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#1 SwiftFF5

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 03:37 AM

I pretty much exclusively shoot video, since when I go on dive trips, I am usually traveling with some excellent still photographers.  I currently shoot with a Canon Vixia HF-S30 in a Light and Motion housing with two Sola 2000 lights.  I am not unhappy with this rig, but it is getting to be several years old now, and technology has marched on.  Since i don't have another dive trip planned until February, I've been thinking about possible upgrades.

 

If it were you, would you upgrade the camera and housing to something newer, or add an external monitor/recorder?  If you would upgrade the camera, would you go with a DSLR, or a camcorder (Canon, Black Magic, or something else)?  Given that I am used to having autofocus, and auto-follow focus in my current camcorder, that is a pretty big plus to me, and a reason not to go with a DSLR.  Oh, and I already have a Nikon D7100 that I use for topside photos.

 

Anyway, just wondering what some of you with more experience (trickster, Nike Hope, TimG) might suggest as being the most useful upgrade?  Budget is, of course, of some concern.  I can't afford a Red or anything like that.  I hope that makes sense.


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#2 wydeangle

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 05:27 AM

Swift,

 

Interesting question.

 

I updated to 4K from basically the same setup you have, getting a Sony AX100 and a Gates housing. I'd never go back. The still captures alone are amazing, and the video (on a 4K monitor, of course) is incomparably better if I have all the settings right. The Gates housing has proved much more failure-resistant than the L&M ever was for me.

 

Having said that, the Sony setup is now two years old, and it does have a few shortcomings - white balance is tricky, and it needs a good manual shooter to run it for best results. And Sony (and maybe others) are about due to release newer models. When, and whether they will be housed are the big questions.

 

In your situation I think I'd wait a bit - maybe six months? Just to see what else becomes available.

 

My opinion, no-one else's!

 

Tom

 

EDIT: Moving to 4K also involves a lot more I forgot to mention: the PC needs more memory, more speed and more terabytes of storage. At 100mbps, older PCs can have a hernia and freeze up! If you already have this, good. If not, it's good to factor this cost into the mix.


Edited by wydeangle, 22 September 2016 - 05:33 AM.


#3 SwiftFF5

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 05:53 AM

Thanks - good thoughts.  I had not considered the upgrade to the computer.  I have a pretty good one, but might need more power going to 4K.  When I was in Roatan last February, I had to rent a camera for a few days (battery failure, and forgot to pack a spare...).  It was either an AX-100 or RX-100, I can't remember which, but I was rather unimpressed with the WB.  I'm still struggling to get some of the footage properly color corrected, and doubt that I will be able to even use some of it due to the WB issues.  I wish I could remember which camera it was.

 

Thanks very much for the advice.


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#4 kc_moses

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:39 AM

I'm currently shooting with an advance point and shoot (Panasonic LX100), I did ask myself if I should switch over to camcorder since camcorder tends to have better image stabilization and zoom range. But at the end of the day, the wallet is the deciding factor. Camcorder housing are generally more expensive than camera housing (Gate vs Nauticam), and there is virtually no resell value for camcorder and camcorder housing in general.

 

If you want to stick with camcorder, besides the AX100 (has poor white balance issue), the Panasonic HC-X1000 is the next option and there is housing for it. I don't think there is any housing for consumer camcorder anymore, so you end up have to buy $2000+ camcorder and $4000+ for the housing for the camcorder.

 

If you switch over to camera, the GH5 should be something to keep an eye on, even the Panasonic GX80 could be a good option since it has IBIS while shooting 4K video.



#5 bubffm

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 11:27 AM

Thanks - good thoughts.  I had not considered the upgrade to the computer.  I have a pretty good one, but might need more power going to 4K.  When I was in Roatan last February, I had to rent a camera for a few days (battery failure, and forgot to pack a spare...).  It was either an AX-100 or RX-100, I can't remember which, but I was rather unimpressed with the WB.  I'm still struggling to get some of the footage properly color corrected, and doubt that I will be able to even use some of it due to the WB issues.  I wish I could remember which camera it was.
 
Thanks very much for the advice.

The AX100 and RX100 while having similar names are distinctly different. The Rx100 is a small compact, the AX100 a well sized camcorder. Might help the memory ;-) I'd guess they rented out a Rx100. I have used the RX100iv underwater for video and its ok while not super impressive. I now use the AX100 and like it very much. If you are a dedicated video shooter there are many pluses staying with a camcorder over DSLR or micro 4/3.

Edited by bubffm, 22 September 2016 - 11:28 AM.


#6 thetrickster

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 12:43 PM

Hi Swift,

You are at a very good (and bad) time for upgrading. First reaction - Wait for the new camera reviews in 2017 and the AX100 replacement and decide then.

An external recorder for your current camera I don't see giving you any extra image quality it will still be 8bit and 4:2:0 - although uncompressed - its still has a lot of data stripped from the sensor. So unless you fancy a super nice viewfinder - It wont be worth it.

The 'first' generation of consumer 4K cameras with 4K@30p are now 2yrs old (GH4 and AX100 as an example) and the current mid tier models (GX8, A6300) are not really setting the world on fire with hardly any improvements (well apart from the A6300 when it overheats!)
So obtaining one of these first 4K cameras, you could get a bit of a bargain and still have a great improvement in image quality - IF you can get one for a bargain.

The Sony A7 Mk II's are interesting - with their amazing low light and also fast phase detection AF. Alas the limited lens choices for me don't sit well. Plus they are not cheap and you know Sony will have the Mk III's out for Christmas!

Its odd at the moment, that we are caught with DSLR type cameras having massively better image quality than camcorders (DVX200 not much better than the GH4 (and no housing), the Canon's/JVC suck at 1080 etc - and that was (at the time) the reason I went down the GHx road (there was no AX100 at the time, when I got my GH3 and housing) and the semi-pro Sonys of the FS5 and FS7 are serious money once you get the firmware upgrades and Sealux housings...

The BlackMagic camera really want a controlled, well lit environment to shine - and when I looked at the BMPCC, it was awful to use in a housing, the amount of hours in front of a PC to convert the RAW stuff - just didn't seem worth it add the fact its a S16 sized sensor so needs super wide lenses to get even a 'normal' wide shot. Everything says no to me.

The AX100 would be a serious contender for me, if I had nothing and needing something 'today'. Pete in Oz has worked out that the Magenta filter fixes a lot of the WB issues and it benefits from all the camcorder features (parfocal lens, OIS, continuous AF that doesn't hunt, ND filters and then you have the video centric options on the housings like the flipable internal filters and excellent buoyancy characteristics) - so a really good choice. It is sadly let down by the awful rolling shutter thou - but others can comment if this has any effect underwater.

If I had nothing and could wait, we have info on the 'new' models coming in 2017 and they are coming with 4k@60p and this along with HDR will be big - very big, as you know the camera aspect of an underwater camera 'rig' is just chump change once you buy housings, trays, lights arms etc - and investing in a 2yr $1000 camera (plus the $3000+ on housing) now doesn't make sense, now we know what is coming.

Need today: AX100 or a knocked down GH4.
Wait for 2017: GH5 or AX100 MkII (whatever they call it)

Im happy with my GH4 and Atomos Flame - its missing a lot of video features - but I've learned to work around them (rubbish AF, no AutoISO in Manual mode etc) - but the image quality I'm super happy with and if the rumours of IBIS are in the GH5 and if they improve the AF, i'll be happy to stay with the GHx series worts and all. (But always with a casting eye on the Reds and FS7 :)

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#7 Nick Hope

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 05:57 PM

Thanks - good thoughts.  I had not considered the upgrade to the computer.  I have a pretty good one, but might need more power going to 4K.  When I was in Roatan last February, I had to rent a camera for a few days (battery failure, and forgot to pack a spare...).  It was either an AX-100 or RX-100, I can't remember which, but I was rather unimpressed with the WB.  I'm still struggling to get some of the footage properly color corrected, and doubt that I will be able to even use some of it due to the WB issues.  I wish I could remember which camera it was.

 

Thanks very much for the advice.

 

Maybe you can read that from the metadata of the file. I do that in Sony Vegas Pro with an extension called Show Recording Data, but you there would be other free tools to do it outside of Vegas like EXIF Viewer(?). I guess maybe Adobe apps (Lightroom? P Pro?) show it in the file properties.

 

As to the main question, it's very difficult at the moment to make recommendations. I'm not happy with the GH4 for run-and-gun style underwater shooting, which is what I do, for many reasons. I badly want to go to Raja Ampat but I actually turned down a trip this coming February partly because I thought I would be frustrated by the camera. And I think that would be true for most of the "stills" cameras that have video features.

 

On the other hand, the GH4 is great for tripod-based macro video, once you've worked out a working focus procedure. So it depends what you want to shoot.

 

The camera that interests me most for wide angle is still the Sony Z100 in a Gates housing with a SWP44 lens that Josh Jensen shot this with. A 4K 60p ENG camera with a built-in lens, ND filters, proper auto-focus, nice white balance, proper zoom, worldwide support etc.. But it's so old now! Maybe we'll get a Z200 one day. Who knows...

 



#8 SwiftFF5

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 03:13 AM

So, in order - bubffm, thanks.  From your description, you are right, it must have been the Rx100, it was a very small camera.  I will also try checking the metadata to verify.

 

Trickster and Nick Hope, thanks, that's exactly the kind of advice that I was looking for.  I mostly shoot "run and gun" style, as Nick suggests (although I'd love to try some tripod mounted filming in the future).  

 

I think that you folks have saved me some money this winter, but look out next year.  I've got a couple of good trips planned for next year already, so I'll wait until after I get back and see what the market looks like at about this time next year.  That will also give me some time to save up for the hit that my wallet will take.

 

Thanks again, what a great source of information Wetpixel is!


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#9 spudgun

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 03:21 PM

I'm currently shooting with an advance point and shoot (Panasonic LX100), I did ask myself if I should switch over to camcorder since camcorder tends to have better image stabilization and zoom range. But at the end of the day, the wallet is the deciding factor. Camcorder housing are generally more expensive than camera housing (Gate vs Nauticam), and there is virtually no resell value for camcorder and camcorder housing in general.

 

If you want to stick with camcorder, besides the AX100 (has poor white balance issue), the Panasonic HC-X1000 is the next option and there is housing for it. I don't think there is any housing for consumer camcorder anymore, so you end up have to buy $2000+ camcorder and $4000+ for the housing for the camcorder.

 

If you switch over to camera, the GH5 should be something to keep an eye on, even the Panasonic GX80 could be a good option since it has IBIS while shooting 4K video.

Would you consider the Panasonic GX80 an UPGRADE in relation to the LX100? Many thanks



#10 kc_moses

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 05:09 AM

Would you consider the Panasonic GX80 an UPGRADE in relation to the LX100? Many thanks

 

Yes, the big selling point of the LX100 is its fast lens without paying for the 12-35mm lens for the GH4/GX80 (since we're talking video, the multi aspect ratio on the LX100 is not relevant). The 5-axis image stabilization on the GX80 is more useful and you can always put different lens on the GX80, even though the cost do go up over time. The lens and port system on the GX80 should let you to continue for future upgrade like GH5 etc.



#11 dreifish

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 04:07 PM

 

Maybe you can read that from the metadata of the file. I do that in Sony Vegas Pro with an extension called Show Recording Data, but you there would be other free tools to do it outside of Vegas like EXIF Viewer(?). I guess maybe Adobe apps (Lightroom? P Pro?) show it in the file properties.

 

As to the main question, it's very difficult at the moment to make recommendations. I'm not happy with the GH4 for run-and-gun style underwater shooting, which is what I do, for many reasons. I badly want to go to Raja Ampat but I actually turned down a trip this coming February partly because I thought I would be frustrated by the camera. And I think that would be true for most of the "stills" cameras that have video features.

 

On the other hand, the GH4 is great for tripod-based macro video, once you've worked out a working focus procedure. So it depends what you want to shoot.

 

The camera that interests me most for wide angle is still the Sony Z100 in a Gates housing with a SWP44 lens that Josh Jensen shot this with. A 4K 60p ENG camera with a built-in lens, ND filters, proper auto-focus, nice white balance, proper zoom, worldwide support etc.. But it's so old now! Maybe we'll get a Z200 one day. Who knows...

 

 

Fully agree on this Nick -- I'm not sure how much of it is the camera/housing/lens/lights combination as opposed to Josh's obvious mastery of it and whatever post-production he's doing that makes the difference, but his  footage is excellent -- both in terms of colors, sharpness, focus, and stability.  Aspirational I would say.

 

I'm not convinced it could be replicated with a Sony A7RII, GH4, or other similar DSLR setup, including a housed Canon 1DXII ($11000).

 

Of course, the Z100 ($4500 new, $3750 used) + gates housing ($7250) + SWP44 lens ($4300!) at $15000+ starts to put you firmly in Sony FS7 ($8500 body + $6400 aquatica housing + $2000 dome = $16900 + lenses) or even Red Raven territory ($10k body, $10k nauticam housing, 2k dome = $22000 before lenses). And, from the specs, it's a larger, heavier camera setup than the FS7 or Red Raven.

 

Which begs the question -- why did Josh pick the Z100 over an large sensor, interchangable-lens raw-capable FS7 or Red setup? I'd be curious to hear his answer. Perhaps it's the versatility of the 20x zoom-through par-focal lens with the SWP44 port allowing you to go to a full 110 degrees at the wide end. That sure would be sweet to have for run-and-gun type shooting. Does it outweigh the benefits of RAW recording and the higher dynamic range of a large-sensor camera? I don't know. Perhaps for his work, it does. I'd be really curious to hear Josh's take.



#12 Aussiejosho

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 01:21 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the mention and kind words.

 

I have to start with I am not a big camera guy, they are just the best way to record fish. I love cameras, but I can't keep up with them. When time for an upgrade I always start with an email to John and Pam at Gates and find out what they recommend. Then I get that. I do my research, but then I do what they said.

Those guys know me well and know what I shoot and how I shoot it and I've been very happy with their advice in the past. I narrowed my housing company down to one years ago so that simplifies things, then it is just down to budget and how much weight you want to carry around.

 

I agree with all the advice in this thread, apart from the new computer/software, hard drives also become expensive. On a liveaboard if I fill my cards on every dive, I can use 2TB of storage each day.(I have never managed this BTW). Excess luggage fees are an extra kick in the goolies whenever you get away to shoot.

 

I love the Z100 in the Gates/Fathoms lens and for me, full zoom through and a nice wide angle lens which gets me from a nudi to a whale in a second or so is the most critical feature, as dreifish says - versatility. Missing a shot because you have the wrong lens on is something you can cut out altogether if you don't have to change lenses. My main objective is to be able to shoot every species any time, regardless of size. I also always want an establishing shot but if you don't do it at the same time, in the same light, current etc. it makes editing more difficult.

I found focusing a bit tricky without the TVL monitor(in Gates housing) - peaking is a godsend. I also found the autofocus a bit too good I think picking up particles in the water, so I always use manual focus.

 

To polish the rig off, the GT14 lights are another big chunk of change but they make a huge difference.

One final word on the weight of these larger cameras, fully loaded with lights and tripod, my rig is 27kg. Pretty heavy if you have to carry it any sort of distance, especially in your wetsuit in warm weather.

At the time I was shopping, I also considered the F5, F55 and RED. RED's bubble blower forum put me off that, the larger size and cost put me off the F cameras.


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#13 dreifish

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 07:58 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the mention and kind words.

 

I have to start with I am not a big camera guy, they are just the best way to record fish. I love cameras, but I can't keep up with them. When time for an upgrade I always start with an email to John and Pam at Gates and find out what they recommend. Then I get that. I do my research, but then I do what they said.

Those guys know me well and know what I shoot and how I shoot it and I've been very happy with their advice in the past. I narrowed my housing company down to one years ago so that simplifies things, then it is just down to budget and how much weight you want to carry around.

 

I agree with all the advice in this thread, apart from the new computer/software, hard drives also become expensive. On a liveaboard if I fill my cards on every dive, I can use 2TB of storage each day.(I have never managed this BTW). Excess luggage fees are an extra kick in the goolies whenever you get away to shoot.

 

I love the Z100 in the Gates/Fathoms lens and for me, full zoom through and a nice wide angle lens which gets me from a nudi to a whale in a second or so is the most critical feature, as dreifish says - versatility. Missing a shot because you have the wrong lens on is something you can cut out altogether if you don't have to change lenses. My main objective is to be able to shoot every species any time, regardless of size. I also always want an establishing shot but if you don't do it at the same time, in the same light, current etc. it makes editing more difficult.

I found focusing a bit tricky without the TVL monitor(in Gates housing) - peaking is a godsend. I also found the autofocus a bit too good I think picking up particles in the water, so I always use manual focus.

 

To polish the rig off, the GT14 lights are another big chunk of change but they make a huge difference.

One final word on the weight of these larger cameras, fully loaded with lights and tripod, my rig is 27kg. Pretty heavy if you have to carry it any sort of distance, especially in your wetsuit in warm weather.

At the time I was shopping, I also considered the F5, F55 and RED. RED's bubble blower forum put me off that, the larger size and cost put me off the F cameras.

 

Josh -- thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Really nice to hear from someone who's lived and shot with the camera for a while. Versatility definitely is something that weighs against the DSLR-type setups, although there are some options these days that use zoom lenses and wet optics, but probably still don't give you the nudi-to-whale range that the Z100 appears to provide.

 

Just for clarification, how small of a nudi can you fill the frame with using the Fanthoms lens? 110 degrees at the wide end I can understand, but -- having never shot with such a combination -- I'm really curious just how small you can go at the macro end. 

 

I recently acquired a set of GT14 lights and I absolutely love them as well. Just wish the battery life was a little longer, but alas--guess I'll have to buy some spares. I'm also trying to read through the Reduser Bubbleblower thread for perspective on the Red cameras underwater. That thread is a beast!

 

I guess for something smaller that shoots in 4k and has the wide-to-narrow zoom range, the only current Gates option right now is the Sony AX100. Seems to go to 100 degrees at the wide end. Not sure about the narrow..

 

What is the battery life like on the z100 and the white balancing for ambient light shots?



#14 Cerianthus

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 01:49 AM

Just to add to the confusion, the 70d and later dslr from canon have dual pixel autofocus with tracking, also during video recording.


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#15 Aussiejosho

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 02:45 PM

 

Just for clarification, how small of a nudi can you fill the frame with using the Fanthoms lens? 110 degrees at the wide end I can understand, but -- having never shot with such a combination -- I'm really curious just how small you can go at the macro end. 

 

I recently acquired a set of GT14 lights and I absolutely love them as well. Just wish the battery life was a little longer, but alas--guess I'll have to buy some spares. I'm also trying to read through the Reduser Bubbleblower thread for perspective on the Red cameras underwater. That thread is a beast!

 

I guess for something smaller that shoots in 4k and has the wide-to-narrow zoom range, the only current Gates option right now is the Sony AX100. Seems to go to 100 degrees at the wide end. Not sure about the narrow..

 

What is the battery life like on the z100 and the white balancing for ambient light shots?

Here's a nudi that is probably about as big in the frame as I can get. The beast is around 2 inches long I think : https://www.pond5.co...hd-up33866.html
Spare set of batteries is a must for live aboard diving. I am sitting in an airport with pants weighed down with 4 of them right now.
Good luck with the epic saga that is the RED thread, took me weeks to get through it all, even though I had decided against RED half way through. Some interesting tidbits in there from some super experienced shooters - even not going RED I still picked up plenty of new information.
The Z100 batteries last longer than me in the water - you could probably do a couple of dives on a charge, but I always start with a fresh one. I've never run out of camera battery. Lights, yes, cards often, disc space always, but camera battery never.
I've usually been really happy with the WB, I have found a few conditions in greenish water that I got to look really ugly but that may have been more user error than camera function. Shooting in very shallow but dirty water can be hard to see the screens (monitor and viewfinder) to get accurate colour monitoring. But even in low light, as long as it isn't too green, the Z100 WB works really well. It probably works fine in green water too, I just manage to avoid green most of the time so haven't had much experience with it.

The AX100 looks pretty good to me.
 


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#16 dreifish

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 10:27 PM

Here's a nudi that is probably about as big in the frame as I can get. The beast is around 2 inches long I think : https://www.pond5.co...hd-up33866.html
Spare set of batteries is a must for live aboard diving. I am sitting in an airport with pants weighed down with 4 of them right now.
Good luck with the epic saga that is the RED thread, took me weeks to get through it all, even though I had decided against RED half way through. Some interesting tidbits in there from some super experienced shooters - even not going RED I still picked up plenty of new information.
The Z100 batteries last longer than me in the water - you could probably do a couple of dives on a charge, but I always start with a fresh one. I've never run out of camera battery. Lights, yes, cards often, disc space always, but camera battery never.
I've usually been really happy with the WB, I have found a few conditions in greenish water that I got to look really ugly but that may have been more user error than camera function. Shooting in very shallow but dirty water can be hard to see the screens (monitor and viewfinder) to get accurate colour monitoring. But even in low light, as long as it isn't too green, the Z100 WB works really well. It probably works fine in green water too, I just manage to avoid green most of the time so haven't had much experience with it.

The AX100 looks pretty good to me.
 

 

Josh, thanks again for sharing your experience -- there don't seem to be a lot of folks shooting with the Z100 underwater, so this is very valuable. It actually sounds like a very good solution for people looking for a professional run-and-gun/ENG type camera or who simply don't want to deal with interchangeable lenses behind domes.

 

Perhaps you could answer a few more questions about the camera's usability?

  1. Is the Z100/SWP44 combination sharp throughout the whole zoom range? Do you ever experience significant corner softness?
  2. What iris(aperture) can you shoot at while keeping the whole image sharp? I believe wide open the Z100 can go all the way to 1.6, which lets in a lot of light and partially compensates for the smaller sensor. Can you shoot that wide open though (with an ND filter) and still maintain sharp corners?
  3. Do you ever shoot without the SWP44 (e.i. with a flat port) for macro?
  4. With the SWP44 on, what does the 600mm equivalent long end of the zoom range turn into? 100mm? Longer? Shorter?
  5. Given the smaller sensor, does the footage ever get noisy when shooting in low ambient light? Especially with more aggressive white balancing?


#17 Aquatic-HD

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 11:05 AM

Hi,

Sorry to throw a wrench into the discussion. Last week I was about to pull the trigger on the Nauticam NA-Z100 underwater Housing with the Gates SWP-44c Lens, or the Gates Z100 with the SWP-44c lens. I called Rob at Backscatter to look into it for me and get a quote. this is the e-mail I got back from him.

 

(Rob) "Thanks for the e-mail and info. Well I have bad news, and bad news. The Z100 housing is not officially discontinued by Nauticam, but they do not have any in stock in the US, and they do not think anything is available at the factory. The other bad news is I contacted Gates to ask them about their Z100 housing, and they have discontinued their Z100 housing. Gates recommended searching for something used.

 

I have spent literally over 100 hours on the computer comparing the pros, cons and price of the FS7, FS5, Z100, Z150, Red, mirrorless, DSLR's and there housings. There just doesn't seem to be a camera, housing and lens combo that doesn't compromise in some way with out spending $30,000 +. Even then there is no perfect system.



#18 kc_moses

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 11:35 AM

Aquatic-HD, did you try to call Reef Photo to confirm the NA-Z100 housing is not available in the US?



#19 bubffm

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 12:02 PM

 

I have spent literally over 100 hours on the computer comparing the pros, cons and price of the FS7, FS5, Z100, Z150, Red, mirrorless, DSLR's and there housings. There just doesn't seem to be a camera, housing and lens combo that doesn't compromise in some way with out spending $30,000 +. Even then there is no perfect system.

 

Hi,

 

Just out of curiosity: What's the reason you decided against the FS7?  I quite like the cam but for me its the size / bulk.  But compared to the 23kg of the Z100 setup its rather lightweight with full 4k 422 10bit capabilities - somewhat expensive though...  Maybe the price comes down with the FS7 MII coming out in January.



#20 Aussiejosho

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 03:46 PM

 

 

Josh, thanks again for sharing your experience -- there don't seem to be a lot of folks shooting with the Z100 underwater, so this is very valuable. It actually sounds like a very good solution for people looking for a professional run-and-gun/ENG type camera or who simply don't want to deal with interchangeable lenses behind domes.

 

Perhaps you could answer a few more questions about the camera's usability?

  1. Is the Z100/SWP44 combination sharp throughout the whole zoom range? Do you ever experience significant corner softness?
  2. What iris(aperture) can you shoot at while keeping the whole image sharp? I believe wide open the Z100 can go all the way to 1.6, which lets in a lot of light and partially compensates for the smaller sensor. Can you shoot that wide open though (with an ND filter) and still maintain sharp corners?
  3. Do you ever shoot without the SWP44 (e.i. with a flat port) for macro?
  4. With the SWP44 on, what does the 600mm equivalent long end of the zoom range turn into? 100mm? Longer? Shorter?
  5. Given the smaller sensor, does the footage ever get noisy when shooting in low ambient light? Especially with more aggressive white balancing?

 

1. Yes, razor sharp from what I can tell. No softness I've seen.

2. Yep, small DOF but sharp.

3. Not yet. I can't bring myself to take off the SWP. I always want establishing shots and the chance of something big is always there.

4. No idea.

5. No noise at all that I've seen. The HVX200 was my previous camera and was noisy as hell. This one just gets dark. I never use any gain so that might be helping too.


Josh Jensen
Sony Z100 and Panasonic HVX200, Gates Housing, L&M Lights
Undersea Productions