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Deckard

IBIS and Canon EOS R, is it a deal breaker?

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Hello everyone. I have been doing a lot of research about new cameras. The last time I went diving with a proper camera was back in 2010 (Canon Powershot Pro 1 with Ikelite housing). I have been diving every year since then (500+) dives, but I only have a Go Pro and Canon EOS 80D for land photography, which i am eager to upgrade to full frame. I am aware that Canon EOS R does not have IBIS.

According to https://www.uwphotographyguide.com/canon-eosr-review               

The reviewer claims that IBIS could be a deal breaker. I am not interested in macro, I like wide angle prime lens  and I was looking at RF 15-35 mm for $3300 (i know this is not prime, I was going to buy it for landscape photography), which has IS built in. Since I do not use zoom underwater at all, I will be getting wide angle prime lens to take it underwater and I won't get the Image Stabilization of any kind. (it will be a much cheaper lens since I do not really want to take $3300 lens underwater) I understand that I do not need IBIS when using high shutter speed when using a strobe and I might need IBIS for wreck low light photography at great depths. I also read that Canon filed a patent for IBIS system , but that high end camera might cost way too much than the $1700 Canon EOS R. I have to make my buying decision very wisely since the Ikelite housing is $1700, meaning I will stick with the same camera for a very long time.

Does anyone have any experience with Canon EOS R underwater. Do I really need IBIS for scuba? uwphotographyguide is adamant about usefulness of  IBIS. I have no problem waiting for the next wave of Canon Mirrorless cameras, however, if they release a really Pro grade level camera at $4000 or more, than it is not for me. I was also looking at compact cameras, but only for diving. The problem is that I want at the very minimum an APS-C sensor with a minimum of 20 Megapixels. and this is an extra camera to buy on top of full frame. On top of that, all advanced compact cameras has zoom lens and I do not need it, all it will do for me is add size to my dome and introduce barrel distortion.  I have looked at Sony mirror less, but i do not like their ergonomics. Maybe Nikon Z6 in this price range? I understand that everything has Pros and Cons. I prefer to stick with Canon since I have been with them for so long and they have the best autofocus system. Thank you everyone for all of your responses and all the best to you.

PS Does IBIS help you in any way when you are not stationary in the water, or is it only for low shutter speed in low light? (for photography only)

 

Edited by Deckard

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If I was going to be doing mostly stills, I’d prefer my camera not have IBIS. I shoot Nikon currently and one of my bigger disappointments with the Z series is that both FF models have IBIS.

If video is a concern, then IBIS may be of benefit if your lenses do not have OIS.

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Interesting that uwphotography is so adamant about image stabilisation. I've been using Nikon camera bodies and various lenses (105VR and 16-35 both of which have stabilisation) over the last 15-16 years - all for stills - and honestly can't think that I have ever had the stabilisation turned on for underwater use - for either macro or wide-angle.  I can't say I ever had a problem where camera shake was an issue. Stabilisation would be way down my list of priorities in underwater equipment. 

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I would suggest looking from a total system perspective rather than zeroing in on a model to buy.  Full frame is in general more expensive  than APS-C than m43.  This applies to cameras, lenses, housings and domes.  The options for lenses available are quite varied as well.

You mentioned you were concerned about dome size, this scales with sensor size and focal length.  For example a 16mm rectilinear lens (with a 16-35 zoom for example) requires a 230mm dome to get the best out of it in corners, while a m43 8mm lens (16mm equivalent) can be used in a 170/180mm dome which is much much smaller.    

With rectilinear removable lens models, the only thing a zoom changes is the length of extension required to get the dome to perform at its best and there is really no downside using the zoom from this aspect   the modern ultra wide (weitwinkel) zooms are plenty sharp enough.  If you are talking fisheye lenses it's a different story, they don't need big domes to perform at their best.

I note that you are talking APS-C, if you are thinking of Canon I would suggest you don't discount the Olympus EM-1 MkII, it is very close in performance to the Canon APS_C sensors and not far behind the Nikon D500.  It has the advantage of using smaller domes,  housings will be cheaper depending on model chosen and lenses are significantly cheaper than APS-C and full frame Canon lenses with a great many choices of focal length.  The smaller size is a significant advantage for travel.  This link allows you to compare test data for a Canon, Nikon APS-C and the Olympus EM-1 MkII.

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Thank you so much for your responses. I have looked at the Olympus mentioned (EM1 MK II) and it is a very interesting camera. The Ikelite housing is much smaller and lighter than for Canon EOS R. However , I found this Olympus Camera that is coming out on Nov 21st (olympus om-d e-m5 mark iii)

It is almost identical to EM1, but the new Camera has much worse battery life (310 shots), but it is also smaller. I hate changing batteries on the boat(no air conditioned room). I wonder how much smaller the housing will be once it comes out. This camera is also $300 cheaper than EM1. I suppose when this camera comes out, I will go to BH Photo and see the housing for myself and compare it to Canon EOS R.

My problem with having an overly expensive camera (EOS R) on a commercial dive boat , is that many boats don't even have a rinse bucket and people throw their stuff all over. I suppose that diving with $7000 camera (for a hobby , not for work) setup will induce anxiety. It is not like i work for National Geographic and I know my crew and everyone is respectful and the boat is properly equipped . I dive with strangers with different companies and lots of times , the conditions on dive boats are abysmal. 

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IBIS or any other form of image stabilization is not really useful for underwater use. The water buoys up the weight of the housing, making hand holding possible at shutter speeds that are considerably slower than those possible on land. Think of the water acting as a "semi-tripod".

Most people leave theirs switched off, to avoid battery drain. I don't see any reference to IBIS in their review. For what it is worth, the AF on the new full frame Sony cameras seems to be significantly better than that of the EOS R.

However, I agree with the advice that full frame adds a bunch of complexity and expense that you could avoid with micro 4/3  or APS-C cameras. 

The lack of rinse bucket is not an issue. Tracking gear on a dive boat is simply a matter of being organized and telling others your needs/requirements. I dive globally with a huge variety of operators and most are good at taking are of gear, once they have been told how to do so!

Adam

 

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IBIS is useful underwater for video not so much for still images. When you shoot with strobes most of the times you use fast shutter speeds, even if you don't the strobe freezes the motion.

In some cases shooting at very slow shutter speed I have had instances where the part of the frame hit by the flash was crips and the rest was blurred ... and my camera does have IBIS however I was shooting at 0.5 s shutter to get the water the colour I wanted at 22 meters see edges of the motorbikes in the distance here. I am not sure the close shots that are referenced on UWPhotoguide needed any IBIS but there are some situation where it would be useful. Think also that in my case there are four stops between the shutter speed that guarantees no shake 1/30 and 0.5 and clearly the camera is not capable of that amount of stabilisation

48220990592_80ccce6c09_h.jpgExhaust Bike by Interceptor121, on Flickr

From what I understand Canon is lagging behind on in body IBIS because they historically relied on lens IS Olympus and Panasonic are way ahead and seems Sony is making progress

 

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3 hours ago, Deckard said:

 

My problem with having an overly expensive camera (EOS R) on a commercial dive boat , is that many boats don't even have a rinse bucket and people throw their stuff all over. I suppose that diving with $7000 camera (for a hobby , not for work) setup will induce anxiety. It is not like i work for National Geographic and I know my crew and everyone is respectful and the boat is properly equipped . I dive with strangers with different companies and lots of times , the conditions on dive boats are abysmal. 

There are a number of ways of dealing with the rinse tank issue.

- Have your own in the shape of a big cool bag and fill it with water.

- On a number of trips I've bought a plastic laundry basket and lined it with a black bin bag. Works a charm.

- Ask the operator in advance if they can provide you with something you can rinse your camera in. 

- Ask for an extra dive gear box just for your camera 

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Thank you for your replies. Great idea about the bag! I am leaning more and more towards Canon EOS R. It is $1520 on Abes of Maine (If one can trust that company). Olympus E1 Mark II is $1500. Olympus is 4/3 and EOS R is full frame. They are not even in the same league , but cost the same (i am aware that the Ikelite  housing  for Canon is $400 more and their lens are more expensive). Daan Verhoeven (a professional underwater photographer/videographer) has a very interesting video on youtube where he discusses the full frame and going for a bigger sensor over features is what he recommends. I also looked more at Olympus E5 Mark III. I$1200 it's battery life is bad (310 shots). This camera is even smaller than E1 Mark II (that's great for underwater photography)  The last thing I want is to change a battery  on a boat on a 2 tank dive trip. This is definitely asking for trouble.I always seal my camera in air conditioned room. I want to buy a full frame mirrorless regardless, so I might as well buy 1 camera instead of 2.

I am going to Iceland this Christmas (not for scuba), I will take my Canon 80D and rent an L lens (EF 16-35).  Since my next diving trip wont be until the summer, I have more time to shop around for different prices and see if any other interesting models come out or are announced.

Its an amazing pic Interceptor! I think that having full frame over 4/3 sensor will be a tremendous help in low light situations , definitely more useful than IBIS..

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Hi Deckard

As said before, FF underwater brings bigger challenges than APS or M43 (bulkier, more expensive, harder to nail the photo sharp corner to corner)

Unfirtunatelly Canon is not the strongest focus anymore (I do have Canon systems since ever, and my actual body is 7D mkII...) Nikon on DSLR and Sony on Mirrorless are the top notch at this moment. I do not change because I have a very big amount of money ”invested”, and not being a pro it is not reasonable to sunk such a fortune for so few dives per year.

besides that the limitation is not on the camera, is on the guy behind the camera. ;)

That said, you have chance to go underwater with a nice system on a much cheaper way.... you can use the Canon 80D underwater. You can find a nice housing second hand for a good price. Even a housing more ergonomically than ikelite. 
I had an Ikelite housing before, and I noticed a big improvement in ergonomics when changed to Aquatica. But you also have other housings, like Nauticam, Subal, Sea and Sea, Seacam....

Pedro Alves

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8 hours ago, Deckard said:

Thank you so much for your responses. I have looked at the Olympus mentioned (EM1 MK II) and it is a very interesting camera. The Ikelite housing is much smaller and lighter than for Canon EOS R. However , I found this Olympus Camera that is coming out on Nov 21st (olympus om-d e-m5 mark iii)

It is almost identical to EM1, but the new Camera has much worse battery life (310 shots), but it is also smaller. I hate changing batteries on the boat(no air conditioned room). I wonder how much smaller the housing will be once it comes out. This camera is also $300 cheaper than EM1. I suppose when this camera comes out, I will go to BH Photo and see the housing for myself and compare it to Canon EOS R.

My problem with having an overly expensive camera (EOS R) on a commercial dive boat , is that many boats don't even have a rinse bucket and people throw their stuff all over. I suppose that diving with $7000 camera (for a hobby , not for work) setup will induce anxiety. It is not like i work for National Geographic and I know my crew and everyone is respectful and the boat is properly equipped . I dive with strangers with different companies and lots of times , the conditions on dive boats are abysmal. 

Get a vacuum system on your housing!!   Don't leave the camera unattended in the tank, pull it out and cover it with a towel.   I have not seen the EM-5III full specs , but the EM-1 II battery is significantly larger than the EM-5 II, with the smaller body the 5-MkIII probably has the smaller battery.  The EM-1 II can do 3 dives and still have capacity left.  On the subject of low light the smaller sensors make up some ground as you can use them with a wider aperture, you'll be at f11-16 with a 16mm lens on full frame, but f8 is fine on m43.   

While we are talking battery life check the specs for the EOS-R it's rated for 350 shots, the EM- II is rated for 440.

I'm not sure what the aversion to IBIS is about, the Olympus is capable of insanely slow shutter speeds hand holding and it helps stabilise the viewfinder or example in closeup work.  I just leave it on all the time.

Abes of maine had a pretty bad reputation a few years back and is unlikely to have changed. google it!!  Anything cheaper than B&H should be regarded with suspicion IMO.

I would also suggest checking the sizes of the various domes that you will need for full frame wide angle in your hands, they really are quite big.

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Thank you for all the replies. Yes, Canon EOS R is rated poorly for battery life, but I read that in practice , the number is actually higher. Buying a new housing for my Canon 80D does not make sense for me since I only own the kit lens. The Ikelite housing is huge and if I am diving with something huge, it might as well be full frame camera. 80D's ISO performance is abysmal. Anything over 800 ISO is unusable (ambient light ). If I could find a good used cheap housing, then its great. However , buying used housing is a gamble(on line), since you never know how people took care of it or if they banged it hard on a rock. Also, if I invest in New lens, I want then to be new RF mount Canon L lens, which won't work with 80D

I read that Sony is coming out with A6600 for $1400 and it will be a small camera with APS-C sensor and the battery last for 810 shots. I want to buy a full frame regardless for land photography. The dilemma is , do I buy 1 or 2 cameras and treat my under water small camera like a wetsuit, I use it when I go diving. I need to go to BH and feel the housings in my hands to compare their sizes. Ultimately, I can keep 80D just for under water, so if I flood it or loose it, I won't get a heart attack. Does anyone know where to look for a used Ikelite housing ? Thank you

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55 minutes ago, Deckard said:

Ultimately, I can keep 80D just for under water, so if I flood it or loose it, I won't get a heart attack. Does anyone know where to look for a used Ikelite housing ? Thank you

You could do worse than put a Want To Buy post in the Classifieds......

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