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james

Which Canon (1Ds or MkII) for Underwater Use?

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Here's a question for the group about camera selection.

 

If you could pick between the 11 megapixel full frame Canon 1Ds and the 8 megapixel 1.3x crop 1D Mark II which would you get?

 

The 1Ds is going used for $4,000 and the Mark II new is about the same. Housings for the two cameras cost about the same.

 

If you pick one or the other, please state your reasons why.

 

Cheers

James

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I see I got you to iron out your thinking cap :)

 

I would go for the newer, faster machine, the 1dMKII.

 

If I go the way of Canon, it is because of the ready availability of their IS/USM large primes (300 f2.8, 500 f4 et al). That being the case, I may as well make use of the "free FOV/TC" effect that you get from the 1DMkII.

 

Additionally, If I am going to drop 4 large on a camera, I want warranty support and to be the person who drives the shutter into the ground, not the person that picks up the pieces of said shutter :evil:.

 

What I have seen of the 1DMkII's output is enough to convince me that I'm not going to miss those extra pixels (and the processing/storage overhead to handle the same) for the uses and print sizes I typically deal in.

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MII 1D

 

it's a better camera ... faster .... granted if i was buying purely for underwater that doesn't matter ... but is anyone that unconcerned with money that they have a camera for land and underwater ?

 

The MkII was not the best when they first brought it out .. infact canon were very worried once it started getting used but the firmware upgrades really whiped it into shape .. I am wondering if it is possible to do that with the 1ds .. or if the 1ds mkII is any better .. but given the choice in my mind you'd have to take the mkII 1d .. unless you are of the opinion that a full frame sensor with 11mp is the be all and end all of everything.

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Keep in mind I've been sorta spoiled by the 14 megapixel full frame Kodak.

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Well, I'm biased because I do own the 1D MkII, but I did choose between the 1D MkII and the 1Ds.

 

The MkII is significantly faster both in shutter speed and in writes / reads / etc. I'm not as concerned with the shutter speed as how FAST the buffer clears. Even using a cheap Sandisk card, it's amazingly fast. I also use higher ISO a lot, frequently using 800 and venturing higher on occasion and the MkII is awesome in that regard.

 

The sensor size wasn't as big a deal to me, at least not the 1.3x vs. 1x issue. There's a huge difference between 1.3x and 1.6x and it's been so long since i shot film with an SLR I dont remember what 1.0x looks like. I also don't need 11Mp, I probably don't even really need the 8Mp for that matter, so the 1Ds was overkill.

 

One thing, the MkII is big, and there's no cheap housings for it, which is why for now I'm still shooting my D60 UW. Its also not a "discreet" camera, so be prepared for a lot of "wow, that's a mighty big camera you've got" kind of comments. That being said, I love the camera...

 

Come to the dark side! Wait, shouldn't it be the light size with all those white L lenses????

 

:)

 

HTH

Tom

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Keep in mind I've been sorta spoiled by the 14 megapixel full frame Kodak.

 

It looks like that Kodak is not doing a good enough job of spoiling you. :)

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I haven'te even tried it underwater yet Herb.

 

Cheers

James

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It looks like that Kodak is not doing a good enough job of spoiling you. :)

 

I saw some prints of James's last night, and they were universally stunning. The Kodak sourced images (20x30's I think, anyway, they were huge :shock:) were astounding in terms of depth of detail, apparent dynamic range, lack of noise, you name it. We had to lean in with noses almost on the paper to see some very very subtle aliasing on crane cables.

 

Based on this, I think the Kodak is doing a reasonable job of spoiling James. But it never hurts to keep an eye on the competition :wink:

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I love the 1.6 Crop with the D30/D60/10D/20D - on LAND, but underwater

i Find it problematic. the 1D and 1D markII have a 1.3 Crop and of course the

1Ds and 1Ds markII are full frame CCD's.

 

my problems uw are that I shoot mostly macro and for many years was 99.9% happy shooting with a Nikon 105mm macro lens. loved the working distance as it makes shooting shy critters much easier. could shoot from subjects from

say 1/2" to 6" and get nice shots.

 

unfortunately a canon 100mm on my D60 looks like a 160 mm lens and significantly reduces the range of subjects I can shoot. about 3" subject is

the limit.

 

have switched to using a 50mm, which looks like a 80mm on the camera,

BUT with significantly less working distance. I find 1:1 much harder to do with shy subjects and much harder to light.

 

I love my 1D mark II, and really cannot justify the 1Ds mark II,

BUT - I think that a 1D could be GREAT uw, as my 100mm macro would be

the cats meow, again.

 

again the same goes for WA photography.

 

I don't see any of the improvements in the mark II cameras being that significant in UW photography. who cares about frame rate? the 1D and 1Ds

have pretty great AF systems which is improved in the mark II cameras.

 

UW is the one place where a full frame CCD is of great value, IMHO.

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To be honest I cannot see the problem here. For underwater use, given that everything except the camera body is going to be same cost, the 1DS has the advantage of being full-frame and higher MPixels and few disadvantages that I can see, other than additional cost (and if you're investing in everything else then this won't be the problem). I've been using a 1DS for most of this year (above water) and whilst it isn't perfect, it is very, very good. I will have to buy another body sometime next year and cannot see anything other than the EOS1DS being a contender. The 1DMkII gets good write-ups but mostly from photographers who need its speed abilities - I'd be very surprised if many underwater photographers find them really useful. And using a 1.3 x Sensor means that the Canon 50mm macro becomes effectively nearly a 100mm macro underwater but will only focus to half life-size. Until there is a good 1:1 50mm macro lens for the Canon (I'm wondering about the Sigma DG) I will stay with the full-frame.

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wuoldn't the 1Ds MkII be a contender for you ?

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I wouldn’t hesitate a second and take the 1Ds.

 

I would prefer FF/3fps/11MP over 1.3/8fps/8MP, especially underwater where wide Wide-angles and uncropped 180° fisheyes are more important to me than 8fps.

 

Topside I’d prefer the 1Ds as well for my purposes.

 

Regards,

 

Julian

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Yes, there are those sufficiently unconcerned with money to have separate land and uw cameras. I, however, prefer them to be the same so that I travel with a backup. It doesn't make sense to travel with two incompatible large dSLR's IMO.

 

There are features of the Mark 2's that make them nicer underwater, namely the responsiveness and the RGB histograms.

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With all due respect, I for one am most certainly not "unconcerned about the money". As a freelance photographer my equipment has the status of tools. The 1DS will pay for itself quickly simply in terms of film saved. The point is whether a tool does a job and in my case the 1DS quite simply does a better job than a 1DMkII would. Start-up times, etc are great but at the end of the day it is image quality which sells my pix! Just as it was far easier to sell Medium Format trannies........

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For the purpose of this discussion, the cost is the same. You can get a 1Ds with less than 5,000 actuations for roughly $4,000.

 

Cheers

James

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Your spending a ton of money no matter which way you go. Why not get a system that will give you maximum value/life?

 

Here was my thinking on getting the Mark II:

 

Get the 1D Mark II and Seacam Housing (I chose this housing because of the viewfinder choices, features and Seacam reputation). You are already spending a ton, why cut corner? Down the road you will be able to get a 1Ds Mark II (once the price has plumetted in a few years) and have it work in your Seacam housing with all the same functions you have with your current 1D Mark II. You will end up with the best of both worlds - Speed and resolution. Full Frame for WA or Crop FOV for macro.

 

The high ISO capabilities of the Mark II might not seem very useful underwater but I could see using high ISO's for close focus WA on a shipwreck at depth, in order to capture some of the ambiant light without having blurry fish in the shot.

 

Also the speed of the Mark II might not seem like a big deal, but imagine shooting available light from a shark cage and you are trying to get that one shot of the shark with it's mouth open, biting into the cage or meat, 8fps would be very useful.

 

If you like to zoom into view your shots on the LCD than once again, the Mark II get the nod. You can zoom into 10 levels to check focus.

 

Yes, you could use the older 1Ds in a new Seacam Housing but you will be without the use of the two button on the bottom of the rear LCD.

 

All this aside, you would have a fantastic land camera.

 

Regards, Keith

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