Jump to content
errbrr

500D vs 5DMkII

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

 

I've been using a housed point and shoot for about six months now, and I'm getting extremely frustrated by the pictures I can't take. Having recently moved out of studentville and into the real world of pay cheques, I'm looking at getting a dSLR setup. My main question is: given that any dSLR is going to be better than the point and shoot, how long will it take for me to feel restricted by a cheaper setup? Here's what I'm comparing (prices in $US to make life easier)

 

500D plus 10-22 lens plus Ikelite housing

Camera body $720

10-22 lens $790

Ikelite housing $1330

8" dome port $380

Port body $140

2 x Inon Z-240 type 3 strobes $1500

Sync cables $?

 

Total cost $4900+

 

5DMkII plus 14mm lens plus Aquatica housing

Camera body $2700

14mm lens $2100

Aquatica housing $2900

8"dome port $440

Extension ring $210

2 x Inon Z-240 type 3 strobes $1500

Sync cables $?

 

Total cost $9800+

 

Some more about the diving and pictures I want to take:

- I do a lot of cave diving (and a bit of caving). I'm worried that an ikelite housing may not live up to being bumped across rocks.

- I have no interest whatsoever in nudibranchs, and can't see myself taking macro shots.

- I am new to the dSLR gig, but I intend to learn quickly.

- I do about 100 dives a year, both locally and on trips, but mostly in temperate waters.

- I'd prefer to go new rather than second hand for the Live View and the HD video, both of which I want.

 

My concern is that upgrading cameras means upgrading housings, and that gets expensive fast. I feel like I'd like to go with the 5DMkII now, and have it be my underwater set up for the next 8 years, rather than go with the 500D and be frustrated with it after two years. I'm attracted to the idea of full frame, but maybe I'm being overly optimistic that I'm going to notice any difference, given my current skill level (none). The question is, is this attraction worth the extra dough (and the extra 6-8 months it will take me to buy the whole system)??

 

Your thoughts on my thoughts would be much appreciated - I just want to make the right decision! Yet more questions, if you have time and patience...

- I don't fully understand the camera hotshoe to housing to strobe connection - what cable do I need? Have I missed a good article on this somewhere?

- Should I get the ikelite housing for the 5D at half the price, or is this false economy?

- Will I notice the difference between full frame and cropped frame photo quality?

- Does anyone use a 14mm lens a lot underwater? Am I going to find this particularly difficult, or not suited to temperate water ocean shots (vis usually 5-15m)?

- Does anyone know somewhere cheap to buy any/all of the above??

 

All help much appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look at the total cost of ownership of an underwater system, the camera body itself doesn't make up the large part. In other words, saving $1,000 on the camera body won't change your bottom line much :-(

 

But on the other hand, you're not comparing apples to apples. There is a HUGE difference between a camera w/ a 10-22mm lens and a 14mm F2.8 L II lens. Instead I'd look at the 5DII with 17-40L. Also if you want to compare apples to apples, compare Ikelite or Aquatica housings for both setups.

 

In either case, I see what you've going for - an entry level system vs a robust almost-top-of-the line system. In that case the differences you will see are ease of handling underwater, size/weight/port flexibility for travel, and ergonomics.

 

Cheers

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your decision will come down to the same choice i had to make .. will you be happy if you buy anything less than the best you can afford .. i knew i wanted a 5d mkii but the cheaper options made more sense.

 

Sense never wins .. buy what you want and be happy with it .. end of the day you are spending a lot of money either way .. so you would rather be happy with your decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think your decision will come down to the same choice i had to make .. will you be happy if you buy anything less than the best you can afford .. i knew i wanted a 5d mkii but the cheaper options made more sense.

 

Sense never wins .. buy what you want and be happy with it .. end of the day you are spending a lot of money either way .. so you would rather be happy with your decision.

 

So Giles, did sense win out? ;)

 

I got the 5D Mark II myself and used it on a recent land trip and was real happy with the choice, tried to push it as far as it could go, low light and the rest, and liked the results. I am hoping at some point I can use it in Cenotes, though that is a real far off chance if at all right now....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the problem with underwater photography is that digital cameras are still improving rapidly and each generation obsoletes the previous housing

 

for your purposes i'd really recommend an aquatica housing for it's ergonomics and durability (i use an aquatica with a 20d). i'd also recommend stretching for the 5D2 as i think it's high ISO performance would be a real benefit for cave diving and under good conditions you'll also get the benefit of high resolution. the 17-40 sounds like a good choice to start with (the other benefit of the 5D2 is being able to take advantage of good wide angle lenses in the future which will not be available for crop-frame cameras). i have a 5D2 for topside and the difference between it and any of the crop frame cameras (up to the 50D, don't know about the 7D) is very apparent on large prints. the reason i haven't invested in the 5D2 housing is that i'm not a serious wide angle shooter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys,

 

Thanks for the advice! I think Giles is most likely telling me what I wanted to hear but what my bank account was afraid of. By all accounts the 5DMkII is a beautiful camera, and I seem to be (rationally or otherwise) determined to own it. I'm 4 days through my self-imposed week of consideration before splashing out, so we'll see how I feel on Monday.

 

Regarding why not a 7D, partly because they're not currently available, and mostly because they cost a lot. If I'm going to spend the cash above the 500D level, I'd like to go all the way up to full frame. This is an academic argument for me at the moment because I don't know if I'll appreciate the full frame difference....but it sounds convincing! And being able to get top quality lenses is certainly an incentive, as is the high ISO advantage.

 

Speaking of lenses, why go for the 17-40 over the 14mm? To disclose further, a photographer I respect has advised me that he took all his publishable shots with a Nikonos V and Nikonos 15mm lens, and while he bought other lenses, barely used them. I'm hoping that a 14mm will help me out in the caves, and the huge megapixel count and full frame will mean I can crop ocean photos down to the fish I was looking at. 14mm will mean having to get REALLY close to my subject, but isn't this true of taking any underwater shots? Am I missing another drawback?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...