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wus

Which is the best compact for macro photography?

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Hi!

 

My 1st post here, although I'm not new in U/W photography. Looks like there's a lot of useful information collected here. But the hour or so that I just spent searching the forum did not bring me on much.

 

I'm trying to find out which digital compact is the best one for underwater macro photography. In the past I used a Minolta Dynax (Maxxum) 8000i film SLR with the 100 mm macro in a Hugyfot housing. I shot some nice photos I guess. Some can be seen in the Underwater Galleries on the Eastern Samar website (scroll down to the bottom), if you're interested.

 

In my opinion, one disadvantage of my old setup is the small depth of field in the extreme close range. This should be much better with a compact digital because the sensors are so much smaller than 35mm slides. And therefore I now consider to use a housed compact, although I will of course continue to use SLRs over water.

 

Another reason that speaks for the compact is size and weight. SLR housings are big and heavy, and unfortunately here in Europe we don't enjoy the piece concept for airline luggage that seems common in the US ... so whenever I flew to the Red Sea, the Philippines or Indonesia with my old setup, I had a weight problem and had to pay for the overweight luggage.

 

1. The camera:

At present I'm looking at Canon's G9 - after all the reviews I read about it I'm sure it's a good camera, but how good is it for macro photography, under water?

Is there any better choice for this particular application, among the compacts?

One disadvantage of most compacts is that they have the minimum focus distance at the wide end of the zoom range. For the G9 this means that you'd have to get as close as 1 cm to the object - not practical under water. How close can you really go, or more precisely asked, what is the smallest area that the G9 can capture under water?

Are you aware of any compact that does not have this limitation, and allows focusing real close even at the long end of the zoom range?

 

2. The housing:

Should be good for at least 60 meters depth, preferrably more, allow connection of underwater strobe(s).

The housing must give me control over all functions of the camera.

I looked at Ikelite, Patima and the Sea & Sea found on digideep (but strangely can't find on Sea & Sea), but am not determined.

Any other suggestion (also for other cameras than the G9)?

 

3. The substrobe(s):

Should be small and lightweight, and ideally have built-in lamps for night dives. Must support TTL control from the camera.

From experience with my old setup I know that a single flash often results in unevenly lit pictures, therefore I think it would be much better if I had 2. Question is, is there any system that supports TTL control of 2 strobes from a compact camera? How would this connect? I have not seen housings for compacts with 2 strobe connectors - are there?

 

It would be nice if you could share your views with me. Thank you to all who will!

 

- wus

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Sounds like you want to look at a G9 with the Ikelite Housing, Ikelite Strobes and one or more 67MM macro adapters ...

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I second that.

 

Another option would be the Sea and Sea DX1-G w/ Sea and Sea YS110 strobe.

 

I think the Canon/Ikelite system may have the edge though.

 

Cheers

James

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Hi Wus

looks like the G9 is a good option for you , if you go for the ikelite housing then ikelite strobes are the only ones that provide sync fired TTL .

 

if you go for the Sea&sea then i think the ys110 will provide sync fires TTL

see

http://www.uwdigitalcamera.com/goods_detail.php?goodsIdx=251

 

if you choose the inon strobes and fire via fibre optic cable any housing will be ok for STTL.

 

if you want to do wideangle shooting at some stage the short port is recomended.

 

im actually using the nikon P5000 in Ikelite housing with inon strobes and inon ucl165m67 macro lenses stacked up to 3 . im getting very pleasing macro and wide results , so although the P5000 is not as popular it is also another good option.

 

here are a few macro shots taken with the P5000

 

 

2320121297_5b22430399_m.jpg

 

 

2331091774_247c661781_m.jpg

 

1091939598_321dcd5ed6_m.jpg

 

 

1707612660_b233def504_m.jpg

 

Regards

Matt

Edited by jugglematt

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....

 

Are you aware of any compact that does not have this limitation, and allows focusing real close even at the long end of the zoom range?

 

....

- wus

 

yes, the DX-1G lets you focus at 2 inches at the longest end, which is 72mm equivalent. it's got a native WA lens at well at 24mm equivalent, which in my opinion beats the socks off any other compact.

 

the G9 is roughly 37-38mm equivalent, which i don't really like because I can't get close enough. plus you get vignetting problems with the stock canon housing and ikelite, unless you buy the optional short port for ikelite.

 

why go through all that trouble when you have a nice working combination with the S&S DX-1G?

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