The chicks and bunnies are bouncing within the fields, the climate is exhibiting some indicators of enchancment (type of), and your wintry emotions of lethargy and malaise are regularly starting to put on off. That’s proper, of us, spring has formally sprung—within the Northern Hemisphere anyway. And that may solely imply one factor: It’s time to welcome one other version of our Underwater Photograph/Video Purchaser’s Information!
After all, we all know you already know that you may dip into DPG’s complete Underwater Photograph/Video Tools Information anytime you want, however we’re nonetheless eager to convey you these important quarterly summaries of the most recent and best imaging gear to hit the market. Mates, the season of development and renewal is lastly upon us—it’s time you grew and renewed your underwater imaging gear!
1. Interchangeable-Lens Cameras
Sony a7R Mark V
Whereas rivals are nonetheless engaged on their “mark IIIs,” Sony is staying forward of the sport with the fifth iteration of the favored high-resolution mannequin within the Alpha 7 vary. The a7R V sticks with the identical 61MP sensor discovered within the Mark IV, and as an alternative turns its consideration to autofocus, with a brand new “deep studying” AI focusing system powered by the brand new Bionz XR processor. Different niceties embody improved in-body picture stabilization, the spectacular 9.44 M-dot EVF discovered within the Alpha 1, and new 8K/24p and 4K/60p video recording. $3,900 | www.sony.com | www.backscatter.com
Who Ought to Purchase It?
That photographs from the a7R V measure 9,504 by 6,336 pixels is a formidable factor, however the truth that you possibly can shoot them at 10fps for effectively over 500 uncompressed RAW information is downright extraordinary. If megapixels matter to you, the a7R V leaves mainstream rivals Nikon and Canon—with their puny sensors topping out at 45MP—within the mud.
- Ikelite: The exterior variations between fashions within the a7 collection are usually very slight, and Ikelite found that the brand new a7R V suits snugly of their a7 IV housing with solely very minor adjustments. The housing now comes with the digicam mount and management modification required to accommodate the a7R V. In any other case, it’s the identical tried-and-true formulation Ikelite shooters know and love: strong ABS-PC mix physique and clear again, out-of-the-box handbook electrical strobe triggering (with non-compulsory TTL), and really aggressive pricing. $1,845 | www.ikelite.com | www.backscatter.com
- Sea&Sea: Because the identify MDX-αU suggests, Sea&Sea are taking the compatibility factor to a different stage. Their “common” Sony Alpha housing helps six completely different fashions (with the addition, in some instances, of straightforward customization kits), together with the a1, a9 II, a7S III, a7 IV, a7R IV, and naturally, the brand new a7R V. When you’re arrange, you possibly can benefit from the housing’s ergonomic controls, fiber-optic strobe triggering in TTL or handbook modes, and peace of thoughts with the now-included leak alarm. $5,000 | www.seaandsea.jp | www.backscatter.com
Canon EOS R6 Mark II
With its 45MP sensor and 8K video, the R5 stole the limelight when it was unveiled in mid-2020, overshadowing its lower-resolution sibling, the R6, launched alongside it. However because it turned out, it was the R6 that was first to get an improve worthy of a “Mark II” sticker. Practically each space of the unique digicam has been improved, from the decision bump to 24.2 megapixels (whereas sustaining the 12fps burst pace of the Mark I) to the 4K/60p 10-bit 4:2:2 oversampled video seize with no crop (versus the slight crop of the Mark I). It even borrows the AI-powered autofocus system from the high-end R3. $2,500 | www.canon.com | www.backscatter.com
Who Ought to Purchase It?
The R6 Mark II is a powerful contender for final enthusiast-level full-frame mirrorless digicam. For a fairly reasonably priced value, you get a digicam that may do nearly every part very effectively, with little or no to complain about. If there’s one caveat, it’s the sensor decision, however poster-sized prints apart, there must be sufficient megapixels for many.
- Ikelite: Whereas Canon made the unusual determination to maneuver the ability swap from the left facet on the Mark I to the correct facet on the Mark II (and have a brand new swap for toggling between stills and video in the identical place the place the on/off swap was), Ikelite’s housing nonetheless works with both mannequin—they’ve simply included a pair of digicam mounts to be used with both the Mark I or the Mark II. In any other case, you’re getting all the same old Ikelite advantages: ABS-PC physique with clear again, Dry Lock (DL) port system, and the choice of TTL flash publicity utilizing one or two appropriate Ikelite DS-series strobes once you add the corporate’s TTL converter. $1,795 | www.ikelite.com | www.backscatter.com
- Nauticam: Hewn from a block of aluminum, the NA-R6II performs Nauticam’s customary trick of rerouting every digicam management to precisely the correct spot, so that you by no means should take your fingers off the built-in handles. Like all the corporate’s newer housings, there’s an M24 accent port for hooking up an Atomos Ninja V monitor/recorder through HDMI 2.0, so you possibly can seize 4K/60p video with out worrying about recording closing dates or overheating. Twin fiber-optic bulkheads supply flash triggering through an non-compulsory handbook LED set off or an non-compulsory TTL flash set off. $4,042 | www.nauticam.com | www.backscatter.com
Canon EOS R7
Simply once you have been pondering that Canon had given up on APS-C sized sensors fully, the Japanese firm lastly—in mid-2022—unveiled its first two mirrorless cameras with cropped sensors: the EOS R7 and the EOS R10. On the greater finish, the R7 boasts a 32.5MP sensor, picture stabilization of as much as seven stops, twin UHS-II SD card slots, and the higher-capacity battery discovered within the R5 and R6/R6 II. With the DIGIC X processor from the pro-level R3 on-board, the R7 provides spectacular topic monitoring capabilities, speedy 15fps steady capturing with full AF, and oversampled 4K/30p utilizing the total sensor width. $1,500 | www.canon.com | www.backscatter.com
Who Ought to Purchase It?
A cool $1,000 separates the full-frame R6 Mark II and the cropped-sensor R7, and APS-C shooters can argue that they get extra digicam for much less—most significantly, extra megapixels and better burst capturing speeds. You additionally get to take pleasure in some basic glass—the Tokina 10–17mm fisheye lens—to its fullest.
- Ikelite: The U.S. firm provides essentially the most reasonably priced approach to dive with the R7. Using Ikelite’s Dry Lock Micro (DLM) port system, the housing options an ABS-PC physique with clear again, sports activities outsized management levers for shutter launch and autofocus, and, through an Ikelite bulkhead, provides handbook triggering of strobes out of the field. In order for you industry-leading TTL strobe publicity—in addition to helpful switching between handbook and TTL on the fly—you simply have so as to add a TTL converter, plus an Ikelite DS-series strobe or two. $1,195 | www.ikelite.com | www.backscatter.com
- Nauticam: For these with a penchant for aluminum, a choice for fiber-optic strobe triggering, and a few fairly critical money to spend, there’s Nauticam’s housing for the EOS R7. With the NA-R7, you get all the good things we’ve come to count on from the Hong Kong agency: each management positioned with ergonomic precision, the choice of a handbook or TTL strobe set off, and compatibility with the corporate’s premium water contact optics. A vacuum examine and leak detection system comes as customary. You get what you pay for. $3,163 | www.nauticam.com | www.backscatter.com
Nikon Z6 II
When Nikon entered the full-frame mirrorless market in mid-2018, it did so with two cameras, the 46MP photo-centric Z7 and the 25MP video-centric Z6. 5 years (and a pandemic) later, its successors—the Z7 II and Z6II—are nonetheless aggressive, with underwater housings from a number of corporations solely starting to ship over the past yr. Whereas the Z7 II and its greater pixel depend have obtained a lot of the consideration, the Z6 II is arguably a greater all-around digicam. Twin Expeed 6 processors lead to the next buffer capability, quicker burst capturing (now 14fps), and improved AF efficiency in low mild. $2,000 | www.nikonusa.com | www.backscatter.com
Who Ought to Purchase It?
Till we see the Mark IIIs, the Z6 II and Z7 II stay Nikon’s full-frame choices for fanatic shooters. Photographers who shoot the occasional HD or UHD video received’t be dissatisfied, however underwater videographers might be pissed off by the dearth of uncropped 4K at greater body charges—the Z6 II shoots 4K/60p however from an APS-C crop.
- Seacam: Milled from a saltwater-proof mild steel alloy that’s twice hardened and anodized, Seacam’s Silver housing is the right complement to Nikon’s glorious construct high quality and rock-solid reliability. Premium supplies are used all through, together with stainless-steel and anodized aluminum buttons and dials. The housing might be configured with S6 or N5 bulkheads for electrical strobe triggering, and you’ve got the choice of connecting a monitor/recorder through HDMI. Seacam’s leak detector is fitted as customary. $5,100 | www.seacam.com | www.backscatter.com
- Isotta: When you like your aluminum splashed in purple paint, this Isotta housing for the Z6 II (and Z7 II) is a tempting possibility. With this made-in-Italy housing, you get a one-handed opening-closing knob, twin O-ring seals on all buttons, and an built-in moisture alarm. The housing comes with twin fiber-optic ports, however you could have the choice of including bulkheads for strobe connection through electrical sync cords. Equipment corresponding to a vacuum valve and exterior monitor might be put in through any of the three M16 ports. $3,290 | www.isotecnic.it | www.backscatter.com
2. Fastened-Lens Cameras
Canon EOS R50 with RF-S 18–45mm
The lately launched EOS R50 has the excellence of being Canon’s most-affordable RF-mount digicam. Outfitted with an APS-C CMOS sensor, the entry-level mirrorless shoots 24.2MP photographs and captures 4K/30p 10-bit video with no crop. Curiously, the R50 doesn’t have a totally mechanical shutter—solely the second curtain is mechanical. On this semi-mechanical mode, the digicam is able to capturing 12fps bursts, which rises to 15fps with full digital shutter. Out there physique solely or as a package bundled with the RF-S 18–45mm zoom lens… Wait a critter-pickin’ minute! What’s the Canon EOS R50 doing within the fixed-lens digicam part?! Loosen up, learn on and we’ll clarify… $800 (Canon EOS R50 with RF-S 18–45mm) | www.canon.com
- Nauticam: With their just-announced housing, Nauticam has made a daring determination: The NA-R50 is designed for the R50 with a selected lens connected—you guessed it—the RF-S 18–45mm package lens. Thus, the combo is handled similar to a fixed-lens compact digicam system: The housing encompasses a mounted flat port with a bayonet mount that lets you connect Nauticam’s varied high-quality moist lenses, together with the WWL-1B or WWL-C for wide-angle topics and the CMC-1 or CMC-2 for the small stuff. $1,494 | www.nauticam.com | www.backscatter.com
SeaLife SportDiver for Smartphones
Bear in mind the final time somebody launched a brand new compact digicam? Neither can we. It appears digicam producers are resigned to the truth that compacts won’t ever compete with the cameras in our smartphones. (Ed: That’s why we needed to name this part “Fastened-Lens Cameras.”) However therein lies a chance, and no marvel SeaLife’s SportDiver smartphone housing is flying off the cabinets. Utilizing Bluetooth Low Vitality to speak wirelessly together with your Apple/Android cellphone, the polycarbonate housing provides you a pleasant, massive shutter launch in addition to the power to simply and reliably navigate the accompanying app’s features utilizing the 4 buttons on the rear. Go for housing solely or go for the bundle with tray, grip and Sea Dragon 2500 photograph/video mild. $350 (SportDiver solely) | $750 (SportDiver Professional 2500 Set) | www.sealife-cameras.com
Olympus Robust TG-6
Put the TG-6 and its predecessor, the TG-5, facet by facet and also you may need a tough time recognizing the distinction between the specs. Apart from the upgraded LCD (from 460k to 1024k dots), you’ll see the identical 12MP sensor, 25–100mm (equiv.) f/2 lens, 20fps steady capturing, 4K video seize, and superior Microscope Mode, permitting you to take eye-popping photographs of the tiniest critters. However there’s one software program improve that has enormous significance for underwater shooters: With the TG-6, you possibly can entry Microscope Mode in Aperture Precedence and Program Auto, permitting you to pick out small apertures for higher depth of subject and darker backgrounds. $500 | www.omsystem.com | www.backscatter.com
Who Ought to Purchase It?
The TG-6 could also be getting on a bit, nevertheless it’s nonetheless one of many kings of compact. Whereas Microscope Mode lets you shoot the insanely small stuff out of the field, if you wish to go massive, all you must do is connect an appropriate wide-angle moist lens and also you’ll be capturing wrecks, sharks, and reef scenes very quickly.
- Ikelite: Reasonably priced and straightforward to make use of, Ikelite’s housing is the right companion for the TG-6, or the TG-5, for that matter. Not solely do you get the signature ABS-PC construct, strong and dependable controls, and twin ports for triggering strobes through fiber-optic cords, however you additionally get varied methods to pimp your TG rig. Add the RC1 TTL receiver and a DS strobe (or two), and you may have Ikelite’s best-in-class automated flash publicity. Add the Olympus FCON-T02 fisheye lens with Ikelite’s dedicated dome port, and you can begin taking up the ocean’s greatest topics. $350 | www.ikelite.com | www.backscatter.com
- Nauticam: When you fancy a TG-6 (and TG-5) housing that you may actually throw round, think about Nauticam’s machined aluminum providing. It comes with an built-in bayonet mount that lets you make use of Nauticam’s WWL-C wet wide-angle lens particularly designed for compacts, which will increase the sphere of view as much as 130° and provides full zoom-through functionality. With an non-compulsory bayonet mount adapter, it’s also possible to use Nauticam’s CMC-1 or CMC-2 macro converter. $1,063 | www.nauticam.com | www.backscatter.com
GoPro HERO11 Black
Simply once you thought your favourite motion digicam couldn’t get any higher, GoPro dropped its eleventh interation boasting a bunch of tasty enhancements. Not solely did the sensor get a decision bump (from 23MP to 27MP), however now you can additionally seize as much as 5.3K/60p video in 10-bit colour, a really welcome improve from the 8 bits of earlier fashions. Different notables embody HyperSmooth 5.0, a brand new model of GoPro’s picture stabilization software program, and HyperView, a brand new 16:9 super-wide view. Oh, and the corporate’s Enduro battery is now bundled as customary. $450 | www.gopro.com | www.backscatter.com
Who Ought to Purchase It?
You possibly can have a HERO11 in a water-resistant case for a mere 500 bucks, so why shouldn’t you could have a GoPro? Plus, with its newfound potential to seize 10-bit video, this diminutive motion cam is definitely a reasonably critical filmmaking software. Create your final GoPro rig by including some moist lenses and Backscatter’s FLIP filter system (see Accessories).
- GoPro: By no means thoughts that they foolishly stopped calling it the “Tremendous Go well with”—pure advertising and marketing genius!—that is nonetheless all you really want to get nice underwater footage together with your HERO11 (or HERO9/HERO10). The “Protecting Housing and Waterproof Case” doesn’t simply let you dive to 200 ft; it is usually the important platform for mounting the equipment you want: filters to make your colours pop, macro lenses for filming incy-wincy critters, and wide-angle lenses for capturing massive animals, enormous wrecks, and expansive seascapes. $50 | www.gopro.com | www.backscatter.com
- Isotta: Positive, GoPro’s housing does the job, however if you wish to “paint the city purple” together with your GoPro, you want, effectively, an unique purple housing made in Italy! Depth-rated to a formidable 650 ft, Isotta’s providing is chiseled out of a slab of aluminum, options the corporate’s intelligent one-handed open/shut mechanism, and comes with a detachable hood providing a transparent view of the rear LCD even in vibrant situations. Haven’t any worry: The port is precisely the identical measurement and form because the GoPro one, so you possibly can fortunately maintain utilizing your favourite Backscatter FLIP filter system. $540 | www.isotecnic.it | www.backscatter.com
Backscatter Mini Flash 2
The Mini Flash 1—a strobe specifically designed for lighting the small stuff—was a recreation changer for macro shooters. However the Backscatter boffins didn’t simply lie again on their cozy laurels and course of MF-1 orders. OK, possibly they did try this for some time… however then, they got here up with the Mini Flash 2! Impressively, the MF-2 improved on the unique in nearly each respect: a modeling mild with twice the ability (1,000 lumens), high-speed sync (HSS) for even darker backgrounds, automated TTL publicity for Olympus cameras, and the power to make use of a second strobe to set off the MF-2 remotely for artistic off-camera photographs. One factor hasn’t modified although: Just like the MF-1, the MF-2 might be paired with Backscatter’s Optical Snoot (OS-1) for exact management over the strobe’s mild beam. $400 (MF-2) | www.backscatter.com | $500 (MF-2 and OS-1 combo) | www.backscatter.com
Ikelite DS230 with Modeling Gentle
On the finish of 2021, Ikelite up to date its total strobe vary with refreshed variations of the corporate’s basic DS51 and DS160 (DS51 II and DS160 II) and two revolutionary “hybrid” strobes armed with 2,500-lumen video lights (DS162 and DS230). The latest addition is a “customary” model of the DS230 with out the built-in video mild, however as an alternative with a 205-lumen modeling mild (as discovered on the DS51 II and DS160 II). Boasting a information variety of 32, the strobe provides 10-stop management of output and a 110-degree beam angle with the included diffuser. Hooked as much as your Ikelite housing, the DS230—or higher nonetheless, a pair—works in handbook mode out of the field, and if you need automated flash publicity, you simply want so as to add the suitable TTL converter to your digicam. $1,295 (DS230) | www.ikelite.com | www.backscatter.com
SeaLife Sea Dragon 5000+
Along with producing the one totally sealed underwater digicam available on the market—the Micro 3.0—SeaLife provides all kinds of photograph/video lights of various outputs. Its range-topping mild is a robust 5,000-lumen affair packing a COB LED array that delivers a colour rendering index (CRI) of 90—which means that the sunshine high quality is similar to daylight. However there are a few different options that enable the Sea Dragon 5000+ to face out from the gang. Want some additional heat in your footage? Interact SeaLife Shade Enhance and the colour temperature drops from 5000K to 3700K. Want a bit additional energy for an enormous topic? Change to “over-drive” mode for a 20% enhance in brightness to six,000 lumens for 2 minutes earlier than robotically returning to regular full energy. $600 | www.sealife-cameras.com
Keldan Video 8XR
When you’re an expert underwater filmmaker out there for video lights, you already know the magenta-colored weapons you’re after. However Keldan doesn’t simply make awesomely vibrant LED lights with powers measured in tens of 1000’s of lumens; the Swiss firm has additionally innovated a wi-fi distant management unit that makes use of ultrasonic expertise (RC1) to permit cinematographers to manage a limiteless variety of lights concurrently through two impartial brightness channels. The RC1 presently works with three fashions: the Video 24XR, Video 18XR and Video 8XR. The 20,000-lumen Video 8XR—the “child” within the household—provides a beam angle of 110° in water and runs at full energy for as much as 35 minutes on a full cost. $2,428 | www.keldanlights.com | www.backscatter.com
Nauticam Prolonged Macro Broad Lens (EMWL)
Apart from their much-respected housings, Nauticam has a fame for producing revolutionary moist lenses. The head of those “water contact optics”—as the corporate likes to name them—can also be the most recent addition: the Prolonged Macro Broad Lens, or EMWL for brief, which is designed for use with widespread macro lenses. This elaborate modular system consists of three particular person items—the Focusing Unit (varied sorts for various digicam manufacturers), the Relay Module and the Goal Lens (60°, 100°, 130°, 160°)—which mix collectively to type a probe-like attachment that may be positioned in unusually tight areas. The result’s maybe finest described as excessive close-focus extensive angle—a never-before-seen perspective that enables you, for instance, to fill the body with a tiny nudibranch whereas becoming a diver within the background. EWML photographs have already began selecting up awards in underwater images competitions… $1,406 (Focusing Unit) | www.nauticam.com | www.backscatter.com | $1,625 (Relay Lens) | www.backscatter.com | $1,538 (60° Goal Lens) | www.backscatter.com | $1,406 (100° Goal Lens) | www.backscatter.com | $1,669 (130° Goal Lens) | www.backscatter.com | $2,812 (160° Goal Lens) | www.backscatter.com
Seacam Achromat 4.0 Supermacro Lens and Flip System
Not an organization recognized for doing issues by halves, Seacam has lately added a second supermacro moist lens to its high-end catalog, and this time there’s some critical magnification on supply: Because the identify suggests, the Achromat 4.0 will enlarge your macro topic a formidable 4 occasions—double the magnification of the corporate’s unique Achromat 2.0. Each lenses might be paired with Seacam’s new flip system, which mounts on their MIP 60 or MIP 80 microports. The Single Flip Adapter Base is designed for one lens, and should you add the Twin Flip Adapter Extension, it would accommodate two. $1,185 (Achromat 4.0) | www.seacam.com | www.backscatter.com | $430 (Single Flip Adapter Base) | www.backscatter.com | $225 (Twin Flip Adapter Extension) | www.backscatter.com
Inon UWL-95S Broad Conversion Lens
Japanese firm Inon is aware of a factor or two about making high-quality moist lenses, and its UWL-95S XD-mount extensive conversion lens is a basic. However the proprietary bayonet mount isn’t for everybody, and Inon has lately launched threaded mount variations of the lens—with 52mm or 67mm threads. Designed for cameras with built-in lenses which might be 24mm (equal) at their widest, such because the Olympus TG-6 or Sony RX100 V, the UWL-95S provides a most angle of view underwater of 95° (therefore the identify), however this may be optionally elevated to 141° by including Inon’s Dome Lens Unit III. $435 (UWL-95S M52) | www.inon.jp | www.backscatter.com | $435 (UWL-95S M67) | www.inon.jp | www.backscatter.com | $140 (Acrylic Dome Lens Unit III) | www.inon.jp | www.backscatter.com | $265 (Glass Dome Lens Unit III) | www.inon.jp | www.backscatter.com
Backscatter FLIP10+ for GoPro
As each diver is aware of, issues quickly flip to blue-green mush as you descend, and when you have a GoPro in your fingers (and no lights), mushy blue-green footage is what you possibly can sit up for viewing once you get again to the floor. That’s, until you’ve been smart sufficient to mount Backscatter’s FLIP filter system to revive these treasured lacking reds, oranges and yellows. Whereas the most recent model goes as FLIP10+, you don’t have to fret about compatibility: It’s going to work with any GoPro, from HERO5 to HERO11. Go for a package with one or two filters, or go the entire hog and get the Professional Package deal, which bundles one other important accent: Backscatter’s +15 Macromate Mini close-up lens. $200 (Professional Package deal) | www.backscatter.com | $100 (Two Filter Package) | www.backscatter.com | $60 (One Filter Package) | www.backscatter.com
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