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Which Mirrorless Camera for 4k Video (Macro/Wide)


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#1 skating101

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 08:42 PM

I have been investigating which mirrorless camera is the best value for money underwater 4k video. I film mostly macro/super macro and general wide reef shots.

I looked at the Sony A6300/A6500 (with the Fantasea housing) however the lack of the ability to manually white balance easily underwater (due to the 9900K white balance restriction) gives a lot of the footage an overly blue/purple tone.  

Have any users of the A6300/A6500 encountered this issue? Is there any obvious work around (besides dive lights which struggle with penetration).

I next looked at the Panasonic GX85 (with the Ikelite housing). This camera has slightly softer 4k than the Sony () and a smaller sensor but is much better at manual white balancing. The image quality seems almost identical to the GH5 which has been lauded as one of the best underwater cameras. Does anyone have an opinion of this camera?

Is there any other suggestions of cameras that I have not investigated?



#2 Lionfi2s

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 02:23 AM

GH5 or GH5S...



#3 TaxiDiver14

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 02:29 AM

Wait to A7SIII...

#4 skating101

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 04:00 AM

GH5 or GH5S...

Dont have $5000 for the camera and housing

 

 

Wait to A7SIII...

 

Dont have $6000 for the camera and housing



#5 TaxiDiver14

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 04:02 AM

Dont have $5000 for the camera and housing
 
 
 
Dont have $6000 for the camera and housing

Gopro then...

#6 skating101

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 04:09 AM

Gopro then...

 

Nothing between a GoPro and an A7SIII, quite the market segment not targeted.



#7 TaxiDiver14

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 06:23 AM

A6500+SEL1018+SEL30MACRO.
And do not forget lighting...

Edited by TaxiDiver14, 24 February 2018 - 06:25 AM.


#8 mt-m

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 07:03 AM

I found that with my Sony a7II setting white balance to cloudy and boosting red channel among some other adjustments in post, produces very decent colors in ambient light.



#9 skating101

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 07:09 AM

I found that with my Sony a7II setting white balance to cloudy and boosting red channel among some other adjustments in post, produces very decent colors in ambient light.

 

Thanks for the reply, do you have any sample footage from the A7II with ambient light?



#10 mt-m

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 07:36 AM

Here's a quick clip from last summer. Please pardon the camera shake - I'm by no means a video expert and was also mostly keeping an eye on my son. We were at 65 feet and the shark at about 85 feet.

 


Edited by mt-m, 24 February 2018 - 01:36 PM.


#11 ChrisRoss

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 09:44 AM

If  you are on a budget have a look at the Pany LX10.  There is a guy going tests on the LX10 if you look under consumer/digicam housings.  That camera is quite a bit cheaper and no lens or port to buy.  You could use the change to get the nauticam housing!!  There are reviews of the camera foir UW on backscatter and divephotoguide.



#12 skating101

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 05:26 PM

Here's a quick clip from last summer. Please pardon the camera shake - I'm by no means a video expert and was also mostly keeping an eye on my son. We were at 65 feet and the shark at about 85 feet.

 

Thanks for the video

 

 

If  you are on a budget have a look at the Pany LX10.  There is a guy going tests on the LX10 if you look under consumer/digicam housings.  That camera is quite a bit cheaper and no lens or port to buy.  You could use the change to get the nauticam housing!!  There are reviews of the camera foir UW on backscatter and divephotoguide.

 

Thanks for the info, I looked at the LX10 but the crop on the 4k video makes the wide angle 36mm which is quite unusable without a wide angle wet lense.



#13 bvanant

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 06:29 PM

I guess I am confused. What exactly is your budget. For macro/super macro you will need lights and diopters (either internal or external). It seems that you want some capabilities that are probably not going to be available at whatever price you want.  

So what do you really need (vs. what would be nice) and what would you like. Why for example do you need 4K? Look at our website (www.blueviews.net) for some really nice super macro and macro video, none of it in 4K but for most purposes including showing at SF Oceans and SDUFEX film festival, more than good enough.

 

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#14 Barmaglot

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 07:07 PM

Dont have $5000 for the camera and housing

 

 

Meikon recently released a housing for GH5 for $400 with flat port, plus $200 for a dome port. Limited lens compatibility and no zoom knob, but budget-friendly. GH5S release may also put some GH5 bodies on the used market.



#15 skating101

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 07:35 PM

I guess I am confused. What exactly is your budget. For macro/super macro you will need lights and diopters (either internal or external). It seems that you want some capabilities that are probably not going to be available at whatever price you want.  

So what do you really need (vs. what would be nice) and what would you like. Why for example do you need 4K? Look at our website (www.blueviews.net) for some really nice super macro and macro video, none of it in 4K but for most purposes including showing at SF Oceans and SDUFEX film festival, more than good enough.

 

Bill

My initial budget is $3000 for a setup including camera + housing + ports + macro.

I am attempting to avoid a situation where I buy a setup that limits my ability to upgrade the quality. Purchasing a compact and wet lenses now would require a camera/housing upgrade to get to the quality of a dedicated macro lens setup. 

I watched your videos on your website. I'm by no means attempting to critique your videos, they have beautiful composition and editing but their sharpness is not even close to acceptable on a 4k screen. Every single one of your videos would've been vastly upgraded if they were filmed in 4k. This is the reason why I am attempting to purchase a 4k setup now, to avoid a situation where a technical limitation of the camera is preventing the maximum potential of the setup from being achieved.

Please do not take this as criticizing your videos, they truly are amazing and have deserved their place at any film festival you showed them.



#16 TaxiDiver14

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 11:17 PM

3000$ ????

Go for second hand gh4 set or A6300...

#17 thetrickster

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:06 AM

I think you will have to increase your budget, or start with either Macro or Wide and add to it later. Or go 2nd hand...

 

You're right, with the Sony's. I think they produce some of the nicest / crispest videos underwater given the right lens, dome combination. (Top side they are excellent too)

 

But as you allude too, they don't seem to handle ambient WB (at depth) as well as Canon or Panasonic, reading the criticism and reviews posted here and elsewhere. It was my No1 reason not to go with Sony's when I went down this route. To be fair Panasonic have only just started being able to produce nice MWB below 20m, so its hasn't been just a Sony problem. The main issue I think is the error, and inability to set a MWB more than just turning the water purple, so people are just running it (as above) in Cloudy WB or Shade WB and then fixing in post.

 

Give the Sony's some artificial lights and they are spectacular. But I, myself love doing ambient WA stuff so gone with Panasonic, GH3, GH4 and now the GH5 and GH5s

 

As you are on a budget, and are wanting changeable lenses, you will be looking at the A6xxx or GX series. The A7 or GH line, the housings (and bodies) are far more expensive for the gains in quality against their smaller brothers, but on the other hand with the cheaper/smaller housings, you loose, the mass of the camera, the handles, so that can affect image quality too, with stability, inertia etc... And you might end up buying additional handles, trays and end up at the same size / price.

 

If I had to choose today, for a trip tomorrow, for $3000, probably the A6500 (if its within budget) if I'm honest, its cheap, the video quality is up there, and would work around any MWB issues i had.

 

The new GX9 (Dual IS, no low pass filter, better ISO etc) is out - so that could be a contender too if you can wait.

 

I have been investigating which mirrorless camera is the best value for money underwater 4k video. I film mostly macro/super macro and general wide reef shots.

I looked at the Sony A6300/A6500 (with the Fantasea housing) however the lack of the ability to manually white balance easily underwater (due to the 9900K white balance restriction) gives a lot of the footage an overly blue/purple tone. 

Have any users of the A6300/A6500 encountered this issue? Is there any obvious work around (besides dive lights which struggle with penetration).

I next looked at the Panasonic GX85 (with the Ikelite housing). This camera has slightly softer 4k than the Sony and a smaller sensor but is much better at manual white balancing. The image quality seems almost identical to the GH5 which has been lauded as one of the best underwater cameras. Does anyone have an opinion of this camera?

Is there any other suggestions of cameras that I have not investigated?

 

My initial budget is $3000 for a setup including camera + housing + ports + macro.

I am attempting to avoid a situation where I buy a setup that limits my ability to upgrade the quality. Purchasing a compact and wet lenses now would require a camera/housing upgrade to get to the quality of a dedicated macro lens setup. 

I watched your videos on your website. I'm by no means attempting to critique your videos, they have beautiful composition and editing but their sharpness is not even close to acceptable on a 4k screen. Every single one of your videos would've been vastly upgraded if they were filmed in 4k. This is the reason why I am attempting to purchase a 4k setup now, to avoid a situation where a technical limitation of the camera is preventing the maximum potential of the setup from being achieved.

Please do not take this as criticizing your videos, they truly are amazing and have deserved their place at any film festival you showed them.


Edited by thetrickster, 25 February 2018 - 12:07 AM.

Regards, Richard

---

Camera Rig: Nauticam Lumix GH5/GH5s, 14-42mm II, WWL-1, Atomos Inferno, ScubaLamp V6K Pro Lighting

www.richardwait.com


#18 skating101

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:43 AM

I think you will have to increase your budget, or start with either Macro or Wide and add to it later. Or go 2nd hand...

 

You're right, with the Sony's. I think they produce some of the nicest / crispest videos underwater given the right lens, dome combination. (Top side they are excellent too)

 

But as you allude too, they don't seem to handle ambient WB (at depth) as well as Canon or Panasonic, reading the criticism and reviews posted here and elsewhere. It was my No1 reason not to go with Sony's when I went down this route. To be fair Panasonic have only just started being able to produce nice MWB below 20m, so its hasn't been just a Sony problem. The main issue I think is the error, and inability to set a MWB more than just turning the water purple, so people are just running it (as above) in Cloudy WB or Shade WB and then fixing in post.

 

Give the Sony's some artificial lights and they are spectacular. But I, myself love doing ambient WA stuff so gone with Panasonic, GH3, GH4 and now the GH5 and GH5s

 

As you are on a budget, and are wanting changeable lenses, you will be looking at the A6xxx or GX series. The A7 or GH line, the housings (and bodies) are far more expensive for the gains in quality against their smaller brothers, but on the other hand with the cheaper/smaller housings, you loose, the mass of the camera, the handles, so that can affect image quality too, with stability, inertia etc... And you might end up buying additional handles, trays and end up at the same size / price.

 

If I had to choose today, for a trip tomorrow, for $3000, probably the A6500 (if its within budget) if I'm honest, its cheap, the video quality is up there, and would work around any MWB issues i had.

 

The new GX9 (Dual IS, no low pass filter, better ISO etc) is out - so that could be a contender too if you can wait.

 

 

Thanks Richard for the incredibly detailed response. I was of the same mind about the A6500 but for me the MWB issues are too larger a risk. You also recommended the GX9, what is your opinion on the GX85 which has almost exactly the same features as the GX9 however is almost half the price?



#19 Barmaglot

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 02:02 AM

My initial budget is $3000 for a setup including camera + housing + ports + macro.

 

You can kinda sorta squeeze a GH5 into that, but only barely. A used GH5 body is ~$1600, a Meikon housing with a dome is $600, which leaves you with $800 for lenses - enough for either Panasonic 8-18mm or 45mm macro (assuming used), but not both.



#20 thetrickster

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 04:38 AM

Thanks Richard for the incredibly detailed response. I was of the same mind about the A6500 but for me the MWB issues are too larger a risk. You also recommended the GX9, what is your opinion on the GX85 which has almost exactly the same features as the GX9 however is almost half the price?

 

I thought the GX9 was the successor to the GX85 (in the convoluted naming Panasonic is doing these day...) and from my looking (hence the mention), the price is only £110 more (£589 vs £699). However it does look like the GX85 and GX9 are very similarly spec'd - which I was surprised about, given the gap in release dates. So a knocked down GX85 and housing would be a good bet, if MWB is important to you.


Regards, Richard

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Camera Rig: Nauticam Lumix GH5/GH5s, 14-42mm II, WWL-1, Atomos Inferno, ScubaLamp V6K Pro Lighting

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