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Choose first camera and setup

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography' started by Dreamer17, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Soloist

    Soloist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    855
    1,142
    93
    You have received great advice on this thread, but I think it boils down to one simple question. Do I want to enjoy my dives or spend time futzing around learning how to use a brand new camera rig?
     
  2. Dreamer17

    Dreamer17 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Morehead City, NC
    35
    1
    8
    Enjoying my dive will always come first, the camera is just going to be to have some memories at good quality (or better than gopro frame shots)
     
  3. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    224
    207
    43
    A suggestion -- If you have access to a pool, I'd suggest taking your scuba gear and your camera to the pool, and test out your camera and all its functionality. underwater (after, of course, reading the camera's user manual). Practice shooting with whatever gloves you will be using during your trip (if any). If you get a Tough-5/6, watch the free Backscatter videos on the ideal settings under different conditions, and make use of the preset settings menu, so that you can dial in those presets with just the turn of a wheel. Drop some colorful (red, yellow) toys at the bottom of the pool, and try to work out the white balance and lighting (if any) combinations that give you true colors. Figure out your camera's capabilities in terms of macro and wide angle shooting. Work on shooting while neutrally buoyant. Put a rock a foot or so from the toys, and practice stabilizing yourself with one finger on that rock (then, when diving, make sure that any rock that you touch is really a rock, rather than a stonefish!). Also, figure out where you'd clip your camera on your BCD, to safeguard your camera in the event that you need to let go of it, while minimizing entanglement. Practice all of the above in the pool until it's all second nature, and you're thoroughly bored with the repetition. Then practice it some more in the pool. The effort will be rewarded amply when you go on your trip.
     
    outofofficebrb and dhaas like this.
  4. WS007

    WS007 Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Empersdorf (Austria)
    62
    34
    18
    Hi Dreamer,

    If it is as you state above, I believe that you will be very happy with an Oly TG-6 (or TG-5), UW-housing and a small flash plus, eventually, a video light. Such setups produce already very good quality, the photos will be no comparison to the GoPro...

    There are, however, people that enjoy to go diving with much more sophisticated setups (and get better results), but as the others say, the sole purpose of this dives is to make photos. If you do not dedicate the entire dive to photography, you just drag around a hughe amount of expensive gear and the outcome will not be better, maybe even worse, than using a small point and shot in automatic mode...

    Wolfgang
     
    outofofficebrb and dhaas like this.
  5. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    1,435
    1,037
    113
    I have never been there but from what I understand, Tiger Beach is very shallow with max depths in the 15-20 ft range. This give you an almost unheard of situation for underwater photography, you might be able to get by without additional lights (strobe or video). At that depth, you should have an adequate amount of ambient light that you should be able to get an effective white balance for. This should save you both money and complexity for this trip.

    Just make sure that you have your buoyancy nailed. You really don't want to be flailing around near Tigers.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Wide-eyed nube in the Pub ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Orlando, FL
    450
    371
    63
    This photo was taken on October 17 near Jupiter, FL, with a TG-6 and a wide-angle wet lens. I have two large Ikelite strobes, but they were neither turned on or properly aimed; this photo op happened about ten seconds after dropping in on the drift dive over the Jupiter Wreck Trek site. Sharks greeting Anne on splash Jupiter Wreck Trek.jpg
     
  7. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    1,435
    1,037
    113
    Poor shark needs to see a good orthodontist & maybe get some braces for that overbite. :rofl3:
     
    Clevelandguy likes this.
  8. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    224
    207
    43
    That's Snooty! This is a picture of the same shark (I believe). I took this with a little Lumix ZS7 with a couple of Sea Life video lights. Very distinctive looking shark, always stands out in a crowd of lemons on Jupiter dives.

    I've since upgraded to an Olympus Tough 5, but am still using the Sea Life video lights rather than strobes. I really like the simplicity of those video lights, and the WYSIWYG aspect of composing shots with them. My shots are not going to be gracing National Geographic anytime soon, but I'm happy to get consistently good, if not great, pictures.

    oWxjpcxSX_TnJzluAQyPIwc5jqBFztLg-bQLvvrkfqJ6edIY7aVRw9IsOAxURq4tYBZd1Aby7ctlOtQr9=w2590-h1726-no.jpg
     
    DavidFL likes this.
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Wide-eyed nube in the Pub ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Orlando, FL
    450
    371
    63
    +1 to @nippurmagnum's point Moray eel in a world of color (1 of 1).jpg
    that video lights are becoming an alternative to strobes. I had a TG-5 before acquiring my TG-6, and in that camera I kept the camera on 4K video and had two Bigblue video lights constantly on, but the controls allowed taking still shots while the 'mode' dial was in video. And as posted, that's pretty much as close to WYSIWYG as you can get in underwater photography.
     
    nippurmagnum likes this.
  10. Dreamer17

    Dreamer17 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Morehead City, NC
    35
    1
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    By wet lens do you mean the wide air lens (80° FOV) or the actual full wide lens (120-130° FOV)?
     

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