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Taking photos from low vantage points
  
 
EricAsk
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Taking photos from low vantage points


Howdy Folks!

I am trying to find a good solution for helping me more easily take photos from low-to-the-ground vantage points. I have a Nikon d7100. I shoot mostly wide angle with strobes in a non tripod situation (underwater photography). I usually shoot from so low that looking thru the viewfinder or seeing the LCD is impractical.

I started with a 45 degree viewfinder. This helps, but I'm hoping for something that doesn't require me to get as low to the ground. I'm also hoping for something that let's me see the exposure of the strobes, without having to retilt my camera to see the LCD.

I next started looking into using a HDMI field monitor attached to the top of my camera, but I'm having some issues with it. The number one problem is that whenever I proceed to take a picture, the LCD and HDMI monitor turn off. After I take the photo, the LCD turns back on and shows me the picture I took, but the HDMI monitor takes about 7 seconds to reconnect and show the HDMI signal! Is this delay a known common problem? Note: I don't use liveview. I'd rather spray and pray and hope to get some instant feedback on the monitor, to help me correct my lighting or correct my shot by a few degrees.

I then started seeing if I could use an android connected to my camera show me the latest picture. I'm also finding this software extremely slow, it takes at 5-6 seconds to display after I take a shot, and it is throttling how fast I can take photos. Also, the WIFI mode prevents me from getting into the normal menus of the camera (and temporarily turning off wifi breaks the signal, and I have to go thru android menus to disconnect, I don't have the option to do that underwater). I'm using DSLR Dashboard. Overall, it seems more optimized for remote control than that as a field monitor for stills. I've already optimized it by using small low-quality jpegs. I might be able to make this system faster by going USB, getting a faster android and faster memory card. But the biggest delay in the software seems to be just loading the jpg -- even on my laptop. Any luck with alternative software?

I am starting to wonder if using some kind of mirror / periscope that shows my LCD would be best. Has anybody had any luck with such a system?

Any other ideas?

Thank you!



Aug 26, 2017 at 10:33 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Taking photos from low vantage points


I was never a fan of the D7100 banding and the small buffer. Now there are DX bodies with tilt displays. Have you considered the D7500?

EBH



Aug 26, 2017 at 11:36 PM
Two23
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Taking photos from low vantage points


I bought a used d5300 for not much $$. It would do what you want.


Kent in SD



Aug 27, 2017 at 01:18 AM
EricAsk
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Taking photos from low vantage points


Hi guys!
Thanks for the responses.

Unfortunately, switching cameras is quite a bit of an extra expense for me, given that underwater housings are specific to the camera bodies and generally run 1.5-3x the cost of the camera body Plus the lens upgrade to FX. Also I have not seen an underwater housing that accounts for the tilt lcd. They should! The tilt lcd otherwise sounds perfect. I may consider it for non-h2o applications some time in the future.

By off chance, are any of the tilt lcd's removable and able to go wireless or tether? Then I could maybe make it work at the extra expense.

Any other ideas? Has anybody successfully used some sort of external screen on a Nikon for stills?

Thank you!



Aug 27, 2017 at 04:34 AM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Taking photos from low vantage points


If you have an iPad or phone you could use a Case Air wireless trasmitter. You can control the camera via your mobile device as it creates a wi-fi network connection. Works pretty good, I have used it on location and sent photos to my client as they were shot.

Case Air



Aug 27, 2017 at 05:41 AM
 

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jcolwell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Taking photos from low vantage points


Also, you can use a smart phone to control most cameras through the AV/digital (video) USB port. I use DSLR Controller through USB with my Canon DSLR, even though some have WiFi. The USB connection provides a higher resolution image than the HDMI O/P, and it has little effect on battery life (as opposed to WiFi, which is a power hog).


Aug 27, 2017 at 09:58 AM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Taking photos from low vantage points


jcolwell wrote:
Also, you can use a smart phone to control most cameras through the AV/digital (video) USB port. I use DSLR Controller through USB with my Canon DSLR, even though some have WiFi. The USB connection provides a higher resolution image than the HDMI O/P, and it has little effect on battery life (as opposed to WiFi, which is a power hog).


Maybe with some other Wi-Fi devices, not so with the Case Air. I get full resolution files, even Raw if I want, the only issue with files are the size and transfer time, same goes for a wired connection. The HMDI port is just sending data and not downsampling. The Case Air app lets me decide if I want JPEG, Raw or both sent to my device.



Aug 27, 2017 at 01:59 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Taking photos from low vantage points


jcolwell wrote:
Also, you can use a smart phone to control most cameras through the AV/digital (video) USB port. I use DSLR Controller through USB with my Canon DSLR, even though some have WiFi. The USB connection provides a higher resolution image than the HDMI O/P, and it has little effect on battery life (as opposed to WiFi, which is a power hog).

JBPhotog wrote:
Maybe with some other Wi-Fi devices, not so with the Case Air. I get full resolution files, even Raw if I want, the only issue with files are the size and transfer time, same goes for a wired connection. The HMDI port is just sending data and not downsampling. The Case Air app lets me decide if I want JPEG, Raw or both sent to my device.


I meant the image that you see during LiveView operation, not the file(s) that are saved in the camera and/or remotely.



Aug 27, 2017 at 02:14 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Taking photos from low vantage points


With UW photography I learned to shoot upside down and nearly vertical so my fins do not do damage and I am not in contact with sea urchin spines or fire coral or a stone fish. Not all that difficult even with a dry suit.

This has worked for macro shots first with the Nikonos 35mm film rangefinder camera with the focus frames attached to the lens, and later with a DSLR in a housing.



Aug 28, 2017 at 06:50 PM







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