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Hi All, Was hoping to get your thoughts and insight into a system that is suited for me. Originally, I wanted to upgrade and get mirrorless system, either the Olympus EM-10III or EM-5III in a Nauticam Housing. But given the cost of the housing + port + focus gear is already 2,500 USD alone, add to that the cost of the lens and body you are looking at about 3,000-4,000USD. This is beyond what I am willing to spend. I had decided to go with the LX100II in a Nauticam Housing because the housing + camera + short port is about 2,300USD, plus I already have the necessary wet lens to use with this for both macro and wide angle. It fits my budget. A bit of background, I am a research diver in the Philippines and travel to very remote locations. I usually dive for photography during my “spare” time while out in the field. But given the random and remote locations I don’t really know what to expect when I dive, so the criteria in picking was: Ease of use - quick access to manual controls, back button focus, fast focusing, fast access to white balancing, can set the temperature to match my strobes and small size for travel. This allows me to react quickly to situations and unexpected subjects or behaviors I encounter. My frustration with my old Canon G15 was I could not change settings quickly and focus fast. Versatility - need something that will allow me to do the following photography during a single dive. Again I do encounter random and very different subjects. I am very opportunistic when I photograph and take pictures of things that present themselves well as I encounter them. So being able to capture different scenes is a criteria for me. Macro = subjects 2-3 cm in size, I don’t do really super macro subjects. Fish Portraits = subjects 10-30 cm in size General Wide Angle = various macro fauna. Performance Great Lens: for the LX100II it has a useful focal length of 24-75mm and is very bright at F1.7/2.8. I have the wet lens to augment this already. Sensor is a Micro 4/3 Fast focusing mainly for fish and small subjects. My Canon G15's focus would hunt a lot. Allows for rapid flash triggering. I am keen on behaviors, typically I would shadow my subjects or stay in a single spot waiting to capture behavior. Been frustrated at the slow recycle time of my current compact camera. Life span and longevity - I don’t upgrade equipment often (hard to afford as a researcher), but I have used a polycarbonate Canon DC-WP48 case for my Canon G15 for about 8 years. So far it has held up and I have never flooded it. I have just meticulously cleaned it after every dive but given there is no maintenance or repair support for the housing, I am in constant fear of flooding as it ages from wear and tear. That is why my criteria for a new housing is: Housing preferably aluminum Has a vacuum valve Easy to maintain in the field Maintenance Service in the Philippines. I was about to purchase the LX100II when I saw on Backscatter a review on the Olympus E-PL10 with the AOI housing (here is the Review and here is the System Chart). This made me stop as the E-PL10 in AOI housing falls well within my budget and seems to tick all my boxes. I really like: For 650USD, it come with the LED triggering and vacuum valve system. This ticks two of the things I am looking for. It has the ability to have dedicated macro or wide lens, aside from the 14-42mm kit lens, if I choose to or ever need it. This gives me the ability to expand the lens I use. And given that the housing only costs 650USD I have enough left over in my budget to get those additional ports and lens. I do have some major hesitations and would like hear people's opinions on these: Life span and maintenance given E-PL10 is a polycarbonate housing. Are AOI cases repairable or serviceable (especially the buttons and led triggering electronics)? I don't want to have a breakdown and not be able to repair a system I have invested in. I understand over time things fail, but I just need it to last like 7-8 years, aluminum housings definitely last this long but are polycarbonate housings good enough? Versatility and quality of Olympus 14-42mm lens versus the 24-75mm lens of the Panasonic (in conjunction with the CMC-1, CMC-2 and WWL wet lens). Which would be a better setup? I am weighing this because most of the time I will be diving in that configuration. Performance of the LX100II versus the E-PL10 in terms of WB, Focusing, and Manual Controls? Given Olympus just got sold, is it advisable to begin investing in the Micro 4/3 line up? Would love to get your insights on this. Happy also for other recommendations. Cheers, Pomacentridae
So Panasonic released an update today of the LX100, the new LX100II. The updates seem modest but good from what I can tell overall - a higher resolution sensor (17MP vs 13MP) and a touchscreen on the back LCD being the primary ones. The body of the LX100II looks to have the exact same dimensions as the LX100, from what I can tell online. Question: Will the LX100II fit in my existing Nauticam NA-LX100 housing (which I LOVE)? Will it slide right in (best case), or will the housing need a conversion kit (also good)? Alternatively, will the LX100II require a new separate housing (in which case, I'm not that interested, as it is way too much expense) For background, when Panasonic released the GH4 as successor to the GH3, the camera bodies were almost identical. Nauticam created a conversion kit for those who had the Nauticam GH3 housing, to allow divers to use the newer camera. Nauticam later released a separate housing for the GH4, but it was nice the option