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Hello everyone!

After 6 years the time has come to upgrade my setup from compact to aps-c or higher.  My current setup is :

rx100m4 in sony housing + inon uwl100+ subsee+10 and noname 10k lumen video lights.

- I love the flexibility because I like to explore and shoot what I find. I mostly use wide angle, but having the ability to switch to macro is awesome. I mostly shoot in the Mediterranean sea or german lakes.

- Since I do most of my photography while freediving I move a lot and try to stay as compact as possible.

-my budget is 3000€. No nauticam for me.

-my biggest complains about my current setup are: noisy images in lowlight or very low contrast situations, low dynamic range (I love to have some light rays or watersurface on my wide shots), the fact that my wide lens cant really do over/under-shots

I have been reading and researching for weeks now. Coming from compact cam to interchangeble-lens cams is a lot to take in.

I have narrowed it down to buying an A6600 16-50mm, an A7C 28-60mm or a GH-5 12-60mm and a seafrog housing.

Do you guys think I can make the FF cam work or would the necessary optics be out of my budget?

Do any of you use one of these cams in seafrog housings? Did you find wetlenses that work well with it?

Do you think the A7C would be beneficial for my usecase or could it even be worse for me? (Price, depth of field, lower flexibilty in this setup...)

Sorry for the long text, thank you for your input!

Attached: situations when I wished I had a better camera.

FkVPWOn.jpg

QRh3nic.jpg

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15 minutes ago, Kay Kunack said:

Do you guys think I can make the FF cam work or would the necessary optics be out of my budget?

Hi Kay

Just some comments on FF: it'll bust your budget for sure. Plus, and maybe more importantly, if you want to shoot a rectilinear lens, FF needs a very big dome (230mm) to get decent corners/edges. But even then not guaranteed with some lenses.

You can avoid this if the edges of your images are in the blue.

I'd imagine if you're free diving a BIG dome is not something you'd welcome. And they are nuisance if you are travelling by air - just the sheer bulk and weight.

APS-C or the smaller M4/3 maybe?

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I assume you are looking at using the kit lens behind a flat port?  Do you mostly shoot the RX100 with the INON wide lens on?  The flat port of course provides pretty poor image quality until you zoom to around 30-40mm and that won't improve as you shift to larger formats.  

If you look at the noise performance you might 1.2 - 1.4 stops of noise improvement with the best m43 sensors or APS-C, while the improvement with full frame might be 2.5 stops.  Dynamic range goes up one stop with APS-C and 2 stops with full frame depending upon model, but dynamic range reduces pretty quickly with higher ISO.   All from DXO data.    What sort of settings are you using for the cave shots?  it's rather hard to judge how dark it is and how much you need high ISO performance to improve the images.

An alternative to a new camera in a sea frogs housing might be a second hand camera/housing  that you can use with a WWL  or perhaps with a fisheye lens?  Have a look through the classifieds section to see the sort of prices things go for.  For example there was a D800 full frame Nikon with fisheye lens and housing for 2350 euro a while back. 

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Thanks for the quick replies!

On 2/6/2022 at 10:26 PM, TimG said:

comments on FF: it'll bust your budget for sure. Plus, and maybe more importantly, if you want to shoot a rectilinear lens, FF needs a very big dome (230mm) to get decent corners/edges.

Yeah the big domes seem to much for me. So you wouldn't consider cheaper alternatives to the wwl-1? The Inon uwl-H100 with dome cover seemed interesting to me.

22 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I assume you are looking at using the kit lens behind a flat port?  Do you mostly shoot the RX100 with the INON wide lens on? 

Yes, thats correct.

22 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

What sort of settings are you using for the cave shots

It was pretty dark. The over-under was taken at iso 640, f1,8 and 1/3s shutter. But at iso>300 the shadows become just noise. It took a lot of attempts to get a steady shot in the waves. The image is so blurry because water clings to my inon. Its old. And yeah when I read about the dynamic range improvement compared to the RX100 I was a bit disappointed. the sensor of the a7c is so many times larger, but only gives 16% wider dyn. range? :c

22 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

a second hand camera/housing  that you can use with a WWL

Do you mean I can't use a wwl with a seafrogs? Or do you mean I can't afford it and a new cam? Of course I'm keeping my eyes open for a used cam. And the gh5 and a6500 are pretty cheap used. Yes, I'll look some pages deeper in the classifieds.

Edited by Kay Kunack

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35 minutes ago, Kay Kunack said:

Thanks for the quick replies!

Yeah the big domes seem to much for me. So you wouldn't consider cheaper alternatives to the wwl-1? The Inon uwl-H100 with dome cover seemed interesting to me.

Yes, thats correct.

It was pretty dark. The over-under was taken at iso 640, f1,8 and 1/3s shutter. But at iso>300 the shadows become just noise. It took a lot of attempts to get a steady shot in the waves. The image is so blurry because water clings to my inon. Its old. And yeah when I read about the dynamic range improvement compared to the RX100 I was a bit disappointed. the sensor of the a7c is so many times larger, but only gives 16% wider dyn. range? :c

Do you mean I can't use a wwl with a seafrogs? Or do you mean I can't afford it and a new cam? Of course I'm keeping my eyes open for a used cam. And the gh5 and a6500 are pretty cheap used. Yes, I'll look some pages deeper in the classifieds.

That really is quite dark.  f1.8 won't be possible on any of the options we've been discussing.  You might be looking at something like 1/60 @ f5.6 ISO128,000.  This is really pushing the ISO even with a full frame camera.  With decent IBIS you might do 1/15 @ f4 ISO16,000.  But this really means using a WWL which is really the only option that gives a sharp frame that wide open underwater.

On dynamic range - 14.7 stops is about as good as it gets and remember that is only available at base ISO.  Sensors are a trade off to some extent - they could probably get a little more dynamic range at the cost of some ISO performance.  Don't forget that for all the high ISO performance hype a full frame sensor only gets about 2.5 stops better noise performance than the 1"sensor.

On the WWL you can't use the WWL-1B on Seafrogs you'd need to find a WWL-1, the bayonet adapter won't fit on the m67 thread so you need to screw the m67 thread of the WWL into the port.  I don't know if it's been established that the 28-60 fits the seafrogs port well enough so you don't need to zoom too much to avoid the vignette.  The lens needs to be right up close to the port glass.  I know that people use the 16-50 on A6xxxx housings with the WWL.    The WWL is about half of your budget I would think.

The INON with dome seems to produce decent results but I suspect needs to be around f11 to do its best - it depends how important the really low light stuff is in the equation for you.   For the types of shots you showed you would want to be shooting around f4 if you don't wan't your ISO in the stratosphere. There are some sample shots with the 16-50/INON plus dome here:  https://www.housingcamera.com/blog/product-reviews/the-ultimate-wet-lens-sample-post  Scroll down to find the images - they are taken at f14 and 21mm focal length (zoomed in to remove vignette I think).

 

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And those 2,5 stops of ISO performance are exchanged for less DoF, so on average FF shooters need to close the aperture further than other systems, negating some or all of that ISO benefit. The biggest benefit of FF is being able to shoot 80mp images and then either cropping or downscaling. The latter of those improves image quality quite a bit.

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On 2/6/2022 at 10:07 PM, Kay Kunack said:

Hello everyone!

After 6 years the time has come to upgrade my setup from compact to aps-c or higher.  My current setup is :

rx100m4 in sony housing + inon uwl100+ subsee+10 and noname 10k lumen video lights.

- I love the flexibility because I like to explore and shoot what I find. I mostly use wide angle, but having the ability to switch to macro is awesome. I mostly shoot in the Mediterranean sea or german lakes.

- Since I do most of my photography while freediving I move a lot and try to stay as compact as possible.

-my budget is 3000€. No nauticam for me.

-my biggest complains about my current setup are: noisy images in lowlight or very low contrast situations, low dynamic range (I love to have some light rays or watersurface on my wide shots), the fact that my wide lens cant really do over/under-shots

I have been reading and researching for weeks now. Coming from compact cam to interchangeble-lens cams is a lot to take in.

I have narrowed it down to buying an A6600 16-50mm, an A7C 28-60mm or a GH-5 12-60mm and a seafrog housing.

Do you guys think I can make the FF cam work or would the necessary optics be out of my budget?

Do any of you use one of these cams in seafrog housings? Did you find wetlenses that work well with it?

Do you think the A7C would be beneficial for my usecase or could it even be worse for me? (Price, depth of field, lower flexibilty in this setup...)

Sorry for the long text, thank you for your input!

Attached: situations when I wished I had a better camera.

FkVPWOn.jpg

QRh3nic.jpg

I recommend an olympus em10 mk4 (compact and light €600), nauticam case and 35 n85 port (quite compact as well approx. €1900),  with a good 14-42mm mk2 panasonic lens €125 and gear (€100).  Total about €2700.  You can try your Inon 100 first and otherwise use the much bigger and expensive WWL1 if not happy (€1000+).   Iso on the M43 is not bad through 2000/3200 and you can use a Denoise program to get rid of noise in pics like the one shown.  You could also add a CMC like lens or your bigger SubSee and get macro shots.   One camera lens one port and excellent ergonomics on the case with options to improve on lenses and super macro.  I also love the 8mm FE from Pana and a 3.5" port (that is about another €1000 but you could open the lens through f4.0 and the port is really small and light giving you option of nice CFWA).

The 12-60 from pana or leica requires a big 6" port and really not wide enough.  GH5 case is bigger! Sony 6000 series has some options but definetely not nearly close to the many options you have with m43 and quality is definetely not better.

Just my thought...!

Edited by nudibranco
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