Jump to content
cboater

Move to Micro Four Thirds or continue with D80 UW

Recommended Posts

I've been shooting my Nikon D80 underwater for 6 years. Ikelite Housing, Ikelite DS160 Substrobe, Nikon 18-55 lens, Ikelite zoom ring. No macro. No WA. All purchased used. Shoot my D300 topside.

 

All my 500+ dives are in Bonaire.

 

I'm going to Indonesia for muck diving and Komodo in September. Not looking forward to traveling with the D80 UW gear. What to do? I tired of my first UW setup (Canon G9, Ikelite housing, Sea and Sea YS110 manual strobes) due to the LCD instead of viewfinder and the delay for writing to SD cards.

 

What cameras/housings should I consider? What do I lose (besides bulk and weight) by going to Mirrorless? What do I gain?

 

Any suggestions to get me pointed in the right direction would be great.

 

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made the move to micro 4/3 last fall after reading posts on this forum, especially from Phil Rudin.

 

From what I've read, I went with the Olympus OM-D E-M1.

 

I'd prefer the Nauticam housing with the Zen 170mm n85ii dome port. This allows using the following Olympus m43 lenses: M.Zuiko 9-18mm, M.Zuiko 12-40mm 2.8 PRO, or the M.Zuiko 60mm Macro.

 

But reality, cost, and the fact that I already had the 9-18mm lens and Zen 100mm port for the Olympus housing, led me to purchase the Olympus PT-EP11 housing. I also will use the 60mm macro with this port.

 

It seems people are raving about the Sony A7 series and A6000. I'll bet there's some good info here on these systems as well.

 

I, too, will be diving Bali/Komodo in September and am really excited to try out the new kit.

 

Regards

 

Kent

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Kent Dukes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can recommend the setup I use: Nauticam housing, Olympus EM5, macro port 65 + zuiko macro lens 60mm. I recently acquired a used Panasonic 8mm fisheye and zen dome for it which need to get wet shortly. :) 60mm macro and fisheye should cover most usage scenarios, and you can also use the kit lens 12-50 in the macro port 65 that can be a nice workaround for initial use (you can zoom using the buttons on the camera, no need for expensive gear system).

 

Add to that 1 or two strobes but still looks less bulky then dslr setup.

 

The best part is that you can get the EM5 used now as the EM1 are out and the succesor, EM5 mk2. Some savings can be made by going the olympus housing route, not nauticam. In either case, great setup for probably 50% the inital going price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both of these cameras are at the top of my buy list.

 

I am hoping the camera will replace my DSLRs for topside shooting. I love birding, especially shooting from our canoe on river trips. I take tons of pictures (landscapes and people) in all our travels in all kinds of lighting and all times of day. And, I take the DSLR in my dry bag on whitewater canoeing trips and take pictures of my river buddies surfing waves and running rapids.

 

One attractive thing about the micro four thirds system is the crop factor. I am hoping that I can finally afford to buy a lens that will give me crisp, sharp shots of birds in a 600mm or more equivalent focal length compared to what I get with my Nikons and a 70-300 Nikon zoom (soft, not a good lower light lens with my D300).

 

How will either camera perform for this kind of topside shooting?

 

Laura

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Laura,

i have the D300 in a Hugy and a UK Germany setup.
Topside now the D7100, which ist very nice with the faster af...

Under water i use since 1,5 years now a Oly EM5, in a Nauticam housing, with the 60mm macro, 8mm fe, seldom the 12 - 50mm.
For topside i have as well the 12mm, 45mm and now a 40 - 200mm panasonic lens.
Was now the second year in Anilao for muck diving, the 60mm was most of the time in use...

The EM5 is even in the housing nice small and easy for traveling. The EM1 is huge!
The weight of the setups ( D300 - EM5 ) if i want to get most things that could come have a difference from around 3,5kg.
Strobes and small stuff keeps the same.....

But i think about getting a housing for the D7100 because of shutter lag and i could use again the Nikon Micro zoom 70 - 180mm which performed very well in Lembeh...

Both systems have their pro and cons.
For above water, the EM5 with a long lens is to less weight for me.
I shoot a Sigma 300mm 2.8 free hand on the D7100, but that needs some camera weight behind the lens for balance....

Regards,
Wolfgang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wolfgang,

 

I am surprised to hear that the OM1 is huge. I haven't seen one yet. But, I don't really want to purchase another huge system for UW. It's hard enough to schlep around the D80 Ikelite system, which stays in our condo in Bonaire most of the time. (I take it home for service every couple of years.)

 

With any compact system, the shutter lag is a huge concern for me. I know folks who use the EM5 underwater and they get very nice results and no complaints about lag. I am surprised to read that you experience lag. I thought Olympus had improved shutter lag so that it was non-existent.

 

Topside, I know what you mean about needing some weight in the camera body as a counter balance for a long lens. I tried a superzoom Canon point and shoot with a 40x lens for super telephoto. It was difficult to hold still, difficult to see through the LCD and tough to get long shots. It was a gift but I couldn't use it for tele shots and it wasn't much better for other uses. Bummer.

 

Thanks,

Laura

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Laura,
i am not unhappy with the OM5, but i know that there is a difference to the D7100....
Shutter lag is realy short, but its there.
If you compare the housings:
OM5 425gr
Size : 185mm (B) x 152mm (H) x 105mm (T)
Weight ca. 1,1kg

OM1 443gr
Weight: Aprrox. 1.80kg
Dimensions (with handles mounted): 302mm x 163mm x 113mm

D7100 675gr
(HxBxT): 156x226x308mm
Weight 2,8kg

Regards,
Wolfgang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Laura,

 

I'm not sure what Wolfgang is talking about the e-m1 being huge. I have both the e-m1 and the e-m5 and the e-m1 is marginally larger than the e-m5. Perhaps he is talking about the Nauticam housings for both. I have the housing for the e-m5, but not for the e-m1. However, I've seen the Nauticam housing for the e-m1 at DEMA and I didn't notice that much of a difference. The e-m1 housing comes with a tray that has two "arms" vertically attached so maybe that is what he means. However, if you mount two flash units, then those "arms" are integrated into your overall unit.

 

As for shutter lag, I am a professional photojournalist and previously was using Nikon and Canon systems. Although the e-m5 has a short lag, I find the e-m1 to be nearly as fast as my DSLRs. S-AF is actually faster than the DSLRs and I have not had any problems with the 2x crop factor.

 

With Nikon, I was using the D300 and D700 with the 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, all 2.8 lenses. With the Canon, I was using a 1Dmk3 and 1Dmk4 with the same lenses. I originally bought the e-m5 for strictly underwater work since the housings were so much smaller. Little by little, I began to incorporate the e-m5 into my working equipment until I was using the e-m5 about 30% of the time. As of the release of the 40-150 PRO lens, I switched over to Olympus and sold all my digital DSLR gear. I now own the e-m5 and e-m1 with the 8mm Panasonic fisheye, 9-18, 45 1.8, 12-50 (range and macro are nice for uw) , 12-40 PRO, 40-150 PRO and the 1.4 converter. While the c-af with the e-m5 is pretty much useless, I find that I can use the e-m1 well. There is a new firmware version for the e-m1 (V.3.0) which promises to increase the c-af accuracy at up to 9fps. I have downloaded the firmware but have not been able to check out the c-af yet. If it works well, I see no problem with you using it for your birding photos.

 

Not wanting to get too detailed about my experiences here, message me if you have further questions about the system.

 

Jerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,
here is a review 1 against 5.
https://suzywalker.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/olympus-em1-vs-em5-review/

Here you find pics of both housings, that was what i wanted to show with size.
Transport is not so easy in a plane with the handles mounted.
And its 700gr heavier. The cameras itself are nearly equal.
The af of the om1 should be faster and the sutter lag shorter.
I can only talk about the om5. And that needs sometimes a bit for the focus...

Phils om1 housing was looking even more bulky with the 45degree viewfinder mounted, compared to mine ;-))

Regards,
Wolfgang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...