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peterbkkMember Since 25 May 2005
Offline Last Active Sep 05 2014 03:18 AM
- Group Member
- Active Posts 706
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- Member Title Great Hammerhead
- Age 57 years old
- Birthday April 1, 1957
Scuba Diving, Photographry Underwater Video.
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Camera Model & Brand
Canon XF 100
BS Kinetics Takla Makan
Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
Light & Motion Sola 4000 x 2
Dome Port, MonoPod
- Website URL http://www.peterwalker.com
Posted by peterbkk on 03 September 2014 - 05:57 PM
I haven't had time to do a proper edit but I know that some of you are interested in how the macro lens combinations worked in the real world. So, I quickly pulled together a few examples. They have not been graded, stabilized or adjusted in anyway.
Here is the equipment that I used.
Panasonic GH4 set to C4K 24fps, 1/50 Shutter Priority, PinPoint Focus-AFL/AEL
Nauticam NA-GH4 Housing
Lens: Panasonic Lumix 14-45mm PZ
Nauticam System 35 Port with Flip Holder
Subsee +5 Macro Diopter
Inon UWL100 +10 Macro Diopter
iTorch 7 - 5000 lumen lights x 2 mainly on 1/4 or 1/2 power
The footage was imported into FCPX, some samples quickly selected, then exported as a 4K Mov file. The 4K file was compressed into 1080P before uploading to Vimeo
On a large monitor, the 4K footage looks great. So, I'm happy with the macro set-up. The Subsee +5 is excellent for larger subjects and the Inon +10 works for little stuff.
The Lembeh Sea Dragon at the start of the sample footage is so tiny that it kept "disappearing" and I had to find it again - like a tiny piece of string with a small knot on the end. I shot that with the +10 Inon.
The red Starry Night Octopus was a big fellow - about the size of a football. The wider whole-body shots were done with just the 14-45mm lens (at the 14mm end of the zoom), but the close-up on the eye was shot with the Subsee +5.
The blue-ring was also the +5 with the 14-45mm zoomed to about 35mm.
What would I change? Not much. It works well. It'd be great if I had a double-flip adapter so I did not need to take off the +5 and put on the +10 for the really little stuff but that's mainly a Lembeh issue and i may find that the +5 works for most stuff elsewhere.
PS. Next week I'm off to Komodo to put the 7-14mm / Zen 170mm through its paces.
Posted by peterbkk on 13 August 2014 - 10:44 PM
Peter - or anyone that has the zoom gear for the 14-42PZ - can the zoom gear be adjusted to operate the focus switch instead of the zoom switch? If that is the case then the zoom can be accomplished via the menu dial (after assigning the zoom control to a function button).
Out-of-the-box, you could not do it with the Nauticam gear as-is because everything is precisely aligned to move the zoom control without moving the focus control. But you could modify it. But the gear is metal (aluminium?) so it'd require some careful cutting. You would have to cut the zoom slot wider and glue some something on to slim down the slot around the focus control. You can see what I mean from the photo. The focus switch is on the left and the zoom switch is on the right.
But, even after you had that done, I'm not sure that the focus control wheel on the housing, coupled by internal gears to the lens gear, would be precise enough to make the fine focus changes required for macro.
And, IMHO, I'm not sure what problem it would solve. I had no problem doing auto-focus-lock on any tiny part of the subject then moving the camera as required. The Pinpoint AF is very precise and easy to see what is in focus. With a larger monitor, like the Shogun, it'll be even easier.
- ScubaBob likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 13 August 2014 - 01:09 AM
So here we go: Just spent 45 minutes blowing bubbles at the bottom of the pool.
In summary: I am happy! I can do macro. Lembeh, here I come...
Lens: Panasonic 14-42mm PZ
Port: Nauticam Macro Port 35
Nauticam Flip Diopter Holder
Inon UCL-100 Diopter (+10)
Here is an iPhone snap of the setup:
To test the setup, I borrowed a couple of "littlest pet shop" toys from my daughter. I weighted the toys with a fishing weight and stuck them down with blue tack. Here is the "model" with a ruler to give you an idea of size:
The camera performed very well while taking the shots. I mainly used the "pinpoint AF" method, but I tried others and they all seemed to work. Pinpoint enabled more aiming precision as it magnifies the area around the pinpoint. I used AFL if I wanted to move the camera to change the focal point away from the centre. The GH4 found focus every time, as long as I was within the right distance - not too far when using the diopter (approximately <0.15 meters) and not too close when just using the lens without the diopter (approximately >0.3 meters).
I imported the footage into FCPX. I made no edits or adjustments.
I have looked at the footage every which way and can not see any issues. I have displayed it in full screen mode. Looked at the corners. No problems that I can see.
To show you, I have taken 4 screen-shots of the FCPX viewer screen.
1. The two subjects taken without the diopter with the 14-45 set about 30mm - the subject is about 1 meter from the camera. The image is a bit soft as it was raining and the pool water was quite murky (about 5 to 8 meter viz).
2. The two subjects taken without the diopter with the 14-45 set quite wide - the subject is about 0.4 meters from the camera.
3. The upper fin of the gold fish showing the whole frame when using the Macro diopter and the 14-45mm set about mid-point.
4. The upper fin of the gold fish showing a 100% crop of the 4K frame when using the Macro diopter and the 14-45mm set about mid-point.
It seems to have handled every test that I tried.
I reckon that I am good to go.
- ScubaBob likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 08 August 2014 - 02:13 AM
- Set all the “in menu” settings (my preferred settings are below)
- Set the camera controls to your most “usual” setting
- Set the WB presets (more on how to do this below)
- Save this to C1 (in my case, C1 is full manual)
- Without changing the menu settings from C1, change the camera settings to your second most “usual” settings
- Save this to C2 (in my case, C1 is shutter of 1/50 with AFL/AEL for focus and exposure)
- Change to your third most “usual” settings.
- Save this to C3-1 (in my case I use “shutter 1/50; auto-everything-else”)
- (you could do two more settings, C3-2 and C3-3, but I don’t use these because they are not so quick to access)
- M; ISO 200; f2.8; 1/50s; AFS, centre-area focus - this setting is for when I really want full control over everything, even using manual focus if necessary; great when you have time to get a shot really right
- S; ISO 200; 1/50s; AFS, centre-area focus - this setting is for when the aperture is not so important and I want to quickly do an AFL / AEL lock before shooting than have the camera hold those settings, quicker than Manual but fast enough for most situations
- S; ISO Auto; AFC, multi-zone focus; multi-zone exposure; +/- set to minus one notch - this setting is for when something happens fast. e.g. a big creature swims past, and you don’t have time to think - flip the mode dial to C3 and let the camera do its best to figure it out. Shutter is set to 1/50. Camera will adjust Aperture and ISO to get a good exposure. +/- reduced to avoid the camera trying to make the image too bright.
- Nick Hope likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 07 August 2014 - 02:57 PM
Has anybody tried the GH4 in a dark environment like cave or wreck? WA natural light shoots of wrecks in low ambient light? Using it at night? I am curious as to how much noise and/or banding is being produced in the dark/black areas as I've seen some comparison videos and a lot of people don't have great things to say about the low light performance of this camera.
Also, is it really difficult to shoot with this camera? Can I hand the camera over to a no-camera-skills-buddy and expect he or she to achieve a fair result? I'm thinking maybe making a preset or using auto, allowing them to just press the shutter or record button, point the camera the correct way to film and still get decent result? Or will exposure and focus be all over the place? I know I've had great results giving a GoPro to other buddies and getting useful footage back, but even a compact camera can be tricky for a buddy who knows practically nothing about shooting.
I've looked through some clips I shot in a cave and on a night dive last weekend. No noise or banding in the dark areas.
You could set one of the 3 mode-dial custom presets to auto-everything. The shutter release starts the recording. Auto-focus works fine. Or, you could use the AFL / AEL lever to lock in a suitable focus and exposure, then hand the camera to the other person.
- Raptor^ likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 07 August 2014 - 02:31 PM
A couple of things to think about:
1. Maybe a bit tighter editing. There's a couple of shots that probably should have been cut - subject partly out of the frame, too much jiggling. It's tough editing your own footage. Try being a bit more brutal on yourself.
2. Youtube compression spoils some sections. Always bad at areas with a lot of blue water. Look at a better video service like Vimeo.
3. It's a personal choice but I found some of your colour correction a bit too much. The reds and browns look at bit overdone. But some people like that look. I don't like it because that's not what the human eye sees underwater.
4. Little bit frustrating when someone is saying something to the camera in the first section but you can't hear them. Sort of looks like an old silent movie. If the sound didn't capture well, throw on a subtitle. What did he say?
5. Next time, rather than just stringing together a bunch of good clips, have a think about the story that you want to tell. Then edit to that story.
- hafidznasution likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 19 July 2014 - 05:12 PM
Conditions looks awesome ! , which time of the year you went ?
It was the last week of May, right in the peak of the season.
Tubbataha Reefs are only open for 3 months from Mid-March to mid-June. Mainly for weather reasons. The reefs are 150km from the nearest shelter. There is no shelter at the reefs. And typhoons do pass through to the north, with the occasional one running right across the reefs. Believe me, you wouldn't want to be out there in a storm.
But, also for conservation, they want to limit human impact. Access is tightly managed and controlled, with only a few boats being licensed each season. The rangers, who live there year-round in a storm-shelter, do a great job, patrolling the reefs, armed with M16 rifles, chasing away cunning fishermen. Before the dive boat leaves the harbour, volunteers from the National Parks come on board to explain the rules and encourage good diver behaviour. Having seen Marine parks all over Southeast Asia, and having a passion for improving them*, I was suitably impressed by what the Philippines is doing at Tubbataha.
For more information: http://tubbatahareef.org
- pubert likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 16 July 2014 - 01:24 AM
Here is my latest work, a mini documentary on the Tubbataha Reefs in the Philippines.
Warning: If you haven't been there, this video may cause you to instantly whip out your credit card and book a trip for next season.
Tubbataha reminded my of Sipadan back in the good ol' days. Maybe even better. Fantastic diversity, huge schools, sharks and turtles everywhere, pristine corals and, on some days, visibility up to 100 meters!
It's remoteness and short season helps but the Philippine government is doing a good job policing the park's "zero take" policies.
Posted by peterbkk on 30 June 2014 - 09:06 PM
While waiting for the GH4 housing, I've been playing with my new GH4, just doing some stuff to become familiar with the controls and settings.
As this is my first foray into using a traditional "camera" for video, I've been experimenting with some setups that might make it more of a video camera experience. I was particularly concerned about movements in the "pitch" dimension, amplified by the camera's short front to back length.
Also, for most of my work, I like to intermingle some "above water" shots with the underwater footage, adding some local colour or scenery or even an interview or two. So, I need a video camera that can be handheld, often on a moving boat.
So, how to make the GH4 into the optimal "above water" video camera for use on and around boats that records decent sound?
Here is what I have come up with:
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Posted by peterbkk on 18 June 2014 - 12:56 AM
Cheungy Diver and I visited the Broadcast Asia Conference in Singapore yesterday. Big event with all the usual suspects present.
We met with the guys from Atomos and looked at the prototype Shogun. Looks like it'll be a great underwater recorder monitor. They had it sitting in a glass case, between a GH4 and an A7s. But not yet operational. The shogun may be a bit large to mount in a separate housing on top of the camera housing. Hard to get the physical balance right. Need to find a way to place it line astern with the camera. September is still the delivery date.
We also wandered into the big Panasonic booth. Bear in mind that this is a conference for professionals - no general public allowed. The Panasonic stand, while they had a couple of their broadcast camcorders on display, was dominated by the GH4. They had a "set" with lighting, a motorbike and an attractive model with three or four GH4s aimed at the model. The GH4s, with their YAGH, were hooked up via SDI cables to 4K displays and recorder / monitors. The results were impressive. Very nice colours. Great details. You can see that Panasonic are serious about marketing this camera as a professional video camera. You could sense that they've realised that this will be a winner for them.
- Walt Stearns likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 17 June 2014 - 05:46 PM
I reckon that handholding a camera away from the face, "iPhone style" will never be as stable as the three-way support provided by two hands and your face. Especially on a wobbly boat. Adding a monitor, increasing the weight, IMHO, is only going to make handholding less stable.
For my new "above water" GH4, I have just ordered one of these: http://www.zacuto.co...dslr-viewfinder
They make one of these finders just for the GH3/GH4 format. I am hoping that it'll give me a better viewfinder while still enabling the three-point hold technique. Should arrive this week so I'll let you know whether it works for me.
- Steve Douglas likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 23 February 2014 - 06:45 AM
2. Make sure that the lights cover only the subject.
3. Manual control of the iris / aperture so that the auto exposure doesn't try to make the whole frame brighter.
4. Increase the contrast / lower the blacks when editing.
- Oceanshutter likes this
Posted by peterbkk on 04 February 2014 - 03:10 AM
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Posted by peterbkk on 26 January 2014 - 07:11 PM