Don't over think it, they are all brilliant and you will have a great time. One of my favourites was Shinkoko, epic engine room and lots of life on deck. Oite was great but that's trimix depth. Rio de Janiero engine room has to be one of the greatest week dives ever.
Thanks Simon. You got some nice shots down there. I'm not trying to overthink, I just like to prepare, and if there are wrecks better than others, I want to request certain wrecks. We are doing 7 days on the Siren and 3 days at Blue Lagoon.
I've noticed more muffled swearing on my GH4 footage than my Sony Z1 footage.
Nick, it wasn't muffled, I could hear your swearing in anilao from here. . But you bring up a good point, I think people coming from a video camera background would be frustrated going to a dslr style camera, in fact just the other day, I mentioned to a fellow uw video person they would hate a dslr because of their style of shooting animal behavior. They would miss more shots than they are used to.
I think my issue with the article is Mr. Bird is basically saying you can't be a serious uw videographer unless you shoot with his approved cameras. Which is just not the case.
Another similar article was published a couple years ago from John Ellerbrock from Gates published in Alert diver magazine. He did an excellent job with the pros and cons, and was less biased even though he has something to gain from promoting video cameras. Much better than this particular article. Here is his article. http://www.alertdive.../?a=art&id=1173
Looks like I need to stop filming or just switch to a Go Pro.....
I am sure Jonathan Bird is a well respected underwater filmmaker. But for him to dump on an entire group of videographers is a bit juvenile. I will first off state, that I am very self critical of my own footage, and realize some of the short comings it has. But having said that, I think the quality DSLR's put out are excellent. And to be honest, I think 99% of the world would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a RED and Canon DSLR. Looking at Mr. Birds shots on his website, I believe I could get 95% of them with a DSLR. And on top of that, I could get some shots he couldn't....Not only that, but looking at his footage, I would have to say that I prefer the look of a DSLR compared to his. I am sure with his type of shooting, he has picked the right tool for the job he needs to do. But I don't get slamming everyone else who love to shoot with DSLR's.
Some of these are my opinion, but a few things stuck out to me....
- SLRs typically have lousy audio interfaces, minimal audio controls and substandard audio quality. Audio needs to be handled separately. - Last I checked you don't really need great Audio underwater. Sure topside interviews might miss it, but I don't think the majority of people do that. An Zoom H4N can do the trick....
The DSLR has awkward ergonomics for video. Again, you can work around it, but it’s a pain. - This is true....But guess what, ever think you need a smaller housing to fit into tight spots? I do all the time. A huge camera wouldn't work in a bunch of shots I've. To me this is a wash....And you can get a DSLR housing ergonomic...it just takes being creative.
SLRs have sensors designed for still photos, with 16+ megapixels. - Again, what he says is true....but today's technology is so good, that it is hard for anyone to tell the difference. Sure if you want to get technical, he may be right. But is this really noticeable in the end product? Again 99% of people won't know. Just go film!
Amateurs are now happy to shoot video with a GoPro or the video mode on their point and shoot because it’s small and convenient. Sure, the video is awful, but as they aren’t working for National Geographic, who cares? This statement kind of pisses me off. I don't shoot for NG, and I am not satisfied with a GoPro...He is demeaning anyone who doesn't shoot for NG, should be shooting a GoPro.
A large sensor on an underwater camera is great for light gathering but extremely hard to get in focus. Depth of field is working against you here. When you see your work on a large monitor, you will be shocked how much of it is totally out of focus. - Actually, with a Wide Angle lens its really easy to focus. My guess is some of his stuff if out of focus too....Macro is where is gets a little harder. I agree macro on a traditional video camera is easier...but I will stack my macro up against anyones. OF course his is more documentary, and mine is more artsy...again what are you going for?
One of the greatest gifts of underwater video cameras is the URPRO “flip filter” to selectively add or remove filtration for natural light white balancing. Again, this is my opinion against his, but personally I hate red filters. They don't seem natural at all to me. You can pick it out on any shot that uses them. I prefer a good ole' Manual White Balance with a DSLR. The picture in my opinion is much better.
Dedicated video cameras have par-focal zooms with macro. You can shoot everything from a nudibranch to a whale shark with the same rig on the same dive. The real question is how often do you do that? I tend to go on dives and have a plan with specific things I want to shoot. If I am in Lembeh, and a Manta swims by...oh well...I am there to shoot something specific. If I am socorro, I am not there to shoot nudibranchs..I can't even think of a specific dive, where I have really regretted a lens choice....Do you homework and you will have the right lens on.
Can you get decent underwater video from a DSLR? Sure, sometimes. If you are shooting video where color isn’t that important (or you have some big lights on the rig), there isn’t a lot of fine detail that will suffer from aliasing and moiré, and you get it in focus, it will look fine. But in the vast majority of situations, a video camera in a proper video housing will produce a superior image. - Naaa...color isn't important. This is a ridiculous statement. I have had Howard Hall compliment my films saying that he thought that the color I was getting out of my Canon was better than his RED EPIC...certainly you get other advantages out of the RED, but I thought that was a great compliment. Even if it didn't, for him to say that, to me tells me that the color is pretty good.
If you really want to shoot decent video, think seriously about a dedicated video camera in a dedicated video housing. - How about everyone just go out and shoot some video of some awesome stuff underwater!! Pick the right camera for you, and don't listen to people pigeon hole you into their opinions.
Video Cameras have a lot to offer, but so do DSLR's. DSLR's are cheaper for similar quality video, backup cameras are easy, smaller, easier to travel with, great optics, and certainly more flexible. Me personally, I am waiting to upgrade my Canon 5d Mark II, which by the way still produces awesome video!, with hopefully a new Canon DSLR that can shoot 4k at 30 fps. I think Canon WB's is fantastic, and their lens selection is second to none. Heck, if the sony a7s did internal 4k and could WB, I would buy that today.
To be honest, I read this article a few days ago, and it kind of made me angry. Stop telling people what they are doing is wrong, and just encourage people to pick up any camera they can get a hold of and start being creative! If thats a go pro, or a photographer with a dslr that might try video and end up loving it...great! But don't make people feel like they can't get great video unless you shoot what the "pros" do. BTW, there's more than a few pro's who shoot dslrs..