Best underwater settings for the Canon Powershot G7X Mark II


Painted Frogfish (Antennarius pictus) in the Lembeh Strait

Painted Frogfish (Antennarius pictus) in the Lembeh Strait – Canon G7X Mark II, 1x INON S-2000 (on TTL), f8, 1/250sec, ISO160, ND filter ON


For shooting with strobe(s), I recommend using MANUAL mode – The good thing about the Canon G7x and the Canon G7X Mark II – TTL works even in Manual mode! No need to shoot in Av mode anymore!

Here are some setting which work for me, I don’t say that these are the only settings 🙂

The settings I didn’t list are either not important, or I don’t know what they mean 😉

Camera MENU 1

Image quality RAW (I’m shooting only raw, if you want JPEG, I recommend setting the camera to RAW & JPG large superfine so you’ll have RAW images for later use – just in case)

Still Image Aspect Ratio 3:2 (use the max resolution – you paid for 20 Megapixel, so use them all – you can always crop later)

Image review 2 sec. (this is long enough for evaluating the image)

Camera MENU 2

Touch shutter Disable (Touch screen doesn’t work through the housing yet)

Face ID Settings Off (unless you want to shoot your buddy underwater)

Camera MENU 3

Digital Zoom Off (don’t use the Digital Zoom!!!)

AF operation ONE SHOT

AF method 1-point AF (I usually don’t use the Face AiAF tracking, because most likely the camera will not recognise the critters’ faces or eyes and focus on the wrong part of the critter :-))

AF Frame Size Small (For shooting tiny subjects it’s easier to focus on the desired area)

Continuous AF On

Camera MENU 4

AF+MF – ON I like this function as it allows you to manually focus while half pressing the shutter with the front dial while being in AF mode – this is super cool for super macro!

AF-assist Beam Off (Save battery, the light won’t travel through the housing)

MF-Point Zoom up to you 🙂 – I sometimes use it, sometimes I don’t

Safety MF – Off (If you leave it ON, the camera will readjust the focus after manually focusing)

MF Peaking Settings ON – High – Red

Camera MENU 5

Bracketing OFF

ISO speed 125

Metering mode SPOT (doesn’t matter when shooting manual strobe, but when shooting  TTL is can make the difference)

ND Filter This filter will cut your exposure by -3 stops. Use it if the image is still overexposed with minimum strobe power or if you want a black background. It’s very useful when shooting super-macro with a close-up lens like the INON UCL 165INON UCL 100SubSee+5SubSee+10, or Nauticam CMC and when shooting with snoots like the Retra LSD.

Flash Settings Auto when shooting TTL (set your external strobe to TTL), Manual and minimum when adjusting the external strobe manually

Longarm Octopus (Abdopus sp.) in the Lembeh Strait

Longarm Octopus (Abdopus sp.) in the Lembeh Strait | Canon G7X Mark II, 1x INON S-2000 (on TTL), f8, 1/160sec, ISO160


Camera MENU 6

White Balance AWB (when shooting RAW it doesn’t really matter – we can make a white balance later in post production, unless you shoot video, but usually the AWB does a pretty good job on the Canon)

When shooting super-macro with a close-up lens you have to use the zoom to get the best possible result. If you want the maximum magnification, zoom in all the way (make sure to switch the Digital Zoom OFF), then get very close. The distance depends a bit on the lens, but typically I would say between 5-12cm / 1-3inches away from the subject (the subject should get in focus automatically when the continuous AF is set to on), half press the shutter until you get the green square and shoot.




Undescribed Hairy Octopus (Octopus sp.) in the Lembeh Strait

Snooted undescribed Hairy Octopus (Octopus sp.) in the Lembeh Strait | Canon G7X Mark II, 1x Nauticam CMC-1, 1x INON Z-240 with Retra LSD, f11, 1/400sec, ISO160, ND filter ON


Blue-ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena sp.) in the Lembeh Strait

Blue-ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena sp.) in the Lembeh Strait | Canon G7X Mark II, 1x Nauticam CMC-1, 1x INON S-2000 (on TTL), f9, 1/320sec, ISO160


Halgerda nudibranch (Halgerda batangas) in the Lembeh Strait

Halgerda nudibranch (Halgerda batangas) in the Lembeh Strait | Canon G7X Mark II, 1x Nauticam CMC-1, 1x INON S-2000 (on TTL), f9, 1/320sec, ISO160


Ocellated frogfish (Antennarius ocellatus) in the Lembeh Strait

Snooted Ocellated frogfish (Antennarius ocellatus) in the Lembeh Strait | Canon G7X Mark II, 1x , 1x INON Z-240 with Retra LSD, f11, 1/400sec, ISO160, ND filter ON


Napoleon snake eel (Ophichthus bonaparti) in the Lembeh Strait

Snooted Napoleon snake eel (Ophichthus bonaparti) in the Lembeh Strait | Canon G7X Mark II, 1x INON Z-240 with Retra LSD, f11, 1/200sec, ISO160, ND filter ON



Shooting with LED lights:

If you’re shooting with strong LED lights, you can shoot in Av mode, if you want to be more creative, shoot in manual mode. The good thing about shooting with constant lights is that you can see the light before already, so the light-meters work! Good starting settings for shooting in AV mode are:

F5.6 for getting a relative good depth of field (If you have powerful enough lights, and you get close, you can even shoot f8!)

ISO 160 – 320 don’t go higher than 320, or you will get a lot of noise

ND filter OFF – you shouldn’t use the ND filter when shooting with LED lights (unless shooting super macro)

Exposure compensation Exposure compensation should be at -2/3 – that will be a good exposure underwater.

All the other settings should be the same like above

The camera will now change the shutter speed to get the desired amount of light. If the shutter speed is slower then 1/60sec you have to go up with the power of the LED or change the ISO (higher number) or choose a larger aperture (lower F-number)

Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) in the Lembeh Strait

Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) in the Lembeh Strait |Canon G7X Mark II, 1x SOLA 2500SF (on flood), f9, 1/250sec, ISO160

All the images were shot with a Canon G7X Mark II in a Fantasea housing, and some of them where shot with additional Nauticam CMC-1 macro lens. The lens was mounted on the housing with the Flip-Mount for Fantasea housings. If you’re interested in purchasing a Flip-Mount for your Fantasea G7X Mark II or G16 housing, please use the links below.


Flip-Mounts are also available for other housings and as well for SubSee and INON macro lenses. Please email for more details, or click here.

Underwater Macro – The SONY A7RII with the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS lens

After testing the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS extensively (I did over 200 dives with this lens already), I have to say - it's a pretty good setup for Lembeh! It gives me the flexibility of shooting a wide range of subjects and I'm not stuck with a macro or a wide-angle setup. I can shoot critters that are very small - I cannot fill the frame with a hairy shrimp, but when using an extra macro wet-lens (like the SubSee +5 or Nauticam SMC), I can fill the frame with subjects the size of around 1-2cm (around 1/2 inch) in Super35 mode. When shooting in full frame mode @24mm I get vignetting from the flat port, but I can shoot at the 32mm range of the lens without vignetting and shoot subjects the size of around 30 cm (1 foot) right in front of the port (I'm using a Subal Type4 flat port on a Nauticam NA-A7II housing with a Nauticam to Subal adapter).

I used the Nauticam SMC only for subjects smaller than 3cm (1 inch), for subjects between 3-8cm (1-3 inches) I used the SubSee +5 and everything larger than 8cm (3 inches) I was able to shoot without having to add an extra wet-lens.


Here are some example shots:


Soft coral with a pygmy cuttlefish shot with the SONY A7RII and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @32mm in FullFrame mode - F9, 1/60sec


Soft coral with a pygmy cuttlefish shot with the SONY A7RII and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @69mm in Super 35 mode - F9, 1/160sec


Soft coral with a pygmy cuttlefish shot with the SONY A7RII and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @68mm in Super 35 mode and 1x SubSee +5 diopter - F9, 1/160sec

The 24-70 is very sharp - even at smaller apertures.

Here are some Lightroom screenshots:


Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) @42mm, f14, 1/60sec, ISO250


Same image like above at 100%

Here's a shot @31mm - on the top left the port is still visible, that's why in full frame mode the lens has to be at @32mm (at least with my setup)


Coconut Octopus shot with the SONY A7RII and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @31mm in full frame mode, f14, 1/60sec, ISO 320

Here's a short video shot with the A7R2 and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4, for best viewing experience watch in 4K:

When shooting video I also use the Clear Image Zoom function of the A7R II - then I can shoot very small stuff like the Costasiella kuroshimae, also known as the "Shaun the sheep nudi" with the 24-70mm lens (with an additional Nauticam SMC) and I can fill the frame @70mm in Super35 mode with subjects smaller than 1cm in size - pretty amazing! 🙂


Don't get me wrong, I still use other lenses and the 90mm macro is a "must have" lens in Lembeh, but the 24-70 is also a very nice lens for shooting macro and even super macro in the Lembeh Strait (when combined with a flat port).

This test was done while diving with Critters@Lembeh Resort.

SONY A7RII with SONY FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS & Reefnet SubSee +5 or Nauticam SMC

SONY A7RII with a 90mm macro lens – Image size comparison with the SubSee +5 and the Nauticam SMC

I was checking out different options of so called “wet-lenses” on the SONY A7RII in a Nauticam NA-A7II housing. I used the SONY FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS lens without a wet-lens, with SubSee +5 and with the Nauticam SMC and compared the subject sizes at maximum magnification.

When using no “wet-lens” in Super 35mode, the image size is very similar to when using a SubSee+5 in Full Frame mode & when using a SubSee+5 in Super 35 mode the image size is very similar to when using a SMC in Full Frame mode.
The difference is that you have 42MP in Full Frame mode vs 18MP in Super 35 mode. Of course when shooting stills we want to have the full 42 MP (why else would we pay for them), but the Super 35 mode becomes really handy when shooting video. In both modes the A7RII is recording 4K in camera. It’s like having an extra teleconverter with you while diving. When I’m shooting video I try to use the Super 35 mode whenever possible, but when the subjects are a bit larger, it’s very nice to be able to shoot in full frame mode and get a tick closer.

Here are some images with my results:


All images taken at F18, 1/125sec, ISO ranged from 1250 – 2000 (I had the camera on AUTO ISO)


Final conclusion: For shooting video with the A7R2 there’s no need for the SubSee +5, but it can be useful when shooting stills. I will do some more testing and keep you posted.


Tips For Underwater Photographers – Fluorescent Photography

UV or fluorescence dives are becoming more and more popular and many dive resorts offer them as part of the experience.

Doing fluorescence dives can be very different than normal dives, and the fluorescence is best appreciated on night-dives.

How to shoot fluorescence underwater?

There are different ways to do fluorescent photography; one way is to use a UV or fluorescent focus/video light to look for subjects, fluorescence filters on our strobes, a yellow filter on our camera and a yellow filter on our mask and the other way is to just use UV lights and a yellow filter on the camera (and mask) and no additional strobes. Because of all these filters the light is not that strong in the first place and we need to use different settings on our cameras. High ISO numbers, large apertures (low f-numbers) and slow shutter speeds are typically needed to be able to see something in our images.

Shooting with strobes

Strobes with fluorescence filters strapped on are stronger than UV lights, allowing us to choose lower ISO numbers, faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures, but we still cannot shoot with our typical macro settings…I usually start off with something like ISO 800-1600 , f8, 1/60sec, take a test-shot and then adjust accordingly…sometimes we need to boost the ISO up more to get the desired depth of field, but that can introduce noise (newer cameras can handle very high ISO numbers without having too much noise)



Hermit crab – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO800, f7.1, 1/60sec, 1x i-Torch Pro6 as focus light, 1x INON Z240 with fluorescence filter strapped over the strobe


Shooting with video lights:

Many video and focus lights nowadays have the UV function built in. If you don’t want to invest in the fluorescence filters for the strobes it is possible to use only the UV lights to get some good shots as long as the subjects are small. A good starting setting there is around ISO800-1600, f5, 1/30sec and then adjust according to the subject…for moving subjects use a faster shutter speed.


Mushroom coral – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO800, f4.5, 1/30sec, 1x i-Torch Pro6+, 1xi-Torch Pro 7 with fluorescence filter strapped over the light



Galaxea coral – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO800, 1/30sec, f4, 1xi-Torch Pro6


It is easiest to photograph corals and anemones as they don’t move much, but a lot of the critters here in Lembeh are fluorescent as well…



Stargazer (Uranoscopus sp) – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10-17, Kenko 1.4 TC, @17mm, ISO640, f7,1, 1/60sec, 2xi-Torch Venom 50



Wrasse – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, ISO640, f5.6, 1/125sec, 2x i-Torch Venom 50



Needle cuttlefish (Sepia aculeata) – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10–17mm, Kenko 1.4x TC, ISO 16000, f/6.3, 1/30s, 2x i-Torch Venom 38



Lizardfish –  Canon 7D, 60mm, ISO640, 1/30sec, f5, 1x i-Torch Pro6



This is a little scorpionfish with some algae growth on him…the scorpionfish itself is not fluorescent, it’s the algae! – Canon 7D, 60mm, ISO640, 1/30sec, f3.5, 1x i-Torch Pro6+, 1xi-Torch Pro 7 with fluorescence filter strapped over the light


With multiple UV lights and a wider lens (i.e. fisheye lens) it is possible to illuminate larger subjects:



Favia coral – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10-17, Kenko 1.4 TC, @17mm, ISO640, f7,1, 1/60sec, 2xi-Torch Venom 50, 2xi-Torch Venom 38, 1x i-Torch Pro6+



Reef-scene in UV view – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10–17mm, Kenko 1.4x TC, @14mm, ISO 5000, f/5, 1/60s, 2xi-Torch Venom 50, 2xi-Torch Venom 38, 1x i-Torch Pro6+


Hard coral  (Montipora tuberculosa)  – SONY A7 RII, SONY FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS @16mm, ISO2000, f4, 1/60sec, 1xi-Torch Venom 50, 2x i-Torch Venom 38, 1x i-Torch Pro6+



Close-up of above image



Hard coral  (Montipora tuberculosa)   – helicopter-shot – SONY A7 RII, SONY FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS @16mm, ISO20.000, f4, 1/60sec, 1xi-Torch Venom 50, 2x i-Torch Venom 38, 1x i-Torch Pro6+


Scientists still don’t fully understand what purpose(s) fluorescence serves in marine life but theories propose that it may be for communication, as protection and to fool predators. Whatever the reason, it’s fascinating to discover and photograph a whole new side to fish, creatures, corals and anemones whose appearance changes radically under fluorescent light. See if you can discover fluorescence in an organism you never knew had it in them! Remember as always to be respectful of marine life and be cautious if you are using fluorescent lights on an animal, as some may have eyes which are particularly sensitive to that spectrum of light. Also keep in mind that if you are diving with UV lights, non-fluorescent coral is harder to see, so go slow and take care not to damage unseen organisms or habitat.

How to Photograph ‘Frogfish’

This Week’s Tip:  How to Photograph ‘Frogfish’

Frogfish or Anglerfish are a favorite subject of many photographers, because like nudibranchs they usually don’t move much, although hairy frogfishes tend to be more active than other species. They’re also not shy, so they can be shot from very close distance.

The best lenses to use are macro lenses such as 60mm, 100mm, or 105mm for DSLR’s, (nowadays with different cameras like mirrorless & micro 4/3 etc. the lenses vary a lot, I use a 90mm at the moment on a SONY A7R2). For shooting super-macro images of tiny juveniles, eyes or the lures, use close-up diopters or teleconverters.


Hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) eye – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm, Nauticam SMC, f5.6, 1/160sec, ISO 160, 1x SOLA 4000, 1x SOLA 2100



For shooting CFWA (close-focus-wide-angle) of giant frogfish, fisheye lenses are the preferred choice, for smaller subjects we can combine the fisheye lens with a teleconverter. Try to get as low as possible and shoot slightly upwards to isolate the fish clearly against the blue water background.



Giant frogfish (Antennarius commerson) sitting on a sponge at the mini-wall @ Nudifalls – shot upwards into the water column to get a blue background – Canon 7D, Tokina 10-17 @ 10mm, f3.5, 1/80sec, ISO200, 2xL&M SunRay 2000 LED lights


The same giant frogfish (Antennarius commerson) on the same sponge, this time shot downwards in the water column to get a black background – Canon 7D, Tokina 10-17 @ 10mm, f3.5, 1/250sec, ISO200, 2xL&M SunRay 2000 LED lights


To show how well they camouflage, it sometimes can be nice to back off a bit and not fill the frame with the frogfish.


Giant frogfish  (Antennarius commerson) on a sponge – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10-17, Kenko 1.4 TC @14mm, f8, 1/125sec, ISO640, 2xSOLA 4000


Black Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) Lembeh Strait

Getting really close is key when shooting CFWA, using a mini dome is recommended. Black hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) very close to the port – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10-17, Kenko 1.4 TC @14mm, f10, 1/50sec, ISO320, 2x i-Torch Venom 50, 2x i-Torch Venom C92



When frogfish are ‘luring’, try to shoot them from the side, to get the lure and the frogfish in focus

Painted Frgogfish (antennarius pictus) with Glossodoris averni i

Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus) fishing with its lure – Canon 7D, 60mmm macro, f5.6, 1/320sec, ISO160, 1xSOLA 1200 on spot



Frogfish also look cool when shooting portraits, it can be nice to fill the frame with the face only (especially when you run into a larger frogfish with a 100/105 (or 90mm 😉 ).

Use a large aperture (low f-number) to get out of focus backgrounds and foregrounds.

Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) Lembeh Strait

Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) close-up portrait shot with a large aperture – Canon 7D, 100mm macro, f3.5, 1/800sec, ISO160, 2x L&M SunRay2000 LED lights. This frogfish was just too big for my lens (100mm), so I decided to go for a portrait.



Why can using only one light-source be helpful?


Warty frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) sitting in sponges, 2 lights lighting up the subject, but also the distracting background – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, f13, 1/60sec, ISO160, 1xSOLA4000, 1xSOLA2100


Using only one light-source will create dramatic shadows and can give us a darker background if we don’t light up all that sand.


The exact same subject (and exact same camera position), but this time I used only one LED light on spot – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, f5.6, 1/1000sec, ISO160, 1xSOLA2100 (on spot) – to get a similar result with a strobe, use a snoot.



Warty frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) shot with one LED light on spot – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, f16, 1/60sec, ISO100, 1x Sea Dragon 2100 on spot



When using a snoot or spot on a LED light, black backgrounds and dramatic shadows are possible – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, f11, 1/125sec, ISO160, 1x SOLA1200 on spot


Always remember that with moving your strobe/light around you’ll get different results as I mentioned here:




For hairy frogfish, backlighting with a LED light or a strobe will make the hairs stand out more.  Use one strobe from behind and one from the front to light up the face as well.


Hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) backlit to make the hair stand out more – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, f11, 1/200sec, ISO160, 2x SOLA 4000 (1xfront, 1xback), 1x SOLA2100(front), 1x F.I.T.2400WSR (back)



To get behavior shots like yawning, you have to be patient (and of course lucky), frogfish often open their mouths a little bit only just seconds before the real yawn, so try to be ready for the shot and have your settings right. Take a couple test shots and when you have your exposure right, then wait. Of course don’t wait too long if there are other divers waiting for their turn to see/photograph the frogfish.


Hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) yawning – Canon 7D, 60mm macro



CFWA Hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) yawning – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, CFWA wet-lens (that’s why there are blurry edges), f5.6, 1/200sec, ISO160, 2x SOLA 4000


Even if frogfish usually don’t move much and seem to be relaxed, never harass them (the same goes for every creature underwater). We often see frogfishes in the same spots for many months, but if they’re harassed, they move away and future divers cannot get a glimpse of the weird and wonderful world of frogfishes.


An Underwater Photographer’s Guide to i-Torch’s Venom Video Lights

In recent years, there has been a flood of video lights onto the underwater imaging market. The emergence of LED lighting technology has made it possible to pack a lot of lumens into a small unit for an affordable price. With this cascade of LED video lights, manufacturers have sought to separate their products from the competition by offering different combinations of advanced features, such as red focus lights, optical triggers, and the ability to switch between flood and spot beams.

The simple truth is that there is no single best video light—there’s only the best one for your specific needs. Recognizing this fact, i-DiveSite has released the i-Torch Venom series—four compact, but powerful video lights ranging from 3,500–5,000 lumens. But selecting the Venom that’s right for you entails more than simply deciding on output power. Here, we break down the Venom c92, Venom 50, Venom 38, and Venom 35s, to help you find the perfect light for your needs.


Overview of the Venom Series

The four lights in i-DiveSite’s Venom series can be divided into two pairs: the more sophisticated Venom c92 and Venom 50, which each cost $975; and the simpler Venom 38 and Venom 35s, which set you back $749 each. The specifications table below gives an overview of the similarities and differences between the four models.
Specifications Compared

Venom c92Venom 50Venom 38Venom 35s
3 xpg red
8 XML2
2 xpg red
4 3W UV
6 XML2
2 xpg red
4 3W UV
6 XML2
2 xpg red
3 xpg white
Lumens~4,000~5,000~3,800~3,500 (flood)
~1,000 (spot)
Color Temperature~5,500K
Beam Angle100°100°100°100° (flood)
18° (spot)
Burn Time at 100%~55 min~50min~60min
Battery50Whr Li-ion38Whr Li-ion
Control Modes5x White
2x Red
1x SOS
5x White
2x Red
1x UV, 1x SOS
4x White
2x Red
1x UV
4x White
2x Red
1x Spot
Remote Control OptionYesNo
Price (MSRP)$975$975$749$749


Each of the lights has distinguishing features and characteristics. However, the basic operation of each model is the same across the series. Each light has two push buttons. One powers the light on and cycles through its different modes, while the other cycles through the various power levels in each mode. The power setting and remaining battery life are indicated on a small display located between the two buttons. In the sections below, we’ll take each of the lights in turn and look at its features in detail, considering what sets it apart from the others in the series and what kind of image-maker it would be most suitable for.


i-Torch Venom c92


The i-Torch Venom c92 is the flagship model in the series, boasting 4,000 lumens at a beam angle of 100 degrees. It’s the only light in the series that uses a 50W COB (chip on board) LED, with a CRI (color rendering index) of 92, which is designed to produce very natural and pleasing colors underwater. The light comes with a replaceable 50Wh Li-ion battery pack that can be recharged in under two hours when empty and lasts around 55 minutes at the highest power setting. The Venom c92 has eight modes: five power levels for the white light (100%/80%/60%/40%/20%), two levels for the red light (100%/40%), and an emergency SOS mode for signaling.

What Makes the Venom c92 Special

The Venom c92 can be used with an optional remote control via a fiber-optic cable, and this is where the light really comes into its own—giving you fine control right from the handle of your rig. A dial wheel on the remote allows you to adjust the power output in 10% increments while a push button switches between the modes (white/red).

I-Torch’s optional remote control unit, which works with both the Venom c92 and Venom 50
A great feature is that the light “remembers” its last setting on white and red. This means you can, for example, switch from 100% white to red, and then dial the power setting all the way down to 0% on red, so the light is effectively switched “off.” Then when pressing the push button on the remote, the light goes back to 100% white and when pressing it again, it goes back to 0% red.

Blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena sp.): Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 60mm macro lens, dual i-Torch Venom c92, f/6.3, 1/125s, ISO 160
The remote can even operate two lights at the same time. So, for instance, setting one light to 100% white and the other to 60% white, you can switch both lights on and off using just a single button on the remote. There’s no fiddling around to switch on one light on the left and another on the right, which wastes time and might scare off skittish subjects. The responsiveness of the Venom c92, combined with the ease-of-use of the optional remote control will redefine how you think about using video lights.
Who Is the Venom c92 Perfect For?

The Venom c92 is ideal for the prosumer to professional videographer and still shooter that values ease of use and the power to light up wide scenes. The surprisingly warm and natural color of light produced by the Venom c92 is this light’s greatest asset—a quality of light that’s difficult to find in other LED lights.

Napoleon snake eel (Ophichthus bonaparti): Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 60mm macro lens, dual i-Torch Venom c92, f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 100



Canon 7D MarkII, 60mm macro, f5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 160, 2x i-Torch Venom C92


Show reel using dual i-Torch Venom c92’s


i-Torch Venom 50


The i-Torch Venom 50 is the most powerful in the Venom series, with 5,000 lumens and a beam angle of 100 degrees, great for lighting up wide-angle scenes. The light comes with a replaceable 50Wh Li-ion battery pack that takes less than two hours to recharge from empty and burn time is around 50 minutes at the highest power setting. The battery is identical to that used in the Venom c92—only the head (LEDs) is different.

The Venom 50 offers the same eight modes as on the Venom c92—five power levels for the white light, two levels for the red light, and an emergency SOS mode for signaling—but there’s an additional ultraviolet (UV) mode (100% output only), which has you covered if you want to experiment with fluorescence imagery.



Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus): Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 60mm macro lens, dual i-Torch Venom 50, f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 160


Show reel using dual i-Torch Venom 50’s
What Makes the Venom 50 Special

The Venom 50 may seem to be pigeonholed by its high lumen output, but it really shines for its flexibility in many different shooting situations. While it can pump out an impressive 5,000 lumens at a 100-degree beam angle, you can also add just a touch of light when required by adjusting at 10% increments via the optional remote control. There’s also the red light, which does a great job as a focus light for super skittish subjects that would otherwise scram at the site of white light. For something completely different, you also have a UV light built in if you want to indulge your fluoro-diving fantasies.
Who Is the Venom 50 Perfect For?

Intermediate videographers and photographers using a DSLR or mirrorless camera will find the Venom 50 powerful and versatile. Those who want to do the odd fluoro dive will love the fact that they don’t need an additional UV light.

Slipper lobster (Scyllarides latus): Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Tokina 10–17mm lens, Kenko 1.4x teleconverter, dual i-Torch Venom 50 (UV mode), f/6.3, 1/60s, ISO 8000



Snowflake mooray (Echidna nebulosa) inside a bamboo stick, Canon 7D MarkII, 60mm macro, f5.6, 1/500sec, ISO160, 2x i-Torch Venom 50.


Venom c92 and Venom 50 side-by-side comparison


Venom 38


The i-Torch Venom 38 packs 3,800 lumens and comes with a replaceable 3,400mAh/38Wh Li-ion battery pack, which has a burn time of 60 minutes on the highest power setting. It can be recharged from empty in approximately two hours. The Venom 38 has four power levels (compared to five on the Venom 50 and c92) using the white LEDs, two using the red LEDs, and one in its UV mode. i-Torch’s optional remote control is not compatible with this model or its less powerful sibling, the Venom 35s.

What Makes the Venom 38 Special

One could argue that the Venom 38 is the workhorse model in the series. Sure, it doesn’t have a 5,000-lumen output, and it can’t be operated by remote control, but for most video and photo situations, the Venom 38 delivers. It has a slightly warmer output than the Venom 50, which will help bring desired reds back into the image for less experienced videographers. And for those looking to experiment, you still have UV mode and the red focus light available.

Starry blenny (Salarias ramosus): Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 60mm macro lens, dual i-Torch Venom 38, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 160

Needle cuttlefish (Sepia aculeata) feeding at night: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Tokina 10–17mm lens, Kenko 1.4x teleconverter,  dual i-Torch Venom 38, f/14, 1/60s, ISO 640
Who Is the Venom 38 Perfect For?

The Venom 38 is a great choice for the photographer looking for a solid focus light in red or white, who also wants to experiment with video and UV imagery.


The Venom 35s


The i-Torch Venom 35s distinguishes itself from the other models in the series by having both flood and spot modes. As with the other lights in the series, the Venom 35s comes with a replaceable Li-ion battery pack (3400mAh/38Wh), which can be recharged from empty in under two hours. At the highest power setting, the light is good for around 60 minutes. The Venom 35’s modes, in sequence, are white flood, red, white spot, and off. The light offers 3,500 lumens in flood mode and 1,000 lumens in spot mode.
What Makes the Venom 35s Special

The Venom 35s is defined by its versatility. This video light is ideal for macro videography, but it is also powerful enough to do close-focus wide-angle video and stills. It may not be sufficient to cover larger scenes in terms of power output, but the handy spot mode is a real boon. This mode, which switches the beam angle to 18 degrees, is excellent for snooting and directional lighting of critters. It also serves as a backup torch, or as a light for your dive model if shooting wide angle. All of that from just one compact light.

Needle cuttlefish (Sepia aculeata): Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 60mm macro lens, i-Torch Venom 35s on flood, f/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 160

Needle cuttlefish (Sepia aculeata): Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 60mm macro lens, i-Torch Venom 35s on spot, f/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 160
Who Is the Venom 35s Perfect For?

The Venom 35s is a less-expensive option for the more casual still shooter or action camera videographer who wants a video light that serves a multitude of functions.


Final Thoughts

The increasingly crowded market of LED underwater video lights can be tough to navigate. It seems like every manufacturer these days has a dozen different models, with each claiming to be the best and brightest. For its part, with the i-Torch range, i-DiveSite hasn’t attempted to make the do-all video light, but instead created a range of lights designed to cater to different kinds of shooters.

Tailored to a range of users, from more casual diver to the seasoned semi-professional, each of the four lights in the Venom series offers its own particular combination of specs and functions, but without sacrificing light quality or output power.

Needle cuttlefish (Sepia aculeata): Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Tokina 10–17mm lens, Kenko 1.4x teleconverter,  dual i-Torch Venom 38 (UV mode), f/6.3, 1/30s, ISO 16000


This review was undertaken in the Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, staying at Lembeh Resort and diving withcritters@Lembeh Resort.

This article was originally published on DivePhotoGuide

How to Photograph ‘Fangblennies’

Fangblennies make interesting subjects as they often can be found in bottles where we can separate them easily from the distracting or unappealing background. They’re often under-appreciated as they’re relatively common in the mucky sites of the Lembeh Strait. Giving them a little bit of time to get used to the camera in front of them, they will pose for the camera very easily. Sometimes they even yawn! There are different opinions on why the yawning happens – either to display the impressively big mouth and scare away possible enemies, or to stretch the jaws, or just because they’re tired.

So here’s how to shoot them: Just get very close to fill the frame with the subject and then wait….at first they might hide in the bottle or hole they hang out in, but after a little while they will come back out. So take some test shots while they’re still in the bottle to get your exposure and background color right, after that is done you just have to wait until they’re in the right spot and then – bang!


Being patient sometimes pays off – after waiting almost 20 minutes and firing at the exact moment of action, I got the lucky shot…Striped poison-fangblenny (Petroscirtes breviceps) – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO 160, f16, 1/200sec, 1x INON Z-240 with DIY fiber-optic snoot

The two enlarged, grooved canine teeth for which fangblennies get their name are situated in the lower jaw. The fangs can get very large and while not especially dangerous to most people, fang blenny bites can be quite painful. Fortunately, because of its small mouth, envenomation of humans by this animal is unlikely. That being said, some of the species we see here in Lembeh have fangs up to 1cm long – I’m sure you heard that before: look, but don’t touch! The two most common species we have here are the striped fangblenny (Meiacanthus grammistes) and the striped poison-fangblenny (Petroscirtes breviceps), which mimics the former – they look very similar at first sight, but upon closer inspection you can tell the difference. Meiacanthus grammistes has a small blueish-black spot near the head.


Meiacanthus grammistes (left) and Petroscirtes breviceps (right)

The striped poison-fangblenny (Petroscirtes breviceps) can also change color at will and sometimes you can get different images within seconds:


Petroscirtes breviceps – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO 160, f11, 1/160sec, 2x L&M SunRay 2000


Petroscirtes breviceps – 7 seconds later and the yellow coloration is almost gone – same settings as above


Sometimes fangblennies also make a nice black and white image – The striped poison-fang blenny (Petroscirtes breviceps) yawning for the camera (this is a screen-shot from footage shot with the SONY A7RII, 90mm macro lens)

When diving coral sites in Lembeh, we also often see the “smiling” bluestriped fangblenny (Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos) which mimics cleaner wrasses. This species can also change color at will, and can be orange as in the image below or display black and blue stripes to blend in with the cleaner wrasses. I like to shoot them with narrow depth of fields (low f-numbers) and by moving the strobe around, the coral they sometimes sit in can create dramatic shadows even without snoots.


Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos – Canon 7D, 100mm macro, ISO100, f2.8, 1/250sec, 1x INON Z-240

Almost all of these fangblennies are not skittish and fairly large (around 10cm/3inches) so pretty much all macro lenses are suitable for getting good shots.

Sometimes less can be more…

To make subjects ‘pop out’ while muck diving, we often have to separate the subjects from the distracting background (often sand), and sometimes this can be done with using only one strobe (or video light) instead of using two. When using two strobes, we light up the whole area (unless we use advanced techniques) whereas when using one strobe only, the subject can produce a black background by creating a shadow.

One or Two lights2

Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus) lit up with two lights, one from the left and one from the right side. The light on the right side illuminates the frogfish’s chin and left eye, as well as the sand and surroundings.

One or Two lights1

Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus) lit up with one light from the left only. The frogfish creates a shadow and we separate the subject with a black background from its surroundings.

It is also easier to play around with strobe positions when there is only one. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use two strobes at all, but sometimes it is nice to try something different. Even if you have two strobes connected to your rig, you can always switch one off and give it a try.

Here’s a short video to show the difference between using one light vs. using two.


cameras@Lembeh Resort Workshop July 2016

cameras@Lembeh Resort workshop in July 16th – 23rd, 2016

Interested in learning more about underwater photography, workflow and post processing of images?

If you are a beginner or advanced shooter underwater, if you are using a point & shoot camera or a DSLR (or mirrorless camera),this workshop will help you get better images underwater and enhance them on land (with Lightroom & Photoshop).

There will be daily talks about shooting techniques, special equipment and post processing of images.Come and join us for a fun week of superb muck diving at  Lembeh Resort / Sulawesi / Indonesia.

7 nights/17 guided boat dives with Nitrox in a Deluxe Ocean View Room $2400USD or in a Garden View Room $1980USD – pp. dbl occ.

Unlimited self guided house reef dives, full board, airport transfers incl.


If you want to stay longer, or come earlier, no problem.

For more information please email Sascha.