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Member Since 25 Oct 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:33 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Atomos Flame Housing

19 October 2016 - 09:38 PM

Hey Trickster,


Just curious if you've had a chance to use this setup in the water yet. If you have, any feedback? 


I'm seriously considering this as an option for my A7RII rig right now, but I'd like to hear from people who have had experience using them in the field. The size and brightness of the monitor make it really appealing even without the external recording options (which aren't all that different from the internal recording options on the A7RII). 


That FS7 housing from Sealux does look pretty sweet, though. It'd be nice to have a housing with a proper video-camera trim and egonomic characteristics rather than a photo camera housing. 

In Topic: Sony a7s II underwater use -- All parameters

15 October 2016 - 01:39 AM

I've been a bit busy to update this thread recently, but I've been doing a lot of shooting and testing underwater the past few weeks with the A7RII.


In the 0-10 meter range (with good visibility), the best settings I've come across are No Picture Profile, Autumn Leaves creative style (boosts contrast and red/yellow saturation), -0.7EV exposure in manual mode with auto ISO 100-3200 range. This creates a really nice, punchy image right out of camera without any highlight clipping. No filters needed. It also works surprisingly well with a bit of fill light from torches -- but you have to be careful, as too much fill light can give the overall footage too much of a reddish tint. Of course, a bit of reddish tint isn't a disaster, as it can be dialed back by pushing green/blue in the highlights in post-processing. It's much easier to remove excess reds in post than it is to create them from nothing, in my experience. 


Here is some footage at 6 meters using using the above settings, no color correction filters, and one Gates GT14 light on it's lowest setting (around 5000 lumens). No color correction was done on this in post, it's straight out-of-camera footage.




Unfortunately, I'm still struggling to find a workable solution for white balancing below 10 meters. It seems that, just like custom white balance, the camera's auto underwater white balance algorithm is limited to a maximum of 10k color temperature, whereas the canon cameras can go up to 50k. So below 10 meters, ambient light footage is still going to be mostly greenish/blue. Of course, you can address this by just using powerful video lights and shooting with a fixed white balance to match the lights, which will produce very nice colorful foregrounds if you're deep enough that your lights can out-compete the ambient light. But this is limited -- it means the transition from the lit foreground to the unlit background is quite harsh, so you have to be very selective in your composition and framing.


Has anyone been able to get good results below 10 meters using filters to supplement the camera's white balance capabilities?

In Topic: Atomos Flame Housing

10 September 2016 - 10:56 PM

That's quite the contraption you've got yourself there, Trickster! Hehe..zoom-through wet lenses do sound good in theory. How do you find managing switching them underwater?

Recently I've started to notice I have trouble composing with the monitor of my A7rii underwater. I suppose it's mainly an issue of needing a prescription mask, but the idea of having a large external monitor I can position at different angles and use for critical exposure/ focus definitely appeals to me. If it's practical.

On the other hand, I totally hear what you're saying, bubffm. But what options do we really have for a large sensor interchangeable lens camera for underwater use? A Red raven runs 20k+ once you add a housing and the reports i hear are that the sensor isn't so good out of the box with the red channel.An FS7 is probably 15k with a housing and you going even get raw without an external recorder. None is nagging housings for the FS5 or Ursa Mini as far as I know..

I'd love to have a camera that I can take underwater that does 4k at 60p in at least a 10bit 4:2:2 broadcast approved codec, but there isn't anything at the prosumer level at the moment.

In Topic: Atomos Flame Housing

10 September 2016 - 05:13 AM

Interesting. Yeah, I heard from Scubacam in Singapore that Nauticam was producing this, but it seems Nauticam hasn't been doing much publicizing. Did you own the Shogun housing before, Trickster? What refinements are you referencing? Is the size/weight similar?

In Topic: Sony a7s II underwater use -- All parameters

10 September 2016 - 04:53 AM

Well the deep shot is so defective with its magenta color that I don't think anything could help it.  The question is, if it had been shot in a sLog profile, would it be easier to correct?


Thanks for taking the time to do that.


No, it would be even harder to correct. SLOG is meant to solve issues with dynamic range -- i.e. a very contrasty scene where the brightest part of the image and the darkest parts of the image are more than 7-8 stops apart. The scene you filmed isn't one of those situations. It's easy to tell -- just put up the histogram when recording the video or a waveform monitor in your video editor. Most likely, when shooting with no picture profile, you'll find that neither your blacks nor your whites are clipping. So you can easily represent all of the image in 7-8 stops of the standard no picture profile. All SLOG will do is compress those 7-8 stops of contrast into 3-4 instead.  


After further testing over the past two days, I've basically found no situations where you NEED more than 7-8 stops shooting ambient light underwater. Think about it -- all those particles in the water strip away contrast resulting in a very flat image. That's why the most important rule of underwater photography/videography is to get as close to your subject as possible. The only situation where the scene has greater contrast than that is if you're shooting directly into the sun AND you're trying to preserve detail in the highlights AND the shadows (as opposed to just silhuetting whatever you're shooting against the sun). How often do you find yourself doing this with ambient light underwater?


SLOG only helps you preserve more luminance detail. It does not help you preserve more color detail. In fact, because it compresses the luminance range, it actually preserves less color detail. So no.. color correction of SLOG footage is never going to be easier than color correction of non-slog footage. 


I will try to post some more of the tests I've done, including some UAWB tests in the 10-12 meter range and using all the different picture styles to see which creates the best colors over the next few days (or weeks.. I have a busy week next week). In the meantime, I'll leave you with another screen grab from a video shot today. No picture profile, picture style standard, 3m, underwater auto white balance. Attached File  20160910-.jpg   152.43KB   12 downloads