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SL3 vs EPL10 vs used older model

Discussion in 'Tips & Techniques' started by moose_grunt, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. moose_grunt

    moose_grunt NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Saipan
    Hi all. I'm looking to move up from compact and GoPro to a basic DSLR or mirrorless setup. I'll be using this mostly for wide angle shots for photogrammetry, so am really looking for something that produces consistent, evenly-lit pictures down to 200' or so. I realize this is possible with a compact, but a the cost and size of camera + housing + wet lens + strobes, it can be comparable to low-end SLR or 4/3 anyways, so am looking there.

    I'm at the age-old question of whether to buy a new "beginner" package, like the Canon SL3/Ikelite or Olympus EPL10/AOI. At total cost for body, lens, housing, port, strobes, and accessories, set up for wide angle, they seem to come out around $4k to $5k. At this price, there are some older complete packages going up in the classifieds, although they all tend to be 5-10 years old to get a ready-to-go package.

    What are people's thoughts on this? I'm leaning towards a new low-end camera is probably comparable or better than a 5-10 year old camera, and since most upgrade paths in a few years rely on keeping lenses, strobes, maybe ports, it seems advantageous to get new now rather than used.


  2. bvanant

    bvanant Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Los Angeles (more or less)
    The big trick as you say is consistent evenly lit photographs. That (depending on what you shoot) means lots of light. Especially is you are shooting wrecks; lighting big things is tough. I think I would look for a used system (micro 4/3) and some good strobes. There have been a number of olympus/nauticam systems in the classifieds recently. The reason for the u 4/3 is that you can probably get by with less light than say a Nikon D8xx.
  3. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
  4. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    Regarding new vs used - it depends on what system you buy I think as long as you don't change sensor size . Read the port chart carefully for the SL3 Ikelite as on some lens options zoom is not supported. On the use of compacts with wet lenses for photogrammetry - mapping the distortion would require knowledge about the wet lens characteristics - so I would think that might introduce some difficulties.

    Even illumination might require lens selection to minimise vignetting but apart from that does not seem to be a demanding requirement for ambient exposures. Lighting big objects with strobes - that's another story. You also mention 200' which is around the limit for many UW housings - indeed many are rated at 130' for the small compacts. It is often quite dark that deep and having a larger sensor may be an advantage if you wish to include ambient light - rather than black background shots with strobes.

    This video may also be of interest: Wetpixel Live: Tools for Photogrammetry

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