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Day 5 - Digital Shootout 2011 Bonaire

Coverage of the Digital Shootout

Nauticam USA is proud to be a premier sponsor of the Digital Shootout 2011 in Bonaire. This is the fifth installment of our daily coverage of the shootout.

It's the bugeye lens for me again today. I'm getting better with this lens and think I can continue to push it and get some great images with it. Today I got a spotted moray that really shows the power of this lens - no other currently available lens could get that perspective.

Spotted Moray with Bugeye Lens

One of our divers here just got her certification a month ago. Miranda is here with her parents, who are both u/w shooters, and Miranda is an experienced shooter on land. Well, she isn't letting her lack of u/w experience slow here down. She's been shooting the Nauticam T2i and E-PL2 housings and getting excellent images. She showed off a shot of a squirrelfish swimming head-on towards the camera. This might sound easy, but let me tell you from my experience of shooting hundreds of these little fish - they don't like the camera pointed at them and usually give you the classic fish butt shot. She not only managed to get a head-on shot, but it was exposed perfectly and lit beautifully. Well done Miranda. Each night during the week we are getting treated to a slideshow where we get to see what people are working on and there have already been some incredible images hitting that screen. I'm very much looking forward to the final night where we'll get to see the best images in each class.

Shot with the new GH2 Housing and 45mm Macro

Speaking of E-PL2, this is a brand new housing for us that arrived just a couple of days before I left for the shootout. The housing is excellent and really provides a solid upgrade from the OEM housing for E-PL2 shooters. Since you can use Panasonic lenses with this camera that opens up a new world of lens choices for E-PL2 - one example being the excellent Panasonic 8mm fisheye. I shot this combination on a quick test dive before putting the E-PL2 into our demo gear fleet, and I wasn't disappointed. The 8mm focuses very close, which in combination with the very small dome port, makes close-focus-wide-angle shooting very fun and easy. I'd put more images up from E-PL2 but that system has been out on every demo gear dive so I've only gotten that one quick test dive with it.

The other Olympus camera we are offering to demo here is the Olympus XZ-1. This is a compact camera in the same class as LX5, and it matches it feature for feature. One thing I like about XZ-1 is the command dial that's wrapped around the front of the lens. That, along with the bright f/1.8 zoom lens make this a very compelling camera. The housing is sculpted nicely and looks great. I was really hoping to be able to get some more test shots with the XZ-1 but like the E-PL2, I can't get my hands on it as it is going out as demo gear on pretty much every dive.