Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


HDVdiver last won the day on September 27 2012

HDVdiver had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

16 Good

About HDVdiver

  • Rank
    Eagle Ray

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Adelaide, Australia...Great White Shark country.
  • Interests
    Dive,dive, dive...

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Panasonic GH2 hacked with Ptool
  • Camera Housing
    Subal (mod) and Nauticam GH2P
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    HDVSEATEK LED 4000 and LED 6000
  • Accessories
    HDVSEATEK, Subal
  • Industry Affiliation
  1. The notion that macro requires relatively little in the way of Lumen power is nonsense (as is the several multi-power settings gimmick of some already low-power "beginners" lights)...particularly if you are shooting "wide-macro" in bright ambient daylight conditions. To maximize image quality ISO needs to be low; and for good DOF (particularly with large sensor cameras) the f-stop needs to be around f11-16 (any higher risks diffraction effects). If you are using the same lights for wide/wide-macro the beam angle needs to be at least 100 degrees. I would not consider anything less than 4000 Lumens LED. Forget Halogen and HID as they have poor Lumen per watt efficiency.
  2. By coincidence I had a long chat with Mick on the phone just after watching your movie. Each time we chat he reminds me that it's time to go back to Tassie to video the kelp forests while they are still there. I must make the time to do so before this wonderful resource is gone for ever. Very nice video.
  3. A lot can happen in a week... Just a brief update to my earlier overview of the D5200. After using it topside for the last few days i am still very impressed with the video image quality...BUT there's a couple of serious issues that I've discoved that will make the D5200 less useful to some people: 1) Nikon have been dishonest in their impementation of Shutter Priority during Live-view for video. To cut a long story short (discussed at length at personal-view.com), whereas the LCD shows an f-stop read-out which shows the correct f-stop selected for auto-exposure in reality the diaphram DOES NOT CHANGE...the exposure is controlled internally/electronically...even though the ISO is fixed by the photographer (and is shown to be that which is selected on the LCD info). So...youre stuck with always shooting at the maximum aperture of the lens...duh! As if this B.S. wasn't enough: 2) Whatever gimmickery is changing to control exposure is also interacting in an unpredictable way with artificial light sources that rely on high frequency oscillation (Flouro and most LEDs) resulting in very conspicuous black bands in the video image ...but appearing and disappearing in the same file/sequence as ambient light changes (so not simply a 50/60Hz issue). No problems at all if manual exposure is used. If this is the best Nikon can do I worry for them and their integrity. My GH3 finally arrived...and after using/testing it much more extensively than I was able to before, I'm finding the camera handling and it's image quality @ 50p/70 mbps superb! Although the video out of the D5200 is slightly cleaner and more color accurate the overall performance, video AF accuracy and availability of 50p makes the GH3 my final choice in replacing the hacked GH2. I just hope Nauticam makes glass domes for the GH3 housing this time.
  4. I've recently been doing some interesting tests to determine what to replace my dear old hacked GH2's with. Like many others I've been following the release of the GH3 with great interest. The frustrating thing is that the GH3 has been virtually impossible to get here in Australia until a couple weeks ago...and that first batch has now been sold. I managed to "borrow" one from a dealer with a view to purchase. This allowed me to do a quick test and compare it with my hacked GH2 and D800. I've also been testing the new Nikon D5200 (which I've now bought) both without and with a Ninja2. All of the above cameras have clean HDMI out, which makes use with a Ninja (Prores HQ @220 mbps) a very big advantage over the internal codecs. I will not go into the details of my comparative tests other than to say that I'm only interested in optimum video image quality under normal circumstances...so noise at very high ISO is irrelevant for my selection criteria. I normally shoot at 400 ISO and rarely above 1000 ISO. To get to the point...for my requirements the Nikon D5200 (with and without the Ninja) produced the best video image in my topside tests. Slightly better than the D800; significantly better than the hacked GH2 and GH3 (which really isn't that different to the GH2's video quality...a bit disappointing, actually). In terms of DR, color purity, color gradation, color banding (lack of it), moire and aliasing, and...particularly NOISE, the D5200 was significantly better than the GH2/GH3, and somewhat better than the D800. The new Toshiba sensor in the D5200 with the way the processor handles the 24 mp image results in what is to my eyes a very beautiful, neutral and very clean video image. Two other important features of the D5200 (for me, anyway) is decent autofocus (AF-F) during video which is almost as good as Panasonics; and that the HDMI also carries audio...important for topside work with the Ninja. Unlike the D800 it is also possible to have very accurate auto exposure (AE-S) during Live-view video acquisition with the D5200 (and still control shutter preference and ISO). Of course each camera has its feature advantages (the 50/60p of the GH3 is excellent, whereas the 50/60i of the D5200 is retarded). For still photographers the RAWs out of the D5200 are way better than anything out of the GH3. If you are wondering why there are no Canon DSLRs on my short list...three reasons: 1) Canon have decided not to allow clean HDMI out for cynical marketing reasons (the HDMI out will soon be miraculously "unlocked" in the Canon 5D3 by a simple firmware update...no doubt in response to the success of the D800); 2) Canons (including the 5D3) have relatively soft video; and 3) I dislike the "Pink Disease" color cast of current Canon lenses. I had a 5D2 with several L lenses for a year...but went back to Nikon and Zeiss glass. Please regard this as just my personal opinion and a heads up about the cheap and humble D5200. I'm happy to answer questions...but I have neither the time nor desire to post examples to "prove" anything. There's pleanty out there already: GH2 vs GH3 http://provideocoali...l_video_camera/ "If you’re looking for a big leap in video performance over the GH2, the GH3 doesn’t appear to be it." D5200 vs GH2 http://www.eoshd.com...n-d5200-vs-gh2/ This has a couple of frame grabs that clearly shows the noise difference...which is much more noticeable when comparing the video material. I hope someone makes a good housing for the D5200 asap...or it's another Subal conversion job for me.
  5. Yep...just go ahead and do it...I did about 5 years ago and have never wanted to go back to the restrictions of a camcorder. Why? Potentially better video image quality (depends on the DSLR system you decide on); better lens quality/choice; versatility (ultra macro-to-ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel)) for still and video acquisition. More ergonomic once you get used to the DSLR housing characteristics. edit: I don't know WTF is going on...why is "weitwinkel" being auto-inserted in my post? Mein gott in himmel...
  6. Once you get rid of your EX1/Fathom clunker and adapt to the different and flexible workflow possibilities that a good, compact VidDSLR system allows the possibilities are endless. Video image quality will also improve (if you use a firmware modified GH2/GH3 or Nikon D800...the Canons don't particularly impress me for video). Also, depending on what end use you require for the still photos (web vs magazine/book) the DSLR's with high bit rate codecs (e.g. hacked GH2) provide very good quality stills from video files for web use. Currently available high power LED video lights also negate the need to take strobes for still photography.
  7. A couple of years back I was reasonably happy with using the Canon 5D2 topside...but I got rid of it after only a few dives. Then I had to sell several virtually unused Canon lenses that I'd just bought but were of no further use to me. I suggest you give your Canon 5D3 a try with a couple of dives first and see if you still want to keep using it for video (it's great for still photography). There are better alternatives for UW video as far as I'm concerned.
  8. The GH2 has now been in use UW for almost two years (and has been replaced by the GH3). If you do a search of Wetpixel and Vimeo you will find a lot of information about using hacked GH2's underwater.
  9. I think some of the "GH3" videos out there are actually bogus...but this one of Adam Mada doing a GH3 version of Phillip Bloom's "Mum cooking" is genuine. If what you refer to as banding @ 1:13 is the total extent of the issue in the GH3, I will be pretty happy with it. It's an 8 bit codec camera as is the PMW200's internal codec. It's likely to be hackable so who know's how good the image quality will be a few months after it's released.
  10. Apart from the size it's great work. Given that you have to make it round, screwing into the camera housing's rear viewing port is a very good idea. It's always better to use the tools at hand and make something that works than to never even try...
  11. I patiently await Episode Two...the test dive to 75 feet. Seriously though, it looks way too big to be practical. The Ninja housing could be a fraction of the size/weight if it was machined out of a solid block of aluminium or delrin to fit the shape of the Ninja. Also, having a separate cable linked external monitor would allow better ergonomics and positioning for viewing at different angles (not to mention transportability).
  12. That's true, but in reality motion blur is just as much a problem with strobes...unless there's very little ambient light. If there is a reasonable amount of ambient light a rapidly moving subject could still result in ghosting due to one image being exposed by the flash...and the other still being exposed by the open shutter after the strobe light has finished. A powerful LED video light comes close to the output of a medium sized strobe these days.
  13. Choosing and using an underwater video light is, in a way, getting more complex as the choice of products available increases. A few years ago the choice was limited to a handful of very expensive HID designs...now seems that more and more manufacturers are offering some sort of LED light. That's just the point..."some sort of LED" light. The choice becomes even more involved for the photographer (like myself) who wants to take stills as well as video during the same dive, without doubling up on strobes and LED lights. It's a personal choice but by way of guidance I will just make several points: 1) Google is your best and unbiased friend...see what's out there, check out the specs/prices/knowledge of subject shown in the manufacturer's website. Make a shortlist of possible alternative products that interest you. Don't be shy about emailing the manufacturers with any technical questions you might have. 2) Compare apples with apples...not with oranges. Compare different units of similar true power output...i.e. 4000/5000 @ THE SAME UW BEAM ANGLE (e.g. 120 degrees or 80 degrees). 3) Consider battery design and safety (and Airline regulations for carry-on or shipping in different regions). 4) Price/value for money. The days of overpriced but underperforming product is rapidly ending. A very good LED video light shouldn't cost much over $1500 these days. (compared to the $3000 HID's of several years ago). 5) Since LED is really the only way to go...how up to date is the LED emitter technology (particularly in terms of Lumen per Watt output and video desirable Chromaticity characteristics). This can vary enormously...from 160 Lumens per Watt (CREE XM-Ls) to abysmal, sub 100 Lm/W (cheap emitters). The latter is actually more common (the more emitters, the less efficient is a reasonable assumption)...even in some expensive lights currently on the market. Again, email the manufacturer about this if their website doen't give relevant specs. 250 Lumens per Watt has already been demonstrated by CREE and should be available to manufacturers in the near future. Expect 8000 Lumen compact lights to become common and affordable in the next year or two. 6) How functional is the design for real world use? Interchangable batteries? Double O-ring sealing? Field repairable? Switch ergonomics? Bouyancy characteristics? 7) Do they actually go out and use their own products
  14. Focus is fixed (only works with a large dome since can't use a diopter). Aperture controlled manually. Comparative tests I've done with a couple Samyang/Rokinors leave me very unimpressed with their optical quality (they don't look too bad until you do a side-by-side comparison with the Lumix 8mm, Minolta MD 7.5mm or Canon FD 7.5mm. The Lumix 8mm is a superb lens. I use the Minolta in addition because the color rendition and sharpness is unmatched by anything else I have ever used (including Zeiss optics). I quess that's why they are very hard to find in good condition and mint ones sell for more than a new Lumix 8mm.
  • Create New...