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 Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, click on the French flag below to access the original 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...

????

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

????

  Between Two Journeys

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  1. Hello Fred-Divemanche,

    Sorry, your comment has landed in "junk", I just noticed it! Here it is finally online ...
    🙄

    We meet sometimes, as well as Aquatilia, on the forum Plongeur.com ... I knew his site, but it's been a long time since I went to visit it. So a thousand thanks for the link. This allowed me to browse his latest photos, beautiful, as always! It must be said that Lembeh is an exceptional playground for divers-photographers.

    It is with great pleasure that I found on the gallery of Claude Ruff alias Aquatilia all these little animals that I love to flash ... With a big crush on the pygmy seahorse and the pair of mandarins!

    I'm thinking of creating a special section of links "underwater photos" on my blog, to put the sites of divers-photographers that I like ...

    🙂

  2. Good evening,

    Yes, the pigmeric hippocampus had to find it. FYI, Claude organizes a bit like Marie-Ange (Mauritius) a photo trip to British Columbia (Canada) in May 2009, with renowned photographers ... It remains to my knowledge 2 places, if ever the cold seas interest you as much as hot seas ...

    Regards 8)

    Fred

  3. Thank you Fred-Divemanche, report this photo trip! The experience must be exciting, but indeed, cold seas are less in my strings than hot seas ...
    😀

  4. Hi, I just discovered your site by looking for an info on Sipadan and I want to congratulate you, it is very well done. You are a great traveler apparently. It would be nice if you give me info about Borneo, I'm a diver too and I plan to leave 4 weeks in January for Malaysia and Thai.
    Voilou!

    See you soon.

  5. Hello Jean,

    And thank you for leaving this little word nice during your visit!

    Borneo and Thailand, you will enjoy! The best thing would be that you send me a message with the questions you have, with some questions a little specific. If I can help you prepare your trip, and bring you answers, it will be with pleasure!

    You can use the contact form (click on "Contact" in the horizontal menu at the top), or write to me directly by sending an e-mail to this address:

    corinne@petitesbullesdailleurs.fr

    🙂

  6. Hello Corinne,

    Congratulations for your site which is always pleasant to read. I have just returned from Sipadan and Redang where I had a great holiday and I am tired of buying a box for my 7D. I would like to know your opinion on the ikelite box that you have but also the + and - to go from a compact system to a reflex system (under water, obviously). Are you disappointed in certain things?

    Thank you in advance.

    Sincerely.

  7. @Safe: I will soon have a more complete article on the Ikelite case for the 7D.
    • The +: Well, it's a bit the same as terrestrial, the same thinking to have that when you go from a compact to a SLR (it's only worth it if you're a little photographer in the soul, and if you have the means to invest in good objectives, because otherwise we find very good compacts to make nice pictures too).
    • The -: the price and the weight.

    I am not disappointed with much for now. I take great care of the box, I guess a little fragile (I already had to patch two-three knives on it). But overall, I'm fine and I'm very happy to be able to take my 7D under the water.
    🙄

  8. Hello! I also use a 7D, but not under water, I was discouraged by the price of the boxes until now .. At a much lower price, the Gopro is very pleasant in shallow diving (I was up to 'to 20meter but it lacks light to get a quality result). I'm still curious to know what you have to tell the box for 7D!

    A +
    Julian

  9. @Julian: The problem with a GoPro underwater is that it will row for colors and light. While a SLR ... But it sure is a budget. I still remained 4-5 years to "play" with my little compact before breaking my piggy bank for the SLR and its box. And I must say that I do not regret. It really will be necessary that I make a complete topo on the box and the 7D soon ... (Ah, why the days are only 24 hours?)
    🙄

    1. Hello Corinne,

      tu as fait partie de ceux qui m’ont donné envie – au fil du temps et des lectures + bavouillages pas décents devant tes clichés – d’investir dans du très bon matériel photo… J’ai un nouvel ami depuis quelques heures: un Canon 7D 🙂
      The box ... it will be the next big investment!
      Thank you for this ugly influence mam'zelle!

      NowMadNow

    2. Hi Aline,
      I am flattered to exercise such influence ... and funny to learn that you have a new travel companion!
      You'll see, he's fantastic. Every day, I continue to learn a little more about him ... I do not get tired. And I continue to progress little by little.
      Enjoy !!!
      🙂

  10. Hello!
    Waiting for the article on the box: The question that tears my mind when I see your picture with all your material is obviously: how you carry all this. You have a Japanese suitcase (2meters x 1meter)

    I just read at the same time that you put it in your cabin trip ... and me who found that my luggage cabins were too crowded!

  11. @Julian: 😆 En fait, devant les guichets d’enregistrement à l’aéroport, je porte nonchalamment à l’épaule un sac à dos qui contient toute la partie fragile de mon petit bazar photo, en faisant comme si ça ne pesait rien du tout… Généralement, j’arrive à faire illusion… 😀

    Go see these two articles where I explain a little how I distribute this bulky equipment:
    http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/dans-mon-sac/
    https://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/le-sac-20100307/

  12. Hello !
    I'm a little late, but I just acquired the WP-DC50, a good opportunity, and it's also the way to give a second life to my A95 locked in the bottom of the cabinet.
    By cons, I do not have the record of the box. Do you have a site to recommend to me, or good advice, for its maintenance ??
    Thank you for this site that I always take pleasure to consult

  13. Hello Corinne,

    I just browsed your blog and I would take some advice from a professional like you.
    That's it, I'm going to shoot an apnea champion and I've never filmed underwater yet.
    I am a professional cameraman but I have to buy all the necessary equipment for this shoot because usually I shoot with a Sony Z7.
    Could you advise me on the proper equipment to shoot underwater with a 7D gun? Objective, box etc ...
    I saw the material you were using but I do not know if it is suitable for video too.
    Unfortunately, I have a limited budget between 1,200 and 2,000 euros for the totality.
    Thank you in advance for your attention and the time given to my request!

    Best regards,
    Jean Baptiste

  14. Wow Je suis vraiment impressionnée par ton équipement pour photographie marine. Photographe moi-même je sais que c’est lourd à trainer comme caméra, mais le résultat en vaut vraiment la peine et surtout pour les impressions. Je voyage d’ailleurs moi aussi avec un appareil compact en plus une petite canon D30. Je ne fais pas de plongée, mais c’est plaisant en apnée 😀 Le concept de ton blog est super !

  15. Hello Corinne, I am impressed by your blog!
    Indeed I start underwater photography and I must say that it helps me a lot for my first experiences with my compact Nikon and my Canon eos 100D. I look forward to your next articles!

  16. Congratulations for your site full of happiness and joie de vivre.
    Everything is qualitative, thank you very much.

    Quid de plongée est Afrique du Sud ? ( Protea banks) 🙂

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