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Canon XF100 or XF105 camcorder


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#41 peterbkk

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 09:51 PM

Since the G10 and the XF100 are identical sensor-wise (doesn't mean they are as far as their MWB is concerned, I know) and I am looking very closely at the G10, what would your opinion be on their MWB capabilities compared to those of the CX550?


Absolutely no idea. You'd need to take it underwater and test it.

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Peter

#42 Drew

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:24 PM

Price - expensive (greater fear of flooding)

LOL of all things we should be afraid of, the fear of a flooded housing makes us weak in the knees!

I'd have to recommend the Canon HF G10 in a Light and Motion housing. Will cost more but you'll love the convenience of the L&M controls and the quality of the L&M glass. Hope that this helps. Regards Peter


I'd recommend the XA10 over G10. XLR audio, IR shooting and a bigger onboard flash memory makes it worthwhile if you are shooting interviews and what not. As for electronic vs mechanical housings, depends on how and where you will be travelling. If I were doing a rtw trip, I'd prefer a housing with mechanical controls (even as a backup). This is just in case the electronics fail and spares are easily accessible. I did a long trip once to a remote location and the electronic controls failed, leaving me with a dead metal weight. I modified the housing to at least have record and zoom capability mechanically accessible. On subsequent failures, I could still continue shooting, albeit in semi auto modes like shutter priority.

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#43 uwxplorer

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 04:35 AM

Absolutely no idea. You'd need to take it underwater and test it.


I guess I did not ask the right question then:-) how does the XF100 MWB works compared to the CX550? You did bring both underwater, didn't you?

#44 lvanek_USVI

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 04:52 AM

Thanks guys for all the info!

Let me answer a few questions:

Budget - it is open, i don't want to spend more then i need to(exp buy bunch of bells and whistles i don't need) BUT i want to spend enough to have a quality product.

A good motto is to buy what you can afford.

Well...theoretically speaking i can buy whatever camera you say, but better have a good reason if i am ordering a 20k camera, as obviously more money on one item means less on others or waiting on other toys...with that being said i can afford the XF100 without batting an eye lash.

Audience - I am going to post online, BUT i also have intentions of making some Blu-Ray disks to send home for family and friends to watch, and to show off my work to friends, fellow divers down here etc.

I want to document my life down here on land/underwater, the main focus is underwater because it is the most fascinating thing i have ever seen having a 15' eagle ray swim 5' from you 60' underwater(prior too 3 months ago never dove in my life...) been hooked since have tons dive gear etc.

I have been planing several trips rtw last few years which the fist is in a few months to Italy/Greece/Dive the Med.

I want to document my travels, like rome. So i have this idea of documenting my travels, but i also long term want to compile footage to make a multi-disk series Documentary, on the world under the sea highliting the drastic variations of sea life depending upon where you are located on the globe. Something in 10yrs look back and say wow i did that, ive been there!! So ya online and Blu-Ray, but when i do blu-ray as a person with 55" LED tvs in several rooms of the house, addicted to Planet Earth Series, i want it to look good.

I know i am not going to buy all this gear, jump in the water and week later have prize winning stuff, i have NEVER done video like this, what i have done is minimal, BUT i started with this idea about a month ago, it has grown into kind of a passion already. Taking my time to make sure i get the right stuff.

I was thinking the XF100, as hey pro is pro.... if you guys tell me it is going to be worth it ill buy it.... its that simple, if the cheaper one wld do it i would go with it, but keep in mind i really do not want in year i get good at this say oh man this is a POS, and have to upgrade, rather spend now, even though i am a beginner per-say.

I have ordered the following rig to edit with (never used premier for video edit, just stuff like movie maker lol) have used photoshop
This Rig Is Being Built to Run Adobe Master Suite CS5(Premire/Photo mainly) - I already have this

i7 Intel 2600k Sandy Bridge OC to 5.2GHz x 4cores
16GB DDR3 2200 - 32GB as soon as i can order it(no 8gb DDR3 2200 dims yet)
2 - GTX 570's in SLI Mode
1- 120 GB SSD's; 1 for OS-Application Disks, other will be my scratch disk
4 - 3tb 7200rpm 64mb cache HD's in raid array
2 - 27" LED Monitors
Blu-Ray Burner

I appreciate all the help getting me on the right path, i am so excited to A) start work on my project, B) start playing with another 10k in toys hehe

I do not know much about video cameras, never got into it, but i am jumping head first this time! the first month or two i will be doing alot of practice to get used to my equip, playing with editing, and learning how and what i want to do for story board etc, as for my long term goal of this documentary. I played with video when i was like 16-18 ( i am 28 now) and i am a computer engineer, just not good with creative stuff, but enough to get by, i do photgraphy may not have 100% perfect shots but i am good enough to get some nice ones out of what i shoot!


Thanks guys cant wait to see the next replies with this additional info =)

#45 peterbkk

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 05:34 AM

I guess I did not ask the right question then:-) how does the XF100 MWB works compared to the CX550? You did bring both underwater, didn't you?


I need more time underwater with the XF100 before I can be sure I've mastered the MWB. Very promising results from first couple of dives but keen to explore how the Kelvin setting and the two MWB settings can be exploited for optimum WB results. I'm making a MWB card on a locline arm because I think that this camera will respond well to a white or pink card.

The XF100 in the Takla Makan is certainly is not as fiddly as the CX550 and no sign of the dreaded red fuzzies.

In any case, I doubt if you can extrapolate the XF100 MWB approach to the other Canon cameras.

Regards
Peter

#46 peterbkk

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 05:40 AM

prior to 3 months ago never dove in my life


Make sure you are a really, really good diver before you start shooting video.

when i do blu-ray as a person with 55" LED tvs in several rooms of the house


A prosumer camera will do blu-ray but only just. Gradation of light from dark blue to light blue may show some banding. If quality blu-ray is your objective, go with the professional camera.

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Peter

#47 Drew

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 05:42 AM

If you want broadcast, then the XF30x series or EX1R with Nano is your baby. The EX1R is better for noise but the nano doesn't always work well. XF30x just gives a good picture and is very tweakable. Then again, after seeing Red One MX,Arri Alexa and Phantom 65 underwater stuff... the EX1R nano stuff look like HDV. :)
Conversely, do you want to spend $20k on gear when $10k or even $5k gear will be good enough. There are plenty of samples of what DSLRs can do underwater. They have the widest lenses, FF cameras like the 5D2 shoot skin tones that rival 35mm film and noise performance is awesome. However, WB is difficult and so is learning how to focus since contrast focus can do nutty underwater.

A dedicated video camera is nice but no flexibility to do high res time lapse, stills for blog etc.

Your money, your choice.

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#48 lvanek_USVI

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:41 PM

ya i will be learning the whole video diving while perfecting my diving lol...

ya with more people getting flat screens and blu ray to really shoot stuff to show off kinda gotta match quality of playback devices or it does not look near as good...

i wont be ordering mine until September so i will keep watching feedback!

I know any camera is really going to be more than i know as is this whole project..and not to say i never will reach pro levell..but ill sure try and have fun while doing it lol

Off to take my boat out tomorrow and do some diving in the Caribbean =P sorry guys!

#49 Drew

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 05:45 AM

LeRoy
Have you done a comparison on a 60" LED or even 4k projection screen? Let's just say that even if you have a camera that shoots raw, when you compress for online use, you will get banding due to blue gradation. A Bluray is better, but certain scenes will bring out the banding beast. It is reduced with 422 cameras but recompressed, it can never be eliminated.

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#50 lvanek_USVI

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:23 PM

LeRoy
Have you done a comparison on a 60" LED or even 4k projection screen? Let's just say that even if you have a camera that shoots raw, when you compress for online use, you will get banding due to blue gradation. A Bluray is better, but certain scenes will bring out the banding beast. It is reduced with 422 cameras but recompressed, it can never be eliminated.


any video i do will be shot/edited with blu ray in mind, if i want to post online i will do some compression magic and post working from my final edit for my Blu-Ray quality.. that is what i want, primarily to make Blu-Ray to watch in HD a home,parents,friends etc... i will post to youtube etc.. but i will use seperate videos compressed...

so what would you say with that being said?

#51 Drew

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 12:09 AM

All I'm saying is that with certain shots, banding is an issue... 422 helps a lot but doesn't eliminate it. That's why you see shots on the bigger productions avoid conditions that cause banding. Stuff one learns when shoot wide angle underwater.
I suggest you look around youtube and vimeo to find the underwater stuff from different cameras and compare yourself.

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#52 peterbkk

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 04:53 PM

I promised an update on my Canon XF100 / BS Kinetics system. And a sample.

Just back from 7 days in Komodo. We had good diving and plenty of stuff to video. See a quick "sneak preview" edit here:

http://www.peterwalk...com/Komodo.html

I'm very pleased with the setup. Here is a photo:

Takla_Makan_on_Table.jpg

Results: I'm happy.

Some things to notice in the photo:

  • As I mentioned in an earlier post, the housing needs a handle for easier out-of-water handling, especially for the boat boys to pull the weight up out of the water. The handle, covered in a neoprene sleeve runs up and over the middle of the housing.
  • The housing is carbon-fibre therefore quite light (floats like a cork, weighs only 8 kg in my carry-on bag). So it needs 5kg weight to become neutral. See the black weight pouches under the four handles, each with 1 kg of standard dive weight. The remaining 1 kg is another long, thin tube of lead shot inside the housing. In an emergency, I could quickly drop the 4 x 1 kg weights and take a ride to the surface.
  • There are four locline light mount points for various lighting set-ups.
  • Only two o-rings: one big "dry" o-ring around the middle, one around the port. The dry o-ring does not need grease.

Some comments on underwater use:

  • Everything is controlled by 12 magnetic push-buttons; 6 near the right-hand thumb for all the often-used functions (e.g. start, focus, zoom) and 6 across the bottom at the back which cycle through 6 modes (WB, Iris, Shutter, Gain and 2 for accessing the camera's menus.)
  • With the weighing described above the system is just negative in seawater. With two extendible lanyards, you can let go of the housing and it'll stay just in front of my belly. It automatically floats completely horizontal. The weights give it great stability.
  • Four handles give different hold options depending on subject
  • Monitor is 4.3 inches, large and sharp, showing all the camera data. Easy to see focus and color balance.
  • Camera battery is 700 minutes and monitor battery is about 4 hours. Got through every dive day, including one with 5 dives, without opening the housing. (Sola 1200s charged between dives while on the camera table on the dive deck)

I found that I got the best and quickest WB result by setting 3 WB presets before diving, giving me a choice of 4 settings while diving without having to find a subject and go through the MWB setting process.
  • Auto WB: set on auto - usually about 4200K, used when the video lights dominate (night, caves and close-up / macro)
  • Fixed Kelvin WB: set to 5500K, works well in clear, blue water down to about 15 meters
  • MWB A: set once on the boat using a dark blue subject in sunlight (7200K), works well for dark blue water below 15 meters
  • MWB B: set once on the boat using a green-blue subject in sunlight (9600K), seems to works OK in green water.
During the dive, I just flip between these 4 presets. Easy, quick and close enough. Once set, I didn't need to change them under most conditions.

So, what about the results. Take a look through the video linked above. That is a very quick edit (FCP X). No tweaking of color or brightness.

Take a look at the first shark clip (1:09min) into the video. Some noise just detectable. Why? The shark footage was shot at 7am (sunrise at 0615), at 30 meters deep with around 10 meters horizontal visibility. The sharks were too far away for the video lights. Quite dark. So I manually adjusted the gain up to 9dB just so I could capture the shark action. There is some slight noise but not much, considering the conditions. Pretty good for a one chip camera. All the other shots were locked at 0dB gain.

Improvements required.

  • The default zoom speed (~50%) is slow. As I almost never zoom while shooting, I want to quickly zoom to the desired framing. The default zoom speed can be adjusted up to 100% on the rear magnetic controls. But, every time I run through the mode cycle, it defaults back to slow. Might need to talk to their electronics guru about adjusting the firmware
  • I was using a flat port. Great for macro but not great for big stuff. Dome port on it's way from Germany.
  • If I ever need to send it to Germany, might get them to add a hydrophone.

Hope this review is useful.

Regards
Peter

#53 AlexDawson

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 01:02 PM

Great! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to see some footage with the dome when you get it.

// Alex

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#54 peterbkk

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:51 AM

Spent last weekend doing some wreck diving. Just looked through the XF100 footage from the weekend. The new dome port for the Takla Makan performed beautifully. Nice wide-angle coverage. Sharp corner to corner. Zoom through to fill a nudibranch across about 1/2 the sensor. Focus worked well (although the subject-focus distance measurement in the monitor was wrong as usual). Aligns well with the XF100, although I did need to lift the camera up from the tray about 3mm to avoid vignetting in the lower corners (another use for handy blutack).

Great for wreck, big critter and diver shots. But also works well for larger macro subjects.

As it is an acrylic port so I will need to careful about scratches. Already got some slight marks across one corner. They might polish out. But it was not too expensive so I might order a second one as a back-up for that time that I grind it into something hard...

Regards
Peter