By Chris Parsons
I recently wrote an article touting SLR's (here), and I am still convinced that they are the camera for me, especially for most underwater shooting. Sometimes, though, a smaller tool for the job makes sense, and here's a quick story about just such a case.
A few weekends ago I went sailing offshore here in Florida; I've always said that you can tell you had a great day sailing when things start falling off the shelves and on to the floor because the boat is heeling (leaning over). Of course I am being a little facetious here - a good sailor has everything securely battened down so it won't fall. Unfortunately, though, one of the things that I did not have secured was my Canon 5D Mark III. The wind picked up in the afternoon, and as we tacked the boat, I heard a thud. The camera landed on the LCD, and it cracked, so off to Canon for repair.
So this past weekend, we sailed over to Bimini, and I brought along the much smaller Canon G7X in the Nauticam NA-G7X housing. I set it up with the small dome port, which I think is a great option for all around shooting with this camera. It allows both nice wide angle (restores the 24mm equivalent in-air field of view) and fish portrait and smaller on the macro side. It's a great setup that let's you do a lot without adding heavy add-on lenses.
The camera and housing were great, and we had a lot of fun with it. It's a very capable little camera that supports full manual plus raw capture, and the images looked great even without lighting. The only real weakness of this camera is the battery life - I definitely recommend picking up a couple of spare batteries to have on hand.
One thing about this camera that doesn't get nearly enough attention is the white balance feature. The G7X allows you to set up "one touch white balance", meaning you simply point the camera at something white or gray, and press the button. Viola, instant custom white balance. Canon cameras typically are the best at u/w white balance, and it is a real treat to be able to do it with a single button push. Check out the little video below for a quick example of how it works: