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Hello fellow photographers and divers! I have some doubts that are killing me internally and keep me from sleep 😂. I have thought of buying a Sony Alpha a7 mark 1, and keep it as my dive camera. Since its not too expensive, its compact, and it does a great job. I am also considering getting the A7 s, which will potentially improve the results and the price difference is not too much. It would be worth it. My reason to go for a Sony Alpha as my dive camera is because their underwater housing are extremely cheap (the Meikon ones) and ive read great reviews about those housings. Also because they are overall quite good and it would work great as a backup, light camera to use aside of my massive 6D + 70-200mm setup. I am planning to just go for the 28-70 kit lens, since its also cheap and it does deliver as expected. Price range is 170-250 euros as used... I am planning to get the camera and lens as second hand. My only issue with this setup is that the Meikon housing for the mark 1, does not have a dome port. And it is something I would quite love to have. The housing designed for the mark 2 however, does support a dome port. So in theory, In order to have a dome port, I would need to start looking at the mark 2 series... For the price of a Sony Alpha a7 II, I could get the A7S (mk 1) and the a7s would be a lot better for what I need... (4k, and low light monster). Now if I have to get the A7S II, then the price would already drastically increase and its out of my budget. So its not worth it just for the dome port. I would love to know your suggestions. If I my setup is not worth it, if there is a better option for me... If the dome port is at all THAT necessary... If you could point out any flaws in this setup im thinking of... things I would eventually regret, I would be FOREVER thankful!! Should I still go for this setup with the A7 and sacrifice the dome port, in order to save as much money as I can? Of course im not expecting professional level pictures, but also not GoPro level pictures.. I want something that looks somewhat decent. I was not planning to exceed a budget of 1000 euros... (A7 + LENS + Housing would be a total of ca. 800-1000 (tops) euros, if I decide for the A7S instead, it would be a total of ca. 1250)
Hi. I need a set of strobes to help collect surface images of the cave floor. That means flat, even lighting, while shooting 5-15' above the floor. That also means not interested in macro abilities or dramatic shadows or contrast, really not for making pretty shots (though maybe when the opportunity arises). For this project, I expected to be using someone else's rig that worked well for me on a previous project in which we used video lights. The lights worked well enough because the canon 5D is awesome in low light, but still there was some edge effects that were less than ideal. This time, I will be using my own Panasonic Lumix Lx10. I like video lights, and was planning to purchase some, but everyone keeps telling me that for less money, I can get brighter light for my stills with strobes. Since this wasn't an expected expense that I could have written into my grant, I will be buying these strobes with my own money... and I'm a grad student, so that ain't a deep pool to dive. I'm looking at three budget options: Inon S-2000, Sea & Sea ys-01, and ys-03. Someone at Backscatter told me that I should steer clear of the ys-03 because I will probably want lower power shots for the cave, and there's no manual control. My thought was that my focus light will allow the camera to communicate the need for a lower power flash if need be. But, more control options are usually better. Backscatter also has an article that found that the YS-01 is a lot brighter than the S-2000. But, the S-2000 has the external accessible sensor that may mean I have a wireless option to play with if I need it. Any insights from more experienced photographers would be super helpful. Thanks for any comments. Cheers.
Dear Seasoned Tropical Underwater Photographers, I am going to spend around 2 months travelling around indonesia in July/August with my camera set up (seacam, canon 5d, strobes, 15mm sigma, 60mm macro and gopro). I am looking for some stunning places to shoot macro and wide angle on a budget if possible. Can anyone make any general location and dive shop recomendations? Many thanks, Matt
I just got a friendly reminder that my trip report was 6 months overdue. Don't you hate it when live swallows you up again. Anyway, here goes, and with thanks to all who helped me pick this dive spot. Let's start with what sold me on Anilao in general - Easy to get to (direct red-eye Vancouver/Manilla flght) - Affordable cost of diving and living - Good macro and fish diversity Anilao, or better Mabini, has a large number of dive operations stretched along the coastline. Some with names familiar if you have been following discussions on wetpixel, but there are many more, probably without web presence and catering to local divers (but that is just my guess). Towards the end of the stretch is Planet Dive. I chose PD for one main reason, it was said to have the best house reef on the strip and unlimited shore diving. Normally I would add one more priority and that is the ability to solo dive but this time I was lucky to meet up with a UK buddy who likes to dive as much, as slow, and as long as I do. I believe officially they have a buddy diving policy, but one person was solo diving I after they got to know us I could have gone solo if I had wanted to. However, check before you go if that is important to you. We visited at the end of May/start of June, which is the transition into the rainy season, and the low season for diving. Apparently conditions are best in the Feb/Apr, which is not an option for me, but on a next trip I will aim for early May. That said, we were diving every day averaging almost 5 dives a day. One good thing is that on many occasions we had the entire house reef to ourselves, especially during the week. We also had a panga, captain and dive master just for the two of us much of the time with 60-75 minute boat dives. The rates vary depending on the number of divers but even with just two it was only ~US$60 for a two tank boat dive plus unlimited shore diving, going down to ~US$40 for four divers, and $15 for just unlimited shore diving. Hard to beat prices. I don't remember the all-inclusive accommodation cost but it was equally affordable, although accommodation and food are pretty basic. However, it is clean and save, and if you are like me all you need is a place to sleep and charge batteries. Another advantage is that you get to meet a lot of local divers, unlike most other places I have ever been to. The shore diving starts right in front of PD. The dive locker is on the beach with tanks always available. We would head down just after 5am and be in the water by 5:30 for our pre-breakfast dive. Boat dives were either two tank trips leaving right after breakfast back by lunch or one after breakfast and a second after lunch. Two more shore dives filled out the day. The beach and shore entry consists of rounded large pebbles/rocks up to hip deep followed by a bank of shallow corals sloping down to about 4m, followed by a slight drop to about 7-8m. That is where you have to make the hard choice, go right on the more scenic route following the slight drop-off towards twin rocks or left to areas of staghorn and other coral with many damsels, cardinalfish and other critters. It is really a fish lovers site and you can probably find well over 200 species on your trip right there. If you like grand vistas and wide angle then twin rocks themselves are the only standout feature but on the whole you are going to be disappointed. Big fish lovers will enjoy the ever present bigeye jack school that can darken the sun if they move like a tornado over and around you. It is hard not to get excited by that, even after you've seen them a dozen times. Friendly batfish, a half-dozen spiny lobsters, giant clams, one hunch-backed turtle and the odd grouper make up the other large animals. Not everyone will enjoy many repeat dives on one site but I dove PD 21 times in two weeks and would be happy to go back for more 90-100 minute dives floating around and observing live as it happens. Boat dives were 10-20 minute trips to various sites along the coast or across a channel. There were two muck diving sites, mainit muck and coconut muck, the latter is prettier the former is muckier. We dove both several times and they always offer surprises. Another site I liked a lot but I don't think gets used that much is Danilaut. It is highly protected behind an island and has a shallow sandy plateau running to a slight drop-off that slopes deeper to where there is the metal frame skeleton of a former casino boat. I found a lot of fish there that I didn't find anywhere else, which is why I liked it. There are many other sites, many of them have been discussed here before. My only "Pacific" comparison is with the Marsa Alam area in the Red Sea. Visibility, reef structure, and general UW landscape beauty is much better in the Red Sea. But when it comes to fish life I've never seen as much variety as in Anilao. The final count is not yet in but well over 300 fish species in two weeks. Twice a typical harvest in the Caribbean and 50% better than the Red Sea. So if you are a fish lover who wants unlimited and varied house reef diving at a good value it is hard to beat PD. Cheers, Bart