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malley1717

HELP: Do I need a DSLR?

  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. DSLR/NO DSLR

    • GO FOR IT
      10
    • WAIT IT OUT
      8


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Hello everybody-

 

I would love for some of you to weigh in on my situation, and what you would do if you were in my shoes. I am a student (currently a HS senior-going into college in the fall) and currently diving with a Canon G10, Ikelite Housing, and a Ikelite DS160. I have always thought about getting a DSLR, but even more recently. I have graduation coming up ($$) which makes it even more appealing.

 

So there are obvious advantages to an SLR (almost no shutter lag, more lens options, etc.) but is it worth it over what i have right now? I would probably plan on getting one and really getting to know it very well topside before saving up the money and getting it wet. (College photography class might give me a chance to get better-ill be a pre-med major but i could probably fit it in).

 

So what do you think? Go for it and ask for the DSLR for a graduation present? or wait it out and maybe get one down the road?

 

If YES than what would you recommend? I have been looking at the Nikon D90, as i feel it would give me lots of room to grow, but i am not completely committed to it yet.

 

Thanks in advance for your advice!!

 

Max

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It's a question you have to ask yourself more than others. Will you need the money for something else? Going to college can be very expensive. That said, maybe your parents are generous and will cover your expenses. These are the things that make your situation unique.

 

If you are going to go for it - I would do it in a very careful way. This is a lot of money you are going to spend so you should do it as intelligently as possible. If I could do things over again, I would collect items sparingly and only when good deals present themselves. Go for the used equipment and the used dslr. There are plenty of people willing to get rid of quality stuff for a hefty discount - especially if you are going the nikon route.

 

Those is my two bits. Enjoy graduation and college!

 

 

 

Hello everybody-

 

I would love for some of you to weigh in on my situation, and what you would do if you were in my shoes. I am a student (currently a HS senior-going into college in the fall) and currently diving with a Canon G10, Ikelite Housing, and a Ikelite DS160. I have always thought about getting a DSLR, but even more recently. I have graduation coming up ($$) which makes it even more appealing.

 

So there are obvious advantages to an SLR (almost no shutter lag, more lens options, etc.) but is it worth it over what i have right now? I would probably plan on getting one and really getting to know it very well topside before saving up the money and getting it wet. (College photography class might give me a chance to get better-ill be a pre-med major but i could probably fit it in).

 

So what do you think? Go for it and ask for the DSLR for a graduation present? or wait it out and maybe get one down the road?

 

If YES than what would you recommend? I have been looking at the Nikon D90, as i feel it would give me lots of room to grow, but i am not completely committed to it yet.

 

Thanks in advance for your advice!!

 

Max

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Go for it... buy good glass... bodies come and go...

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How much dives do you have and how much photos have you taken with your G10 Rig?

 

If less than 100 dives and less than 2000 photos (and 100 from them very good) i would wait at least until you reached this numbers.

 

I have the D90 and i am very pleased with it, but recently i bought a G11 for work reasons and i am very please as well.

The G10/G11/S90 is a excellent camera and one of the best of the P&S market. When you are able to domate this camera

so good that your VGPR (Very Good Photo Ratio) is above 20% you may go for a DSLR, otherwise it may be a better way perfectioning

your dive and photographic skills.

OK, i know that this are average numbers, but belive me, a DSLR will not help you making better photos,

it may only help you taking photos of better visual/optical quality...

 

Also consider that a D90, Ikelite housing, tray, arms and 2 DS-160 strobes is very heavy and bulky above the water

and under water too.

 

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

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How much diving are you going to do, is a legitimate measure of whether you want to spend the $$$ on a dslr. You will need the camera body, housing, lenses, lens ports, arms, maybe an additional strobe, etc., etc., etc. Underwater photography is a hole in the ocean into which we throw money.

 

The other major consideration is what are you going to do with your photos. If you just want snapshots to show your friends back home, then your current set up is more than sufficient for your needs. If you want to submit photos to major u/w contests then you may want to think about upgrading to a dslr...or maybe not; lots of winning images are taken with point & shoot cameras.

 

Good luck on whatever you decide to do. Study hard in school, don't waste the opportunity.

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Thats exactly what it comes down to for me. I would love to end up getting into contests and more professional venues of sharing my photography. I wont get opportunities to dive all the time while i am school (although i am thinking about a semester in the Caribbean) i still feel that i will get enough enjoyment out of the camera topside (hiking, kayaking, family stuff) and once i maybe get the opportunity to dive much more i can just upgrade the camera body and keep all the glass to use with it...

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I had the g10 and did a fair bit of diving with it until i flooded it, I asked myself if i should get another g10 or go down the SLR route. I am very happy I went with an SLR (Nikon d90) I think just being able to put a decent wide angle lens on is enough to justify the jump not to mention the shutter lag.

 

Don't forget to factor in all the little extras in going with an SLR like different ports for wide angle and macro along with zoom gears and so on they all add up.

 

If I could go back and do it all again I would not hesitate in going for the SLR.

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Max, why don't you post some of your photos taken with the G10 in this thread. If you are still on the bottom of your learning curve, you may not have even maxed out (pun intended) the capabilities of that camera yet. If you still have room for improvement w/ the G10 you can hold out and keep shooting it for a while. Then when you do decide to get a DSLR later, you can get one for less money :-) as the prices go down really fast.

 

Cheers

James

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Max, Simple way if money not a issue......DSLR, if very tight.....stay whatever u have. Think twins man, what you going to use this photo? your camera can make money for you? or just hobby.....specially you still in college.

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Hey Matt,

 

I agree with James - post some pics!

 

I use the G10. Its a good camera. I've slowly upgraded my unit and now shoot G10, dual YS110a, dual Inon UCL165. Going through the learning curve I can tell you that you will EVENTUALLY grow out of this camera. Like other`s have said not using a Fisheye lens underwater is a Wide Angle killer! But are you there yet? Thats up to you.

 

I finished my 4 years at University (and did an exchange to Australia...to dive!), and I can tell you from experience that you will have 4 years (if not more) where your not earning a great deal. There are expenses over those 4 years, not to mention the cost sink of a DSLR.

 

But there are definite exceptions to the rule, and if your going to pull the trigger go the used route and make the most of it!

 

Either way want to see some pics!

 

And remember to factor in your diving situation - being dry with a nice camera sucks! (Being dry with the G10 sucks too...)

 

Steve

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ive tried a search but what is the best way to post photos here (i dont have them on any type of photo sharing website right now) thanks

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ok here is a fairly random assortment of shots, mostly from family vacations to St. Maarten and short trips to Saba (neighboring island)

post-30931-1276051082.jpg

post-30931-1276051093.jpg

post-30931-1276051100.jpg

post-30931-1276051106.jpg

post-30931-1276051111.jpg

Edited by malley1717

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Hey malley1717,

those are great shots! Compliments!

 

At this point you have to do a difficult decision:

a) invest in upgrading your G10 with a WA-Port and macro lenses

b) go DSLR and start over investing at least 5000$ for a "basic" rig

 

Will the DSLR make that you take better photos? In terms of optical quality? Yes, no doubt.

In terms of creative quality? Theoretically yes, but it's up to you to make a creative use of the various lenses.

Is it worth to invest all this money?

Mentaly maybe it is a good investment, economically no, because it is very hard to sell photos to amortize the investment and you have to consider

extra expenses for insurance and extra luggage fees for shipping around a big, 30-40 lbs heavy case, beeing terrorized on every trip that it get lost or stolen.

Your G10 rig including a laptop computer for viewing/editing the pictures taken should fit in a photo backpack and can be carried as checked luggage in the cabin what will lower your stress level immensly while travelling.

 

Anyway, i have a D90 camera with Ikelite housing, 3 ports, ULCS arms and 1 Ikelite DS-125 strobe and i am quite happy with it.

Buying a new DSLR rig i would buy a housing where i can use optical triggered slave strobes as they work very good and eliminate

an possible troublesome bulkhead and connectors. Unfortunately (some?) some Ikelite DSLR housings don't allow the internal flash to open fully

so he won't fire and for this reason slave strobes don't work with (some?) Ikelite housings. Unfortunately because i am very happy withIkelite housings and had never the slightest issue with them.

 

The important consideration is to buy a housing for a common camera model, because the housing usually survives a flood while a camera almost never and so

after you might have problems to buy a new/used camera for the housing. Nikon D200/D300/D80/D90 cameras (as i am a Nikonist) are easy to find

used on ebay and you can continue to use your expensive housing.

 

Chris

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Chris-

 

Thanks for your reply--it was very helpful. I am becoming more and more sure i want to head down this route. Now all I have to do is decide which one. Debating the D90 and Canon 40D right now...

 

Max

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Uh oh - here we go! :-) I say get the Canon hehe.

 

No but seriously, I don't know where you are located Max but if you can go to a camera store and hold some of the different cameras to see which one you like. They all pretty much "exceed the bar" image quality-wise. The 40D is a bit older but it has a bigger viewfinder than the D90 and a few other things.

 

Cheers

James

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malley1717,

there is no substancial difference between Canon and Nikon, it's more an matter of personal preference

than technical advantages. Both are excellent Brands covering the market from cheap P&S to expensive

but professional cameras.

If you have already a Canon DSLR and especially lenses or had one, stick with Canon.

If you don't have a Canon and no experience with them then you have to take the decision

what world to enter.

 

The only thing to consider is that you will stick with the brand for a long time and changing brand leads to

start over again (and another hefty bill)...

 

Chris

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I am completely new to DSLR so i dont have to factor in owning any lenses and such. The fact that i am buying into a long term system is what makes it a bigger decision.

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I am completely new to DSLR so i dont have to factor in owning any lenses and such. The fact that i am buying into a long term system is what makes it a bigger decision.

 

Last year I had to make the decision whether to stay with a P/S or move up to a DSLR system. I have Canon 10D, 30D, 50D, rebel 450D camera bodies and probably 10 very good Canon lenses already. However none of my Canon lenses were optimal for UW so I would have had to purchase a Tokina 10-17 and a Canon 100mm macro (and a new camera body because I want the ability to shoot video). I configured many different DSLR systems from different housing manufacturers and I kept coming up with a price of $7000-$9000 for the DSLR UW system. Given the cost and travel 'pain' I decided to stick with an upgraded P/S for now. I bought a Canon G10, FIX housing, Fisheye port, macro adapter, and S&S YS-110A for about $3000. We can fit both mine and my wife's UW systems into a carry-on bag, and it has the capability of taking great photos.

 

If I was starting from scratch and decided to go the DSLR route, I would probably go with the Canon T2i body and Nauticam housing.

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If I was starting from scratch and decided to go the DSLR route, I would probably go with the Canon T2i body and Nauticam housing.

 

Hmmm, the T2i squeezes 18 MP on a APS-C sensor... Is this a good thing and would it work???

It would be interesting to see how she performs under water.

 

The price of 7000-9000$ you estimated for a new and complete DSLR rig is (unfortunatly) realistic,

a used and well maintained rig will be about 25-50% off that horrific sum.

 

Chris

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Hmmm, the T2i squeezes 18 MP on a APS-C sensor... Is this a good thing and would it work???

It would be interesting to see how she performs under water.

 

The price of 7000-9000$ you estimated for a new and complete DSLR rig is (unfortunatly) realistic,

a used and well maintained rig will be about 25-50% off that horrific sum.

 

Chris

 

The Canon 7D has the same pixel density and I haven't heard anything negative about it's image quality at reasonable ISO levels. Unless you shoot a lot of natural lit low light photos UW (which is not very common) high ISO noise performance is not that high a priority for UW camera since most shots are strobe lit. I would recommend the t2i over the 7D simply because it costs half as much and there will be a plentiful supply of t2is on the used market to purchase as a backup camera body (since the housing and ports will cost 4-5 times what the camera body costs). And the body is slightly smaller and lighter which allows for smaller/lighter housing as well.

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ok i just got back from best buy a few hours ago. I was playing around with the D90, D5000, Canon T2i, and Canon 50D. I really think i like the Nikon D90. It felt really solid in my hands and i loved how easy it was to change camera settings. What would be the best place to look into buying one? Ebay? Wait for a used one to pop out? Just go to best buy or ritz photo? Thanks for the help.

 

Max

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Not sure where you are in the world but B&H has it listed for $849. Best Buy is usually more money.

 

Have fun Max. Don't forget cards and an extra battery.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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