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TG5 vs Canon G16 (mostly macro)

Discussion in 'Tips and Techniques' started by M DeM, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. M DeM

    M DeM Barracuda

    >sigh< I'm in a tizzy.

    I usually shoot with a Canon 7D in a subal housing, but after my macro lens went kaput in Lembeh (AAAAARGH) I used my back-up, a TG5 in an Ikelite housing.

    I don't know what's wrong with me... but I cannot shoot with that TG-5. Yes, I've gotten some good shots, but half of me thinks those have all been luck.

    I've always shot fully manual or shutter priority. I simply cannot get used to shooting aperture priority. I don't know what's wrong with me. But I miss manual. It dips my shutter speed so low (even on the highest ISO) that a lot of my pictures have camera shake.

    HOWEVER... I love that microscope mode. Man is that nice.

    Here's what I like about the G16:
    • manual & shutter priority
    • (slightly) bigger sensor
    • 1 stop wider aperture
    • higher max shutter speed (moot point w/ strobes, but still)
    • larger pixel area

    Here's what I like about the TG5:
    • Microscope mode
    • 4K video
    • very light
    • WAAAAAY more focus points. Like 16 more.

    Stuff I don't know:
    • Can you change AF modes on the G16?
    • Does one have faster AF than the other
    • Are there more wet lenses for one over the other?
    • For some reason, I can't find the minimum focus distance on the G16

    I see people getting absolutely magical shots with both cameras. And I do like not having to lug the Subal around sometimes.

    Has anyone shot both and do folks have thoughts on them?
  2. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    Min focus on the G16 I believe is variable with focal length - it's reasonable but won't get anything like what the TG does without a wet lens. You do know the G16 is discontinued? The TG-5 can do good stuff but takes some dealing with due to lack of manual mode. A couple of points; in forced flash mode it has a minimum shutter speed 1/30 at wide and I believe something like 1/100 at the tele end. It has two apertures f2/2.8 at wide and f4.9/6.3 at the tele end. F8 and f18 are achieved with ND filters and only really useful to exclude ambient light when shooting with strobes if you want a black background and also to reduce shutter speed in bright light for video. I would use f2.8Wide/f6.3Tele most of the time and only use f8/18 when required in bright light. f8/18 does not get you extra depth of field it only reduces exposure.

    The shutter speeds of 1/30 or 1/100 should be enough to allow you to freeze motion with your strobe if ambient light is low enough. to achieve this you leave ISO low and dial in -ve exposure compensation (for ambient light - not flash) that way the main light registered is from the strobe and not enough light comes from the ambient exposure to impact the image. This should be just fine for macro and in most cases shooting at f2.8/6.3 should work just fine. this means only the stuff lit by the strobe shows up - water BG is black. In bright light near the surface to achieve this you may need to go to f8 and turn your strobes up or there may be enough light at f2.8 to get a good shutter speed - you probably still need -ve expsoure compensation to make the water darker.

    remember on your DSLR you are turning your shutter speed up and sending the BG exposure to black on the TG you need to combine the low ISO, min shutter speed on flash and -ve expsoure compensation to under expose ambient light, turning the ISO up on the TG is the wrong move. For example if you're shooting macro, min shutter speed is 1/100 you want to set the TG so it would need 1/4-1/8 sec at your chosen aperture to get a correct exposure without flash (4 stops under exposed) which is easy at depth - not so easy at very shallow depths in clear water.

    To activate the min shutter speed you need to be in the right flash mode, which I believe is fill mode - you don't want slow sync.
    M DeM likes this.
  3. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Photographer

    As noted above you will need a wet lens for macro with the G16. With a subsee +10 the DOF is very very small and in low light conditions the AF is poor.

    Even though it is discontinued, there are lots of great condition G16 available on eBay. Unfortunately some are asking almost double the original selling price. This makes is very expensive to buy a spare backup camera.

    One other old school bonus for the G16 is a hotshoe flash connection. You are not forced to use the onboard flash to trigger your legacy strobes...
    M DeM likes this.

    BLACKCRUSADER Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taiwan
    I have the TG6 but the TG5 will also take same quality macro photos. Just that TG6 you do not need to manually switch to microscope mode for macro.

    M DeM and BenjaminF like this.
  5. JackConnick

    JackConnick Optical Ocean Sales ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    The G16 is pretty old at this point, not even well supported any more. The G7XMKIII is the latest model of that line. But the G7XMKII has most of the same spcs for stills.
    With it you have a much larger 1" sensor, much faster AF, low-light, dynamic range, sharpness and overall IQ, battery run time, etc.

    You do need to use about a +10 diopter for macro as the 1" sensor cameras require more magnification. But it will really shine on wide angle.

    We're closing out the good quality Fantasea housing & G7XMKII cameras for only about $200 more than the equivalent TG-6/PT59 combo.


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