Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Underwater settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M5


  • Please log in to reply
51 replies to this topic

#21 claud9999

claud9999

    Sea Wasp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:58 PM

I'll repeat what MarkHerm said. Photography is an advanced diving skill, not something that most new divers can do safely or easily.



The problem with fixing white balance in post-processing is that most cameras don't allow you to set the ISO to one value for red pixels and to another value for blue or green pixels. Water filters out most red light in a couple feet, so an exposure for proper reds is going to completely overexpose the greens and blues, while a proper exposure for blue is going to underexpose the reds. The E-M5 has a great dynamic range for such a small sensor, but most natural light seen when diving has hundreds of times more blue light than red light, and the E-M5 can't compensate for that (no camera can, to my knowledge).

Unfortunately, the human brain is wired to respond to reds, and most of the best underwater photos have red in them. Needing red in photos and not having much red light underwater is one of the big challenges of underwater photography. There are four main ways of dealing with this problem:

1. Bring your own light in the form of underwater strobes. Inon and Ikelite are two popular brands. Alex Mustard has done some work which, I believe, shows that Inons are slightly better for cold water and Ikelites are slightly better for warm water, but both are excellent choices. The main drawback to using strobes is the short range of strobes underwater, but since the water column degrades image quality, you generally need to get close to your subject anyway for a good photo, so this isn't much of a drawback.

2. Put a red filter on your camera. This cuts down on the green and blue light, letting proportionally more red light in, at the cost of reducing the total amount of light, which means higher ISOs (with more noise), slower shutter speeds (with more motion blur) or wider apertures (loss of sharpness and DOF) are required. Since this balances the red, green, and blue channels of the camera before the signals go the A2D converter, it gives pretty good quality as long as the photo is properly exposed to start with.

3. Using the white balance option on your camera. Some people will bring a white slate or wear white fins, and take a photo of the white reference underwater to set the white of the camera. This tends to cause problems with the red in photos. Think of a camera that normally assigns a value of 0 to 999 for the redness of every pixel. Now imagine that all the reds are 0 to 9, so the camera multiplies each red value by 100 to get the full range, but it ends up only having 10 shades of red instead of 1,000, so the reds end up looking really weird and banded, not smoothly varied like the other colors that use the full of numbers from 0 to 999.

4. White balance in post-processing. This is about the same as #3, with the same drawbacks. It helps to shoot RAW in order to do this, since JPEGs lose some of the image information.

In practice, most photographers use a combination of #1 and #4. Many photographers have dual strobe setups, with two strobes on arms in order to get the distribution of light they want.

Hi!
I am not going to comment on the questions as others may be more knowledgable to answer. Still one suggestion from my perspective: If you are not even certified yet, it's IMO a good idea NOT to bring a heavy, expensive camera setup for your fist dives but to concentrate on developing the knowledge and skills required to savely enjoy the new enviroment without harming yourself or the enviroment. I often see newly certified divers with big cameras, who can barley hold position in the water column (which is perfectly normal for beginners), who constantly crash into the corals in pursuit of the one great shot. It's aweful!
Of course, it is you who decides on this...


Thanks all for the suggestions and comments. And I appreciate the blog and forums as a resource and will continue to research.

#22 coroander

coroander

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

Having shot with these settings for a while now about the only thing i've changed is that i've put the review mode into displaying the histogram (blue button and then press INFO until it appears). This allows me to see a large histogram of the final image to ensure that the exposure was optimal. Note that it might be necessary to enable the histogram in Custom Menu -> D. Disp / )))) / PC -> Info Settings -> [>] Info first.

Edited by coroander, 11 December 2012 - 07:41 PM.


#23 coroander

coroander

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:01 PM

E-M5 Video Settings: alterations to the above
The following are additions and alterations of the modes above for shooting video, these settings are based on the assumption that all the settings above have been set first. It's worth saving the above settings in a "MySet" for UW stills photography, before setting the camera up for video. Before saving it's a good idea to set the default ISO, shutter speed and aperture you want the camera to go back to when restoring from Myset. To save under Myset4: Shooting Menu 1 -> Reset/Myset -> scroll down to Myset4, press right arrow -> OK. N.B.: the only difference between saving and restoring is the "press right arrow" used during save and not restore.

SETTINGS
Turn the Mode dial to [VIDEO] before making these changes.

General:
  • Shooting Menu 1
    • Picture Mode-> Custom
    • Picture Mode -> Natural
    • Contrast -> +0
    • Sharpness -> +0
    • Saturation -> +1
    • Gradation -> AUTO
      Personal preference for shooting video. Others may prefer Vivid. Bumping up the Saturation seems necessary to get good colour, some may prefer +2. AUTO Gradation is very important for helping to map the 12+ stops of dynamic range in the sensor to the 8 bit video, but it's only part of the solution.
  • <| -> Movie-> MOVIE FullHD [F]
    Highest quality HD video.
  • Shooting Menu 2
  • Image Stabilizer > I.S. 1
    Provides horizontally and vertically stabilized video.
  • Custom Menu
    • A. AF/MF
      • AF Mode. -> Movie -> MF or C-AF
        Using manual focus provides the best control over focus during video, but continuous autofocus has it's advantages and provides smoother focus transitions.
    • D. Disp / ))) / PC
      • Info Settings -> LV-Info
      • Histogram -> On
      • Highlight&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;Shadow -> Off
      • Level Guage -> Off
      • Image Only -> Off
        When looking through the viewfinder we will be able to see a histogram that will allow us to adjust exposure and tone curves appropriately. Highlight&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;Shadow is not an available option when shooting video.
    • Histogram Settings
    • Highlight -> 250
    • Shadow -> 5
      We set the histogram settings a bit more conservatively for video given that we can't shoot raw video.
  • I. Movie
    • [MOVIE] Mode. -> M or S
      Use Manual exposure mode or Shutter priority mode.
Button Settings:
  • Custom Menu
  • B. Button/Dial
  • Button Function
  • Fn1 Function -> AF Area Select
    Allows the Fn1 button to select which AF point(s) are to be used.
  • Fn2 Function -> Multi Function
    We use Multi Function because it is the only way to access the tone curve adjustment directly. To get Fn2 into tone curve adjustment mode after these settings are complete, hold down Fn2, then turn the dial until Highlight&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;Shadow Control is selected. Pressing Fn2 will now always bring up the tone curve, which can be adjusted using the 2 dials or the 4 arrow keys.
  • [Rec] Function -> Off
    Turning this button Off means that it will function as the autofocus button. Hold the [Rec] button down (thumb level on the Nauticam housing) until focus is achieved. N.B. just a quick depress of this button will not lock focus, it must be held down until focus is achieved. If the focus mode is C-AF+TR, then pressing this button will aquire a tracking target at the autofocus point.
  • [>] Function -> ISO
    Provides direct access to changing ISO by pressing the right arrow key. ISO is limited to between 200 and 3200 for video.
  • [v] Function -> WB
    Direct access to WB. It is important to get the white balance correct as PP fixes will degrade image quality. Use Underwater, AUTO white balance with a Magic Filter, or a captured WB.
[/list][/list]UNDERWATER USE
To record video, turn the mode dial to [VIDEO], then press the shutter release to start / stop recording. Note that in some focus modes, recording will not start unless you continue holding the shutter release down until focus has locked.

Getting the correct white balance:
We need to get the white balance correct at the time of recording. While it is possible to adjust this during editing, it will degrade the video quality if significant adjustments must be made.

Pressing the down arrow key will bring up the white balance selection. One option is to select Underwater. Another option is to use a Magic Filter and simply use AUTO. A third option is to set a custom white balance for the depth you are at and the distance you are shooting using a white slate.

To set a custom white balance in video mode is a bit complicated. You have to first switch the Mode dial to M(anual), press OK to get to the SCP, select the WB, press OK, select Capture WB 1 or 2 and press INFO (not OK), point the camera at a white or grey slate, press the shutter, select YES and press OK to set the WB, then switch the mode dial back to [VIDEO].

Getting the correct shutter speed and exposure mode:
There are two useful modes for video, M (manual) and S (shutter speed priority). In both cases, the recommended shutter speed is twice the frame rate, or 1/60 of a second. This provides the most natural looking video. Slowing the shutter speed results in a more dreamy, soft video and increasing the shutter speed lends itself to a crisper, stobing video when there is movement. In Shutter priority mode, shutter speed is fixed, but ISO and aperture will be varied, in Manual you must control aperture, ISO and shutter speed. You can change exposure mode by bringing up the Live Control Panel (by pressing OK). Note that in M mode, exposure adjustments are not possible during recording.

Getting the correct exposure:
Video demands that we get the exposure, contrast, and level adjustments correct at the time of recording. We can't shoot raw, 12-bit video on our stills cameras (yet) and leave these details for the editing room. Fortunately the E-M5 has several features to assist us.

Pressing INFO will turn on (or turn off) the histogram, you can adjust the ISO and exposure settings to acheive optimal exposure, avoiding the orange overexposure or blue underexposure bars. The green section of the histogram shows the exposure at the focus point; a sort of spot histogram that can be useful in some situations.

Pressing the Fn2 button will bring up the tone curve adjustments. You can use the dials or arrow keys to adjust the curve. The curves allow adjustments for optimal recording in high dynamic range situations such as inside caverns, to low contrast situations like large pelagics in the blue at depth. You can see the affect of the adjustments in the live viewfinder. While adjusting the tone curves you can still see the live histogram and you may need to make additional exposure adjustments to compensate for extensive curve adjustments.

Getting control of focus:
Pressing OK will bring up the Live Control Panel (LCP), the arrow keys (or dials) will allow you to move through the menus easily. You can quickly change focus modes using the LCP.

S-AF, MF, and S-AF+MF all focus in the same manner. Focus is achieved by holding the [REC] button (thumb lever on Nauticam housing) down. This is a fast (and consequenly rather bouncy) focus, so altering focus during recording is not ideal. The button must be held down until focus is achieved, releasing the button early will stop the autofocus in some more-or-less random place.

C-AF is continuous auto focus. Pointing the focus point at whatever object you want in focus, the focus is slow, smooth and deliberate and is ideal for focusing during recording.

C-AF+TR is continuous auto focus with tracking. The tracking will often lose whatever it is you want to track, but putting the original focus point back on the subject and pressing the [REC] button will reaquire the target.

Digital Tele-converter:
Using the 8mm fisheye or other wide-angle prime or even for macro video it can be beneficial to have a narrower angle of view. The Digital Tele-converter can be found in Shooting Menu 1, and enabling it gives a 2x zoom with no loss in video quality.

Saving the video settings under Myset:
It's worth saving the video settings in a "MySet" now that the changes have been made. Do set shutter speed to 1/60 first so that it defaults to a reasonable value when restoring from these settings. You'll also have to switch the Mode dial to M to use "MySet". To save under Myset3: Shooting Menu 1 -> Reset/Myset -> scroll down to Myset3 and press right arrow -> OK.

To use the saved settings, go to Shooting Menu 1 -> Reset/Myset -> Scroll down to Myset3 or Myset4 and press OK.

Edited by coroander, 13 December 2012 - 04:24 PM.


#24 deepbluemd

deepbluemd

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rochester, Minnesota
  • Interests:Everything

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:52 AM

Coroander,
Do you know if there is a difference in how the EM5 captures video when activated in Manual mode vs Video Mode (other than the buttons used to start recording)?

I was planning on diving today in the pool to experiment with various modes....

I have Myset 1 configured mostly as described above for Macro with 60 mm
Myset 2 for WA for 8 mm Pan, with a few tweaks with metering and focus points,
I could toggle between Mysets 1& 2 for shooting with 12-50 with zoom gear, or use another Myset, but I kind of like to use Myset 4 for favorite topside preferences.

So I have been configuring Myset 3 for Video and as you pointed out, the Shooting Menu 1 won't let you save a "Myset" profile when the mode dial is set to Video, but you can save video settings when on M. So if you can use the REC button to shoot video while still in Manual mode, is there a qualitative difference between how the camera captures video in M vs Video?

Of course I realize that by changing to Video mode, I could then select various Myset preferences for Macro Video, Wide Angle Video etc, but given that I don't own two big video lights, nor would I really want them on my intentionally compact rig, I'm wondering if its simpler to use the Mysets as described above and not have to adjust the mode dial at all. The advantage of this is that if you suddenly decided you wanted a still shot of something, you could simply stop recording and then press the shutter for exposure, and not have to worry about taking your eye from the viewfinder to adjust the mode dial.....

So I was just curious if there is a difference in how the camera captures video in M vs Video mode.....

thanks

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

#25 coroander

coroander

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:57 PM

You can easily change the Mode dial without taking your eye away from the EVF. M and [VIDEO] are next to each other so the change is quick and the Mode is shown in the lower left corner of the EVF.

You could just shoot stills with just a few changes to the video settings, because except for the button settings, they are mostly just additional configuration. The main issue is coming up with a set of button settings that work well for both stills and video given the limitations on button use and the number of buttons available. For me, there are just far too many compromises to try to have a single set of button mappings that work for stills and video.

I think the only real difference between switching the Mode dial to [VIDEO] and mapping a button to REC and pressing it with the camera set on M or S (or A or P), is that when you do the former, the EVF switches into 16:9 mode before you start recording and you loose access to the SCP (you get the live control panel.)

#26 coroander

coroander

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:12 PM

One thing i didn't mention with the video settings is that if you are using C-AF, then holding the [REC] button down will lock focus. When you release the button it will slowly re-focus (doing a nice focus pull). The only issue to be aware of is that when you first press the [REC] button, the focus will hunt momentarily before locking.

#27 DivingNomad

DivingNomad

    Sea Wasp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:23 AM

When I try to access the "Frame Rate" option in the Custom J menu, it is always "grayed out" and isn't accessible (set for "Normal" by default). Does anyone have this problem and/or ideas on how to access it to change the Frame Rate?


(Firmware in EM5 is version 1.5)

#28 coroander

coroander

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:09 AM

When I try to access the "Frame Rate" option in the Custom J menu, it is always "grayed out" and isn't accessible (set for "Normal" by default).

Have you tried setting the Mode dial to M? The "Frame Rate" cannot be changed in iAuto, ART, SCN, and [MOVIE] modes.

#29 Kenr

Kenr

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 86 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alamo, California
  • Interests:Diving,
    Yoga,
    Photography
    Running
    Cars
    Travel
    Good food

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

thanks for this excellent post. This will make a great starting point for someone beginning to shoot with the OM-D. I maybe be one of them.
Ken

#30 DivingNomad

DivingNomad

    Sea Wasp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

Have you tried setting the Mode dial to M? The "Frame Rate" cannot be changed in iAuto, ART, SCN, and [MOVIE] modes.


Yes, the camera is almost always in Manual mode. I just tried it now and it is still grayed out and in "Normal" value.

#31 pompeygreg

pompeygreg

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 33 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bristol, UK

Posted 16 March 2013 - 06:16 AM

I thought this topic deserved a bit of a bump up the forum, so a quick question!

 

On my flash settings am I right in thinking there would be some benefit to dropping the camera's manual setting down from full when using an external strobe to optimise battery life? What settings are people using?

 

I'm off to the Red Sea next week for my first real outing with the new setup, I can't wait. I did have a minor panic last night when the camera flash wouldn't fire, but then I remembered to flip it up!  :blush: Spending more time this week on getting used to using the camera above water!

 

Thanks for all the information above, hopefully it will help me get the most out of the week.



#32 Alex_Tattersall

Alex_Tattersall

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 837 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:04 PM

Supermenu to turn the flash down to 1/64 power


www.flickr.com/photos/alextattersall

www.nauticamuk.com
www.uwvisions.com
Exclusive official importer of Nauticam products into the UK and Ireland

#33 pompeygreg

pompeygreg

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 33 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bristol, UK

Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:59 PM

Thanks Alex

#34 Alex_Tattersall

Alex_Tattersall

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 837 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:58 AM

Pleasure, I look forward to seeing some shots! Enjoy!


www.flickr.com/photos/alextattersall

www.nauticamuk.com
www.uwvisions.com
Exclusive official importer of Nauticam products into the UK and Ireland

#35 Bob_W

Bob_W

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 29 posts

Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:33 AM

I did have a minor panic last night when the camera flash wouldn't fire, but then I remembered to flip it up!

 

Remember, if the WB is set to Underwater Mode, the flash will fire in the up or down positions.

 

Bob W



#36 kannjihyun

kannjihyun

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:18 AM

Hi,

 

The [>] Function button of my camera is grey out in movie mode, thus it cannot be set to WB or ISO setting. Do you know how to fix this?



#37 coroander

coroander

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:26 PM

The [>] Function button of my camera is grey out in movie mode, thus it cannot be set to WB or ISO setting. Do you know how to fix this?

 

Set "<^v> Function" just below it to "Direct Function" first.



#38 kannjihyun

kannjihyun

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:04 AM

I did set it to direct function. Somehow those > and v key are still greyed out... ;(

Attached Images

  • photo.JPG


#39 coroander

coroander

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:26 AM

Set Custom Menu -> I. Movie -> Movie Effect -> to "Off".



#40 kannjihyun

kannjihyun

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:23 PM

It works now. Thank you so much!