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Rumors => EOS Bodies => Topic started by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 01:56:58 PM

Title: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 01:56:58 PM
Im an experienced scuba diver whos shot a fair amount of pics on a few point and shoots , and ive been in the market for a FF camera for a little while with the intention of taking it underwater to take photos pf waterscapes  larger sealife and reefs etc.

do you think the 6d would be good for this?  ( just about my budget range)

plus points   good in lower light, fairly small. image quality (im sort of guessing here lol)

what do you think?

id really appreciate your opinions.  cant really see my self getting a 5d 2 for some reason, just seems to old now!
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: neuroanatomist on September 27, 2012, 02:00:09 PM
Probably quite good for that use, once Ikelite et al. come out with a housing.  Of course, the housing will likely be almost as much as the 6D, more including the lens port.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 02:07:10 PM
yeah im sure there will be, those companies are usually on it pretty quick!

and yeah, i know it will be just as much for the housing etc, but its definitely worth it if. i bloody love diving! lol
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jfretless on September 27, 2012, 02:33:29 PM
Underwater? 

It won't be able to focus on dry land, much less through water.

 :P

comment made in jest.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 02:49:57 PM
although i do love a sarky comment every now and again,  useful advice would be more appreciated.

im expecting the 6d will go down to around 1600 sometime in the new year, when ill be in the market. Forgot to mention ill be using it above ground to, as a travel camera upgrading from an old 350d!



Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: preppyak on September 27, 2012, 03:02:23 PM
Probably quite good for that use, once Ikelite et al. come out with a housing.  Of course, the housing will likely be almost as much as the 6D, more including the lens port.
Yep, this is an important thing to consider, if $2000 is your budget, the 6D won't work because to actually take it underwater, you'll need $4000+. This also presumes you have a lens that pairs nicely for that purpose.

The -3EV focusing could be really useful, but, beyond that, I'm not sure you'll see a big increase over the 5dII. What you may be able to do is find better deals on the 5dII and underwater housings, since they would be getting phased out.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 03:13:08 PM
yes yes, the budget is for the camera only. I know it costs a lot for a whole package but it really is my biggest passion. i only really need one or two prime lenses for what i want to shoot aswell.

Your probably right regarding getting a good deal on the 5d2 and housing. though like a lot of people who are thinking of upgrading to a FF just cant quite commit to buying something thats 4 years old already. which i know shouldnt matter. The better low light aspects make the 6d v interesting. especially as light reduces so much the deeper you go down!

i guess ill wait for the reviews to come in.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: preppyak on September 27, 2012, 03:57:50 PM
The better low light aspects make the 6d v interesting. especially as light reduces so much the deeper you go down!
Yeah, that extra ISO could definitely help.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: And-Rew on September 27, 2012, 04:12:43 PM
But on the plus side, you will only need to purchase a 6D and a single lens :-)

Whilst not able to enjoy scuba diving any more, if i were, then i would stick with a single 100mm f2.8 macro L to go with the body. Ideal budget would be for 5D3 but that would increase the housing budget equally so  :o

Yep, single body + lens permanently attached with housing would be a good move - with a strobe or two attached for good measure   ;)
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 04:38:57 PM
eventually id love to shoot lots of macro stuff too, quite into corals in particular! 

but i just love shooting wide open blue seascapes, imagine a 1dx and an L lens oshooting a wall or drop off, be amazing! i love epic photographs!

but ill have to stick with the little 'budget' dslrs for now !
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: chasn on September 27, 2012, 05:16:43 PM
think about the G1X plus canon underwater case - in Uk terms you could do that for £700 now say $900 or so i guess.  I think a SLR with quality case would be £4000 perhaps and quality better no doubt but 5 times better - I doubt it
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: kirispupis on September 27, 2012, 05:22:11 PM
Take this with a grain of salt as I have only investigated purchasing underwater housings - I have never done it myself.

My opinion is it's not so hot of an idea.  The most practical reason is the housings themselves are major purchases.  For my purposes I was looking at a sport housing for my 5D3 + 16-35 2.8 II + 8-15 fisheye.  The total cost for the housing + lens ports was about $3500.  However a sport housing only goes to about 30 feet down (fine for my proposed uses).  An actual underwater housing will be well over $4k when you add the lens ports.  You may also have to budget in strobes.

So needless to say once you buy a housing you'll want to use it for awhile.  Once you upgrade your camera you'll need a new housing.  IMHO that is a reasonable risk for a camera like the 5D3.  Even when a 5D4 or whatever comes down the line three years from now, it will still be a decent camera and very capable for underwater shots.

I do not believe the same is the case for the 6D.  It hasn't even been released yet and it is already behind the times.  In particular the AF is ancient.  Remember that you can't change your focus points down there so you need to either use MF or full AF.  From my few experiences under the water I would want AF - so I would also want to take a camera that can do well there.

I know this just adds more to your budget, but given how much you will be investing you'll want to know that your equipment stays relevant for awhile.

If you'd really like to shoot something now, you may want to look into one of the specialized P&S cameras for underwater photography.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 05:38:23 PM
to be honest i dont really go in for the whole 100 AF points needed school of thought, unless i was a sports photojournalist or something i dont think its necessary. i think you can do a lot with fixed focus distances and one point focusing, especially underwater.

but is the 6d really out of date even before its been released? 
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Steve Williams on September 27, 2012, 05:40:01 PM
Recommend you look at your new underwater camera as a complete system.  Depending on the type of images you want to make, the lenses, ports and strobes can get pretty expensive, much more money than a body.  Folks who grab their camera and kit lens and put them in a plastic housing tend to be disappointed with the results.
 
 Shooting underwater is very different than on land.  To capture the images you probably have in your mind’s eye you’re going to have to get very close to limit the amount of water between the subject and the camera.  This means a wide angle lens like the Canon EF 8-15mm Fisheye or a Tokina 10-17mm on a crop camera is the way to go.  These lenses require relatively pricey domes to get great corners.  For macro shooting the 100mm macro is the way to go in clear tropical water.  The new one focuses a little quicker than the non L older version.
We know that photography is all about the light and that is even more important underwater.  One good strobe is enough to get you started but you’re going to want two eventually, especially if you love shooting the wide angle stuff.

The 6D looks like a nice body for underwater use with the cautionary exception of the low sync speed.  1/180s is a touch slow to capture those great sunray images everyone loves.  It’s possible but harder than using 1/250s on a 7D for example.   The 5D II & III is at 1/200s so a touch better.  Just one of many things to consider.  If you travel long distances to dive and shoot it’s pretty common to carry two bodies just in case.  Saltwater and electronics don’t exactly get along.

If I was you I’d seriously consider a 7D or 5D Mk II and pickup a used high quality aluminum housing for it.   (Aquatica, Nauticam, Sea & Sea, etc) Spend the money now on lenses, ports and strobes that you can grow with.  When the 6D comes out, and the housings finally start to ship, or the MK III comes down a little, you will be in a great position to make an upgrade choice in a year or two.  If you’re living right the new 7D MkII will come out with the controls in the same place and your housing will work with the new camera.  (OK, wishful thinking)
 
Most importantly, spend the time to go to one of the top level shops that specializes in underwater equipment.  Have them put a whole system together and price it for you. Lay your hands on the different housings and spend some time with them.  Feel how your hands lay on the controls.  When you’re at a 100 ft and the shark is circling in to see what you’re up to it’s no time to have to look to find the damn shutter speed dial.
 
Good luck!
Steve
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: 3kramd5 on September 27, 2012, 06:11:32 PM
Don't forget to account for strobes (stills) or video lights in your budget!

Ikelite

You misspelled Aquatica. :P

(and yes, I say the et al, just joking around)
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 06:34:32 PM
thanks Steve w for taking the time to reply with such great advice!

why cant i get it out my head i need a FF camera!  i was gonna get a housing for my 350d once apon a time but the housings would have cost more than the camera back then! but yeah 7d 250 flash sync is way better than 180

Im ashamed to say i never really gave the flash sync speed as much thought as ishould have, being a mostly natural light photographer myself on the surface.

is 180 not good enough?, i suppose i better get into a underwater forum for this kind of in depth talk!

i really had my heart on a 6d :(


Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: crasher8 on September 27, 2012, 06:35:27 PM
Don't forget to account for strobes (stills) or video lights in your budget!

Ikelite

You misspelled Aquatica. :P

(and yes, I say the et al, just joking around)

Hey no fooling around here. The OP said no 'sarky' remarks.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Otara on September 27, 2012, 06:42:48 PM
Steve above is a very experienced underwater shooter.

One thing to mention is high ISO is less important than you'd think for a lot of underwater photography, as most of the time you're using strobes to provide light for your main subject rather than relying on ambient light alone.  Which is also why higher sync speeds are so important.  The other issue is floods which are most likely when early on with underwater DSLR as a friend of mine just found out.  Getting the most camera for your buck can leave you with no ability to replace it if the worst happens.

And finally there are some real advantages to APS-C underwater, not least is access to the Tokina 10-17mm, one of the most popular underwater lenses around.  The EF-S 60mm macro is also a fantastic all rounder.

Wetpixel would be one place to try to find out more.  It also depends whether above water or below water is your major priority.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 07:33:48 PM
i wonder what camera steve uses?  ( i bet its full frame ;)

Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Otara on September 27, 2012, 07:44:15 PM
His profile on Wetpixel says 7D.  Same here.

Otara
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 27, 2012, 08:11:47 PM
i stand corrected then!

one thing about the 6d id,   if the 5d 3 went from £3000 to £2400 this quick (jessops refurbished)  then surely the 6d will drop from 1800 pretty rapidly, so not too bad for replacing a flooded housing ;)

Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Otara on September 27, 2012, 09:52:06 PM
True to some extent, but theres the lens you're going to be using as well to consider - big diff between the Canon fisheye and the Tokina.  Look theres no definite answer, but overall the big trend now is towards smaller systems, as they're easier underwater, less travel problems etc and the major limit on image quality is often water rather than camera anyhow.  I find my 7D to be at the limit sizewise, and if anything find systems like the Olympus OM-5 more the direction Id be going for my next system than towards full-frame if the 7D mark II doesnt do the job.

But some people are arguing APS-C is going to move towards entry level, so its really a question of your personal priorities and really, what the reviews actually say about the 6D, so its all a bit early really.

Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Steve Williams on September 27, 2012, 10:04:27 PM
Otara is right Jim,  I shoot a 7D in a Nauticam Housing and carry my older 40D as backup. 

Cheers,
Steve
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 28, 2012, 09:48:34 AM
I managed to sneek a look at some of your pics steve!  great stuff..

Its interesting , i was looking throught the wildlife photographer of the year winners and past winners photos (underwater category)  and i was looking out for the sync speeds/shutter speeds in the info  and i believe only a few i think are using a shutter speed of faster than 160!. most are actually using natural light i do believe , unless im wrong!

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/onlineGallery.do  (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/onlineGallery.do)

i suppose im still trying to talk myself into a 6d lol but to be honest. I do love experimental photography, and i dont think enough has been done underwater!

Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Stewart Sy on September 28, 2012, 10:38:04 AM
If you actually are diving, strobe lit shots will be a lot more useful than natural light shots.  If you are shooting for the classic Reef with Sun Ball/Rays, then a good (powerful) strobe with a fast sync speed is highly recommended. In fact, when shooting vertical, the 7D will actually sync at 1/320th due to the lower effect of gravity on the shutter blades.  Most of the time, you'd be shooting at the lower ISO (100-400)  ranges, rarely ISO 800 and up.

Listen to what Otara and Steve tell you, both are extremely experienced underwater photographers and respected contributors on Wetpixel.  I used to shoot both the 5dmk2 and the 7D underwater.  I eventually sold the 5dmk2 mainly for the phenomenal Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye zoom.  There is no Full Frame lens that comes close to what this lens does.  The Canon 8-15 only goes from a circular fisheye to diagonal fisheye while the Tokina goes from a diagonal fisheye to a 17mm rectilinear.   My other favorite UW lens is the 100 EF Macro.  You can see some images on my site: www.sls-photo.com (http://www.sls-photo.com) & www.stewartsy.com (http://www.stewartsy.com) (this site is also my site for selling underwater camera gear...I'm an Aquatica dealer).

Low light focusing isn't really a big deal as well, most experienced shooters mount a focus light on their system.  As an experienced diver, you know that there are lots of cool critters in the nooks and crannies of the reef, having a light on any dive is handy to spot them, so just transfer it to your housing.

The housings...  :o As of today, no one has announced that they are supporting the D600 or 6D.  Ikelite likely will but since they're a competing company to the one I represent, I won't say anything about their housings. But, regardless, you will want a good housing with proven ergonomics, as mentioned earlier, you don't want to have to go fumbling for with knob controls f-stop when the whale shark is heading your way.  ;D  Aquatica currently makes the 5dmk3 and is only beginning to ship the D800 housings next week.  Figure on at least 5-6 months from camera release to a housing being released. 

Best of luck, this is a slippery slope that you're going down on should you proceed.

S.

Stewart L. Sy
SLS Photography
Your Source for Quality UW Photo Equipment in Western Canada
www.stewartsy.com (http://www.stewartsy.com)
Aquatica/TLC , Sea & Sea, ULCS, Magic Filters
When Your Image Matters.....
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: kirispupis on September 28, 2012, 11:36:26 AM
Very nice shots Stewart.

I apologize for stealing the thread a bit, but for the photos where part of the frame is underwater and part above water, did you use a strobe?
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 28, 2012, 12:05:51 PM
a slippery slop indeed lol

I take any advice very seriously and i really do appreciate everyones comments! and ihave seen some amazing shots with the 7d and it really does seem to be a favourite of the water world! so i am seriously considering it, i guess it will be price at the end of the day and what deals and setup works out best value. well see.

I love the photos stew, especially a couple of the reef shots, but i must say that black and white of the whale shark is awesome!  whale sharks are what got me really hooked , a fe wyears ago in mexico i was lucky enough to go snorkelling with a 'herd' ??  of them , must of been 40-50 odd , was quite a life changing experience!
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Stewart Sy on September 28, 2012, 12:17:04 PM
Very nice shots Stewart.

I apologize for stealing the thread a bit, but for the photos where part of the frame is underwater and part above water, did you use a strobe?

Not all required strobe, but the one with the trees and blue sky had no strobe, I had the benefit of a light coloured bottom and very shallow water (3 ft) so light was able to penetrate and the bottom acted as a fill card.

S
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: jimjamesjimmy on September 29, 2012, 12:45:52 PM
i love those half in half out the water shots.  maybe ill just start out with one of those bag type housings and do these for a little while.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Otara on September 29, 2012, 05:52:10 PM
I looked at the 2011 page, out of 8 shots, 2 were 7D, one was a 500D, ie 3 APS-C sensors.  Half of the shots used a strobe.   Many of the rest were older cameras, that site should at least show you dont need the latest and greatest to win prizes.

The prize is oriented towards 'nature' so is looking for 'natural' pictures rather than the many other forms of underwater photography. 

Splits generally need a reasonable sized dome.  If you're trying to do that with a bag, you're probably going to find it tough going.
Title: Re: 6d for underwater photography?
Post by: Blakegard on August 04, 2013, 05:14:50 PM
I used my 6D underwater a few days ago, and I have to say I loved it. I had my 20D click out mid shoot with my backup being 5 miles away so I rigged my 6D to work inside my Aqautica A20 housing using a 20-35L 2.8 with an 8" dome port.

Albeit not one of the keepers here's an image accidentally taken with my 6D underwater