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Moving to DSLR - Why Olympus vs Nikon or Canon - Do you have an opinion?

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by Scuba307, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Scuba307

    Scuba307 IDC Staff Instructor

    I’m looking at making a change from an Olympus C5050 in an Ike TTL housing, with an Inon WAL and a DS125 to a DSRL. I plan on going somewhat mid range around $1,600 for the camera, unless there is a good reason to go up from there. It seems like the dominant players in the UW DSRL world are Nikon, Canon & Olympus. Is there any particular reason for choosing an Olympus over a Nikon or Canon? What about lenses?

    I also want to add a second strobe, either another Ike, maybe a DS161-movie to take advantage of the HD video capabilities of the new camera, or should I also look at changing strobes?

    Your opinions are greatly appreciated.


  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    I prefer NIkon over the rest. I shoot Pentax usually, but have a Nikon for UW. Olympus is out for me, but the lenses IMHO for Nikon are better. I have a Tokina 12-24 f2.8 that I use for UW. Real fast lens and stopped down to F8 it is great.
  3. Scuba307

    Scuba307 IDC Staff Instructor

    Thank you!

  4. slowhands

    slowhands Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    I would not invest in an Olympus DSLR. The reason is Olympus has stated they will not release any new midrange DSLR cameras after the E620, the current model. They are concentrating on the smaller PEN family, which is more profitable and which they have a near monopoly. While I do own an E620 and think it's a fine camera, the product line is effectively dead. Nikon and Canon are safer choices for a long term investment.
  5. didi440

    didi440 Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island NY
    I personally shoot a Canon DSLR. For me, it was about being comfortable with the housing and the camera. I went to B&H in NYC and spent the day test driving the various cameras and their housings. (If I can handle the housing fairly well on land, then I can handle it underwater where there is some buoyancy to help off set the bulk of the housing). Tokina also makes lenses that fit Canon.
  6. Scuba307

    Scuba307 IDC Staff Instructor

    Thank you all! Great info

  7. davelew

    davelew Nassau Grouper

    If I were investing in a dSLR right now, I would go with a mirrorless system with interchangeable lenses, like MFT or NEX. When you invest in an SLR, you're really investing in a lens system. Over time, you will upgrade the body of your camera, but keep the lenses. That means you want a lens mount that will be supported in 10 or 15 years, and I don't think midrange SLRs will be around that long.

    I don't see many mid-range SLR systems being supported in a decade. I think Nikon will ditch the low end of their range and put more resources in the long-rumored Nikon Q mirrorless system. I think Canon will eventually follow suit, although they'll fight as long as possible with their G series cameras. In a decade, there will be cell phone cameras for snapshots, mirrorless cameras like the Olympus PEN for amateurs, and dSLR cameras like the Nikon D3x for professionals.

    There are already rumors about a E-PS1 that will have pro-level specs like an Olympus E-5 in a PEN package, and the Nikon Q that will be Nikon's response to the mirrorless market.
  8. gert7to3

    gert7to3 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northwest Michigan now, formerly Chicago
    Unless you intend to do professional u/w photography, I personally don't see any advantage in getting a DSLR. The mirrorless Oly-Panasonic-Sony offerings strike me as a better way to go. These are the evolutionary path of digital camera development; with more compact, lighter weight housings, lenses and cameras; plus HD (720p or 1080p) video capability.

    You will most likely ever purchase just one or two lenses, wide angle and/or macro. You may not even need to go beyond the kit lens by using wet mount wide angle and macro lenses. Remember each speciality lens will require a separate port/dome assembly. And if you get a different camera body, you get to purchase a new housing for it. You will probably have this system, unchanged, for many years. Look at how long you have had the C-5050. You are also constrained by your strobe(s), you will need an Ikelite housing.

    Finally, consider the apparent inevitability of not if, but when you flood your housing. Just how much money do you want turned into slag? A mirrorless compact with a 14-42mm kit lens is around $400(US). Arguably this camera is cheap enough to purchase an extra one as a backup.

    I can't imagine Ikelite not addressing this segment of the underwater housing market very soon.
  9. PatW

    PatW Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Central Florida
    Nikon is pretty much dominating the advanced amateur DSLR camaras.

    For DSLRs, I would limit myself to either Nikon or Canon. Both companies are the only companies that have a full line of excellent lenses and cameras. Nobody else is even in the game.

    Nikon has 3 very good DSLRs for you to consider. On the inexpensive end is the D90, the next might be the D300s. The final choice is the new D7000 which I understand has excellent high ISO performance. Any of these cameras paired with a wide angle zoom and a macro lens should do very well for you.

    Of course, if you like the Canon system better, Canon makes excellent cameras and lenses.
  10. Calvin Tang

    Calvin Tang Photographer

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest USA
    Nikon shooter here. I have big respect for Canon too, and if Nikon doesn't come out with a pro body in the first half of 2011 I'm going to pick up a Canon setup to compliment what I already have.

    I wouldn't go with Olympus. They make nice entry level and prosumer stuff, but they're just not on the level of quality, lens and housing selection that Nikon/Canon are.

    Don't rush into it, it's a huge investment and is expensive to change course once you've committed to a brand.

    Do your research and look at a lot of underwater photos before deciding. If you notice that many of the photographers you admire are using similar equipment, I'd take that as a sign to investigate that gear more deeply.

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