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Hi Everyone,

I'm looking at down scaling from a Nikon D7000 in a Nauticam housing to a smaller compact which will allow greater flexible ie. ability to shoot macro and wide angle on a dive. Ideally I want to use the images in publications and the video to have HD capability. Any suggestions? Thanks Sheree

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Depends on what publications. Image quality always matters and the DXO mark for the 7100 is 83. The olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark II is rated at 80. The best of the compacts is the Sony RX at 70. You might try the micro 4/3 with the 12-50 lens and use additional water contact diopters.

Bill

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Thanks Bill for your speedy reply, it's much appreciated. Had a quick look at the video content for the Sony RX and it looks great. Images don't seem to compare though, but perhaps I'll look a little deeper.

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Getting "long in the tooth" article I wrote years ago but still relevant, imho. I shoot the RX100IV and for my purposes it is great. You can see it used in the Tonga gallery where it "struggles" natural light, wide angle. In the Fiji gallery it does great with strobes and being able to go from macro to wide in one dive.

 

https://www.aquabluedreams.com/#/page/my-digital-de-evolution/

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The RX100V system was awesome in Tonga with the whales, but its use for macro (real macro not scorpion fish sized things) is quite poor even with a CMC diopter. Without the diopter filling the frame means something on the order of 3 inches wide. With the CMC this goes down to a bit more than an inch and a half, great for a clownfish but not so great for say small nudibranchs.

Cheers

 

Bill

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There's various ways to do the macro and wide on one dive thing, it depends on what your most important criteria is. Anything with a separate dome won't be much smaller than your DSLR housing. The 1" compacts are generally as small as you would want to go to maintain good quality, but none of them do it all by themselves, they generally have flat ports so their 24mm wide end becomes about 30mm and not really that wide and they don't focus ultra close either so you need wet lenses for both ends and a system to swap between the two be it bayonet mounts on arms or flip holders. What you want to do with that will depend on the type of diving you are doing, it's one thing to take a rig with a double flip holder off a boat in calm tropical waters and another entirely to drag the rig and yourself ashore over the rocks coming back from a shore dive in Sydney. The AF is also mostly not DSLR standard with any of the compact options. Pretty good wide with halfway decent light maybe not so good at macro end.

 

As far as sensor size goes your D7000 is DX and has 370 mm2 sensor area, m43 is 225, 1" like the RX100 is 116 while compacts like the TG-5 are 25mm2. Surface area is how much light the sensor can gather and relates directly to noise. If you look at DXOMark the performance of your D7000 and the EM1 MkII is pretty much equal so you should notice no loss of quality with that camera. The Oly EM1 MkII on the other hand has excellent AF and I use it in C-AF plus tracking and works even in very low light, I was shooting mandarin fish at dusk in Lembeh and they didn't like my focus light so I turned it off and the AF was still snappy

 

There's new options like the wet wide lens but that's a huge expensive heavy chunk of glass, if you leave it mounted it's about a 10-30mm lens depending on the lens you have behind it and it will focus right down to the dome, but taking it off to get closer you can do fish and large nudis but nothing smaller without also carrying a wet close up lens. The MWL has some promise as it will allow 0.5x macro and near fisheye with a 30mm macro plus the MWL-1 it's a bit more compact than the WWL. and in m43 you use it with a 30mm macro lens. The 30mm won't take diopters but will get you to around 0.5x before the subject just gets too close to the port to light easily, and also good for things up to about a 200mm fish.

 

A good compromise between the two is something like the olympus 12-40 behind a dome it's 24mm equivalent on the wide end and at the tele end will do 0.3x which is something like a frame 60mm across. It's a very sharp lens and I use it for offshore dives around Sydney, great for smallish fish through to weedies, blue gropers and various sharks and rays we get. My website is shot with a mixture of the 12-40 and 30/60mm macros for the shots around Sydney: http://www.aus-natural.com/Underwater/index_gallery.html The Indonesia shots are 60mm macro and 8mm fisheye. I tend to use the 30 or 60mm macro inside the bays (Bare Island, The Steps) and 12-40mm outside (Oak Park, Whale watch platform etc). Not sure where in Oz you are based but if in Sydney you could arrange to meet up to see the rig in person, to see what you would be getting into.

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Hi Everyone,

I'm looking at down scaling from a Nikon D7000 in a Nauticam housing to a smaller compact which will allow greater flexible ie. ability to shoot macro and wide angle on a dive. Ideally I want to use the images in publications and the video to have HD capability. Any suggestions? Thanks Sheree

I've shot with a number of Canon point-n-shoots, then a Sony RX100 (II), then a Nikon D810 and now a Nikon D850. I added external strobes with the Sony RX100.

 

By far the biggest difference in image quality improvements resulted from two things:

1. adding strobes

2. autofocus improvements

 

Lesser improvements came from better lenses, and of course lots of resolution. Another sometimes-overlooked aspect is dynamic range. The D810 and D850 shot at ISO 64 have huge dynamic range, and I make very full use of that range in post-processing. if you want to see how the images improved, you can just hop around my web site (www.cjcphoto.com) and look at some of the older web pages (all are in chronological order) compared to the newer ones. (I also have a before-and-after page showing shots right out of camera compared to post-processed in Lightroom.)

 

Adding strobes: Finally I had light, and light I could control. I first used dual strobes with the Sony RX100 and it was able to get shots I couldn't approach with ambient lighting. I moved the strobes on to the DSLR rigs and still use them today.

 

Autofocus: Let's face it - AF on point-n-shoots pretty much sucks, though it's probably improved since my Canon s120 and Sony RX100 II came out. But with the cameras I've used, the autofocus points have been too large to really discriminate the subject I want a lot of the time, and slow enough that I have a huge collection of 'fish swimming out of frame' shots. The D810 cured that issue, and the D850 further improves on it.

 

There are big tradeoffs when you move to a DSLR rig. Besides the cost. The equipment is so big that I take up two carry-on bags (waist bag and roller bag) plus some space in a suitcase to hold the rig (disassembled). And crucially I'm limited to wide angle or macro with nothing in between. (I use Nauticam housings, and there simply aren't any recommended mid-range lenses and matching ports).

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For the equipment, all my Nauticam wear goes in a Pelicase. 22kg with all inside, so perfect for taking plane and protection !

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Until recently I shot everything with my RX100 II, including photos that went into our book on Underwater Sydney https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7868/, and the quality was no issue with the publishers. I'm a big fan of compact cameras - the best camera you can get is the one you are prepared to take with you. I'm delving into mirrorless interchangeable now - A6500 - and so far I feel that both systems have their advantages. RX100 - easier to generally take good pics, better depth of field, better flexibility with a couple of wet lenses. A6500 - better for specialised shots like macro and fisheye, but limited when the wrong subject comes along - on my first two dives with a macro lens I met a seal and a turtle!

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The difference in resolution between a compact like the rx100 and larger sensor is only visible when you print at least A3. Unless you need to shoot macro (which was totally fine with mark I and II and will be fine again with mark VI) putting a print on an a5 book will be ok in majority of cases if you know how to shoot
There are tons of other limitations like ability to take splits lack of a true fishey e but the image sensor quality is not one. In dxomark terms 5 points are 1 ev so 15 points gap to d7200 means 3ev mostly on noise but you gain at least 2 stops on dof so the underwater gap closes

Sent from my SM-A505FN using Tapatalk

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