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korn

Looking for advice on moving to FF

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I've been shooting m43 for a half dozen years or so - O-MD EM-1 in Nauticam - and was expecting to upgrade to some new Olympus hotness before my next bit underwater trip.  However,  after a recent trip to the Cenotes, I decided that I need much better low-light capabilities, and the EM-5 Mk III wasn't going to give that to me.  So I'm now thinking about full frame, and would love to get folks thoughts about the latest FF mirrorless options (especially A7R Mk IV and Nikon Z7), or whether I should stick with the tried and true SLR (more likely Canon for me from past warm experience with EOS before I switched to m43).  I'm drawn to mirrorless because of the power of the EVF.  I also like that the top end remain lighter & smaller than top end SLRs (more for daytime use than underwater).  Finally, specifically with A7R Mk IV, the 61 MP and APS-C "mode" (or just cropping in post) means I can have similar # of pixels as I have now with my m43 camera, enjoying some of the weight & size benefits of the m43 system.  Not all mind you, but damn is big glass heavy!

High ISO performance/noise levels seem to be fairly close among the top FF mirrorless/SLRs, with the nod still going to the SLRs I think.  Focusing speed doesn't seem to be an issue with the latest crop of FF mirrorless at good light levels, but I found it is an issue at the unreasonably low levels that I tried quickly in the store today (ISO 10,000 and 1/15th of a second at f2.8 - whatever that translates to in LUX/foot candles).  What I haven't yet discerned is how well/poorly top FF cameras would fare in something like the Cenotes (where in any case I'm going wide).  Or if it is a consideration in macro (I'd presume a focusing light, but perhaps that's a bad guess?).

 

So!  I'd love the thoughts of folks who have shot with the A7R Mk IV and Z7, as well as modern SLRs.  What are the drawbacks of the latest crop of mirrorless cameras?  Is SLR still unquestionably the way to go?

Thanks!

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Hey korn

There's been a fair bit of discussion on the forum recently about the pros and cons of the Z6/Z7 against the DSLRs. Worth a search.

General view seems to be that the focussing systems are not as good as their DSLR cousins; and lens options currently suggest that you have to use the larger F-mount series lenses with all that implies for EXRs and domeports. However, having said that, Nikon announced their updated Z-mount lens roadmap recently which might change things. - though, of course, none of these new lenses have been tried underwater yet.

As for weight loss for travel, again general view seems to be that there is not yet much to be gained with mirrorless - slightly lighter/smaller body but because of the lens choice issue, ports and EXRs remain largely the same so the actual saving is minimal.

Bottom line, maybe a bit early to switch to mirrorless? But like I say, worth a search.

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In general terms the trend of the camera market is to abandon DSLR, canon has just come up with an hybrid viewfinder that would combine the best of both worlds.

The key issue is availability of lenses. Especially the new Panasonic and Nikon struggle when using adaptors to achieve decent focus. Probably the most mature offering is the Sony A7 range however I do not like the ergonomics and the native lenses. What is interesting is the ability to use canon EF glass with metabones adapter I have seen the results and they are great. I think that is the highest quality mirrorless system available right now though is of course a hybrid choice

I am using canon EF glass myself now on my GH5 for zoom fisheye

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I'm ambivalent on 4/3 or full frame. I examine photos from both and are equally impressed. Two important factors jump out when doing this. The person behind the camera and the ability of the camera to produce consistent sharp focus. Many of the other capabilities of the unit itself are certainly important. However, cannot be appreciated without the skill and the focus.

In the end the buyer has to be satisfied with the results and the ease of handling the set up. No one like buyers remorse. 

So, if I was starting from scratch, I would likely choose FF. Why? Sensor size for me enables capabilities that smaller sensors cannot achieve. All other features are now available on both systems. 

Gather the best advice you can get and then make a decision you feel is right for you and is future proof!

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Buying cameras is a question of compromise. When you decide between FF and mu43 you mostly decide between cheaper prices and smaller size against uncompromised image quality. It seems to be a very personal decision whether mu43 IQ is good enough or if you need the absolute best available. 

Personally I think that most of us here don‘t use their images in a way that requires the resolution that FF provides. Often we shoot with strobes so the low light capabilities are also not required (although there are certainly some scenarios where better low light is desirable). AF systems are a bit better on the most advanced FF systems compared to the Em1mkII and I think this is probably the biggest disadvantage of mu43 right now, but Olympus is closing the gap and some other FF cameras are also not that great. 

I‘ve yet to see an image on here that would be impossible to recreate on a smaller sensor. I think with very few exceptions we are all limited by our skills more than by our cameras. In the end it probably doesn‘t matter that much. You have to know yourself. Are you going to regret not having the absolute best quality and upgrade down the road just to see for yourself? Are you going to decide to not bring the rig on some trips because it‘s too cumbersome, or maybe only take Macro or Wideangle because two ports are just too much? It‘s a decision only you can make...

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Hyp makes some really good points.

I moved from the DX-sensor D300 to the FX D800 some years back and just thought the images superb - especially the colours. For the usual mix of reasons I upgraded a couple of years ago and spent too many waking (and non-waking hours) mulling over the D500 and the D850. I went D500 in the end.

Maybe I now don't have the current "best" but I would really struggle to see the difference in image quality. The D500 is excellent and brings none of the issues of travelling with big domes. 

But Hyp makes the excellent point that you have to be happy with what you have got. Assuming you have the extra cash (!), it seems to me, that the last thing you want is to be left regretting what you have bought and that you should have "invested" a bit more to get what you REALLY wanted.  

So IQ is one thing: human desire is something else :rolleyes: - and not something to ignore!

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The lack of acceptable fisheye options with the Sony full frame cameras pretty much renders them unusable for underwater use. Yes, you can add a WACP or other lens, but this is not a real fisheye lens, and is an expensive and heavy solution (albeit one with amazing image quality).

The Sony 90mm macro is a great lens.

While Nikon has announce that they plan to release 60 and 105mm macro lenses for the Z system (and these may be very good), the AF on the Z system is at least a full generation behind that of the D5/500/850. Nikon's AF on the Z system is much better than that of the Sony mirrorless cameras! I would expect that the next generation of Nikon SLR cameras will further improve on this AF performance. Reduced AF performance is  huge sacrifice for macro and will mean that you get less usable images. 

Full frame SLRs typically have a cropped mode if required.

My experience is that optical viewfinders are still better than EVFs. This is my (admittedly biased) experience. Ultimately, the speed of the EVF and its ability to render color accurately are challenges that an optical viewfinder simply does not have!

We will see how Canon develop, but the 5D series, while very capable, seem to be somewhat outgunned by Nikon's offerings. I am sure the 1DX Mark III will be a stunning camera, but it is another level of expense, as well as bulk and weight.

Sticking with bulk and weight, housing sizes and weights are similar for full frame mirrorless and SLR cameras. Port weight and bulk is identical. 

I confess that I do not get what the advantage of mirrorless full frame currently is for underwater use! 

I agree - the limiting factor in my imaging is my ability, and that people capture stunning images with a wide variety of cameras. I have yet to own a camera that couldn't take better pictures than I can! However, the latest iterations (particularly in terms of AF, and high ISO performance) do make it "easier" to get good pictures. Ultimately, this is why we upgrade. Will the latest version ensure you get amazing images...no, but it will make it easier to do so!

Adam

 

 

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The lack of acceptable fisheye options with the Sony full frame cameras pretty much renders them unusable for underwater use. Yes, you can add a WACP or other lens, but this is not a real fisheye lens, and is an expensive and heavy solution (albeit one with amazing image quality).
The Sony 90mm macro is a great lens.
While Nikon has announce that they plan to release 60 and 105mm macro lenses for the Z system (and these may be very good), the AF on the Z system is at least a full generation behind that of the D5/500/850. Nikon's AF on the Z system is much better than that of the Sony mirrorless cameras! I would expect that the next generation of Nikon SLR cameras will further improve on this AF performance. Reduced AF performance is  huge sacrifice for macro and will mean that you get less usable images. 
Full frame SLRs typically have a cropped mode if required.
My experience is that optical viewfinders are still better than EVFs. This is my (admittedly biased) experience. Ultimately, the speed of the EVF and its ability to render color accurately are challenges that an optical viewfinder simply does not have!
We will see how Canon develop, but the 5D series, while very capable, seem to be somewhat outgunned by Nikon's offerings. I am sure the 1DX Mark III will be a stunning camera, but it is another level of expense, as well as bulk and weight.
Sticking with bulk and weight, housing sizes and weights are similar for full frame mirrorless and SLR cameras. Port weight and bulk is identical. 
I confess that I do not get what the advantage of mirrorless full frame currently is for underwater use! 
I agree - the limiting factor in my imaging is my ability, and that people capture stunning images with a wide variety of cameras. I have yet to own a camera that couldn't take better pictures than I can! However, the latest iterations (particularly in terms of AF, and high ISO performance) do make it "easier" to get good pictures. Ultimately, this is why we upgrade. Will the latest version ensure you get amazing images...no, but it will make it easier to do so!
Adam
 
 

I have seen the Sony A7RIII with the metabones smart adapter and the canon 8-15mm and the results are great
It focus fast and it also holds phase detection it is absolutely not the same of panasonic and nikon mirrorless full frame
For what concerns rectilinear and macro options sony does have some of the sharpest lenses on the market
Obviously there are other ergonomic issues and Sony does not appeal to former canon or nikon so there are not as many ambassadors out there
But the results are stunning and at least on par with Nikon D850


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On 11/9/2019 at 1:07 AM, Interceptor121 said:


I have seen the Sony A7RIII with the metabones smart adapter and the canon 8-15mm and the results are great
It focus fast and it also holds phase detection it is absolutely not the same of panasonic and nikon mirrorless full frame
For what concerns rectilinear and macro options sony does have some of the sharpest lenses on the market
Obviously there are other ergonomic issues and Sony does not appeal to former canon or nikon so there are not as many ambassadors out there
But the results are stunning and at least on par with Nikon D850


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Which housing and port/port adapter(s) do you use to use the Canon 8-15mm with to your Sony A7RIII?

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Which housing and port/port adapter(s) do you use to use the Canon 8-15mm with to your Sony A7RIII?

I use the canon on my micro four thirds
A guy I met on a boat had a Nauticam set up you need an N100 to N120 adapters then you get a 30 mm extension ring and a fisheye dome
His images were great and he did not have focus issues


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I think this is why we need to be wary on anecdotal evidence!

A "guy I met on a boat" may not have experience of using any other system, so may not be able to compare with anything else! He may also have not used the camera's AF in challenging conditions. 

I agree that the IQ for the Sony cameras is very good, but would challenge any claim that their AF system is as good as the new Nikon D series. I have tried/used both and the difference is an order of magnitude....

When Sony releases their full frame cameras, many experienced underwater shooters embraced them as being the best option. However, many have returned to SLR...

Any adaptor (by its very definition) will negatively affect performance. If is has additional optical elements, these will degrade the image, if it has additional electrical circuitry, these will affect AF speed. Adaptors are always (even the very best like the Metabones) a compromise.

The NIkon Z series (due to the way Nikon has designed the new mount) has the potential to produce stunning imagery. However, lens options, and AF performance are currently relatively poor.

Adam

 

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For above water the current (not past) Sony cameras have the reputation of standing toe to toe with the very best in the SLR world. I have not used them personally, but I cannot imagine them not being adequate. With mirrorless systems that confirm AF with contrast detection AF is generally only a question of speed and tracking algorithms as it is guaranteed to be accurate. Of course faster speed and better tracking is better, but if above water photographers are happy with the system for sports or birds in flight we should be absolutely fine with slow moving macro critters (in wide angle photography DoF usually gives plenty of margin). I've never had an out of focus wide angle shot on my old and trusty Olympus EM5. I think it's safe to assume that Sonys current crop of FF cameras will do better.

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1 hour ago, adamhanlon said:

I think this is why we need to be wary on anecdotal evidence!

A "guy I met on a boat" may not have experience of using any other system, so may not be able to compare with anything else! He may also have not used the camera's AF in challenging conditions. 

I agree that the IQ for the Sony cameras is very good, but would challenge any claim that their AF system is as good as the new Nikon D series. I have tried/used both and the difference is an order of magnitude....

When Sony releases their full frame cameras, many experienced underwater shooters embraced them as being the best option. However, many have returned to SLR...

Any adaptor (by its very definition) will negatively affect performance. If is has additional optical elements, these will degrade the image, if it has additional electrical circuitry, these will affect AF speed. Adaptors are always (even the very best like the Metabones) a compromise.

The NIkon Z series (due to the way Nikon has designed the new mount) has the potential to produce stunning imagery. However, lens options, and AF performance are currently relatively poor.

Adam

 

The metabones adapter Canon EF to Sony has no optical element is just a physical adapter to make sure the flange distance is the same. 

The person I met on the boat actually posted the pictures here on wetpixel this is the post

 

As the Sony autofocus is great and @benignor says there is no difference using the metabones I can conclude positively that the adapter plays no role in the performance at least of this system

it is however true that the Sony has on average autofocus of 0.25 seconds vs 0.08 of a Nikon D850 so clearly there is a gap there but it is the same on land and in water and adapters do not make this worse

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The issue here is that there is no comparison point. The OP is seeking guidance on camera choices and has asked for an opinion about Sony full frame mirrorless. Bear in mind that at this point he can chose any camera as he is seeking to buy into a whole new system.

The lack of a native fisheye makes it hard to justify the Sony full frame mirrorless cameras for underwater use when pretty much every other manufacturer offers one.

Specifically in terms of your post above, no one knows whether the AF on a native (Sony) fisheye would be fester/more accurate than the 8-15 and MB adaptor, because the lens doesn't exist! As you point out, the AF speed quoted is slower, but this should be balanced by the fact that this statistic is (probably) not based on lenses that we use underwater.

Speed is also only part of the issue. Given that we rarely photograph really fast moving subjects (cheetahs hunting, motorbike racing etc.), accuracy is probably more important. Given that we use our cameras in environments that are often challenging for AF, any advantage we can add will help us to capture our images more reliably. Speaking to numerous people that have used both SLR and Sony Full Frame mirrorless in these environments, the consensus is that SLR AF (and particularly Nikon's) is more accurate and faster than Sony's. Many underwater pros initially bought into the Sony system but have now reverted to SLRs.

The Metabones adaptors do add additional conversion circuitry (from Sony's to Canon's and across the flanges) and this is in turn does mean that inevitably, speed and (to some extent) accuracy is affected. Adding extra components will always affect performance to some extent. MB adaptors are very good, but they cannot get away from this.

Perhaps we should turn this discussion around? Why should an underwater photographer chose a Sony Full Frame camera over a Nikon or Canon SLR (or perhaps other brand full frame mirrorless cameras)? What are the specific advantages of doing so?

If you had the choice of any one camera on the market and expense, current lens ownership, housing choice etc. are no object, which would you chose and why?

Perhaps when responding, we should ignore space/size/weight as all full frame system housings and ports are ultimately pretty much the same in terms of weight and bulk. The weight of the camera itself is largely irrelevant!

 

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Adam
I wanted to make the point that lens choice at least for some scenarios is not a limitation but that doesn’t make that the preferred choice! It was just to enrich the discussion...


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On 11/12/2019 at 5:21 PM, adamhanlon said:

I think this is why we need to be wary on anecdotal evidence!

A "guy I met on a boat" may not have experience of using any other system, so may not be able to compare with anything else! He may also have not used the camera's AF in challenging conditions. 

I agree that the IQ for the Sony cameras is very good, but would challenge any claim that their AF system is as good as the new Nikon D series. I have tried/used both and the difference is an order of magnitude....

When Sony releases their full frame cameras, many experienced underwater shooters embraced them as being the best option. However, many have returned to SLR...

Any adaptor (by its very definition) will negatively affect performance. If is has additional optical elements, these will degrade the image, if it has additional electrical circuitry, these will affect AF speed. Adaptors are always (even the very best like the Metabones) a compromise.

The NIkon Z series (due to the way Nikon has designed the new mount) has the potential to produce stunning imagery. However, lens options, and AF performance are currently relatively poor.

Adam

 

 I've used the Sony A7RII (a 2 generation-old Sony) + metabones adapter + Canon 8-15mm for several hundred dives and never had a single thing to complain about when it came to wide angle photos. It had perfectly good autofocus (both fast and accurate) for wide angle and excellent image quality. I'm sure the A7R3 and A7R4 are even better.

Prior to that, I used the D800 + Sigma 15mm fisheye for 100-200 dives, and the A7RII + Canon 8-15 was every bit as good or better in terms of both image quality and focusing for wide angle purposes. Not as good for macro focus and focus tracking for macro, but that's a different story. And yes, for wide angle mixed light shots, I do think an optical viewfinder is better than the current generation of EVFs because of the dynamic range it can display. 

If I was to buy today, I would without hesitation pick the A7R4 over any of the Nikon Z cameras or Canon mirrorless. Lack of a native fisheye option is irrelevant -- the adapted canon 8-15 works so well that it's very hard to imagine how it could be improved upon. The only full-frame camera I would rate as a better purchase for underwater (if only taking photos) would be the Nikon D850.  

For the record, I have no real skin in this game, as the only underwater setup I currently own is a Panasonic GH5 :)

Edited by dreifish

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On 11/12/2019 at 8:46 PM, adamhanlon said:

The issue here is that there is no comparison point. The OP is seeking guidance on camera choices and has asked for an opinion about Sony full frame mirrorless. Bear in mind that at this point he can chose any camera as he is seeking to buy into a whole new system.

The lack of a native fisheye makes it hard to justify the Sony full frame mirrorless cameras for underwater use when pretty much every other manufacturer offers one.

As I explain above, the lack of a native fisheye is entirely negated by the fact that the adapted Canon 8-15 works flawlessly. By pretty much every other manufacturer, you mean whom? Canon and Nikon? Neither of them has such a 'native' fisheye if you look at their mirrorless offerings. Neither does Panasonic for full frame. 

Quote

Specifically in terms of your post above, no one knows whether the AF on a native (Sony) fisheye would be fester/more accurate than the 8-15 and MB adaptor, because the lens doesn't exist! As you point out, the AF speed quoted is slower, but this should be balanced by the fact that this statistic is (probably) not based on lenses that we use underwater.

Maybe a native Sony fisheye would have even faster autofocus, but it's completely irrelevant. I struggle to imagine any scenario where the adapted solution wouldn't be fast and accurate enough. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that if you paired up the Sony A9II with an 8-15 shooting at 20fps, you'd get more in-focus shots in the most demanding action scenario you can envision than pairing the native 8-15 with the Canon 1DXII or the Nikon D5.

Quote

Speed is also only part of the issue. Given that we rarely photograph really fast moving subjects (cheetahs hunting, motorbike racing etc.), accuracy is probably more important. Given that we use our cameras in environments that are often challenging for AF, any advantage we can add will help us to capture our images more reliably. Speaking to numerous people that have used both SLR and Sony Full Frame mirrorless in these environments, the consensus is that SLR AF (and particularly Nikon's) is more accurate and faster than Sony's. Many underwater pros initially bought into the Sony system but have now reverted to SLRs.

With all due respect, Adam, this is purely FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Nikon and Canon rely on off-sensor PDAF which is inherently less accurate than on-sensor PDAF or contrast-detect autofocus. Maybe the autofocus was slower on first (and to some extent) second generation Sony A7s, but it has never been /less accurate/ and today there are plenty of tests online demonstrating the A7III, A7RIII, A7RIV and especially A9/A9II get you more in-focus images in action scenarios such as sports than their Canon and Nikon DSLR equivalents. If you still think DSRL autofocus has any advantages over Sony's mirrorless line, your opinion is several years out of date. 

Quote

The Metabones adaptors do add additional conversion circuitry (from Sony's to Canon's and across the flanges) and this is in turn does mean that inevitably, speed and (to some extent) accuracy is affected. Adding extra components will always affect performance to some extent. MB adaptors are very good, but they cannot get away from this


 

This is purely speculation that sounds reasonable at a quick read, but is both technically inaccurate and not borne out by real world experience. From a technical standpoint, the simple electronic translation from the Sony control protocol to the Canon control protocol happens in fractions of a millisecond, so while there is objectively a delay introduced, it's completely irrelevant to the total time it takes to focus since actually moving the physical focus elements takes orders of magnitude longer. As for accuracy -- we're talking a completely digital transmission chain. How could the adapter possibly impact the accuracy of the autofocus? 

To answer your turned-around question, if I was buying an underwater system today purely for photos, I'd probably struggle to choose between the D850 and the A7RIV. I think I'd lean towards the D850 for macro, but the IQ from the A7RIV is superior in my view (more resolution) and for wide angle, the 100% autofocus coverage is better than what the D850 can offer. Not to mention that on-sensor PDAF is more accurate than off-sensor PDAF. If Sony's animal eye-detect ever expands to include fish, it'd be a no-brainer in favor of the Sony for both wide angle and macro scenarios. Right now, only three things weigh in in the D850's favor  -- (a) better subject tracking with 3D tracking (this might no longer be true with the latest generation of Sonys, but I haven't tested it), (b) an optical viewfinder, which I prefer for underwater mixed light wide angle photography, (c) base ISO 64 and slightly faster 1/320 flash sync speed for slightly more ability to control the ambient light. Conversly, the Sonys offer (a) more accurate autofocus (no need for autofocus adjustments to lenses), (b) faster frame rates for action, (c) wider autofocus point coverage, (d) higher resolution, and (e) sensor stabilization.

But hey.. don't just take my word for it. Backscatter has done an extensive comparison between the D850 and the A7RIII underwater. I think it's safe to say that the A7RIV would have performed even better in things like autofocus. 

If you bring video into the equation, it complicates things. Then I'd lean towards the Panasonic S1H or the newly announced 1DXIII.

Edited by dreifish

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Hmm.  I'll throw in my two cents, but I've not shot the new mirrorless cameras, nor do I feel any particular desire to.  I've been shooting Nikon DSLR since 2004, and Nikon SLR since 1992.   My mirrorless experience has all been with point-n-shoot cameras, mostly Canon, and then a Sony RX100 II.    I've shot all of those mirrorless cameras underwater, and the Nikon D810 and D850 also.

Initially I was drawn to mirrorless (point-n-shoots) for IQ and price.  IQ meaning 'better than the ISO400 disposable film camera' I used first.  But I was drawn to the live view experience as well, being able to see my composition in the rear LCD while swimming along or just holding the camera out with one hand.   

Ultimately I was tired of missing the shots I so often missed with point-n-shoots, due to poor autofocus.   This colors my perceptions somewhat as I became more and more demanding of a camera that quickly and precisely focused where I wanted it.  Eye of a critter peeking out from behind something - wide point-n-shoot autofocus couldn't capture that.   Fish swimming by - seems to get a lot of shots of fish tails swimming out of frame.    I also got tired of the lack of colors, so I took the next step up:  went to a 1" sensor (RX100) and added flash (dual YS-D1 strobes).   The total cost of camera and rig (included a couple of wet lenses for macro and wide angle I never ended up using) was $5000.  Nauticam housing.    What I got was a nicer point-n-shoot that had huge advances over my previous cameras only because of adding flash.  Autofocus was still too slow.

So MY choice was to get one of my DSLR's underwater so that I could finally resolve my autofocus issues.   I bought a D810 Nauticam housing, a 105mm macro port and a 230mm dome port.   

Here's where I can give some advice.

I really wanted much better autofocus with the DSLR, and I got it.  I also added an expensive high-eyepoint eyepiece so I could more easily see everything from behind my mask.  I spent a lot of money for this capability, and for macro I pretty much got what I wanted.

For wide angle, not so much, until recently.   The recent addition was a Sea and Sea internal correction lens that really, really, really works well and fixes my corner issues with the 16-35 in the dome port.   Should you end up with the Canon 16-35 in a full frame camera behind a big dome, you would be well-advised to get this correction lens too.

OK - so here's what I gave up, and you should be aware of these tradeoffs too, if not already from your current rig.

1. video.   Yes, I can do video with the D810 or D850, but to be honest, mirrorless cameras have always been easier to shoot and tend to have better video autofocus.   With any of my point-n-shoots I felt right at home switching to video mid-dive and filming a video sequence.   The autofocus on the D850 during video is almost unusable, especially if the camera is also moving.   In general, it's much more limiting.

2. focal range.   All my mirrorless cameras had a mildly-wide to moderate telephoto zoom lens.   To do wide angle, I needed a wet lens.   To do macro, I needed a wet lens too.   My DSLR choices are the opposite - no choices in the middle.  I'm either wide to very wide (16-35) or I'm macro with the 105vr.   The Canon choice would be the 90mm macro, and I think that's too short for full-frame.

3. travel-friendliness.   I bet your current rig fits in a carry-on, or at least a suitcase.   Mine doesn't.  I use all of one roller bag for the housing, dome port, strobes and a few odds and ends.  I put the camera in the housing, with a lens (or port) attached.   I put the lenses and backup camera (RX100, in its small housing) in a waist bag, and then I still have the macro port and 90mm dome port extension (filled with clamps) in a suitcase.    If you go full-frame, you go BIG.   You also tend to have less lens choices.

I'm very pleased with the quality of the shots I get now, but the cost in $, size and weight is up there.   A compromise well worth looking at is a DX/APS-C format DSLR.   In the Nikon world that would a D500.

With a DX/APS-C format camera (mirrorless or not) you get noticeably smaller wide angle options.  You also get more focal range options.   You still have autofocus during video issues (with Nikon, not sure about Canon here).

If you value video a lot, lean toward mirrorless.   If you value stills, lean toward a DSLR.   That's primarily on the basis of better autofocus performance.  Consider also that systems designed for mirrorless (including the lenses) may focus silently, while older design DSLR lenses can have a lot of audible clicking and whirring while focusing.

 

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Thank you all who are contributing to this thread.  I'm learning a lot, and it is very helpful.

I'm excited to learn about Nauticam's announced WACP-2 lens, that appears to do two very interesting things: (1) working with high quality lenses vs. being size limited to kit lenses; and (2) working as well in air to support split scenes.  

I'm curious how much of the argument for a fisheye lens is about FOV vs. being about working with splits.  My 8mm Panasonic m34 fisheye has too often yielded photos I wasn't happy with because of distortion (e.g. the supports of a pier, or large animals like whale sharks).  Has anyone on this thread seen the new WACP-2?  Is it significantly larger/more bulky than a dome port?

Thanks again!

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I'm not sure it's larger than a dome. It doesn't look to be that much smaller either though. But it has optics built in, so I assume it's going to be an absolute pain to travel with. Not sure if Nauticam has released information on weight/size yet, but I  it will probably be even heavier than the WACP-1.

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14 hours ago, korn said:

Thank you all who are contributing to this thread.  I'm learning a lot, and it is very helpful.

I'm excited to learn about Nauticam's announced WACP-2 lens, that appears to do two very interesting things: (1) working with high quality lenses vs. being size limited to kit lenses; and (2) working as well in air to support split scenes.  

I'm curious how much of the argument for a fisheye lens is about FOV vs. being about working with splits.  My 8mm Panasonic m34 fisheye has too often yielded photos I wasn't happy with because of distortion (e.g. the supports of a pier, or large animals like whale sharks).  Has anyone on this thread seen the new WACP-2?  Is it significantly larger/more bulky than a dome port?

Thanks again!

If you look at the pics on Nauticam's page you could scale it assuming an N120 mount, so the mount would be 120mm diameter approx.  This would mean the dome dia. would be 200-240mm.  The MRSP is quoted as $5-7,000 USD. so not cheap!   They are talking about a floatation collar so a bigger concern might be weight?

There have been discussions in other threads about what the actual field of view obtained from WWL and WACP  and the conclusion there was that they produced barrel distortion and is close to a fisheye and it extended the diagonal field of view more so than the horizontal and vertical, so for example with the WWL-1 the 130 deg file dof view ends up being equivalent to a 10mm rectilinear lens on the diagonal but on the horizontal it is equivalent to 14mm.  This link explains:  https://interceptor121.com/2019/05/  That is not to say it is bad just to know what you will get with the optics.

The WACP-2 may or may not do this, it's designed to work with 14-16mm lens rather than 28mm lenses and is only 0.82x (instead of .36x of WACP and WWL).   Probably need to wait to see what it actually delivers, in terms of distortion.

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@ChrisRoss is I believe correct in terms of cost weight it will not be light.

With regards to the FOV as I wrote that post after realising myself what was going on with the WWL-1 we need to take into account that wet lenses or water contact optics are not directly comparable to a rectilinear lens 

First and foremost because any water contact optics is NOT rectilinear it will have extensive barrel distortion. So the competitor of such lens is a zoom fisheye however in the full frame camp this options has been missing. You can use a fisheye or a fisheye with a teleconverter no zooming. The reason why those lenses appear sharp in the corners is because the corners are compressed is like looking to a pincushion image and compressing it into the frame. So despite all claims from nauticam you can't really put a resolution chart in the corner and measure resolution because the chart is distorted, this may as well be acceptable depending on personal taste.

I want to say though that for those who like genuine rectilinear sea and sea makes lens correctors that seem to work well with 16-35 mm lenses. This is probably the widest you want to go before you incur perspective distortion and make things better around two stops.

The WACP fills a gap between your 15 mm fisheye and the 16-35 mm rectilinear working like a 10-25 mm fisheye but is not a replacement for a rectilinear lens. 

Looking at the WACP 2 on the 16-35mm it shows a fov of 128 degrees compared to the 108 degrees of the lens alone. I would no be suprised that the FOV improvement is almost all on the diagonal and the image does not look rectilinear anymore

At the end the FOV on the diagonal matters little because the corners are compressed they look sharp or not there is nothing interesting there the subject is in the centre. 

Going back to split shots all the shots you see are done with a fisheye. I do not like them, actually the line of the horizon bent by the lens is plain ugly and when i show a split to a normal person they say there is something wrong with it 

So I started shooting them with a rectilinear lens however this means pretty much f/22 on a full frame unsure if this is practical!

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