Jump to content
Lucid

Olympus TG-4 vs Sony A6000

Recommended Posts

Earlier in the year I went to Indonesia with an Olympus TG-4 and underwater housing (PT-058).


I also have a Sony a6000 which takes really good photos above water.


Here are a few of my photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UoaAwGQgdbm19dEP8


I was wondering what I should do to improve the quality of the photos.

I think it's the colour that is lacking for the photos and maybe the clarity?



I waned to get some thoughts on which of the following would be a good idea:

1. Keep using the TG-4 and add lights

2. Purchase a a6000 enclosure and also add lights.


Thoughts?



Edited by Lucid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,
adding light helps a lot under water ;-))
Even for your TG4.... Maybe a set of used middle class strobes?
The Sony is a much better camera, with the same amount of light, the results will be much more impressive.
So first step would be strobes, and then a housing for the Sony...
But that means a lot of money, first the housing, then ports and maybe other lenses....

So what is your primary interest? Macro or wide angle?
Will wet lenses be fine, or just the best prime lenses?

Regards,
Wolfgang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Wolfgang.

 

I didn't have a primary interest yet.

Still discovering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also bear in mind just because you own a camera does not mean it's the best option to put in a housing and take underwater. In order of improving quality you would have the compact like a TG-5, then a 1" sensor like an RX100, then micro43 like Olympus, then the APS-C Sony. As you increase sensor size you go from the 1" compact with inbuilt zoom and no ports, to mirrorless m43 where a typical dome port is the 170mm Zen, to APS-C where you are looking at a 200-230mm port for a rectilinear wide angle. As you go up in sensor size, costs go up. Also consider the lenses available. There are two fisheyes in the m43 lineup while the Sony doesn't have a native fisheye lens, only an adapter and the WA lens range is more limited. As you go up the olympus and 1" semsor cameras and also possibly the m43 could use the smaller cheaper S&S YS-01 or INON S-2000, while the Sony would benefit from the full size Z-330 which is near twice the price. The Sony has Auto flash only while the olympus will do manual flash. The battery life also varies among models.

 

I would suggest tabulating your options like this: the table shows the prices to setup for macro with an A-series Sony, m43 and two 1" sensor cameras, assumes Nauticam housing and port from Aus distributor and camera/lens prices from Digi direct.

 

table_camera.JPG

 

You could buy your strobes now to use with the TG camera and work out which direction you would like to go. Then price up the whole system, lenses, ports etc to see what you are up against

Edited by ChrisRoss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should also add looking at your shots, a lot of them could be improved by getting closer and employing different settings. for example your cuttlefish shot, is well lit but quite noisy. The settings used were :

OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4
ƒ/14 1/100 18mm ISO800
I suspect this was in program mode at full zoom. The thing that is not clear when setting this camera up is there are only 2 apertures: f2 and f2.8 at 4.9mm and this increases to f4.9 and f6.3 at 18mm. to get other apertures it uses an ND filter which just wastes light. So just using aperture priority instead would allow you to use 1/100 f4.9 ISO100 at 18mm. The ISO100 image would be a lot cleaner. Alternately f6.3 would be ISO200. I would suggest using ISO100-200 for the most part. The harlequin shrimp is not getting enough light from the onboard flash so has a green/blue cast, again going wide and getting closer will help and if using f2 on aperture priority mode, will allow the flash to illuminate better. All this is a lot easier with external strobes once you sort out positioning them properly. You should still use aperture priortity so the ND filter does not come into play for most shots.
Your wide shots like the barracuda would likely benefit from custom white balance. Even if you just use the UW white balance option it will help, it stills looks a little noisy, did you pull up the exposure in post or is it a big crop? You use the two custom presets to dial all thsi in before getting in the water, set one at f2 and wide open for big subjects and the other with flash and f2.8 for closeups and swap between them on the mode dial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Chris. That's super useful information, especially the keeping the ISO low and getting closer to the subject.

 

I'll look at getting a strobe or 2 for the current setup as well as a wide angle wet lens.

 

The barracuda was shot in RAW and then post-processing with the white balance. It probably got made too blue in the edit.

Might bring a white card down next time so that it's easier to set the white balance in the water then try to do in lightroom

 

I guess I'm on the search for strobes and a wet lens

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Chris,


I stumbled upon your Instagram photos and they look awesome!


The colours on these type of photos come up really well. Is that mostly due to lighting?





With something like https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqs6DBXlx6x/, is the clarity and colour due to the addition of strobes?


Thanks

Wayn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your pictures are great! I would recommend thinking about composition and how to make the subject more interesting, but overall great pics, well done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In order of importance, if you're looking to improve your photos, I would recommend the following steps:

 

1. Get close. Even closer. Unless shooting macro subjects, shoot a the wide end of your lens (don't zoom in -- get physically closer) at the lowest ISO possible. Get a wide angle adapter to allow you to get even closer to your subject while still keeping it in the frame. This is going to do a lot more to improve the quality of your images then getting a new camera would.

 

2. Get a strobe. Initially it's quite fine to start with just one and master that before getting a second one later.

 

With proper technique and lighting, you can get amazing results from the TG-4.. basically as good as you can expect from any larger camera. A different camera won't enable you to take better photos, but a wide angle adapter and lighting will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Wayn, yes I'd say the linked photo would look like crap without strobes it's about 15-20m down on a wall and there would be no red light without them. The visibility was in the 30-40m range so that helps a lot as well as well. On top of that good post processing to boost contrast is alsopart of it

 

That shot was taken with a fisheye lens so I was 500-700mm away from the subject which also help a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit of an update to this post.

 

I accidentally removed the original album that I posted so here it is again:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/m3ARZw9mjCg6yTRp9

 

Photos with lights can be found in this album:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/9fZk7bmz8wAuAmZ87

 

After much research I ended up settling on:

- SeaLife Dragon Video Lights, 2 @ 2500 Lumens - https://underwater.com.au/shop/sealife-sea-dragon-duo-5000.html

- SeaLife Wet Lens for the housing - https://underwater.com.au/shop/sealife-0-5x-wideangle-dome-lens.html

 

 

This setup meant that I could shoot macro and wide as well as photos and video. All on the same dive. Not sure if that's necessary but worked for me.

 

  • The light really makes a difference to the colour
  • When I was diving I thought that I was missing the extra brightness of strobes but after reviewing the images and video I'm happy. Having the continuous lights meant that the videos also had colour in them (if I wasn't too far away)
  • The wide angle lens was OK. I have a love hate relationship with this lens
    • Pros: Takes good photos when you can frame the scene. Closer mean colour was much improved.
    • Cons: 52mm ring attachment is a pain to get on and off, burping with a ring tedious, really need to be very close, had issues on where to store while shooting marco
  • I also worked a lot of settings, keeping ISO < 200, exposure comp, not zooming too much. Backscatter.com has a really good printout to take on the trip: https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Olympus-TG-5-Best-Underwater-Camera-Settings

 

 

 

All in all I found the setup pretty cost effective and flexible. If I could work out a good way to mange the wide angle lens that would be ideal. There is a quick adapter for the sealife camera and lens holder. This would be really good. Something to work on for the next trip.

 

 

Lastly, I started having issues with the housing. It started fogging up. I checked the o-ring multiple times but always ended up fogging around the 50 min mark of the dive. Have ordered a new o-ring so hopefully that solves the issue.

 

 

For anyone interested, a write up of the trip can be found here:

https://thelawofadventures.com/misool-a-review/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

 

 

Lastly, I started having issues with the housing. It started fogging up. I checked the o-ring multiple times but always ended up fogging around the 50 min mark of the dive. Have ordered a new o-ring so hopefully that solves the issue.

 

 

 

Did you have the flash turned off? Also use a dessicant packet inside your housing and keep your camera housing out of a cold hotel room. We found more moisture problems if the housing was open in our room vs keeping on the warm patio.

Edited by dubi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...