Greetings once more from Lembeh, Indonesia. Chris Parsons here, reporting on my week with the Canon 70D in the Nauticam NA-70D housing. Tonight I will wrap up my thoughts on this system, and share a few more photos. I will put together a video reel from the trip in the next couple of week, so please do check back for that.
First, I'd like to thank our hosts, Simon and Zee, proprietors of NAD Lembeh and all of their great staff. It's a great dive resort for underwater photographers and I will definitely be back here as soon as I can. Thank you also to our guests from Reef Photo who put up with me during the week. Lembeh has been awesome to me this week and have a ton of video clips and stills yet to sort through.
So, starting with the Canon 70D camera... the bottom line, I like this camera a lot. Canon wasn't kidding around when they engineered this new phase detection sensor technology. The focus during video is fast and accurate, even in challenging underwater conditions.
The APS-C sensor brings a lot of advantages to the table, and the increased apparent magnification during macro was very nice to have here. APS-C SLR's can get away with using a relatively smaller dome, and the EF-S lenses are generally less expensive. It was nice to get to use my 60mm macro again. The image quality is excellent and stacks up very well against competing cameras, and Canon's color reproduction is excellent.
The NA-70D housing worked flawlessly during the entire week. The layout is a little different than the 5D Mark III housing I have been mostly using, but it didn't take long to adjust. The key things, like shutter, AF-ON, command dials and ISO lever are the same as on the 5DIII housing. The main difference is the Multipad Controller which handles the 70D's 8-way controller. It's quite easy to use and I found it really handy in changing the focus area during a video shot. The housing handles really well in the water and I have zero complaints.
The autofocus during video feature works really well, but do keep in mind that this is still SLR video, and that it is not a magic bullet to make the camera into a handicam. The large sensor means that similarly composed shot will have less depth of field than with the small chip of a handicam - and that is a good thing, in my opinion. Video with large depth of field tends to look "fake". SLR video is still a little more work, but the choice of lenses and the quality it produces makes it well worth the effort. The new technology that Canon has enabled in this camera makes that work a bit easier.
That's it for now; I'll post some video after I get a chance to go through everything I shot. Thanks for stopping by and I hope these articles were helpful.