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Nick Hope

Member Since 12 Sep 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 05:38 AM

#370067 New Nauticam 29 port for Panasonic 14-42mm PZ could be a blast for 4K video s...

Posted by Nick Hope on 03 February 2016 - 11:45 PM

Thanks Lutfu. That certainly looks pretty sharp, and wider than the 12-50 at 12mm without a wet lens. But it's US$1165 for the parts to make that work, and then you've got a lens that vignettes at the wide end :( ... And my shopping list to switch over to a PZ 14-42mm system with WWL-1 totals US$2015! I'm going to wait and use what I've got already until I see where Panasonic goes with the GH5 etc..


I don't think [Pana 14-42 II Mega + port35 + WWL-1] vignettes, but I'm sure others will confirm that. I'm not sure.

#370066 High CRI video lights for macro work

Posted by Nick Hope on 03 February 2016 - 11:27 PM

The FIX NEO 1000 is cheaper and have more light in the spot mode 600 vs 500 lumens... Color temp is rated the same. Could be better. They are only listed for 369 euro a piece.

I've just noticed the FIX Neo Mini 1000 SW too. Looks like a focus light but the specs aren't so far off the FIX Neo 1000 DX SW. There are no CRI specs published, and no output adjustment [Edit: It says 25% steps], but you can put them nearer or further away from your subject, and your camera has plenty of things to adjust anyway. And what's not to love about tiny lights like this at less than $300? I do think they're worthy of serious consideration for macro. A while ago I was considering the previous Mini 500 version as a 3rd "backlight", behind my subject. Topside tests were promising, but I decided to save myself the hassle of a 3rd light for now.

But still sceptical that 600 lumen spot is enough for a high f setting on my GH4...


Be wary of high f settings on the Olympus 60mm macro lens. Diffraction kicks in at smaller apertures, as on any lens, and degrades the image. Take a look at line 7 below. In my tests it's sharpest at f4, good at f2.8 to f5.6, OK at f6.3 to f13, bad at f14 to f18, terrible at f20 and f22. I have a mini version of line 7 actually stuck to my macro port to remind me what to use and what not to. Lines 2 and 3 are for the Olympus 12-50 in wide mode and macro mode.


#370020 High CRI video lights for macro work

Posted by Nick Hope on 03 February 2016 - 12:18 AM

Really, I'm not wiser after reading this!

I should have saved myself the time and effort then!

#366426 Blending In - Lacy Bryozoan and its Inhabitants

Posted by Nick Hope on 23 October 2015 - 11:32 PM

The near-white lacy bryozoan, Triphyllozoon inornatum, has been getting attention from divers over the past couple of years since various inhabitants were spotted living in them at Ambon. In this video from Lembeh was see the same species of bryozoan hosting a soon-to-be-described bryozoan goby, a bryozoan crab (Pachycheles garciaensis) and a bryozoan snapping shrimp (Synalpheus sp.).


I originally made this as a quick video for a bryozoan specialist to confirm the ID of the bryozoan for Gerry Allen to put in his paper when he describes the goby, but I decided to make a bit more of it.


Shot with a Panasonic GH4 in a Nauticam NA-GH4 housing. I used an Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens with Nauticam CMC (and the 60mm f2.8 macro lens for the crab shots).


#365918 4K downscale vs 1080p

Posted by Nick Hope on 05 October 2015 - 08:41 PM

The story goes that if you do the downscaling the right way, you can effectively have 4:4:4 colour sampling to work with instead of 4:2:0, and debatably you can increase bit depth from 8 to 10. A visual comparison on your monitors probably wouldn't reveal that extra quality, but you might be able to do more grading etc. with it in post if you do it the right way. Lots out there on this subject including this.


Also, you have scope in some methods to use different downscaling kernels such as bilnear, bicubic, Lanczos and spline. These affect sharpness and give you some element of control in the look when you downscale.

  • r4e likes this

#365783 Reflecting problem

Posted by Nick Hope on 01 October 2015 - 10:02 PM

I color Scotch 3M Magic Tape with a permanent black marker and use that. It doesn't leave a residue and doesn't move around.

#365671 GH4 Pros & Cons list before make my final choice.

Posted by Nick Hope on 28 September 2015 - 10:05 PM

You do need a monitor. I am using the 7" Dive and See DNC-7A(H1) which is waterproof and doesn't need a housing. I got a little corrosion on the first trip, especially around the white painted graphics, but it seems to have stopped on the subsequent trips so I'm cautiously optimistic about it lasting. I have disabled its exposure/focusing aids, which are useless, and am just using the GH4 ones, which do show on the monitor. At the moment I don't regret buying it and I don't fancy the current alternatives. I don't think the big shade helps much, and I have stopped using it for now. It too often obscured the red recording spot in the top right of the monitor, meaning I couldn't see when I was "anti-filming" (which is quite often!).


For me, focus was the biggest challenge in moving from an ENG video cam, closely followed by exposure. I used to use autofocus and autoexposure a lot on my old video cameras. I could be nailing a shot within fractions of a second of spotting something. No chance with a GH4 unless you're super lucky to have your settings already correct.


Autofocus is just horrible. Underwater it might seem like it's doing OK but when you get it on the computer you can see the "micro-hunting". Sometimes, if the lens allows (e.g. not Oly 12-50), I just use manual focus. Or if I'm in AFS mode I lock off the focus before the shot using the AF/AE button (so I get "AFL" rather than "AFS" at the top right of the display). I quite often then switch to manual focus mode so I can check the peaking. I also often switch to manual focus mode during a shot, especially with wider shots (doing this is in fact exactly the equivalent of the AF LOCK you said you don't have in the first post). Long thumbs help avoid wobbles! And because of the faint click I can usually see the moment I made the switch in the waveform on the audio track in my NLE, which can be very useful.


Pics of my latest GH4 full macro setup (before I removed the monitor shade) with Olympus 60mm macro and Nauticam CMC with flip adapter. My expression is because I thought it was about to blow over!...





#365406 Panasonic GH4 advanced settings

Posted by Nick Hope on 19 September 2015 - 11:02 PM

The cameras may be close with daylight WB topside, but I think it's in underwater manual white balance that the Canon cameras excel. I haven't seen anyone nail an underwater wide angle look with a GH* that is as nice as nicely done Canon 5D footage. But I'd still like to believe it's possible to get close with the right techniques in white balance and post production.

#365351 Panasonic GH4 advanced settings

Posted by Nick Hope on 17 September 2015 - 09:40 PM

Does anyone change the luminance, master pedestal and highlight shadow curve when shooting and why?


This is what I'm doing both underwater and topside:


Photo Syle: Natural

    Contrast: -2 (I might go to 0 as I'm always adding contrast in post anyway)

    Sharpness: -2 (I might go to -5 and do it all in post. Need to test in-camera vs post sharpening)

    Noise reduction: -2 (I think -5 to 0 are all valid settings depending on your post production workflow)

    Saturation: 0

    Hue: 0

i.Dynamic: Off

i.Resolution: Off

Master pedestal: 0

Luminance level: 0-255

Highlight/Shadow: 0

White Balance: 3300K adjusted to A:5 M:5 (with my Keldan 4X lights)


These are based on my own testing as well as what others do and recommend (including the video courses by Dave Dugdale and Caleb Pike).


I shoot 0-255 because I correct/grade every clip I publish and confirm to broadcast/web video levels (16-235 with an individual chroma channel allowed to go to 240 if the overall luminance is under 236), so I want to use the full 8 bits rather than limiting myself to 7.78 bits of 16-235. However 0-255 doesn't give the error-room that 16-235 does, so exposure is more critical to avoid clipping, and I quite often mess up a little.


I won't be using VLOG-L for shooting internally, despite having the "free" version. Not enough benefit to justify the drawbacks.


As to Luminance, a lot with depend on where you want your videos shown - some systems show 0-255 correctly, some cut off 0-15 and 236-255 (so you get clipping) and some are clever enough to squeeze 0-255 into 16-235. Youtube appears to show 16-255 (so only clipping 0-15)


In the vast majority of playback scenarios, YouTube shows 16-235 and clips >235 as well as <16.


Test video is here:


#365309 Devils in the sky at Cannibal rock,Komodo by GH4

Posted by Nick Hope on 16 September 2015 - 09:17 PM

Nice video Nu.


I agreed with Peter about the video being too red at some parts where your lights are reaching the subject. I would try a cooler white balance. When shooting with my GH4 with my Keldans I use 3300K adjusted to A:5 M:5, for macro but also for wider shots where the lights are reaching the foreground subjects. That might be too far in the opposite direction. I need to do more testing really, but that has put me in a range where I can control the colours in post.


As for YouTube vs Video, although Vimeo was traditionally superior to YouTube in terms of quality, recent stuff I've been reading has been saying the opposited is not true. Haven't tested it myself though. Always be sure to upload a really high quality file.

#365203 the thing

Posted by Nick Hope on 13 September 2015 - 07:41 PM

Very interesting Lutfu. Congratulations on a great capture and getting licensed by NatGeo. Must have been a nice payday.

#364505 LOG Footage - Opinions on Underwater Use?

Posted by Nick Hope on 21 August 2015 - 10:12 PM

My general feeling, mostly from what I've read rather than done, is that the higher quality the format the captured footage is, the more worthwhile it is to shoot LOG. For example...


8-bit 4:2:0 - Not really worth it. Better to shoot nearer to your final look (but ensuring no more contrast, saturation or sharpness than your final look so that if anything you are increasing these a little in post rather than reducing them).


10-bit 4:2:2 - More worth it


12-bit 4:4:4 - Definitely worth it because you can do so much to it without noticeably degrading the quality


If you shoot wide-angle with a very flat profile in 8-bit 4:2:0, you risk more banding in the water when you add contrast and stretch out the mid-tones.


Having said that, if it's free when it comes out I might try it on my GH4 (internal recording) to see how it goes.

#364174 3 From Frederiksted Pier

Posted by Nick Hope on 11 August 2015 - 09:36 PM

Last one looks like a cowry to me.

#364074 Stiliger sp.. A new species of sea slug

Posted by Nick Hope on 08 August 2015 - 09:36 PM

I shot this footage of a sacoglossan (sap-sucking slug) in May in the Lembeh Strait.


I was unable to find a match for it in my references, and Terry Gosliner (on the strength of 1 frame grab), reckoned it was a new species of Stiliger sp., so I made a little YouTube video of it.


I particularly like how you can see the material traveling up and down the ducts of the digestive gland.


Shot with my Panasonic GH4 in a Nauticam NA-GH4 housing. I used an Olympus M.Zuiko ED 60mm f2.8 macro lens and a Nauticam CMC. Quite a lot of the shots are cropped from 2160p to 1080p to give more effective magnification.


#363999 18 Years - A Story of a Broken Curse

Posted by Nick Hope on 06 August 2015 - 10:44 PM

Apparently it was director Charles Lewis who said "A dissolve (or any other transition) is just a cut looking for a place to happen."


In traditional editing "grammar", a dissolve signifies a lapse in time. This seems to be what Dustin is (successfully) conveying with most of those dissolves in the sketching sequence, but I guess some of them could be cleaner as a straight cut.


IMO dissolves also still have an occasional place for simply "smoothing things out", especially when limited by the nature of the footage. I have gone a bit to the opposite extreme these days, and use straight cuts almost exclusively, where actually the occasional dissolve might help.