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jrsxtn

Debating my first set-up

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Hello having done several weeks worth of research on gear, looking for advice. Do the nicer compact setups with wet lenses ( macro and big eye ) deliver what they claim ?? If using a mirrorless or dslr, when would i not want a bubble port on my housing? Basically i want sharp images with some macro and some wide perspective abilities, a good general all purpose setup. Any advice?

 

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A lot depends on your budget and how much you will dive and most importantly what you want from your pics. If you want to show your friends cool things you find, then compacts are fine; if you want to hang pictures on the wall then you will want something better, and if you want to win underwater photo competitions then you will want something different again. I would start with something like the EM-5 and the 12-50 lens (sort of all purpose) and see which way your photography wants to go. You will need the housing and a strobe or two and a focus light.

This will be nearly $2500 but will last for a long time.
Bill

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so can you recomend a housing for the EM5 ? and if you can please address the dome port issue

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Look at the wetpixel classified section, there are many used systems which take great photos

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Good Advice from Great Hammerhead. You have to "dip your toe in" at some point. It can become an upgrade process, but that is OK -- I have continuosly sold kits I have outgrown on various forums and sites-- you learn as you go, and you also have to do your homework -- check for new models as well. You can also visit/call one of the reputable UW dealers in your area for help. Someone once told me "it's not the equipment, it's the shooter" -- in otherwords, a great photographer can make great photos with a simple kit -- go forth, be bold and have fun -- that's really what it's about!

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Hi jrsxtn

 

A couple of extra thoughts and to add to what others have said. Much depends on what you are trying to achieve and how choosy you are. For some the sort of snap pics that you would show your friends may be good enough. But if, like many of us on the forum, you become a near-obsessive, perfection-hunting nutcase, the sky is the limit.

 

The suggestion of the EM-5 is a good. I know people too who have made careers out of using the Canon G series with an Ikelite housing. I think they may cost less than the EM-5.

 

As Xarifa explains, you can always upgrade. Bear in mind that if you make the right choices over a few items - especially strobes and arms, they can grow with you and you don't need to change them. Chances are the camera and the housing with be something you might change every few years. Have a look at the Inon strobes (especially the Z240 - almost an industry standard) and ULCS arms. You buy the arms once - you need never buy again.

 

Just to help on the "bubble port" issue, a "domeport" is what you usually need for wide-angle photography using a wide-angle lens. Shooting macro only requires a "flat port" but because of the nature of wide-angle lenses and the way they deal with the underwater environment, you need a curved port to photograph wide-angle. These are usually more expensive than flat ports but are, if you want to shoot wide-angle, key.

 

Hope this adds a bit more for you.

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A wide-angle and macro are a must. You can get a dome port and flat port if you have the money OR it's possible to shoot wides and macro from just a flat port. You will loose some of your width, and people will tell you you can't do it but you can. Check out "rectilinear" lenses.

 

Let the adventure begin!

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Speaking from experience and having upgraded a few times, I would go for a 4/3 system, they are small enough to travel with comfortably and you can vary bodies/ lenses and ports to match your budget. You only need a dome port for WA or lenses like the Olympus 12-40mm. The sharpness of the picture is more down the the person using the camera!

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