Underwater Frustration

You’d be rather hard pushed to know, but there is a rather pretty anemone shrimp hiding in that picture. It’s taken with a Canon G9, that quite frankly, has become the bane of my underwater photography existence. Mostly due to the housing, it’s actually a step back from the little Ixy 800 IS that i started out with. That thing could at least get the shot

The real answer is obviously to stop messing around with this junk, spend the money, and get a proper step. In my mind this would be defined as a 5D mk II, a decent housing (good down to 60m… just for that little extra insurance), a lens port for the EF100m ƒ2.8 USM Macro, and a pair of Inon strobes. Easy. I even know what to buy! Given a few dives to practice, it’d be possible to get exactly the shots that i’ve always wanted! There are two problems…

First, such a setup is going to set me back something like ~$10k; $2k for the 5D mk II (not so bad, i’d probably buy one eventually), $5 for the housing and port (ouch), $2k for strobes. That’s rather a large investment for something that is only going to get wet a couple of times a month, and given the number of people out there shooting, isn’t very likely to pay for itself through picture sales / licensing.

Second, it’s all very well diving off the back of a boat, being handed your $10k camera setup, and gently descending into crystal clear, blue tropical waters… but the majority of my dives just aren’t like that! For me it’s a beach entry on a rocky shore, usually through surf, and often with enough swell that getting thrown about it a bit by the waves is what you should expect. And, that’s just the entry – an exit can often be like going through the spin cycle of a washing machine!

All of which leaves me with a bit of a dilemma: i’d really like to take better (much better!) underwater photographs, but i can’t justify spending the money, and any insurance company would probably drop me after i’d ruined the first couple of housings in the surf!

Oh, and i’ve looked into housing / strobe rental, but it seems to be mostly limited to a few dive shops and professional stuff (broadcast, etc), and i’m not sure they’d be too keen on the trip to 35m to get my dream shot of some nudibranch that may, or may not, still be there…

The thought of some halfway house, where i buy a housing for the G9 (if they’re still even made…) and a couple of strobes, really doesn’t appeal anymore – i’m so sick of the damn thing, that ‘doing it right’ feels like the only alternative.

All of which leaves me thinking that i’m just going to grin and bear it. But i really do wish i wasn’t coming back from 2hrs of diving with ~5 decent(ish) shots!

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8 thoughts on “Underwater Frustration

  1. Ouch! 10K.
    I’d say just go for a cheaper camera, say a 40D, but seems like the housing and the strobes (2K-jesus!) is whats going to cost the real money.
    I’d love to see some more shots, but I think you are right, spending that kind of money is only really worth it if you can recoup some by selling some pics.
    ‘course with the 5D you could also shoot video…….;-)

  2. Interesting. I have G9 and that photos looks like it was taken by a G9. There’s a strange sort of greyness to it, if you know what I mean. Like it’s not quite being as colourful as one would expect. Or perhaps like a colourful camera that’s feeling a bit miserable.

    Time for a new camera?

    • part of it is a new camera, but the bigger issue is the housing / strobes. and, yes, the G9 does produce some very ‘distinctive’ looking images (that’s being kind…)

  3. hhm. I have not even started to read the whole post. I got to “get a 5d mkII” and thought, here is a super lame excuse to go spend more money. Just admit it. You want one anyway. Stop making excuses and just go buy it and be done with it all. And then you will join the rest of the manual focus, digital guy’s and girls 🙂
    I have a feeling that there will be less film developed as a result…

    • probably going buy the 5D mk II anyway… but this extra $5k for housing / strobes is just a bridge too far. i’m not a pro, and shouldn’t attempt to shop like one!

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