U/W DSLRs


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itchy

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Could anyone fill me up on which DSLRs that are convertable to U/W cameras? If so any recommendations? I'm trying to start U/W photography but am new to this field. Thanks.
 

ScoobaKev

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Sea & Sea makes a range of housings for DSLRs. Currently, they have underwater housings made for the following DSLRs:-

Fuji S2 Pro
Nikon D100
Nikon D70
Canon D30/60
Canon 10D
Canon 300D

Look up the Sea & Sea website for more information!
 

Goondoo

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ScoobaKev said:
Sea & Sea makes a range of housings for DSLRs. Currently, they have underwater housings made for the following DSLRs:-

Fuji S2 Pro
Nikon D100
Nikon D70
Canon D30/60
Canon 10D
Canon 300D

Look up the Sea & Sea website for more information!
Refer to this web page for more info...
www.digideep.com
The more commonly used brands for DSLR are not sea & sea only. ;)
There are cheaper options, and better options etc etc...
 

itchy

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Thanks very much goondoo and scoobakev!!!
 

kthan

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Welcome to this forum , Itchy.

First start to u/w photography and you are off to DSLR, how lucky can one get :D

Regardless of which 6mp DSLR u get, the difference is going to be only SGD $1500 max. Tks to Canon and Nikon who came out with "entry level" DSLR, you can now get a 6mp DSLR body for SGD 2K. Housing, ports are all going to cost about the same for various DLSR models made by the same manufacturer - Ikelite, Aquatica, S&S, etc.....

I went thru the same dilema and the following are my considerations and deliberations before I decided on my current system : Fuji S2 pro in an Ikelite
housing.

1. Nikon vs Canon. I bet u never expected the question that sparks numerous wars in forums applies to u/w photography as well. I stick to Nikon not becos it is better, but becos most pros use Nikon, hence new u/w equipment always appear to be made for the Nikon system first. Also since there are more Nikon u/w photographers, second hand equipment is easier to come by. FYI all my gears are second hand, except the cam body and strobe arms. I save more than 30% in my setup cost.

2. Do you own any existing u/w phy equipment which u like to carry over? If it saves u money , then stick to the that system. However, do not be penny wise, pound foolish.

3. Back-up service. **** happens and it helps if there is a local service facility. S&S has the capability to service your problem locally, while most manufacturers are most glad to help if you get the housing / strobes etc sent to them. From my experience, Ikelite repair facility in USA provides first rate after sales service.

4. Strobe / Housing compatibility issues. For DSLR, I guess you are stuck with digital strobes - Ikelite DS 50 and DS125; S&S DX90 and DX25; Inon Z220. Make sure your housing choice has compatible syn cords for your strobes. For your info , Oceanbrite has "entry level" housings for D70 and 300D. But don't ask me anything else as I have not seen or use one physically.

5. Ports. Make sure your housing manufacturer has the ports for the lens you wanna use. Usually not a problem. Some use extension piece which means you can lengthen your port for longer lens. Some, one port for one lens. For example, I carry 3 ports for my WA, 60mm and 105mm for my Ikelite system. If I were to use S&S, I would need one dome, one flat port and and extender, instead of 2 flat ports.

so have fun building up your u/w phy rig

Eric
 

kthan

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1. TTL. S2 uses "old film-like" TTL. You prob know that that are D-TTL, i-TTL and E-TTL, which render the old film strobes useless. Only the S2 uses TTL. So when film photographers switch to DSLR and not choose the S2, they have to get new digital strobes. Guess who buys their old "film" strobes on the cheap? ;)

2. Cheap backup body. Similar body and dimension to the Nikon F80. Instead of buying another S2, I got the F80 and MB 16 second hand. One housing, dual usage.

3. Uses 4 AA batteries. I need the batteries for other uses anyway so I need to buy and carry one battery charger less. Imagine all your power needs are AAs. You need only 2 chargers, one serving as backup even, instead of 2 different chargers for cam and strobes, and w/o any backup. And I haven't mention other gadgets which u are likely to bring along, like MP3 player, digital wallet, etc.....

4. S2 beats all other DSLR hands down when it comes to image reproduction. The prints are amazing, very velvia like - rich colour saturation. A Fuji-Xerox printing consultant can vouch for this!

5. 12 mp vs 6 mp. But we know that's all crap rite? Refer to point 4 for a fact!

6. Better image reproduction. Oops, I think I have said this at point 4.


Eric
 

itchy

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Wow thanks Eric for those pointers, and I am really new at this so am just reading up on photography for beginners and also u/w tips. I still dunno what TTL is but reading this forum gives me alot of inspiration to perform. Currently I am using but a simple coolpix 3100 which has given me plenty of joy since upgrading from a philips I dunno what model at 1.3mp 3 years ago.

I discovered that digideep has showcased some u/w cases for 3100 also which now makes it an even worse dilemma for me to purchase a dslr due to budgetary constraints, understnd that casings can run up to the $1000 mark for d70. It's a real bummer. :( I'm not exactly rich or have a steady job, student status right now. But then again, I'm just not satisfied with the pics my dive buddy came up with on our last trip to Aur. He was using a Canon A80 which I believe is more powerful than 3100. He is quite an experienced diver but I guess u/w photography requires its own set of skills and technical aspects to take note of. Perhaps its a real big jump to take and perhaps I should start honing my skills on land first if I do purchase a DSLR (SLR just doesn't quite make sense to me right now).

Thanks for the welcome too by the way, oh I also like to use AA batts, same reason for buying the 3100 and that philips i dunno what model. Great tip.
 

waisj

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kthan said:
4. S2 beats all other DSLR hands down when it comes to image reproduction. The prints are amazing, very velvia like - rich colour saturation. A Fuji-Xerox printing consultant can vouch for this!

6. Better image reproduction. Oops, I think I have said this at point 4.

Eric
haa haa haaa...... ;) :cool: :heart:
 

waisj

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itchy said:
Wow thanks Eric for those pointers, and I am really new at this so am just reading up on photography for beginners and also u/w tips. I still dunno what TTL is but reading this forum gives me alot of inspiration to perform. Currently I am using but a simple coolpix 3100 which has given me plenty of joy since upgrading from a philips I dunno what model at 1.3mp 3 years ago.

I discovered that digideep has showcased some u/w cases for 3100 also which now makes it an even worse dilemma for me to purchase a dslr due to budgetary constraints, understnd that casings can run up to the $1000 mark for d70. It's a real bummer. :( I'm not exactly rich or have a steady job, student status right now. But then again, I'm just not satisfied with the pics my dive buddy came up with on our last trip to Aur. He was using a Canon A80 which I believe is more powerful than 3100. He is quite an experienced diver but I guess u/w photography requires its own set of skills and technical aspects to take note of. Perhaps its a real big jump to take and perhaps I should start honing my skills on land first if I do purchase a DSLR (SLR just doesn't quite make sense to me right now).

Thanks for the welcome too by the way, oh I also like to use AA batts, same reason for buying the 3100 and that philips i dunno what model. Great tip.
Hi itchy,

The DSLR housing easily top 2000 SGD... even without port and stuff... Unless you want to hunt for it in the second market. which some of our members advocate ;).... Which i do condone.... :bigeyes:

if you really want to save some scuba bucks then look around ebay more for cheap deals....

Do note some hidden costs as eric has pointed out though..

Go with his advice and you won't go wrong........
 

Goondoo

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waisj said:
Hi itchy,

The DSLR housing easily top 2000 SGD... even without port and stuff... Unless you want to hunt for it in the second market. which some of our members advocate ;).... Which i do condone.... :bigeyes:

if you really want to save some scuba bucks then look around ebay more for cheap deals....

Do note some hidden costs as eric has pointed out though..

Go with his advice and you won't go wrong........
hmmm... excellent post, I suggest cutting his post out as an article post...
 

kthan

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Itchy.....

I think u mean USD 1000 for the housing, and that's just for the housing. I do know someone selling a Fujifilm S1 Pro, Ikelite housing and ports at a great price. The set is in USA, which I cannot vouch for its condition, but i have bot a strobe from the seller and it arrived in the condition stated - excellent.

S1 Pro is a 3mp DSLR and has the same velvia-like color rendition as S2. I offered this deal to someone on this forum but he decided to go for the S2 instead sometime in the future. Nonetheless, we concluded that the image quality would be superior than a C-5050 or C-5060. The main diff to prosumer digital cams, other than image quality (which is subjective), is shutter lag. There is almost no shutter lag in DSLR. The only 'downside" is the lowest ISO setting is 320, as compared to S2's ISO 100 or D100's ISO 200. Fortunately, DSLR handles noise very well at high ISOs, unlike film SLR.

Think price is about USD 1000 including shipping for the second hand S1 body, one wide angle dome port, one flat port and housing. You would then need to buy new strobe, either the ikelite DS50, or SS 50 , or MV strobe; new ULCS arms (i do have some old ikelite fixed arms to spare) , new syn cord (i have one spare which I can sell u cheap) and one Nikon 60mm macro lens to start off with macro photography, which is what many of us at UWCS love.

PM me if you are keen and it falls within your budget. Housing a new 6 mp DSLR would cost you easily more than SGD 6000.

Eric
 

kthan

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btw, the Nikon 60mm macro lens is also one of the sharpest around.





btw, the first image already cropped to 72dpi before another round of cropping...well, i guess u get the idea.

Eric
 

Goondoo

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Errr... Just to highlight a point....
Quality, shuttle lag, prices etc aside....

I just cant stand the fact that I will need to look through that pathetic view finder with my mask on when using DSLR....
 

kthan

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Goondoo said:
Errr... Just to highlight a point....
Quality, shuttle lag, prices etc aside....

I just cant stand the fact that I will need to look through that pathetic view finder with my mask on when using DSLR....
dun worry, most good housing comes with a viewfinder magnifier
 

Goondoo

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kthan said:
dun worry, most good housing comes with a viewfinder magnifier
does it really helps significantly?? I havent got the chance to use one yet....
Even the view finder seems quite small leh.... and how to u make sure the picture is correctly focused from the magnified but still pathetic hole?

Does anyone use a framer for DSLR UW photography on macro?
 

waisj

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Hi Goondoo,

It does take some time to get used to, but it is not that bad. You'd might find it hard it adjust with just a normal viewfinder, but with a magnified one, (which is available from most vendors,if not all) focusing is not a problem.

But is you are feeling rich and would like to blow some money why not get the SeaCam s45 swivel finder and housing.... :devil: .....

Nothing comes close to it........ :devil:
 

kthan

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Goondoo said:
does it really helps significantly?? I havent got the chance to use one yet....
Even the view finder seems quite small leh.... and how to u make sure the picture is correctly focused from the magnified but still pathetic hole?

Does anyone use a framer for DSLR UW photography on macro?
so far it works for me....as for framer, never heard of, but i have not heard of a lot of other things too.
 

Goondoo

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waisj said:
Hi Goondoo,

It does take some time to get used to, but it is not that bad. You'd might find it hard it adjust with just a normal viewfinder, but with a magnified one, (which is available from most vendors,if not all) focusing is not a problem.

But is you are feeling rich and would like to blow some money why not get the SeaCam s45 swivel finder and housing.... :devil: .....

Nothing comes close to it........ :devil:
oi waisj,
nice try, but I am far from joining the darkside :p
but given if I already own 2x DS125 with sync cords, some more UL arms etc like u, I think it will be alot cheaper to upgrade to DSLR.... or have you already joined the darkside secretly?
 

kthan

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itchy (if you r still around)

For DSLR/SLR, all you need is full manual control, i.e. shutter speed and aperture adj.

I saw a few second hand Canon 300D on sale in this forum. You may want to consider that.
 

itchy

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Ah yes I still around, yah, I was thinking of waiting it out for the 20D to surface first in the market before making any move. I've used a D70 before and I was very impressed. Somehow, The 300D doesn't have that same powerful feel, I guess it's amateur talk but 1000++ dollars for the 300D, doesn't sound right to me. :)
 

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