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chris_l

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Posts posted by chris_l


  1. It's all a trade off. The Sony Nex stuff looks nice, but the lense choices are limiting. If you only plan on using the kit lense, not an issue.

    If you do plan on using mutliple lenses, it's pretty much accepted that the micro 4/3 line has the best lense offerings.

    I came from P&S, but a few generations back from your S90. I went with the olympus epl2 in the oly housing(epl3 was not out at the time). I added the 9-18 lense and the zen dome for it. So, in practice, I don't change ports as that port also works with the 14-42 kit lense.

    First off, don't compare the olympus housing to the canon OEM housings. It is a much better built housing. It has nice ergonomics. It's really a nice package. With the 2 lenses and the single port, I cover a great range. My only gripe is that the 14-42 at the long end is just not that sharp. It's fine at the wider end, but not when trying to zoom in to get small things. The 9-18 is super sharp and rivals the pictures my bro-in-law takes with his Nikon D300 and tokina 10-17.

     

    there is a very nice panasonic 45mm macro lense which reportedly works well, but that requires another port.

    There is also an 8mm fisheye which gets rave reviews, but again requires another port.

     

    I have not priced out what all these things cost and compared to a full nauticam setup. You might want to do that to figure out what you want.

    But, if you don't want to break the bank, the oly housing with the epl3/2 is a really nice choice.

    Like I said, I'm very happy with my epl2 setup, save the very long end. Reportedly, the panasonic 14-45 is a better lense, so you might want to check that out as well. That could be a very nice general purpose lense and then get a FE later on. You would have very good coverage.

    If you go m4/3 and must have a panasonic camera, then you're stuck with costly OEM housings.

    But, if you go olympus with a limited lense setup, the oly housing is a good choice.

     

    Be aware that some have reported the epl3 housing doesn't work with the Zen 8mm FE dome without modification. It's basically the switch for the built in LED lights which gets in the way. Someone ground this down to make it work. I don't think there is such an issue with the Zen 9-18 dome.

     

    Lots of choices here.

    Depends on what's most import and how much you want to spend.

     

    BTW, focus speed on the epl2 with the 14-42 or 9-18 is not an issue. It feels really fast to me. Not as fast as my D7000, but closer to that than my S95. I use the D7000 and S95 exclusively above water.

    The epl3 is supposed to be faster. I also have an older Nikon D50 and I'd say the epl2 is faster.

    I also pair my epl2 with a D2000 in full manual with fill in flash. The Inon STTL works really well in getting the exposure right.


  2. yes, you are right, the LX5 would also be a very good option, big oversight on my part.

    The nikon P7100 is also a possibility.

     

    I think the X10 is also a potential camera, but no housing yet.

    I wanted something like the X10 for years and it never came along from any manufacturer until now.

    I stopped waiting and went with the olympus micro 4/3 system and I don't regret it all. It's been fantastic.


  3. Well, since you've put the requirment of P&S, ikelite and using DS125s hardwired, then really looks like your only options are the Olympus XZ1 or the Canon G12. Given those parameters, I'd probably go with the XZ1. You better make sure those 125s are compatible though. They might require an update.

     

    Another option would be to sell the DS125s and start from scratch. My bro-in-law has those on Nikon D300 rig and they're very nice, but very big and heavy.

    If starting from scratch, I'd think the oly XZ1 in the oly housing (which is a nice housing, much better than canon housings) paired with some Inon S2000s would be very nice and compact. I have the D2000 and that's a great strobe also, just larger and more expensive with a few more extras.

    You could also look into the olympus epl1/2/3. I have the epl2 paired with the D2000 and it's great. Just for reference, I started with C3000, then C4000 both in the same oly housing. then a fuji F30, now the epl2.

    If you do sell the DS125s and open things up completely, I'd think you'd also want to look at the canon S100 or S95.

     

    But sounds like the XZ1 is going to be the right fit.


  4. Ok, now it is 31 votes with ~ 90% in favor of a new category for not DSLR with interchangeble lenses. I agree with M43User; doh! I started this topic. I don't think comparing a topic thread to a category is meaningful; only 31 readers cared enough to vote out of 531 views.

    Bob

     

     

    Ok, I thought you were a moderator asking that question.

     

    But, again, how many votes does the average poll get here?

    This might be an overwhelming response.


  5. Where we should post topics on mirrorless camera? And a Panny GH2 is it a consumer or a DSRL?

     

    Well, technically, it's not a DSLR.

    If you've watched the trend here, mostly the NEX threads are in the DSLR forum and the Micro 4/3 are in the consumer forum.

    There has been some deviation from that, but in general that's how it's gone.

     

    I agree, there is need for a new category. Or, rename DSLR forum to ILC (Interchangeable Lense Camera).


  6. Phil,

    I know this is an old thread, but I have a question about macro with the epl2.

    Does it make sense to use a diopter on the 14-42 to get more magnification?

    I have the epl2 with the 9-18 and associated Zen port. I also use the 14-42 behind that port.

    Could I use a diopter on the 14-42 behind that port for macro?

     

    I'm kind of new to macro, usually do more WA stuff, but would like to be able to shoot macro.

    I don't plan on investing in another lense at this time, I have enough. And I'm happy with the 14-42, just would like a little more reach at times for small stuff.

     

    thanks


  7. When in M mode, how do you change aperture and shutter speed when the E-PL2 is in the Olympus housing? Normally it's done by turning the little thumb wheel, but the housing has no gears to operate that from the outside.

    very easy.

    push the top button of the 4 on the control jog, it's marked +/-

    this enables the 4 jog buttons to control shutter speed and apperture.

    the veritcal buttons are shutter speed up/down.

    the horizontal buttons are app up/down.

    I actually like it better than a wheel, because you get one advance per button push.

    just try it on the camera while not in the housing.


  8. As I said in the other thread, I think there are better mirrorless cameras than the epl2.

    It's the price point of the epl2 and housing that is hard to beat. That's all.

     

    Coming from a P&S, the epl2 is a cadilac to me underwater. Please note my previous uderwater cameras were oly C4000, Canon A570 and Fuji F30 so I was a generation behind. Someone with a G11/LX3/S90 might have a different perspective.

    I also have Nikon D50 & D7000 for above water use. Of course, the D7000 is faster than the epl2.

    The D50 & epl2 feel similar with the epl2 being slightly faster and producing better images.


  9. Chris don't you find the epl2 has problems with auto focus as the light gets low? AF slowing and slowing and failing to lock? You try to focus and take a shot, and the fish swims out of the frame, before the shutter releases?

     

    My experience in a store, is that it does not hold a candle, to even the lx5, let alone a gf2, in the ability to get the shot, with low light, see my post in the epl2 thread for full report.

     

    For me, not being able to get the shot, due to AF lag, is the most frustrating thing about trying to use a camera, other than an SLR, underwater.

     

    So the gf2 housing is $300 more than the oly housing. The camera itself seems orders of magnitude closer to SLR AF performance, and clearly worth it.

     

    To me, the epl2 seems like it would be much more frustrating to than the lx5, or the gf2.

     

    I've used the epl2 on 6 dives so far and have not experienced focus lock problems. Now, in absolutely no or extremely low light, I can see a problem, but it hasn't been a problem for me. I have a focus light, but it's about the smallest you can get, the nano focus light.

    I also had a lot of cloud of cover on some of my dives and didn't have a real problem.

    I can't say it locked focus everytime, first time, but it just wasn't an issue for me.

    Even SLRs will have focus problems in extreme lighting conditions.

    I have never tried an LX5, but did try a GF2 in a store and while it might have been a hair faster than the epl2, I didn't think it was significant. The epl1 was a lot slower.

     

    For me personally, I did not really consider the 10bar housing. I wanted to be able to do more WA pics and the reports regarding the semi dome on the 10bar are not great. From what I read, the olympus housing with the Zen dome was a better solution, so that factored into my decision.

    I was deciding between an epl2/oly houisng with Zen, a Nex5 in aquatica or a GF2 in nauticam. The epl2 was my last choice as far a pure performance, but when you factor in cost, it won out for me.

    That's why I responded to this thread. The thread is about a low cost alternative to P&S. I was just saying it's almost impossible to beat the epl2 in cost vs image quality.

     

    Oh, one of my dives was night dive and I didn't have a problem. Granted I didn't take many pics on that dive due to too many divers and lack of subjects, but with my little nano focus light, everything was fine.


  10. TomR1,

    I really know nothing about the 620 and the 14/54 but let me relate my experience with the epl2.

    I have the epl2 with the kit 14-42. I also have the Zen dome and 9-18 olympus. I like to shoot WA probably more than macro. With this kit, I have the versatility of both. I don't have ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) or fish eye capability, but the 9mm behind the Zen dome is a very nice, wide view that I'm happy with.

     

    So far I have spent the following:

    housing: 599, camera: 549, zen dome: 499, 9-18: 599

    That's a total of $2246 and I have a very versatile system that can do macro to semi wide.

    I never change ports, both lenses work well behind the Zen dome.

    I plan on adding just some diopters for screwing on the 14-42 and using behind the Zen to get even tighter macro shots.

     

    As far as macro and a viewfinder, I prefer live view. But the epl2 has a zoom function so you only see the center of the image maginified on the lcd. It is very helpful in getting a macro shot.

     

    As far as my background. I have had a few full manual P&S cameras. I also have dabbled with my brother-in-law's setup. He has had a D70s and now a D300. So, I'm not a beginner, but certainly not a pro either.

    I have also had a Inon wet fisheye lense for my P&S. I think a lot of P&S shooters have had wet lenses and might feel constrained by a single lense setup. That's what I like about my setup. Just a quick lense change topside and I can go from semi wide to macro easily.


  11. The gf2 with kit lens is now nearly as cheap as the lx5. And with way better IQ, and autofocus and shutter lag.

     

    The AF seems every bit as fast as the gh2, from the brief playing I've done, and the reviews.

     

    The housings seem a bit limited. The 10 bar is reasonably priced but does not offer a zoom port with flat port.

     

    This would seem to me to be a nice substitute for a p&s cam.

     

    What other housings are there for the gf2, and what ports?

     

    The GF2 looks like a nice camera, but as you pointed out the housing is the problem.

     

    The only thing in the mirrorless world that can compete with P&S from a price standpoint is the oly epl1/2 and that's simply because of the available oly housings.

     

    I come from the P&S world of underwater and I have now moved to the epl2. It's a fantastic camera for the money and the housing is really nice.


  12. The epl1 had horrible auto focus and shutter lag, compared with the epl2, which has bad AF lag compared with the elp3.

     

     

    I guess it depends on what you compare to and price point. I also own an S95 and a D7000. The epl2 is faster than the S95 and slower than the D7000, big surprises there. I handled an epl1 in a store and it was just a touch faster than my S95. Of course, it might be different underwater.

    I went for the epl2 myself primarily because of focus speed and I find the epl2 is more than fast enough for my needs underwater.

    The OP asked about compact setups and I'd say the epl1/2 are definitely in between the compact world and DSLR world size wise but closer to compact. I was just pointing out that price wise, the epl1 can be had for the price of an XZ1 system.

     

    But in terms of IQ per dollar, the epl1 is hard to beat.


  13. The M43 sensors are ~5 times larger than a G11's.

    The Sony APS-C sensor is ~3.5 times larger than M43. That has got to make for some hellatious low-light video capability.

     

    You seem a little off on your math.

    The G11 is a 1/1.7 sensor which is 43 sq. mm.

    The M43 is 225 sq. mm and APS-C is 370 sq. mm.

    So the M43 is ~5 times larger than G11 sensor.

    However, APS-C is not ~3.5 times the M43. More like ~60% larger. A little different than 350% larger.

     

     

    But, back to the original question.

    If you chose NEX, that's great.

    I just think the Oly M43 solutions are a bargain when you compare cost versus camera's ability in a very nice housing. And you still have the ability to upgrade later with ZEN ports and other M43 lenses.


  14. For the vast majority of recreational divers, the 40M (131 feet) limit is plenty.

     

    For me, plastic does not automatically equal low quality.

    There are thousands of plastic housings out there giving good service to divers.

    The olympus plastic housing is one of the better plastic housings available.


  15. I think the olympus epl1/2/3 and the oly housing should be high on your list.

    There is not a more high quality, cost effective solution out there.

     

    I have the epl2 and come from the P&S world. The epl2 is like a cadilac compared to P&S.

    Granted, my P&S are a lot older, but I also have an S95 which is a very good compact that I only use on land. The epl2 still blows it away.

     

    I think the NEX is a very good camera, but you mentioned cost. That's where the oly solution trumps it.

    A quality housing for $600.


  16. Phil,

     

    I could not tell from the photos on the Zen site, but do they have a zoom gear for the 9-18 port? What about the 45mm port? I am thinking about both of these but want to know if there is any way to zoom or manual focus.

     

    My comments to the original post were just my thoughts on a compromise system for his budget. All three lenses will work in the standard port, but, like you said, not perfectly for everything and (like I said) he will lose some on the wide end, but gain on the macro end. Like you, my preference would be all three lenses and all three dedicated ports (I will get there myself, one day).

     

    Not Phil, but I can answer that.

    The 14-42II and the 9-18 use the same oly zoom gear and both work in the zen WA 100 port.

    I just used this combo for the first time last week. Mostly shot with the 9-18, but shot some with 14-42 all in zen port. Just move the zoom gear from one lense to the other. Works well.

    My best shots came from the 14-42 but that had more to do with me screwing up the WA shots than the lenses.

    I didn't have a lot of time to learn camera and system before trip.


  17. We have received and tested the MCON-P01 and FCON-PO1 lenses.

     

    m.Zuiko 14-42 /3.5-5.6 II & MCON-P01 is usable in Zen WA-100-EP. It is not usable in WA-100-EP714, DP-100-EP, or FP-100-EP.

     

    m.Zuiko 14-42 /3.5-5.6 & FCON-P01 is not usable in any of the ports we currently offer. We are investigating a short extension ring for WA-100 that would allow its use, but I can't comment on image quality or compatibility yet.

     

    Ryan, you said the MCON-P01 is usable with the Zen port.

    How about the images? Is it worthwhile?


  18. Lots of people use canon cameras in canon housings and have great results. I would have no qualms about using those housings.

    That being said, I've had a Fuji housing for the F30. That housing was better made than any other OEM housing I've seen. It has a double seal on the back door and a nice rotating lock that really snugs it into place.

     

    So, I have no idea about the 550, but if the Fuji housings are coming from the same place they used to, they are well made.


  19. We have received and tested the MCON-P01 and FCON-PO1 lenses.

     

    m.Zuiko 14-42 /3.5-5.6 II & MCON-P01 is usable in Zen WA-100-EP. It is not usable in WA-100-EP714, DP-100-EP, or FP-100-EP.

     

    m.Zuiko 14-42 /3.5-5.6 & FCON-P01 is not usable in any of the ports we currently offer. We are investigating a short extension ring for WA-100 that would allow its use, but I can't comment on image quality or compatibility yet.

     

     

    Ryan,

    thanks for the info.

    I'll be looking forward to more updates regarding these add on lenses.


  20. I really looked at the NEX5, but preferred the idea of a m43 camera so that I would be part of a bigger system. The sony does look like a great camera. As far as the housing, the nauticam is definitely the high end of the price range. Whether you bought a EPL2 for $550 or a NEX5 for $650, I think the housing choice would be independent, I am more driven by the fact I already have 2 ike strobes. I suspect a lot of people looking at this camera are upgrading from some other rig and so the choice of housing will be very influenced by what else they already have.

     

    I just bought the 9-18 Olympus ultrawide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) zoom to go with the EPL2, and love it. That will be my wreck lens. It is almost unbelievable how small and light the system is. I can't wait to get it in the water - probably in the fall. For now I am learning the menus and getting it set up. Very happy so far.

     

    In my original post when I said price difference, I really meant between the OLY housing and the nauticam housing. The price between cameras is fairly neglible. I guess what I meant was if I decided to go NEX-5, then nauticam or aquatica is kind of only choice. But, if going epl-2, then the oly housing looks nice and a dome port is available. That 1K of price difference between nauticam and oly can almost buy a dome port and the 9-18.

     

    I'm still waiting to hear whether the new oly add on lenses for the 14-42(II) are viable underwater.

    that could make things very interesting.


  21. I currently own an S95 and I'm going through the same delimma.

    Debating whether to house the S95 in a recsea housing ($800) or go to an EPL-2 in Oly housing about $1100.

    The other factor is that my wife loves the S95 and has kind of taken it over, so if I invest in a recsea housing, I'd probably get a second S95 as a backup. She has a tendancy to lose things and/or bang them around.

     

    But, what I would not consider is the nauticam housing for the EPL-2. If I was spending that kind of money, I'd house a NEX-5 in a nauticam. It seems like a better camera to me. Also, better video which I'm interested in.

    So, I'm not bashing the EPL-2 or nauticam at all, just don't see the wisdom in the price difference.


  22. Actually, that YS02 looks like a nice strobe.

    it has basically the same feature set as the inon D2000.

    it looks like a better buy than the S2000 because it has the target light.

     

    on an inon in s-ttl mode, you can still fine tune the flash. you can tell the strobe to put out more or less light than what it has determined through the ttl function. This is nice as it keeps from you from going full manual, while still giving you some control.

    Can the YS02 do that?

     

    If you dont' care about TTL or a target light, then the YS01 appears to be a good buy.

     

    how do you use your S95? if in full manual, then the inon s-ttl will not work. it needs the preflash which the S95 does not put out in manual.

    if you use AV or TV, then s-ttl works.

    I don't know about the YS02 in this regard.

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