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jmgahagan

AF tips with G7X Mark II

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Hey everyone,

 

Just joined wetpixel a few minutes ago, and just started underwater photography about 2 weeks ago! I've been photographing birds and wildlife of the New England region for over ten years, but underwater photography has always been a dream of mine until recently when I purchased a Canon G7x II with the Fantasea housing. This seemed like the best option, considering price and flexibility with features and image quality. So far I've taken it to some local brooks and rivers while snorkeling a few times and not surprisingly have struggled capturing decent images. My main focus is freshwater fish and other aquatic creatures like reptiles and amphibians, and I am strickly snorkeling without a strobe so am limited to bright, sunny days. Most of the subjects I've encountered are small, active fish no more than 10 inches long.

 

Today I had dozens of shiners in my face, but really struggled capturing photos that were in focus. I've experimented with both the 1 shot AF and the smiley face + tracking option, and both seem to have issues. Coming from using a Canon 1D Mark IV for several years, the difference in autofocus capability is certainly frustrating, but not surprising considering this is a compact camera. Although it seems to be very quick and accurate under normal circumstances, trying to get the focus point to lock onto a fish that ranged to small to large in the frame seems a losing battle.

 

Is there anyone who photographs similar subjects with the same camera that can provide some advice or insight into preferred settings with this camera? I would love to afford a 5D series camera with a housing and dome port for a wide angle and macro lens, but that's simply out of the question right now and would really like to improve my chances of capturing some quality images with my current underwater rig.

 

Any feedback would be much appreciated!

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Faster focusing can often be reached using a focus light. Focus lights do not have to be over expensive or large but you can spend a lot, just as with most gear.

Your housing has a cold shoe for connecting lighting so you could buy the fittings needed to connect a focus light at that location.

Here is some information below at the link. Search this site for 'focus' + 'light'

 

https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/focus-and-video-light-buyers-guide#Comparison

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If you look at the work of most u/w photographers, there will be few taking photos of small fast fish. As you have learned, its not easy.

If you can find a place the fish like to be or dart past often, you might manually focus on that spot and snap a photo when a fish is arriving. This can work with salt water fish. I have no experience with fresh water fish.

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