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Review: Canon Waterproof Case Diffusion Plate for PowerShot G11

It’s only natural to be curious about the piece Canon calls Diffusion Plate. It’s the same reaction I received when I first used the original Gary Fong Lightsphere II. Some even laughed at the “Tupperware” but silly as it may seem, the product [Lightsphere] went on to become one of the world’s most popular and effective light modifiers. So here you have the Diffusion Plate which Canon cautions against scratching the surface or else flash light may not diffuse properly. The examples below clearly shows the exposure difference with and without the plate. I started a thread on dpreview with images for anyone interested in the G11 underwater case.

The diffusion plate has been widely criticised by many for blocking the focusing assist light where it’s most needed underwater. According to Canon, the plate is to ensure “even distribution of light from the flash” otherwise parts of the image may appear dark without it.
This image was shot with the Diffusion Plate attached. I marvel at the remarkable difference the plate makes when flash is used. It has made me think about further improvisation potential and application this design may have.
The manual says “parts of the image may appear dark” if the diffusion plate isn’t attached when flash is used. The before and after pictures are rather significant and evidence of that can be seen here.
Flash was used in this shot which helps to sufficiently freeze Jewel performing a freestyle flip turn.

This is probably unnecessary but I just give it a rinse with tap water after it’s soaked in the pool for a few hours to wash off chlorine and other contaminants. After which I let the case air dry naturally.

7 thoughts on “Review: Canon Waterproof Case Diffusion Plate for PowerShot G11

  1. Jan,

    Didn’t think that diffusion plate made such a big difference- considering how small it is. This is a great mini review/real world use for the waterproof case. Actually, wash or wipe gear down is always a good idea-especially after the beach.

    I also like to take out my ‘nissin ramen’ =)

    On an off topic- noticed you have the battery pack on the right. I was going to order another from Canon Philippines but the sales rep said no stock and it will take 3 months for a special order with a down payment. It’s no wonder I get my gear from Canon Taipei where I don’t even need to set foot in the store and it even comes out cheaper.

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    1. This Diffusion Plate idea can be effectively applied to a dSLR where an ultra wide angle lens is used. Anyone who has shot with a Canon 50D and EFs 10-22mm lens, the camera’s pop-up flash causes a dark spot similar to this. Now, I’ve seen many diffuser products on sale (obvious knock-offs) that fit around the lens barrel of digital compacts and also an interesting one for dSLR where the plate slots into the hot shoe while the pop-up flash is in use. This idea makes use of something that’s there and cannot be used for any other purpose while the flash is up – very neat! Not having tried it as I don’t have any cropped sensor body right now and the 5DII has no flash, I have a feeling the plate would eliminate the dark spots on the said body-lens combo.

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      1. I have used those diffusers for on board flash to see if I could get away with not lugging around a 50D w/ 580 EX II attached. Not really advisable but in an emergency situation a photo is better than no photo. Doesn’t really work on the 10-22 either as the barrel of the lens still appears as a shadow. I gave that diffuser to my niece after 2 weeks. Her Nikon D90 will have better use for it =)

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    2. On an off topic- noticed you have the battery pack on the right. I was going to order another from Canon Philippines but the sales rep said no stock and it will take 3 months for a special order with a down payment. Itโ€™s no wonder I get my gear from Canon Taipei where I donโ€™t even need to set foot in the store and it even comes out cheaper.

      The battery pack I have is the 8-cell CP-E3. It’s a brilliant item to have especially if you populate it with Powerex 2700mAh rechargeables. I load mine up with 8 x Eneloops because of their low discharge characteristics. Makes sense to use them and not really have to recharge them for on-off usage. Although I have two Quantum Turbo 2×2 packs, I usually prefer the CP-E3 because it’s lighter to carry around even when mounted on light stand for commercial shoots. I think I am going to get a second one as my usually involve a second umbrella which also means another set of 8 batteries. Which also means another 8-cell charger – see how the costs quickly add up!?

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      1. Yes, the cost do add up and fast.

        Eneloops are also my preferred batts or the Energizer bunny on small 3 hour events. My CP-E3 will just have to come from Taipei. Even if I want to support my local Canon the 3 month wait for import period just will not do. Very sad.

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        1. Have you considered getting the CP-E4 instead? The main difference between the two seems to be weather sealing. The CP-E4 was released at the same time Canon released the weather sealed Speedlite 580EX-II. I haven’t looked at the specs in any detail to see what other subtle differences there may be.

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