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deviance

Should I go dSLR?

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Hey everyone

 

I am hoping a few opinions and views can help me decide on whether to upgrade my current setup to a DSLR or a new P&S.

 

I currently use a Canon IXUS 950IS alongside INON macro and WA lenses. Most of the time I don't use the flash and just set manula white balance. I am thinking of buying an external strobe (S&S YS110) whatever I decide to do.

 

What sort of DSLR's should I be looking at for a beginner and how much should I be looking at spending?

Is it a big learning curve from P&S with manual white balance, aperture and shutter speeds?

 

Attached are some of my photos over the last 2 years from Utila and Micronesia using my Canon IXUS;

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1848...mp;id=562084781

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1848...mp;id=562084781

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1848...mp;id=562084781

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3689...mp;id=562084781

 

 

I'd love to hear peoples advice and opinions.

 

Many thanks

Simon (UK)

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Swallow :)

Spend a bit more than you can afford, I started looking at a Canon 500D and in the end settled for a Nikon D90, dont worry about the manual settings, you can start with Av and work on everything else, take a goingdigital course which helped me a great deal to get into SLR's, google them, they have franchises nationwide...you wont regret it!

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Simon,

 

have a look at the Canon Eos-450D or Canon Eos-500D with a Tokina 10-17 FE zoom for wide-angle and Canon 60 for macro work .... As far as the housing is concerned you can settle for a cheaper polycarbonate one (e.g. Ikelite) or a quality metal one (Subal, Sea&Sea, Hugyfot to name a few) .... Inon would be the brand of choice for strobes, having three models that suit you in their range: S-2000, D-2000, Z-240. Just make sure that the housing of you choose can operate the strobes via fiber-optic connection rather than electrical sync cords: the cables are way cheaper and you have less "leakage" points to worry about .... Browse the second-hand market and you are likely to find good package deals.

 

All the Best ..... Francesco

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depends on budget, time, energy/enthusiasm. its quite a dive-hogging ordeal to lug around a full DSLR rig, not to mention the pre & post dive maintenance. carrying a housed p&s is quite simple and doesn't detract from teh experience of the dive as much. in shooting ambient, you've forgone the hardest part of UW photography - lighting. I'd suggest starting with a good UW strobe that you can use if/when you upgrade to a dslr. inon z240 is a great choice but i think a ys-110 is good too.

 

I'd disagree with Francesco about going fully fiber-optic, most DSLR housings do not use this (limits choices), it drains the camera battery faster and can prevent you from shooting for a few secs if you've taken a few shots and the weak on-camera flash is recharging. Personally i hard wire 1 strobe and run a fiber optic cable from the first to the second strobe. anyways, i digress.

 

your best bet would be a Canon 500D or a Nikon D90, tokina 10-17 and a 60mm macro to start. Personally i prefer nikon for the ergonomics and slightly better glass. But the two are essentially the same. If you're serious about photography and want to put in the time & energy to learn the principles and lighting its worth it, but your photos will not improve much at all if you expect to just set it to auto, point & shoot. Cheers,

 

Chris

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If you can, and you think you will end up with a DSLR in time anyway, you are ready to jump.

Normally people who ask this question is ready to go.

 

I am a Nikon user.

Nikon's lower recommendation is D90.

Canon's lower one is 7D.

 

Good luck!

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you also gotta understand that you are willing to spend at least 10 times as much on a set up, is your hobby really worth that much? The main thing about SLR IMO is that it makes you less frustrated getting the right pcs, your pics seem really good for a compact, whats wrong with the camera you have? or is a wad just burning a hle in your pocket...like mine was :)

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Mariozi quotes the 7d as the canon entry level camera, which i would disagree on, it starts at the 1000d, then 450/500d range which is the same body and housing but with HD video added in the 500d, then the 40/50d then either the 5dmk2 then the 7d. So way more to choose from before the 7d. However i am yet to see a housing for the 1000 and i have the 400d (the 450 without live view) and am upgrading to the 7d. it costs about 1300 uk. plus lenses but from what i have seen is worth it. but then u add 2grand of housing on top plus arms, cables, strobes etc ur looking at 5gs.

 

is it worth it? depends on what ur using it for and how much. i aim to live abroad by june and run my own resort so i have said yes, but i own an ixus with lenses and strobes now, and love it. the results are brilliant every now and then but not exceptional.

 

Get a good strobe, use it in every shot! and see the results. it does take time to get used to manual settings but say the ys-110 or inon 240 will last u for ages and be useful on a dlsr set up when u take the plunge... it spreads the cost.

 

and as a uk based guy, look at Martin Edge's bournemouth based course, Ocean optics essex based or similar to learn at home, and then enjoy ur holiday more!

 

Canon vs nikon. go to the shop and pick them up. p.s all canon menus are basically the same so that is why i stuck there.

 

hope this helps

 

Olly

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Thanks for all your replies.

 

I've been doing some research and these eare what I have been looking at;

 

Canon EOS 500D

Ikleite housing for 500d - http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/ikelite/slr/eos450d.html

Canon EF 50mm f2.5 Macro Lens + port

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Lens + port

Ikelite DS160 strobe - http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/flash/ikelite/ds160.html

 

 

I do honestly think I have taken some rather good composed shots over the last few years; I am always getting complimented on my photos by friends, but am pretty certain if I had a DSLR to use I would appreciate my work even more!

 

Another reason I am thinking of going DSLR is because I'd like to learn more and become more technical. I'd like to have more options available to me and have better quality results i.e. better quality photos due to the larger censor and manual controls. Also, although I don't own a strobe I have used one in the past and if I dont go DSLR I'll be adding a S&S YS110 to my setup, maybe 2 if there is an advantage to having dual strobes on a p&s?

 

Anyways, I'm off to Borneo in April for a few months, maybe even longer to work as in instructor so inbetween teaching I'd be diving and taking photos as this is where my main love lies so I am sure it would get use, although not sure how secure it would be there.

 

Thanks

Simon

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Anyways, I'm off to Borneo in April for a few months, maybe even longer to work as in instructor so inbetween teaching I'd be diving and taking photos as this is where my main love lies so I am sure it would get use, although not sure how secure it would be there.

 

You lucky lucky man, good luck, let us know how you get on

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I think the main questions you'll have to ask yourself are:

 

1. Are you ok with the extra time it takes? You will spend a lot more time on your photo equipment before, during and after a dive trip compared to with a point and shoot system.

 

2. Are you ok with the extra hassle of transportation? As you can see here on Wetpixel, there are threads every now and then regarding transporting and flying with a DSLR-rig. It is a very real issue to consider.

 

3. Are you prepared to spend the extra money? It is a lot more expensive. Not only the the camera, housing and strobes. You might need a more powerful computer to process the larger files and perhaps new software as well.

 

If the answer to all of the above is yes! Then go ahead. I don't think you will regret it.

 

good luck

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Thanks for all your replies.

 

I've been doing some research and these eare what I have been looking at;

 

Canon EOS 500D

Ikleite housing for 500d - http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/ikelite/slr/eos450d.html

Canon EF 50mm f2.5 Macro Lens + port

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Lens + port

Ikelite DS160 strobe - http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/flash/ikelite/ds160.html

 

I have a 500D and IMHO (along with many others), the best macro/wide-angle lens pair to start out with is the EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro and the tokina 10-17 fisheye. The 50mm macro does not focus down to 1:1, and getting as close as you can to the subject is definitely what you want. As for the 17-85mm, it's not a very useful range underwater, especially on a crop body. It would be a great topside lens, though.

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How do those lenses stand above the water? Are they just as useable?

 

I find the 60mm useful.. good for portraits and any other shot you'd take at that focal range. I don't find the tokina 10-17 all that useful topside, honestly. The fisheye effect makes it somewhat of a novelty I feel. You may want to take a look at flickr and see what other people have been shooting with that lens to decide for yourself though.

 

I take back what I said about the 17-85.. I can imagine it'd be useful in some situations underwater.. However, I'd still choose the 10-17 over it every time if I'm looking only for underwater use.

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I'd agree the 17-85 not too useful UW, mainly as a big animal (shark, ray, grouper) lens. however, there's been much talk about the sigma 17-70mm which has macro focusing capabilities as very good UW. for a wide angle option the tokina is the way to go. ditto on the 60mm if the 50mm doesn't go to 1:1.

 

AND :) where in Borneo you diving? i'm just starting to research for a big wildlife & diving trip there sometime in the next couple years. not found much info on diving in Borneo. Cheers,

 

Chris

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Undertow,

 

Diving in borneo check out the 3 havens of Sipidan, Mabul, Kapalai. Anyone will tell you that they rock. Sipidan is a World Heritage site, was Jaques Cousteau's favourite place to dive and is covered in sharks and turtles... literally 30-40 turtles a dive. Places to stay include Borneo Divers, The Rig, or in Semporna on the mainland.

 

Or having never been check out Layang-Layang, off north borneo. a US air base with steep walls and supposed hammerheads.

 

Now back to topic, im in the same boat as "Deviance" in that im buying a new 7d as my first housed DSLR, i have kit lenses for my 400d now, which will work 18-55, 70-200. I see the 70 wont be worth while, and i was sold on the Tokina 10-17 for WA. Now where i live, Whale Sharks are common some months of the year and that is my general reason for a WA lens, although i like reef shots, there is only so many one man can look at. i love macro as was gonna go for the 100/105mm rather than 60mm, but anyway u say the 17-85 is a big fish shooter? would this be better, as in less distortion and still get the fish in for the whale sharks? would my 18-55 be useful? Would the kit lens on the 7d be useful, as i was considerin buying body only?

 

Olly

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Olly,

The 60mm is a great fish lens and very sharp. It will go 1:1 but you have to get very close to the subject. Coral etc, that's no problem, but with macro subjects that can see you the 100mm is much easier to use at 1:1 and easier to light. The general rule of thumb I hear around here is; if you have to pick one go for the 60mm if you dive in bad vis most of the time, and get the 100mm if you're diving clear water. The 100mm works very nicely with the Canon 500D screwed on the front too. It allows 2:1 images at a reasonable distance.

 

Have fun,

Steve

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FYI, if you decide to go DSLR I'm selling my Canon XTi (400D) rig, and my Seatool housing with a dome port and flat port (works great with the Tokina, the 17-55, and the 60 macro), the focus gears, and tray. You would need to buy your own lenses and strobes.

 

I'm selling after the next trip in March. I haven't advertised yet. PM me if you might be interested.

 

Mike

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Steve, thanks, i dive clear water (philippines) and our area is basically untouched with few divers about so most of the subjects are wary of divers, so thinking the 100mm is a better option.

 

Now call me stupid, but was is 1:1 vs 2:1 etc. i cos surely if i printed a pygmy seahorse filling an a4 page thats like 10:1!! guessing, is it the size of the object in the viewfinder?

 

ive just never heard this term execpt here? is a new digital thing? rather than 50mm being lifesize etc?

 

Olly

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