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CheungyDiver

Member Since 26 Nov 2002
Offline Last Active May 18 2015 09:23 PM
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#359847 New Lights

Posted by CheungyDiver on 09 April 2015 - 02:34 PM

hi Moses

 

 

It depends on the situation. more powerful light gives you more options of what video you want to shoot. These lights still need variable output though. Now thats difficult to make consistent. Say in still water and it is gin clear I would use as much lumen as possible with wider beam. Some UW wrecks are difficult to lit properly for a wide scene. In some waters I would use a narrow beam. With flood lights a condenser lens will work and produces a nice long throw beam. Even with these less powerful light you could do a lot with cameras with high ISO and DR. Well a year ago lights with 2000 lumen is nothing to sneeze at. I say that because now there are portable LED lights that could pump out more than 22000 lumen. But cost over 2K. It is only a matter of time when 4000 to 6000 lumen become the norm and price will drop. It all boils down to demand. Not many would spend a princely sum on a light. More power means more heat generated, bigger power demand, heftier electronic ballast especially for dimming. Color too. High CRI (color Rendering Index) and high power is quite complicated to do. Again difficult for dimming and maintain same quality of light without any flicker. I have seen some high power ones but these are not yet up to par with Keldan or the like. I am sure the Chinese companies is more than capable. R&D and prototyping is costly. Powerful battery is also the limiting factor. Battery tech. with enough juice and light weight for powerful lights is really limited to Li-ion and Li-po.  Li-Ion I see at present is the only option as it is in pressurized containers. Li-Po is out of the question for powerful UW lights. Too dangerous.

 

One way to get more light is to get a few of these and bundle them together. I tried four lights in two, two configuration. Output per light is 2500 lumen. Total 10000. Total cost is still less than the cost of a single 6K or 8K light made by premium brands. Not as convenient but does the job like you say :)

 

Cheers

 

David




#359750 New Lights

Posted by CheungyDiver on 07 April 2015 - 07:47 PM

Hi Folks

 

I have been testing a ton of lights recently and used them in real dive situations with various cameras. I have selected the ones I think worthy of a second look. I am more bias towards video so most here are for video cameras although some are so handy and small it could be used for digital still at least as a focus light if not close up photos under the right conditions.

 

 

 

Since well known brands that have been reviewed in so many places I keep this finding to lights made in China.

Three lights tested really hit the spot for me. They are of course LEDs. All aluminium body with depth rating of 100m. All three has this nifty lit button switch with status indicator. Blue for full, green half charge and Red for low battery. There is also a safety off circuit to prevent completely draining the battery. They are all similar in size in that they fit nicely as a hand light or mounted onto a UW housing. Small and light. Powerful adjustable. Beam width and spot beam. Small common batteries or small long life rechargeable batteries. White and Red LED options. Accessories and package case. Lastly price.

 

Coincidentally all three are from the same manufacturer.  

 

HiMax-All1.jpg

 

First of is the Hi-Max V14

A true Swiss Army of LED lights. This has over 2400 Lumen. Wide (flood) and Spot, Red LED, and all dimmable with levels. Even has two UV LEDs. I had so much fun switching this light to various features during my night dive. Seeing the coral glow in the dark under the UV is fun.

V14.jpg

 

Second is the V11 ( or the company updated the older version which has a magnetic switch)

HiMaxV11.jpg V12 (1).jpg

 

Like the V14 this handy light uses a Li-Ion rechargeable battery. Like an oversize D Cell but packs in 5800 mah.

Weights only 400g - light a couple of oranges yet gives out 2300 lumens.

 

 

It has Food, Spot and Red LED and dimmable.

The front bazel with this design is thicker so more aluminium for heat dissipation. The top features a glow in the dark rings so if you drop your light in the dark you have a better chance of finding it.

Lastly the V12 is a real surprise. This is the smallest of the three. First surprise is when I open it and it takes four double A batteries. I have been waiting for such a light for a long time. Four AA not three not two. So this is much more convenient for charging four and keeping track of sets of spare batteries without mixing charged from depleted ones. Second surprise  is that the light is bright. The light is 2200 lumens. It looks more than that as the beam is very bright. It is a simple light with just two power level and 110 deg. beam. Like the other two it have two o-rings and all aluminium body for good heat dissipation. The small is also good for handheld and also as a back up light.

 

Now just when I had tested all Hi-Max send me another one to look at. The X6. This is a dive light and is slim and light to be a carry everywhere light. It pack 1000 lumen and like all the LED used is CrEE with very pleasing colour and temperature. This is certainly a good candid as a Go-Pro companion light.

Well I have more to say and if you are interested in more just click on this:

 

I will post some video samples next using these light on some dive shoots.

 

If interested in more click on this BLOG

 

If you are attending ADEX this weekend drop by Scubacam Booth C19. We have all these lights to try out.

 

Cheers

David

 

 




#357793 Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

Posted by CheungyDiver on 13 February 2015 - 02:34 AM

And bullet time.....it is amazing now anyone could do this technique...compared to the DSLR array used for the matrix and other movies.... Go pro definitely has a place in the imagination of the story creator.


#357734 Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

Posted by CheungyDiver on 11 February 2015 - 11:08 PM

Hmmm...Interesting article. I guess if you win an Emmy you can whinge a little. I shoot mostly video for over ten years and I have yet to find ergonomically a SLR/ DSLR or P&S, UW housing combo do what a well configured camcorder& housing  could do in term of convenience. That is not to say a SLR/DSLR housing combo is useless. Far from it. But I need to tack on "stuff" to make it more camcorder-esque that is all.

 

Technology marches on especially with full frame read out of sensors like APS-c or Full frame. DoF is not really a handicap for most of the pro-cameramen asking me about camera kit. In fact some wants shallow DoF. Shooting animals I could understand a smaller sensor helps. Par-focal zoom wide lens- hell yeah. Who does not like such convenience. A piece of Fathom glass cost an arm and a leg.  If image quality of the SLR is what you after then a little inconvenience is tolerable. I have no idea why it has to be one against the other. I have tried quite a few of (almost all the popular cameras) the DSLR/ SLR/ camcorders and including those from Red and Arri - and seriously the DPs I know never once mentioned that it should be this or that equipment for their UW footage. They will asked for UW equipment with the camera they are happy to shoot with. These are tools so right tool for the job. If the camera is not the right one for the "look" or frame rate then rent one that does.

 

For hobby I think any of the 2014 and this years camera/videocamera can produce astonishing results which only a couple of years ago one would need to fork out colosal amount of dosh for the kit.

I say let there be more variety of the good quality kind.

 

Cheers

David




#356740 Sony A7s 4k with Atomos Shogun in a prototype housing

Posted by CheungyDiver on 18 January 2015 - 09:42 PM

Local Camera Store in Singapore selling used cameras. I was offered one 1DC body only - used. Around USD 4K (Excl. 7% for GST). I did not take it as I have two of the Sony A7 series. I doubt its still there now as it was before Christmas.

 

Still new ones are dropping in price. I think once Canon launch the 54 MB DSLR and may be the 5D MIII replacement the 1DC may drop further.

 

Cheers




#356676 Sony A7s 4k with Atomos Shogun in a prototype housing

Posted by CheungyDiver on 16 January 2015 - 04:59 PM

I am missing the 5diii in some situations. Especially with Magic Lantern installed. However I have sold them. Not regretting getting the A7s. It suited my needs. The 1Dc is dropping in price. Around 7k. Used market about 4k. I am very tempted. Then there is the C300. The GH4 is an all rounder. I am happy with it too. All the cameras I mentioned could do fantastic stuff. Just depends on what you prefer really. I think this is the time when shooters really just go out and shoot and make great stories. Cheers David


#356598 Sony A7s 4k with Atomos Shogun in a prototype housing

Posted by CheungyDiver on 14 January 2015 - 07:13 PM

" I've heard that it isn't good...."

I guess you have to define "isn't good" . If you mean consistancy then no.  If you mean the the Sony sensor is not providing good colour then that is not true. This is one sensor from Sony that is good for UW. The low light ability and full sensor readout definitely played a part. On the other hand It is difficult to get consistent UW back ground colour. Any UW video camera for that matter. Especially when combined with video lights.

I have used the A7s for two trips now. For ambient light at the shallows with out video light AWB works. MWB also works well.

If you follow Peter's thread he did a sterling job with some UW light filters and the MBW will at least be more consistant with back ground colour:

 

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=54683

 

I am hoping to get a prototype or full production housing for the Shogun. From top side tests this combo is really nice. You could practically shoot in total darkness with a lit match and the scene is still looked okay. Not many Camcorder or DSLR can do that like A7s yet.

 

Cheers

David




#356012 Upcoming Panasonic GH-4K

Posted by CheungyDiver on 30 December 2014 - 02:18 AM

Rear view Go Pro. You don't want to missed recording sharks sneaking up do you? .....with hint of sarcasm frog fish. Must be the pre- new year booze hang over:)


#356006 Mirrorless Housing Tripod/Slider

Posted by CheungyDiver on 29 December 2014 - 11:36 PM

Nice legs! Those are nice XIT 404 tripod legs and base plate. Expensive but I stock them too.

Not sure how long your focus rail will last in sea water. I like the lightness but I think it need to be beefed up to hold a housing without wobble. Which you know as much as I do will be detectable for macro video.

I made my unit for my own experiment but I do custom build for others.

 

You could PM me on info@scubacam.com.sg

 

I made the slider simple as possible and as rigid as possible except for one axis. It is made of standard parts. Marine grade aluminium and stainless steel. The tray and legs are from my own product range and they interchange and snap on like Lego (or Meccano Toys for older people like me). If this works I may made 360 "turntable". Everything has to withstabd sea water. So thinking of using ceramic bearings.

 

Anyway back to this unit. In use  it is again very simple. There is a thumbscrew that adjust the tension of the slider plate and these are  nylon friction plates. I apply some crystal lupe to help smooth out movement. Critical focus is achieved by steadying the housing on the rail and use one's arm to apply the right amount of force. This method saves me breath holding.

I have a few more bits to attach to this. Not least the top hung version and the curved rail. I could make some but really it is not a huge market for these things. If you want one made or want to go DIY  let me know.   

 

Cheers and Happy New Year

David




#355866 Mirrorless Housing Tripod/Slider

Posted by CheungyDiver on 27 December 2014 - 02:57 AM

Hello all and hope all is well for 2015

 

 

I have been hinting for a month or so on a device I've been working on. A slider for UW housings of sorts.

 

I was originally made this for extreme macro work for a lens with 5X magnifications (no not the Canon MP65).....A friend with a very large video camera that shoots very low resolution video is shooting with that.

 

I spent five days at the Lembeh Straits learning best to use this slider and it turned out not what I expected in a pleasant way.

 

So without further ado I reveal what this contraption looks like.....

 

 

 

 

Attached Images

  • Slider1.jpg



#354984 Critters Of Sulawesi - GoPro Macro Video

Posted by CheungyDiver on 03 December 2014 - 09:58 PM

Its amazing what you could go with Go Pros these days. Well done. I think this is a great testament to the old adage "a great video is not what camera you have it is more how you use it" .... well something like that.

 

thanks for sharing




#354468 Seacam bric a brac for sale (digital 150 strobes)

Posted by CheungyDiver on 19 November 2014 - 05:35 AM

I have two Digital 150 Strobe (Nikon) by Seacam for sale. Tip top condition. With new re-celled batteries and accessories like ball adapter and neoprene cover.

 

Price is 1800 USD (retails at USD 2600.00 or more new) each. USD 3k for the pair.

 

I also have cables S6 or Nik V ...

 

 

 

I also have a Seacam D300 housing - price negotiable

1 x Seacam Superdome

 

Finally a Brand New Seacam D800 Housing body - price is very good (interested please email me)

 

Low-ballers will be ignored.

 

Thank you for browsing

 

David




#353081 Lembeh Straits Extreme Macro

Posted by CheungyDiver on 30 September 2014 - 04:16 AM

Crazy stuff David - thanks for sharing! Working with that kind of DoF must be frustrating. I assume the footage was all manual focus?

 

Yes crazy DoF. Min. aperture is F32. The lens is 5X on a full frame sensor of the A7s. It only focuses manually. In fact the best way to focus is to lock focus and slide back and forth. Breathing will cause camera movement. UW with scuba its hell and I breath hold too many times. Top side a little easier. Picking the right subject matters too. Too big and I could only shoot the eye and other extremities. Need to be just right. For example the Ant on the last video is perched on a bamboo chopstick and the Ant Mimic Jumping Spider is only the size of a grain of rice.

 

The Nauticam A7 housing is great. Just the right size and weight for long static holds. I also use a short tripod. The custom lens and port with built in lights will be revealed when I tested with the GH4. That M4/3 sensor is going to give twice the magnification to the 5X lens. LOL 

 

How has the A7S been for other U/W shooting? Can it see in the dark at depth as it has been reported to on land?

 

The A7s is the most light sensitive camera out there now. UW it is also as good for low light as top side. The trick is  setting ISO to no higher than 32000. Yup it is clean right up to there. At 60000 its grainy but not bad grain. I have to set the video light set at lowest setting most of the time. This camera could shoot with just a dive light for macro. Colour and white balance on the other hand is difficult to get right. I use S log2 and I have not been able to MWB the different clips to match the colours. I even tried UW mode which works sometime in shallow water. Quite a tricky profile to use. In the first video I tried one of the more saturated profiles and I like how the colour pops. Currently the A7s records at XACVs 8-bit. Not a lot I could do in post before the image breaks up. May be with the Atomos Shogun and at 4K I could do a lot more. Like cropping and stabilization in post.  

 

This was a first test with the system. I also used the Nikonos V adapter by Nauticam. Tried with the Nikonos V 15mm, 20mm even the Sea and Sea Nikonos 12mm. All performed superbly. There will be one video showing wide close up shots. I just need to work on the colour balance. Tricky with this camera or may be just my ineptness :)

 

cheers

 

David 




#353017 Lembeh Straits Extreme Macro

Posted by CheungyDiver on 27 September 2014 - 02:28 PM

Hi Folks

 

I have just finished a series of video clips from the Lembeh Straits using a Sony A7s, Nauticam housing and my custom 5X lens. A DIY led light integrated macro port plus two RG Blue lights. Here is the first one. I used a saturated grading style as I am interested in bringing out the color and texture. Even aperture at F32, DOF is paper thin.  A bit of vignette is added. Hope you will enjoy it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 




#348918 GH4 footage and rig pic

Posted by CheungyDiver on 10 June 2014 - 06:56 PM

There is a Broadcast Asia Show next week in Singapore. I shall take a good look at the Atomos Shogun recorder/monitor for myself. This would make a nice combo with the GH4. It would be even better if these two devices could be combined in some ways to make the housing more like a conventional video camera housing IMHO.