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Choosing a new camera

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography/Videography' started by Griffalo, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    I've just come back from Tenerife where I did the PADI digital photographer speciality. This was the best speciality I've done by a long way, most seem to be an expensive way of practicing the obvious but this one taught me a lot about photography in general and the instructor who had a real interest himself lent me some of his expensive kit as well as showing me some of his photos showing how the picture composition works well in practice etc.

    Anyway, it has become obvious that my existing 7 year old camera (Panasonic Lumix FT1) is not up to scratch as although I can manually set white balance the exposure is all automatic so I'm looking for something new. I've been looking at the Canon G9x with Fantasea housing. Does anyone have any experience of these or have any better ideas in the same price range (£750)? Also what is the difference between the Canon S series and the G series?

    Thanks
     
  2. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    We have a G7x in a Recsea housing and like it. Was looking at an S120 and would have been happy with one but it's a pretty old model now.
     
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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  4. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    I did look at the G7x and the G7x mark 2 but that comes in at almost twice the price of the G9x. Reviews of the mark 2 suggest that changes to the menu structure make it very hard to manually adjust white balance. I was looking at the Fantasea housing over the Recsea as the Fantasea supports the touch screen on the G9x. My next dive will be Farnes in September so I have a bit of time although I'm sure I'll need a bit of time to get used to it out of water beforehand.
     
  5. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    I have an S120 in an Ikelite housing. Have been very pleased so far.
     
  6. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    If it was me, I'd buy a second hand rig on the basis that you will be selling it soon - either because you realise photography is not for you or because you really like it and want to get a decent set up.

    Plenty of muppets on ebay who have bought the gear and then sell :)
     
  7. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    As Hawk says. I've not used my kit much but it's nice to play with.
     
  8. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    I bought a G1X recently (secondhand) and was very pleased with the results (cost me about £300).

    I've not worked out how to set the WB dynamically (on reflection I should have!), but with it shooting in RAW, you can do a lot with post processing anyway.

    [​IMG]IMG_0340 by Mark Saxby, on Flickr

    That's unmodified, got the colour much more realistic with a little Photoshopping.

    M.
     
  9. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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  10. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    What do you mean by dynamically? Do you mean setting a manual white balance?

    We have the G7X and are pretty happy with it. We use a Recsea housing and have recently added an Inon S2000 strobe.
     
  11. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Yes :)

    I believe there's an 'underwater' setting too, which I didn't realise until I came back from my dives...

    I'll have another fiddle in Lanzarote all being equal....

    Anyway, I'm sure any of the GxXs will be pretty decent.

    M.
     
  12. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    The underwater mode is fairly good down to about 10m deep, deeper than this it's a waste of time and you'd be better off with a manual white balance or fixing it after the fact.

    If the G1X is the same as mine then to set a manual white balance you press the middle (Func/Set) button on the back to bring up the parameters menu (This is different to the menu menu) and white balance is in there. There are a variety of different modes like sunny, cloudy, flash, indoors and then there are probably 2 custom ones at the end. Move the cursor over to one of the custom ones and then it should tell you on screen what to do. I think you move the cursor to the custom white balance and then press 'display' to evaluate the scene and take the white balance reading. Once the white balance is set then press func/set to select/apply it.

    You might be able to set a shortcut button to this, I used to use the button on the far left for this on my Powershot G9.
     
  13. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Do you not use a filter? (Pardon my ignorance!)
     
  14. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I will this time but never again! NEVER!

    I don't use a filter but then again I mainly take close-up wit ha flash so I'm really bringing my own light. The downside of a filter is that you are reducing the light coming into the camera which will restrict your shooting options and may give you grainy images as the camera will have to do stuff like up the ISO to compensate. By adjusting the white balance (Or adjusting this after the fact) you are instead changing what the camera's idea of white is so that you can use all the available light and the camera will just process it differently.

    When I had a GoPro I used to have a red filter and my videos were always a bit naff. Before I sold it I tried it without a filter and the image quality was so much better, bluer but better.
     
  15. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    lol :)
     
  16. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    @snowman, you are not too far from me. If you want to go through your camera settings or anything, gimme a shout.
     
  17. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I tried adjusting the white balance on some non-filter photos I took on a GoPro, but the came out pretty naff. I think I tried Picassa and Fireworks but neither seemed to have sufficient control to bring up the missing red.

    Which photo manipulation software do you use?
     
  18. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    If the photos come from a GoPro I assume they are jpeg rather than raw so the post production capabilities are more limited
     
  19. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I use Photoshop (on the rare occasion I have a non-flash illuminated picture). I use the channel mixer to steal information from the blue or green channel and put it into the red channel. I also use the levels tool to sort my contrast.

    My girlfriend just uses Picassa and typically just presses the I feel lucky button.

    I keep meaning to have a look at LightRoom (which is actually the more appropriate tool) but never get around to it.
     
  20. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Is there that much difference between RAW & JPEG?
     

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