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How many controls do you actually use on your housing?

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So I was wondering, with new cameras there are so many options with
setting to do a wide range of image capture, as a result housing
manufacturers provide nearly 100% control access. But how many do you
actually use? I know some will say everyone but what would be the most
commonly used and do we need full access to all the features that the
camera has while underwater. If you shoot in full auto then you could get away with one, shutter.

Excluding professional image makers, Imagine if you had a choice of housings that had less function yet where a lot less to buy, would you still buy
the top of the range or really think about what you used and purchased the
same make/model with fewer controls?
When I worked with film, you know that 3 foot bit of plastic that had perforated holes down both
sides, I had 5 controls on my housing and that just about covered every thing I needed
to adjust and capture the image. So would you use 20%, 50% or more of the camera function
during your average dive? GoPro has two and a limited menu.

Also could you cope if a photo comp allowed to pre set your setting , which you gave the organisors pre dive, then restricted you to shutter speed, aperture, strobe adjustment and preview.

Hmm lets see where this goes... :)

 

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On/off

Red filter

WB

Focus (lock)

Record

---

Menu (just in case)

Play (for deco stops)

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On/off

 

F/Stop

 

Shutter speed

 

Shutter

 

I review underwater and occasionally expand the view.

 

Shooting Raw I see no point in anything else.

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I use regularly:

 

Aperture, shutter speed, on/off, flash up and down, focus modes, AF-ON, shutter release, playback, rear dial, OK button, +/-, ISO, LV, Video Start/Stop, shooting modes (single shot/multi shot/ 2 second delay), mode dial WB, info, erase, lock photo, zoom in/zoom out, menu button

 

lens release when back on the boat.

 

So, all of them pretty much.

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I agree with Alex. I've found a use for just about every control on the housing.

 

But it does depend on the type of photography you do. If you just want to take ID shots (of fish, nudibranchs etc) with a macro lens (and lots of people enjoy this type of underwater photography) you could probably get away with a shutter release and TTL.

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I use regularly:

 

Aperture, shutter speed, on/off, flash up and down, focus modes, AF-ON, shutter release, playback, rear dial, OK button, +/-, ISO, LV, Video Start/Stop, shooting modes (single shot/multi shot/ 2 second delay), mode dial WB, info, erase, lock photo, zoom in/zoom out, menu button

 

lens release when back on the boat.

 

So, all of them pretty much.

Same for me except that i don't need 'shooting modes' (Single, multi/2 s delay), 'mode dial WB' (i'm shooting RAW, but for video necessary), Flash up/down (electrically wired strobes) and AF-ON (via the shutter release), but i do use AE-/AF lock occasionally, the AF-/M focus selector and the P/A/S/M button

 

But the need for full accessibility is with me also very depending on the type of diving. During wreckdiving at the Northsea with a visibility sometimes of less then 2m at average depth of 30 m with a lot of current, some buttons become more relevant then others. Absolute necessity to me: ON/OFF, aperture, shuttertime, ISO, focus modes, rear dial and auto- or manual Focus and shutter release.

 

I think that's about it.

Edited by Udo van Dongen

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Alex makes a goood point. it really depends on what king of shooting you do.

 

As a macro guy, shooting AF and sTTL and focus release shutter priority (camera takes pictures only when in focus) I really only change the F/stop and shutter speed. In particular, taking super macro shots with a +5 or +10 diopter, how many options on the camera does one have? It is all about your position vis a vis the subject and strobe placement.

 

And no, one can't make money with these kinds of shots but that's not my intent.

 

Regards,

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It really depends what settings I forget to turn on before I get in the water! Whilst there are many i dont nornally use, I am sure I would miss any if they were removed

 

Mainly trigger, on off, af lock, review, af selector, aperture, shutter speed.... live view which i wish was not there as i only press it by mistake and quite annoying when everything goes black throught the view finder!

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Controls used rather depend on whether I set i up properly before I got wet !!! Having full menu control has saved the day a couple of times.

Modern cameras are so much more complex than a manual focus film SLR.

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Controls used rather depend on whether I set i up properly before I got wet !!! Having full menu control has saved the day a couple of times.

Modern cameras are so much more complex than a manual focus film SLR.

 

That's exactly what I was going to answer. I'd really hate to scrap an entire dive because I forgot to set an unmodifiable control right. Kind of like pulling the lens cap trick or something....especially if you use the same camera topside as below, as you might be using completely different setting assumptions between dives.

Edited by rtrski

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My experience is that if I don't have access to a control, I immediately need it :laugh:

 

Despite a reticence amongst photographers to admit it, modern cameras offer a great deal of functionality that produces better pictures. Not being able to access it tends to negate these advantages.

 

Adam

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All of them. I wish I could access single/continuous shooting modes but I can't on my Hugyfot.

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Only thing I missed is lens controls. Canon 100mm lens has a limit switch and af/mf switch. Both are a pain to forget

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I use aperture, shutter speed and ISO (and the trigger!) on every dive. I usually but not always change my AF points, press play a few times, use INFO to check my histogram and move between using the AF-on and the shutter for focussing.

 

I use set and live view when taking video, and the rest occasionally as required. I don't think I've ever touched the stupid Canon "picture styles" button, and I rarely touch the mode dial out of M.

 

Being able to get to the MF/AF slide on the lens would be handy - I've lost two dives to knocking this into MF when I inserted the camera into the housing (presumably) and it was very frustrating both times.

 

I was reading the EasyDive housing review which seems to be an interesting way to cut down on housing upgrade costs...except you lose a bunch of functionality through moving to electrical control. It seems there are pros and cons to every decision.

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Also could you cope if a photo comp allowed to pre set your setting , which you gave the organisors pre dive, then restricted you to shutter speed, aperture, strobe adjustment and preview.

Hmm lets see where this goes... :)

 

to make the analogy to car racing: to my opinion it would be something like an old-timer race with crippled modern cars, not something i'd be interested in.

Edited by Udo van Dongen

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As I mostly shoot stills using manual settings I use very few controls - generally that is (shutter release/aperture/shutter speed/ISO/review/info) - but then if I shoot video using the dSLR then the number goes up. And I have used other controls depending on the circumstances and what I'm shooting. The problem is that whilst some controls get little use, at times they may be essential. If I had to use a minimalist housing I would shoot manually with the 'bare essentials' covered as I first stated.

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All of them. I wish I could access single/continuous shooting modes but I can't on my Hugyfot.

 

I don't know which camera you use, but on my Nikon D7000 you can set the camera to CL (Continuous Low) and adjust the settings from 1 to 5 fps in the menu. Not as convenient as a dedicated button, but at least you can still switch.

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I use a good few of the controls but not on every dive and you can be sure ‘Murphy’s Law’ would come into play if I had a housing that excluded some of them as eventually I would feel them wanted, so with that in mind I’d rather a housing that allowed the use of all camera functions.

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I don't know which camera you use, but on my Nikon D7000 you can set the camera to CL (Continuous Low) and adjust the settings from 1 to 5 fps in the menu. Not as convenient as a dedicated button, but at least you can still switch.

D800. I probably need to read the instruction manual but I'm only half way through the manual for my newest car, which is a few months older. (I've only just got to the particulate burner!) Thanks for the heads-up!

 

I'm doing OK with it though!post-4197-0-60945800-1361928105_thumb.jpg

Edited by John Bantin

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I use pretty much all of them. However, the most frequent ones are shutter release/aperture/shutter speed/ISO/review/info

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Although I use most of the housing controls at one time or another, I think which controls you use the most often depends on your shooting style and whether or not you use TTL strobes. I do use TTL strobes for every strobe shot I take, wide-angle or macro, and feel it increases the number of one shot opportunities I get right. I also use auto-focus lenses on auto-focus much more often than I use manual focus, which I do like for some situations.

 

Given those parameters, the controls I use, in their frequency of use is as follows: (1) the trigger - both to take the picture and to initiate auto-focus. (2) the zoom control to vary what the lens is seeing. (3) the flash compensation button - to vary the strength of the flash depending on what the picture needs. (4) the aperture control knob - usually to vary aperture of the lens to provide the overall exposure to work with the ambient light and to control depth-of-field. Sometimes, when I shoot in shutter priority auto-exposure, this knob can be used to vary the overall exposure compensation. (See the Nikon custom function called "Easy Comp) (5) the shutter speed control - to vary the overall exposure and and to stop or blur subject movement. On many dives this just stays somewhere between 1/125 and 1250 for the whole dive. (6) the M-S-C control which I sometimes use to switch to actual manual focusing but more often use as a focus lock for repeated shots at the same distance. (7) The manual focus control for the lens, especially used with wide-angle lenses (8) the Function Button (on my D700) which I have programmed to turn off the flashes. This is much easier than trying to reach up to each strobe to turn it off or on. Sometimes I turn the flashes off for an intentional ambient light only shot. At other times to check ambient light metering before I add fill flash. (9) the ISO button. With the D700 I usually shoot at ISO 400 or 800 the whole dive. (10) the Focus Lock button (programmable on my D700) which I usually have set to utilize a Nikon function called Flash Value Lock. If you are a Nikon user and haven't looked into this capability I think you're missing out on a really good function. (11) The housing latches to open the housing at the end of the day to download shots and to change the camera battery.

 

Fred

Edited by divegypsy

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All of them. I wish I could access single/continuous shooting modes but I can't on my Hugyfot.

 

Actually you can! ;)

Here is what I do with my Hugy: Preset on the surface the mode to CL, then go to Menu D6 and select 1fps. This way it only shoots one picture having less than one second pressed the trigger and it works as a single mode. When you want continuous shooting modes you go to D6 again and choose up to 5 fps... then fire away!

 

EDIT: I see that later in the topic they told you the same...

Edited by davichin

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I use (or want to have) most of them. The ones I almost never use are: AF-Lock, AF-ON, screen info and bracketing.

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The more I learn, the more controls that I use...

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One of the two talks I am giving at the British Society of Underwater Photographers (titled Two legs good, Three legs better) later this month is on advanced techniques for underwater tripod photography, to create images such as this:

 

http://www.naturephotoblog.com/index.php?showimage=874

 

Amongst others, I will be covering underwater long exposures, time-lapse, HDR etc, all of which require access to many unusual camera functions (e.g. auto-bracketing, continuous drive, mirror up, self timer, and a host of menu controls) that don't normally come up in underwater shooting.

 

I agree with Tim, that as I have learned more or wanted to try new ideas underwater I have needed access to more and more controls on my housing/camera.

 

Alex

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