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#41 peterbkk

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:37 PM

Another factor to throw into your decision making: familiarity.

Familiarity is much underrated, IMHO. I often see people on their "dive trip of a lifetime" struggling to get their brand new camera to behave itself.

If you've got enough time to get your new system, set it up, and spend quite a few hours playing with both above and underwater then, yes, get a new system. Or, if you have played with so many systems over the last couple of years, then picking up something new should be easy enough. But the last thing you want to be doing is floating around on the bridge of the Saratoga trying to figure out which button does what and what setting works best in this lighting situation.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

Walker's Law of Familiarity: buy a new underwater camera system no less than 3 months before an important trip and spend at least 10 hours using it, reviewing the results, adjusting the setup and figuring out its lighting and focusing behaviour through at least 3 cycles before the big trip.

The 10 hous is just indicative and can be spent on the kitchen table, in a pool or at your local dive site, but at least once in the sea. I have a little "test" list on a laminated card that ensures I go through all the situations that I might need to work with when shooting for real.

Regards
Peter

#42 peterbkk

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:51 PM

 

Biased comment as usual and canon don't even pay you.
You are the disgrace of this forum.

This is my last post here. Please ban me.

 
Hi Davide,
 
You forgot to add a little smiley to indicate that you were just joking...
 
Regards
Peter

#43 Pete L

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:06 PM

I was also going to suggest holding off buying something so soon to a big dive trip because the chances are you will not get the results you want with such limited time with a new setup.


Panasonic GH4 user

My Vimeo page vimeo.com/user8157547

 


#44 peterbkk

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:27 PM


Back to A1P in th Amphibico and use of the Flip Filter. Above 5 mtr no filter. 5 - 25 mtr filter on and Man WB every 5 meters. From 25/35 mtrs onwards I again take the filter off (depending on ambient light), then use lights and do WB. Up close colour is great  and the fact that most of the background is blue is not that important.
 
So for DSLR and Point and Shoot, what do you do to compensate for colour loss at depth prior to needing lights?
 
Filters? Settings? Both?
 
Hi Joseph,
 
There is always a spirited debate on the red filter question.  You'll find a bunch of threads if you search on "red filter".
 
I fall firmly into the "leave it at home" camp.  Even when I was using the Sony camcorders.
 
My theory is:
  • A red filter does not "add" anything", it just takes away blue and green.  We already have insufficient light, why make it worse.
  • Red filters were the panacea before we had decent video editing available at a reasonable price.  Every thing that a red filter does, you can do in FCP or any other good NLE system.
  • Adds one more variable in a domain (underwater lighting) which is already complicated enough.  

These days I prefer to use a set of WB presets (one of the nice UW features of the Canon XF series):
 

  • Auto  (good for surface to 5m, night and when video lights dominate (macro, inside wrecks and caves)
  • 6500 Kelvin slightly warm (5meters down to about 15 or 20 meters, depending on sunlight)
  • 8500 Kelvin with slightly reduced blue (20 meters and deeper in blue water)
  • 8500 Kelvin with reduced green (for green seas)

I find that these get into the right ballpark and then I can use FCPX to tweak it.
 
I used all 4 presets in this 6 minute video: 

 

On the A1P, you could use a simpler model of Auto for shallow then Outdoor for the rest.  Heavier tweaking in FCP.
 
Regards
Peter


Edited by peterbkk, 13 July 2013 - 07:31 PM.


#45 Joseph

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 08:59 PM

Here is DXOMark's comparison of the sensors:

http://bit.ly/14Ono5B

 

 

Your GP3B can be set to WB @ 6500°K which should keep things in color temp range of your Sola 4k, which are I believe 6k°K.

 

All of the cameras listed will have higher resolution because of the MPEG4 compression @ a much higher bit rate than the MPEG2 25mbps A1P.  I owned the A1 and did reviews of housing with the A1 years ago so I'm quite familiar with the camera and system.   There's a thread on MWB with HDV cameras which you may want to search for.

 

You will have to choose what qualities you want in a camera's output.  When you scoot under the landing deck of the Saratoga etc, you will need lights. But if you want silhouette shots or matched ambient with lights for close subject color, the low light and dynamic range at high ISO will be important.

 

Tom Land has a video out with the 5D3 at 100m, which is deeper than what you will encounter @ most of the wrecks at Bikini.

 

 

Some of the banding is the Vimeo compression and the color correction isn't the best but the noise levels at 100m is very good.

 

 

Hi Drew,

 

Vimeo video - Great info and video. Am interested to know if a Red Filter was used at all or if the camera and post wk allowed for colour at depth.

 

GoPro advice - Will try higher preset in pro tune.



#46 Joseph

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 09:22 PM

@ & Pete L Peter BKK

  • Agree with your comments on getting to know the camera before the trip. 

 


@ Peter Bkk

  • Agreed the Red Filter does take out too much light. 
  • WB - I can not switch settings on my A1P once the unit is in the housing hence I leave it in manual mode and use 1 push function. You are suggesting for deep dives to set the WB to outdoor which means I can assign another function for one push. Which function do you suggest 

 


@ kc_moses 

  • What housing are you using for your LX7

 

@ David

  • Have had some footage used by Nat Geo but of the work I sell, its local and low key


#47 Joseph

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 10:11 PM

After spending 2 hours (above water) comparing FOV on several devices I am getting closer to a decision and that decision is not what I expected.

 

Sony A1P + 70 Degree Flat port and 100 degree Wide angle Vs Go Pro Vs Olympus EPL 2 with 14 -140mm and 9 - 18mm (4/3 lenses).

 

Macro - A1P 70 Degree at 7x optical zoom and Olympus at 70 140mm.  

  • A1p one won hands down. Could get closer, make subject bigger, clearer and better focus.

 

Wide Angle (FOV only) - Sony with 100 Degree WA, GoPro and Olympus EPL 2 with 9 - 18mm (lens set to 9mm).

  • Olympus and Gopro similar FOV but the Olympus was the "clear" winner.

What I currently have:

Sony A1P

  • Ability WB manually and choose Red Filter on/off whilst underwater.
  • 70 Degree port - Great Macro,  zoom through on 70 agree pity 7x optical (can go to 10 but not as crisp), subject can be on lens (fish nudging lens etc).
  • 100 Degree WA (would like wider), 5 x zoom through.

GoPro

  • Its a toy but does Great Wide angle.
  • Captures in caves and wrecks what the Sony can not. 

 

 

What I want - Upgrade to a relatively simple unit that does all of the above as a minimum.

 

What I might have to do without buying a Sony FS100, Cannon XF 100 or similar is get the best Point and Shoot in low light with best wide angle and sit it on my A1P instead of my GoPro.

 

What I can do with my A1P - see link. All done in FCP7.

 

Komodo Intro

 

What your posts have done for me - Educated me in the complexity of DSLR.

 

Thoughts?????

 

Is the LX7 an option here or too big?


Edited by Joseph, 13 July 2013 - 11:42 PM.


#48 peterbkk

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 12:31 AM

 

  • WB - I can not switch settings on my A1P once the unit is in the housing hence I leave it in manual mode and use 1 push function. You are suggesting for deep dives to set the WB to outdoor which means I can assign another function for one push. Which function do you suggest 

 

 

Well, the other underwater problem with the "auto" in camcorders is exposure.  A lot of problems occur because the auto exposure tries to boost the gain too much, especially on the deeper shots.  Just remember that the camcorder's brain only knows about "normal family-having-a-picnic-on-a-sunny-day" scenes.  It has no idea about underwater.  So, it tries to make things brighter.  By pushing up the gain, it introduces "fuzzes" which are hard to fix in the editor.

 

If you are happy to just use one WB setting for the whole dive and re-assign that button and, if the firmware allows it, using the button for exposure control might be useful.  When I had the CX550, I used to crank down the "exposure adjust" to -1 for most UW footage and down to -3 or -4 when it got dark and deep.  Of course, you get darker footage but that is because it IS dark down there.  Don't use it for aperture / iris as the camcorder will just compensate by pushing up the gain.

 

You might even find that darker footage also improves the colour balance.

 

Regards

Peter



#49 peterbkk

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 12:38 AM

 

 

What your posts have done for me - Educated me in the complexity of DSLR.

 

 

 

I have been watching this "Video on a DSLR" story for a year or so. It'd be great to have both a great stills and a great video camera in one housing.  But, every time I get tempted to make the plunge, I listen to all the pros and cons, watch the new models solve some of the problem but not all, hear about great alpha-test "hacks" and end up deciding that, for me, it is still "wait and see" time.  Maybe another 6 months...



#50 Joseph

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 01:25 AM

 

I have been watching this "Video on a DSLR" story for a year or so. It'd be great to have both a great stills and a great video camera in one housing.  But, every time I get tempted to make the plunge, I listen to all the pros and cons, watch the new models solve some of the problem but not all, hear about great alpha-test "hacks" and end up deciding that, for me, it is still "wait and see" time.  Maybe another 6 months..Have you done any DSLR

Other than putting on a small unit as a replacement for the GoPro, I really hear you.



#51 kc_moses

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 05:58 PM

Joseph, I have the Ikelite housing for my LX-7 because I was on a budget and it was really close to my dive trip. The Ikelite do get the job done, but I think Nauticam would be more ergonomic because I have a bit of problem to confirm custom white balance in the Ikelite as I have fat thumb and the middle cursor key is too tight for my finger to get in.

 

I think these days Nauticam also is a de facto housing if money is not an issue. Using red/magic filter do cut down light, but in the case of LX-7, it actually have advantage because the lens is to bring, it gets over expose easily.

 

You could consider getting the LX-7 to replace your goPro, and keep your A1P for now. Look at the photo by NWDiver in this post:

 

http://wetpixel.com/...ver#entry327851

 

You can consider go that route. :dancing:



#52 Drew

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:26 PM

 

I have been watching this "Video on a DSLR" story for a year or so. It'd be great to have both a great stills and a great video camera in one housing.  But, every time I get tempted to make the plunge, I listen to all the pros and cons, watch the new models solve some of the problem but not all, hear about great alpha-test "hacks" and end up deciding that, for me, it is still "wait and see" time.  Maybe another 6 months...

Well it's always about needs and functionality.  Having a "normal" video recorder gives you all the tools one needs to shoot, and other than the FS and AF series , all have been smaller sensor and much more expensive than a handycam.  Something like the 5D3 shooting RAW does change the game, but it's still a hack and certain functionality don't work well (although many more features were added via firmware). Hacks generally are great but unrefined. 
Obviously there'll always be shortcomings with any camera.  Your XF105 may have 422 50mbps, but the noise performance will never match the output of the bigger sensors.  Physics is undeniable, as are the results.  Most important is subjective preference, which of course becomes very contentious.  People get very obsessive about their equipment, as you can see here! :)

 

 

Hi Drew,

 

Vimeo video - Great info and video. Am interested to know if a Red Filter was used at all or if the camera and post wk allowed for colour at depth.

 

GoPro advice - Will try higher preset in pro tune.

 

You'll have to ask him, but I don't think he did based on some of the clips.  The post work was pretty horrendous at points.

 

With your new criteria, I say keep your GP3B and just rent a rig like a GH3 or 5D3 for Bikini.  I prefer using a rectilinear lens for wrecks, not too wide  The GP3 works well enough and can handle the depths @ Bikini.

If you do a search of the Bikini videos on Vimeo and Youtube, you'll see that most video is soft due to the gain killing off detail.  This is especially true if you get unlucky and have no so great viz, which is pretty much regular at the Saratoga.


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#53 peterbkk

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 02:12 AM

Your XF105 may have 422 50mbps, but the noise performance will never match the output of the bigger sensors.  Physics is undeniable, as are the results.  

 

 

 

How dare you criticise my choice of equipment.  The mere fact that I chose it means that it is the best.  I find your implication that it is not the best most insulting. You besmirch my good character. I demand satisfaction.  Pistols at dawn.  The survivor gets to say which camera is best.  OK?  Name the place and time.

 

 

People get very obsessive about their equipment, as you can see here! :)

 

What you talkin' about?

 

 

:crazy:



#54 Joseph

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 02:18 AM

Joseph, I have the Ikelite housing for my LX-7 because I was on a budget and it was really close to my dive trip. The Ikelite do get the job done, but I think Nauticam would be more ergonomic because I have a bit of problem to confirm custom white balance in the Ikelite as I have fat thumb and the middle cursor key is too tight for my finger to get in.

 

I think these days Nauticam also is a de facto housing if money is not an issue. Using red/magic filter do cut down light, but in the case of LX-7, it actually have advantage because the lens is to bring, it gets over expose easily.

 

You could consider getting the LX-7 to replace your goPro, and keep your A1P for now. Look at the photo by NWDiver in this post:

 

http://wetpixel.com/...ver#entry327851

 

You can consider go that route. :dancing:

Hmmmm. I was thinking that.

 

Am wondering how a GH3 could be mounted on my A1P as well. 

 

GH3 - Housing and Camera $4K. Can use lenses from my mate so no initial expense. 

 

LX7 - Housing and Camera $1550. Wide and Macro Lenses another $700 so $2250.

 

Keeping in mind my goal hhere is VIDEO and I do not give a rats about the still capability.



#55 errbrr

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:37 AM

Liz - Your reputation precedes you. 

 

I am relatively new to the Cave side of diving and have just started shooting in these environments.

 

Most of my Video work has been shallow and in well lit environments. Caves and deep wrecks certainly pose a challenge in comparison.

 

Hope to meet you some day.

Uh oh, that sounds dangerous...I try to avoid reputations!

 

I thought from your initial post that you were cave-focused, and if you've been bitten by the darkness then more video lights are the best solution. Certainly you'll get more bang for your buck from increasing the lumen count than changing the camera, at least to start with. But for the ocean there's that great big ball of light in the sky and the water is usually full of dirt and fish poop so it's a big of a different story. Lights off camera is the game changer....start training your models now.

 

I haven't worked out which Joseph you are yet. Let me know when I run into you at a dive site somewhere. Good luck with the Bikini trip, I hope you get the footage you're looking for.



#56 Drew

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 05:27 AM

Peter,

Eh, I only duel on a 5th sunday of any month during a Saturn rising. How about you buy me a drink for insulting your camera?  Then I'll be less encouraged to insult your cameras, even the ones you don't own! :P

Joseph

 

I'm pretty sure you won't like the LX7 in Bikini.  The noise, which should be better than the A1P, and probably the GP3B.  However, you are going down to 50+ m depending on the wreck and also penetrating the wrecks.


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#57 Joseph

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 05:30 AM

Uh oh, that sounds dangerous...I try to avoid reputations!

 

I thought from your initial post that you were cave-focused, and if you've been bitten by the darkness then more video lights are the best solution. Certainly you'll get more bang for your buck from increasing the lumen count than changing the camera, at least to start with. But for the ocean there's that great big ball of light in the sky and the water is usually full of dirt and fish poop so it's a big of a different story. Lights off camera is the game changer....start training your models now.

 

I haven't worked out which Joseph you are yet. Let me know when I run into you at a dive site somewhere. Good luck with the Bikini trip, I hope you get the footage you're looking for.

Hi Liz. I am relatively new to the Caving world. My Trip to mexico showed me how outdated my unit is. The single 1/3 SCOS sensor is not enough.

 

My lights are more than ample. 

 

See link previously posted. 

 

Sony A1P Vs GoPro3 in a Cave

 

 

Sony A1p LHS / GoPro RHS. GoPro colours are blown out. The Sony still has better up close detail but in a cave very little is up close..

 

Hope to see you in Mt G some day.



#58 Joseph

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 05:34 AM

I'm pretty sure you won't like the LX7 in Bikini.  The noise, which should be better than the A1P, and probably the GP3B.  However, you are going down to 50+ m depending on the wreck and also penetrating the wrecks.

Had a look today at the size of the Nauticam housing for the LX7 and have the dimensions of the GH3's counterpart.

 

I suspect I will toss and turn over my decision tonight and but the GH3 in the morning. 



#59 Drew

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:03 AM

LOL.  That's ok.  The agony of equipment buying is something many go through. :)

 

I think the GH3 should suffice for Bikini.If you are going to use the 7-14, it's very tempting to use it at 7mm. If you do, make sure the shots are relatively static, subject is in the center or super slow pans, otherwise the rectilinear distortion around the corners can be very stretchy!   @ about 10mm, the distortion isn't as bad and works well as a WA lense for wrecks. Just hope the viz clears.  inside the Saratoga, you'll find the sediment pretty bad with wide beam video lights. You may find having wider arms and a narrower beam will reduce the "light speed" effect of streaming stars! :)

 

Are you going on the Indies Trader? Enjoy the trip.


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#60 kc_moses

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:34 AM

Joseph

 

I'm pretty sure you won't like the LX7 in Bikini.  The noise, which should be better than the A1P, and probably the GP3B.  However, you are going down to 50+ m depending on the wreck and also penetrating the wrecks.

 

Hmm..... he has two Sola 4000. So even at 50+m, how is it different from doing a night dive at 15m with light? There is plenty of footage in Youtube about low light test of the LX-7, especially the aquarium one that he can download the original AVCHD file. During my night dive in Lembeh, noise look fine for me. Now if it's projected on a 5 story tall screen, then it would be a different story. We still don't know how Joseph will deploy his footage (cinema? online? tradeshow on plasma/lcd tv?). I hope we're not trying to pitch him to get a canon to kill an ant. :mocking:

 

Joseph, if you ended up getting the LX-7 and Nauticam, do be careful about wide angle lens. The Nauticam wetmade is a good fool proof route but it only give you about 80+ degree field of view. The Inon UWL-H100 is the only one that work due to the fact that the LX-7 is at 24mm widedess. The Inon port is only 100 degree field of view, so if you want wider, then you need to add the dome, which add weight and $.