Cameras

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Point and shoot Olympus cameras

The Olympus housings are the best housings made for compact digital cameras because:

  • The cost is low for the value received.
  • The large shutter button is smooth and responsive.
  • All buttons are clearly labeled and easy to manipulate.
  • The latch is reliable and the flood rate is virtually zero, barring user error, like forgetting the O-ring.
  • They are lightweight, compact for easy travel,
  • Ergonomically comfortable for easy, one-hand use.
  • Zoom control is done with an easy lever not an awkward dial system

The Olympus TG6 is Cathy’s point and shoot recommendation!

The TG-6 delivers Tough performance that is waterproof to 50 feet without a housing and 150 feet with the housing. It is a simple camera that goes beyond Point and shoot.

What puts it beyond the norm? (in addition to wifi and GPS.)

  • It’s Waterproof! If you handle the outside of the camera with wet, salty fingers, you can’t hurt it!
  • All new 12 MP CMOS sensor, redeveloped for less noise and better low light performance.
  • The option to shoot RAW images that let you get the very best from the cameras sensor!
  • Live view boost – underexpose your image whilst retaining screen brightness for optimum viewing when using a strobe
  • 4K UHD video and High speed 1080p video at 120fps for amazing slow motion!
  • It has Aperture priority with three f/stops, f2, f2.8 and f8. This allows you to gain depth of field for your close-ups when using an external strobe!
  • It has a built in microscopic mode which is accessed either manually via the mode dial, or, when macro focus is chosen, will automatically go into microscopic mode.
  • Port on the camera allows the addition of Olympus wide-angle and telephoto lenses
  • Easy, add-on wet wide and macro lenses can be screwed into the threaded housing with an additional step up ring.
  • Combine with the affordable S&S YS-03 strobe for a powerful compact set up!
  • The flash fires and the camera will TTL even in microscope mode!

Complete SeaLife DC2000 system with SeaDragon strobe and quick-release tray and arm

This compact, easy to use camera system comes at an amazingly low price. Add the wide angle lens for a full system.

Pros

  • Lowest cost for a complete system with strobe and arm
  • SONY® 1” 20MP image sensor with RAW format
  • Full HD 1080p video
  • AUTO, P, S, A & M modes from F1.8 to F11
  • Fast auto focus and shutter response of 0.1 seconds
  • WiFi to wirelessly preview and share
  • Housing Depth rated 200ft/60m
  • Waterproof inner camera Depth rated 60ft/18m
  • Includes four digital color-correction filters as well as Custom white balance control
  • Has an excellent optional add-on wet wide-angle lens
  • Quick-release arms allow easier changes to the arm system. You can add longer, articulating arms to attach the SeaDragon strobe for more control.

Cons

No TTL — but some people find that the Auto setting gets good results. Also, the strobe power is easy to adjust.

Mirrorless cameras with full manual control and TTL

The mirrorless cameras are now the most popular choice for high quality underwater photography at low cost and small size. Many people are downsizing from the large, heavy DSLR camera systems in favor of these compact, less expensive cameras. When housed in a Nauticam housing, you can add a full size SLR style viewfinder, and interchangeable ports allow use of a wide range of lenses.

When Olympus offered the first Mirrorless cameras, there was little competition. Now there are dozens available by Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, Fuji and more. How do you choose?

The FIRST consideration in choosing a system for underwater is to find the one with the best housing.

Olympus continues to make their own, wonderful, ergonomic, low-cost housings with clearly marked controls, and light-weight neutral buoyancy. These features are important to divers and are why these systems are so popular.

Another excellent housing option is made by Nauticam. While they are more expensive and complex, and much heavier above and underwater, they offer several important advantages that are worthwhile to the serious photographer. See my review below.

Olympus OMD E-M5III

When purchasing the complete system with us, you receive a free one hour set-up class.

At first glance, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is an E-M1 Mark II in a more compact and lighter package.  In fact, the E-M5 Mark III shares the same 20MP Live MOS sensor and autofocus system as the E-M1 Mark II.  With the E-M5 Mark III there is also 4K DCI video recording at 24p, UHD at up to 30p and 10fps burst shooting with continuous autofocus. To help nail focus and exposure, the electronic viewfinder is also now an OLED display with 60fps refresh rate.
The OM-D E-M5III is the most advanced Olympus cropped sensor mirrorless camera to date. It has a host of new features and Olympus has really improved
the design and ease of use of this model. In the Nauticam housing the camera truly comes alive!

Pros

  • 5 axis image stabilization, up to 5 stops – producing steadycam-like video footage and crisp macro stills
  • Great video capabilities – choice of 24, 25, 30, 50 or 60p frame rates, 77Mbit/s encoding. Full Manual control whilst filming and focus peaking available
  • Built-in Wifi for image transfer to your iPhone or pad, and remote control of camera setting from your phone or pad (topside only!)
  • Weatherproof body for any wayward drips!
  • OMD’s superb image quality as well as lightning fast autofocus
  • NEW redesigned camera body and control options – function 1/2 switch enables control of ISO and White Balance using front and rear dials
  • 4 custom White Balance options.

Olympus OMD EM-1III

When purchasing the complete system with us, you receive a free one hour set-up class.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III, the latest iteration of the ground-breaking Micro Four Thirds camera brings improvements from the larger E-M1X to the more compact E-M1 form factor.  The Mark III features a a 20MP Four Thirds sensor that is paired with the latest TruePic IX processor from the E-M1X to deliver even more autofocus and stabilization horsepower to the already impressive E-M1 system.  The E-M1 Mark III can also capture 4K UHD at 30p in the OM-Log profile with excellent autofocus performance.
The OM-D E-M1III is the most advanced Olympus full framed sensor mirrorless camera to date. It has a host of new features and Olympus has really improved
the design and ease of use of this model. In the Nauticam housing the camera truly comes alive! You really are dealing with the most complete mirrorless underwater systems ever made!

Pros

  • NEW Improved 5 axis image stabilization, up to 5 stops – produces steadycam-like video footage and crisp macro stills
  • NEW Improved Video capabilities – choice of 24, 25, 30, 50 or 60p frame rates, 77Mbit/s encoding. Full Manual control whilst filming and focus peaking available
  • NEW Built-in Wifi for image transfer to your iPhone or pad, and remote control of camera setting from your phone or pad (topside only!)
  • Weatherproof body for any wayward drips!
  • OMD’s superb image quality as well as lightning fast autofocus
  • NEW redesigned camera body and control options – function 1/2 switch enables control of ISO and White Balance using front and rear dials
  • 4 custom White Balance options

Cons

New 40 megapixel mode requires tripod and perfectly still subject—therefore mostly unusable underwater

Nikon DSLR cameras

Nikon cameras serve professional photography needs for Cathy Church

Nikon has long held the edge on ergonomics when the cameras are housed, especially as it relates to focusing underwater.