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Newbie Must Read: What new system did you just buy?

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Hi

Thought I'd refresh this topic for 2011.

 

The most asked question by any newbie is one that many ask or do research on. So in the tradition of Mr Wetpixel himself, we will (try) to restart this thread to give newbies the most up to date new rigs from members who have made the plunge themselves and why.

So members who have recently bought new rigs, please feel free to add your opinions and feedback on your rigs so that others may benefit from your knowledge. The more details the better.

 

For ease of reading and research for members, please refrain from off topic discussions

Thanks and happy shopping.

 

The older thread is here:

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=24887

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I've been a professional outdoor photographer for decades. I started playing around with a 12 MP underwater P&S (Optio W80) in freshwater streams and rivers last summer and sold some shots from it right away.

 

I bought it as a cheap way to investigate underwater light, figuring I would upgrade to a more professional quality underwater camera later, but I find the protability of this pocket camera a major advantage, and, surprisingly, the IQ is adaquate for reproduction.

 

But I have two problems with it. The biggest is composing pictures. Using live-view on the LCD is akward enough in the first place (this is the first P&S I've owned), but when holding it underwater, I can't see it at all. I have to point and guess. I snorkle while using it, but most of the time I sit with my head above water, holding the camera under, waiting for something to swim into view. An underwater P&S with a tilt/swivel LCD would be great, but I haven't come across one.

 

The other is the shutter lag--very annoying--especially for fish swimming around.

 

I suppose shutter lag is an unavoidable nature of the beast, although I understand some models have shorter lag, but if I could just find one with a tilt LCD, I'd be pleased.

Any suggestions?

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Hi there,

 

New to forum... finding it a great place to assist me with some upgrades I am currently considering

 

After a few years of reasonably successful shooting with my Ixus 75 in a Canon Housing, I have decided to upgrade to a Canon S95

Both in the UK and overseas I enjoy wreck photography and i use a INON UFL - 165 AD fish eye lens, which I am very pleased with ..

If my understanding is correct with the 95 and it's 28mm lens and the 95 using a different lens mount (LD) I will have compatibility issues trying to re-use the lens .. I am wondering if I would get reasonable results if I were to purchase a LD/AD converter and zoom through the lens .... may be worth a try

 

I am also looking at adding a strobe, usual contenders the new YS101 or a INON S2000, plenty for me to read on this subject !

Edited by bubbling-under

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On Friday, I will take delivery of an almost new Aquatica system! After searching off and on for a couple of years, I believe I have found a decent system! I think I paid too much, but the vendor feels I'm not paying enough, so it must have been a fair price:

 

This system consists of:

 

Aquatica Housing

D90

12 - 24 mm lens

105 maco lens

50 mm lens

macro port

8" dome with shade

Ikelite DS 161 an arm

 

The vendor kindly took the housing into Aquatica to bring it up to snuff, something I really appreciated.

 

I am hitting a pool next week to try it our before heading to Utila next week, and Belize the following month, so any starter tips would be appreciated! :island:

 

I am holding a wake for my Nikonos III, purchased during my final year of high school (1974) with a fraudulently obtained bank loan, next weekend.

Edited by Stoo
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Hi

 

I am a beginner to underwater photography, but have had some success shooting on dry land with a small 12MP fujifilm. I was just wondering what everyones opinions were on the Intova sports 8 or intova CP8. I have seen them both in a local photo shop for a reasonable price (including housing). I have seen some photos that have been taken from the intova sports 8 and they look quite good.

 

Has anyone had any problems with them, and are they suitable to be an all round camera (dry land shooting as well as underwater?)

 

I'm looking for a camera that hasnt got a millions different settings for light and shutter speed etc, but I do want a camera that has some variation to its settings and can be used in many different situations.

I havent fully researched many brands, and am planning to go to a local underwater photography store to have a proper look into what is available, and hopefully get some much needed advice on where to start

 

any suggestions would be VERY welcome!

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I'll be watching this one closely. I just purchased a 40D, and am looking around at housings now. I hadn't dared yet put up the generic "what should I buy" question (although I have a fairly good idea already).

 

But, I would love to hear what 40D owners are thinking of their setups?

 

Cheers,

Ry.

 

 

I have a 40D and use an Ikelite Housing. I have never used another housing so don't know how it compares but I find it great although changing settings underwater is a bit tricky...maybe it is on all housings though! I have also had a problem with the eye viewfinder becoming fogged and it needed replacing. Not sure really how this happened.

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Hello Underwater Photographers,

 

My name is Lindsay and I'm new to this website and looking for some advice on upgrading my camera equipment. I'm a little bit different from some of the other newbies, in that I am not new to the acts of underwater photography or diving, and I feel I'm pretty good at them, but I don't know a lot about cameras or photography lingo. I've been diving 12 years (now a PADI Divemaster), and I've recently completed my Masters in Marine Biology. I'm currently applying to PhD positions in the same field. About four years ago I bought a SeaLife DC600 and strobe, and have really gotten my money's worth out of them, as they've been snorkeling and on hundreds of dives in the Caymans, Virgin Islands, the Red Sea, Galapagos, and elsewhere. I've really learned how to use the camera, but I feel like I've maxed out with it, and just want something newer and better (particularly more megapixels). So here's where I need the advice: my husband and I have two Panasonic cameras (DMC-FZ28 and DMC-TZ5), and I want to know if I should get the housing for either of those, get the new SeaLife (though I am a little tired of SeaLife and am looking for something a little fancier), or get something else entirely, which I am willing to do. I see a lot of posts, especially in this thread, about Canons and Nikons, but not many about Panasonics, so this is why I'm curious if either of the two Panasonics I have would be good. The little bit I have seen about Panasonics suggests they might be a little more prone to flooding than other cameras; I insure my gear, but I've never flooded a camera and would like to avoid it at all costs. Other points: as I mostly do research diving, I'm looking for a good balance of camera quality yet smaller size; I often have other gear (clipboards, nets, measuring tape, bags of stuff, etc.) that I'm diving with, so a really large camera set-up would probably not be good. Also, I'm usually working pretty close to the reef, so I tend to notice and take pictures of small things, and would like a camera that does close-ups well. If you suggest something new entirely, what would that be? Of course I would like a good deal, but I'm not feeling stingy about this, as I dive regularly and expect to get a lot of use out of my camera, so I'm willing to spend accordingly. Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Lindsay

 

P.S. If you're interested in any of my photos, I have a photos section on my personal website: http://www.wix.com/lindsayhuebner/lindsayhuebner

Edited by LindsayH

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The most asked question by any newbie is one that many ask or do research on. So in the tradition of Mr Wetpixel himself, we will (try) to restart this quarterly thread to give newbies the most up to date new rigs from members who have made the plunge themselves.

So members who have recently bought new rigs, please feel free to add your opinions and feedback on your rigs so that others may benefit from your knowledge.

Thanks and happy shopping.

 

I am new to wetpixel. I have been using a sea life DC500 and DC 800 for about 4 years now and have taken some great shots but am ready to advance to using my DSLR. I have a Canon 7d and don't know where to start with housing and strobes and don't have any local dive shop pros to ask as they are all hunters not photo hounds.

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Any suggestions/recommendations for a housing for a Canon 5D?

 

Hi there,

 

Did you ever decide on a housing? After a lot of research I am about to buy the Ikelite for my 5dMII. It seems that no housing gets away with a completely unblemished record, and my understanding is that most floods are diver error, but the diver may tend to blame the housing anyway :rolleyes:. The pro photogs that I've spoken to who chose Ikelite chose to do so because they are durable and affordable, both of which I'm looking for, and the apparent bonus of seeing any leaks through the clear plastic.

 

I will be shooting video as well as stills, and am trying to determine if it really is worth it to get the DS161 strobes over the DS51, and if so, are two necessary? I've heard both. Any input from all fellow Ikelite divers would be appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Kate

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Hi all,

New to scuba, but have been studying film for too long. Looking forward to learning from this site!

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Hi all. Stepping up from a G10 with Ikelite housing!

Just bought a Canon 7D. I'm very close to buying the Nauticam housing. Does anyone have any thoughts about this housing? Good/Bad? Should I consider Subal or Sea&Sea?

Also... am thinking of getting the Canon 60mm macro lens and a Tokina 10-17mm fisheye. Should this have me covered? Also looking at the Sigma 10-20mm b/c it's easier to find here in Australia.

Finally, I currently have a DS-51 Ikelite strobe. I'm going to use that for a few months. But will probably upgrade to a 2nd flash in a few months. Thinking having the Ikelite paired with an Inon. Is this a good/bad idea?

Thanks for your feedback!

Jay

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Hi,

 

Just a newcomer posting a reply to get started.

 

seems like a really great forum you have here, learned quite a bit already.

 

Cheers,

 

Lior

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Hi chaps, just moved up from oly c5050 to e-620 with ufl strobe. Would be delighted to hear from anyone with advice on this setup.

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Hi - not really a newbie.....had U/W outfit from film and converted digital in 2004 to a C-5050z and still have it.

 

Have re-joined Wetpixel after a few years off diving with a view to getting back into my hobby....

 

I have a big question....Is it worth upgrading my kit....

I am looking E-PL2 with YS-110alphas and Zen dome, 9-18mm or keep my C-5050z with weikamp adapter to YS-90, 67mm screw on INON dome and macro.....

 

I have publushed photos with my old kit and apart from shutter lag and pixel count I am struggling to see amove which could cost me £1000 or more....

Opinions please....

 

thxs....

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Newbie as well, using this thread to get my first post and introduce myself.

 

I have been taking underwater pictures for a while but always with kind of crappy gear. I started with a Sony DSCP-9 and went on with a Sanyo HD2.

Once the excitment of bringing something out of the water and sharing my dives with the non diver part of my family and friends, I got quickly frustrated.

 

I own a Rolleiflex 2.8E, a Nikon FA and A Nikon D300s and I have always fantasised about it might be bringing quality camera such as these underwater. I have contemplated buying a D300s housing but they are either very expansive or to crappy to take the risk.

Furthemore, the D300s will always be a fantastic camera but I might be interested in seing what Nikon comes up with next, so investing in a pricy housing that can, only be used with one camera quickly became the wrong option.

 

In the end I jumped on a completely different opportunty; I saw a rolleimarin + 3.5F in an exceptional condition and went for it. At least I don't run the risk of this one becoming obsolete! I have started testing it and so far so good.

I hope to share some good photos here and I hope I will find an answer to my many questions (what flash? exposure meter? film?, etc.).

 

Cheers

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Hi All, I am new to the forum and currently in the market for a decent beginners set - probably will go for Oly EPL-2.

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For my first underwater rig, I purchased a Canon S95, Fisheye housing, and Sea&Sea YS-110a strobe. I think the S95 is a good beginner's camera because it allows you to shoot in aperture control mode or full manual mode, so that you have total control over your exposure settings. It's a daunting task to learn how to shoot full manual, but I believe it is the only way to have full creative control of the pictures you shoot. The downside of aperture control mode with the S95 is that you're limited to TTL flash setting. The downside of TTL with the S95 is very poor recycle times which is very frustrating and keeps you from taking multiple pictures, causing you to seriously miss opportunities. Once you go into full manual mode, you can play with your strobe positioning and exposure settings so that you're shooting with reduced strobe power and you can then fire off a lot of pictures consecutively with perfect exposure. If you want to have control over your pictures, learn to shoot in manual mode. It is so worth it and will help you make the transition to shooting a DSLR.

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Hi

 

I am a new as newbie gets but i have been researching for months now! This forum is fantastic as i am learning SO much!

Now just have to narrow down my list of camera choices....

 

Marijana

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I just need to partly submerge the front element of the lens, for white-water rafting, and shots in a pool. And I can't dive :B):

 

So I bought this housing (below), on an impulse. Of course it doesn't fit any of my Nikons. It does have this 6-pin cable inside, which as far as I can tell, goes to a flash connection on the exterior of the housing. So I am wondering which camera it is actually for? (It's a Sea & Sea model, but I have no idea which one).

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shashin168/5982770404/

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shashin168/5982209693/

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I started with a fuji f80 exr last year, with the fuji housing and a intova strobe, whilst at the time it was just a starter kit for myself, it has served its purpose and will be going to DSLR Nikon D7000 with a Nauticam housing in the next few months.

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HI all,

 

Made the move to digital UW photography after using a nikonos II. Got a Oly SP-350 and PT -30 housing. Inon closeup and a wideangle. Seems to be a great rig. now to start the learning curve. This forum is a great place to accelerate that curve.

 

Shil

 

yeah the nikonos II is still a great camera though.

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Hi,

 

New to this forum. I have been taking lousy photos underwater for a few years but decided a while back to study the art a bit and upgrade my equipment. I started with an Oly 1030 in an Ikelite housing then added a strobe to it a year and a half ago. Viva la difference! Now I have taken that strobe and matched it up with a Canon T2i in a Watershot housing. I used a couple of weeks ago in Cozumel and had some decent results. This past week I paired up the strobe with a twin (Inon S2000) and will be taking it to Bonaire in a couple of weeks.

 

I just found this forum and am excited about all the information available. I look forward to contributing when I can.

 

In the interim my current work can be seen at www.brucep.smugmug.com.

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Hi All,

I am new to underwater photography. I did a last minute trip to Key Largo in April and rented a point/shoot with strobe from Stephen Frink (great people). I had never shot a camera in manual mode before so I had a nice learning curve over the week long trip. Stephen gave me some basic instructions which I supplemented with Internet research in the evenings. After getting experienced in making mistakes I managed to capture a few properly exposed images. Had a great time and got hooked on UWP.

 

I started camera/housing shopping as soon as I got back to Austin. There are a lot of great choices out there, I settled on a Nikon D7000 with a Nauticam housing. I have a 60mm lens and a Tokina 10-17, along with an INON Z-240. Have only had it in fresh water so far, should have some trip pictures soon. Martin Edge's book is a must read. I also picked up a composition book by Jim Church. Wetpixel is a fantastic reference! Thanks for sharing all of your experience. I really like the trip reports.

 

Jerry

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Hi everyone!

 

My name is Justin and I have been diving for a few years and just started taking photos underwater. I am currently shooting with a SeaLife DC1200 but having some trouble getting the most out of it. I spent this summer as a biology research assistant in Wakitobi, and had a blast taking photos in the reefs when we had chances to do non-science dives. I also own a Nikon D90 which I use out of water, but don't yet have the money to buy a housing and strobes for it. Any recommendations as to what company's housing to buy, and what store to buy it from? I would now be able to survive my dSLR flooding!

 

-Justin

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Welcome Justin.

 

Ikelite housings and strobes would be the way to go, for budgetary reasons. They are great housings, that give you access to all the controls, and support many lenses with various ports.

 

They also include built in electronics to convert the camera TTL signals to the strobe, which works better than trying to use optical slaves, for most people. Otherwise you have to use the on camera flash, and wait for it to recharge, which slows things down.

 

I think there is an ike d90 listed used, in the classified section on this web site.

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