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Auto-Magic Filter


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#1 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:34 AM

I am very excited to be able to tell you about a new filter we have developed and will be launching in a couple of weeks designed specifically for digital compacts.

It is called the Auto-Magic filter because it is designed to work with auto-White Balance (WB) and auto-exposure (the original Magic filter requires manual WB). This makes it even easier to use that the original Magic, and means it works on all compacts, even those without manual WB.

Posted Image

I am very proud of the performance of this filter that really makes underwater photography point and shoot simple.

On Auto-WB it works between 3 and 10/12m (depending on the camera) although if you manually WB you can extend this to 18m.

We will be launching the filter in August, when I am back from Sardinia.

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:36 AM

To give you an idea of performance, here are two before and after shots.

Posted Image

Posted Image

These images (straight from the camera) show the effect of the Auto-Magic filter. All these images are shot with Olympus compact digtial cameras set on Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance (the default settings). The only difference between the before and after is the addition of the Auto-Magic
filter.

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:40 AM

And here are a couple of shots to show you the type of images it takes:

Posted Image


Posted Image


Anyway, as I said, it is not available for a couple of weeks. But I wanted to let people know it was on its way in case you have trips coming up. Also I begun developing this filter in December and I am very pleased with it, and it has been very difficult to keep quiet about it. :D

Alex

Any questions, please post them below.

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#4 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:46 AM

Ooh, one other cool thing, the filter is great for shooting both stills and video with a compact on the same dive. You can just switch between the two and get awesome colours on both.

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#5 anthp

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 01:24 AM

Looks great Alex! Looking forward to the release.
Anthony Plummer
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#6 DeanB

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 01:28 AM

Hi Alex,

Looks well cool...

My girlfriend just bought a canon IXSUS 750 so I'm looking for a housing for that to try my hand at stills..We often go snorkelling in the Greek island and I usually borrow my mates Motormarine ex11. But this should save me some baggage and be alot more convenient..

I will be in contact soon.. Well done again

Dive safe

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#7 MikeVeitch

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 02:24 AM

i have a canon a520 and a canon a610..... :D
my rental guests will be happy...

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#8 Jettbritnell

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 07:45 AM

Sounds great, Alex. I'll buy one when available.

All the best, Jett

PS When are you going to develop a cold water verson of the Magic Filter suitable for the British Columbia's Emerald Sea :D

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#9 Giles

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 08:39 AM

Alex .. I thought I would ask this question out here in public as It doesn't seem to be directly mentioned anywhere.

Say I had a dSLR and I was feeling lazy, or whatever, could I slap an auto magic on the setup and get the same results shooting in fully Auto mode ?

Has it been tried ? It seems to me that it should work ... It's being marketed at the compact market but can it work with dSLR in auto mode ?

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#10 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 09:18 AM

Wow! Lots of responses. Great. Starting at the bottom...

Yes, Giles! We haven't tried it (we only had a small amount of protype material - it is expensive to have it made), but it certainly would work on a DSLR. The Auto-Magic is a stronger filter than the original Magic to enable the cameras to WB themselves. So you loose more light with it. Also if you go to shallow it will be too strong. But between 3 and 12m I would expect it to work as it does on the compacts.

Thanks for the support, Jett. Getting the filters made is quite an investment! When the Auto-Magic is launched in August look out for an announcement about our intentions for green waters...

Mike, I agree it will be excellent for rental cameras (on shallower sites). The filter really does make uw photography very easy, even for those who have never tried it before. Both in Sipadan and in Red Sea I lent bits of the filter to inexperienced photographers and they was amazed by the results on their first dives with it.

Dean and Anthony - thanks guys!

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#11 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 09:20 AM

And here are a couple more pix:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#12 ce4jesus

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 10:53 AM

Alex,
Will the filters come with some way to screw/fit them onto a housing? My other filter I had to stick between the housing and the camera and it was tough to get out.
Gary
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#13 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:20 PM

Good question.

Not initially, but we have looked into it - and I think we will do something in the long run. UR Pro already make screw on filters - but these require manual WB.

The other downside for us is that not many housings take screw on filters. But several people have brought it up - so if there is a demand I am sure we could look serious at it.

Canon - no screw on filters
Fuji - no screw on filters
Nikon - no screw on filters
Pentax - no screw on filters
Sony - no screw on filters

Only Olympus and Ikelite housings (of the most popular ones around) take screw on filters. But if there are enough Oly and Ike users who want 'em then I guess we could do something. Certainly many of the keener photographers choose these brands.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#14 richorn

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:31 PM

Giles, thanks for asking that question!

I wondered the same, but figured asking would lead people to think that not only do I want to keep TTL, I want to start shooting Auto as well! :D

Part of me wonders how well this would work for shallow fast action shots where you might really want to shoot at 3-5fps... much faster than any strobe could handle!
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#15 DesertEagle

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 10:54 AM

Alex, if one were to use a compact with good manual WB, or RAW, would the regular or Auto filter make much of a difference?

How do you like the Panasonic FX01?
Canon 30D. Olympus SP-310, PT-030 housing with Sea & Sea 16mm lens. Sea&Sea YS-50 and YS-60 stobes. Heinrichs-Weikamp DA2 adapter. ULCS base & arms. A little Magic (original & auto).

#16 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 12:56 PM

Just a quick post before I'm off.

For Richard, for DSLR users I would stick with shooting the original Magic in RAW. Set the WB once and then fine tune the WB in the RAW converter. Also the original Magic results in less light loss than the Auto-Magic - so would be more suited to action sequences.

For Desert Eagle, the FX01 is nice. Cheap, nice compact housing and taken Inon lenses.

I see a big difference in using filters rather than doing everything in WB. If you only use RAW/manual WB you will loose the blue from the background as you take out blue from the foreground. Also the filter helps darken blues (as it attenuates these wavelengths most) giving rich dark blue backgrounds. Filters also mean less extreme WB adjustments which gives more range and subtlety of the colours.

To quote from Craig Jones "With the advent of digital photography and electronic white balance many say that filters are unnecessary. That is simply not true. Electronic adjustments occur after the picture is taken and only serve to modify it's presentation. Filters work before the image is taken and fundamentally alter its content."

That said if you are happy with the look of your images just using WB, then by all means stick with it. What is important is that you pictures please yourself.

Hope that helps,

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#17 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 12:59 PM

A couple more to keep you going while I am away. More from the Auto-Magic. No flash, auto WB and auto exposure.

Posted Image Posted Image

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#18 DesertEagle

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 05:12 AM

Oh, those last two are nice...

Alex, what ISO did you shoot the FX01 at? 100 or 200?

In 5 weeks I'm heading to Fiji. I am looking forward to getting some Magic Filters in the water. FYI I went with an Olympus SP-310/PT-030 with a Sea & Sea 16mm lens.
Canon 30D. Olympus SP-310, PT-030 housing with Sea & Sea 16mm lens. Sea&Sea YS-50 and YS-60 stobes. Heinrichs-Weikamp DA2 adapter. ULCS base & arms. A little Magic (original & auto).

#19 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 06:16 AM

Alex, what ISO did you shoot the FX01 at? 100 or 200?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Embarrasingly, no idea. I'll just go and look it up on the files.

The Diver and Reef at the top of this thread was shot as ISO 80. If I had bothered to check I would have probably increased that to ISO 100 or 200! But it still came out well.

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#20 naca-yoda

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 02:45 PM

Hey all,

I'm a newbie and have stumbled upon WetPixel in an attempt to find out more about underwater digital photography. Saw this thread and am very interested!

I'm planning to buy a Canon A540 with a WP-DC2 WaterProof Case. This combo is favoured because of the compact size, price and battery life (with NiMH). I think it will work out ok, but I haven'y been able to find any comments really.

Your new filter sounds pretty cool, but I'm only snorkelling, will it be overkill? I suppose I can dive a fair way down before I have to come back up for breath, so maybe it will still help?

How much will this kind of filter be worth, will it work with the above proposed setup, and will I be able to order one for delivery to Australia?

My initial plan didn't involve a filter (didn't know they existed)... I was thinking any badly effected shots I could run through this Underwater Photoshop Action... will the results be very poor in comparison? Or might this option be ok for the shallow shots I'll be taking?

Thanks in advance,
Naca-Yoda.