Ideas for small footprint compact camera setup?

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jf3193

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Good afternoon gang,

I’m still researching on my new camera setup I’m going to buy. I currently have a sealife dc-140” with 1 sealife (pre sea dragon) strobe on a shorter flex arm.

My goal is to have a smaller setup but still get decent results. I know I will get better results from a dual strobe setup, but I’m not really wanting that since I like to cradle my gear in my folded arms when I dive.

I’m looking at either a Sony RX100 4-5 or a canon g7x 2-3 for compact options. I’ve heard both in local Best Buy’s.

My question is 2 part.

First, which brand of housings typically are smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic but reliable. I typically take excellent care of my gear.

The second, which strobes tend to be lighter and smaller but get good results?

Since I don’t live near a dove photography shop, it’s hard for me to put hands on the housings, and strobes.

Any suggestions would be great !


cheers
 

EdC

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I have the TG-5 with the Olympus housing and you can't get much more compact than that. I have top say I am not a serious photographer like a lot of really talented people on SB, but I have taken some surprisingly great shots with this set-up and no lights at all. I have seen the results of TG's from people who know how to use them and they are pretty stunning.
 
OP
jf3193

jf3193

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I have the TG-5 with the Olympus housing and you can't get much more compact than that. I have top say I am not a serious photographer like a lot of really talented people on SB, but I have taken some surprisingly great shots with this set-up and no lights at all. I have seen the results of TG's from people who know how to use them and they are pretty stunning.
I agree. I do like the TG series.
 

Barmaglot

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If you want your housing to be compact, then you'll have to look at the metal housings (Nauticam et al) with prices to match - plastic housings (SeaFrogs, Fantasea, Ikelite) are considerably more bulky.

Depending on where you dive, you might be able to shoot wide-angle with a single strobe, or you might not. If you're willing to constrain yourself to macro, Backscatter MF-1 is a very good and compact dedicated macro strobe, but it's kind of worthless for wide-angle. If you do want to keep your options open for wide-angle, then you may want to look at something like a Retra Prime/Pro - it's a bit larger than Inon Z-330/Sea & Sea YS-D3, but it puts out a great deal more light, and has a very wide beam.
 

FezUSA

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+1 TG series for compact, and you don't have to worry about flooding your housing because the camera itself is waterproof. This also lends itself to being used without a housing for snorkeling, kayaking, SUP etc.
 

BLACKCRUSADER

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I'm a Fish!
I have a DIY tray which is fairly compact and is easily taken apart and can be carried in a laptop bag,
TG6 PT059 housing two Big Blue Video lights and my old go pro in the dry port which could hold a small torch or strobe
Two lights are better but one is often enough. Some small lights can be mounted in the housing dry port but don't put anything too heavy in the port.

TG6 HERO4 SETUP.jpg
 

dhaas

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For a bigger sensor 1" versus smaller sensor in the Olympus TG-6 (which does have excellent macro capability) I advise people choose the Sony RX100 VA or Canon G7X II or III. The Fantasea housing is compact and light and controls are very ergonomic. The Fantasea housing is available with their standard DUAL o-rings or a vacuum set up.

I use a Fantasea G7X II for my Canon G7X II and it has held up for close to 900 dives.

Photos below in preparation for a trip next month were shot with a single Inon S2000 strobe. My dive buddy for the trip is using his Canon 7D II camera with fisheye lens and dual Ikelite strobes. A great set up but I'm way too lazy to travel that way these days (I did so for decades.)

I'm a lightweight system fanatic using just a simple aluminum tray and flex arm. Many people will choose heavier trays and ball joint arms and while good too are just too heavy for my taste.

In addition I use the Fantasias BigEye F Series "Air lens" which restores underwater the Canon G7X II camera's 24mm focal length. Many will say it's not wide enough. I've tried many glass lenses that give 10 degrees or more coverage but my obsession with weight wins out :) Plus this "Air Lens" floats and can be popped on and off easily to shoot "tighter shots" with just the camera lens through the flat housing port.

Last thing.......

The Fantasea housing also has a "cold shoe" on top for mounting an aging light, video light or even mount a small strobe. I shot some of these with the single Inon S2000 strobe mounted right on top of the housing.

While limiting lighting angles it was an eye opener and super compact. I may do some dives with just the housing and strobe next month.

David Haas
Haas Photography Inc.
davidhaas4596@gmail.com
330-329-5981

IMG_0084.jpg IMG_0088.jpg IMG_0103.jpg IMG_0123.jpg IMG_0131.jpg IMG_0109.jpg IMG_0144.jpg IMG_0161.jpg IMG_0165.jpg IMG_0174.jpg
 
OP
jf3193

jf3193

Contributor
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161
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Usa
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Good afternoon gang,

I’m still researching on my new camera setup I’m going to buy. I currently have a sealife dc-140” with 1 sealife (pre sea dragon) strobe on a shorter flex arm.

My goal is to have a smaller setup but still get decent results. I know I will get better results from a dual strobe setup, but I’m not really wanting that since I like to cradle my gear in my folded arms when I dive.

I’m looking at either a Sony RX100 4-5 or a canon g7x 2-3 for compact options. I’ve heard both in local Best Buy’s.

My question is 2 part.

First, which brand of housings typically are smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic but reliable. I typically take excellent care of my gear.

The second, which strobes tend to be lighter and smaller but get good results?

Since I don’t live near a dove photography shop, it’s hard for me to put hands on the housings, and strobes.

Any suggestions would be great !


cheers
Ps. Sorry for the typos. It was pretty late when I wrote this.
 
OP
jf3193

jf3193

Contributor
Messages
161
Reaction score
18
Location
Usa
# of dives
100 - 199
If you want your housing to be compact, then you'll have to look at the metal housings (Nauticam et al) with prices to match - plastic housings (SeaFrogs, Fantasea, Ikelite) are considerably more bulky.

Depending on where you dive, you might be able to shoot wide-angle with a single strobe, or you might not. If you're willing to constrain yourself to macro, Backscatter MF-1 is a very good and compact dedicated macro strobe, but it's kind of worthless for wide-angle. If you do want to keep your options open for wide-angle, then you may want to look at something like a Retra Prime/Pro - it's a bit larger than Inon Z-330/Sea & Sea YS-D3, but it puts out a great deal more light, and has a very wide beam.
Mostly a caribbean diver, good blue visibility. I mostly shoot reef scenes, fish life and semi-macro , but only because I haven’t had a setup to do wrecks and large marine life justice.
 
OP
jf3193

jf3193

Contributor
Messages
161
Reaction score
18
Location
Usa
# of dives
100 - 199
I have a DIY tray which is fairly compact and is easily taken apart and can be carried in a laptop bag,
TG6 PT059 housing two Big Blue Video lights and my old go pro in the dry port which could hold a small torch or strobe
Tow lights are better but one is often enough. Some small lights can be mounted in the housing dry port but don't put anything too heavy in the port.

View attachment 648943
Nice setup!
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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