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Member Since 20 Dec 2007
Offline Last Active Apr 12 2014 06:11 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Video Newbie. How Much Light?

31 March 2013 - 02:49 AM

The notion that macro requires relatively little in the way of Lumen power is nonsense (as is the several multi-power settings gimmick of some already low-power "beginners" lights)...particularly if you are shooting "wide-macro" in bright ambient daylight conditions.


To maximize image quality ISO needs to be low; and for good DOF (particularly with large sensor cameras) the f-stop needs to be around f11-16 (any higher risks diffraction effects).


If you are using the same lights for wide/wide-macro the beam angle needs to be at least 100 degrees. I would not consider anything less than 4000 Lumens LED.


Forget Halogen and HID as they have poor Lumen per watt efficiency.

In Topic: Disappearing Giant Kelp Forests of Tasmania

22 February 2013 - 11:09 PM

By coincidence I had a long chat with Mick on the phone just after watching your movie. Each time we chat he reminds me that it's time to go back to Tassie to video the kelp forests while they are still there. I must make the time to do so before this wonderful resource is gone for ever.


Very nice video.

In Topic: Panasonic GH3 is (almost) here

22 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

A lot can happen in a week...


Just a brief update to my earlier overview of the D5200. After using it topside for the last few days i am still very impressed with the video image quality...BUT there's a couple of serious issues that I've discoved that will make the D5200 less useful to some people:


1) Nikon have been dishonest in their impementation of Shutter Priority during Live-view for video. To cut a long story short (discussed at length at personal-view.com), whereas the LCD shows an f-stop read-out which shows the correct f-stop selected for auto-exposure in reality the diaphram DOES NOT CHANGE...the exposure is controlled internally/electronically...even though the ISO is fixed by the photographer (and is shown to be that which is selected on the LCD info). So...youre stuck with always shooting at the maximum aperture of the lens...duh!


As if this B.S. wasn't enough:


2) Whatever gimmickery is changing to control exposure is also interacting in an unpredictable way with artificial light sources that rely on high frequency oscillation (Flouro and most LEDs) resulting in very conspicuous black bands in the video image ...but appearing and disappearing in the same file/sequence as ambient light changes (so not simply a 50/60Hz issue). No problems at all if manual exposure is used.


If this is the best Nikon can do I worry for them and their integrity.



My GH3 finally arrived...and after using/testing it much more extensively than I was able to before, I'm finding the camera handling and it's image quality @ 50p/70 mbps superb! Although the video out of the D5200 is slightly cleaner and more color accurate the overall performance, video AF accuracy and availability of 50p makes the GH3 my final choice in replacing the hacked GH2.


I just hope Nauticam makes glass domes for the GH3 housing this time.

In Topic: Panasonic GH3 is (almost) here

13 February 2013 - 07:53 PM

I've recently been doing some interesting tests to determine what to replace my dear old hacked GH2's with. Like many others I've been following the release of the GH3 with great interest. The frustrating thing is that the GH3 has been virtually impossible to get here in Australia until a couple weeks ago...and that first batch has now been sold. I managed to "borrow" one from a dealer with a view to purchase. This allowed me to do a quick test and compare it with my hacked GH2 and D800. I've also been testing the new Nikon D5200 (which I've now bought) both without and with a Ninja2.

All of the above cameras have clean HDMI out, which makes use with a Ninja (Prores HQ @220 mbps) a very big advantage over the internal codecs. I will not go into the details of my comparative tests other than to say that I'm only interested in optimum video image quality under normal circumstances...so noise at very high ISO is irrelevant for my selection criteria. I normally shoot at 400 ISO and rarely above 1000 ISO.

To get to the point...for my requirements the Nikon D5200 (with and without the Ninja) produced the best video image in my topside tests. Slightly better than the D800; significantly better than the hacked GH2 and GH3 (which really isn't that different to the GH2's video quality...a bit disappointing, actually).

In terms of DR, color purity, color gradation, color banding (lack of it), moire and aliasing, and...particularly NOISE, the D5200 was significantly better than the GH2/GH3, and somewhat better than the D800. The new Toshiba sensor in the D5200 with the way the processor handles the 24 mp image results in what is to my eyes a very beautiful, neutral and very clean video image. Two other important features of the D5200 (for me, anyway) is decent autofocus (AF-F) during video which is almost as good as Panasonics; and that the HDMI also carries audio...important for topside work with the Ninja. Unlike the D800 it is also possible to have very accurate auto exposure (AE-S) during Live-view video acquisition with the D5200 (and still control shutter preference and ISO).

Of course each camera has its feature advantages (the 50/60p of the GH3 is excellent, whereas the 50/60i of the D5200 is retarded). For still photographers the RAWs out of the D5200 are way better than anything out of the GH3.

If you are wondering why there are no Canon DSLRs on my short list...three reasons: 1) Canon have decided not to allow clean HDMI out for cynical marketing reasons (the HDMI out will soon be miraculously "unlocked" in the Canon 5D3 by a simple firmware update...no doubt in response to the success of the D800); 2) Canons (including the 5D3) have relatively soft video; and 3) I dislike the "Pink Disease" color cast of current Canon lenses. I had a 5D2 with several L lenses for a year...but went back to Nikon and Zeiss glass.

Please regard this as just my personal opinion and a heads up about the cheap and humble D5200. I'm happy to answer questions...but I have neither the time nor desire to post examples to "prove" anything. There's pleanty out there already:

GH2 vs GH3


"If you’re looking for a big leap in video performance over the GH2, the GH3 doesn’t appear to be it."

D5200 vs GH2


This has a couple of frame grabs that clearly shows the noise difference...which is much more noticeable when comparing the video material.

I hope someone makes a good housing for the D5200 asap...or it's another Subal conversion job for me. Posted Image

In Topic: Considering an Upgrade from Canon HF-S11 to D-SLR Video: Is it Worth the Inve...

06 February 2013 - 09:54 AM

Yep...just go ahead and do it...I did about 5 years ago and have never wanted to go back to the restrictions of a camcorder.

Why? Potentially better video image quality (depends on the DSLR system you decide on); better lens quality/choice; versatility (ultra macro-to-ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel)) for still and video acquisition. More ergonomic once you get used to the DSLR housing characteristics.

edit: I don't know WTF is going on...why is "weitwinkel" being auto-inserted in my post? Mein gott in himmel...