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Member Since 16 Jan 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:21 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: 4K: Current Pro- and Semi-Pro Underwater Filming Options

31 May 2015 - 09:08 AM

GH4 - Aquatica housing

In Topic: Why do you shoot underwater?

28 May 2015 - 02:16 AM

I shoot mainly u/w video plus the occasional stills in order to share with everybody the art, "the feeling of diving" and "being there" at exotic dive locations. Most of my exotic dive locations do not contain colorful fishes or other fauna. I am trying to capture the "other worldly" feeling of being able to witness rare scenery whether it is a deep mine, Siberian cave or a long lost sea wreck still intact after centuries under water. Instead of documenting the entire journey, i.e. pre and post dive, my shots concentrate on the good parts.


For the "why" question, the answer is that I just enjoy capturing the scenery for my later viewing and sharing with the public. My message is that you should not miss the experiences and opportunities diving might enable.


Occasionally I have considered sending something to competitions, but, the timetables rarely match. However for me, it would be very strange to actually plan to shoot competition material and use this a target/discipline for the dive.


Of course, I do envy the pictures of many pros and competition winners.


The only semiprofessional shooting I do is related to documenting marine archaelogy findings. Here clear presentation and measurements is more important than artistic values.

In Topic: Car wax for your camera housing??? Whaaaa

16 April 2015 - 11:32 PM

I would not use "any old silicone" on the metal parts either. It might be incompatible with the O-rings, both the visible ones and the ones hidden inside the button and shaft holes of the housing.


If you want to keep your Aquatica (or any other) housing in pristine condition, I recommend the following:


Soak and rinse your housing after every dive even if you did not dive in salt water. Soak the housing for atleast half an hour in fresh water. In the beginning, at the middle and at the end, remember to operate all the pushbuttons, knobs and levers. The idea is to get rid of any sand grit, fine silt and salt water/crystals. I can tell that these cumulate in the various holes if you do not rinse the housing properly.


Take care of the main and dome port O-rings according to manufacturer's instructions. You should regularly observe the condition of the O-rings for any signs of decay, softening/hardening, cracks or other flaws and replace these O-rings when needed.


Unless you are really confident in DIY fine mechanics, be prepared to send the housing to a proper service center for a complete overhaul and replacing of all internal O-rings if you are experiencing repeatedly jamming or excessive friction of any of the controls. From a risk management perspective, it is better to replace the internal O-rings before they leak.

In Topic: Tenerife, Canary Islands

23 March 2015 - 11:26 AM

Like Mr. Benitez pointed out, much of the sea areas west of Tenerife are protected areas for whales and dolphins. However, if you are lucky, you might see individual dolphins or groups of dolphins occasionally near some of the fish farms. Many of the Los Cristianos and Playa Americas based dive companies pass the fish farms south of Los Cristianos daily. However, these companies might not accomodate your needs, if you need longer dive times etc. There are also fish farms further north.


There are some dive companies who are more flexible for the needs of photographers, e.g. Solo Buceo and La Morena Diving, but their regular routes do not pass the fish farms.

In Topic: Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

10 February 2015 - 02:14 AM

I respect Jonathan's views as a professional who needs to rely on the production process - i.e. efficient work and less missed shots.


However, I personally moved from a video camera (Sony MC50E for semipro use) to a DSLR (Canon 5DIII) for the following reasons:

- Overall better image quality

- Less noise

- Better colors (but only after learning how to do it properly)

- Sharper video


Yes, I occasionally make the mistake of shooting out of focus footage due to the clumsiness of focusing. However, I plan to solve this By a) back button focus, b) external monitor and c) perhaps Magic Lantern.


I DO miss the optical image stabilization of my previous video camera. It is more difficult to avoid shake with a DLSR housing even it is almost perfectly balanced.


Even though the 5DIII is quite sensitive, I am still bothered by noise in the darker areas of the image, especially since I prefer to shoot with lights off-camera. Denoisers do help a bit though.


Since Jonathan recommends a video camera for the "advanced" user, I wonder what options are there between the image quality of a DSLR and a RED, and, have an ergonomic housing available - not just a piece of plastic pipe. In this forum there has been some concern about FS100 suitability in deeper/darker waters. There is not much information about FS700. And cropping factors and limited battery life eliminate some other choices.


Conclusion/question: is there any good video camera available for "advanced" u/w use?