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#357697 Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

Posted by SimonSpear on 11 February 2015 - 02:19 AM

Well this was enough to bring me out of hibernation.   


I've got to be honest I'm still scratching my head over what I just read.  The internet polarises opinions for sure, but there are SO many inaccuracies that you have to wonder what purpose there was in writing this?  Is it just an anti DSLR bash or an attempt to justify a "small sensor good, large sensor bad" decision?  Are we talking about underwater filming here, or all filming?

Just a few points:

Audio - apart from a few niche situations who is worried about this for underwater use?  Audio on the newer mirrorless cameras and DSLR's is absolutely fine and certainly comparable to the results you'd get from a camcorder's internal microphone.

DoF - not an issue for WA if you choose the correct lens.  For macro we tend to like the shallower DoF and anyway you'd get a similar effect to this using a video camera with diopters.

Blue Planet - was filmed mostly on 16mm film.


Moire and aliasing - this has NOT become worse on the latest DLSR's, it has virtually disappeared from them.  The first generation were pretty bad at times, but this was never really an issue underwater where you rarely get straight lines or patterns like brickwork or roof tiles.  You did have to be very careful when shooting in a swimming pool though.

Colours - Oh my.  The Canon DSLR's produce the most amazing colours underwater.  Far, far better than ANY video camera I have used before or after.  

Macro vs WA - If you want to do this properly you will always have a dedicated set up for macro and wide angle on a video camera.  If you want to swim around and film what you come across then a video camera offers an advantage.  Also you can get decent range of zoom through with dome ports on most WA DSLR zooms, which is at least comparible to what you'd get from a standard dome port/dome on a video camera housing.  

Documentaries -  Most documentaries these days are filmed with large sensor cameras.  Smaller sensors are now more or less confined to ENG, but even then there are plenty of guys out there using F5's, FS700's, C300's, FS7's for traditional ENG work.

Stability -  Yes DSLR housings are not normally initially well balanced, but this can be resolved very easily by adding buoyancy in the same way you'd add trim weights to a traditional video housing.  The only time you should be getting shaky footage is if you can't hold the camera still and if that is the case then you'll get this regardless of what you are using.


Cost -  There is a big difference in the set up costs for a DSLR vs a comparable quality video camera.  The DLSR can often be 50% cheaper, which is a big decision when negotiating budgets or when it is coming straight out of your own pocket.


Is the article saying that large sensor video cameras are ok, but SLR's with the same size sensor are not, because.......they have a large sensor??  


Is the article really supporting the FS100 as a viable alternative to a DSLR for underwater shooting?  Seriously??? 


I will admit that filming on a DSLR and getting good results is more difficult than filming on a video camera where you can just set everything to auto and press record.  If you tried to do that on a DSLR you'd be wasting your time so you do need to learn how to film with full manual controls to get the best out of them.  I've seen some truly awful underwater footage filmed on a RED, footage that you'd be utterly embarrassed to show others that you'd shot, while on the flip side I've seen jaw droppingly awesome footage shot on a first generation DSLR.   I've seen awful footage shot on a EX1 while on the same dive amazing footage shot on an GoPro1.   


DSLR's and mirrorless cameras have a significant place in the current filmmakers arsenal.  I film on both traditional video cameras and DSLR's and have no bias whatsoever as they both have a role to play.   They are tools to be used as we see fit and we certainly shouldn't be excluding one OR the other.  



#323193 Favourite Image Of 2012

Posted by Torchuck on 24 December 2012 - 03:40 AM

The two main ideas I exploited this year.
Half-water and long exposure.
Philippines. Balicasag.
Posted Image
Thailnd. Sail Rock.
Posted Image

#363023 Showreel

Posted by SimonSpear on 08 July 2015 - 08:40 AM

Finally had a free week to finish my showreel.  Only 3 years late!   :crazy:



#362209 Blue Island

Posted by Rafa Herrero on 14 June 2015 - 11:54 AM

#357657 Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

Posted by Nick Hope on 10 February 2015 - 05:10 AM

I've noticed more muffled swearing on my GH4 footage than my Sony Z1 footage.

#356232 Your Favourite/Best Image of 2014

Posted by ilanbt on 03 January 2015 - 12:47 PM

Congratulation Alex!


My most favorite shot is:



#323202 Highlights of 2012

Posted by escape on 24 December 2012 - 06:33 AM

I've been lucky to dive a lot of amazing place this year.
This is short compilation of footage from 2012 trips.
Shot on Canon 7D and 5D Mark III in Nauticam.
happy holidays everyone!

#323092 Favourite Image Of 2012

Posted by loftus on 21 December 2012 - 07:17 PM

Not just a favorite image also a favorite first time underwater experience for 2012; the sheer chaos and excitement of sailfish in a bait ball. Hopefully I will get to experience it again next month.

Posted Image

#367168 LIKE YOU

Posted by Rafa Herrero on 16 November 2015 - 11:40 AM


I do not understand why they are cruelly killed by man...

#363238 18 Years - A Story of a Broken Curse

Posted by Oceanshutter on 14 July 2015 - 12:07 PM

Hello all,


I wanted to share a short film I have put together.  Those that know me and my filming style, know that I don't personally like to narrate, nor have divers in my shots....well with this film this was all unavoidable.


Ever since I have been diving, I have wanted to have an up close and personal interaction with Manta Rays.   I have been all of the world waiting for this magical opportunity.  Thousands of miles traveled and dollars spent, I went to some of the best places in the world to pursue this dream of mine.  Whether it be weather, bad luck, or illness, something always seemed to get in the way.  It was very frustrating.


This film is about how the manta curse eventually got broken.  I figured this is my story, and I needed to tell it.  So outsourcing the narration didn't make sense.  Hence the poor narration...:-). 


Anyhow,  Please let me know things you like and don't like about it.  Always willing to try to improve and get pointers from others.

I hope you enjoy it!





Or Youtube


#361286 Warna berwarna Raja Ampat by GH4

Posted by DEEPsix on 19 May 2015 - 03:32 AM

I haven't been here for a long while  :lol2:

This is some short video I edited from Raja Ampat last season by GH4 and some part by Canon 7D.


The song in this video is from my special diveguide in Raja Ampat Nikson Soor.He's one of the pioneer diveguide in the area and he kindly donated this beautiful song to me on my first Raja Ampat trip in 2010.The beautiful song show the soul of Papuan at first touch you heard it.Thanks to my brother Nikson Soor.


Enjoyed it :)


#360844 Nauticam Shogun Housing is here

Posted by peterbkk on 06 May 2015 - 02:18 AM

It took a while for Nauticam to sort out a few issues but finally I received my Nauticam Shogun housing this week. I'm not going to write a full review.  I'll leave that to those better qualified.  But here are some photos and first impressions.  After a few days diving in Lembeh at the end of this month, I will give an update on how it performs in action.  


Of course, the Shogun monitor is great for seeing what you are shooting and being able to record ProRes HQ 422 10 bit video puts it into the realm of much more expensive systems.


Shogun Housing.JPG


Firstly, the NA-Shogun is big.  Needs to be big to allow room for the Shogun, a big Sony battery and some cooling fans.  This system is not for the casual videographer.  However, with bigness comes stability.  The addition of this housing, line astern from the camera housing, will definitely help overcome some of the "pitch" stability issues inherent in the "still" camera format when shooting handheld video.  It also adds a lot more mass (but not in-water weight) - great for stability.


Secondly, it is well-engineered.  All the housing functions are available, except the menu - but then you should not need to play with the Shogun menu underwater. The function buttons give you control over focus assist, histograms, etc.  The "overhead" mount bar give a lot of flexibility for positioning. The HDMI cable seems to be solid - if you are careful with aligning the plugs.  It includes a full leak detection and vacuum system.  The base plate provides many options for mounting legs for macro.  Note: the housing does not actually connect to the base plate.  The overhead arm holds the monitor housing.  The base plate stops the whole rig from falling over with the weight of the Shogun housing.  It's also for connecting legs.  (Once I have worked out my preferred viewing angle, I might add a rubber-stopper to the base plate to give the bottom of the Shogun housing something to rest on - not necessary but might stop any wobble through the arm.)




Thirdly, it took me a while to get it set up the first time. But that's probably my incompetence - it's been a while since I played with Meccano.  Now that I know how to do it, I can get it done in about 20 minutes.  But, of course, you only need to set it up once at the beginning of a dive trip - you can do everything you need to do inside the camera housing and the Shogun housing with them all connected together.


Fourthly, unassembled, the GH4 in its housing / port and the Shogun in its housing, two video lights and their arms and some accessories all fit into a large carry-on size photo backpack.  No need to check it in.  If my checked luggage is delayed, I can still go diving and shoot, at least for a couple of hours.




The Shogun battery (Sony NP-970) lasts about 90 minutes of run time - maybe longer. There's space inside the housing to look at putting in an extended battery system for longer.   A 1Tb SSD holds 2 hours and 20 minutes of ProRes HQ 422 10 bit video.


This coming weekend I will test it in a pool (maybe my fish pond) and get the buoyancy and balance right.  I think that it needs a 1kg dive weight strapped under the rear of the rig - the Shogun housing is positively buoyant but the GH4 housing is slightly negative - together they still float.  A dive weight and a cable-tie should fix it.


Then it's off to Lembeh to see if it is worth the investment.  I'll keep you posted.






#356193 Your Favourite/Best Image of 2014

Posted by johnspierce on 02 January 2015 - 02:45 PM

So many great photo opportunities this year, but my favorites were all from swimming with humpbacks in Tonga.image.jpg

#356083 Happy New Year from Lembeh!

Posted by Scuba_SI on 31 December 2014 - 05:47 PM

Here's a compilation of Lembeh!

I did 16.5hours in the water for the Blue Ring Eggs hatching... Love my rEvo!  

Happy New Year to everyone.


#353017 Lembeh Straits Extreme Macro

Posted by CheungyDiver on 27 September 2014 - 02:28 PM

Hi Folks


I have just finished a series of video clips from the Lembeh Straits using a Sony A7s, Nauticam housing and my custom 5X lens. A DIY led light integrated macro port plus two RG Blue lights. Here is the first one. I used a saturated grading style as I am interested in bringing out the color and texture. Even aperture at F32, DOF is paper thin.  A bit of vignette is added. Hope you will enjoy it. 







#352343 Tonga above and below

Posted by Scuba_SI on 05 September 2014 - 08:55 PM

Hi everyone, here's a post about the video that was on the front page recently.  Shot in Ha'apai, Tonga with and Epic, GH4 and a GoPro 3+ Black.

It was so much fun and the edit was done whilst still on the trip, so before I put it out in 4k I will likely re-compose it.

Thanks for viewing:

#346184 BMPCC underwater filming setting

Posted by edmond320 on 14 April 2014 - 08:27 AM

Different people use different ways to achieve what they want. To my concern, what is good ,what is bad, it doesn't matter. What matters to me is the process to find my own resolution while I face problem and if I can get what I want at the end. 

Your comments are loud and clear regarding using different system on supporting underwater camera. And I thank you your input to my topic.

I would also like to said that my topic is BMPCC filming setting. I post my pictures is in respond to a gentleman asking a more detail regarding the platform I made to support BMPCC housing. 

Please accept my apology that I open this topic is to discuss the issue relating to BMPCC housing. Other than that, you are welcome to open your topic.

Happy diving to all of you.




#343207 Mugged by a Giant Octopus

Posted by gecko1 on 11 February 2014 - 01:48 PM

Fantastic dive sunday with my buddy Rob. We sat 4 Giant Pacific Octopus at Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel, CA. One of them was quite interactive.


Full gallery here:





Investigating my camera.



My buddy Rob's View



Rob gets the treatment



Giant Pacific Octopus



More Giant Pacific Octopus



#341710 "Souvenirs "from Lembeh OMD -EM5

Posted by girelle on 11 January 2014 - 12:29 AM

Some of my best pictures , taken in Lembeh , at the end of December .

OMD-EM5 , with 60 mm Olympus with +10 Subsee or + 15 Saga , even for the commensal schrimp  picture 3  :+15 Saga and Inon ucl 165 ...


1  Sometimes we can be very lucky !!






Phyllodesnium  Rudmani , that I founded myself and I'm very proud of that !!








4 This one , is the only one which has been slightly cropped 
















#335589 Love hurts!

Posted by Alex_Tattersall on 09 August 2013 - 01:21 PM

A little kiss 
is not really as nice as it seems
Olympus OMD-EM5, Nauticam NA-EM5, 12-50mm (mode macro), 2x INON Z240, 1/100, F18, ISO 200