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Nick Hope

Member Since 12 Sep 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 07:32 AM

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I originally made this as a quick video for a bryozoan specialist to confirm the ID of the bryozoan for Gerry Allen to put in his paper when he describes the goby, but I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

#361761 4K Cutterfish & octopus from Anilao

Posted by Nick Hope on 02 June 2015 - 10:45 PM

Good job Moses. I love the crab hanging onto the octopus.

#361760 Warna berwarna Raja Ampat by GH4

Posted by Nick Hope on 02 June 2015 - 10:33 PM

I just use the simple way cut the filter followed the shape of lens buttom and  just use the thin tape stick it with the lens.I didn't know that you can replace the lens bayonet like the one on 8mm fisheye.Please let me know if you know how's it work?

I also used Magic Tape the other day to stick some ND gel to the back of my 7-14mm. It's fiddly and inelegant, but works OK. Use Scotch Magic Tape, not Sellotape, so it doesn't leave a residue.
Look here for the story of fitting the 8mm filter holder to the back of the 7-14mm. You need Panasonic part number VXQ1911 (and possibly more), which might be difficult outside the USA. Also I recall that it's not just a straight swap. A bit of fiddling/fettling is required? If anyone plans to do this, please keep us informed how it goes and where you got the parts. I'm interested.

I use photo style CinelikeD with some adjusting Contrast +2 , Sharpness +2,Hue +5 and some post color editing in FCPX.

Those are really unconventional settings. Seems like most users are reducing contrast and sharpness, and leaving hue at 0. But anyway if it works, it works. Here I'm still using Natural -2/-2/-2/0/0, and adding contrast and sharpness in post. I sometimes feel like just going with totally default Standard.
p.s. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens coming end of June. USD 1299 ;)  I wonder if Nauticam supports it.

#361338 Locline. Does it always creak?

Posted by Nick Hope on 20 May 2015 - 02:11 AM

Nick, why you want to adapt Gorillapod and not use simple locline parts? Are they different?

Because of the noise! They creak (not "crack") when you move them like a very loud door in a haunted house. Fellow divers don't like it and some marine life doesn't either.


Locline is hollow. Gorillapod is solid and doesn't creak.