Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Gates Housing for Sony PMW-EX1


  • Please log in to reply
175 replies to this topic

#141 marksm

marksm

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 September 2008 - 05:47 PM

It's a bloody beauty that wetsuit!!!

Mark: Are you saying that you can't stop the camera from chucking up the gain? You must be able too, that's nuts...18db of gain is horrendous. Can you not leave the camera in manual but allow some things to be still in auto, then lock them off when about to shoot?


That wetsuit was a dream come true for me. I could change all kinds of settings and profiles and find her and shoot that wetsuit to do comparisons. When I have time, I will post frame grabs and show the different camera settings and the results.


Now about the gain issue... Yeah it is a really odd setup so let me try to explain:

If you engage Full Auto - called TLCS (Total Level Control System): The following things are done by the camera:
Auto Iris
AGC
Auto Shutter
Auto White Balance


Now in this mode, you can set the following:
AGC limit ...just wait for it...
AGC on/off - Although the manual says this, it isn't true. It is contradicted on Page 42 where the selection of TLCS forces it ON.
The tracing speed of the TLCS
The AGC point (fstop trigger such as 2.8)
Auto Shutter on/off
Auto Shutter Limit
Auto Shutter Trigger Point (f-stop trigger such as 16)
Ok you waited long enough...Auto White Balance. - ...Now this is the real killer. I can't stand white balance shifting during shots so this means I cannot use Full Auto or TLCS.
Note: I can change the speed at which auto white balance occurs so I need to try it very slow to see how it performs) You can also force a white balance at any given time but it will drift.

Ok so now we are in manual mode and TLCS is thrown out the window.

To make a long story short... There is no AGC limit in manual modes. So it will shoot up to 18db if it has the chance.

Now you can set a hard limit to gain but this leaves you setting Iris, Shutter, and ND filters....I'd rather have a AGC limit so I can leave shutter out of the equation most of the time and concentrate on DOF shots and exposure with the other two.

Now your suggestion of Switching off of Full Auto just before pressing the record switch is worth continued investigation to see what changes can be controlled. However, since the AGC isn't limited, I imagine it might shoot up unless I turn it off. If I turn it off then it defaults to one of the camera presets. So that part may not work unless I set the limiter to say 3 or 6db and the preset at 3db or 6db so there isn't a shift there. The white balance will have the same issue unless I force a white balance just before turning off Auto. These two possibilities are worth looking into.

Edited by marksm, 08 September 2008 - 06:41 PM.


#142 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10644 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:23 PM

Mark
Are you sure you can't turn on AGC in TLCS menu and have AGC limits in manual mode? I'm a little confused as the EX1 can use some modes in auto and retain other modes in manual. As for WB, why don't you just switch off ATW? You can do a MWB for each scene or just leave it at a preset and deal in post.

Also shallow DoF is expected as you zoom in, it'll get worse once you add a diopter. The only way to extend DoF is to light the scene and increase Iris to f8. I'd avoid f16 due to diffraction limits which make the image softer. f11 still gives a decent picture.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#143 marksm

marksm

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 September 2008 - 05:36 AM

Mark
Are you sure you can't turn on AGC in TLCS menu and have AGC limits in manual mode? I'm a little confused as the EX1 can use some modes in auto and retain other modes in manual. As for WB, why don't you just switch off ATW? You can do a MWB for each scene or just leave it at a preset and deal in post.

Also shallow DoF is expected as you zoom in, it'll get worse once you add a diopter. The only way to extend DoF is to light the scene and increase Iris to f8. I'd avoid f16 due to diffraction limits which make the image softer. f11 still gives a decent picture.


Hey..

Yeah lighting the scene to increase fstop is indeed the only thing I think will work at his point. That's next. I have not been using lights to this point to keep the equation simpler. Thanks about the tip at F16.

You cannot turn off ATW while in TLCS. I wish it were so. If you turn off TLCS, then the camera is full manual except for focus which is independent. That part stinks. Better would be TLCS that is adaptive. Turn on manual iris and the TLCS does everything else but Iris. Manually set white balance and everything else continues to be adjusted. I love to be able to set a high Fstop and have the deep DoF while other items are adjusted. Unfortunately it isn't that way.

Specifically to your question. AGC limit seems to only be applied in TLCS and is not a feature in the AGC menu. To be clear the AGC limit option is found only in the TLCS sub menu and not in the AGC menu.

The evidence is only through observation since the amount of gain applied isn't displayed. I had it set for 6db limit in the TLCS menu. AGC menu was set to ON. I went for the dive in Blue Hole and other crevices. Instead of the image staying "clean" (the EX1 is very clean at only 6db), it got very noisy. I am assuming that the AGC limit is not in effect when the TLCS is off. Again, the display on the camera internal or external doesn't show the amount of gain being applied in AGC. Only that it is on.

So far, it has been my experience that the Sub HD monitor does not show the grain of boosting very well. The shots in the Blue Hole looked great and I was pumped at the camera's performance until I looked at the footage later and realized the camera had boosted way up and introduced the grain.

Edited by marksm, 09 September 2008 - 05:40 AM.


#144 redryder

redryder

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 28 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:25 AM

I got my EX1 at the end of July and just had the chance to play with it on land during a vacation in Germany/Black Forest.
I recorded only in 1080p24 HQ. Found that auto focus is too slow so manual focus is a must; on the contrary the exposure you get with auto iris is usually ok even if it may look underexposed in the lcd. Gain always to 0 even under trees shade. Picture profile is very important to get "wow colors" and I used most of the time "Philip Bloom" set but I preferred to keep details on.
White balance most of the time for daily use set in picture profile to 5200 or max 5.600 °K.
Panning / fast moving objects issue at 24p: I had a manfrotto tripod with a "fluid like" head 501 all the time; panning with 24p must be very very slow otherwise you get nasty effect.

Based on 10 days experience I worked out some resolutions for the underwater video (I am placing an order with Gates):

- 1080 24p HQ mode preferred but I will also give a tri to 50i;
- Fixed speed shutter: 1/50 for 24p (I may even think to go down to shutter off as underwater world usually is quite slow);
- Auto IRIS;
- Manual Focus: I think that finding Hyperfocal should be quite easy with DOF indicator which I found very accurate and ofcourse peaking (red peaking is very evident even in the low quality viewfinder);
- Fathom lens is a must;
- No external monitor: I have always found ext. monitor of no use, plus my eyes are aging and they perform better with the viewfinder.
- White Balance: 5.600 in Picture Pofile preset, plus preset A or B at an higher level (I may even think to test the max available 10.000 to push red at depth); one push white balance stored on the remaining preset.
- Gain: Low 0, Medium 3 or 6, High 6 or 9.

EX1 is capable of stunning quality, fantastic low light / low noise performance and mounts a nice wide lens; all this considered I am quite confident I can get out of it something really better than what I am currenty getting with my A1/Sea&Sea rig.

P.S.: I am not a Macro fan/expert so I may have an easyer task
XDCam EX1 + Gates + Fathom SWP - Sony A1 + Sea&Sea + "custom" S&S wide port

#145 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10644 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:57 AM

You cannot turn off ATW while in TLCS. I wish it were so. If you turn off TLCS, then the camera is full manual except for focus which is independent. That part stinks. Better would be TLCS that is adaptive. Turn on manual iris and the TLCS does everything else but Iris. Manually set white balance and everything else continues to be adjusted. I love to be able to set a high Fstop and have the deep DoF while other items are adjusted. Unfortunately it isn't that way.

Mark
You can individually set each mode in manual in the TLCS menu and not activate all of them. Just do not put the camera in FULL AUTO mode at all. The problem is the EX1 (and 3) use a roundabout method of doing it. Turning off ATW by using an assign button for on/off. Just keep it off. The same goes for AGC, Shutter and Iris modes which are adjustable only when the camera is NOT in Full AUTO mode. They can be individually turned on or off in various combinations. Set direct menu to ALL.
I would suggest you try setting AGC limit to +3db or 0 so that it'll force Auto Iris to open up to f1.9. With the AGC point at 2.8, it'll start adding gain first before opening up the Iris.

EX1 is capable of stunning quality, fantastic low light / low noise performance and mounts a nice wide lens; all this considered I am quite confident I can get out of it something really better than what I am currenty getting with my A1/Sea&Sea rig.

Well it's not hard seeing how your S&S WA lens is an SD lens :wacko: Sorry Alberto, I had to bring up that bad memory. :lol:
Actually while 24p is great for lowlight, it's crap for faster action. The faster the subject moves the more strobic it gets. I would suggest you shoot in 30p for the faster action scenes then slow it down to 24P for the final project. A lot of dolphin sequences are shot in 50-75fps for 25fps presentation.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#146 marksm

marksm

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:34 AM

Mark
You can individually set each mode in manual in the TLCS menu and not activate all of them. Just do not put the camera in FULL AUTO mode at all. The problem is the EX1 (and 3) use a roundabout method of doing it. Turning off ATW by using an assign button for on/off. Just keep it off. The same goes for AGC, Shutter and Iris modes which are adjustable only when the camera is NOT in Full AUTO mode. They can be individually turned on or off in various combinations. Set direct menu to ALL.
I would suggest you try setting AGC limit to +3db or 0 so that it'll force Auto Iris to open up to f1.9. With the AGC point at 2.8, it'll start adding gain first before opening up the Iris.


Direct menu cannot be accessed from the housing. There is no contact to the joystick. However Direct is set to ALL in any case.

I hear what you are saying Drew. But it doesn't work that way. For instance. Take your EX1 and goto the TLCS menu and set the AGC Limit at +18 (to make it obvious) then set the trigger for AGC at F-stop at 4.5 (or some middle value). Now without the camera in TLCS (No Full Auto Mode), turn on manual iris control. As soon as you do this, the gain shoots to 18db no matter the iris position. Try it. They don't act independent.

So we agree that here is no way to turn off ATW while in TLCS? We also agree that when not in TLCS, all functions of the camera are manually controllable. What we do not agree on is that settings in the TLCS menu do not independently function or control camera outside of TLCS being on. I would like to think I'm missing something here but I don't think so.

I would like to have the camera do some things auto such as I set an Fstop and WB and the camera attempts to correctly exposure around that Fstop using shutter, gain automatically. I believe the Z1 does this but I'm not sure. My PD150 def did.

I don't know. Maybe we are talking in circles at this point.

Edited by marksm, 09 September 2008 - 11:35 AM.


#147 redryder

redryder

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 28 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 10 September 2008 - 01:08 AM

Drew: I finally convinced Sea&Sea to adapt the lens for Z1 to the A1 housing and incredibly I was right, I got sharp pictures edge to edge and near full zoom through. I have approximatley 95/100 degree compared to the monster 120 degree but quality is ok. So an happy end to the bad story finally !
Concerning progressive vs. interlaced I thought that interlaced delivers a slight better light sensitivity than progressive but I may be wrong. Concerning 24p being in a PAL world I thought I'd better stay with it rather than 30p which is more suitable for NTSC.

Mark: why don't you try to setup shutter speed to a fixed value, you may use a rather low speed shutter (1/50 for 24p or 1/60 for 30p or even shutter off for macro) so that you always get the maximum light and high IRIS value to maximize DOF; IRIS to auto (you may switch to manual if you feel you are underexposing or over exposing). I would also set gain levels to: 0, 3, 9 and toggle between them according to needs.

Alberto
XDCam EX1 + Gates + Fathom SWP - Sony A1 + Sea&Sea + "custom" S&S wide port

#148 Scuba_SI

Scuba_SI

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1063 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indonesia
  • Interests:Owner / Manager / Handyman at NAD-Lembeh.

Posted 10 September 2008 - 07:11 AM

So, from what you're all saying am i correct to assume the EX1 is not a camera you'd want for a shoot in somewhere like Lembeh due to the macro focussing issues?

Nauticam Rossa / 5Dmk3 / A7r / EM-1 / S110

http://vimeo.com/lembehmuckdiver

www.nad-lembeh.com: 2:1 diveguide ratio for June / July 2014!!


#149 marksm

marksm

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 September 2008 - 09:47 AM

So, from what you're all saying am i correct to assume the EX1 is not a camera you'd want for a shoot in somewhere like Lembeh due to the macro focussing issues?



No, I would not say that yet. I'll let you know once I try some more ideas, the SWP, better diopters, and lighting so I can get the iris closed down for better DOF. Also, let's find out what Shawn's focus results are.

IMHO, the Gates housing and EX1 will end up being a good setup once some things are better understood and evaluated. I will post info as I get it on this thread.

Mark

Edited by marksm, 10 September 2008 - 09:50 AM.


#150 jonny shaw

jonny shaw

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1315 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:16 PM

I have been thinking over night regarding the shorter DOF; when Fathom release the SWP44c or whatever it will be called surely that will increase the DOF massively and make focusing a heap easier?

Edited by jonny shaw, 11 September 2008 - 01:17 PM.

www.ginclearfilm.com
www.facebook.com/ginclearfilm
GATES DEEP EPIC Based in Sydney


#151 CamDiver

CamDiver

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1103 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indonesia
  • Interests:Filming and documentary production. Beach and surf photography. Family time, isolated beaches and walking the dog.

Posted 12 September 2008 - 10:50 AM

One would have thought so jonny. Up for a breather, back in the cold waters of south Africa. Shooting the EX1 here for an Internet aimed project.

Cheers,
Mark.

The Sharks of the Forgotten Islands

- A Natural History Documentary -


#152 spaceflight

spaceflight

    Wolf Eel

  • Industry
  • PipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania

Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:23 PM

We received the following information from Gates today. Just thought those reading this forum may find it useful/interesting.


Gates GM26 Precision Macro Lens

The GM26 is a recent addition to the Gates Precision line of optics for underwater imaging. It is a +2.6 achromat diopter specifically for macro imaging.

Features

Achromat means the diopter is composed of two fused optical elements instead of the more common single element designs. This feature brings edge to edge sharpness to your macro images -- no 'keyhole' effect that has center sharpness but very fuzzy edges. Your macro images are clear and precise.

Specs

Focusable range (underwater): 12-15 inches from port vertex

Minimum image size @ full zoom and close focus: 1.05" x 0.75"

How to use the GM26

The GM26 is not a port, but rather affixed to the camera filter threads behind a Gates FP44 flat port.

The magnification of the GM26 is significant and therefore requires stability to the housing system. Use of a tripod is recommended, but any method to ‘lock down’ the housing to keep it stable will produce solid results.

Lights are also quite useful for macro work. With your subject so close to the port it can be nicely illuminated and produce good color.

Setting up the shot is probably the most important aspect. Position the housing so the subject is in the focusable range – 12-15” from port vertex. At full wide center your subject in the image, then zoom in keeping the subject positioned in the image where you desire. If your subject goes out of focus you have moved out of the focusable range, so reposition carefully and in small movements until focus returns.

Edited by spaceflight, 12 September 2008 - 02:24 PM.

Joe Holley

#153 CamDiver

CamDiver

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1103 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indonesia
  • Interests:Filming and documentary production. Beach and surf photography. Family time, isolated beaches and walking the dog.

Posted 14 September 2008 - 12:16 AM

Ahhhha, seems all those threads regarding macro diopters were read by the powers that be. A move in the right direction.

Cheers,
Mark.

The Sharks of the Forgotten Islands

- A Natural History Documentary -


#154 dogbreath

dogbreath

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts

Posted 22 September 2008 - 11:21 PM

Direct menu cannot be accessed from the housing. There is no contact to the joystick. However Direct is set to ALL in any case.

I hear what you are saying Drew. But it doesn't work that way. For instance. Take your EX1 and goto the TLCS menu and set the AGC Limit at +18 (to make it obvious) then set the trigger for AGC at F-stop at 4.5 (or some middle value). Now without the camera in TLCS (No Full Auto Mode), turn on manual iris control. As soon as you do this, the gain shoots to 18db no matter the iris position. Try it. They don't act independent.

So we agree that here is no way to turn off ATW while in TLCS? We also agree that when not in TLCS, all functions of the camera are manually controllable. What we do not agree on is that settings in the TLCS menu do not independently function or control camera outside of TLCS being on. I would like to think I'm missing something here but I don't think so.

I would like to have the camera do some things auto such as I set an Fstop and WB and the camera attempts to correctly exposure around that Fstop using shutter, gain automatically. I believe the Z1 does this but I'm not sure. My PD150 def did.

I don't know. Maybe we are talking in circles at this point.


Hi Mark,

Did you end up sorting this issue out with the gain jumping in?

Edited by dogbreath, 22 September 2008 - 11:23 PM.


#155 marksm

marksm

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:40 PM

Hi Mark,

Did you end up sorting this issue out with the gain jumping in?


Bottom line... : I think so. But it does require staying out of full auto. However, those menus and understanding what is engaged and manually controllable is still somewhat confusing. I will report more on this later.

I'm still in the Turks and Caicos and will return beginning of Oct. Lots of bottom time with the EX1. ShawnH was just here for a week as well and we compared some notes, measurements, and strategies. We broke out the measuring tape, focused on some cola cans, drank some beers....focus got sharper. Minimum focal distance is a real challenge at times. We did get better results with the achromatic diopter but the setup distance was very precise and reefs generally are not. :-)

Messed with the Sunray 2000s with the cyan filters and we got some mixed results on skin tones but the cyan filters along with the red flip was a cool combination and shows great potential..

We also worked out a cool mod that allows use of the Sunrays, GAS plate, and the Gates tripod at the same time without added complexity and without diminishing stability of the platform. I had to wrestle my tripod back from Shawn and he caught me sneaking off with the one of a kind mod plate we made. Darn. :-/

As soon as I can, I will post some drawings of how to make the mod if Shawn doesnt do so first since he has the prototype. I will do up some precise CAD drawings when I can so someone can mill it if they want to send me one. :-)

Mark

Edited by marksm, 26 September 2008 - 11:41 PM.


#156 dareksepiolo

dareksepiolo

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 38 posts

Posted 12 October 2008 - 12:19 PM

I've just got back from Galapagos. I've been shooting with EX-1 and custom made housing. Here is the link:
http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=26932
Darek Sepiolo
www.dareksepiolo.com
Canon 5D + Seacam / Sony EX1 + nanoFlash + custom made housing

#157 shawnh

shawnh

    Shawk Man

  • Senior Moderator
  • 1398 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boulder, CO
  • Interests:UW Video, UW Photography Diving, Telemark Skiing, Cycling, Travel

Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:11 PM

There has been some questions about shooting with the achromatic diopter. Here is a frame grab from my first night shooting with it in early September. This is compressed from 6mb .tif exported from the timeline to a 200kb .jpg.
Flounder.jpg
Canon 5D MII - Aquatica Housing - Sola 4000 Lights - Wahoo HD Monitor & Sony EX1 - Gates EX1 Housing - Fathoms UWA Lens
www.bluespheremedia.com

#158 wagsy

wagsy

    Blue Whale

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns, Queensland.
  • Interests:Sewing and Knitting......no diving of course :-)

Posted 16 October 2008 - 05:16 PM

Hey thats pretty sharp there shawn.

Have to get me one I think.
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
Share Your Underwater Videos www.hdvunderwater.com | www.flykam.com.au | www.reeftorainforest.com.au

#159 pmooney

pmooney

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1230 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns Australia
  • Interests:Growing Grapes

Posted 17 October 2008 - 01:29 AM

Hey thats pretty sharp there shawn.

Have to get me one I think.


Get which on - the diopter of the camera ?

#160 wagsy

wagsy

    Blue Whale

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns, Queensland.
  • Interests:Sewing and Knitting......no diving of course :-)

Posted 17 October 2008 - 05:55 AM

Hey Peter you are alive?

Camera? Well I'm in no rush as it not that much better than what I have now for underwater.
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
Share Your Underwater Videos www.hdvunderwater.com | www.flykam.com.au | www.reeftorainforest.com.au