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Alternatives to Bluefin Pro / XR500?


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#1 crate

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 06:06 PM

Hi All,

I'm looking for suggestions for an HD upgrade.

I've been shooting video with a Sony PC120 with Gates housing and wide port, & have been very happy. I like the manual controls of the Gates, but it would be nice to have a little more control when zooming in, & to have the option of shooting macro too. The PC120 did a great job with auto-white balance. That combined with the color correction filter produced great coloration using only the ambient light. Images were crisp, & the autofocus knew exactly what to focus on.

I was very interested in the new Canon HF S10, but Gates are yet to release their housing for it, and L&M's Bluefin C is still waiting on the wide angle ports from Fathom. I have also tried the new Bluefin Pro with XR500, and can honestly say I am not a fan:
The manual white balance doesnt set beyond 60 feet or so. The auto focus is all over the place. Accessing the various camera settings through the side window is very awkward, and the telemacro setting is disabled once the camera's in the housing. The LCD monitor has a software bug, which results in the image scrolling so you cant see what you're shooting (there is a trick to reset it by pressing a series of buttons), and when the screen does function, the reflection on the monitor makes it very difficult to see - even with the monitor shade. The colors for the most part are not realistic, & I dont want to be editing that post production. The color correction filter is also more orange than the Gates standard 'rose' color. For a $6000+ set up, I was not impressed.

Can anyone recommend a good HD system that will match the performance of the SD Sony PC120?

Many thanks for your suggestions.

Edited by crate, 13 September 2009 - 09:55 AM.


#2 spaceflight

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 08:56 PM

Have you tested the XR500V in other settings also? If so, did you still notice the auto focus issues?

Since you already have the Gates wide angle port, you might look at the Sony HDR-XR500V or 520V.
If you have the Gates GP25, then it should be compatible with this housing also. That depends on how long you've had it, the current Gates wide angle port is the Gates GP25A.

In regards to shooting macro, you could add the flat port to your equipment which would give you macro capabilities which would be even better with the addition of a diopter.

Depending on your time frame for purchase, the Gates HF S10/S100 will probably be available sometime in October.
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#3 Solo_NZ

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 01:17 AM

Hi All,

I'm looking for suggestions for an HD upgrade.

I've been shooting video with a Sony PC120 with Gates housing and wide port, & have been very happy. I like the manual controls of the Gates, but it would be nice to have a little more control when zooming in, & to have the option of shooting macro too. The PC120 did a great job with auto-white balance. That combined with the color correction filter produced great coloration using only the ambient light. Images were crisp, & the autofocus knew exactly what to focus on.

I was very interested in the new Canon HF S10, but Gates are yet to release their housing for it, and L&M's Bluefin C is still waiting on the wide angle ports from Fathom. I have also tried the new Bluefin Pro with XR500, and can honestly say I am not a fan:
The manual white balance doesnt set beyond 60 feet or so.

Agree...

The auto focus is all over the place.

Just slow, not that bad! :-)

Accessing the various camera settings through the side window is very awkward,

no different to other cam's with same features...

and the telemacro setting is disabled once the camera's in the housing.

Not correct, I use Telemacro all the time...

The LCD monitor has a software bug, which results in the image scrolling so you cant see what you're shooting (there is a trick to reset it by pressing a series of buttons),

really, what is this, it may help some owners...

and when the screen does function, the reflection on the monitor makes it very difficult to see - even with the monitor shade.

OLED is VERY clear...

The colors for the most part are not realistic

, there have been issues, but not with all units, and they are getting fixed...

& I dont want to be editing that post production. The color correction filter is also more orange than the Gates standard 'rose' color.

Colours look good on my setup, but again white balance is a little... twitchy...

For a $6000+ set up, I was not impressed.

Fair enough...

Can anyone recommend a good HD system that will match the performance of the SD Sony PC120?

Many thanks for your suggestions.


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#4 crate

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 01:23 PM

Solo_NZ - thanks for your input. I also just came across Lawrences comments on the same set up - I only wish I’d seen it before I purchased mine, as I am experiencing many of the same issues.
http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=31111

The OLED may be very clear, but with that screens color issues I'm not willing to throw any more money at it. The color matching on the LCD screen is also inconsistent with the LCD monitor.

The scrolling monitor back apparently happens when the camera's manual wheel is engaged, and the housing is shut down or the camera goes to sleep. There are two ways to make this go away.

-while the monitor is scrolling, push the manual button once to disengage the manual dial, then restart the housing.
or
-scroll through the monitor back menu once.

The telemacro option is ‘greyed out’ when the camera is in the housing.

Regardless, I’m very disappointed with both the housing & the camera, which is why I’m hoping for some alternative suggestions.

Joe - auto-focus is also unpredictable topside. I’ve reached the point where I am ‘done’ with the XR500, so I dont think I’d be any better off with it in the Gates housing! Initially I was after the Canon/Gates set-up, but the release date on the Gates keeps getting put further back. Whilst ultimately I’ll be using the set-up on a daily basis for customer DVD’s (I cant justify spending hours post production correcting colors), I’d hoped to have it for vacation in 2 weeks.

Has anyone tried the HF S10 and the XR500 - I’d be interested to hear their comparisons… Or should I go for something more basic/tried & tested with the theory that there is less to go wrong, & any bugs have already been resolved?!

#5 lemon

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 09:42 PM

depends on how badly you want to upgrade. personally, with the introduction of video dslrs, and the hopefully soon to be released scarlet in the next 6 months or so, i'd wait. i think the next 1-2 years is going to see big leaps in video quality. of course, that's all vaporware at this point and if you need to shoot NOW, thats a different matter...

#6 Drew

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 11:47 PM

Aquatica has a housing for the Sony XR and Canon HF series. Check them out. Don't know much about the optics though.

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#7 ken1515

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:03 AM

I own a Aquatica housing for XR500. Housing include a dome port and a internal macro lens. Not possible to add external optics lens.

#8 Steve Douglas

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:04 AM

I'd be very interested in hearing from users of the Canon HFS-10 as to their workflow. How long does it seem to take to transcode the AVC to a workable ProRes codec for use in FCP? Any problems? Footage issues? Thinking of getting this as a back up cam.
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I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.


#9 Guamrider

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 07:10 PM

I'd be very interested in hearing from users of the Canon HFS-10 as to their workflow. How long does it seem to take to transcode the AVC to a workable ProRes codec for use in FCP? Any problems? Footage issues? Thinking of getting this as a back up cam.
Steve



Steve, There seems to be a very noticeable lack of either posted videos or user comments on the hfs-10/11. LMI just announced a new 135 degree lens for the Bluefin C housing but I'd sill like to hear some comments from others who have bought them. It doesn't seem there are many that have.

#10 pmooney

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:55 PM

I'll be shooting the HFS10 / Bluefin / C135 Combo in Guadaloupe next week and will post some footage once I've done with the madness travel & jetlag.