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Nick Hope

Member Since 12 Sep 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 05:04 PM

#385002 Panasonic LUMIX GH5 for underwater video

Posted by Nick Hope on 12 June 2017 - 10:02 PM

An u/w pro shooter friend of mine switched from GH4 to Canon 1DXii and says he's now able to leave AF on for most stuff.

#383960 Are you shooting 30-50-60 FPS?

Posted by Nick Hope on 10 May 2017 - 07:29 PM

I disagree that 1080p will become obsolete very soon. There is plenty of life left in that format. My YouTube stuff is watched more on phones than any other device these days, and only The Six Million Dollar Man or a Sony Xperia salesman can tell the difference between 1080 and 4k on a phone. 1080p on a TV is also quite acceptable to most normal people.

#383656 Grass Valley Mync - videos and photo catalog and fast edit software

Posted by Nick Hope on 28 April 2017 - 07:52 PM

Thanks. That does look like a useful program.


What I was looking for was a full-blown hierarchical database of media assets, with categories and sub-categories of tag so that I can find my media for example by dive-site+species+format+time-of-day etc.. Sony Creative Software had this with Media Manager, and it worked well, although it could have been better if they had developed it a little. It still works in Magix Vegas Pro but unfortunately the Windows 10 Anniversary update broke it and I don't see any evidence of Magix fixing or developing it. Unfortunately I have 24,000 fully-tagged items in my libraries so it's not easy to switch. Vee-Hive was the nearest thing I could find when I last researched this but will it be there in the long-term and support future formats?

#383527 Anyone happy with their TriPod?

Posted by Nick Hope on 24 April 2017 - 06:44 PM

Follow up question; u guys bring your tripod when going down with a wide angle lens or is it straight macro for yall?

Sent from my E5603 using Tapatalk


I have and haven't taken it. If you want lengthy, rock-stable shots for example for stock footage or aquarium/relaxation-style videos then a tripod helps a lot even with a very wide lens. But if you want to be mobile for tracking shots etc. you might want to do without it. Having said that, a rig with a lot of inertia can help smooth out moving shots, and a tripod can play a part in that. The trade off is having to swim harder to push it along. Also, weight at the bottom (tripod) offset by floatation at the top can help your rig's trim by keeping it upright. It's possible to over-do that though, making it difficult to point the rig at other angles.

#383389 Anyone happy with their TriPod?

Posted by Nick Hope on 21 April 2017 - 01:13 AM

Could u post a few pics or a little video on how u managed the panning? Would be much appreciated!


Excuse the foot! Also, I do sometimes do a panning shot, controlling the rotation of the housing with my thumbs. But more often than not I'm just panning to position the camera for a static shot.


#383349 Anyone happy with their TriPod?

Posted by Nick Hope on 19 April 2017 - 06:52 PM

There's a big problem with the Xit404 twist clamps and that Zen tripod base because the ball adapters are pointing in generally the same direction that the legs usually would. This means that when you twist the leg, the clamp can just spin and not tighten because the ball's mount post is not in the way to stop it. You can even see that happen in the video twice (e.g. at 01:49). Just tried it on my Xit404 tripod with the legs pointing straight out in the same direction as the balls. They just spin and don't tighten. Traditional clamps are definitely the way to go with that base in my opinion.


One thing I do on my Xit404 base is actually pan the camera. It's not designed to do that but it works. I can rotate the whole housing around the central screw by pushing with my thumbs. I have a plastic sheet bonded to it (by a cobbler with shoe glue) to make it smoother. You can't do that if you use 2 screws, but it does look like you could use only one with the Zen base.


Also those Inon legs look like they might be floaty, especially if they're sealed and not designed to flood and drain. One thing I like about my Xit404 tripod is the weight. However the Inon legs look a bit longer, which is good. I very often yearn for a few more inches, even at Lembeh and Anilao, where you would imagine everything is low down. It's not, and the Xit404 legs are very often just a bit short. Oh and the Inon telescopic arms are $123.85 EACH.

#380913 Shooting Macro for the first time

Posted by Nick Hope on 24 January 2017 - 08:41 PM

I would shoot 4k. Hopefully, once you're framed and shooting, the camera will be settled on something, preferably some sort of tripod, and still.


"Somewhere in the middle" of the range usually works best for aperture. Don't go too very small or you'll get diffraction and the image will go soft. Better get the lights closer than go very wide, unless you specifically want a shallow depth of field.


Longer light arms give more options including backlighting. But if it's your first time then try one from the front and one from the side, or just a single light from one side or directly above before getting too fancy with backlighting.


For me, the Keldan 4x are too wide for macro. More backscatter gets lit up and it's difficult not to light the background as well as the subject. I 3D printed shades for mine but then eventually changed to narrower FIX lights.


Framing.... Try to get at least one wide establishing shot. Often you can do this after getting your tight shots as it's usually easier and faster to get. Also try to get low down so you can see more distant background to give shots depth.

#380342 Panasonic LUMIX GH5 for underwater video

Posted by Nick Hope on 07 January 2017 - 06:29 PM

Won't be be getting the anamorphic full sensor (4:3) 5K readout in one of the FW updates? This will provide similar image to the 1440p ?


Maybe but my point was, I reckon at 400Mbps there's a good chance they could manage 10-bit 4:2:2 60p at 2.7k, which would be a preferable format for me to shoot because of the scope to stabilize and pan/crop it then deliver full HD. They presumably won't be able to manage that quality at 5K or they would also offer it at 4K. I probably should have left 1440p out of it as I forget that's 4:3, not 16:9 :swimmingfish: 


However, I still think the GH5 is a big update from GH4 shooters, even if it was still only shooting 4K@30p. We now have full width of the sensor, no rolling shutter, the IBIS / DualIS for more silky smooth shoots, better ISO performance, AutoISO and fingers crossed better color rendition.

I totally agree. It appears to be a great upgrade. My personal reason for probably skipping is partly due to spending more time in post than shooting in the next year or two.

#379684 Winter musings

Posted by Nick Hope on 16 December 2016 - 05:10 PM

Yes 4k at 60 frames sounds great - I just wonder how much it will be compressed at 150 mbps.


Yeah I guess the Z100 still "wins" in that respect as it has an equivalent 150 Mbps UHD mode, but also can shoot XAVC Intra 4:2:2 VBR at up to 600 Mbps max. (and true 4K).

#379233 Diving the Salish Sea

Posted by Nick Hope on 29 November 2016 - 06:06 PM

Very nice. The sharpness and colour of those macro shots is great. Was all that macro shot with a CX550 in a L&M housing? Did you use an extra macro lens?

#379193 DSLR vs. designated video camera.

Posted by Nick Hope on 28 November 2016 - 06:14 PM

Now I'm shooting video with a "stills" camera (Panasonic GH4), these are some features I miss on my previous designated video cameras:


1. Wide range of focal lengths in one zoom lens

2. Better auto-focus

3. Longer depth of field (unless I specifically want a shallow DOF)

4. Flippable color-correction filter

5. Flippable ND filter (or at least an auto ND filter)

6. Smooth aperture adjustment (not in steps)

7. Simpler menu and controls

8. Better ergonomics for video


You potentially have most of those advantage in the AX33 over the D7100 (but probably not #5) and #4 would depend on the housing.


As a very general statement, designated video cameras are good for wide angle, underwater "run and gun" style shooting when you don't have much time. DSLRs etc. are good where you have time to set up a shot, such as benthic macro.

#378640 Vimeo Vs Youtube in 2017

Posted by Nick Hope on 09 November 2016 - 07:58 PM

You were on YouTube from the beginning.
What are the reasons?
How do you find the overal streaming quality?


Started posting on YouTube in 2006 and became a partner in 2009. I've stayed with them since because I get paid, because I like how ubiquitous YouTube is, so my videos get seen by more people, and because they have loads of features that the other platforms don't have. I'm happy enough with the streaming quality. The biggest issue I face with YouTube is that Facebook suppresses posts and comments that contain YouTube videos or links because they want their own video platform to dominate. I suppose they may well suppress Vimeo the same.

#378407 Color Correcting Purple Water

Posted by Nick Hope on 02 November 2016 - 07:16 PM

Any comments?


The water colour looks good but to my eye the shark and diver are a bit too magenta/red.

#378325 Deep Macro

Posted by Nick Hope on 31 October 2016 - 06:19 PM

That scooter is fat enough to act as your tripod unless you specifically want shots of the top of the sea pen. Lay it down and if it won't settle in a stable position, weigh it down or wedge a rock or something under the side of it. Set the front of the port about 30cm from the polyps and start there. Do an auto focus then lock focus and ease the whole rig forwards or backwards for fine adjustment if you need to. Even lighting from each side will tend to make the subject flat. I would try with one light from the front and one from the side, but you may well get a more pleasing shot with just one light either from the side or from directly above, so after the shot with 2 lights, you can simply turn one on at a time. Try and get the lens's aperture "somewhere in the middle" of the range. Avoid very small aperture which will soften the image. If you follow your camera's exposure, this may well make the subject a little overexposed since it will be bright, relatively small subject against a darker background. This is a mistake I often make. If anything, drop the exposure down a little from what the camera says is correct. Perhaps try a shot with auto white balance and one with a manual white balance suitable for your lights' colour temperature, unless you're already confident in which will work best. Let the shots run long enough to remove the wobbles in post-production and to let any sediment settle down.

#377075 Canon 5D Mark IV.....

Posted by Nick Hope on 15 September 2016 - 09:35 PM

No 60p 4k so I'm not interested.


However I could imagine myself buying a used 5Dmk2 or 5D mk3 or 1DC wide-angle rig one day, just for the lovely colour rendition.