TAKAJI OCHI After working for the Sankei Shimbun's photo news bureau, he became a freelance photographer and writer. Since then, he has continued to cover the natural environment, focusing on southern islands and warm seas. He has over 5,000 dives under his belt. Since then, he has photographed dolphins in many domestic and international waters, including Mikurajima, Hawaii, Florida, Palau, the Bahamas, Australia, and the Marshall Islands. Since then, he has photographed dolphins in many waters in Japan and abroad, including Mikurajima, Hawaii, Florida, Palau, the Bahamas, Australia and the Marshall Islands.
Review of MDX-7D (housing for Canon EOS 7D)
Using MDX-7D (housing for Canon EOS 7D)
Until now, I had been mainly shooting underwater with the MDX-PRO 5D Mark II (housing for Canon EOS 5D Mark II) for wide-angle shooting and the MDX-40D (housing for Canon EOS 40D) for macro shooting.
The reason I didn't get around to the 50D was that its functions were almost the same.
Having both a single full-size camera and an APS-C size camera allows for more variations in shooting, even when using the same lens. For example, a 100mm macro lens can be used at 160mm on APS-C, and a 15mm fisheye lens can be used at 24mm on APS-C. With only one lens, you can select the lens to be attached according to the subject to be photographed, thus reducing the number of lenses used for coverage.
The biggest deciding factor in my immediate purchase of the 7D was its ability to shoot at 8 frames per second.
When photographing whales, the 5D Mark II can only shoot at 3.5 frames per second, which is not very reliable when shooting breaching from a boat.
I had been taking the 5D Mark II and 40D for underwater photography and the 1D Mark III for onboard photography, but I had been thinking for some time that I wanted to reduce the total weight of my luggage.
Since the 5D Mark II, 40D, and 1D Mark III use different types of batteries, I used to need a charger and a spare battery for each.
As for the feel of the camera, the position of the on/off switch has been completely changed, so I felt uncomfortable until I got used to it, but, well, this too will be fine once you get used to it. The monitor's color reproduction, which is my main concern when shooting underwater, is less blue than that of the 40D even in the same shooting mode, and the same photo is displayed beautifully on the monitor, so I feel good when shooting.
It is almost as if a red filter is being used to cover the water, so that the picture is taken without the blue tint of the water as one might expect. The blue is expressed in a slightly gentler hue, so I don't feel the vividness that I used to. Whether you think that is good or bad is a matter of taste.
The MDX-7D housing also allows strobe shooting with fiber optics, which gives me a greater sense of security. As for operability, I am sure I will notice many things as I use the housing more and more, but the first time I used it, the feel was quite good.
The shutter lever has been improved in various ways, such as making it easier to shoot in both portrait and landscape positions and making the viewfinder easier to read.
Some people say it looks amateurish to have a sticker indicating which button is which, but if you use only that housing, it may be fine without the sticker, but for someone like me who uses several different housings for different types of shooting, I feel safer if there is a sticker because the position of the button varies depending on the equipment. For someone like myself who shoots with several different types of housings, it would be safer to have a sticker label because the position of the button varies depending on the equipment.
The port is bayonet type, which is easy to attach and detach. There is no need to change the position of the port cover for each housing. All existing ports can be used as they are. The camera can be easily detached from the housing, and the SEA&SEA housing is easy to use in this area.
In addition, all sample shots below were taken with a 15mm fisheye lens and the "landscape mode, sunlight" setting. The shooting location was Balicasag Island in the Philippines. The transparency was poor and there was no blue; with the 5D Mark II and 40D, the blue of the sea was sometimes unnaturally blue, but with the 7D, the blue was softer.
In the Bahamas, I also used a Canon EOS 7D with a 15mm fisheye lens, SEA&SEA MDX-7D housing + NX Compact Dome Port set.
Normally, I usually shoot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a 15mm fisheye lens + MDX-PRO 5D Mark II + NX Compact Dome Port, but when I wanted to add some variation to my photos, I would shoot with the above set.
Compared to the full-size 5D Mark II with a 15mm fisheye, the same lens on the APS-C 7D gives an angle of view equivalent to 24mm. Naturally, this allows the photographer to take larger pictures of distant subjects than with a 15mm lens. And yet, I personally prefer the 7D + 15mm because the background is more rounded than when shooting with a full-size 16-35mm or other short zoom lens attached.
In the Bahamas, I also photograph dolphin identification. In this case, this set-up is also effective. It is easy to identify them as shown in the photo, and it also works well when taking photos from right beside them.
This Formosan humpback dolphin is difficult to identify because it is only a baby, about one year old, and has no scars or marks on its body.
The 7D and 15mm set can also be effective for photographing dolphins and divers. It is difficult to capture the moment when many skin divers are swimming well with dolphins, as close as possible and without other divers halfway in the picture.
With the 15mm lens on the 5D Mark II, the angle of view is too wide, and often only the tails of other dolphins or the diver's face or fins are halfway in the shot. There is an idea to crop the image, but I prefer to keep it untrimmed if possible.
Anyway, when I go into the ocean to capture divers and dolphins in a clear image, I choose the 7D and the 15mm + SEA&SEA MDX-7D set without hesitation.
As mentioned above, it is difficult to capture obstacles in the middle of the image. This allows you to take more powerful close-up photos.
Since this photo was also taken by bare diving, it has the advantage of reducing the amount of forced movement that occurs when you get as close to the subject as possible, thus avoiding the exhaustion of physical strength.
In this sample photo, the diver and the dolphin in the foreground are fine, but the diver in the background cannot be cropped in this way, which is sad.
When photographing dolphins, by using the 7D + 15mm + SEA&SEA MDX-7D set, which has a narrower angle of view, what you are looking for is a larger, more powerful photograph of the subject dolphin.
If the transparency is high and there are sand patterns on the sand, then a full-size shot with a fish-eye background is better, but if the transparency is low or the background is not so beautiful, I tend to shoot mainly the dolphins rather than the background.
In such cases, I used the 7D + 15mm + SEA&SEA MDX-7D set.
The reason I use a compact dome port is because, unlike scuba diving, skin diving requires a quick dive to get into a shooting position, so it is easier to dive with a compact dome port that has less buoyancy.
*Copyright of these image data belongs to SEA&SEA Corporation or the photographer indicated.