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Everything posted by Genesis

  1. Ok folks, its time to say goodbye to this great video rig. Here's what's included, base and optional. Base: USVH Housing and TRV-33 Camcorder, extended battery, external charger, complete. Never had water inside (lots outside though!), great setup. Full electronic controls, high-res screen viewfinder/display on the rear of the housing - no "shooting blind." Wide-angle lens matched for the housing included plus color filter, spare O-rings for the housing. HDPE "skidplates" for the bottom of the housing so it doesn't get banged up (those rubber things that they come with suck.) NTSC. $1,200 for these items. Optional: Everything else in these photos. Two 21W HID lamps, custom light arm with buoyancy compensation tubes (yes, they're PVC, trimmed and DIFFERENT in lengths; the housing weight is removed when using the lights.) 9AH cannister with 2 battery packs; you will have to supply a NiMH charger, as I require mine (it is the same charger that I use for my cavediving light.) "Y" cable to feed both video lights. Both video reflectors. Pelican-style hardcase, custom fit, everything except the battery cannister fits inside. Lamp units are Salvos - virtually indestructable, not the "Halcyon" ones that love to break if you look at them wrong. COMPLETE, AS YOU SEE IT HERE, $2,250. The housing currently has two bolt-snaps rigged on a piece of cave-line and is set up to be "slung" like a stage bottle with the light system attached. The "Y" cord is wet-pluggable so you can have a standard goodman-handle HID lighthead to use for your penetration and/or decent, then switch to the video light system during the dive. In NW Florida (Panhandle) can be seen, bought, paid for and taken with you if desired. I prefer NOT to ship it due to the high value, but will consider doing so; we will have to figure out exactly how to work the transaction. All items are in excellent conditions. The USVH housings feature a unique design in that the lens port is optical-quality acrylic and if damaged can be replaced at a REASONABLE cost (very cheaply, all things considered) where most glass ports are STUPID expensive. The housing's electronic controls use magnetic switches; no hull penetrations except for the one UW-pluggable connector for the handle. Has not been used "in anger" in a year, and it makes no sense to keep it given its lack of use. A great deal on a high-quality, complete setup. Phone: 850-376-9364 (cell) or email me at karl@denninger.net - stick "i-agree" in the header so my spam filter doesn't bop 'ya. Thanks!
  2. Anyone know of commercial options? I've decided to build up my own light kit rather than buy the Mantas, and I'm trying to figure out if I should start machining up a plate or if there's something I can buy and save me some time while spending some money.
  3. I have twin 50W Xenophot bulbs on a video lighting setup from ProWatt. ~50 minute burn time with both bulbs going, or about twice that with one. 12V SLA battery, articulated arms, mounts to the camera housing. Since you can only get 60 mins on a DV tape anyway, this works well - if you are doing more than one dive just take a second battery with you, and charge the expended one (with a smart charger) between. The batteries are cheap from places like RAGE (under $20 each) The battery is a 7AH 12V SLA; I've run 42 minutes of tape without noticable color shift in the lighting, with both bulbs going, so the advertised burn times are quite reasonable. His "video" setup has white-card-style reflectors; you can get silvered ones if you want (somewhat brighter, but you lose on the diffusion this way - I prefer the white reflectors) I like it. I'd like brighter (who wouldn't?) for caves and such, but its more than adequate for most video work underwater. Its supposedly depth rated down to 300' or so. The guy regularly has these listed on eBAY around $300 - a very nice price all things considered, and the bulbs are reasonably cheap as well. General dive-light HIDs have horrible spectral distribution. They're very bright for the power consumed, and very blue, which is great for cave diving illumination and such but they blow bananas for color fidelity. If you want to use some kind of discharge lamp you want a HMI setup, and if you need to ask how much THOSE cost you don't have enough money.
  4. I like mine just SLIGHTLY (about 1/4 - 1/2lb) negative. This allows me to set it down, and also to clip it off if I need to for some reason. A positive camera is a real PITA to maneuver in my experience, and makes clipping it off problematic as it gets "in your face" when secured.
  5. The biggest complaint I have with the various CODECS and video formats is that you MUST use each's "proprietary" web server to get video streaming to work - otherwise, it just downloads and THEN plays. Why these folks won't allow this to work properly with nothing more complicated than a HTTP connection is beyond me - there is nothing technically preventing it, other than the vendors desire to demand extortion money for their server code.
  6. The Ridata 1GB CF cards are blistering fast - much faster than the xD cards.
  7. I have a USVH housing and a TRV-33 and like the combination. I cannot get to the white balance controls from the housing - apparently Sony has been playing games with the LANC protocol for some of these functions with their various cameras, and some work and some do not - this is a "do not". However, Vegas takes care of that topside, so it works out ok in the end. I'm learning when its best to use the filter and when not to (the risk without is that you can end up with parts of the image overexposed, which you cannot correct topside.) Its a nice and reasonably compact package and produces very nice output. The camera works well topside as well; its very nice and small, and has excellent battery life. My one complaint with the optics on the camrea is that it is quite prone to flare with serious backlighting such as you might encounter when shooting a football game at night. A hood partially addresses this, but not completely. Oh, topside it really does need an external mic for decent audio, but that's pretty normal with consumer cameras. Nothing $100 won't fix.
  8. The question becomes one of when the distortion become noticable in a video. Certainly, the standard for still photography is higher, if only because there's no motion Wet lenses are an option, but they're god-awful expensive. Certainly an option, but then you really are "married" to the entire package (camera/housing/lenses) most of the time - more so than you would be otherwise. Its all a trade-off thing...
  9. Pincushion distortion depends largely on HOW wide of an angle lens you're using. I can't detect it in my video, and I shoot enough stuff that fills the frame and has straight lines that if it was happening I'd notice it. Its VERY noticable if you know what you're looking for - and I do I suspect that for most of the flat-port systems its not an issue. If you want to run extreme wide-angle, then it certainly is an issue.
  10. Well I do understand the point vis-a-vis wet lenses, and that you can get a "better" wide-angle conversion thsi way (and more field of view.) That is one solid - and real - argument - but are you SURE your lenses will work on the next housing? What if the external diameter changes on you?
  11. LOL! No, I'm actually not. I own an Ike housing for my Oly5050 and like it. As soon as Ike and the other mechanical housing folks provide me with the balance of protections that I get from the electronic video housings, they'll get more serious consideration from my (in the future, the next time I want or need one, of course.) Unfortunately I suspect that goal is impossible, unless Ike was to simply provide an upgrade path for a nominal cost as a "good will" thing. I have no idea what kind of margin they have in their housings - I suspect they have the "room" to do this, but whether they want to is another matter. My guess is that only market forces would push them in this direction.... after all, why give up the money if you don't have to? Still camera folks are used to the idea that the housing is "locked" the camera. So are SOME video folks. Unfortunately for those who believe in that model (and to whom it is a benefit economically) its being challenged by some of the other players in the marketplace.
  12. Well, that's true for the JVC, but not for the VX-2000. The question often becomes one of where you want to put the dollars and how much you care about part (or all!) of them being "disposable". I can upgrade my existing housing to one that will house a PDX-10 for example, at a reasonable cost. If I had gone mechanical I would have lost the monitor screen (in all probability) and any hope of interchangability. While the former can be fixed with a large application of money, the latter can't. I just don't believe in locking myself into something unless I have to.
  13. That's true Craig, but the investment protection, given what housings cost, is not trivial. Unfortunately the camera manufacturers force us into this, as they change models as fast as Imelda Marcos changed shoes, and the new model(s) NEVER line up exactly as the old one did in terms of where the controls are. This is my one unsolveable gripe with mechanical housings - and no amount of good engineering will ultimately fix it. If you don't mind the concept of throwing away your housing when your camera craps out or you wish to upgrade, then that doesn't matter for you. I find that requirement outrageous and so, for me at least, it IS a big deal.
  14. Offer to come pick it up and bring cash. If he refuses, you've got your answer. Report the entire chain of emails to eBAY. My BS detector is SCREAMING right about now.
  15. eBAY is very unlikely to tell you WHY it was pulled. You can bet it was because they found it was a scam though. I hounded eBAY about a guy who was putting up dive compressors (BIG ticket items) earlier in the year and tried to play a game with me. I had a bid on one, and emailed him saying that I wanted to save him the shipping cost (the auction specified he'd eat it) and would be up to pick it up 2 days after the auction closed if I won (he was in SC, so while it was a drive for me, it was definitely doable.) He SAID NO! Now this is a guy who wants to sell me a $6,000 compressor, on which HE was going to eat a few hundred in shipping (these things are HEAVY) and here's a buyer who wants to come up, pay in CASH, and save the seller several hundred bucks - and he says no?! I reported it to eBAY. They ducked it originally. He had four auctions up if I remember correctly. I was outbid at the last second on the first one. The others ended the next day. The next morning I checked and the others were all taken down, but the first one showed PAID. Oh oh. I'll lay money that the "buyer" indeed did get scammed, and eBAY had a report from me on the auction PRIOR to the original auction ending. I hope they feel REAL good about letting that guy get ripped off. Be careful out there.
  16. That's a pretty partisan view. Here's a non-partisan one from someone who isn't in the business: 1. Video cameras are not "worked" like a still camera. Specifically, some controls - most particularly zoom - are often required to be used while the shot is being taken. Yes, its not good to zoom around willy-nilly in video, but at times its important to be able to use it during a shot. A still camera has exactly one button to press at the moment of truth - the shutter. This is not true for video. 2. Viewfinder access is a BIG DEAL. Dive with a visible screen and you will understand. This is easy with a still camera or even a still camera in "movie mode", as the screen is on the back. This is NOT simple with a video camera. A housing that is big enough to have the screen open facing backward has two problems - volume (meaning positive buoyancy), and the screen is way forward in the housing. A mirror arrangement can partially solve the problem but not completely do so - especially since Sony started turning off the "reverse" when you turn around and then close the screen! An inverted image is a PAIN IN THE BUTT to use on the viewfinder. "Big eye" viewfinders are a possible solution, but require you to keep the camera up high to be able to line up the viewfinder with your eye, as does, to a large degree, mirror arrangements. I like to swim with it BELOW my body so that I am safely away from the reef/wreck/whatever - this means I need a MONITOR so I can see what I'm shooting. 3. I want my "shooting controls" where I can get them without having to take my hand off the grip. These are (1) REC/STBY and (2) Zoom. Ideally I also want manual focus on the grip. The rest can be somewhere else, but those three reallly need to be where I can get to them without having to fiddle-fart around. Mechanical housings have problems with this since the buttons end up wherever they end up - the housing maker has little control over it due to the nature of the beast. It becomes a REAL problem for a video camera as the "shoot" button is USUALLY on the back, and the grip is near the front! How do you put that where I can get it without taking my hand off the grip? Its easy with a still camera, since the shutter is on the front right, where your hand is with a housing anyway - so the lever arrangement works really well. It doesn't nearly as well with a videocam. How many digital camera shooters underwater use the monitor as their primary (or even only!) viewfinder? MOST IF NOT ALL! Yet this is IGNORED for most mechanical housing folks when it comes to video. Why? Cost. The monitor back is expensive and mirrors don't work well since the monitor isn't up against the back of the camera. Ok, so do you want a working solution or half a solution? Both mechanical and digital controls can fail. Designs vary. If mechanical controls fail, your housing floods and your camera is destroyed. If electronic controls fail, provided that the grip part fails you still have a working system - turn it on, put it in record mode, and go dive. The better electronic housings isolate the electronics from the grip with a wetplug or use magnetic switches where there is no penetration in the housing at all - there is no way for a grip failure to screw the housing as there is no path for water to get inside the housing through the wiring. Now you can solve most of the mechanical "issues" with a monitor back. But now you're up near or even past the cost of an electronic housing. Finally, however, you have one serious problem that no mechanical housing can solve - interchangeability. With still cameras we are stuck with this because there is no common command protocol for electronic controls. This is NOT true for video cameras - at least not for Sony cameras. Obsolescence protection is a BIG DEAL, and its one that VERY FEW housing manufacturers pay ANY attention to. You SHOULD, because with the pace of electronics today, the camera I buy tomorrow won't be available - at any price - in a couple of years! Not only could I damage the camera on land (or simply wear it out or have it break out of warranty, and have it be uneconomic to repair) but I could flood underwater, and even with insurance the camera may not be available - but since the housing was not destroyed I will be stuck with a check for the camera and an unusable housing! Ike, this is where you lost when I bought my video camera housing. You didn't lose on the mechanical argument - you lost on the upgrade/replacement path. In short, investment protection. USVH will swap the physical plastic (the actual "housing" portion) for a VERY reasonable cost if I upgrade cameras in the future and the new one doesn't fit. SOME of the cameras I might upgrade to WILL fit though, so I might not even need to spend ANYTHING with them. But even if I do, its reasonable - I was told $300 or so, plus perhaps (depending on the particulars) another $100 worth of labor. With the mechanical housings I throw away the entire investment, and I still need to buy the monitor back - at least I do, for the way I like to shoot. I was FORCED into this paradigm with my still camera, but I'm NOT forced into it with a video camera, and this is one game I won't play unless I have to. I don't have to with the video camera housing options out there today!
  17. I'd buy a 5050 (and did, in fact) before the Stylus. I thought long and hard about the Stylus - I have one of their compact 35s (same camera, but for film) and like it a LOT for a point-and-shoot, but underwater, you need some manual control - and this camera has - basically - none. The 5050 turns out to have lots of other advantages too, like a movie mode that is actually worth using underwater.
  18. May be a stolen account. Email him and ask him to CALL you. You're going to bid on a $3,000 item - if he won't (or can't, because the thief doesn't get the email!) call you, or if the registered location doesn't match the area code of the person who calls on the caller ID, then you get REAL suspicious!
  19. Here's the poop on solid-state things like a CF card. IF you catch the flood before the card submerges TURN OFF THE CAMERA! It is critically important that POWER be turned off - otherwise, with salt water being conductive, you're screwed as you will end up applying voltage where it shouldn't go. Ok, so you get the camera out of the water and its flooded. First things first - DO NOT REMOVE IT FROM WATER UNTIL YOU ARE PREPARED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. If you take it out and it DRIES, you're screwed. As soon as air gets to the electronics you start corrosion and it takes very little of that to destroy the card. So, let's assume you have written off the camera but there's a good storage card in there. OK. Remove the camera and IMMEDIATELY replace the CF card UNDER WATER (fresh if you have it!) KEEP IT THERE until you're ready to proceed. Even if you keep it there a WEEK you're better off than removing it and letting it dry! To proceed you need: 1. DEIONIZED water. A few gallons of it, in jugs. 2. RUBBING ALCOHOL. Not the 70% stuff either - 90% will work, 100% is even better, but damn hard to get. Settle for the 90% (which you CAN get in most drug stores, but you may have to ask for it.) There are better solutions than isopropyl alcohol for this, but you won't be able to find them easily - this is your best shot with something you can easily buy. What you're going to do is two-fold: 1. REMOVE THE SALT. You do this with successive soaks/rinses in the deionized water. You're counting on diffusion to work here. It will take SEVERAL soak/rinse cycles to get the salt water out. At no time do you allow the card to dry out! Expect to spend several hours doing successive soak/agitate/rinse cycles with NEW deionized water for each. When you get to where you cannot taste ANY contaminatino in the rinse water, you're making progress. Do several more cycles beyond that point just to make damn sure you got it all out. ONE salt crystal will screw you a week or a month later, so do a good job! 2. Once the salt is out, you want to DRY the card. You need to do this WITHOUT any ions that are left dropping out on the card's electronisc. That's what the alcohol is for. A few soak/rinse cycles of the isopropyl alcohol will effectively remove the water from the card, as they are miscable - the alcohol will then evaporate and leave a nice, dry card. You can't taste the alcohol for a test, of course, so you have to guess here when you've effectively displaced all the water. IF the card did not get submerged with power applied, and you follow this procedure, it should be ok. I've recovered several electronic items that were dunked in salt water this way with reasonable success. If it goes in the drink with the power on, however, the odds are nearly zero. as things tend to short out in salt water when they're powered up and submerged.
  20. If the group thing is pilot error then there are two pilots who have augered, because I tried what looks like it should work and it didn't for me either But the media clip trick DID. You CAN keyframe it as well; the keyframe window does come up when you put it on the clip. The trick might be getting the transition points exactly right, although you CAN drill down in the keyframe line to the individual frame level easily. The color correction in VV is too simple for words, and the videoscopes make checking your work dirt trivial; I REALLY like that. BTW, grouping the various things you want to work together for a given effect on a video track IS a viable option. Transitions do work freely between video tracks; I tried it and had no trouble. Since VV has unlimited tracks available, this appears to be an option since you can apply FX to a track and all clips and clip segments on that track share that FX, and changes "roll through" everything on that track.
  21. Ok, I see what you're trying to do. Why can't you drop the effect on the track - and if you need logical separation between elements, use multiple tracks? Update: I posted the query over on SF's web board and was given a suggestion that might do what you're looking for Craig - if you drop an effect on a MEDIA POOL CLIP, it applies to everything derived from it (!) So that would do what you're looking for I believe.... (tried it, and indeed it does.)
  22. I had no trouble doing this. I had effects applied BEFORE and also applied them AFTER, and all was well. Try applying the effect to the track rather than to a clip. That's how I did it originally. I just tried it again on a different clip. Here's the exact sequence I used. 1. Zoom to the offending frame. 2. Hit "S" (split) 3. Move to the next (ok) frame, hit "S" again. You now have the offending frame isolated. 4. Select the audio track, right click, select "UNGROUP" (to avoid buggering the audio) 5. Select the single frame you isolated, and hit "CUT". There is now a "hole" in the video (the audio remains unmolested.) 6. Select the frame to the right (or left, your choice) which is ok and hit "COPY". 7. Point to the hole, hit "PASTE". 8. To re-group the audio and video, select both tracks and all components of the video track, right click and select "GROUP"->ALL ("G"), or just use -A to select all (if that's ok in this instance.) You can take an effect, subsequent to this, and drop it on the video track (on the left of the timeline) and it will apply to all the pieces of that timeline, including the doctoring you did. I just tried it again and it not only went through just fine on the fixed clip, but also went through on the credit roll at the end! That's what I'd expect since I dropped the effect on the TRACK (and not a clip or subsection.) I may not be understanding what you're trying to do that is failing subsequent to the fix, but it doesn't fail in this sequence.... what are you attempting that doesn't work?
  23. You can segment a track any way you'd like. If you want to split it into multiple segments you are free to do so, and you may apply effects either to the entire track or to any set of segment(s) (which my be one or more than one clip) as you wish. I usually don't do that, instead relying on keyframes to change effects at various points within a clip if I want to, but you split the clip and then apply the effect(s) only to the segment(s) you wish. Its a "six of one, half-dozen of the other" thing. Splitting the clips makes it easier to determine from quick examination of the timeline exactly where the transition point is as it is clearly indicated on the timeline; otherwise you have to either insert a marker on the timeline (which you might want to do anyway to import a chapter stop on a DVD, for example), or look at where the keyframes are to figure out where things change. If the trim occurs near an endpoint of a clip the best option is to replace the offending frame with its neighbor, thereby not requiring a stretch to fill the "hole". This way you avoid possible sync issues that could arise if you have a small amount of the clip available to stretch. The potential issue that arises with doing that is that if you adjust playback speed (particularly applying a "slow-motion" effect) you might be able to visually detect the edit, as you have effectively doubled the frame. Another possible option would be to extract the offending frame, "fix it" with some combination of video filters and then insert it back into the timeline! If you did that you'd have to be VERY careful so that whatever you had as a "base" in terms of color and exposure balance in the rest of the timeline was identical to the frame you modified; the FX you put on the line as a whole will apply to that frame, and if the match is not near-exact you will be able to see the glitch. The "flash" that I removed as a test from the choral concert occurred right at the end during the audience applause - I replaced the offending frames with their neighbors, since there was more than one flash within a few seconds' time and I didn't want to play stretch games with short segments lest it be very visible when rendered out, and I had no intention of doing any slow-mo on the timeline at all (its a choral concert, after all - why would you want to slow that down?) I had also applied some rather subtle effects to the timeline previously; to insure that your concern was addressed I went in and adjusted some of those parameters to make the effects VERY noticable, so that if the inserted frames did not get the same treatment it'd stick out like a sore thumb. No problem with that. From what I can determine doing this stuff is non-destructive to the original source clips as well - I went back and loaded that clip into a new project, and the flash was still there with the original clip unaltered.
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