Jump to content
P-Allman

Tips For A New Rig

Recommended Posts

I'm sure this has been discussed many times but technology and equipment options are constantly changing. I am looking to upgrade my UW kit from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 (currently on e-bay) and wanting to jump into a Canon (I have canon lenses for my surface photography). What are your views regarding mirrorless or DSLR? In short, I want something that I will grow into and be happy with for long-term (cannot afford to upgrade very 5 years). I currently have a Canon 5Dmii and looking toward a 5D Mark IV or one of the mirrorless (including the EOS R5 to be announced by Canon tomorrow). How do people feel about mirrorless versus DSLR? I know some hate the EVF in mirrorless and would prefer the OVF. The mirrorless sensors are giving larger megapixels but compared to 30 mp on the mark IV do I really need 50 mp? Mirrorless are lighter and smaller (travel??). I understand the EVF can drain the battery so maybe battery life becomes an issue on mirrorless? Are DSLR cameras quickly becoming archaic as companies shift their focus to mirrorless? I read autofocus may be quicker on DSLR? 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak to Canon models specifically, because I shoot mainly Nikon.   But in the Nikon world their is a choice that seems clear to me at the moment.  That is, if you want to do video, go with mirrorless, and if you want to do stills, go with DSLR.   That may be very Nikon-centric because it's a choice based on autofocus performance differences.   My D850 is nearly unusable for underwater video where I am moving (surge) and a subject is moving and I'm trying to track the movement.  A Z7 seems a much better choice. (Or, for the best video, a dedicated video camera.)

As for megapixels, an enthusiast yes with a few caveats.  Underwater you don't have a lot of lens flexibility, and I often find myself doing extensive cropping, especially with macro subjects.  Going from a 12mp point-n-shoot (Canon) to a 20mp point-n-shoot (Sony) to 36mp (Nikon D810) and 45mp (D850), there is just so much more flexibility inherent in having enough pixels left after cropping to still have a decent image.

Some caveats - high resolution may or may not be coupled with a loss of dynamic range, and dynamic range is extremely important underwater.  One reason I love my D850 is the incredible post-processing latitude I have when shooting at ISO 64, even with 45mp.

High resolution generally means upgrading your lenses and often your shooting techniques.  

Have you also considered the physical size of the gear you're heading toward?  It's a real concern, getting worse as airlines clamp down on baggage limits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, phxazcraig said:

I can't speak to Canon models specifically, because I shoot mainly Nikon.   But in the Nikon world their is a choice that seems clear to me at the moment.  That is, if you want to do video, go with mirrorless, and if you want to do stills, go with DSLR.   That may be very Nikon-centric because it's a choice based on autofocus performance differences.   My D850 is nearly unusable for underwater video where I am moving (surge) and a subject is moving and I'm trying to track the movement.  A Z7 seems a much better choice. (Or, for the best video, a dedicated video camera.)

As for megapixels, an enthusiast yes with a few caveats.  Underwater you don't have a lot of lens flexibility, and I often find myself doing extensive cropping, especially with macro subjects.  Going from a 12mp point-n-shoot (Canon) to a 20mp point-n-shoot (Sony) to 36mp (Nikon D810) and 45mp (D850), there is just so much more flexibility inherent in having enough pixels left after cropping to still have a decent image.

Some caveats - high resolution may or may not be coupled with a loss of dynamic range, and dynamic range is extremely important underwater.  One reason I love my D850 is the incredible post-processing latitude I have when shooting at ISO 64, even with 45mp.

High resolution generally means upgrading your lenses and often your shooting techniques.  

Have you also considered the physical size of the gear you're heading toward?  It's a real concern, getting worse as airlines clamp down on baggage limits.

This makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the thoughts. The olympus housing I have for my current rig is actually  larger in size than the nauticam housing for the 5d. I have quite a few lenses and ports on my current rig so I do not think the canon move will increase the size much. In fact, it may actually decrease what I need to travel with. On many of my dive trips I also bring my camera kit for surface photos. So right now I am moving around with two separate camera kits, each with about 3-4 lenses a piece. My wife is not into photography and we always travel together - so this helps 'double' my space for camera gear as carry-on for the flights.

The technology is changing so quickly I suspect everyone may be on mirrorless cameras in 10-20 years. But for now I think the DSLR is going to be my choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, P-Allman said:

This makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the thoughts. The olympus housing I have for my current rig is actually  larger in size than the nauticam housing for the 5d. I have quite a few lenses and ports on my current rig so I do not think the canon move will increase the size much. In fact, it may actually decrease what I need to travel with. On many of my dive trips I also bring my camera kit for surface photos. So right now I am moving around with two separate camera kits, each with about 3-4 lenses a piece. My wife is not into photography and we always travel together - so this helps 'double' my space for camera gear as carry-on for the flights.

The technology is changing so quickly I suspect everyone may be on mirrorless cameras in 10-20 years. But for now I think the DSLR is going to be my choice.

From the travel viewpoint in terms of the volume/weight of gear, it makes excellent sense to have the same system for both topside and u/w. I always thought there was some sense in actually having two identical bodies: one for u/w in its housing and one for topside shooting - and as a spare in case of camera body failure or, hopefully not, in case of a flood. But more recently I have gone to two different bodies: a D500 for u/w and a D6 for topside but they can both use the same lenses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...