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#312424 - 11/26/08 05:12 PM Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations?
skippy Offline
I'm finally going to get a dslr, and want one for underwater use as well as dry land.

So far the Canon 40D 10.1MP has the edge in quality, price point for an advanced amateur, and history behind it for underwater use. Lots of info on the web.

The newer 50D doesn't seem to be better, just 15MP.

And yes, I'm leaning toward Canon at this time.

I would pop for the Canon 5D 12.8MP if someone made a good case for it over the 40D. Is the full frame size really that important in underwater image quality?

Thanks in advance, and Nikon devotees, I'm open for convincing on your set-up.

Likely going with the Ikelite housing to start out with.

Oh, please advise on lenses also. I see where the 60mm is popular. My major area of interest will likely be macro.
I hope that someday we can put aside our fears and prejudices and just laugh at people.

#312437 - 11/26/08 06:01 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: skippy]
Peter Jones Offline
I have a Canon 5D but I don't take it under water - I use compacts for that. I firmly believe in the adage "it's not a question of whether your housing will flood, just when".

In the Canon range (in my case just for surface use) I'd probably get the new 5Dmk2. Only just becoming available in stores, and priced a bit higher than the original 5D (though that's now come down in price). Almost 22mp, the same as the current 1Ds, though that will probably be upgraded shortly to over 30mp.

In the Nikon range there are only two models I'd go for - the D700 and the D3. The D3 is pretty expensive compared with the D700 so I'd go for the cheaper one. But then I'm a full frame addict and wouldn't buy a cropped sensor camera, of any make.

I've handled several Nikons and Nikkor lenses. IMO the quality of the lenses doesn't start to compare with my Canon L-series lenses, though there may well be good Nikkor lenses out there. One factor for Belize is that my lenses are all hermetically sealed and so long as I have a filter on the front and the back is either attached to a camera or has a cap on, the lenses are virtually waterproof. I know someone who dropped his camera (Canon 1DsIII with 100-400L lens) into a river and it was submerged for several minutes to more than 2 feet. He recovered it and carried on shooting - no water got in at all. Many other lenses aren't sealed and over time the humid atmosphere here works it way in. Hence Elbert's fungus.

Choice of a camera depends so greatly on what you'll use it for that it's difficult to make any recommendations. Full frame is better for landscapes and relatively static shots, cropped is better for action. And remember that the effective focal length of a lens is proportionate to the crop factor - a 50mm standard lens on my camera gives a true 50mm coverage, but fit it to something like a 40D or 50D and the effective focal length becomes 80. Great for reach when you're using a telephoto, not so great when you're wanting wide angle. And in general, regardless of resolution, a FF image is better than a cropped sensor one.

Where are you? I'm guessing you're in the States, but if you're in Belize we could meet up. Actually, it would be good to have periodic meeting of photographers, as there are some exceptional ones on this site (I'm thinking of Barnacle, Elbert and Maya).

If you haven't already discovered it, spend some time on http://photography-on-the.net/forum/. A really useful website focused on Canon cameras and their users. Many contributors are pros. If I knew of a Nikon-orientated equivalent I'd look at that as well, but AFAIK there isn't one.

#312440 - 11/26/08 06:03 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: skippy]
Barnacle Offline
although i am a Nikon devotte, i can't argue your canon choice. you can't go wrong with a canon,, i doubt.

about a macro lens,, i recently popped for the nikon 105-2.8 macro.
it is one kick ass lens for sure! but, with my older nikon body i have the 'cropped' sensor. that makes my 105 a 157mm. that can be a help or a hinder depending on your style.
something to keep in mind when lens shopping, i don't know the sensor size of the canon's you mentioned.
happy shopping!!!

#312441 - 11/26/08 06:05 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: Barnacle]
Barnacle Offline

#312442 - 11/26/08 06:10 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: Barnacle]
Peter Jones Offline
I should have said that a friend in England is a professional underwater photographer and has been for years. He had a lot of incredibly expensive Canon gear, including top-of-the-range housings whose ports alone cost GBP5k!

Yet a couple of years ago he sold it all and changed to Nikon. He said Canon charges too much for specialist lenses, but I don't know if that's the reason. All I know is that just to make the change he paid over GBP50k. He obviously thought it would be worth it. He now has three D3 bodies, two housings, with assorted specialist lenses and lighting systems. He works for National Geographic, Tauchen (German dive magazine) and others.

#312444 - 11/26/08 06:16 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: Peter Jones]
Barnacle Offline
i agree with your underwater comment.
there is no way in hell i would take my front line camera swimming! there are plenty of good dedicated underwater cameras that cost less than the housing for your dslr!

#312445 - 11/26/08 06:19 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: Barnacle]
Barnacle Offline
folks have gone on for years,, myself included, with the whole nikon vs. canon discussion. it is just like the ford vs chevy,, or the toyota vs nissan type battle. no losers if you ask me!

#312446 - 11/26/08 06:28 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: skippy]
skippy Offline
"Where are you? I'm guessing you're in the States, but if you're in Belize we could meet up. Actually, it would be good to have periodic meeting of photographers, as there are some exceptional ones on this site (I'm thinking of Barnacle, Elbert and Maya)."

Correct, but after March 1, I'll be there about 50% of the time. Diving and fly fishing and sailing. Just retired, my investigative trips there have been fruitful, and I'm coming there instead of the Abacos, my old haunt.

Looking forward to meeting and learning from all of you.

Now, I'm probably going to go with the 40D even for underwater, but I appreciate your concerns about an expensive camera and the inevitable flooding.

So, I've been looking at the great images posted here since I joined. If these are not taken with high end cameras in high end cases, what specific cameras are you all using for those shots? Point and shoots? I was lusting after the Canon G9, which seems to be the class of point and shoots, but thought I would just get my next camera now.

Keep it coming, the info is great.
I hope that someday we can put aside our fears and prejudices and just laugh at people.

#312451 - 11/26/08 08:18 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: skippy]
Peter Jones Offline
The G9's been replaced by the G10 and it remains the king of compacts. Not that it's exactly tiny, but it would fit into a jacket pocket. It now has around 15mp and takes superb pictures. For underwater use it has an underwater color correction setting which apparently works well. It also has a standard type of RAW setting which can be used in Photoshop (which is the standard photo processing software). If you've not used RAW you won't know how much more control over the end result it gives you. Nikon recently brought out an equivalent, also for around $500, which has some nice toys that the Canon doesn't have. But it's severely let down by a proprietary version of RAW that can only be processed in the software that comes with the camera. All the reviews I've read said "very nice camera, well thought out, but cannot be considered because it doesn't have proper RAW".

I'd buy the G10 with Canon's own housing. It's only good for 130ft (the Ikelite one goes to 200ft) but in practice this isn't a significant issue for almost all usage. Don't forget that you'll also need to get strobes (at least two) to get the best results, and these often cost more than the camera itself. Most strobes can be used with compacts and DSLRs of all makes.

I haven't used either 40D or 50D, but I believe there are some features on the newer model that are pretty useful. It comes down to the price/performance ration you want. But expect to pay more for the housing than the camera cost, insure it well because it WILL flood, and don't forget the cost of strobes.

#312458 - 11/26/08 09:55 PM Re: Shopping for a new camera-your recommendations? [Re: Peter Jones]
ScubaLdy Offline
Hey guys - nice info exchange. Peter - your last post may explain why I can't bring up RAW on my lap top.

Before even thinking about a camera decide on your housing. Each one is custom made for a specific model. Is the Ikelite one still made of acrylic? Then can crack if knocked against something hard.

Right now I am very unhappy with one of my old favorite companies - Light & Motion. I bought their Mako video set up and then four years later when I needed a repair (the LCD went out) was informed they no longer make or service that model. So, now with my video I am in essence shooting blind and tend to shoot high.

I have the Nikon D70 which I loved. It came with Sigma lenses which I think did a good job. I have to get it to the states for a cleaning as it does not matter which of three lenses I have on the pictures are smudged. When I bought the housing for this I had to buy a new Nikon lens which cost $$$. Booo.

I don't want to jinx myself, but I have not had a leak in either set up since I moved here 5 years ago. My mentors in Northern Cal taught to clean and grease between every roll of film and we were doing 3 to 5 dives a day and shot a roll of 36 on every dive. I really think that was over doing it and yes, we had lots of floods. Go figure?

I would love to have a regular get-together here. I suggested it a year or so ago (when I was giving Elbert hints on how to do Photo Shop Ė now look at him!) But what do I know? Iím only a cave woman.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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