I’ve had a chance to take the new system out on a couple of short trips to Tioman Island now, and I can say unequivocally that this is a huge upgrade from my previous system. There are lots of improvements but the ones that I’ve found that made a real difference to my underwater photography are the improved autofocus system, internal motor for non-AF-S lenses, 1.3x crop mode, and U1 and U2 recall modes.
With this system, I now have several options for supermacro photography: 1.3x crop mode, teleconverters, and wet diopters (or some combination of this). The best thing about it is that I can choose at any point in the dive whether to use 1.3x crop mode and/or the wet diopters.
The YS-D1 strobes are great. They are tiny, powerful, and user friendly.
I am reserving my judgment on the Nauticam housing until I’ve spent more time with it. In general, I love the ergonomics and smart design, but I’ve been having a few issues with the housing. Nothing huge, but annoying enough to make a difference.
I spent 2 weekends in Tioman using the new camera system. Having not been there for a few years, I was pleasantly surprised by the vibrant marine life. I saw lots of clownfish and anemonefish, a few interesting nudibranches, lots of gobies and blennies, and millions of marble shrimp (which are very rare except in Tioman, apparently!). Definitely enough to keep a macro photographer busy. Conditions were generally benign except for some surge, which made supermacro photography challenging at times.
I tried the 60 mm & 1.4x teleconverter combination for the first time and it was great. I didn’t really notice any deterioration in autofocus capabilities, which is really a testament to the camera’s good autofocus.