Although I had a lot of high-priced cameras along on my Solomon Islands trip, I also decided to take along the less expensive and friendly Canon G7X compact and the Fantasea G7X housing. The Canon G7X has had a lot of play in photo news sources as a “G16 replacement” and answer to the popular Sony RX-100.
The Canon G7X sports the same sort of 24mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.8 lens, and large 1” sensor that should give it the image quality of m4/3rds cameras, and a competitor to the the Panasonic LX-100 and other similar high-end compact cameras. I wanted to get a feel for how it stacked up.
The Olympus TG-5 camera and housing packages have been very popular with a wide variety of divers. The camera shoots great stills as well as 4K video. It has underwater preset modes for snapshot, wide angle and other modes that make life easy.
Having a lighting system that can shoot both stills and video gives the widest possible use of this great little camera. The new Kraken Hydra "S +" lights that now come in a 2500, 3500 and 5000 lumen models, as well as the popular Kraken Macro Ringlight 3000, all support a higher lumen output in a fast "burst" mode that saves power and gives a higher output for still photos.
Underwater photographers have always debated their cameras and there are always questions and continuing debates about the virtues and performance of various formats. We cover all of their pros and cons in our free Handbook: Choosing an Underwater Camera & Housing, but here's my experience.
Congratulations on buying a great underwater compact camera package! We've written these instructions to help you get started.
Ultra-wide fisheye lenses are the preferred wide angle lens underwater due to their close focusing ability, sharp corners and wide field of view. Divers can usually get very close to their subjects with them, filling the frame, eliminating water which makes their photos lack sharpness, color and definition.
But there is a drawback to fisheye lenses; when shooting the straight lines, commonly of a pier or wreck, or models or other similar subjects, optical distortion is introduced.
The Olympus TG-4/TG-3 Cameras have a robust selection of flash modes. Generally all you have to do is put the camera in auto/forced flash mode, but on some strobes TTL won’t sync with these settings. Fortunately Olympus has provided an alternative sync mode that does seem to work. To access it you must first enable it, then select it from the flash settings. It is best used in Program or Aperture camera modes. Here's how to set it up...
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