Cameras

Underwater Photography with the Sony RX100 V

Under the sea in Maldives!

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So, you’ve done the bare minimum of documenting your underwater adventures (a.k.a. using your smartphone or a GoPro) and now want to ramp up the quality of your photos? Professional underwater photographers use DSLR cameras, heavy-duty housing, and numerous accessories and apparel, and it can get very overwhelming.

Even if you’re familiar with DSLRs and are a pro at composition, understand that underwater photography is a different game altogether. On top of familiarizing yourself with the new tools of underwater photography, the terrain in which you operate in is also new and often unpredictable. If you’re not used to carrying bulky items (or anything at all) during a dive, then it’s important you take things slow.

Fortunately, taking things slow in underwater photography does not mean compromising quality nowadays. Today’s point-and-shoot cameras have become quite versatile and have upped the ante in quality. Point-and-shoot cameras available in the market, dare I say, are giving DSLRs a run for their money. And now, they even come with accessories fit for extreme shooting conditions.

A clear example? The Sony RX100 V and the Sony Underwater Housing.

My dive buddy exploring the beautiful table corals, 12 meters deep!

One of our more experienced divers and underwater photographers

Much has been said about the Sony RX100 series. Its key upgrades for Mark V (versus its predecessor) are a better sensor, faster image processing speed, a 24fps RAW burst with autofocus tracking for up to 150 shots, and a new AF-A mode to switch between single and continuous AF (a function usually found on DSLR systems). Bigger, better quality photos at faster rates? All these improvements are music to my ears when working in unpredictable conditions.

Safety stop time means photoshoot time. Making the most of our 10-minute stops before we surface from a dive!

It operates on a 24-70mm lens with a maximum aperture of up to f/1.8. Despite having a considerably smaller zoom range compared to other compact cameras of its caliber, its aperture stops at f/2.8 as soon as it reaches 35mm. In underwater conditions that required me to zoom in, I had to raise ISO significantly to avoid blur from camera movements which I had no control of given strong current.

Extremely impressed with the macro quality and speed of the camera!

Obviously, I was also quite obsessed with the Maldives clownfish and anemones

At the beginning, there will be struggles in getting the white balance right. The deeper you go underwater, the more you lose sight of color, so what may look right for you onscreen underwater may not translate the same way when you’re back on the surface.

Looking back, carrying a white slate would have been ideal for me to correct color easier in post. I resorted to using the underwater housing’s white diffuser as reference. Color correcting is vital in underwater photography, and therefore, the availability of RAW and the speed of the image processing and burst come in handy. Compact cameras with these features — in this case, the Sony RX100 V — are the best stepping stones as you step up your underwater photography game.

I road tested (or should I say, water tested) the Sony RX100 V and its underwater housing in the beautiful deep south of Maldives. Diving in this region is most challenging due to its unpredictable conditions in terms of water current and the marine life you’ll be discovering. The expedition allowed us to dive up until a maximum depth of 30 meters (nearly 100 ft.) due to Maldivian laws.

The Sony Underwater Housing is fit for up to 40 meters depth — shallow compared to the maximum depths allowed by its more prime competitors, which go up to 60 meters. But (as a newbie), why would you do that, anyway? Sony’s housing is also considerably cheaper versus its alternatives, but does not negotiate on quality and still allows you to perfectly capture the detail and dynamic range that the Sony RX100 V boasts.

Here are even more photo snippets from our expedition using the Sony RX100 V and Sony Underwater Housing:

A school of Oriental Sweetlips are a sight to see!

These beautiful stingrays can get pretty close, but don’t usually attack

Reef sharks were such sights to behold

Occasionally, they’d pose for the camera

Remoras are rarely seen without a host (a shark or large fish), much more in a school, so this was quite a strange occurrence — one of my favorite photos from the trip!

Moray eels are very calm creatures, usually hanging out in corals with their heads peeked out

Eagle ray sightings!

My overall experience with the Sony RX100 V with its underwater housing felt like an easy transition (and wonderful upgrade) from working with both a GoPro and my iPhone (in a Nauticam housing). Simple and easy to carry around, I had it lugged in a simple rig for ease of handling and stability, and equipped it with a basic scuba torch.

Is this the match for a budding underwater photographer like you? This perfect underwater pair comes highly recommended.

Note: All photos were shot with the Sony RX100 V

Cameras

Samsung likely close to launching 450-megapixel camera

Say hello to the Hexa2pixel

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Galaxy S22+

Samsung is pioneering a new generation of smartphone photography. Amid the brand’s iconic smartphones, it is also developing new cameras that push the boundaries of what’s possible. For example, a 200-megapixel camera recently launched, opening the door for crisper photos. Now, Samsung is looking towards the future once again. According to a new leak, the next stop is a 450-megapixel shooter.

Such a large sensor shouldn’t be a surprise. In the past, Samsung already promised larger and larger sensors. The company clearly delivered with the new 200-megapixel sensor. Now, a new trademark has teased what’s next for the company’s cameras.

Recently, Samsung trademarked the name “Hexa2pixel.” On its own, the name doesn’t confirm much. However, popular Samsung leaker Ice Universe hinted at what the name means. The leaker’s tweet simply reads, “If X÷6²=12MP, then X=?”

The “62” offers a lot of insight as to what Hexa2pixel means. The new sensor will presumably use a binning method to compress the pixels into a crisper photo. As is standard with Samsung now, output photos are usually 12 megapixels in size. Though 200-megapixel sensors are impressive, it’s not practical to deliver photos of the same size. Users would have full phones almost immediately.

That said, if you solve the algebraic equation, you’ll get 432, the amount of megapixel needed to deliver 12-megapixel photos using the binning method. Samsung will likely round this up further to 450 megapixels, too.

Of course, a trademark is hardly indicative of what’s coming for sure. The company is still reveling in the glory of its 200-megapixel shooter. It will likely take some time before a 450-megapixel shooter makes it to the public.

SEE ALSO: Leaked Samsung teaser reveals two foldables

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Cameras

Nikon Z 30 now official in Singapore

For vloggers and creatives

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Nikon Z 30

Nikon is making a new APS-C type mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z 30, available in Singapore.

With its high-performance video capabilities, the compact and portable camera is ideal for filming, especially for vloggers or those who want to start a career as a creative.

The camera shoots 4K UHD video with approximately 100 percent angle of view, and Full HD/120p for slow-motion filming.

In a nutshell, here are the camera’s features which make digital content creation a breeze:

  • Easy user interface
  • Dedicated focus modes: Eye-Detection Autofocus and Full-Time Autofocus
  • Up to 125 minutes of shooting time
  • 20 filter effects from Creative Picture Controls
  • Built-in microphone
  • Twist and touch 7.5-cm vari-angle monitor

Aside from the focus modes, users will get more out of its auto mode with Single Autofocus, Continuous Autofocus, and Manual Focus, as well as an Animal-Detection AF.

When it comes to shooting or filming for lowlight situations, the Nikon Z 30 boasts an ISO of up to 51200 for stills and 25600 for videos.

For more information on the new product, click here

Price and availability


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 30, 2022. It has been updated to reflect pricing and availability

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Cameras

Nikon might exit the SLR business

Focusing instead on mirrorless

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For years, Nikon has been the paramount name in SLR photography. However, bulky SLR cameras have started falling in popularity. Now, most users have found solace in more advanced mirrorless cameras and strong smartphone cameras. Unfortunately, a decline in popularity means ill for the future of SLR cameras. According to a new report, Nikon itself might quit the SLR business.

According to source from Nikkei Asia, Nikon is reportedly considering a withdrawal from producing its famed SLR cameras soon. Instead, the camera company will shift its focus to the more popular mirrorless camera.

As with most things in technology, 2020 was a turning point for the age of SLRs. During the pandemic, Nikon released its last SLR, the D6. Also in the same year, sales for mirrorless cameras overtook SLRs for the first time in history. With everyone isolating and losing purchasing power, not everyone wanted to buy new cameras.

The report also states that the company will continue to produce its ongoing series of SLRs. Development will just refocus towards mirrorless cameras, instead.

If anything, Nikon has also shared their statement regarding the rumor. At this point, according to the company, nothing has been announced, and the company will continue to produce SLRs for the foreseeable future. Regardless, it’s still a possibility, though.

SEE ALSO: Nikon Z 30 to be available in Singapore

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