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#1 Joseph

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 02:51 AM

Hi everyone,

 

Recently did a trip to Mexico for Cave Diving. After looking at my Sony A1P footage then my GoPro3 I wanted to cry.

 

The Sony still performs extremely well when there is light but I am heading to more depth and darkness so lowlight is key.

 

Am considering DSLR Canon 5D MkIII, Nikon D800, Sony FS100, Sony FS 700, Black Magic 2.5K. Nothing Bigger as I want it portable for travel.

 

Would love some input.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Joseph 


Edited by Joseph, 11 July 2013 - 03:00 AM.


#2 Davide DB

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 04:18 AM



 

Am considering DSLR Canon 5D MkIII, Nikon D800, Sony FS100, Sony FS 700, Black Magic 2.5K. Nothing Bigger as I want it portable for travel.

 

 

 

Some of them are really big. 

 

FS100/FS700: I suggest you to give a look at a couple of thread here. I would stay away until Sony solve some problem.

MKIII / 800: Good choice but still a little bit oversize. But it depends on you.

BMCC: a lot of announcements and hopes but no housing at the moment. 

 

[flame mode on]

Did you consider a M43 system like GH3? Same class of MKIII or 800 at half the price. A top class housing on the shelf and nearly half the size?

 

http://www.nauticamu...asonic-gh3.html

 

[flame mode off]

 

Another amazing new entry in the videoDSRL market is the plastic cheap Nikon D3200. incredible quality. (I do not know if exist some housing for it.)

 

 

I'll get some popcorn ;)


Edited by Davide DB, 11 July 2013 - 05:23 AM.

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#3 Joseph

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:04 AM

Did you consider a M43 system like GH3? Same class of MKIII or 800 at half the price. A top class housing on the shelf and nearly half the size?

 

Appreciate the input. Seems very good bang for your buck.

 

Do you know the typical battery life and if there is a red filter for it? Could not find the answers on Panasonic & Nauticam sites.


Edited by Joseph, 11 July 2013 - 06:58 AM.


#4 Davide DB

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:56 AM

I own a GH2 + 7-14mm + Nauticam Housing and I'm very satisfied. 

GH3 offers an overall better quality than the "hacked" GH2.

I do use it in somewhat extreme conditions: caves and deep wrecks: 800/1000/1250 ISO is the norm. 

 

Just check some of my videos to judge GH2 quality. 

 

Best


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#5 peterbkk

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:28 AM

Add the Canon XF100 to your list. With a BS Kinetics carbon fibre housing it can be carried onto a plane and it does produce nice 422 video with lovely UW color balance. Add the weight to make it neutral when you get to the dive site - very stable.

#6 kc_moses

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:12 AM

How comfortable are you about handling camera in term of technical knowledge (ISO, Shutter speed, Aperture etc)? The reason why I ask is because you talk about GoPro3 and upgrade to a 5DMarkIII. Just want to make sure you're not in the situation of trying to fly before even you can walk, otherwise you will end up wasting a lot of money!

 

The next question is, do you want an equipment that can do great video, but decent photo, or great photo but decent video (Many good camera only do up to 1080p at 30fps, not 60fps). Also, what is your budget?

 

I'm using a Panasonic LX-7, it's very bright (1.4f-2.3f) so it fullfill your need of perform well under low light. It's one of the few point and shoot that let you shoot video in manual mode, besides the Sony RX100 which has terrible usability when come to custom white balance in shooting video. You can see the indepth discussion of RX100 as video camera gear in the consumer camera section of the forum.

 

In the case of cave diving, or in very deep water, don't forget light is your friend. It's another interesting topic as you have main stream manufacturers (Light & Motion, iTorch etc) vs cheap China light from Hong Kong with fraction of the price.

 

In term of red filter, I prefer the Magic Filter. What ever gear/housing you have, try to stick with the M67 mount standard as it will give you more flexility when come to filter and wet lens. I had a $600 wide angle lens and it's AD mount, after I change my set up, the AD mount become useless.



#7 kc_moses

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:29 AM

Just saw you have the Sony A1P, what do you not like about it? Low light performance? If that's the case, you must use light, especially in cave. How deep were you at when you were not satisfy with the footage?



#8 Joseph

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:42 AM

How comfortable are you about handling camera in term of technical knowledge (ISO, Shutter speed, Aperture etc)? The reason why I ask is because you talk about GoPro3 and upgrade to a 5DMarkIII. Just want to make sure you're not in the situation of trying to fly before even you can walk, otherwise you will end up wasting a lot of money!

 

The next question is, do you want an equipment that can do great video, but decent photo, or great photo but decent video (Many good camera only do up to 1080p at 30fps, not 60fps). Also, what is your budget?

My Video knowledge is good but most settings on my main video unit are set to auto.

 

I have dived with some Nat Geo Videographers and loved their comments "Set the Camera to auto and shoot with the right unit". I was white balancing every few meters / change in light. These guys were just shooting.

 

Still camera's, from what I read and hear, tend to need a lot of tweaking to make good video. 

 

I currently have the Sony A1p, which in 2006, was the entry level professional video camera of the day. It still does wicked footage in the right conditions. Brilliant Macro night or day. Brilliant wide angle in good light. Dies in low light. The Sony in the cave performs beautifully with clear and crisp up to about 5 meters distance. The GoPro is blown out and colours are all wrong. Go out to 10 - 20 Metres distance and the Go Pro Footage is by far the winner. 

 

I mention the GoPro as its is supposed to be a toy supplementing my main unit but in caves, it made my sony obsolete.

 

For lights I'm running L&M Sola 4000's.

 

Money - $7K - $15K for the right unit. The Sony FS100 would be in the budget but the Sony FS 700 looks awesome. But do I want to spend that much????



#9 Joseph

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:46 AM

Just saw you have the Sony A1P, what do you not like about it? Low light performance? If that's the case, you must use light, especially in cave. How deep were you at when you were not satisfy with the footage?

Low light lack of performance even with the Sola 4000's in the cave.

 

I will do a short YouTube Sony A1P Vs GoPro Hero 3 Black to illustrate my disappointment (will be up in about 8 hours - bed time in Australia now). 

 

General diving - At 40+ meters the camera does not perform as well as I'd like.

 

Maybe I am expecting to much.


Edited by Joseph, 11 July 2013 - 08:57 AM.


#10 kc_moses

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:38 AM

Take a look at the first video here:

 

http://www.backscatt...icle.php?ID=151

 

The Gates VL24 is 2000 more lumen than your Sola4000, so it's not too much of a difference. You have your cave footage online so we can see what's the problem, like too much noise/grainy, or completely dark that you can't even see rock?

 

The GoPro is not that great when you go deep, it's more for people who go snorkler or spear fishing, that doesn't go as deep as you go, unless you have great light and really need the POV footage. Keep in mind that any thing more than 15ft will be very hard to light and you need very powerful light.

 

Still camera do need some tweaking, but that's what make it more flexible. I never shot auto with the red/magic filter on. Have you play around with the manual mode of your A1P? In some cases you don't want Auto mode, for example when you're penetrating through a cave/entrance, if you set the camera to auto, it will try to adjust the exposure (going from bright to dark and vice versa), so it wouldn't give you that dramatic feel, like when approaching the exit of the cave, the sun ray slowly appear instead of just give you a big bright "door to heaven" at the exit of the cave if you set it to auto. It's kind of hard to explain so I hope you can imagine that look.

 

I would not consider any dSLR in your case since you will have more problem with port and lens setup, not to mention dome etc. The A1P has 1.8f-2.1f, so it seems to be okay.

 

When I research product, I like to get my hand on the product to try. Would you be able to go to a store, and try some point & shoot? It might sound silly, you can bring a small box with drawing/writing inside the box, then stick the lens of the camera into the box and see how well the camera adapt to those light situation, and do the same with your A1P. Don't forget to play around with manual setting like ISO, Aperture and see if that will change the result, because a lot of time "Auto" doesn't really bring out the potential of the camera. My believe is, "Auto" setting is enginner for land users, but underwater, it's not necessary true, that's why investigating manual option is another way to consider before getting a new expensive set up. Hope that help, and sorry for the lengthy reply :pardon:



#11 Drew

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 01:08 PM

I have dived with some Nat Geo Videographers and loved their comments "Set the Camera to auto and shoot with the right unit". I was white balancing every few meters / change in light. These guys were just shooting.[/

 

Still camera's, from what I read and hear, tend to need a lot of tweaking to make good video. 

 

I currently have the Sony A1p, which in 2006, was the entry level professional video camera of the day. It still does wicked footage in the right conditions. Brilliant Macro night or day. Brilliant wide angle in good light. Dies in low light. The Sony in the cave performs beautifully with clear and crisp up to about 5 meters distance. The GoPro is blown out and colours are all wrong. Go out to 10 - 20 Metres distance and the Go Pro Footage is by far the winner. 

 

I mention the GoPro as its is supposed to be a toy supplementing my main unit but in caves, it made my sony obsolete.

 

For lights I'm running L&M Sola 4000's.

 

Money - $7K - $15K for the right unit. The Sony FS100 would be in the budget but the Sony FS 700 looks awesome. But do I want to spend that much????

 

I'm guessing these Nat Geo shooters didn't tell you that they don't have to do the grading/color correction and just hand in the clips.   Could you tell us which Nat Geo shooter says shoot auto?  I'm really interested to know.

 

Anyhow, if you are looking to upgrade to full HD with better noise, on that list you have, I'd drop the Nikon D600/800 for noise as they are just no match for the 5D3/6D in terms of video noise, especially in the high ISO range.  The 6D is especially good with video noise.  Of course, the 5D3 shoots RAW now via a firmware hack.  The 6D can't really match it because it uses SD cards.  The 5D3 can now shoot 8 bit 422 uncompressed out of the HDMI, and the difference is noticeable for water column banding, but not significantly so.

 

Obviously noise is only one aspect of video quality, there's color, resolution etc.  The FS100/700 are nifty cameras hampered by WB problems in certain conditions, but the video coming out of it is very clean and good resolution.  However, only the FS700 will shoot RAW with a RAW recorder and that will bust your budget by quite a bit, once you include housing etc.

 

The BMCC (v1.0) is a nice camera for good light conditions but it gets pretty noisy past 800ISO.  I wouldn't bother with it since you'll have to deal with RAW .DNG files as well. The new BMCC promises to be even better resolution but the noise issue will still be there.

The GH3 is a nice little camera and for video with good lighting, it probably is the better camera.  It does get very noisy and the 8bit banding is not as good as the 5D3 for water column shots.  The noise and resolution gets pretty ugly after 1600ISO, especially in the shadows, typical of the diving you will be doing.  It'll still be better than your A1 by quite a bit.

As you can see in Berk's video @ Cenotes, powerful lights and a good low light camera like the 5D3 can produce great results.  I personally think if you only want to shoot video, can get use to a DSLR (shallow DOF, no autofocus) way of shooting, the 6D is probably the best low light performing camera there is for under $10k.  It's not the best looking but has the least noise.  If you liked the HDV resolution of the A1P, you'll love the 6D ALL-I codec and the low noise at even 6400ISO.

 

 

I'm pretty sure with a housing, camera and a few good lenses, you should come in under $11k.  Like others have suggested, look into more powerful lights, perhaps even going for a more narrow beam so there's more penetration to beat the shadows.

Choosing between the GH3 and 6D, I'd still pick the 6D myself, just because of the noise performance.  It's really good even @ 12800ISO, which is unheard of just 2 years ago.  So choose what is important for your needs and go with that.


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#12 CheungyDiver

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 05:44 PM

Get a Red Dragon....Joke!!!!  I am, hehe heh

 

Seriously the 5D MIII for most situations is more than enough if you do not need to do Nat Geo assignments or stuff for the BBC. If you have loads of work and future work lined up rent Epic or a Red Dragon (after September).

 

Best bang for your buck IMHO is the Canon 50D. A friend of mine bought a second hand Subal 40D and Canon 50D under 1K. 40D is same size and controls are the same as the 50D. With ML hack the 50D could shoot RAW with the CF card. The camera and housing is quite small and compact. If you do deep caves then Aquatica or Seacam with optional deep button springs.

 

I liked the GH2 (hacked) but I do not like the banding you get from flat colours due to the 8 bit format. I eventually sold that camera. GH3 is nice but really the thunder is taken from it by the Canon and  the magic lantern crowd. In my short try out and discussion with friends many still prefer the GH2 with ML hack. 

The new Canon with dual pixel focus sensor..erhh the 70D ? This has much improved continuous focus in video mode. Lastly if budget is tight get the Canon EOS M. At USD 299 with pancake lens and about USD 100 for EF adapter its a good APSC (same as 7D sensor). The new firmware official one from Canon makes this really nice rather than previously really dull Canon mirrorless. With ML hack for Raw recording it is definitely a sub0 USD 500 wonder. Nauticam has a nice housing for it too.

 

Lastly the Sony RX100 is a real gem for the size and full HD at 60p. The optical image stabilization is also good. This is a really compact size pocket wonder. If you need broadcast 4:2:2 the Canon XF100 or 105 is pretty awesome. I  have two of the XF105 for topside and UW 3D work. Records direct to CF cards. Looking to sell one set of them. These are compatible with the BBC requirements.

 

Cheers

David


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#13 Joseph

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:39 PM



 
I'm guessing these Nat Geo shooters didn't tell you that they don't have to do the grading/color correction and just hand in the clips.   Could you tell us which Nat Geo shooter says shoot auto?  I'm really interested to know.

 
Hey Drew. I was advised by the Nat Geo guys that all footage was sent out to be colour graded (at quite a cost as well). I'd rather not mention names as I'd hate to have misrepresented or misunderstood their comments. 6D vs GH3 - May look at GH3 due to price now and upgrade in a few years (then again I may go 6D - decisions, decisions, decisions).
 
To All - Here is the comparison footage. A1P left side / GP3 Right. Appreciate any comments on how to improve footage by altering settings below (these were advised as optimal at time of purchase). 
 
Sony A1P Vs GoPro3 in a Cave
 
 
Current settings recommended prior to putting Camera in housing:
HDV 1080i, AE Auto, Exposure Auto, WB - One Push, Shutter speed 50, Auto Shutter on, AE Shift 0, Cinamatone Off, Cineframe off, WB Shift 0, ATW Sensor - Intelligent, Black Stretch Off, Colour Slow Off
 
The Amphibico Housing has WB, Focus Lock and zoom functionality. Thats it.
 
A1P has no manual ISO settings (that I know of).

 

Keep in mind the close up results of the A1P combined with the distance results of the GoPro is mt=y desired result

Critic away.


Edited by Joseph, 11 July 2013 - 06:42 PM.


#14 kc_moses

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:26 PM

ISO 12800 when shooting video seem too extreme, is that necessary?

 

The Canon EOS M do not do 60fps, it also suffer for slow AF in the photo department. Don't know if Magic Lantern overcome those, but I lost interest in Canon's M43 as it was full with problem being their first generation so I never research about them.

 

Sony RX100 has poor usability when come to video white balance setting.

 

I'm not familiar with the GH series so can't comment on that.

 

I looked at your video, the GP3 is too wash out, the A1P do provide more dramatic feel, except the color is a bit more green then it should be. I personally like to under expose a bit to give that deep dark dramatic feel to it. Perhaps you should white balance to the temperature of the light, otherwise it might be too green or too blue.

 

I think the Nat Geo people either don't want to spend time to share their knowledge and brush you off, or they just don't want to give away their secret after all they do that for living, but enough about that.

 

Do try out the Panasonic LX-7 as it's commonly available at the retail store, and see if you like it, the 1.4F is really bright. Me and another diver here (interceptor121) has our diving video in Youtube, some of them are night dives so you can look at those footage, pause and analyze to see if the noise is too much, just make sure you're watching them in 1080p in full screen.



#15 jonny shaw

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:41 PM

I reckon the 5D mkIII....small (comparatively)  great in low light ML RAW jibber jobber looks pretty cool and guess what you will have a cracking stills camera to boot. There will be a learning curve but hey learning is all part of the fun.


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#16 CheungyDiver

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:49 PM

When it comes to size of the DSLR camera I reckon all the above mentioned is small enough, including the housing for international travel. Unless you just want to travel really light and have everything including the camera and housing in the carry on then go for the 4/3, mirrorless and even the RX100 (now RX100 mark II) 

 

My vote goes to 5D MIII plus ML hack. There is just nothing like it at the moment that could do RAW video and great digital stills. I couldn't tell the difference (well you can with proper monitor) between canon ML raw and scarlet raw when down res to 1080p UW video. The MIII now is selling slightly cheaper. I would buy nice glass and you'll have a system that could do an awful lot for everyday shoot. We are really spoil for choice with cameras these days. More tools for the right jobs.


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#17 Joseph

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:11 PM

From comments on this forum and reading up on gizmodo reviews, the Panasonic GH3 seems like a great bang for your buck trade off. 

 

I am not into stills so the advantages the Canon and Nikon are not of importance. 

 

60 fps is also very nice. 

 

Battery time of 4 hrs (std by) is important to me as well.

 

Can not see a reason not to go this way.

 

Back to the sony A1P. Will try and play with adjustments in FCP7 and see what that does. I still love my Sony as it just works in the right conditions and still creates great footage.

 

Whale Sharks Feeding on Bait Fish West Papua Good lighting condition example

 

 

Key Biscayne March 2012 Footage at depth in poor lighting conditions (day time) with Sola 4000's 



#18 Davide DB

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 02:16 AM

What is the audience/target of your videos?
YouTube/vimeo, family sharing, pro business?
Disclaimer: Your new gear will not make you produce any better art than you already do.
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#19 Joseph

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 02:39 AM

What is the audience/target of your videos?
YouTube/vimeo, family sharing, pro business?

Mix of all in that particular order 



#20 Drew

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:31 AM

Good to see everybody has their preferences. LOL

Joseph, looking at your video comparison, you can see how sensor quality makes a difference, as does size.

A few things to consider:
 
1.  The 6D has better DR and noise over the GH3 in the wheel house ISO range you'll be shooting.  That means if you are shooting 400 to 1600ISO, the shadow areas will be noisier and more pronounced with the GH3.
 
2.  The software correction for Pana lenses only work on Pana cameras.
 
3.  You will also probably have to upgrade your FCP7 (and possibly your computer) to work natively in real time with MPEG4 codecs.  That's a whole other topic.
 
4.  The GH3 does have better resolution, but also a bit more false detail sharpness.  The 6D looks softer initially but does handle sharpening well.  
 
5.  Lens choice: the EF range has many more choices for lenses than the MFT range.  For example, with a 1.4x converter the 8-15 or 10-17 gives you a useable fisheye zoom.  

Good luck in making your choice! :)

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