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GH5 power/display settings with external Monitor


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#1 dave@immersed

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 03:39 PM

I've been testing my nice new SmallHD monitor atop my GH5 housing before leaving for a big trip this weekend.

 

Its working well, I'm now trying to figure out the best camera settings to minimise camera battery usage, whilst keeping the camera "live and ready to shoot" as much as possible.

 

I had hoped to be able to turn off both the LCD display and EVF, however I find that if one of them is not active then, although the monitor still gives me a live view and information, I can't access all camera functions.

 

- If I switch to either EVF only, or Display only (by using the F5 button), then the camera operates normally.

 

- When both camera displays are turned off (ie by scrolling through the "display" button options on the GH5), I can operate the shutter, iso etc, but I can't adjust the aperture, shutter speed or back-button (auto) focus...

 

I guess this isn't a great surprise, as the camera functions that cease are those that use the sensor.

 

I've read conflicting reports about which uses the most camera power, the EVF or the LCD display...  any views or suggestions for energy saving settings?

 

 

 



#2 Interceptor121

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 09:39 AM

Dave

 

A bit of a late reply

 

I think the way is supposed to work is that you set the LCD display to video priority mode and have the recording information screen (the one with aperture etc etc) and then the HDMI information set to off on the monitor

 

In terms of power the LCD uses more power the display on the recoding mode is for most black so this is the best setting for use with an external monitor

 

I am curious on how you found autofocus with the external monitor as I have read review suggesting this gets sluggish


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#3 dave@immersed

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 08:36 PM

It was less of an issue than I was expecting and I didn't run out of camera battery during a dive (apart form when I forgot to switch the camera off on the way to the dive site...) 

 

I didn't notice much difference between the EVF and the LCD in terms of battery usage, but I was too busy enjoying myself to do any proper testing. Yes, using the LCD for an info screen was the best solution, although I rarely used it and generally relied on the monitor display.

 

The biggest issue I had was occasional fogging in the camera housing towards the end of the dive. I got into the habit of turning off the camera between sequences to keep the camera cool, which helped greatly. Have never had this problem before but the water in Raja was very warm.

 

Didn't notice any issues with autofocus with the monitor connected. I generally had the camera set on manual focus and focused using back-button auto, apart from some macro work.

Monitor has a very slight image delay but it didn't bother me.

 

Overall I really enjoyed using the monitor and also found it extremely useful for stills. Obviously its useful for macro, with its great zoom functions and in-monitor focus assist, but also helpful for awkward macro angles and under-over wide shots.



#4 Interceptor121

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:00 AM

Interesting.
I see some features like false colour and focus assist however those are really intrusive and probably zebra and peaking will work better at that point negating the need for such a complex monitor
What did you use?

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#5 dave@immersed

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 07:20 PM

Interesting.
I see some features like false colour and focus assist however those are really intrusive and probably zebra and peaking will work better at that point negating the need for such a complex monitor
What did you use?

 

On the SmallHD502Bright monitor I generally used zebra and Focus Assist. The Peaking function on the monitor is very subtle, more so than the in-camera focus peaking and I found it hard to see. The Focus Assist however is very clear and easily customisable and I found it easier to use and adjust than the in-camera peaking. It can be "toned down" to a level where it is not intrusive at all. A really useful feature of the monitor is the ability to quickly scroll through custom displays, each one set up with different tools and sensitivities to suit the shot. I suppose the same effect can be achieved using the camera functions (and therefore would work on a less complex monitor), but I found the monitor custom displays easier to adjust and switch.



#6 Interceptor121

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 02:10 AM

This is interesting as zebra and focus assist are already provided albeit to a lower standard by the camera itself

 

For me the most interesting feature of the monitor underwater is actually the screen size itself and the fact you can change the angle

 

The cost though is very high we are looking at $1680 to get a housing and $1299 for the bright 502 seems excessive to me


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#7 ChrisRoss

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 05:45 PM


The biggest issue I had was occasional fogging in the camera housing towards the end of the dive. I got into the habit of turning off the camera between sequences to keep the camera cool, which helped greatly. Have never had this problem before but the water in Raja was very warm.

 

What sort of housing do you have?  I was diving in Halmahera last year with my Nauticam and had no fogging issues,  air temperature was around 32° and quite humid, water temperature was 29°.    Keeping the camera cool really won't help much with fogging.  The housing is watertight and the water content inside does not change so changing the temperature won't change anything unless you managed to get a drop of water inside when opening the housing.  If this were to occur then getting the housing hot would vapourise the water up to the saturation point and then when the camera cools off in the water it will condense on the coldest surface.   

 

Desiccant can help as you are trapping humid air inside the housing when you close it and if the desiccant absorbs it, then it can't condense on the housing- but there are important provisos - the capacity is limited and once full it  has no impact.  You need to keep fresh ones inside a sealed container like a ziplock and only get them out to put them in the housing.  The other alternative is to open the housing in air conditioning so the trapped air has lower humidity.  .  Of course be sure you mop up any water clinging to the o-ring when you open the housing.

 

You can do calculations on this for example at 32°C air temperature and 90% humidity inside the housing, cooling the housing to just 29°C will have you at the dewpoint and condensation starting.  90% humidity is very high - at 80% the dewpoint becomes 27°.  In theory because an aluminum housing has high thermal conductivity any condensation occurs on the housing metal rather than the glass as the metals cools off faster, but is there excess water it will also condense on the glass.   A vacuum system should also help, lowering the pressure lowers the dewpoint of the air, meaning it has to get colder before condensation can occur.

 

The important point is that heat alone will not cause a housing to fog, it's the amount of water inside it, you can't make water by heating the air up. 



#8 dave@immersed

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 08:24 PM

What sort of housing do you have?  I was diving in Halmahera last year with my Nauticam and had no fogging issues,  air temperature was around 32° and quite humid, water temperature was 29°.    Keeping the camera cool really won't help much with fogging.  The housing is watertight and the water content inside does not change so changing the temperature won't change anything unless you managed to get a drop of water inside when opening the housing.  If this were to occur then getting the housing hot would vapourise the water up to the saturation point and then when the camera cools off in the water it will condense on the coldest surface.   

 

Desiccant can help as you are trapping humid air inside the housing when you close it and if the desiccant absorbs it, then it can't condense on the housing- but there are important provisos - the capacity is limited and once full it  has no impact.  You need to keep fresh ones inside a sealed container like a ziplock and only get them out to put them in the housing.  The other alternative is to open the housing in air conditioning so the trapped air has lower humidity.  .  Of course be sure you mop up any water clinging to the o-ring when you open the housing.

 

You can do calculations on this for example at 32°C air temperature and 90% humidity inside the housing, cooling the housing to just 29°C will have you at the dewpoint and condensation starting.  90% humidity is very high - at 80% the dewpoint becomes 27°.  In theory because an aluminum housing has high thermal conductivity any condensation occurs on the housing metal rather than the glass as the metals cools off faster, but is there excess water it will also condense on the glass.   A vacuum system should also help, lowering the pressure lowers the dewpoint of the air, meaning it has to get colder before condensation can occur.

 

The important point is that heat alone will not cause a housing to fog, it's the amount of water inside it, you can't make water by heating the air up. 

Thanks Chris, great post. I use a Nauticam also. 

My post was a bit misleading and my comment about the water being warm was perhaps a bit of a red herring... 

In my case I believe that the root cause of my fogging was due to me trapping excessively humid morning air inside the housing (you know, when you make a last minute decision in the morning to go macro instead of wide...).

My theory is that fogging was triggered on the inside of the macro port when a heating camera caused a temperature gradient across the housing. Fog formed on the port as the glass was cooler due to the (relatively) cooler water. The "warm water" comment was more about the overall issue of the camera getting hot and the ambient water temperature being too warm to counteract this.

I might have got it back to front, but it seemed like the aluminium housing (high thermal conductivity) was being heated up by the camera, whereas the glass was relatively cooler and so was subject to condensation.

Interestingly, it wasn't just me, another guy on the boat with the same rig (GH5 in Nauticam) occasionally had the same issue when using a macro port. It was a rather wet and very humid trip (and coming from Darwin I know humidity! ;-) 

Anyway, yes, the morale of the story is to keep moisture out in the first place and I had no fogging problems when I was more careful and trapped less humid air inside the housing, but sometimes you just can't help making the lens/port switch at the last moment ;-) 



#9 ChrisRoss

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:09 AM

I don't think you need to invent any heat transfer issues to explain what's going on, ultimately the aluminium and glass will be at water temperature and probably in only 5 minutes or so and if that temperature is below the dewpoint of the trapped air, water will condense from the air onto the cold surfaces and the whole thing will come to equilibrium.  The only way I can see camera heat doing anything is to force any water on the camera to revapourise so it can condense on some glass.   The heat transfer from liquids is way higher than from gases so the housing gets to water temperature quite quickly and would be hard to hold it above water temperature. by any amount.

 

Regardless the cure is the same:  You can always try blowing it out with air from a tank or even canned air just as you close up, that air is of necessity very dry  and you didn't mention a vacuum system, that should also help.   Once the humidity gets high enough you need either a dessicant or to displace the water vapour from the housing.  If you put the desiccant in as you closeup, it will have time to absorb moisture before you get the housing wet.



#10 Interceptor121

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 05:45 AM

I have just connected my GH5 to a field monitor and I think I now understand the issue that Dave mentioned

 

Basically you can't switch off the LCD if you do you can't operate most of the control so what you do is to operate the LCD and the screen in parallel

 

From my preliminary test the screen focus assist and zebra are not better than the camera one. The only feature that is very useful is false colour but you would only do that occasionally. 

 

You only realise once you have the screen how useful are the features of the camera like the level gauge


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#11 dave@immersed

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:06 PM

 The heat transfer from liquids is way higher than from gases so the housing gets to water temperature quite quickly and would be hard to hold it above water temperature. by any amount.

The housing was getting noticeably warm underwater, eg after around 40 minutes with the display on. Perhaps heat is being transferred through the camera mount/slide.



#12 dave@immersed

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:14 PM

I have just connected my GH5 to a field monitor and I think I now understand the issue that Dave mentioned

 

Basically you can't switch off the LCD if you do you can't operate most of the control so what you do is to operate the LCD and the screen in parallel

 

From my preliminary test the screen focus assist and zebra are not better than the camera one. The only feature that is very useful is false colour but you would only do that occasionally. 

 

You only realise once you have the screen how useful are the features of the camera like the level gauge

Yes, the camera features are already excellent and I was quite happy to revert back to camera-only from time to time. However, I found the monitor focus assist to be more useful than the camera peaking function, and the adjustable position of the monitor made it easier to compose and focus (at least for my dodgy eyesight and short arms... ;-)



#13 Interceptor121

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 05:47 AM

@dave I have made some tests and there is one situation where you can switch off the screen and work it out

 

You can only change the ISO not the aperture or shutter and push af does not work

 

However peaking works and you can also use pinpoint AF which also magnifies the screen 


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#14 gearbow_36218

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:57 PM

Got a picture of your rig with monotor?

#15 dave@immersed

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:21 PM

Got a picture of your rig with monotor?

No, and the gears all packed up and ready for a trip next weekend. Will take a picture next time