Hello Steven! (Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018)
Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018. (Photo: Steven Weinberg)

Photography and Scuba Diving : My Equipment

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

A few years ago, I used to travel light... Today, in addition to the "normal" stuff, I'm packing some photo equipment, a waterproof housing for my Canon Eos 7D, two underwater flashes, as well as a complete diving gear!

Precision: I am not sponsored by any of the brands I quote below, whether for photo or diving equipment. I have equipped myself progressively, over the years, according to my needs and my budget.

My current photo equipment

My SLR camera is the Canon Eos 7D, that I bought in 2010. It's been several years now that I use it, on land and under water. I am very happy. His only fault is to be a little heavy.

In Angkor, Cambodia, in February 2011. (Photo credit: Marie Toumit / blog-plus-loin.com)
In Angkor, Cambodia, in February 2011. (Photo: Marie Toumit / blog-plus-loin.com)
Hello Steven! (Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018)
Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018. (Photo: Steven Weinberg)

I take it underwater, to make my underwater photos and videos, with the following complements :

My Ikelite housing, the flash and portholes to take the Canon Eos 7D under water ... Yes, it's a lot of mess to carry!
My Ikelite housing, the flash and portholes to take the Canon Eos 7D under water, before 2016 ... Yes, it's a lot of mess to carry! ! !
The little bazaar that I steal on a trip to be able to take photos under water ... Right, my camera with its new lens 100mm macro. Only the most fragile elements, namely the camera and lenses, its box and portholes, remain in my cabin bag. I put everything else in the hold. (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)
Since 2016, I have a second flash, floats, an extra arm, it adds a little bazaar and screws ... Right, my camera with its new lens 100mm macro (all the objectives are not visible here and there there is not the mini-dome either).
There you go ! The device is ready to accompany me under the water! (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)
There you go ! The device (here in macro configuration) is ready to accompany me under the water! (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)

On land, when traveling, I mainly use these two objectives:

Yes, I'm carrying this whole little world around with me ! ! Without forgetting, of course, all the chargers, batteries, cords, memory cards, etc. which are fine...

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My first underwater camera

My photo equipment before 2010 was much more modest... This compact, the Canon Powershot A95, accompanied me everywhere, for several years, before To dieIn 2009... I took it underwater for my underwater images, with the waterproof housing designed for this model: the WP-DC50.

I did not have additional lighting at the time, I only used the built-in flash. What therefore limited me most often to macro photography underwater.

But I was pleasantly surprised, from the beginning, by the quality of the underwater images obtained with this minimum equipment. I used it for 4-5 years and learned a lot with it. All the underwater pictures below have been taken with this small DSC (digital camera)...

Photographing with a SLR AND a smartphone

The advantage of a smartphone for terrestrial photos: it is much more discreet and less cumbersome than a SLR. Everyone has this kind of phone in their pocket, now it can be unsheathed at any time without attracting attention ...

I invested in an iPhone X a few months after its release and I am amazed by the quality of the sensor, really more than enough for the photos as memories for those to illustrate this blog. The iPhone allows me to make images when I do not have my 7D on hand, for example on the boat, between two dives, because the SLR is in its box. Or for all the times I prefer to walk light, because the 7D still weighs its small weight ...

I had offered myself a compact emergency device, early 2012: the Canon Powershot S100. It allows the manual mode, it also shoots in Raw and makes excellent quality video. But since I got the latest fashionable smartphone, I don't use it at all and I don't take it with me on trips anymore. That's good, that makes one less thing in the bag !

Diving equipment

I passed my camera to my guide, and for once, I'm taking the pose!
I passed my camera to my guide, and for once, I'm taking the pose! (Indonesia, 2015)

Regulator : Aqualung Legend LX ACD in caliper + legendary Octopus + mano base (super comfort of inspiration and expiration, ACD system which prevents the entry of water into the 1st floor, a bit heavy (2.1kg), but the nice little model Mikron was not out yet when I invested at the time).

Computer: the Quad of MaresIt is not too expensive, with large, easy to read characters, switchable to nitrox mode and you can change the battery yourself. It replaced my good old Puck, of the same brand that I unintentionally left somewhere at the bottom of the Red Sea in October 2016... I had it for quite a few years, it worked fine.

Stabilizing vest: a basic Seac Sub (it does not even figure anymore on the stabs page of the brand), found quite a few years ago on the cheap, in a large chain of sports shops. Very sturdy, it has been working fine for years and weighs 2.8kg (although I plan to invest one day in a lighter and less bulky travel stab, with integrated plumb bags).

Adjustable fins: Mares Volo Power (even if the shoe is still a bit wide for me in size S, I love them since I adopted them to replace my very stiff Mares Plana Advanti X3; I feel better in the current, and their flexibility allows a finer approach and stabilization when I have to come close to a subject to photograph).

Boots: I do not stop trying new ones ... all hurt me, because there is always a seam or a reinforcement that creates a bulb in the long run. Except for the latest (which I have since July 2015), the Ellie Ergo from Aqualungno stitching inside and no zip (don't trust the French description at the end of the link I give, badly translated, there's no zip). The neoprene is super-flexible, they slip on like socks! But they are fragile: after a few dives, the inner lining already frays and the reinforcement on the top of the foot comes off. But in any case, no boo-boos since I've had them, that's the main thing!

Mask : Aqualung Micromask Technisub (very small, comfortable, easy to empty, I love it).

Combination : I only dive in warm water these days (rarely below 25-26°C except thermoclines). So I'm always in 5 mm wet (sometimes I even add a shorty on top when the temperature goes down to 20-24°C). I currently have the Focea Comfort by Beuchat for women: I acquired it in July 2015, replacing an old Aqualung, and the cold woman I am is delighted, she keeps me warm and is super comfortable.

Accessories : a stick or "pointer" (metal rod which is used for a lot of things, very useful to have a point of support on the sand when you take pictures underwater and avoids touching anything), a 2.5mm neoprene mouse and a lycra that I systematically put under the suit (very cold I am), hook, parachute, small lamp, whistle, mirror, knife, attachment for the octopus, carabiners various and varied ...

And to carry all this?

I equipped myself little by little, both for diving and for underwater photography. As a result, my baggage has also grown little by little. I am no longer a backpacker (traveler with backpack) now ... I reviewed my logistics to carry all my little bazaar and opted for the wheels!

I invite you to read the following two articles where I speak:

→ What's in my dive bag?
→ The wheeled bag

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  Between Two Journeys

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