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freediver87

FF Gear for Ambient Light Photo + Video (A7III vs. Z6 vs. EosR/5dmIV)

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I am currently using a Olympus OMD EM10 II and starting t reach its limits in terms of dynamic range, resolution etc. (see my instagram profile https://www.instagram.com/freediver87/

I have and will shoot only ambient light and therefore are looking to upgrade to FF. I don't want to spend too much money as this is just a hobby and I am not making money with my pictures.
After reading for many many hours I still cannot decide which system to choose. It is such a big investment that depreciates relatively fast and I therefore don't want to make a wrong decision. 

How / what I shoot:
I shoot mainly UWA and would go for a 14-30 (Canon) or 16-35 (Sony), maybe a fisheye in the future... 
Photography > Videography but I don't want to scarify too much as I might do more video in the future. 
I know you can correct everything in RAW but white balance is really important to me, especially for Video. 

 

Which system would you recommend? Sony A7III, Nikon Z6 or even a Canon?
 

Thanks in advance for your help! :)
 

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If you are free diving a fisheye would make more sense as the dome is much smaller.  Dome size scales with sensor size with rectilinear wides and I'm assuming that with free diving you don't want to be pushing a 230mm dome through the water.  All FF will need a big dome to do their best in the corners with the likes of the 14-30 or 16-35 lens.  You also need to stop down more with full frame.

If you are purely ambient, then Canon white balances much better than Sony and you are right about video - it is not RAW files like still photos and you can't make big changes when color grading compared to what you can do with stills.  I would research how each model goes about setting a custom WB,  some cameras involve huge numbers of button pushes to achieve it. 

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You can get a Sony a7 II for under $1000 that is virtually the same as the a7 III. Then buy lens. However, pick the camera for all the right reasons and THEN match up housing, lens and WA port accordingly. ChrisCross makes some good points. Once you have the camera & housing decisions made, work with the Housing manufacturer for proper lens, port compatibility. The biggest mistake is made with the dome. The nodal point for focus is critical. 

Good Luck!

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Unless something has come out recently, there is no fisheye solution for Sony FE currently. Also, Nikon Z has the 14-30 f/4 with a 14-24 (?) f/2.8 on the way. Canon has the RF 15-35 f/2.8.

The A7iii can utilize Nauticam’s WWL-1 wet lens. The taking lens is a 28mm f/2 and makes the package almost as manageable as a fisheye with a 100mm port though it is not as wide as a fisheye. The Nauticam housing can also be adapted to take a Nikonos 15mm lens which is a super compact setup but again not a fisheye and of course, it’s a fully manual lens.

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28 minutes ago, Akoni said:

Unless something has come out recently, there is no fisheye solution for Sony FE currently.

Metabones/MC-11 + Canon 8-15mm.

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1 hour ago, Barmaglot said:

Metabones/MC-11 + Canon 8-15mm.

Possibly. I believe that combo is not listed, at least by Nauticam. So if you chose a Nauticam housing you’d have to work out the proper extension for the port and source a custom zoom gear.

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There is nothing wrong with your images and if you just post them in social no benefit from a larger sensor



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1 hour ago, Akoni said:

Possibly. I believe that combo is not listed, at least by Nauticam. So if you chose a Nauticam housing you’d have to work out the proper extension for the port and source a custom zoom gear.

Look at the end of Nauticam N100 port chart for Sony - if you put on a #37305 N100 to N120 port adapter, you use the Canon N120 port chart with all of its lenses. 

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Thanks to everyone for you comments!

i am doing both - freediving an scuba diving. Most of the time actually Scuba. Due to my budget limit I will not be able to afford a Nauticam housing. It will most likely be an Ikelite + 8inch Dome Port. 
 

The WWL-1 looks great but as written above, the whole Nauticam system will get super expensive and I guess it is not compatible with Ikelite. Furthermore, I also like to shoot WA on land so I will need to buy a WA Lens anyways.
 

I m aware that I’ll need to stop down with a FF Sensor but currently I am using the Olympus 7-14 2.8 pro and anything below f7 creates really soft corners (6inch dome). So f11 is not that much of a difference. 

The fisheye thing is not that important at the moment. There are also Metabone or FTZ adapters that allow to use Canons or Nikons fisheye lenses.


Regarding white balance: I have read sooo much and it seems Canon is a lot better than Sony (A7III ) and quite a bit better than Nikon. Though, Setting WB with the EOS R requires a ridiculous amount of steps and it doesn’t let you save them. Same is true for the 5dmIV. If I have to set WB over and over again I am not really winning anything  by choosing a canon. This really frustrates me ... it seems like there is no perfect  solution even though it wouldn’t require not a lot from a manufacturer perspective.


So would you suggest Nikon over Sony in this regards? Or do you really believe Inwint gain anything by switching systems?

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Optics and ports play a much more important role than the camera for what you want to do

It is better to invest in proper lens and ports than putting a full frame camera in a shoe box where the port system will destroy all the IQ of the camera itself. You should get rid of your olympus lens and just find a solution that works with the WWL-1

Possibly a camera upgrade would be required on the video side but other than that I really think you are going on the wrong path and should steer back to MFT

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10 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

Look at the end of Nauticam N100 port chart for Sony - if you put on a #37305 N100 to N120 port adapter, you use the Canon N120 port chart with all of its lenses. 

Interesting! Have you used this combo? It seems to make the Sony outfit among the most flexible with it ability so many lens types. Don't the Sony's have issues with WB underwater though?

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1 hour ago, Akoni said:

Interesting! Have you used this combo? It seems to make the Sony outfit among the most flexible with it ability so many lens types. Don't the Sony's have issues with WB underwater though? 

I don't - I shoot a Sony A6300 in a SeaFrogs housing - but Nauticam lists this on their port charts, so they must've tested it. Keep in mind that older Alpha series cameras (A6000, A7, A7 II) had significant issues with autofocus on adapted lenses, but newer bodies (A6300 and up on APS-C, A7 III and up on full frame) have near-native to native performance with them. Backscatter review of A7R IV was done with Canon 8-15mm fisheye and 100mm macro, and they found the Canon 100mm lens mounted via Sigma MC-11 to focus much faster than Sony's own 90mm, and as fast or even faster as the same lens on a Canon body.

Regarding white balance, I know that the older bodies were limited to 9900K in manual white balance, but newer bodies have removed that limitation, but I only shoot stills in RAW, never video, so it's not really a factor for me.

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All APSC and MFT bodies can work with metabones adapters and on new bodies AF is not an issue
I use a canon 8-15 on a GH5 body
White balance for Sony cameras is a problem no matter what you do underwater is always off camcorders do not have this issue



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11 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

White balance for Sony cameras is a problem no matter what you do underwater is always off camcorders do not have this issue
 

Out of curiosity, can you describe the issue and does it only relate to video? I've heard people say it's an issue but not sure that I've seen a description beyond what Barmaglot described (limited range). The last Sony I used underwater was a VX700.

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Just now, Akoni said:

Out of curiosity, can you describe the issue and does it only relate to video? I've heard people say it's an issue but not sure that I've seen a description beyond what Barmaglot described (limited range). The last Sony I used underwater was a VX700.

White balance only goes up to 9900K. I use a red filter and "Underwater White Balance" mode and get decent results with my a7rII. I've heard the newer models are better at custom white balance.

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Out of curiosity, can you describe the issue and does it only relate to video? I've heard people say it's an issue but not sure that I've seen a description beyond what Barmaglot described (limited range). The last Sony I used underwater was a VX700.

Raw you don’t need to white balance though for ambient light shots I find it helps me
Video you need to white balance the sony cameras tend to issue plenty of white balance errors and even when they dont they are off
Filters work better in my experience
The reason for this I believe is that sony is one of the least accurate in color rendition because they manipulate colors to please the eye so push blue and red too deep
On land i never had issues underwater I tried all sorts and could never accomplish a decent result without filters


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I

12 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

Optics and ports play a much more important role than the camera for what you want to do

It is better to invest in proper lens and ports than putting a full frame camera in a shoe box where the port system will destroy all the IQ of the camera itself. You should get rid of your olympus lens and just find a solution that works with the WWL-1

Possibly a camera upgrade would be required on the video side but other than that I really think you are going on the wrong path and should steer back to MFT

So you’re saying that combining a Sony 16-35 with a Ikelite 8inch Dome won’t lead to good results?

More important role for what? Corner sharpness? I see the biggest gain in dynamic range, especially at depth. I would guess that color recovery will be a lot better than with my current system, or? 
 

Does the WWL-1 will allow to use a much lower aperture (e.g f3.5)?

The WB issue is not that dominant anymore in the new Sony A7III and A7IV. 

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14 minutes ago, freediver87 said:

I

So you’re saying that combining a Sony 16-35 with a Ikelite 8inch Dome won’t lead to good results?

More important role for what? Corner sharpness? I see the biggest gain in dynamic range, especially at depth. I would guess that color recovery will be a lot better than with my current system, or? 
 

Does the WWL-1 will allow to use a much lower aperture (e.g f3.5)?

The WB issue is not that dominant anymore in the new Sony A7III and A7IV. 

It depends on what your definition of good is, the corners at 16mm won't be as good as with a 230mm dome that is normally recommended.   There are posts on this forum discussing the use of the S&S correction lens in conjunction with a 230mm dome to improve the corners on the big dome with similar lenses.  The 6" dome is marginal for your 7-14mm; there are posts discussing the fact that the 170mm/180mm domes are also a bit small and that the best results are with a 200mm dome for the 7-14mm.

The logical conclusion from this is that if a m43 sensor needs a 200mm (8") dome for a 7-14mm to get the very best corners, the corners with a 16-35mm on full frame in the same dome might not be as good as they could be. 

I know the bigger sensors have more dynamic range, but in reality it's only 1-2 stops and as you increase ISO (which you may do to compensate for stopping down) you progressively lose that advantage.  I have found that many underwater images have quite a limited range of stops and need stretching, the exception being sunballs and split shots.  What issue are you wanting dynamic range to solve?

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So you’re saying that combining a Sony 16-35 with a Ikelite 8inch Dome won’t lead to good results?
More important role for what? Corner sharpness? I see the biggest gain in dynamic range, especially at depth. I would guess that color recovery will be a lot better than with my current system, or? 
 
Does the WWL-1 will allow to use a much lower aperture (e.g f3.5)?
The WB issue is not that dominant anymore in the new Sony A7III and A7IV. 


If 8” dome is as far as you can go you should stay on MFT with an 8-18mm lens that will perform well with that port
Full frame rectilinear needs a radius of curvature of 12+
Wet lenses have few stops advantage but WACP is not in your budget so forget about it


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28mm prime + WWL1 would probably be the most compact solution, that also lets you stay fairly wide open. 

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Thanks everyone!

@Interceptor121  you convinced me. However, ist really true that you can shoot practically full open without the need of stepping down with a WWL-1 + 14-xxmm Lens? So I can shoot f4 with the WWL-1 where I would need to step down to at least f11 with a FF + 8/9" dome?

This review sounds very different: https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/nauticam-wwl1-review-tests

"Micro Four Thirds Conclusion

Overall all three lenses are great and each can serve its specific purpose well. If you are looking for a fairly wide lens, with flexibility for zooming and are more concerned about sharpness and quality, sticking with the native lens like the 9-18mm or 7-14mm are best." 

 

This confuses me as they recommend native lenses + dome instead of the WWL-1?

@hyp well, this wouldn't allow me to zoom and I prefer to be able to zoom at least to some extent. 

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WWL-1 is sharp at f/5.6 that’s at least 2 stops to full frame
Rectilinear lenses especially 7mm end are nowhere near and have distorted edges. If you are adamant on rectilinear get the 8-18mm at least is less messy but you will shoot f/8



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Still WWL-1 shots

Great Hammerhead & Tiger Shark Expedition March 2019

Make your own judgement


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Wow, this looks very sharp!

Would you recommend the new WWL-C over the WWL-1?  

I am now contemplating which system to go for. Seems like the WWL-C is cheaper an also compatible with some APSC Camera such as the A6500. I might opt for either WWL-C or WWL-1 and choose either a EM5 III, EM1 II or A6500 :), 

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I tested the original WWL-1 when it was released and I am happy with it
Originally was designed for 1” compact but tested on sony A7 fits MFT just great
WWL-C is a smaller version probably weight wise better for compact and fit for 24mm lens instead of 28. I have not tested it and am not going back to compacts but am sure it is a good product


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