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I Love My Setup, But It Was Just Time To Upgrade!

Discussion in 'The Canon Corner' started by SFLDiver3445, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. SFLDiver3445

    SFLDiver3445 Photographer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    559
    25
    18
    For the past several years, I've been shooting my reliable G9 in a Patima housing with an Inon wet mount len and a semi-fisheye dome attachment. My setup was lit by two Inon Z-240 strobes on ULCS arms. I've been extremely happy with my system, and I feel as though I've been able to generate some respectable results. I've even managed to get some decent macro results using some Inon close-up lenses. Here's a link to my site so you can see examples of some of my shots:

    Adrian Soler Photography | Slide Show Photos

    However, I happen to regularly enjoy diving on the deeper wrecks (i.e., up to 270+ feet) here in south Florida, and anyone who knows me, knows I don't like diving without my camera in hand, regardless of the depth! At those depths, when conditions are ideal, even with my G9 setup, I can get some shots I'm happy with. For example, here's a shot I took a few weeks ago in approximately 240 feet of water on the deck of the Wreck of the RBJ:

    [​IMG]

    But as most south Florida technical diving photographers can most certainly tell you, conditions aren't always that nice. At that depth, when the sun's rays cannot make it down below, usually because of too many particles in the upper layers of water column, it gets dark enough down below to cause problems for small sensor G9 shooters like myself!

    The solution is usually to just dial up the ISO and lighten things up, but not with the G9, because even at an ISO of only 200 the noise gremlins decide to come out and party! And nothing will ruin your post dive excitement faster than a good dose of graininess!!

    So after living with this frustration for years, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and do something about it. I did a bit of homework, and of course sought advice from the very knowledgeable folks down at my hometown uw photography store, Reef Photo (Reef Photo & Video!, The Underwater Photo Pros). Tony, who happens to be a regular recreational and technical diving buddy of mine, really was helpfull in steering me in a direction that would meet my needs, yet wouldn't empty out my bank account.

    Since I've been shooting Canon for some time now, and I'm used to spinning that little wheel on the back of their cameras with my thumb, and because I'm familiar with the basic layout of their menus, I decided to rule out Nikon. I also considered upgrading to another digital compact camera, as I know the sensors have improved drastically since the G9, but even those fell short when compared to a middle of the road SLR. So I figured if I was going to make my move, I'd go straight to SLR.

    After looking at the features of Canon's SLR, and comparing them to my needs, I ultimately decided on the Canon EOS 60D. I also decided to go with the Nauticam NA-60D housing and the Tokina 10-17 fisheye lens with the DP-100 100mm Dome Port, which fits the Tokina lens perfectly. The 60D seemed like it had a large enough sensor for those deeper darker waters I often dive in, yet had a price point significantlly lower than making the jump to the d7, the next model up. The Nauticam housing seemed awfully ergonomically well designed, which was important to me, as was the 100m depth rating.

    Fortunately, as I indicated above, I already have the two Inon Z-240 strobes (which I LOVE!) and plenty of ULCS arm segments from my previous setup. The setup came together nicely and looks sharp; well, at least in my living room! Of course the real test will be underwater - I'm scheduled to dive this weekend, so if I can figure out how to turn the camera on, then I'll report back with more specific results and feedback on the ease of its use.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  2. under water

    under water Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tampa
    1,638
    41
    48
    Looking forward to seeing your output from the new gear. You have some awesome shots with the G9, so expecting awesome plus!
     
  3. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,975
    2,151
    113
    Cameras aside, I know you have the skills and training and equipment, just be careful, way down there.

    N
     
  4. SFLDiver3445

    SFLDiver3445 Photographer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    559
    25
    18
    Thank you u w for the kind words. I do anticipate the new camera will really enhance things for me, once I get over that initial learning curve. I was already playing with the setup in anticipation of Saturday's dive, and I have to say, I'm already in love with the so many of the camera's features. The quick shutter release, the comprehensive info screen for adjusting everything from one location, the ability to dial up the ISO without the immediate noise downside, the enhanced focussing system, and the versatility of being able to select ttl while set on manual are great enhancements compared to the G9.
     
  5. SFLDiver3445

    SFLDiver3445 Photographer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    559
    25
    18
    Thanks Nem - I hear you, and I am always careful when doing the tech stuff. Believe me, I never take a deep dive lightly! However, I've been doing deep dives since the mid-nineties. I got formally certified at it with TDI in 1995, but we were doing deep air dives well before that. I don't have my card with me, but I think my TDI trimix card indicates my certification number to be under #50 - so I got started pretty early, and enhanced the safety factors I incorporates significantly along the way.

    Now I use the closed-circuit rebreather, which is a dream come true! With the rebreather, we have sooooo much bottom time, that we have ample time to deal with emergencies. Besides bailing out to my back-up seperate oc tanks, which I always carry ample amount of, the rebreather gives us several different ways to still use the gas within the unit, even with a malfunction. If it weren't for the rebreather, I probably wouldn't be diving deep very often.

    And for photopraphy, it's the best! Since I'm exhaling no bubbles, more often than not, as long as I'm not dislaying any aggresive attack postures towards them, fish view me as one of them and have no problem swimming along side me or posing for the camera!

    Not sure if you got a chance to see it, but here's a trip report of a deep dive I posted several weeks ago. I've got some of my pictures in it, and at the conclusion of the report, there's a link to a video Tony (a.k.a., Tienuts) from Reef Photo filmes. The wreck we dove (RBJ) sits in approximately 260+ feet of water:

    http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/fl...cs-video-wreck-rbj-pompano-beach-florida.html
     
    Nemrod likes this.
  6. xariatay

    xariatay Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Singapore
    691
    22
    18
    Don't need to be apologetic for ditching us to join the big league... ;-) Haha... With that kind of results, it is justifiable for you! You deserve a camera that will match your talents. I'll be expecting a lot more (excellent results) from you! ;-) Have fun! :)
     

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