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jayelwin

So 5D II housings too big - go the Oly Pen route?

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So I have always wanted to finally buy an enclosure for my 5D II especially since my G9 enclosure died (luckily on land). Well the 5D II is a big camera and the enclosures are huge (especially coming from a G9 setup). Much too big for 3 weeks a year casual shooting both diving and snorkeling. And expensive too. For the price of the enclosure I could get a cheaper smaller enclosure and camera too.

 

I have always been very dissatisfied with the G9 and all point and shoots in general. The big issue for me is the shutter lag you get with all non SLR cameras. So I was thinking of going micro 4/3. I see Olympus makes an enclosure for their Pen EP-1 camera:

 

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_underwater.asp

 

Does anyone have any experience with this setup? Or can anyone recommend another tiny SLR setup with enclosure. The Pen case is $550 and the camera is $450 or so with the 14-42 and they make a 9-18 as well that works with the enclosure as is. That's a pretty good range and a good dry land SLR smaller than the 5D II would be a bonus too.

 

I could probably get a strobe at that budget. Olympus makes a strobe that attaches with fiber optics and does TTL - I'm wondering if another branded strobe would work.

 

Thanks for any advice

 

-Josh

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My problem with using with oly's is there contrast detection auto focus is always class lagging rather than class leading.

 

The ep-1 full AF shutter lag is around .99 - 1.2 seconds or more:

 

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/EP1/EP1A6.HTM

 

To me, this autofocus capbility and lag time is the most crucial feature of any camera, for underwater use, given adequate image quality. Oly's, and nikons have always had horrible contrast detect AF performance, and canon nearly as bad in all their P&S cams, (and even their DSLRs in live view mode, until the nikon d7000). Sony and Panasonic have always had much better implementations of the CD-AF system, in their cams.

 

So, for the smaller cams and houisngs, I'd go with the pany gf1 right now. A reasonable price housing is coming from ikelite this spring.

 

The sony nex-5 is also very cool, but limited manual or aperature exposure modes. Limited lens choices. Maybe the next nex... Ikelite is due to bring out a housing this spring also.

 

I guess the other issue is how much size and weight will you really save of the DSLR setup? You need to add it all up, and see if the saving is significant. The performance of the camera AF and lag time are not going to be in the same league as a good nikon or canon.

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My problem with using with oly's is there contrast detection auto focus is always class lagging rather than class leading.

 

The ep-1 full AF shutter lag is around .99 - 1.2 seconds or more:

 

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/EP1/EP1A6.HTM

 

To me, this autofocus capbility and lag time is the most crucial feature of any camera, for underwater use, given adequate image quality. Oly's, and nikons have always had horrible contrast detect AF performance, and canon nearly as bad in all their P&S cams, (and even their DSLRs in live view mode, until the nikon d7000). Sony and Panasonic have always had much better implementations of the CD-AF system, in their cams.

 

So, for the smaller cams and houisngs, I'd go with the pany gf1 right now. A reasonable price housing is coming from ikelite this spring.

 

The sony nex-5 is also very cool, but limited manual or aperature exposure modes. Limited lens choices. Maybe the next nex... Ikelite is due to bring out a housing this spring also.

 

I guess the other issue is how much size and weight will you really save of the DSLR setup? You need to add it all up, and see if the saving is significant. The performance of the camera AF and lag time are not going to be in the same league as a good nikon or canon.

 

 

Thanks for the advice. I guess I'm looking for an underwater rig and getting a housing for my 5DII is silly just because I already own the camera - the enclosures are so expensive (for me) that a different enclosure may pay even if it means getting a new camera.

 

And that is also excellent advise to be wary of the Pen because of its shutter lag and slow AF. Think of how disappointed I'd be going from the G9 into something that should be better, and then finding out after purchase it is just as slow.

 

So maybe going the micro 4/3 is not advised and I should get a smaller but true SLR and enclosure. The panasonic GH-1 or equivalent?

 

Thanks

 

-Josh

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Hi Josh,

 

You may want to read a review or two about the PEN camera's by those that have used the camera in the housing underwater. Also be aware that Olympus will release a new PEN in the next wekks or so along with a new housing better "kit" lens and speed.

Housing, lens and camera will still run around $1100.00 complete. ZEN Underwater also makes a full line of accesory ports for the PEN housings as well.

 

I have attached a few reviews,

 

http://www.backscatter.com/learn/article/article.php?ID=100

 

http://www.43photo.com/ep-1-and-pt-ep01.php

 

Phil Rudin

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Just to clarify, the Sea and Sea housing for the MK2 is not much bigger than the Sea and Sea housing for the 350D. I was amazed at how small the Sea and Sea MK2 housing was.

 

Stew

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Nexus makes a 5DII housing which is about as compact as you'll find.

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You may also wish to look at 2nd hand housings.

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I was thinking of the Ikelite price range of about $1500 for the housing. Or if I go smaller I was hoping to keep it about $1500 with a new camera too. That was why the Oly setup was promising with a $550 housing. That left me a strobe budget. Of course if it was going to be a dud underwater then it wouldn't be worth it.

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The big issue for me is the shutter lag you get with all non SLR cameras. So I was thinking of going micro 4/3.

If this is your main issue, I don't see the point of going with a P&S or mirrorless at this time. They are definitely better, but not perfect yet.

Think about a used Canon Rebel or D40 or similar setup. This option also allows you to upgrade and stay with Canon lenses over time.

Edited by loftus

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i have an xti rebel as well, but the ikelite housings for that are nearly as big as for the 5DII. and only about $200 cheaper.

 

i see olympus just leaked the housing for the newer Pen 2. does that pen have faster autofocus.?

 

i probably have a few months to figure all this out.

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Canon and Nikon should both have mirrorless cameras out in the next few months as well; at least from following Nikon rumors, Nikon's iteration is beginning to look interesting

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But then there is the wait for an underwater enclosure.

 

i think i need to go somewhere and get some hands on with these.

 

anyone have a metropolitan NYC location that might carry the oly setup and then some ikelite stuff?

 

B&H? Anywhere in New Jersey?

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My wife had the same problem. At the time we opted for an Olympus e-330. The camera is certainly dated BUT it does have a two sensors which mean that the liveview works. It is NOT to the level of your Canon BUT better than any P&S.

 

I could let you have the camera, enclosure and athena ttl converter for $750. You would still need a port and a lens. (My wife moved to a newer Olympus) You would get out for under $1500.

 

Ginnie used the 14/54 Olympus lens in a flat port. It gave decent macro and decent wide angle but not to the level of either a true macro or wide angle lens. The idea was to emulate a P&S with zero shutter lag. It did.

 

We looked hard at the Canon G series and the mirrorless Olympus and concluded that they had a long way to go before Ginnie could downsize.

 

My personal actual solution was a D-300 in a Seatool case. The Seatool cases are very compact. They are, however, not cheap.

 

Tom

Email: tomreynolds_ilan@yahoo.com

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I had the same problem a few months ago. I was using the Olympus 410 and Olympus 410 housing, but wanted to move up to the E3, which I used 90% of the time topside. The EPL-1 really caught my interest do to the cost and size mainly, but after decided to house the E3. This was after a lot of reading and advice from the site. I started shooting with a compact, but I found that using a view finder worked better for me than a LCD screen. Secondly, I prefer the speed, no shutter lag of the SLR, although the shutter lag on the EPL-1 isn't bad. If budget is a main concern I am letting go of the 410 system. Follow the link: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=271983

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The oly implementation of contrast detection autofocus has never been up to par. Always horrible long lags.

 

Maybe this one will be uniquely different. But not even the ep's are very good.

 

Better off going with pany or sony, for CD AF cams that work quickly. The gf1...

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