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Davide DB

Member Since 30 Nov 2010
Offline Last Active Nov 28 2015 05:55 AM

#366312 Out There #2: The Crack

Posted by Davide DB on 20 October 2015 - 12:44 AM

A deep dive in a strange deep place to test a prototipe of a couple of 12K lumen video lights.

Video nothing special, just a proof of concept for an upcoming project.



Out there, a few hundreds of meters apart from mooring buoys, nearby walls, reefs and wrecks there is a unknown world waiting to be (re) discovered. (https://goo.gl/P4yc1E)


Is the case of this huge underwater crack in Giannutri island, discovered by chance during a scooter ride on the lunar-like seabed. Simone Nicolini has told me so much about this place that we jokingly nickname it "Nicolini's Abyss". Later I discovered that "The Crack" was well known to other seasoned tech divers but nobody was able to give me a convincing description: depth, lack of reference points, low visibility played an important role giving this place an aura of mystery.
Hence the idea with Simone to film and document The Crack. Unfortunately we dove it just once in a low viz.


After seeing the clips my son is absolutely convinced that The Crack is no less than Godzilla's lair but geologists have a different opinion...


The Crack is located in this position: https://goo.gl/maps/ij2vbcjFfLv


Typically, moving out to sea, the island seabed slopes away up to 30/35 meters when a cliff side drops vertically to 50/60 meters. The seabed slopes away again to 70/90 meters where rock masses form small cliffs. Further on it gently slopes off to 100 meters and beyond.
The Crack has a rippling profile which follow the shape of a rock mass at about 95 meters and beyond. Its orientation is north-south, approximately parallel to the island west coast. In some points the crevice is just few centimeters wide while in a couple of points it is over one meter wide allowing a diver to carefully explore it inside. It looks like a tight cave follows the crack profile on the bottom.

We didn't find any dragon-tooth but my son didn't change his opinion :)



#365763 Panasonic GH4 advanced settings

Posted by Davide DB on 01 October 2015 - 04:34 AM

While I do not know which camera (Canon or Sony) was used in the natural light shallow shots, CC applied seems very close to the Dustin video mentioned above. Great video!


#365760 Reflecting problem

Posted by Davide DB on 01 October 2015 - 12:40 AM

Rule #1: tape all writings on the lens :)


Someone just write them with a black marker. I prefer covering them with removable tape and then write the tape with the marker.

So if one day I will sell my lens it will be intact.



I used a Sony 10-18mm lens and it's worse than that: all the front ring is silver glossy!!!

#365437 Panasonic GH4 advanced settings

Posted by Davide DB on 21 September 2015 - 06:32 AM

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.


IMHO color matching camera on land is almost useless. Once underwater, where the ambient light is highly filtered, camera WB algorithm could be severely screwed up.


I remember Panasonic TM700 and TM900 were considered the best consumer camcorders on land. Amazing colors and definition. 

Someone tried to bring them underwater with some all purpose housings... Results were terrible: no matter which WB hey were using, water was green green green.

It was like the camera firmware or maybe sensor was completely deceived from light spectrum underwater.

#365285 Light & Motion: really bad service

Posted by Davide DB on 16 September 2015 - 12:08 AM

Thanks Richard, I think if the application is for commercial reason, then the Keldan probably is justifiable, most people won't even know CRI. The price tag of the Keldan further confirm that it's not for most consumers. I consider myself advance hobbyist at this point and spend the money on dive trip instead :dancing:


I had the opportunity to buy a "like new" pair of Luna 8 CRI lights at a very low price so I gave away my two FishEye Aquavolt 3500 light. I was very satisfied with them and I've been always very skepticla about "industry standard" and CRI advantage.


I was wrong.


Maybe the final result of my videos before/after Keldan it's the same but I spend 1/10 of the time doing CC hence yes Cri 90 keldan lights rocks!



Neverthless I couldn't have afford a pair of them brand new.

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#363686 DPV/Scooter camera mount

Posted by Davide DB on 28 July 2015 - 07:03 AM

I originally had the Stix floats but after 40m they shrink a lot like chewing gum. Even at 30m the loss of buoyancy is small but noticeable.


Here in Italy I bought a pane of this:




Then I cut it in pieces exactly like Stix cubes. I've been using them since two years without problem even at 100m. 

Now they produce these rings already cut at the right measure and 200m guaranteed:




I have a small piece of this: 




It's wonderful but very expensive. Actually closed cell high density PVC or closed cell high density PVC or polyurethane foam is very common but minimum quantity sold is a 2 square meter pane...   Maybe in some small shipyard you could have some scrap. Closed cell foam is used for filling boat decks. (be careful: at least with a density of 75 kg/m3 which bear at 13Bar).

Or maybe on your side you can find some other vendor.

#363187 DPV/Scooter camera mount

Posted by Davide DB on 13 July 2015 - 05:22 AM

Go for the Suex, you will be not disappointed.


Regarding DPV mount there was this old thread:




This is my YellowDiving mount. You have to add a belt and one or two holes based on your camera:



The 3 screws on the head keep the camera in a fixed position or let it rotate while still keep it on the mount. The cons with this nice piece of kit is that if you want to mount/unmount it in the water or underwater you have to loose/tight all of them. It's not so easy especially if you gear is big. It could be difficult reaching the screws  with your finger. For this reason, usually I prefer to mount everything on the boat.

As you see on this photo of the AN-A7 two of the screws are far form reach behind the dome. I was forced to that position because the dome is larger that the housing and very near to the tripod mount hole.




You can see my GH2 on the Yellow diving mount.


SECCA MISENO CON BOCIO_270113_1129.jpg







Once you make your camera rig (housing + lights) nearly neutral buoyant, getting rock stable shots with the scooter is very easy. I like to keep the camera aligned with the scooter handle so I can eventually shoot while scootering. The whole rig (camera and scooter) is so stable that you can shot moving everything with one hand.


The only PITA is that you have to set the camera and press the trigger and then keep filming while far from it. But I become very good to stretch myself toward the housing with one arm to adjust settings :)




#363175 DPV/Scooter camera mount

Posted by Davide DB on 13 July 2015 - 01:45 AM

Hi Eunjae,


Basically a DPV mount is an highly overpriced piece of PVC/Delrin :)


In my team we have both. I have the Yellowdiving because is the cheapest and the small one. 

For a hounsing like NA-Gh2 and GH3 is good. Even fot the NA-A7 is ok provided you make a hole not in the middle.

I don't think it suitable for a DSRL or even a RED camera.


The Suex is very expensive but it's small and has a quick release mechanism that is very useful for two reasons:


  • A DSRL or a RED gear is very heavy out of the water. Even with my small setup sometimes I'm afraid to put in the water my scooter with my camera on it.  With that kind of quick release buckle you can mount it once in the water very easily.
  • I film always with my camera mounted on the scooter. It gives you stable shootings but I agree that some shots require you to have the lowest "point of view". i.e. you cannot film a pennatula in the sand with the camera mounted on your scooter. In such cases, with a quick release buckle like the Suex you can easily mount/unmount it even at depth.



The trick for DPV mounting is having the camera setup and the scooter neutral buoyant independently. I know that it's difficult with some camera setup but it's very important also for emergency reasons. You can keep the camera  in your hands while your scooter stays beside you neutral.


I do not like the single tripod hole as found in the NA-A7. While it's ok for a static tripod it's awkward to securely fix the camera on a DPV. With your arms and light the camera is exposed to big torques and it tends to rotate. On the NA-A7 I had to use a small rubber carpet between the housing and the dpv support and moreover I had to use a star lock washer like this: 




Double tripod holes as found in the Nauticam FlexyTray are far more suited for DPV mounting.




I can post some photo later.

#363082 Mezzo Canale Shoal [Tuscany - Italy]

Posted by Davide DB on 10 July 2015 - 01:57 AM

I'm a bit embarassed to post a low quality video like this but the dive was amazing with a huge biodiversity of deep bentonic species.


I'm servicing my housing so Nauticam lent me a NA-A7 housing with a Sony A7 and a 10-80mm lens.

I used the camera without having the time to study all settings and for the Murphy's Law I had the wrong format: a 1440x1080 mov at 12Mbs :(

Moreover I had the camera set to FF while the lens is APSC. I thought that zooming in a little bit would do the trick but I was wrong.


Anyway, Next video with this setup will be better, I hope ;)




Mezzo Canale Shoal ( http://goo.gl/maps/mGpNj) allows you to experience in a single dive most of the excitements which attract us to the underwater world: the encounter with rare and captivating sea creatures and the sense for both adventure and exploration of a spot in the middle of nowhere. Feelings enhanched by that sense of peacefulness and inner silence, typical of underwater diving.
The huge biodiversity of bentonic species of this shoal reminds us of how the Mediterranean sea would be and what it is we've got to lose with our social behaviour.


Dreams Are For Everyone!


Music Track: "Sea Waves" from the album Cristal Soup by Epsilon Indi epsilonindi.it/


Shot with a Sony A7 + Sony E 10-18mm f4 OSS and a bunch of wrong settings.
Nauticam NA-A7 housing + Ligths Keldan Luna 8 CRI.

#355250 FlexiTray Trigger - Need someone who has a NA-BMPCC!

Posted by Davide DB on 10 December 2014 - 08:52 AM

Hi All,


Because I'm tight and not made of money, so not going to buy the NA-GH4 for the time being for just for the trigger, I'm looking at fudging together a grip Trigger for my NA-GH3 on a FlexiTray similar to the one on the BMPCC.


I've looked at others, but the NA-BMPCC trigger is the best one to base my idea on I think!  I've looked at the photos on ReefPhoto and I can guess at the mechanics of it.


But if anyone has a housing and would be willing to take some photos of it and describe how it works, that would be sweet, as it appears to have the trigger on one pivot and then another to press down on the housing button.


Thanks :)




Hi Richard,


actually if you search on google images specifying "large images" you get some impressive photos...



Just look at this, over 3000px



Try to zoom 1:1 the mechanical part is quite clear.


Or this:



But the Nauticam site has huge hi res images.


Go here:





Click on images in the lower gallery and the on every image just click with the right button and open image in another tab. You will discover that those images are hugeeeeee


#352263 New Panasonic HC-X1000 Camcorder with Amazing 50p/60p 4K at 150Mbps

Posted by Davide DB on 03 September 2014 - 02:56 PM

The heat is on...


Here's an overview of the new Panasonic HC-X1000 Camcorder features with Nick Driftwood from personal-view.com & Driftwood Productions UK and Mark Baber from Panasonic UK.
The HC-X1000 is Panasonic’s brand new prosumer camcorder offering some spectacular new features that compete with similar professional camcorder devices costing two or three times as much.
Notably the key attraction is 4K and one that has an amazing 150Mbps 60 fps (NTSC) and 50 fps (PAL) modes at Ultra HD television (UHD) 3840x2160 pixels.
Not only that, like the Panasonic GH4 m43 4k camera, the X1000 sports full cinema like 4K at 4096x2160 pixels at 24fps plus UHDTV 4K 25p and 30p modes at 3840x2160 pixels.
Field tests coming very soon. Plus how to grade the X1000 with the GH4.



#352229 fogging dome port and lens while video recording

Posted by Davide DB on 02 September 2014 - 09:23 PM

Read this:


Actually the whole thread is worth reading but that post is amazing.


#352042 Mucky Secrets - The Marine Creatures of the Lembeh Strait - Series

Posted by Davide DB on 27 August 2014 - 04:06 AM

Seeing your footage it seems you were there nine months not nine days :)

As I told you my two year's son cannot sleep without seing one episode.
When do you come back there?


#351846 In the shadow of the volcano

Posted by Davide DB on 20 August 2014 - 01:47 PM

A wonderful weekend between the Gulf of Naples and Sorrento with the sight of the Mount Vesuvius above us.


Filmed on three dives:
- Scoglio del Vervece, Massa Lubrense, Naples;
- Isca and Palluscello di Isca, Nerano, Naples.


Unfortunately underwater viz was bad with a annoying current  and particles. I couldn't avoid a lot of backscatter but, who cares! I had a great time diving, filming and.. editing.

Shot on a Panasonic GH2 + Lumix 7-14mm loaded with Nick Driftwood's MOON T7 settings; Nauticam Housing, 2x Keldan Luna 8 CRI lights on camera and 2x FIX Aquavolt3500 lights on model.
Music track: "The Time To Run" by Dexter Britain, licensed through The Music Bed: goo.gl/2QHRKt




#351575 Pygmy Seahorse - Panasonic GH4 4K

Posted by Davide DB on 14 August 2014 - 08:03 AM


I did indeed, and I have 7 lenses for it already. 


7 lenses? Big trigger indeed  :dancing:


Looking forward reading your opinions and some material of course :)


I think I will die with my GH2 like that ones who died with they wonderful PD170 with the HD arrival