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Looking for tips on shooting video with Nauticam 7d

canon 7d nauticam light focus monitor

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#1 pvb

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    Damselfish

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:56 AM

Hi all,

 

I am ready to make the step from still photography to video.

 

I am using a Nauticam 7d setup.

 

I am looking out for general tips on shooting video with this setup.

 

Also which lens would you prefer? Tokina 10-17 for his quality or sigma 17-70 for his greater zoom range.

 

What would be the first to invest in?

 

*video light

*extension ring with focus knob

*external monitor

*...

 

Any must read books or great workshops on dslr underwater videography?

 

Looking forward to hear some opinions and hear some tips.

 

Thanks in advance!

 



#2 r4e

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:55 AM

Hi Petra,
When moving from stills to video, the biggest change is the need to white balance already whilst underwater because 8 bit video has far less post processing tolerance than a 16-bit RAW picture has.

 

If you want to keep your initial expenses low, you can begin by just using available light and manually white balancing with your Canon camera. Your camera will give fairly good color reproduction if you take a shot of white/grey sand or stone or even your own palm and then use the custom white balance feature in the Canon menus. Considering the light Spanish waters, you should get reasonably good shots upto 20 meters depth. Deeper than that, you might have to make compromises between accurate color reproduction and noise, especially in the red channel. Using your palm for white balancing will help a little. You'll have to be careful of not over compensating because then e.g. rust spots of wrecks might appear excessively red.

 

The other route to go, is to use video light(s). If you are shooting just small fish and fauna, a smaller lamp of 2000-5000 lumens might be sufficient to restore most of the colors. However, for anything larger you'll need a lot more light, especially if you are competing with the Spanish sun underwater. I personally use anything between 16000 and 100000 lumens of video light power underwater because I shoot caves and wrecks in deep/dark waters. Something that I do regret is that I prioritized total lumens instead of good color rendering. In the market, there are very few video lamps that have a high color rendering inder (CRI) of 96 or higher. If I would be investing in video lights just now, I would definitely consider Keldan video lights. Earlier there used to be excellent but overpriced 200W-300W HMI video lamps, that had really excellent color reproduction, but, those lamps are very rare now.

 

Concerning lense selection, it depends on your targets. A lense with a long zoom range might seem a good overall choice. However, the longer focal lengths will emphasize any unintentionally movement and shake unless you are prepared to use a monopod or tripod. A monopod or tripod will help a lot but you loose some flexibility. In practice, most shooters end up in having a wide angle lense and a separate macro lense.A 16-35mm WA zoom lense (or 10-17 for cropped sensors) is a fairly good choice. However, for video, you definitely will appreciate image stabilization (IS) in the lense. I personally use the zoom control only couple of times during a dive. Depending on subject matter, I normally select  a focal length between 17 and 22 mm, hardly even anything longer.

 

It is possible to learn to shoot video without an external monitor. This is assuming that you have good practice of focusing always before a shot. Pls note, that focusing in live view/video mode is much slower though! By using an external monitor with proper video features for focusing and correct exposure you can improve video quality a lot. However, a proper monitor will will easily double the size of your kit. If travelling by car or boat this is not a problem, but for air travel the monitor and video lights will increase your travel costs.

 

Best Regards
Richard


vimeo.com/r4e

http://www.cerella.fi for the Underwater Photographer and Videographer

http://www.facebook.com/CerellaOy

 


#3 pvb

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 06:15 AM

Hi Richard,

 

Thanks for your time and your clear explanation.

 

I wish the Keldan lights would be in my budget right now. I guess I will need to practice ambient light only first.

 

What about focus? Do you ever use manual focus or do you think it is possible using auto focus only?

 

Kind regards,

Petra



#4 r4e

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 07:50 AM

Hi Petra,

My personal opinion is that it is not worth bothering with manual focus unless you have a tripod and you are shooting macro.

 

Normally you would focus electronically by squeezing the trigger halfway. However, it is much more convenient to assign the focusing function to one of the other buttons, e.g. the '*' button on the back. You can do this from the Canon menus. Consequently you'll be able to do the slowish video focusing before the actual video shoot(s). Assuming that distance to subject matter is not changing a lot, you can then shoot one or more video shots. With a wide angle lense and a medium aperture like 5.6-8.0 there is some leeway in the well focused area.

 

Something you'll need to avoid is unintentional focusing on the surface of your dome. This might happen if there are dust particles or scratches on your dome and any light hits the dome suitably. This could be avoided by manual focusing. However doing a manual focus when using the magnifying glass button (5x, 10x) is a bit cumbersome. Normally I perform a back button focus. If this is a critical video shoot, I'll shoot one still picture and check from playback with magnify that everything is in focus and thereafter shoot only video.

 

Best Regards
Richard


vimeo.com/r4e

http://www.cerella.fi for the Underwater Photographer and Videographer

http://www.facebook.com/CerellaOy

 


#5 Pajjpen

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 06:55 AM

Richard, 100000 lumens, really? That is not something 99% of the videographers use and it seems like way overkill.
Pvb, get a set of decent lights at 4-5000 lumens a piece and you will be just fine.

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