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Interceptor121

My Second DSLR underwater experience

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After a short D7200 trial some years ago this time I have taken a D850 for two dives

Using Nauticam housing I didn’t feel the basic ergonomics where any different than my GH5

The Nikon Menu system remains atrocious and is something that I will never embrace but that is personal

But the thing that was again most painful was the optical viewfinder

I was using a 45 degree magnifier I have to say the sharpness was excellent and I didn’t have framing issues tho some things like vignetting were leas obvious (had a fisheye zoom with TC)

The optical viewfinder remains one of the things I never get on land as underwater. Shooting an image and having to review each single one on the LCD is pure suffering especially on a 45 degree viewfinder

Also the lack of access to a live view without any exposure helps like zebra make sunburst much harder

So I am ok with the viewfinder at 45 gives you the benefit for low shots however the OVF is something I will never understand

Either way there may no be any OVF in a matter of few years but I just can’t understand the benefits of it underwater or on land

 

 

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In my long experience a view finder is not a practical nor good alternative to the lcd. Me thinks it is a carry over from years past. 

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3 hours ago, bill1946 said:

In my long experience a view finder is not a practical nor good alternative to the lcd. Me thinks it is a carry over from years past. 

There is one issue with housing LCD windows. They are not coated with antireflectant and most times the screen is not protected from light leaks which creates a situation of poor contrast

With a viewfinder and a mirrorless camera you probably get the best contrast and usability but more effort should go on the LCD windows beyond a piece of untreated acrylic 

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I've never felt that my screen has too little contrast under water. I generally think that an external monitor would be superior to a 45° VF. Both solutions are, however, very expensive and bulky (the monitor more so). I can't really see myself ever moving away from using the standard monitor. 

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There is one issue with housing LCD windows. They are not coated with antireflectant and most times the screen is not protected from light leaks which creates a situation of poor contrast
With a viewfinder and a mirrorless camera you probably get the best contrast and usability but more effort should go on the LCD windows beyond a piece of untreated acrylic 

Try the dark, low vis waters of my usual shooting environment in the Clyde Estuary (UK)!

I found, through much frustration, that I have to dial the monitor brightness down to the absolute minimum as it was giving me a false sense of good exposure. Likewise I use a flat picture profile. Now use the histogram review but the image review itself is then pretty small


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Try the dark, low vis waters of my usual shooting environment in the Clyde Estuary (UK)!

 

I found, through much frustration, that I have to dial the monitor brightness down to the absolute minimum as it was giving me a false sense of good exposure. Likewise I use a flat picture profile. Now use the histogram review but the image review itself is then pretty small

 

 

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Thats because the LCD window is poorly designed and makes things worst bouncing the light

Unfortunately there are no efforts to improve this it seems

It gets worse when the LCD is recessed

Also none of OVF or EVF are useful you need exposure aids never trust what you see

 

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I was merely pointing out I have the opposite problem to you...no ambient light interference and too much contrast.


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I've got a couple of dive trips in with my D850/Nauticam rig (50 dives) and 4 years of previous experience with a D810/Nauticam.

I have the 180 degree viewfinder, which I bought with the idea of it being a high eyepoint viewfinder to allow me to see the edges of the viewfinder from a mask.  And it succeeds there for me.  I also found that the best way to stabilize the rig was to press my mask up against the viewfinder to give it 3 points of contact.

Anyway, I have no problem using the optical viewfinder, something I've done above water since 1960.

The D850 can autofocus in conditions too dark for me to see the subject, so it seems a good match for my eyes.  Live View?  Underwater with moving subject and moving camera it seemed hopeless to me, but then I rarely try a video.   I expect a D850 replacement to pick up Live View autofocus performance in the same way the D780 did, which would really help.

 

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The situation is completely different between DSLR and mirrorless system cameras:

#1. DSLR: The OVF is the primary instrument to focus, frame etc. The OVF is difficult to see through, when the camera is in a housing and wearing a mask. 180o and 45o VFs allow the diver to look through the OVF of the camera, when in a housing and wearing a mask. Liveview is possible with DSLRs, but not the standard mode, hence performance is lost when using it (e.g. useful only when it is very dim). No doubt, additional 180o and 45o OVFs are the way to go.

#2. Mirrorless system camera: There is nothing as an OVF, just an EVF that can be viewed through and allows to photographers to maintain their habits from the old days of mirrorreflex analog cameras, imitating an OVF (useful, however, in very bright light conditions). I prefer the EVF on land (I am old :)), but UW liveview and watching the back screen is the standard mode of operation for me. In my hands, viewing the EVF through an additional OVF (180o or 45o) and the mask is more complicated and difficult than viewing the backscreen. I like the 45o OVF for macros (EM1II in Nauticam housing), because a 45o view spares the muscles of the neck and are more relaxing compared to bending down to achieve a good angle. I would still prefer an optional modification of the housings back door, that would allow the backscreen to be tilted out approx. 45o (I would not go for an additional monitor as suggested by Hypi - too much brimborium for me)...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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I've got a couple of dive trips in with my D850/Nauticam rig (50 dives) and 4 years of previous experience with a D810/Nauticam.
I have the 180 degree viewfinder, which I bought with the idea of it being a high eyepoint viewfinder to allow me to see the edges of the viewfinder from a mask.  And it succeeds there for me.  I also found that the best way to stabilize the rig was to press my mask up against the viewfinder to give it 3 points of contact.
Anyway, I have no problem using the optical viewfinder, something I've done above water since 1960.
The D850 can autofocus in conditions too dark for me to see the subject, so it seems a good match for my eyes.  Live View?  Underwater with moving subject and moving camera it seemed hopeless to me, but then I rarely try a video.   I expect a D850 replacement to pick up Live View autofocus performance in the same way the D780 did, which would really help.
 

Thats because Nikon live view is limited to 30fps due to slow readout
MFT have 60fps as default and no lag and in some models 120 fps in the EVF
I also shoot birds in flight and use 120
Fps only in very specific situations and I have to say shooting underwater requires no particular speed probably 30 fps will be enough and I never miss shots due to lag
Typical lag these days is 1 frame on LCD so 1/30 1/60 or 1/120 of a second which is more than adequate for the slow moving shots underwater
Things in a fluid don’t move fast at all


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I was merely pointing out I have the opposite problem to you...no ambient light interference and too much contrast.


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Too much contrast is not a possibility on a camera LCD and if it were it would help because this is what our eyes see

when the LCD looks too bright and washed out there is no contrast. This is generated by the reflection between the LCD and the plastic of the viewer.
In low visibility you have a lot of reflections in the water and the contrast drops as results this is why the histograms look flat with stuff just in the middle and glary
Reducing brightness does help containing some of the reflection so you recover contrast and you can see


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6 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

I would still prefer an optional modification of the housings back door, that would allow the backscreen to be tilted out approx. 45o

This would be a fantastic improvement.  Nauticam could have modified rear doors that accomplish this.  My GX85 has the screen slightly tilted out at roughly 5% when in the tray and housing.  That may help some but with the rear door still in a vertical plane the benefit is negligble.  If the tray was modified and the rear door had the view panel at a 45 degree angle  that would be fantastic. 

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I think some choices from nauticam on housings are questionable
Most cameras allow the removal of the eye cup. Instead they accomodate for it this is pointless as light still leaks and destroys the internal monitor contrast
The best solution no doubt is a compact external monitor that doesn’t yet exist


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