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Member Since 10 Sep 2005
Offline Last Active Mar 27 2015 02:31 AM

Posts I've Made

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

12 February 2015 - 07:00 AM

Gates tend to concentrate on housings for high end large sensor cameras and traditional broadcast video cameras which I'm sure there will continue to be a market for rather than chasing sales in the higher volume DSLR or the consumer video market.  Average 'Joe Diver' going on holiday a couple of times a year is definitely not their target market and while I don't claim to have any knowledge about their business model they certainly appeared to be doing very nicely when I last visited their factory.   


I also think John's Alert Diver article from a few years back was far more balanced and factually accurate than this one was.

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

11 February 2015 - 02:19 AM

Well this was enough to bring me out of hibernation.   


I've got to be honest I'm still scratching my head over what I just read.  The internet polarises opinions for sure, but there are SO many inaccuracies that you have to wonder what purpose there was in writing this?  Is it just an anti DSLR bash or an attempt to justify a "small sensor good, large sensor bad" decision?  Are we talking about underwater filming here, or all filming?

Just a few points:

Audio - apart from a few niche situations who is worried about this for underwater use?  Audio on the newer mirrorless cameras and DSLR's is absolutely fine and certainly comparable to the results you'd get from a camcorder's internal microphone.

DoF - not an issue for WA if you choose the correct lens.  For macro we tend to like the shallower DoF and anyway you'd get a similar effect to this using a video camera with diopters.

Blue Planet - was filmed mostly on 16mm film.


Moire and aliasing - this has NOT become worse on the latest DLSR's, it has virtually disappeared from them.  The first generation were pretty bad at times, but this was never really an issue underwater where you rarely get straight lines or patterns like brickwork or roof tiles.  You did have to be very careful when shooting in a swimming pool though.

Colours - Oh my.  The Canon DSLR's produce the most amazing colours underwater.  Far, far better than ANY video camera I have used before or after.  

Macro vs WA - If you want to do this properly you will always have a dedicated set up for macro and wide angle on a video camera.  If you want to swim around and film what you come across then a video camera offers an advantage.  Also you can get decent range of zoom through with dome ports on most WA DSLR zooms, which is at least comparible to what you'd get from a standard dome port/dome on a video camera housing.  

Documentaries -  Most documentaries these days are filmed with large sensor cameras.  Smaller sensors are now more or less confined to ENG, but even then there are plenty of guys out there using F5's, FS700's, C300's, FS7's for traditional ENG work.

Stability -  Yes DSLR housings are not normally initially well balanced, but this can be resolved very easily by adding buoyancy in the same way you'd add trim weights to a traditional video housing.  The only time you should be getting shaky footage is if you can't hold the camera still and if that is the case then you'll get this regardless of what you are using.


Cost -  There is a big difference in the set up costs for a DSLR vs a comparable quality video camera.  The DLSR can often be 50% cheaper, which is a big decision when negotiating budgets or when it is coming straight out of your own pocket.


Is the article saying that large sensor video cameras are ok, but SLR's with the same size sensor are not, because.......they have a large sensor??  


Is the article really supporting the FS100 as a viable alternative to a DSLR for underwater shooting?  Seriously??? 


I will admit that filming on a DSLR and getting good results is more difficult than filming on a video camera where you can just set everything to auto and press record.  If you tried to do that on a DSLR you'd be wasting your time so you do need to learn how to film with full manual controls to get the best out of them.  I've seen some truly awful underwater footage filmed on a RED, footage that you'd be utterly embarrassed to show others that you'd shot, while on the flip side I've seen jaw droppingly awesome footage shot on a first generation DSLR.   I've seen awful footage shot on a EX1 while on the same dive amazing footage shot on an GoPro1.   


DSLR's and mirrorless cameras have a significant place in the current filmmakers arsenal.  I film on both traditional video cameras and DSLR's and have no bias whatsoever as they both have a role to play.   They are tools to be used as we see fit and we certainly shouldn't be excluding one OR the other.  



In Topic: Maldives Kuredu in May -15

13 January 2015 - 05:28 PM

The Kuredu does have macro sites, but I'd generally say it is stronger for WA.

The dive shop there isn't particularly 'hard core' so as long as you are happy doing a single dive am/pm you'll be ok. Last time we were there they kept the 2 tank boat list under the counter and you really had to give them a hard time before they would send a boat out. All very very bizarre and definitely more suited to a tourist who wants to do an odd dive rather than a full 'dive trip'.

Still the Maldives is great for life. Enjoy!

In Topic: Diving Blue Heron Bridge in October; Advice???

13 January 2015 - 05:20 PM

Does anyone have a recommendation on a guide? I'm going to be in Florida next month and just may be able to fit a dive in here finally!

In Topic: Looking for recommendations for video tuition

27 September 2014 - 02:35 AM

My tips would be:

Dive and film as much as you possibly can. Edit & review to improve your skills and then do it all again! Nothing substitutes for practise. I've never done it but working as a resort pro for at least a couple of years is probably the best training you could wish for.

Listen and learn from everyone and then find out what works best for you. There are lots of approaches and methods to experiment with.

Don't confuse 'gearheads' with very little practical ability to people who really know what they are talking about! Basically always look at someone's work before you take what they say for granted...

There are very few people in the world who make their entire living from filming underwater exclusively for broadcast. Most will have some form of supplemental income from other types of filming or from other types of work/businesses.

Oh and don't forget to have an amazing life doing what you love!! :)