily, Sony mended both of these issues with the new firmware update. The Canon G7X II is close behind. I usually recommend it to divers looking for something a bit easier to use. Canon's interface is a bit more intuitive and as someone who already shoots Canon, it will be much easier to move on to a new Canon. It also has the advantage of longer zoom, which means more magnification when shooting macro with a close-up lens. It lacks 4K, and image quality is a bit better on the Sony, but it's still an amazing camera. The G9XII is a great camera, but a bit more basic. If you're looking for a major upgrade in image quality, go for the two aforementioned models. The E-M5 II is wonderful. However, it may be updated soon, since it's already over 2 years old. It's still very relevant though. Moving up to a mirrorless means messing around with ports, lenses, etc. It's also physically larger. It's a step up indeed, great for some divers, pain for others. As for the vignetting issue, it's not always easy to know, as there are plenty of combinations. However, a good reference is the widest focal range of the lens. Since all models you mentioned have a 24mm lens, the UWL-04 will vignette in all of them. It's designed for a 28mm and indeed better with a 52mm thread such as the TG-4 housing. The UWL-09 is the preferred lens for the newer models. It's basically a bigger UWL-04, designed to accommodate 24mm lenses. I recommend reading my reviews on the models you mentioned: Sony RX100 V Review Sony RX100 IV Samples Canon G7X II Review Canon G9X Review (similar to the G9XII) Olympus E-M5 II Review Bottom line, all of these cameras are capable of amazing results. Pick one, learn how to control it, and travel to extraordinary places around the world to use it That how you get beautiful photos!
  5. I just finished testing the Sony A6500 with the Fantasea housing. Absolutely loved it! I used the 16-50mm lens, and played around with wet lenses underwater. The UWL-09F wide angle lens and the UCL-05LF were the ones I tested. The Sony A6500 has been gaining a lot of interest lately, both above water and under. In my opinion it's one of the best mirrorless cameras in the market at this point. The price point is a tad high, I would love to see it a couple of hundred dollars less, but it's still a good deal and prices will probably drop soon. The Fantasea housing is affordable, reliable, very well designed and great for travel. Fantasea put a lot of thought and work into their first mirrorless housing and it paid off! Read my full review here: http://www.housingcamera.com/blog/product-reviews/sony-a6500-underwater-review-fantasea-fa6500-housing
  6. I would choose the Venom 35s over the others. It's an awesome light and for me the spot feature is invaluable. I use the light on spot mode while diving and looking for cools stuff, then switch to flood for shooting. That way you save battery and still find the little critters hiding in crevices. Dual purpose lights are always my favorite. You can even use the spot mode for shooting macro photos and get a nice spotlight effect. UV is a nice gimmick, but most divers use it once or twice, get a kick out of it and never use it again. Spot is much more useful in the long run!
  7. That sounds like a great setup. Many people rush to get 2 strobes, leaving no budget for a decent video light. While 2 strobes are indeed better than one, one strobe is infinitely better than no strobes and certainly enough for many photographers. Do remember, that even a 6000 lumen video light is much weaker than your average strobe. However, for shooting macro / close-up stills it should be excellent and as you said, it would be helpful as a focus light as well, for low light conditions. As Bill noted, the flash would fire just fine even with the light on. I also recommend playing around with TTL vs manual output. You will be surprised to find that many times manual is easier than TTL and produces better results. You may find some more useful info on my article regarding choosing a video light.
  8. Congrats on the housing! First of all, as for attaching to your BCD, I never dive without the BTS coil strap. You can attach it to the tray on one end with the D-Ring and to your BCD on the other. During the dive you release the clip and after you finish, you clip it back so it stays close. Great for putting on your fins or freeing your hand without worrying it will fall into the deep blue. Traveling with this type of gear is never easy. I tend to separate and put the less sensitive things on my checked in bag (arms, trays, accessories, sometimes even strobes). You can carry the camera and lenses in a side back which can be brought on board the flight in addition to the carry-on, helping you to lower the weight of it. As for the strobes, one is great, two is better It's completely possible to make do just with one strobe, and it will definitely improve your skills, forcing you to position it correctly and use it wisely. Two strobes just make your life easier, but transporting more difficult. You're welcome to read some of my tutorials, maybe you will find something useful. Good luck!
  9. Excellent photos! As for the sharpness, try to go for the maximum sync speed possible, to help reduce motion blur - I believe you can go up to 1/250. Also, find your optimal sharpness aperture. It will usually be sharpest somewhere in the middle, around F11. Are you using anything to stabilize yourself? In Croatia there's quite a lot of rocky bare areas in the reef to put your finger on and help you be more stable. Some float arms or foams would be a good idea and relieve the pressure on your arms and wrists. I just got back from there as well! Nice diving but nowhere near the Caribbean Some of my results : https://www.facebook.com/ran.mozaik/media_set?set=a.1614151192192385.1073741846.100007925594397&type=3 Which area where you diving in?
  10. Looks like CamDive is Meikon in a different branding. http://hkmeikon.com/en/detail.asp?id=295 http://camdive.com/index.php/our-products/37-canon-g7x Housings are identical.
  11. Hey Peter, Many people mistakenly think that Fisheye lenses create distortion while rectilinear ones don't. In both options you are trying to cram quite a large field of view into a rectangle frame, so distortion is inevitable in both cases. The difference is how distortion is handled and which type of distortion is created. I personally prefer the Fisheye distortion, especially when shooting fashion and people, since I am not very fond of the stretching which occurs with ultra-wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) rectilinear lenses at the edge of the frame. When shooting fashion it's very visible in the form of really long limbs and freakish feet, which tend to touch the edges of the frame when shooting a full body, or other elongated organs which look bizarre. I used to shoot quite a lot of UW portraits with the Tokina 10-17 and I think it's an excellent lens for that purpose. Even with Nikons 10.5 Fisheye I got some very good results which don't look distorted in a weird way, even though it's very wide. You can see some of my samples here taken with various lenses, both with compacts and DSLRs: http://www.housingcamera.com/blog/guides-tutorials/photograph-people-underwater Side note - Why is Wetpixel adding the word "weitwinkel" to my post automatically?! Can't get rid of it...
  12. Hey Harvey, I completely agree with the two responses here. Shooting RAW is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you would like to try the custom WB setting anyway, then the best way would be to take a white slate with you, draw a small 1/4" dot on the middle to help the camera focus, and try putting that in front of the lens when setting the custom WB. You can do that just on one dive at 4 different depths and save them as presets so you can use it later. You may need to zoom in and get a pretty large slate to cover the frame with the 10-17. Or just take your kit lens on one dive and do it with that.
  13. I tend to agree with the majority here. Many photographers look for TTL as a feature to make life easier, but I never shoot TTL and I find that the well exposed image ratio is much better when shooting manual and simply minding your distance from the subject, and making minor adjustments on the strobes when needed. Quickly closing your aperture with the dial, if you don't have time to adjust anything else is also a good method to save a shot from over exposing. Oh, and of course, shoot RAW. It can bring photos back from the dead
  14. Hey Stü, Some early results and comparison to the Subsee +10 here: http://www.housingcamera.com/blog/product-reviews/nauticam-cmc-1-test-shots More to come!
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