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Anse Chastanet Resort - St Lucia - Escape to Paradise Sale

Anse Chastanet Resort

The Beautiful Island of St Lucia

2021 Escape to Paradise Sale

Save up to 35%

                                   

Now is the time to not just dream about your next vacation but to take advantage of our escape to paradise sale and securing a reservation at the panoramic Saint Lucia resort hideaway.

Stay 4 or more nights in a Standard, Superior and Beachside Deluxe category rooms and take advantage of the following great daily rates with an all -inclusive meal and beverage plan:

  • Travel from July 15 - October 15 and receive 35% OFF
  • Travel from Oct 16 - Dec 19 and receive 30% OFF

The Escape daily rates per couple inclusive of meals and beverages are as follows in Standard, Superior & Beachside Deluxe respectively:

  • July 15 – Oct 15, 2021: $513.50 / $585 / $685.75
  • Oct 16 - Oct 31, 2021: $553 / $630 / $738.50 
  • Nov 1 - Dec 19, 2021: $619.50 / $696.50 / $815.50

All above rates and meal plans are subject to 20% VAT, Service Charge/Resort Fees and Tourism Levy

The above rates are PUBLISHED rates and do NOT reflect our agent discount.

Scuba diving is not included with this package but we can add diving with Scuba St Lucia:
  • 6 Dive Package  $225 USD
  • 10 Dive Package  $350 USD
                                    


                                    


                                                                         

10 Awesome Cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula

10 Awesome Cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula

Having formed as the result of the collapse of eroded limestone bedrock, cenotes are most commonly found in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. These formations are usually filled with water, providing a unique adventure for all who choose to explore them. Cenotes are filled with either rainwater or with the water from underground rivers. However, since it takes a few days for the rainwater to pass through the limestone, it becomes filtered and often has a visibility over 100 meters. These sites are often visited by people looking to swim, snorkel, or even scuba dive in the one-of-a-kind environment. 


These 10 cenotes are all unique and provide vastly different experiences for all who explore them. However, these are only a small portion of what Mexican cenotes have to offer as there are over 6,000 cenotes, only half of which have been studied. The Yucatan Peninsula is a stunning place to visit, but the cenotes themselves create an entirely new world for all who choose to explore them.  Here are some of the best cenotes in the Yucatan area.


Cenote Verde Lucero

                                    

With a name that translates to “bright green,” Cenote Verde Lucero is a vibrant body of water located in between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. This cenote is open rather than in a cave-like setting, so visitors can jump right in. The cenote is surrounded by stunning greenery, and there is a zipline reaching from one end to the other. The waters reach a depth of 20 meters, and there are jumping areas of varying heights for guests to use as well. Photo courtesy of explorandocenotes.com.mx


El Pit Cenote

                                     

A site that is quite true to its name, El Pit Cenote reaches a depth of 40 meters. Due to its depth, The Pit is most popular amongst divers looking to dive through the clearest of waters. This cenote is located in Quintana Roo, about an hour from Playa del Carmen. With interesting rock formations making up its surroundings, the spot is also known for its abundant stalactites: icicle-shaped calcium salt build-ups that often hang from the top of caves. Photo courtesy of airpano.com


Dos Ojos Cenote

                                                  

Spanish for “two eyes,” Dos Ojos is commonly explored in two dives. This is one of the most popular cenotes, so it can get a bit crowded. However, experiencing the stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and bat cave makes it worth it. There is even an underground tunnel that connects the two caverns — creating a perfectly unique experience for any diver.  Divers and snorkelers alike can also spot the small fish that call Dos Ojos home. Photos courtesy of cenotedosojos.com and cenotesmexico.org


Calavera Cenote

                                                           

Often referred to as the “Temple of Doom,” Calavera is arguably one of the best diving cenotes in Mexico. Located in Tulum, this spot has three entrances to its underground waters. The main entrance is a large hole with a ladder that leads its sparkling blue-green waters. When diving Calavera, guests usually dive to a depth of around 15 meters. A popular sight to see is the halcyon layer: where freshwater and saltwater meet. Due to the overall clarity of the water, this layer is very visible. Photo courtesy of todotulum.com


Cenote Tajma Ha 

                                     

With a visible halcyon layer, Tajma Ha is located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. This spot is best for more advanced divers as it has cramped spaces with jagged walls. This site is usually explored over the course of 50 minutes with one tank. Guests will drive through tunnels and into caverns as they spot the stunning speleothems. The halcyon layer is located in one of the tunnels, and that is just one of the many unique sights divers see. Photo courtesy of aquaworld.com.mx


Dreamgate Cenote

                                                                 

Located in Playa del Carmen, the Dreamgate Cenote is part of one of the largest cave systems in the world. Much like Tajma Ha, Dreamgate is best for advanced divers. There are plenty of stalactites, stalagmites, and columns that make this such a challenging, yet beautiful, dive. Dives at this site are usually short with the use of just one tank, but there is still plenty to see. Photo courtesy of cenotesworld.com


Miguel Colorado

                                    

Hidden away in the jungle, Miguel Colorado Cenote appears to be a pond. However, open cenotes such as this one tends to be much older than ones located in caves. This is usually due to the collapse of the roof of the cave. This cenote is surrounded by breathtaking greenery, and there are plenty of activities for guests to enjoy. This includes nearby hiking trails, kayaking, and ziplining across the stunning waters. Photo courtesy of viamexico.mx


Chihuan

                                       

With its waters completely under the overhanging cave, Chihuan Cenote is popular for swimming. The waters are crystal clear, and there are ropes tied to the low hanging ceiling for swimmers to rest on. This location is not very well known, so it usually only has a few visitors at a time. Photo courtesy of cancuntochichenitza.com


Taak Bi Ha Cenote

                                     

Although most might not know of Taak Bi Ha Cenote,  it is a snorkeler's dream. This site is located 40 minutes from Playa del Carmen, not too far past Dos Ojos. It is owned by the local community but can be dived through local diving centers. Inside one of the caves is a river-like path that guests typically need to explore with the help of a guide. Photo courtesy of advanceddivermexico.com


Angelita

                                      

Perhaps one of the more unique cenotes, Angelita, or “little angel,” reaches over 60 meters of depth. About halfway down, the hydrogen sulfate layer creates a thick, cloud-like fog. There are large stalactites all around, and due to the depth of this site, many advanced and technical divers like to explore the mystical Angelita. Photo courtesy of treehugger.com

                                                                                

Rocio del Mar Liveaboard - Socorro Islands - Nov 19-28, 2022

Rocio del Mar Liveaboard 

Socorro Islands 

November 19-28, 2022

Published Rate $3995, Our Rate $3500 PPDO

10 Berths Available

                                 

 **  Get our discounted rate of $3500 USD per person double occupancy  **

The Revillagigedo Islands (also Revillagigedo Archipelago or Islas Revillagigedo) are a group of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, known for their unique ecosystem. The islands are home to many endemic plant and animal species, and are sometimes called Mexico's "little Galapagos".  Socorro island is the most diverse in flora, fauna, and topography.

The islands lie 250 miles off Baja Mexico's southern shore. When embarking on a trip to the Socorro Islands; possible destinations on the itinerary are San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida and Clarion Islands.

These islands are a spectacular magnet for the largest ocean pelagic animals in the world. Schooling Hammerhead sharks, Tiger sharks, dolphins, silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, clouds of jacks and barracuda, tuna, wahoo, oceanic white tips sharks, whale sharks and mantas.

Day 1 - Board the boat at 5pm / Dinner is served at 7pm / Boat departs shortly thereafter

Day 2 - At Sea

Day 3 - San Benedicto - 4 dives scheduled

Day 4 - Roca Partida - 3 dives scheduled

Day 5 - Roca Partida - 3 dives scheduled

Day 6 - Socorro Island - 3 dives scheduled (check in with naval station)

Day 7 - Socorro Island - 4 dives scheduled

Day 8 - San Benedicto - 4 dives scheduled - at the end of the day we will start our return to San Jose del Cabo

Day 9 - At Sea

Day 10 - Arrive at San Jose del Cabo in the early morning hours - disembark at 8:30am

                               

"Great trip to Socorro Islands with Rocio Del Mar. Awesome big animal encounters, the best in the world. Saw 6 types of sharks! The boat and dive crew are unbelievable! Crew is like family, sharing in all the work with a smile. The food is the best of the 8 Liveaboards we have been on."  - John M.


                                                                     

Dive in the Maldives - 26 Atolls

Dive in the Maldives - 26 Atolls

So Many Islands, So Many Choices


With nearly 2,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited, the Maldives has countless stories to tell. The islands are scattered throughout the Arabian Sea, lying south of India and Sri Lanka. Off of the white sand beaches, the waters invite guests into a new world. With pelagic life, nutrient-rich waters, and abundant coral, the Maldives provides a great experience for any diver, no matter their ability. Most notably, however, are the 26 lively atolls that bring visitors to the islands. Each atoll is unique, and there is a variety of adventures for divers to choose from. Each one of the Maldives atolls has a unique history and vibrancy that is just waiting to be explored. With countless different dive sites and extensive marine life, divers can’t go wrong when choosing to spend their time in the Maldives. 


Ihavandhippolhu Atoll - Located at the very top of the Maldives, Ihavandhippolhu Atoll has many amazing sights for divers. Channels in this area are wider and shallower when compared to others in the Maldives, making the currents calmer and better for newer divers. This location has many walls and overhangs as well as macro life. Some guests even spot larger marine life such as reef sharks and turtles. One of the most popular resorts on the atoll is Beach House Iruveli, which has access to a five-star diving center. 


Haa Alif

                                        

Thiladhunmathi - Also known as Haa Alif Atoll, is the farthest north atoll in the Maldives as well as one of the largest atolls in the world. With forty-three islands of varying sizes, this atoll has only been open to tourism for less than 20 years. Only fourteen of the islands are inhabited. In addition to this, the western side has separate isolated reefs and tiny atolls within the atoll.  Guests usually visit this location if they are looking to spend their days on the beach and exploring all that the sea has to offer. Haa Alif is a 70-minute seaplane ride from the Male Airport, and there is a new airport, Hoarafushi Airport, on the atoll as well. Photo courtesy of CruiseMapper.

MaamakunudhooAs a small and intimate atoll, Maamakunudhoo has plenty of history that lives in its waters. There are many shipwrecks near its coral reef, and the marine life is plentiful. Divers often get to see jellyfish, dolphins, eels, and more on their adventures. Only one of the four islands in this atoll is inhabited as the atoll wasn’t known to exist until the 1800s. 


Etthingili Alifushi - Consisting of only two islands that lie on a detached reef, Etthingili Alifushi Atoll is known for its peaceful environment. Only one of the two islands is inhabited, and the waters surrounding them are very deep. There are luxury hotels in which guests can  their time, and the natives are known for their carpentry and boat building.  


You & Me Resort - Raa Atoll 

                                      


Raa Atoll - As one of the most popular atolls in the Maldives, Raa Atoll consists of 88 islands, only 15 of which are inhabited. It is located on the northern end of the Maldives and has many luxury hotels to choose from such as Kudafushi, Emerald, and Joali Maldives. Divers often get to see pelagic life and spend their time on comfortable liveaboards as they explore many of the dive sites Raa has to offer. Photo courtesy of You & Me Resort.


Fasdhūetherē - Popular for its island-hopping opportunities, Fasdhūetherē Atoll lies between two atolls in the northern section of the Maldives. It is home to 11 islands, only one of which is inhabited. This atoll is perfect for travelers looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and fall into tranquility. 


Baa Atoll

                                            

Baa Atoll - Due to its abundant biodiversity, Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The waters are home to gatherings of manta rays and whale sharks, most often in Hanifaru Bay. Perhaps one of the most popular sites in Baa is the submerged reef known as Dhonfanu Thila where divers can swim deep into the waters and see schools of fish as well as the occasional shark or manta ray. Although this is a more difficult dive, visitors of any skill level can choose from a wide range of dive sites that fits their abilities. Photo courtesy of Visit Maldives.


Goidhu Atoll - As a small oval-shaped atoll with a lagoon free of coral heads, Goidhu has seven islands in total. Only three of the islands are inhabited, but there are still plenty of excursions for visitors to experience. Snorkeling and diving are popular at this atoll, and the lagoon ranges from 30-35 meters deep. 

 

Lhaviyani Atoll - Just a 40-minute seaplane ride north of Male Airport, Lhaviyani Atoll is perfect for any visitor as there are many different resorts to choose from. From adults-only resorts to family-friendly resorts, Lhaviyani truly has it all. Guests looking for a peaceful getaway will be able to find that on this atoll just as others looking for adventure will be able to experience it. 


Kaashidhu Atoll - With many coconut trees and its stunning landscape, this atoll has an oval-shaped lagoon and a narrow reef. There are only two islands in the atoll, and there are Buddhist remains from centuries ago. The waters surrounding this atoll are incredibly deep. 

 

Gahaafaru Atoll - With a large reef that has caused many shipwrecks, this small atoll is separated from Male by a deep channel known as Gaafaru Kandu. The lagoon has no coral patches or shoals. There isn’t anywhere to stay on this atoll, but guests still visit this atoll for day trips. 


North and South Male Atoll

                                       

North and South Male Atoll - The Male Atoll comprises two sections: North Male Atoll and South Male Atoll. North Male Atoll is one of the most popular destinations in the Maldives while South Male Atoll is mostly explored by more experienced divers due to its strong currents. North Male Atoll is easily accessed as it is home to the airport, and there is plenty to do, including exploring the capital city or staying at one of the many luxury resorts. South Male Atoll is located near the airport as well and is perfect for guests looking to vacation on a budget. Photo courtesy of ZuBlu.


Thoddu Atoll - With some of the deepest waters in all of the Maldives, Thoddu Atoll is often used for island hopping as there are no real resorts there. There are Buddhist ruins that can be found on parts of the atoll, and the main source of income for those living on Thoddu’s islands is agriculture. 

 

Rasdhu Atoll - Although Rasdhu Atoll may be small, it has plenty of sights to see. Most popular amongst snorkelers and scuba divers, the atoll has a barrier reef stretching along its northern to western sides with another reef to the east. Sightings of hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and turtles are common at this location, and it is usually visited as day trips. 

 

Ari AtollThe Ari Atoll is located in the western region of the Maldives and is most famous for its stunning clear waters. The atoll is one of the largest in the area, and it has around 50 small islands and several oval reefs. Divers often visit this atoll for the pinnacle, Mayya Thila. This pinnacle reaches a depth of 100 feet, and divers often spot stingrays and barracudas as they descend into the sea. This atoll can be reached by a quick 30-minute seaplane flight from Male airport. 


Vaavu Atoll - Situated between South Male Atoll and Meemu Atoll, Vaavu Atoll is home to the ring-shaped Vattaru Reef at its southern end. Most arrive at one of the atoll's five inhabited islands by ferry or speedboat. These trips usually range from around one to three hours. Guests usually visit this atoll for its stunning dive sites, including the Keyodhoo wreck that is only a few years old. There is also a channel with caves and overhangs known as Fotteyo Kandu that bring in many divers each year. 

 

Falhu Atoll - With only one uninhabited islet, Falhu is a very small egg-shaped atoll. Since it is located near the Vattaru Kandu channel, it is often referred to as Vattaru Atoll. This channel is very popular amongst divers due to its diversity and strong currents; however, it can only be reached by boat. Tourists usually don’t visit this atoll due to its small size and the fact that it's uninhabited, but there are many great sights to see in its waters. 


Meemu Atoll - With 33 islands in total, Meemu Atoll is located south of Male. While the atoll can be visited by liveaboards, it can also be explored from the comfort of luxury resorts. The islands have plenty of history, including a mosque and a 1573 wreck off of a reef near Kolhuvaariyaafushi Island.


Faafu Atoll

                                             

Faafu Atoll - Faafu Atoll is located near the channel Ariadhoo Kandu, which separates it from Ari Atoll. It is often described as peaceful due to its small size and population. Out of the 20 islands that make up this atoll, 15 are uninhabited. This atoll is located just over 100 kilometers from the Male airport. Photo courtesy of the Dive Report.

 

Dhaalu Atoll - With plenty of luxury resorts to choose from, Dhaalu Atoll is a perfect vacation spot for families and honeymooners. Divers can explore the open lagoon or straight barrier reefs while other visitors can enjoy surfing or snorkeling. 56 islands make up this atoll, and less than 10 of the islands are inhabited. Dhaalu airport is located on the capital island of Kudahuvadhoo and can be reached by flights coming in from Velana International Airport. 

 

Kolhumadulu - Also known as Thaa Atoll, Kolhumadulu is famous for its waters that are ideal for fishing. Buddhism is a large part of the atoll’s history, and there are plenty of Buddhist remains on some of the islands. COMO Maalifushi is the only resort on this atoll. 


Haddhunmathi - As one of the more secluded atolls, Haddhunmathi is reached by a short boat ride from Kadhdhoo Airport. Most guests arrive at Kadhdhoo from the Male International Airport. There is one luxury resort on the atoll known as Six Senses. There are plenty of barrier reefs in its waters, some of which even turn into islands. Due to its tropical beauty, the atoll was chosen as the filming location for the Star Wars movie Rogue One. 


Huvadhoo Atoll

                                         

Huvadhoo Atoll - Often referred to as Gaafu, is the second-largest atoll of the Maldives. There are 235 islands in this atoll, and it is surrounded by a rim reef. Many visit this atoll for its ideal surfing conditions, specifically from April to October. Guests can spend their vacation exploring the diverse waters of Gaafu as reef fish, pelagics, and macro life are all common sights for divers. Guests visiting Huvadhoo can experience the atoll at any of the luxury hotels and resorts, or they can visit from several liveaboards.

 

Fuvahmulah Atoll - Located in the south of the Maldives. Due to its proximity to the equator, there aren’t any seasonal changes that impact diving, so guests are welcome year-round. Most of the dive sites in this area have not been extensively explored, making this location best for more advanced divers. In addition to the pristine, nearly untouched reefs, there are many freshwater lakes as well. 


Addu Atoll

                                            


Addu Atoll - Located just south of the equator, Addu Atoll is surrounded by barrier reefs and coral patches in the northern areas. Due to the diverse marine life around the atoll’s reefs, it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There are 30 islands, 13 of which are inhabited by around 10,000 people. The atoll has a long history, including a dialect that is specific to the area. Photo courtesy of the Scuba News.

The 5 Best Underwater Cameras for 2021 - Our Choices

The 5 Best Underwater Cameras for 2021 - Our Choices

You have taken the leap into a new adventure in life and become a certified diver. After buying the gear that fits your style and with a few trips to a resort or on a liveaboard, you notice many of your fellow divers are packing a camera of some sort. Some carry a small sports camera like the GoPro HERO, some carry a small compact and fully waterproof camera that requires no housing like the Olympus TG-6, and others carry a camera that looks like it was assembled by NASA. Now you have decided to become part of the photography crowd, but the question is which camera will best suit your wants and needs. The decision can be complex with so many options for the buyer. Once you start looking at cameras and housing and strobes, you may find your budget could be the driving factor. A full top end camera setup can cost a few thousand dollars.

 

We have selected what we believe are the best cameras in their category along with a couple of options on housings. This article doesn’t delve into the world of underwater strobes and lighting which deserves an article of its own. We hope this article helps you decide which camera might be your first purchase or if you already have an underwater camera and are ready to upgrade, what will be your next step.

 

Our categories are entry level compact, high-end compact, mirrorless, full frame mirrorless, and DSLR (digital single-lens reflex). Each type of camera has its own pros and cons.

 

Compact cameras offer an attached lens while both mirrorless and DSLRs offer interchangeable lenses. After shooting with a compact camera, many people eventually upgrade to a mirrorless or a DSLR. The advantage with a DSLR is the choice of interchangeable lenses. This difference limits the flexibility of a compact camera, although wet lenses that can be added while diving can help bridge this gap. You also have more flexibility with different focal lengths and better image quality from superior optics and a larger sensor. Interchangeable lens cameras also have reduced shutter lag and better focusing capability. These are huge advantages. 


Entry Level Compact Camera - Olympus TG-6

Key Features:

12MP Hi-Speed image sensor for low light performance and noise reduction

Dual Quad Core TruePic™ VIII Image Processor

F2.0 high speed Lens

4K and high speed video

Field Sensor System w/ GPS, Manometer, Compass & Temperature Sensor

Waterproof 


                               

                                               
The Olympus TG-6 is the same size as the TG-5 and has very minor improvements. The TG-6 will work in TG-5 housings. So, if you're really on a budget, take a look at the TG-5. Either the TG-5 or the TG-6 can be considered the best waterproof camera, outside of a housing. 

 

Although we are calling this an entry level camera, this is a very good underwater camera. It's also a good option for snorkeling because it's waterproof without a housing down to 50 feet (15 meters). 

 

The TG-6 has a high speed 12 MP sensor designed for excellent low light performance and noise reduction. It shoots 4k video, RAW photos, and includes built in WIFI, making transferring photos on the go easy. It's important to note that there is no full manual control on this camera. For the casual photographer who doesn't want to have to think about their camera settings this is probably not an issue. But if you want more control, you may want to consider a different camera. you'll be happier with an of the other cameras we mentioned above. For the housing, we recommend either the Olympus housing or the premium Isotta housing.

 

Pros

  • Smaller size for travel
  • Ability to change wet lenses underwater 
  • Much less cost 

 

Cons

  • Smaller sensor means less detail and more noise at high ISO
  • Shutter delay and focus delay is slow 
  • Less control over depth of field. 


High-End Level Compact Camera – Sony RX100 VII

Key Features:

1-inch 20.1 MP stacked CMOS sensor

BIONZ X processor

Built-in 24-200mm (equivalent) f/2.8-4.5 zoom lens

Electronic shutter up to 1/32000s

4K video with full pixel readout

S-LOG2, S-Log3, and HLG picture profiles

Pop-up EVF (2.36 million dots)


                                      

                                          

The Sony RX100 VII is packed with great features and improvements from its predecessor. New technologies have been integrated into the camera, which is similar to its cousins, the A9 and A6400. The improved autofocus tracking system, including animal eye autofocus makes the Sony RX100 VII a top choice for underwater photographers. You won’t find more useful technology for photographing underwater creatures on any other compact camera. Other upgrades include burst shooting without blackout and improved low light capability with a lower native ISO. 

 

There are three things that make the RX100 series one of the best underwater compact camera series. First, the 1-inch sensor size is larger than most other compact cameras. The larger sensor produces better image quality and better low-light performance due to a larger pixel size. Second, the auto-focus speed is faster than traditional compact cameras. Thirdly, the advanced 4K video features available in the RX100 series are the top-of-the-line when it comes to compact camera video systems.

 

The highlight of this camera is its unprecedented macro capability. The zoom on the 24-200 mm f/2.8-4.5 zoom lens cannot be beaten by other compact underwater setups. Details captured with this lens are remarkable. When combined with a wet macro lens, the realm of super macro photography is attainable. The tiniest details of the smallest subjects can be captured with this set up. For the housing, we recommend either the Nauticam housing or the premium Isotta housing.

 

Pros

  • Sharp 8x zoom lens
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 1-inch sensor design
  • Eye detection

 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can't start video while images are writing to card
  • Limited touch functions


Mirrorless Camera – Panasonic GH5

Key features:

20MP Four Thirds sensor

5-axis in-body image stabilization system

4K footage taken using full width of sensor

Internal 4K/30p 10-bit 4:2:2 video capture

1080 video at up to 180p, enabling 7.5x slow-motion

4K and 6K Photo

9 fps shooting with continuous autofocus

Dual UHS II card slots

5GHz Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth

                      


The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is the fifth in the company's industry-changing video and stills 'hybrid' lineup. With its 20MP Four Thirds sensor and deep video-centric feature set, it looks likely to pick up where the GH4 left off as a favorite of indie filmmakers and photographers whose interests venture into the realm of motion picture work.

 

The camera offers carefully thought-out features designed to let videographers of all levels record what they need with the new system. The body is larger and the price tag increased as a result, but the video produced speaks for itself. And the GH5's still photo capability holds its own against the best from Olympus and Sony.

 

The benefit of mirrorless cameras is that they offer the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, with a higher quality and better focusing than compacts in a smaller, lighter package than their DSLR counterparts. As the mirrorless cameras are becoming more robust, we’ve seen the sizes of these cameras begin to increase, getting close in size as DSLR cameras. We’re not quite there yet, and the Panasonic GH5, which the largest of the mirrorless options so far, is still smaller than a DSLR.

 

GH5 underwater housings are smaller than DSLR housings, and support both the GH5 and GH5s cameras, in addition to a variety of micro-four thirds lenses. The Panasonic 12-35mm lens is a popular choice for underwater video. For the housing, we recommend the Nauticam housing as it supports the largest number of lenses.

 

Pros

  • 20MP sensor gives increase in resolution without increase in noise
  • Highly impressive video specifications (4:2:2 10-bit color, 4K/60p)
  • Auto ISO added for manual movie shooting
  • JPEG color improved
  • Dual UHS-II card slots, support for faster V60 cards in the future
  • Settings can be saved to card
  • Good battery life

 

Cons

  • On the larger end of the Micro Four Thirds cameras
  • JPEG sharpening improved 
  • Viewfinder resolution drops noticeably during high-speed bursts
  • Autofocus in video can exhibit focus hunting
  • Slight decrease in video quality when shooting high frame rates (180fps)


Full Frame Mirrorless Camera – Nikon Z6 / Z7

Z6 Key features:

24.5MP sensor

5-axis image stabilization system

1080 video at up to 120 fps

4K video at up to 24 fps

12 fps burst shooting

ISO 100-51200

273-point hybrid phase-detection autofocus

 

Z7 Key features:

45.7MP sensor

5-axis image stabilization system

1080 video at up to 120 fps

4K video at up to 24 fps

9 fps burst shooting

ISO 64-25600

493-point hybrid phase-detection autofocus


                                    

                                               

The most important distinctions between the Z6 and Z7 are the sensor resolution and autofocus - both are markedly better on the Z7. Additionally, the Z7 has a native ISO of 64, expandable down to 32, which is better than the Z6's native ISO of 100 (expandable down to 50). This means the Z7 will pull out more details from the shadows and highlights than the Z6. Other than that, the cameras are almost the same, including the same physical dimensions and weights. And of course, the cost, with the Z7 about $1200 higher in price.

 

The most enticing thing about the Z6 and Z7 is the excellent construction. The weather sealing is tough in variable weather conditions. The Z7 is much smaller and lighter than the D850 (675g vs 1005g). For the travelling diver, the Z6 or Z7 wins every time. 

 

The image quality on the Z7 is amazing. At first you might think that 45.7 MP is more than enough pixels in one camera. However, every bit of that information is useful. When you have so many megapixels on a full-frame sensor, you’re left with an ability to crop photos and produce a large, beautiful images with very minute details. Details like this will open new worlds for macro photographers.

 

The video on the Z6 / Z7 can be considered on par with the D850. This puts it at the top of the line for most underwater video systems. The color rendering is as good as in the Nikon D850 - which was revolutionary for Nikon at the time of its release. But the best feature on the Z7’s video is the autofocus full-time function. It outperforms the D850 and most other competing cameras. I did, however, have a little bit of trouble with this function in very low light. The most exciting thing for videographers using the Nikon Z7 is that it’s a full-frame camera with 4k video, capable of outputting video at 10 bits. Many cameras with this capability are over 10 times the price. An N-Log color profile is also available for the Nikon Z7, which will bring out more details after post-processing. 

 

For the underwater housing, we recommend the Nauticam or the premium Isotta housing.

 

Pros

  • Amazing image quality 
  • Very high resolution
  • High functioning electronic viewfinder
  • Smaller than competing DSLRs

 

Cons

  • Banding in low light
  • Noise at low ISO 
  • AF slightly lower performing than the D850
  • Battery life
  • Single XQD slot

Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Key features:

30.4MP CMOS full-frame sensor

DCI 4K 30/24p video using Motion JPEG + 4K Frame Grab

61-point AF system 

Dual Pixel AF

ISO 100-32000

7 fps continuous shooting

Wi-Fi w/ NFC + GPS

       


The Canon EOS 5D series is one of the most recognized camera lines of the digital age and the Mark IV is designed to appeal to a wide range of professionals. Nearly identical in appearance to its predecessor, it features considerable upgrades, including: a higher-resolution sensor with Dual Pixel auto-focus, 4K video capture, an upgraded AF system, improved weather-sealing, built-in Wi-Fi/NFC, an interval timer and GPS. All this adds up to an amazing camera that fits into Canon's product line.

 

The 5D Mark IV is Canon's first full frame camera that can continuously focus in Live View during stills capture, and because of the way Dual Pixel AF works, focus is generally very accurate. It's good at sticking to the original subject on which you initiated the focus, and it's easy to specify the subject by tapping on it on the touchscreen in 'Face Detect+Tracking' mode.

 

Underwater and even in poor visibility, the camera will easily snap autofocus. And, if the camera is tilted from a near subject to a far subject, the focus triggers quickly and smoothly. The new autofocus features in this camera could be a milestone in video autofocus for underwater photographers.

 

No other DSLR camera on the market can master natural light white balances underwater without a color correction filter like this camera. This allows the shooter to take lights in the water and have the option to do natural or artificial light shooting on the same dive. The white balance procedure is a little bit different compared to previous models. This camera does not allow photos in video mode. This requires an additional step to switch to photo mode, take a shot, then go back to video mode. This is not big deal, but if you were used to the procedure on a previous Canon, it’s an additional step.

 

Canon has made some vast image quality improvements over the previous EOS 5D. Still images are superb and as far as video quality, Canon is the king. For the underwater housing, we recommend the Aquatica or the premium Isotta housing.

 

Pros

  • Improved dynamic range
  • True live autofocus in video mode
  • Now shooting 4K 30p
  • High 500mbps data rate
  • 4:2:2 color space
  • 1.64 crop in 4K movie mode

 

Cons

  • No zebra or focus peaking in-camera, but available on external monitors
  • Large file sizes for 4K video
  • Fastest CF card on the market required to ensure uninterrupted video


                                                                              

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