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Upgrading my camera - R7 vs A6700: a few specific questions


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Hello all -

 

After 6 years of shooting with an Olympus OMD-EM-ABCDEFwhatever, i am considering upgrading my system.    One, to get a few more megapixels for cropping (I shoot primarily 8mm fisheye) and second, to be able to shoot better video (mainly for our business’s promo/social media).

 

I was initially considering the GH7, but am also considering some alternatives.  

 

The R7 allows me for a very smooth (and relatively inexpensive) upgrade path - i already have one R7 body i use for wildlife, and i have 50mm and 100mm macro lenses in the EF mount already (and i think i have a non-flooded Tokina 10-17 as well).    I have used those lenses for years back when i shot Canon/Aquatica, and am pretty happy with them.    

 

The second option is the Sony A6700.    The main reason for getting this would be the slightly better eye-tracking for fast moving shots, and also the fact that it uses the N85 port system (although i will need to get a larger N120 port to fit the 10-17).     The compact body is a big plus for travel, as well.      And my OCD is happier with the idea of a separate camera for underwater and a separate one for land (even if i were to go with the R7, I’d probably buy a second body to dedicate tot he housing - so there isnt really a savings there).

 

I had a few specific questions about these cameras:

 

1).  I am assuming the Tokina 10-17 would work with the A6700 in a Nauticam housing?    There is a port chart for the R7 but nothing for this lens with the A6700.

 

2).  Does anyone know if i Nauticam’s port system allows use of EF mount macro lenses with the Sony - specifically a Sigma 50mm macro and the Canon 105mm macro?   Their port chart has no mention of this.  Not needing to buy more lenses is always nice

 

3).  For those who have used either of these cameras, any usability quirks such as heinously low battery life, AF issues underwater, problems in shooting 4K60 video, etc?

 

I am not going full frame.   I dont see the value (i realize others disagree and that’s fine).    I plan to shoot off some questions to Nauticam later as well, but figured i might as well try here first, as some of the real-world experience here may help me narrow my choices.

 

TIA!

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One observation I've had personally, is that a more compact body and housing do not always equate to a smaller and lighter system underwater or for travel.  Check the buoyancy of the housing+body and compare.  If you end up with a small housing with greater negative buoyancy,  you will end up adding float arms which adds  weight and bulk, and you don't really save as much as initially expected in that regard.

 

Nauticam lists the:

R7 Housing + Camera =  +.1 kg buoyant.

6600 Housing + Camera = -.43kg buoyant (this does not include the optional accessory battery)

 

That's a .53 Kg difference that would need buoyancy added to the Sony kit to make it equivalent buoyancy to the Canon.  Arms, strobes, lights would be equal for either kit.

Edited by JayceeB
Added nauticam specs.
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I shoot the Tokina 10-17 on my Nauticam A6400 setup. I use the Sigma MC-11 adapter, an N85-120 port adapter, and a zen 100mm glass dome. It's a very compact package that works great. 

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2 hours ago, vkalia said:

I had a few specific questions about these cameras:

 

1).  I am assuming the Tokina 10-17 would work with the A6700 in a Nauticam housing?    There is a port chart for the R7 but nothing for this lens with the A6700.

 

2).  Does anyone know if i Nauticam’s port system allows use of EF mount macro lenses with the Sony - specifically a Sigma 50mm macro and the Canon 105mm macro?   Their port chart has no mention of this.  Not needing to buy more lenses is always nice

 

3).  For those who have used either of these cameras, any usability quirks such as heinously low battery life, AF issues underwater, problems in shooting 4K60 video, etc?


I’ve been a long time Canon user and now Sony.  In overall usability, the 2 big things I seen are:

 - Canon colors are legendary.  Yes, you can alter in post, but I like them as a staring point.

 - Sony has better tracking.  Canon is not bad, Sony is just stronger.

 

APS-C is a terrific format, especially for size.  Either would be relatively the same, float arms perhaps making a difference.  
 

Yes, Tokina 10-17 works with the a6700.  I too use a Sigma MC-11 as the adapter.  The N85-N120 covers the adapter depth.  Add the Zen N120 100mm mini dome for Tokina, a zoom gear, and you are set.

 

The same N85-N120 and Sigma will work with the Sigma or Canon EF 100.

 

As far as I know, both are about the same in overall user experiences, aside from the comparison I shared above.  Also keep in mind the button configuration in a housing will be completely different that the body alone for land photos.  Either will require the same learning curve of new button placement in the housing.  With that said, Nauticam has done a fantastic job of making logical sense of how their buttons are positioned.

 

Between the 2, it’s mostly personal preference. Good luck and let us know what you do!

chip

 

 

Edited by ChipBPhoto
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@vkalia I love talking gear. I thought Olympus gear (E-M5, EM1m2) and Nauticam housings were sublime. Great ergonomics and lenses (fisheye, macro, mid-range 12-50, 12-40). It was the autofocus tracking ability of Sony cameras and a bit of sensor envy that got me to switch to my current A7c. If I had to do it over again, I think I'd stick with the Olympus as I primarily shoot stills, though I'd like to try my hand at video.

 

By all reports, the Canon R7 is a good all-rounder, and shoots pretty good video. You may consider keeping your systems as they (Canon above water; Olympus under), especially if you shoot primarily stills underwater.

 

If you are having a mid-life crisis and want to start over, then consider Sony, which I think is great for stills and reportedly pretty good for video. The newer A6700 has better video specs than earlier iterations. I do have an A6600 and I like it better than my housed A7c. Battery life is excellent on the A6700 (CIPA 570) and believe it or not, not as good as the A6600 (CIPA 810).

 

You can make all the lenses you mention work on Nauticam systems. My take on adapted lenses, say EF to Sony E or Canon EF to RF, is that they may work okay, and sometimes you have no choice (Tokina 10-17), but adapted isn't the same as native, generally. Off the subject, but if you switched to Canon underwater, I would get the RF 100 macro, which can magnify 1.3x versus 1x for the EF version.

 

Also as @JayceeB notes, smaller housings and cameras may not mean they are easier to travel and they can be bricks underwater.

 

Enjoy the research. Let us know what you decide.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, JayceeB said:

One observation I've had personally, is that a more compact body and housing do not always equate to a smaller and lighter system underwater or for travel.  Check the buoyancy of the housing+body and compare.  If you end up with a small housing with greater negative buoyancy,  you will end up adding float arms which adds  weight and bulk, and you don't really save as much as initially expected in that regard.

 

Nauticam lists the:

R7 Housing + Camera =  +.1 kg buoyant.

6600 Housing + Camera = -.43kg buoyant (this does not include the optional accessory battery)

 

That's a .53 Kg difference that would need buoyancy added to the Sony kit to make it equivalent buoyancy to the Canon.  Arms, strobes, lights would be equal for either kit.

 

Good point!

 

As it turns out, I am not fussed about the arms, etc.   Those go in my checkin baggage.   I am mainly concerned about my carry-on.   Lots of places in Asia are mainly served by budget airlines, and they can be very strict with carry-on weight sometimes.

 

Weirdly, the same arms that i used to use with my Canon DSLC/Aquatica rig work on my Nauticam - an old set of Stix arms and floats back from when they were released.  🙂

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9 hours ago, Lewis88 said:

I shoot the Tokina 10-17 on my Nauticam A6400 setup. I use the Sigma MC-11 adapter, an N85-120 port adapter, and a zen 100mm glass dome. It's a very compact package that works great. 

 

8 hours ago, ChipBPhoto said:


Yes, Tokina 10-17 works with the a6700.  I too use a Sigma MC-11 as the adapter.  The N85-N120 covers the adapter depth.  Add the Zen N120 100mm mini dome for Tokina, a zoom gear, and you are set.

 

The same N85-N120 and Sigma will work with the Sigma or Canon EF 100.

 

Thanks - this resolves one main question I had.     This will be the main lens I use and getting this right is key.    I assume the moment i go with an EF lens, I will need a N85-N120mm adapter, right?

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8 hours ago, humu9679 said:

@vkalia I love talking gear. I thought Olympus gear (E-M5, EM1m2) and Nauticam housings were sublime. Great ergonomics and lenses (fisheye, macro, mid-range 12-50, 12-40). It was the autofocus tracking ability of Sony cameras and a bit of sensor envy that got me to switch to my current A7c. If I had to do it over again, I think I'd stick with the Olympus as I primarily shoot stills, though I'd like to try my hand at video.

 

By all reports, the Canon R7 is a good all-rounder, and shoots pretty good video. You may consider keeping your systems as they (Canon above water; Olympus under), especially if you shoot primarily stills underwater.

 

If you are having a mid-life crisis and want to start over, then consider Sony, which I think is great for stills and reportedly pretty good for video. The newer A6700 has better video specs than earlier iterations. I do have an A6600 and I like it better than my housed A7c. Battery life is excellent on the A6700 (CIPA 570) and believe it or not, not as good as the A6600 (CIPA 810).

 

You can make all the lenses you mention work on Nauticam systems. My take on adapted lenses, say EF to Sony E or Canon EF to RF, is that they may work okay, and sometimes you have no choice (Tokina 10-17), but adapted isn't the same as native, generally. Off the subject, but if you switched to Canon underwater, I would get the RF 100 macro, which can magnify 1.3x versus 1x for the EF version.

 

Also as @JayceeB notes, smaller housings and cameras may not mean they are easier to travel and they can be bricks underwater.

 

Enjoy the research. Let us know what you decide.

 

 

 

 

I have become quite indifferent to brands these days.   After ages of shooting Canon, i now have Canon for wildlife, Fuji for street/travel and Olympus underwater.       That OCD streak i mentioned is very happy when each set of gear has its own application.    At the same time, while i am a massive gear junkie, that doesnt apply to cameras anymore (carbon bicycle goodies, OTOH….).   

 

This whole upgrade is being driven by a desire to add high quality video making skills to the gear.     Partly because i am interested in learning more about this aspect, and partly to support a new diving-related venture I have ongoing after selling my dive center.

 

Noted about the Canon RF 100 - I didn’t know that was the case.     After getting a 50mm with my Canon system, I rarely used my 100mm except on specific macro dives (the 50mm + a wet lens adapter was good enough for most shooting).   I expect that to be the case here a well - but when I DO use the 100mm, i will want the most magnification possible.    So this is really good to know - thank you!

 

Re your statement that “adapted isnt the same as native” - in what sense is that?     Slower AF?    Loss of IQ?      Anything i need to be concerned about with the 10-17?

 

Right now, it’s a toss-up.   I need to get off my ass and go to a store and try out the Sony in-hand as well.      I am doing the Raja to Ambon crossing in late October and wouldn’t mind having the new kit by then.

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@vkalia I am impressed that you are able to manage so many systems. Something I don’t think I’d do very well. 
 

I hear Fuji’s video is good but I would consider Panasonic if you’re really interested in great video. Other people here are far better versed on shooting video but I would go with the GH7 if I was really dedicated to video. 
 

Regarding adapted lenses, I’ve only tried Canon EF lenses on an R6. I found the lenses slow to autofocus, hunting a bit too much. If you’re wedded to a specific lens, though, you can find a way to make it work. I’ve never used the Tokina 10-17mm but people do swear by it.
 

I’m coming around to the idea that the future will lie in water contact optics. I use the WWL-1 now but would love a WACP. 
 

Cheers. 

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I cannot say about the Tokina 10-17mm EF on Canon R or Sony, but have used it on Olympus EM5II and EM1II. No problem with AF or IQ. Same for adapted Canon 8-15mm on EM5II, EM1II and Sony A7R5 (AF struggles seldom in low light with the A7R5 and on all three cameras in low light with the 1.4x TC). All cameras used Metabones adapters...

The opposite was with Canon 100mm EF IS macro: no chance for reasonable AF on EM5II, poor AF on EM1II and bumpy, but usable AF, on A7R5. No comparison to the native lenses (Pana 45mm macro and Zuiko 60mm macro for Oly and Sony 90mm macro for Sony A7R5). I think that IQ (resolution) with the FF Canon lens on the small MFT sensor was not as good as with the native lenses, but still very good, just subjective impression, no test charts...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis
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The Tokina 10-17 was in fact indirectly on the old Sony N85 port chart, the final entry was an N85-N120 adapter with zoom knob that matched to the Nauticam zoom gears so that you could use any EF lens on a Metabones adapter.  With that system the Nauticam zoom gears for the Canon lens would mate up to the Zoom knob and be controlled from there.  The latest port chart omits this option

 

Similarly on that question around EF macro lenses yes you could but you may not want to.  The Metabones generally provides acceptable performance on wide angles but macro lenses at high magnfications are less likely to work well.

 

I ended up upgrading to an OM-1 for other reasons and now have an adapted Canon 8-15 working on that system and it gives me full frame fisheye through to about the field of a 28mm full frame lens so combining a Full frame fisheye, a 7-14mm lens and the wider end of a WWL into one package.  SO I have an FCP equivalent package (zoom range- wise) for a small fraction of the price of an FCP and without the CFWA narrow DOF restriction.  Zooming in the get your framing is a better option than cropping IMO. 

 

I shot this system in PNG recently and I bought the USB-C bulkhead which meant I left the camera/lens in the housing the whole trip and download images and charged the battery through the USB-C connector.

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5 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

I cannot say about the Tokina 10-17mm EF on Canon R or Sony, but have used it on Olympus EM5II and EM1II. No problem with AF or IQ. Same for adapted Canon 8-15mm on EM5II, EM1II and Sony A7R5 (AF struggles seldom in low light with the A7R5 and on all three cameras in low light with the 1.4x TC). All cameras used Metabones adapters...

The opposite was with Canon 100mm EF IS macro: no chance for reasonable AF on EM5II, poor AF on EM1II and bumpy, but usable AF, on A7R5. No comparison to the native lenses (Pana 45mm macro and Zuiko 60mm macro for Oly and Sony 90mm macro for Sony A7R5). I think that IQ (resolution) with the FF Canon lens on the small MFT sensor was not as good as with the native lenses, but still very good, just subjective impression, no test charts...

 

Wolfgang

matebones+8-15 or 10-17,Does it focus well on A7R5?

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1 minute ago, boduoguo said:

matebones+8-15 or 10-17,Does it focus well on A7R5?

 

I use Metabones V with Canon 8-15mm on A7R5. It focuses well. Sometimes, when dim light conditions, especially with 1.4xTC, AF hunts...

I did not test Tokina 10-17mm on A7R5, as this is an APS-C lens, but the Tokina with metabones adapter works as good on Olympus EM1II as the Canon 8-15mm or also a native lens (e.g. Zuiko 8mm fisheye)...

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17 minutes ago, Architeuthis said:

 

I use Metabones V with Canon 8-15mm on A7R5. It focuses well. Sometimes, when dim light conditions, especially with 1.4xTC, AF hunts...

I did not test Tokina 10-17mm on A7R5, as this is an APS-C lens, but the Tokina with metabones adapter works as good on Olympus EM1II as the Canon 8-15mm or also a native lens (e.g. Zuiko 8mm fisheye)...

Does the video mode have good focus too?

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Thanks for that info, gents.

 

So the takeaway i am getting is that if i switch to Sony, I should likely get a native macro lens because the AF will suck - @Architeuthis thank you for sharing that info!    AF with macro lenses on the Canon R body i should be able to figure out myself with an adapter.     If the R series AF is passable, that breaks the tie.    If I have to buy new lenses regardless, then we are back to the drawing board.

 

@Chris Ross that USB bulkhead is a freaking awesome idea.     I rarely download images on a trip, preferring to do so when i am back.     But if i can charge the camera without needing to take it out, even better:  one less risk of failure.   I will look into that.

 

Re the 8-15:  which adapter and port are you using with it (presumably on a Nauticam system), may i ask?     Because if i can get the ability to go FF fisheye up to 28mm in a single lens, that makes the GH7 a serious contender again.     

 

@humu9679 there’s always a little bit of a mental switch needed at the start.    It helps that with Fuji and Olympus, i still use back button/center point AF to lock and recompose, as the subject i shoot with them are not very active.    But as i start getting used to all this new-fangled subject tracking stuff, I think it may behoove me to stick to one system for ease of toggling between the various AF modes and for muscle memory re which button goes where.     That’s a point in favor of the R7.       

 

I have to admit, the idea of a 60mm lens and water contact optics giving me FE or WA is very attractive.   But i am not convinced about how good those wet optics really are.   If my lack of success with the 7-14 continues or if i decide to keep the current setup for a little longer, i may sell that onwards and try a Nauticam MWC (the 60mm to wide angle wet lens) - although more than the price of the lens, paying $320 for a simple metal hinge kinda chaps my rear.    

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15 minutes ago, vkalia said:

 

@Chris Ross that USB bulkhead is a freaking awesome idea.     I rarely download images on a trip, preferring to do so when i am back.     But if i can charge the camera without needing to take it out, even better:  one less risk of failure.   I will look into that.

 

Re the 8-15:  which adapter and port are you using with it (presumably on a Nauticam system), may i ask?     Because if i can get the ability to go FF fisheye up to 28mm in a single lens, that makes the GH7 a serious contender again.     

 

Yes It's the Nauticam system and the standard arrangement is as follows:

140mm N120 dome

35mm N120 extension

N85-N120 34.7mm adapter

Nauticam zoom gear

3D printed adapter for zoom gear to position correctly the zoom knob on the adapter

 

Then an 8-15 lens and a metabones smart adapter (not the speed booster)

 

The zoom knob on the adapter is a bit coggy doesn't feel the same as the zoom gear on the body.  I'm going to try getting  a zoom gear printed for the housing zoom control, there's not a lot of room for it but would be better zoom I think it it will work.  I ran out of time before a recent rip to give it a try.

 

The USB-C bulkhead is nice - but only works for OM-1 for battery charging, it can be used to download from other cameras.  It's a Nauticam one, be sure to get the specific M28-M16 adapter as it won't fit through the original part number adapter.  I'm going to do a mini-write up on it.

 

Here's a sample from Kimbe Bay in PNG (New Britain)

Pink_Anemone_Fish_InglisShoals.jpg

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21 hours ago, Lewis88 said:

I shoot the Tokina 10-17 on my Nauticam A6400 setup. I use the Sigma MC-11 adapter, an N85-120 port adapter, and a zen 100mm glass dome. It's a very compact package that works great. 

 

Hi Lewis - may i know which particular port adapter you use?   They all have some extensions built into them - trying to figure out which one i may need,

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@vkalia "I have to admit, the idea of a 60mm lens and water contact optics giving me FE or WA is very attractive.   But i am not convinced about how good those wet optics really are.   If my lack of success with the 7-14 continues or if i decide to keep the current setup for a little longer, i may sell that onwards and try a Nauticam MWC (the 60mm to wide angle wet lens) - although more than the price of the lens, paying $320 for a simple metal hinge kinda chaps my rear.   "

 

Macro to wide port sounded great to me until I read the reviews and having to stop down so much to get acceptable sharpness. The wide angle and fisheye conversion ports reportedly are much better. From what I read of the Kraken KRL 09s, performance seemed passable, and for the price maybe okay. But another shortfall may be the need to use a 60mm which is a bit short unless you're using a cropped sensor.

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17 minutes ago, vkalia said:

 

Hi Lewis - may i know which particular port adapter you use?   They all have some extensions built into them - trying to figure out which one i may need,

I have the Nauticam 36206 (N85 to N120 50mm Port Adaptor with Zoom Control). 

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22 minutes ago, humu9679 said:

 

Macro to wide port sounded great to me until I read the reviews and having to stop down so much to get acceptable sharpness. The wide angle and fisheye conversion ports reportedly are much better. From what I read of the Kraken KRL 09s, performance seemed passable, and for the price maybe okay. But another shortfall may be the need to use a 60mm which is a bit short unless you're using a cropped sensor.

 

I looked at the Kraken and Weefine options and apparently, there really isnt a very good swivel option for them.    You have to screw/unscrew them every time you want to attach/detach them.        I have one of these wet lenses for my backup TG5 system and it takes approximate 12,683 revolutions to attach, so I am not gonna bother with that.

 

And yeah, stopping down to f11 or f14 to get good shots isnt exactly a screaming recommendation of quality for a $2000 optic.

 

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8 hours ago, vkalia said:

Cheers for that!     Is there a stock part available instead of the 3D printed one, by any chance?

Not that I'm aware of, it's an extremely simple part though.  You can use the the Nauticam gear directly on the tokina 10-17 mounted with a Metabones speed booster as for some reason the 34.7mm N85-N120 was designed to mount EF lens in combination with the speed booster which is thinner than 1.0x glassless smart adapter.  The Tokina is a good solution but it doesn't have the zoom range and becomes a 7-12 mm lens with the 0.7x speed booster. 

 

IMO it's worth finding somewhere that can print you one for the extra zoom range of the 8-15 lens.

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