We recently took the NA-645DF housing for the PhaseOne 645DF camera and P series backs to Cancun to meet with the staff of one of the largest PhaseOne dealers in the US, Capture Integration (CI). CI arranged for us to work with Matt and Sol from Del Sol Photography, amazing wedding photographers. They were game for trying the 645DF for an underwater "Trash the Dress" shoot in a private cenote outside of Playa del Carmen.
[Note: click on the images for a larger sized image... still not full size though - these are large files!]
Not knowing what we were in store for, the setup we put together for Matt and Sol was pretty simple... the 645DF with P65+ back, PhaseOne 28mm lens, Nauticam 180º viewfinder, Zen 230mm dome, and two Inon Z-240 strobes with sync cables fired from the PC Sync port on the camera. Matt and Sol do a lot of natural light shooting, accented by reflectors. In a more controlled environment, studio lighting would be applicable and the NA-645DF has two bulkheads available for connecting to studio setups.
Shooting the NA-645DF is really not that different from shooting a conventional DSLR. The NA-645DF is larger than other DSLR housings, but in the water it is very manageable. With the Zen 230mm dome and two Inon Z-240's the system was a pound or two negative.
The resolution of the 645DF with P65+ back is just amazing. Back at the hotel in Cancun, we pixel-peeped the images and I was blown away by the detail preserved in the image, and not just in terms of just shear number of pixels, but in smoothness of the tones, lack of noise and dynamic range.
The cenote we did the shoot in was a major test for the 645DF.... while it's image quality is outstanding, the range of sensitivity is limited compared to most current DSLRs. The CI folks advised us not to push the ISO much past 200 for normal shooting and 800 for a mode called sensor plus, though I did see a full resolution shot at ISO 400 that, with a touch of noise reduction in CaptureOne, was beautiful.
Thanks to Matt and Sol for the amazing work, and Capture Integration for setting this up.
And.... check out our short video of the shoot: