Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018. (Photo: Steven Weinberg)
Photography and Scuba Diving : My Equipment
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, the original and correct version can be found here:
A few years ago, I was traveling lightly ... Today, in addition to the "normal" business, I collect photo material, a waterproof case for my Canon Eos 7D, two underwater flashes, and a complete diving equipment !
Precision: I am not sponsored by any of the brands I quote below, whether for photo equipment or diving. I equipped myself gradually, 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.
I take it underwater, to make my underwater photos and videos, with the following additions:
Yes, I lug all this little world with me! ! ! Not to mention, of course, all chargers, batteries, cords, memory cards, etc. who are well ...
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 die, in 2009 ... I took it underwater for my underwater images, with the waterproof case 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 subaquatic images obtained with this minimum equipment. I used it for 4-5 years and I learned a lot with it. All the underwater photos below were taken with this little camera (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 manual mode, it also shoots in Raw and makes video of excellent quality. But since I bought the latest smartphone in fashion, I have no use at all and I do not take it with me on a trip. That's good, that's good one less thing in the bag !
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 Mares, not too expensive, with big readable characters, switchable in nitrox mode and you can change the battery yourself. He replaced my good old Puck, the same brand that I have involuntarily left somewhere at the bottom of the water in the Red Sea in October 2016 ... I had it for quite a few years, he walked nickel.
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 in a big chain of sports shops. Very robust, it still works nickel for years and weighs 2.8kg (that said I plan to invest one day in a travel stab light and less bulky, with integrated lead pockets).
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, replacing my very steep Mares Plana Advanti X3, I palm better in the current, and their flexibility allows an approach and a finesse 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 Aqualung: no seam inside nor zip (do not trust the description in French at the end of the link that I give, poorly translated, there is no zipper). Neoprene is super-flexible, they slip like socks! But they are fragile: after a few dives, the lining already fraying already and the reinforcement on the toe off. But in any case, no bobo since I have them, it's essential!
Combination : I do not dive in hot water these days (rarely below 25-26 ° C except thermoclines). So I'm always wet 5 mm (I even add a shorty on top when the temperature drops to 20-24 ° C). I currently have the Focea Comfort by Beuchat for women: I bought it in July 2015, replacing an old Aqualung, and the chilly that I am is delighted, it keeps me warm and is super-comfortable.
Accessories : a stick or "pointer" (metal rod that serves a lot of things, very useful to have a point of support on the sand when you take the picture under water and that avoids touching anything ), a neoprene mouse of 2.5mm and a lycra that I put systematically under the jumpsuit (very chilly I am), hook, parachute, small lamp, whistle, mirror, knife, tie 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: