Fujifilm X-T3 vs Olympus PEN E-PL10

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Strata5

Registered
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
Austin, TX
# of dives
50 - 99
Hey everyone, I'm interesting in getting into underwater video capture (primary focus) and photography (secondary priority). I am looking at the the X-T3 and PEN E-PL10. The Fuji looks amazing, but case options look limited- I found the Seafrog, but it says that their case:
"Some functions are not accessible:
  • Front command dial
  • Rear command dial
  • Aperture control of the lens
  • Focus stick (Focus lever)"
How big of a deal is this? Would I be able to take advantage of the important functions on the camera with these limitations? As far as I can tell, the Octo Underwater housing for the E-PL10 doesn't have these limitations, but the 4k 60FPS capture on the Fuji sounds very appealing at the pricepoint.
Any advice? Thanks!
 

Barmaglot

Contributor
Messages
1,177
Reaction score
573
Location
Israel
# of dives
200 - 499
Keep in mind that X-T3 has a 1.18x crop while shooting 4K 60fps, and the selection of wide-angle lenses is limited. With SeaFrogs, your only wide-angle option is the 10-24mm f/4 in a dome - they don't have a short threaded flat port that would fit the 15-45mm to use with a wet wide lens, and 8-16mm is too thick to fit through the port opening. For macro, they only list the 60mm as supported, and there is no threaded port for it, so you can't use diopters to get better than 1x magnification. Looking at lens dimensions, it might be possible to fit the 80mm macro lens into the KitDive port made for Sony 90mm - they have nearly the same diameter (80 and 79mm respectively) and length (130 and 130.5mm), but I don't think there are any physical stores where you can try it to see if it works.

Also, when you're doing budget calculations, don't forget lights - a pair of 10K lumen lights is the bare minimum for decent wide-angle video. Scubalamp V6K series is fairly popular and well regarded. Then you will need a tray, arms and clamps to mount them, and since big lights are heavy, you will need floats to maintain neutral buoyancy. With a large acrylic dome, you will also need weights up front to maintain good trim, or the dome will float up and try to twist the housing out of your hands.

E-PL10 has access to Olympus and Panasonic library of micro four thirds lenses, which happens to have some very good choices for underwater photography - 7-14mm and 9-18mm wide angle, 8mm fisheye, 14-42mm zoom (very good with wet lenses), Olympus 12-40mm zoom, possibly 8-25mm zoom when ports for it come out, 30mm, 45mm and 60mm macro lenses. The AOI housing for it is fairly full-featured and provides excellent value for money. On the downside, it completely lacks PDAF, relying on pure contrast detection for autofocus, the sensor is an old 16MP model, and if you shoot 4K video, there is a 'heavy crop' applied - none of the reviews I've found mention how big that crop is, but they all concur that it's very narrow. There is also a 10 minute limit on recording 4K, but next to the heavy crop, that's insignificant.

As I mentioned in my response to your other post, now is a good time to look for a used Panasonic GH5 rig. It's a much better video camera than either X-T3 or E-PL10, rivaling the full-frame Sony A7S III (there are pros and cons to both models) and the recent announcement of GH6 should depress the prices on used sets.
 
OP
Strata5

Strata5

Registered
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
Austin, TX
# of dives
50 - 99
Keep in mind that X-T3 has a 1.18x crop while shooting 4K 60fps, and the selection of wide-angle lenses is limited. With SeaFrogs, your only wide-angle option is the 10-24mm f/4 in a dome - they don't have a short threaded flat port that would fit the 15-45mm to use with a wet wide lens, and 8-16mm is too thick to fit through the port opening. For macro, they only list the 60mm as supported, and there is no threaded port for it, so you can't use diopters to get better than 1x magnification. Looking at lens dimensions, it might be possible to fit the 80mm macro lens into the KitDive port made for Sony 90mm - they have nearly the same diameter (80 and 79mm respectively) and length (130 and 130.5mm), but I don't think there are any physical stores where you can try it to see if it works.

Also, when you're doing budget calculations, don't forget lights - a pair of 10K lumen lights is the bare minimum for decent wide-angle video. Scubalamp V6K series is fairly popular and well regarded. Then you will need a tray, arms and clamps to mount them, and since big lights are heavy, you will need floats to maintain neutral buoyancy. With a large acrylic dome, you will also need weights up front to maintain good trim, or the dome will float up and try to twist the housing out of your hands.

E-PL10 has access to Olympus and Panasonic library of micro four thirds lenses, which happens to have some very good choices for underwater photography - 7-14mm and 9-18mm wide angle, 8mm fisheye, 14-42mm zoom (very good with wet lenses), Olympus 12-40mm zoom, possibly 8-25mm zoom when ports for it come out, 30mm, 45mm and 60mm macro lenses. The AOI housing for it is fairly full-featured and provides excellent value for money. On the downside, it completely lacks PDAF, relying on pure contrast detection for autofocus, the sensor is an old 16MP model, and if you shoot 4K video, there is a 'heavy crop' applied - none of the reviews I've found mention how big that crop is, but they all concur that it's very narrow. There is also a 10 minute limit on recording 4K, but next to the heavy crop, that's insignificant.

As I mentioned in my response to your other post, now is a good time to look for a used Panasonic GH5 rig. It's a much better video camera than either X-T3 or E-PL10, rivaling the full-frame Sony A7S III (there are pros and cons to both models) and the recent announcement of GH6 should depress the prices on used sets.


This was super helpful, thank you for the help here. I took a look at the GH5 and it does look like a great value despite its age. At the moment I wouldn't be able to also afford the Ikelite housing for it, instead having to go with the Seafrogs. They say that their case for the GH5 has the following limitations:

"
The zoom function is not available.
Manual focus is not available (set lens to autofocus).
Focal length must set prior to inserting the camera inside the case and focus mode must be set to auto."


Is this a deal breaker? The GH5 seems to blow the Olympus out of the water on video quality, so it'd be nice to find a way to make the GH5 work.
 

Barmaglot

Contributor
Messages
1,177
Reaction score
573
Location
Israel
# of dives
200 - 499
The SeaFrogs housing for GH5 lacks zoom control and vacuum port; either of those alone is an absolute deal-breaker. I've got nothing against SeaFrogs - I've been using their housings myself with a Sony A6300 for the past five years - but their GH5 housing is a very shoddy affair. Keep in mind that if you are serious about video, at some point you may want to get a monitor, and there is no way to attach one of those to a SeaFrogs housing either.

If you're comfortable buying used, aren't super picky about specific components and can wait some time, you can get a very nice deal on a complete kit. For example, here a GH5 with 7-14mm lens, Aquatica housing with 8-inch dome and some accessories sold for $3000: Aquatica GH5 housing package with camera - as people chasing the new shiny start upgrading to GH6, deals on GH5s should become more common.
 
OP
Strata5

Strata5

Registered
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
Austin, TX
# of dives
50 - 99
The SeaFrogs housing for GH5 lacks zoom control and vacuum port; either of those alone is an absolute deal-breaker. I've got nothing against SeaFrogs - I've been using their housings myself with a Sony A6300 for the past five years - but their GH5 housing is a very shoddy affair. Keep in mind that if you are serious about video, at some point you may want to get a monitor, and there is no way to attach one of those to a SeaFrogs housing either.

If you're comfortable buying used, aren't super picky about specific components and can wait some time, you can get a very nice deal on a complete kit. For example, here a GH5 with 7-14mm lens, Aquatica housing with 8-inch dome and some accessories sold for $3000: Aquatica GH5 housing package with camera - as people chasing the new shiny start upgrading to GH6, deals on GH5s should become more common.

Okay then, that sounds reasonable for sure. I appreciate the help. In your opinion, is waiting for a deal on GH5 like you're suggesting worth it over buying a new E-PL10 + Housing? I like the compact size of the E-PL10, but great video quality and good picture capability is what I'm after most. I definitely agree that i'll need some video lights at some point, but for now I plan on capturing video mostly in less-than 30FT depth at a local spring system which has amazing visibility.

One thing that stood out to me on the E-PL10 was the vast array of compatible wet lenses for the case mentioned in your earlier post. A TON of macro/wide angle options, but I am so new to this that I just don't know what I don't know. The GH5 looks like a seriously capable camera whereas the E-LP10 seems more casual and (potentially?) "accessible" for a beginner. I love the fact that the GH5 can capture 4k @ 60fps though, and 10-bit @ 30fps @ 400mbps... that blows my mind. I've also heard that the GH5 is a easy camera to white balance? Uhg, so much to learn and figure out... I plan on signing up for a photography/videography class sometime after May, and then some underwater videography class if I can find one local.
 

Barmaglot

Contributor
Messages
1,177
Reaction score
573
Location
Israel
# of dives
200 - 499
Both E-PL10 and GH5 are micro four thirds cameras and use all the same lenses, although IIRC there are some compatibility nuances between Olympus and Panasonic when it comes to image stabilization and some other features. I don't use this system personally, so I don't remember all the details off-hand. Likewise for wet lenses; so long as you have a port with the proper attachment system, you can use the same wet lenses on both platforms.

If you're after image quality then yes, GH5 is worlds better than E-PL10. The latter is a casual, entry-level camera with decent photo and okay-ish video capabilities, whereas the former is just about as good as it gets before you enter the 'professional cinema camera' market.
 
OP
Strata5

Strata5

Registered
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
Austin, TX
# of dives
50 - 99
The SeaFrogs housing for GH5 lacks zoom control and vacuum port; either of those alone is an absolute deal-breaker. I've got nothing against SeaFrogs - I've been using their housings myself with a Sony A6300 for the past five years - but their GH5 housing is a very shoddy affair. Keep in mind that if you are serious about video, at some point you may want to get a monitor, and there is no way to attach one of those to a SeaFrogs housing either.

If you're comfortable buying used, aren't super picky about specific components and can wait some time, you can get a very nice deal on a complete kit. For example, here a GH5 with 7-14mm lens, Aquatica housing with 8-inch dome and some accessories sold for $3000: Aquatica GH5 housing package with camera - as people chasing the new shiny start upgrading to GH6, deals on GH5s should become more common.

You mentioned using an A6300, and I've recently changed my mind to go with an A6400 over the GH5 or Fuji. Can you recommend a good starter lense and compatible Seafrog case that would fit it? And Dome port vs. flat? I appreciate your help.
 

Barmaglot

Contributor
Messages
1,177
Reaction score
573
Location
Israel
# of dives
200 - 499
You mentioned using an A6300, and I've recently changed my mind to go with an A6400 over the GH5 or Fuji. Can you recommend a good starter lense and compatible Seafrog case that would fit it? And Dome port vs. flat? I appreciate your help.
The same A6xxx Salted Line housing that I use fits models A6000 through 6500, so it should have no issues fitting your came a. As for lenses and ports, I use 10-18mm in 8" dome for wide angle, 16-50mm kit lens in the same dome for mid-range, Canon EF-S 60mm macro on Metabones IV for macro and blackwater and Sony 90mm G for macro and supermacro with a Weefine WFL05S close-up lens - the latter let's me get frame width as little as 1cm. However, I'm currently about to transition away from 10-18mm/16-50mm + dome to just 16-50mm + short macro port + AOI UWL09F wet lens in order to get sharper corners at wider apertures and more flexibility. I have already purchased the lens but haven't picked it up yet or dived with it. You can see my shots on Instagram @bmekler, they are all marked with camera, lens, port and lighting used.
 

stiebs

Contributor
Messages
766
Reaction score
238
Location
Melbourne, Australia
# of dives
500 - 999
The Fuji XT-3 is an amazing camera, but if you don't already have one and want to put together an underwater camera rig, you'd probably be best off looking elsewhere.

I shoot an XT-3 underwater in the Nauticam housing, which opens up a reasonable (but not great) set of lens options. The 10-24 is a great lens, and is the one that spends the most time on the camera on land. But for underwater I chose to use the 15-45mm kit lens and WWL-C dome, and the 80mm for macro.

The 15-45 w/ WWL-C vignets until 18mm. Also because it's primarily a kit lens for the Ax series, it's a bit buggy with the XT-3. Namely when you go into playback mode the lens turns off and retracts. It's quick, so you don't really notice it, but it forgets it zoom setting. It's also an electronic jog zoom, so I have to turn the zoom knob one direction to start zooming, and turn it back to stop. I much prefer a direct control zoom for a housing.

For these reasons I'm tempted to buy the 180mm dome and try the 10-24. But that's an expensive experiment :)

The Nauticam transfers every control except for the F2 customisable button on the front of the camera, and overall I am extremely happy with the still and video. It's a much more capable camera than I am photographer or videographer.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

Top Bottom