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Just got my Tg5... Holy cow, now what?

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by KG Diver, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. KG Diver

    KG Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: RVA
    49
    23
    8
    So the wife and I have two awesome dive trips this year. First, late May we're off to Belize for a week-long live-aboard on the Aggressor; then in August, we're going to Big Cayman for a week.

    Both of us have roughly 50 dives since we got certified two years ago, since then we dove in Florida,Cozumel, Turks and Caicos, Barbados, and St Lucia. The more dives we did the more I found myself going for my GoPro to snap a vid/pic of wildlife so we can show it to our friends and family. Anyway, long story short, I quickly came to realization that my trusty GoPro 3 Silver was lacking....especially in the "still" department. My next question was, a new GoPro (6?) with improved internals or dive a bit deeper (pardon the pun) and get a compact. Given that the price of a TG5+Housing is roughly that of a new GoPro 6, I opted for the TG5.

    Fast forward several months (may be my downfall) and here I am, sitting on my couch staring down onto the controls of the TG5...talk about overload, maybe I need another beer? For the sake of my mental well-being, I come here for help. Now I know I didn't do myself any favors by dragging it out, as I should have bought the camera months ago, but none the less, here I am.

    Here is what I'm working with:

    TG5+Housing
    1-handed Tray
    Bigblue AL2600XWP video light. (no flash, at least not in time for Belize, maybe for Cayman)

    What I'm looking for are some basic suggestions for which setting to focus on. My plan B is to leave everything on auto and hope for the best shooting RAW and put in work with Lightroom afterwards when I get home.

    What do you guys use? Also, any suggestions for C1 and C2, what do you store in them? I know nothing is absolute and this is a very dynamic thing, but I'm looking for a starting point. I've spent the last week or so on www.uwphotographyguide.com and I feel like I'm cramming for finals, to the point where I don't think I'm actually retaining anything.

    ~cheers
     
  2. stepfen

    stepfen Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greece
    137
    52
    28
    I’m not an expert (just finished my first diving trip with my new camera too) but I think it all depends on you and what you want to achieve during your trip and at what price.

    What I mean is this: On the conditions you describe auto will probably give you some reasonably good shoots to show to your friends especially when shooting shallow and at subjects near you with the sun behind you. However a lot of your shoots will be bad (blurred/shaky, out of focus, bad composition etc).

    To improve things you need a combination of these (the more the better):
    - read at least one relevant book to get ideas, learn what to expect/not to expect, etc
    - more light (eg strobes)
    - knowledge on how to use any available light
    - knowledge of manual settings (aperture size, exposure, iso etc)
    - will to spend precious underwater time to actually do manual settings, adjust your lights etc during the dive
    - will to spend precious underwater time to check the results and if not happy redo
    - very good control of your movement underwater (buoyancy etc)
    - knowledge on post processing
    - will to spend precious time for post processing
    - experience on all the above
    And for sure the list has more things that I don't know or forget

    For me I’m quite happy that I switched to a real camera (compared to my previous fake-gopro) during my last trip. Resulting pictures are much better, although most of them are not yet satisfactory at least to me.

    In my case I mainly used Aperture priority (the idea was to set the aperture small for wideangle, bigger for macro) which resulted in some nice shots but also several shots (actually most of them) destroyed because my choice of aperture resulted in very long exposure times and hence blurred shoots. I didn't want to spend too much time underwater to check the results and redo if necesarry so I realised that a bit too late. Also, I had two cheap video lights with me and the importance of the amount of light (eg strobes) became apparent straight away.

    I am quite happy with all these though because I knew that nice underwater shoots are difficult to obtain hence my expectation were low. In any way now I look forward for the next trip to correct all these :)

    I hope these help.
    Good luck
     
    KG Diver likes this.
  3. wildbill9

    wildbill9 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: arkansas
    440
    287
    63
    Go to optical oceans web site and read their tip section, then read it again. You could probably even call Jack and he could he!p you. Incredibly easy camera and pics are exceptional but I started with a strobe then added video lights. Use underwater mode and let camera do the rest as you learn. With experience and time you will become familiar enough to make changes on the fly until then trust the camera. Don't task overload, be safe but mostly have fun. There will be another dive. On a typical one week I will take around 1000 pics, 200 will be good, 50 keepers, and 10 exceptional. Gotta love a big memory card. I take multiple shots each slightly different of the same subject. Be sure of your buddy, it is different from just diving. Buoyancy control is a must. Play with you system above water then go to your dive shop and ask to use their pool with the lights off and practice. Ask away, love my camera! Bill
     
    giffenk, ajmcc and KG Diver like this.
  4. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    5,813
    1,542
    113
    Searcaigh, OCdiving Deb and KG Diver like this.
  5. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    834
    298
    63
    Honestly its so easy. I was the same , I took it to Lembeh and because my old camera ( a very nice Canon) was working so well , to my regret I didn't take the TG5 out till the end of the trip. The colours and detail with the TG5 are amazing. The cameras own flash is fine and UW whitebalance mode macro or WA work treat. I used the Dive + app to give the photos a bit of a boost and do everything else on auto. Compared with the GoPro your photos will be amazing.
     
  6. KG Diver

    KG Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: RVA
    49
    23
    8
    Thank you guys for all the replies. Feel like I have a good starting point!

    Cheers!
     
  7. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    5,813
    1,542
    113
    just set mine up hope to use it in the next few days
     
  8. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney Australia
    153
    47
    28
    I would suggest programming two modes, one for wide angle, one for macro and saving them to custom settings, I have TG4 experience and it had two presets on the mode dial you could save settings to. On wide angle assuming no external strobe use UW white balance and Av f2.8 and ISO100 and zoomed out fully wide, should be good till you get too deep and dark. For macro use Flash (onboard) Av, ISO100 and f8, I recall there was a way to set a minimum shutter speed the camera would not drop below, I don't have the camera right now so can't recall the details. I would only expect macro to work if you were really close in due to limited flash power.
     
    ajmcc likes this.
  9. KG Diver

    KG Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: RVA
    49
    23
    8
    I have not found a direct way to adjust shutter speed on the TG5. Also for the macro shots, should I leave the video light on (indirectly) to supplement the onboard flash? Or turn it off?
     
  10. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney Australia
    153
    47
    28
    The point is not to adjust shutter speed when shooting macro but to prevent it reducing to very low levels, so you don't use slow sync, but fill in if I recall correctly, but it still allows shutter speed to drop to something like 1/60 or 1/30 which means there is potential for blurring due to subject motion. However if you use a low ISO and f8 it effectively eliminates ambient light so the flash duration being very short effectively freezes subject motion. Of course for this to be effective you need to be very close.

    On the question of the video light, more light will generally help and nothing else AF will work better, it may also assist with reducing light falloff where you have reef or sand in the BG and you don't want it to fade to black.
     
    KG Diver likes this.

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