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pakoscuba

Need Gear Advice

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I am a professional diving instructor IDC Staff with 10+ years of diving. I work with a dive shop in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and dive here off the Pacific coast. The visibility is not always the best and we are often diving in turbulent waters with limited visibility. During the summer, the waters clear up a bit and you can see much further.

 

I'm very interested in offering underwater photography and video as an enhancement to the dive shop's services...however, I really don't know where to start. I'm not sure what equipment is necessary and I don't want to spend a fortune right off the bat, as I'm just getting into this profession. I do have a film and video background, I studied this in college, however I feel like I am pretty much starting over.

 

If anyone can shed some light for me with gear and setup recommendations, along with online dealers where I can find the equipment for a reasonable price, I would very much appreciate it. While I live in Mexico, we do receive both DHL and UPS service here.

 

Thanks!!

 

Pako

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Hey Pako,

Other than point and shoots, I am not sure how much business you would get renting out photo and video gear. Most of the guests, including myself, all have their own video and photo systems which can run into many thousands of dollars. You do not mention what kind of budget you are working with and whether you plan on dividing that budget into 1/2 video and 1/2 photo or just one or the other. That info is very necessary for anyone to be able to suggest equipment to you. If video, are you looking at HDV or SD? Electronic or mechanical housing? What NLE would you be editing with. I would be happy to help secure gear for you but I really need more info.

Steve B)

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i am interested in taking pictures and videos of my students and selling them the CD and/or video. I do not wish to rent the gear. I would like to spend maximum of about $1,000USD for the equipment. Can you give me some suggestions or point me in the right direction of where to look on the internet to find the equipment for purchase.

 

Thanks.

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You might be able to buy a small SD or HDV cam for a bit over 1000, but not a housing and lights with it. I would wait until you can get something of decent quality and expect to pay about 3k for a good, inexpensive system. Also consider buying something used that has been well taken care of. Most underwater shooters are pretty anal about the care and use of their video equipment so you would probably be safe

Steve

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May I ask for advice, too? I am new to diving, but am an amateur photographer. I shoot with a Canon 20d and a 1d Mark ii. I generally shoot with "L" series lenses. I was able to get a an excellent used Sea & Sea dx-350d, which would mean I would have to get a Rebel XT or XTI. I just learned of an opportunity to buy an Ikelite housing for my 20d. Which housing will be better for me in the long run: an ikelite or a Sea and Sea? I am VERY new to this. It appears that the dx-350d does not have a built in TTL so I would need an external one. Is that correct? What does this mean? What are the advantages and disadvantages of one housing over the other. One issue that concerns me with Ikelite is that I cannot find housings for most of my "L" lenses, or, when I can for some of them, I will not be able to zoom (such as on my 28-70mm). I have checked Ikelite's port chart for this information. I was able to find my only non-Canon lens for to use for this, which is a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. It is actually a nice lens. I will also be getting a Canon 100mm macro, which can use an ikelite housing. I would appreciate it if you could help me understand each of these housings so I know whether to get the ikelite housing for my 20d and sell the Sea and Sea, or whether I should keep the Sea and Sea. (I know that the 20d is a better camera overall. I am just investigating which housing is better.) In case you are wondering, I decided not to get a housing for the 1d. First, a lot of the features take two hands and, since I am new to diving, this would be cumbersome. Second, the 1d has a very low actuation count and is in perfect condition. I could not take a chance on anything happening to it. Thanks so much for this!

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