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Quick Summary of Compact Camera Choices


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For those contemplating a compact camera set up here's a thread I posted over on Scubaboard........Too many pics and such to duplicate so I thought this would be easier for anyone interested.

 

https://scubaboard.com/community/threads/anyone-gone-from-an-apsc-advanced-compact-to-a-point-and-shoot.641886/page-2

 

And the text is here:

 

Olympus TG6 /7 - Macro and microscope mode for macro is great even with the small sensor and basically two f-stop choices. Certain strobes like AOI Q1 RC and Backscatter MF-2 can do RC controlled flash which is super accurate automatically. Can capture decent WA shots in good light. Easy set up with several videos out there help minimize menu confusion.

Sony RX100 V, VA, even VI / VII - 20 megapixel 1" sensor with great autofocus, all TTL flash (no manual flash choice to conserve battery power) but most small strobes pair well for very good flash control. Macro challenging even with diopters but good wide angle lens options make this choice a good one. Menus can be "challenging" but larger 1" sensor than Olympus TG-6-7 makes for better wide angle and medium fish shots in sharpness. Most models have great 4K video too.

Canon G7X (original if shooting JPEG as first G7X had really slow RAW processing improved on G7X II and III.) All original G7X, G7X II and G7X III have a 20 megapixel 1" sensor and fast 24-100mm f 1.8 - 2.8 lens producing nice images in macro, fish and wide angle. Some folks complain AF (autofocus) being contrast versus Sony's dual pixel AF is a little slower. In real world shooting it's not as big a deal as some make it out to be. Flash control choice of AUTO (TTL) which pairs great with any S-TTL (Slave TTL automatic flash) plus can do manual flash at low power to conserve battery if one chooses to set flash units manually. Easiest menus to learn and use. Also has best white balance for ambient light shooting color balance. Most housings have 67mm threads for adding SUPER macro lenses or a variety of wide angle options from low cost to expensive depending on housing.

I am biased as a lazy traveling warm water diver. I sold all my remaining SLR gear in 2016 and switched to compact shooting since then.

Recently I even leave behind tray, arms, etc. and only shoot one strobe (currently Inon S220) mounted on my Fantasea housing's cold shoe. Coverage is fine for me and set up and diving with a small rig is a breeze but that's my taste after diving 55 years.
 

David Haas

Compact Camera User 🙂

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  • 3 weeks later...

Adding to this list, the insta360 Ace Pro. Returning from a recent trip to Maldives, my wife (and lifelong dive buddy) reported that she found the Sony Nex7 in Nauticam too bulky and old, and that she would prefer diving with a GoPro instead.. As I gave this matter some consideration, I found this recent video comparing the Insta360 Ace Pro with the GoPro12. Would also appreciate more inputs from folks here..

 

 

Kind regards

Ajay

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The insta360 Ace Pro is surely interesting, but lacks most manual functions which make compact cameras so interesting for our purposes (especially aperture control, which is set at 2.6, zoom lens and more).
This definitely places it the action-cam category, I think.

 

So called "point and shoot" compact cameras are a dying breed, choice narrowing down to action cams and phones or bigger, interchangeable lens cameras (M4/3 and up). Here are some videos on the subject.

 

It's a shame, because in our beloved underwater photo/video niche activity, full manual controls, a zoom lens and a bigger sensor definitely still have a role to play...
At least still shooters have the Olympus TG series as some sort of hybrid - for video, much less options.

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Just a brief note about the three (currently) popular choices for action cameras in this category, namely, GoPro Hero 12, Insta360 Ace Pro, and the DJI Action 4. All of these have a closest focus distance in air of ~0.4m (so, perhaps 0.6m underwater). Of these, Backscatter has a clip-on wet macro lens for only the GoPro among these; it brings the closes focus distance to 15~20cm inch. It's possible similar solutions for other action cams exist or will arrive soon. I hope to report more on the GoPro with the macro attachment (and without) in a month or so - planning to spend 3 days in Anilao in Easter.

 

Kind regards

Ajay

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There is the AOI-UCL-03. It' not a rela macro but a close-up lens. The sister wide angle lens is excellent.

AOI and I non lens use the QRS-2 mount. I see that both Easydive and T-housing have a Inon adapter for their gopro and dji osmo housings.

I guess it "ShouldWork" even on AOI lens...

 

It's a simple system and designing and printing at home a mount for the Insta one should be pretty easy.

 

https://www.easydive.it/en/accessories-for-underwater-housing/accessories-for-housing-action-cam/additional-lenses-for-action-cam

 

https://www.aditech-uw.com/en/shop/cat-238-307-767.html

 

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Thanks @Davide DB. I haven't studied optics - so this is a naive question.. Is it the case that one can stick any macro/close-focus lens in front of any of these small cameras and expect it to perform (optically) more or less the same? Or is there also some lens design required? I can imagine that if the lens can be used interchangeably, then it should be easy to design (and share) and print adapters.

Kind regards

Ajay

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Yes, these lenses didn't change since the Gopro 4.

I did not study optics either but those sensors are so tiny and works hyperfocal. Maybe the new insta is a little bit different with its 1" sensor.

Gopro is the market leader so everything revolves around them. Inon still mentions obsolete Sony action cams.

 

The real truth 😄

 

 

 

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