So I’d only ever shot underwater for fun with a Canon G12 compact. The good thing about it is you can still shoot in manual and you can get fairly good shots with it. When I begun researching upgrading to a DSLR, I was met with criticism and a wall of negativity. The comments “gee that’s a giant leap” and “it’ll take you ages to get the hang of that” crowded my thoughts.
Surely, it could not be that hard to use a DSLR? After all it is just a camera! I went for it. Reverse psychology has always worked on me, as my father would tell you, and it made me want it even more. I bought the Canon 5D Mark before Christmas from JB Hi Fi. People recommended other camera stores but I found they didn’t seem to take me seriously, did they think I just wanted to touch one? Who knows but JB Hi Fi despite their busyness had and have excellent service and also product knowledge. I bought the Mark 3 predominantly for video but I also wanted the option for Photos if I decided to get more into that down the track. After some initial problems with the video software and a few weeks of trouble shooting I ended up getting a replacement camera from Canon.
I was eager to finally get going with the camera underwater! The Aquatica Housing was fairly easy to put together. Although I found the difficulty lied in not having an expert that could really take me through what I needed, and a lot of it was guess work. If I was going to recommend it I would say to get in touch with Aquatica themselves for advice, they are very good and have proved to be super helpful with technical advice.
I bought my Mangrove lights and Sola 1200 focus light from Digital Diver in Cairns. I love that place. They have always given me exceptional service, and they really know their products. I recommend this store. They’ll take the time to explain things to you and make sure they’re supplying you with the right equipment.
I was surprised that the Aquatica Housing was buoyant in the water, so much lighter than my G12 in Patima housing which was quarter of the size! With my Mangrove lights it is slightly negative, which I like. Diving without the lights such as situations when shooting marine life that can’t be exposed to video lights at the time, means wearing more weight. Once you get back up to 2 ATM the camera is like a lift bag! It’s much safer in this situation to weighted a bit more generously than usual.
I’m really surprised with how easy the camera is to use. Because I had shot manual with the G12 and Manual WB everything fell into place. It is however, very hard to find local underwater Videographers. Nearly every DSLR owner I know who dives, shoots only stills, and hardly uses their video at all. SO it’s hard to bounce ideas of others. I’ve mostly been doing a trial and error and practising a lot to get to where i want to be. I have a long way to go, but not as long as some people may think.
Others may say they are aspiring Videographers, but they aren’t me. I will get to a professional level. It may be that I do it on the side but I will eventually get there. Because i’ll make it happen. Watch this space.
I’m still weaning out some learner issues, and practice I think will get me better and better. I’ve become overly critical of everything I do, and everything I watch. Like a sponge I soak it up and know i’ll do better next time. My first video with the Canon 5D Mark 3 and first time ever with the macro lens: