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3D with dual Sony CX550V camcorders (and underwater housing)


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#21 chedden

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:30 AM

Hmm. . . well I guess I'll reply to my own questions. I am now using the DuoDive with two Sony HXR-MC50 cameras and the OLED display. The electronics allow one total access to the menus on both cameras at the same time, though most of the time I set them up separately before locking them inside. Also, I have figured out a better way to register the two cameras using Really Right Stuff mounts than is provided by the included cheese plate alone. The cameras can be set to 3 interaxial positions from 2.5 inches (orthogonal) to 3.5 inches. Anyone contemplating this housing should communicate with Werner Bloos to find out what cameras currently work with it. Because of space restrictions and, most importantly, recent changes in Sony's AV/LANC firmware, not all Sony products work. You need to be sure you can output the video and input the control either over the same cable or separate ones.

I have also added some much needed exterior stick-on bumpers to protect the housing and light mounts on the wing. Most important, WEIGHT needs to be added because, as I suspected in my posts above, the housing is actually about 5 POUNDS POSITIVE; hence it needs six pounds of added weight to make it manageable underwater. (I still wonder what Eric did about this in his tests.) I asked Werner for a solution, but have not as yet received a reply. My solution is to add 3 pounds of lead on either end of the wing using a couple of XS Scuba "quick attach" weight pockets. They are attached with velcro and easily removable for transport. They take standard hard or soft 3-pound weights, so no extra weight needs to be added to your luggage. They also provide abrasion protection to the ends of the wing. They should be placed slightly forward to provide perfect horizontal balance and stability. The solution is rather elegant, I don't mind saying.

Eventually I intend to write a complete review, but in the meantime, if anyone would like more detail feel free to write me.

Chet

#22 CheungyDiver

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 12:16 AM

Emm...maybe I could chip in a bit and I hope Eric doesn't mind... Eric now works for a camera company (Lytro) that capture light fields or 3D with vector. Its like capturing a hologram. Its 2D digital refocus-able now. Who knows whats around the corner ...may be a 3D lightfield videocam?

Sounds like ScFi at the moment.

My point is technology has moved on a bit. Trying to sync two camcorders by timing on works maybe for a few minutes at best. Lens and other temporal shift will make the 3D very hard for the eyes.

The side by side camcorders are good to tinker with and I am sure some 3D results could be had. I am still not entirely convinced two Sony camcorders that has no GENLOCK will work when it is not design to sync so no matter what third party electronics hack is used.

Better results with a Sony TD 10 or the NX3D1. I have been using both and pretty happy with the results and had great fun until the industry suddenly goes crazy with 4K.

Cheers

David

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

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#23 chedden

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:56 PM

David,

Lytro sounds interesting, but I'm not sure how it relates to this topic (3D with dual Sony CX550V camcorders and underwater housing).

Your actual point appears to be that single 3D camcorder systems are superior to dual camcorder systems, so don't waste your time tinkering with dual systems like the DuoDive. That is surely not the case! Apparently your opinion is based entirely on experience with the single unit systems you mention enclosed in some unnamed underwater housing(s).

While you are entitled to your opinion, the facts suggest otherwise. Most professional systems are dual systems. There are more reasons than synchronization to consider. Many believe that dual systems offer greater flexibility, control, and, especially, image quality. I shoot very long scenes using two Sony HXR-MC50 camcorders in the DuoDive housing -- up to an hour or more without a break -- and find that the results are quite stunning. With appropriate shooting technique and careful post production grooming (including frame-specific synching), muxing, converging, and keyframing in the nonlinear editor, sync drift is really a non-issue. If it occurs, it can be handled like any other post production variable. Surely you don't belive that all post production image and sound adjustments in digital photography and videography are "third party electronics hack[s]."

More critical are considerations specific to 3D composition. By avoiding window violations, optimizing positive and negative parallax, etc., audience perception can be enhanced and discomfort eliminated.

While the question of single or double systems is worth having, it was not my intention to engage in that debate with my contribution to this specific discussion thread.

#24 CheungyDiver

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:03 PM

Hey Chet

Good for you if the DuoDive works. No worries. I am sure your system works great for you. Just my opinion that is all.

All 3D system has to have duo video streams so there is no such thing as single system. One video stream for each eye. I don't want to go into the theory of 3D stereoscopy but the main thing is that the two video stream must start with proper sync and minimum to no lens disparity. Camcorders that has no genlocking built in simply does not sync well.

I did not say integrated camcorders are superior. Although they have limited interaxial distances the two video stream matches and synchronized down to the sensor level. They are actually two cameras integrated together so sensors are Genlocked (signal locked) and the focal points of the lenses matching. These things are critical for 3D video. Actually Lytro is a 3D camera and it captures 3 dimensional light field information. It is indeed highly relevant to the 3D debate.


I shoot with several systems. Beam splitters and side by side rigs. I also make my own rigs for the Red Epic and 3D UW housings for production shoots in Singapore. I guess if you are not aware of Genlock or matching lenses for 3D then there is not much discussion to be had here. Each to his own.


Cheers

David

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#25 chedden

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:35 AM

My understanding is that THIS thread is about Sony consumer camcorders in the DuoDive housing. I suppose it is really up to the forum moderator to determine the scope of discussion within each thread, but if you want to broaden the discussion within this thread to include ground-breaking research and future technologies, here is something else that might be of interest to forum readers, and perhaps more relevant than the Lytro camera (which is not actually a video camera): http://www.stereosco...plays&Itemid=60

You'll need to past the link into your browser's address field.

#26 chedden

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:34 PM

David,

I wanted to reply to your statement that unless I agree with you that genlocked cameras are necessary for anything except tinkering, there is "not much discussion to be had here," but I have been busy with other matters. My point is that perhaps the question of how important it is to only use genlocked cameras is a discussion worth having, and that to suggest that you should start a new thread on that topic rather than cutting off any further discussion of the DuoDive system. Genlocking cameras is certainly not necessary. For it to make any differenc in the overall workflow, the entire postproduction system would need to be genlocked, not just the cameras. Using two cameras allows you to have the full resolution avalable for the chip, not just half as with the combo systems you mention and it allows for the possiblity of full resolution 2D versions to be made directly from one of the full resolution video streams. What is necessary, however, is frame synchronization. To do that some people use a clapper board, or just bring their hands together so that the same frame on each video stream can be locked by the postproduction software (3rd party hacking, to use your terminology). It is also rather easy just to find the two frames that are identical by looking at the two video streams in software. For an example of the use of the DuoDive housing in professional production (not just tinkering), please have a look at Helmut Goerlitz's 49 minute Blu-ray film "The Art of Diving 3D." The trailer is available at

#27 chedden

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:21 PM

Hmm. Okay my apology. Apparently Helmut used a different housing by the same company for that trailer, but he and Werner do use (and sell) the DuoDive and have used it for their other productions. The principle is the same, and my remarks are just as appropo. BTW, the best way to view that trailer is with NVIDIA 3D Vision (monitor, emitter, and glasses), but you need to access YouTube with Firefox to see it that way.

#28 chedden

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:33 AM

A couple of additional comments on the Z10000 (which I have not used)and then I'll shut up until I have something to show. Although contrary to earlier reports, Helmut and Werner's movie was shot with this camera, rather than a 2-camera rig. Unfortunately the camera uses 1/4" sensors and there appears to be no editing support as yet. Nevertheless, for underwater video, as is evident from the trailer (and the disc), this is a good option, especially if you are mainly interested in simple post. For anyone considering this (the price is certainly right), the B&H website has a few good reviews, both pro and con.