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Member Since 10 Sep 2005
Offline Last Active Feb 01 2017 07:07 AM

#363248 18 Years - A Story of a Broken Curse

Posted by SimonSpear on 14 July 2015 - 01:45 PM

Great stuff Dustin.  Always great to break a curse! :D

#363247 RØMANS - "Uh Huh" Music Promo

Posted by SimonSpear on 14 July 2015 - 01:40 PM

Awesome.  Definitely needed more sharks though! :D

#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:



#357746 Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

Posted by SimonSpear on 12 February 2015 - 07:00 AM

Gates tend to concentrate on housings for high end large sensor cameras and traditional broadcast video cameras which I'm sure there will continue to be a market for rather than chasing sales in the higher volume DSLR or the consumer video market.  Average 'Joe Diver' going on holiday a couple of times a year is definitely not their target market and while I don't claim to have any knowledge about their business model they certainly appeared to be doing very nicely when I last visited their factory.   


I also think John's Alert Diver article from a few years back was far more balanced and factually accurate than this one was.

#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.  



#356556 Maldives Kuredu in May -15

Posted by SimonSpear on 13 January 2015 - 05:28 PM

The Kuredu does have macro sites, but I'd generally say it is stronger for WA.

The dive shop there isn't particularly 'hard core' so as long as you are happy doing a single dive am/pm you'll be ok. Last time we were there they kept the 2 tank boat list under the counter and you really had to give them a hard time before they would send a boat out. All very very bizarre and definitely more suited to a tourist who wants to do an odd dive rather than a full 'dive trip'.

Still the Maldives is great for life. Enjoy!

#352997 Looking for recommendations for video tuition

Posted by SimonSpear on 27 September 2014 - 02:35 AM

My tips would be:

Dive and film as much as you possibly can. Edit & review to improve your skills and then do it all again! Nothing substitutes for practise. I've never done it but working as a resort pro for at least a couple of years is probably the best training you could wish for.

Listen and learn from everyone and then find out what works best for you. There are lots of approaches and methods to experiment with.

Don't confuse 'gearheads' with very little practical ability to people who really know what they are talking about! Basically always look at someone's work before you take what they say for granted...

There are very few people in the world who make their entire living from filming underwater exclusively for broadcast. Most will have some form of supplemental income from other types of filming or from other types of work/businesses.

Oh and don't forget to have an amazing life doing what you love!! :)

#350723 Upcoming Panasonic GH-4K

Posted by SimonSpear on 23 July 2014 - 01:45 PM

This clip was straight from the camera.  The codec is pretty robust so I'm sure you could make the turtle pink with green spots if you know how to do it, but why would you want to make it look like your eyes see?  If you want that there are plenty of less expensive cameras that can do it!

#350701 Upcoming Panasonic GH-4K

Posted by SimonSpear on 23 July 2014 - 03:51 AM

Some 4K underwater footage from the GH4.  
This was uploaded overnight on the slow hotel wifi so it is a bit short, but still I'm very impressed (obviously for the best quality playback select the 4K option, but some computers won't be able to handle it).

#349472 Upcoming Panasonic GH-4K

Posted by SimonSpear on 26 June 2014 - 08:46 AM

Thanks for posting that example!

Was that as far as you could push it? I had a brief play with some grabs and it looked like there was plenty more colour info even after Vimeo had crunched it up and spat it aback out again.

My GH4 arrives tomorrow - it was about the only one left in stock in the UK!

#348909 GH4 footage and rig pic

Posted by SimonSpear on 10 June 2014 - 12:41 PM

I saw what I was told to be a working pre-release Shogun this week and the image from the screen was insanely good.  Despite its large size in comparison to the GH4 and despite the additional cost of a housing I think it would make an amazing underwater monitor for all kinds of cameras even without its recording abilities. 

#348754 Fiji Highlights - PMW200

Posted by SimonSpear on 06 June 2014 - 07:10 AM

With all the talk these days of 4K this and 4K that I thought I'd better finally find a day or two to sort out and to edit some HD footage from the PMW200 that I shot in March 2013 in Fiji aboard the Nai'a.  50mbpsXDCAM422 looks lovely.


Fiji really is a wonderful place.  Highly recommended if you like healthy and colourful reefs!







#346580 Red Sea with Amphibico Genesis FS700

Posted by SimonSpear on 22 April 2014 - 03:23 AM

Yeah Babbacombe sounds good.  I think the cuttlefish can appear anytime from now through to June / July.   Just let me know when you have some dates and I'll see if I can make it.

Cheers, Simon

#346280 Red Sea with Amphibico Genesis FS700

Posted by SimonSpear on 15 April 2014 - 02:36 PM

Should just add that they don't really show any issue when using external lighting, so macro seems to work really well. It is ambient light work where the issues tend to occur.

#346255 Red Sea with Amphibico Genesis FS700

Posted by SimonSpear on 15 April 2014 - 06:00 AM


Eager to get our Genesis somewhere a little more exotic, it's clocked up over 150 hours so far, but has yet to leave the confines of a swimming pool :(


If you look around the forum you can pick up a lot from here Stuart regarding the issues with it in the wild, but also happy to have a chat on the phone or over a beer even(!) so you don't go through all of the frustration that I did.  By the looks of it shooting ProRes definitely helps - be very interested to see how it performs when shooting RAW!


Cheers, Simon