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Posts posted by adamtaylor

  1. White balance looks great.

    I'm axious to get my GH5 into cold water this weekend (conditions permitting).

    The settings choices the GH5 are almost overwhelming relative to my Canon SLR so it's interesting to see what has worked for you, particularly given I dive in similar conditions (Monterey). I would not normally consider auto ISO as an option for example.

    Also, I had not encountered the shutter angle option (thanks stphnmartin).



    Hi Brad,


    I tried Auto ISO because like you I find the choices overwhelming.


    Basically I wanted to keep things simple, set a shutter speed, try Manual White Balance, start at f8 and go from there. I thought the added adjustments to ISO would be too much on my first dive, and besides I was curious to see what the camera would chose in different conditions. The more open green water shots were 6400 and the mid range shots 2500 with close ups and jelly shots 640 to 1600. It's not great footage & I have not pixel peeped, but with all the particulate I did not notice much graininess to the footage. May be different at 4K and clear water / lots of colour.


    Perhaps once it is edited to get rid of washed out whites etc it could look worse, but compared to how my EM5 performed at high ISO I am happy.


    Will try to get out to some of my deeper. darker sites in the next few weeks and push the settings a bit to see how it performs.


    Considering you can access ISO by pressing a lever then spinning a dial I will be trying full manual settings soon, but one thing at a time...


    As for cold water, even with thin dry gloves with liners all the controls were easy to use.


    Will update over the next few weeks as I continue experimenting. The more we share the more we learn...






  2. Adam, did you add anything to adjust the buoyancy of the camera? Any floats needed?

    The 180mm dome is relatively buoyant, but the rig is much heavier than my Olympus EM5 which was slightly negative with 4 large stix floats. Mind you I experimented with this on the surface and there was a heavy lens of mixed river water. Will try at depth next time to see if it is better balanced in straight salt water


    I shot mostly stills with my EM5 so had a pair of YSD1 on a 10"+8" arm per side. Last year I got a pair of Archon video lights and added a triple clamp at the end of 10" which then split to two 8" arms (one with strobe, one with video light). Each 8" arm has 2 large stix floats.


    For my first dive with GH5 I kept the same set up, but skipped the strobes as I don't have a flash for the GH5 yet (and one strobe needs repair). It was negative, but didn't drop like a stone. I could let it go for a few seconds, and it would start to slowly sink.


    Macro setup will be much more negative, but likely workable. Will try and then consider adding more Stix or similar.







  3. Thanks Stephen,


    Had read somewhere 1/60 was OK for 60fps but wondered as most simply double the frame rate. Recall seeing an article on shutter angle and so will do more research.


    Bottom line is the Nauticam housing was easy to use, even with dry gloves. Buttons and levers are all within easy reach and once I get used to them I am sure I can operate without having to look at them.


    Will continue to experiment with video until I get the panasonic flash listed by Nauticam (not sold in Canada) then shoot some stills which I am more familiar with.


    Love being able to white balance, my old EM5 on Auto WB created some pretty funky colour casts, especially with gloomy / murky water and video lights.


    Going to be a fun, if steep learning curve. But I have a good group dive buddies and many interesting sites & critters to practice with.







    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  4. Hello all,


    On both the Mirrorless and Video Gear threads there has been much speculation and desire for information on how the GH5 performs underwater.


    I received my Nauticam Housing last week and got the camera in the water for a single dive on Sunday. I used my Olympus 12-40 f2.8 Pro lens in 180mm Nauticam glass dome which I used with my Olympus EM5


    Full disclosure I am a rookie at video, and have even less experience editing. I have been shooting stills for 4.5 years and while I enjoyed the EM5 I found it a bit lacking lately with some of my deeper, darker dives doing conservation work on glass sponge reefs. Constructive criticism greatly appreciated.


    I am in the process of upgrading both my hard drives and computer system as my old laptop is out of space, and horsepower.


    Due to my current computer challenges videos linked below were shot 8 bit 1080p 60fps, and have been run through Windows Movie Maker which converted them to 30fps? (As stated, the technical side is currently beyond me)


    No colour grading, exposure or other shifts has been applied. You will note the white plumose anemones are washed out / burnt at times but I really wanted to get a feel for the camera, and judging results on a small camera screen is not that easy. There is some focus hunting, which I honestly think was me hitting AF lock lever trying to re-focus.


    Anyway, to keep things simple I shot 1/60, f8, Auto ISO, Manual White Balance and Single Autofocus.


    The white balance was remarkably easy, simply hit the thumb lever, then up button to activate viewfinder, point at something white (I used my dry glove, or a white anemone) and hit OK. Perhaps a grey slate would work better? I don't know, this was the first time I have ever performed manual white balance.


    Local water conditions can be challenging at times due to river run-off and plankton. This dive had pretty good conditions; decent visibility at depth with suspended particulate and a surprising amount of light considering the top 8 feet was river silt with 2 foot viz, and the next 10+ feet was plankton soup with 5ish foot viz.


    Here are a few miscellaneous shots where I tried different scenarios https://youtu.be/ydu2t-w1Vis



    Mother octopus grooming eggs (eggs start at 1:06) https://youtu.be/M7NrIMyTR4o







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  5. Had to use my old camera on Saturday dives as I didnt have a battery for Leak detection system.


    But Sunday's five went well.


    Need to upgrade my computer before editing 4K and will go through the 1080p 60fps footage in next couple days.


    Very impressed with ease of white balance for a rookie like me. 2 octo on eggs was an added bonus


    More comments later in week


    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

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  6. It might be an issue with manufacturing tolerances of either Panasonic or Nauticam. Here is a photo of the Olympus 60mm focus gear contacting the nose on my GH5. I've worn off some GH5 paint attempting to turn the gear.

    Picked up my Nauticam GH5 housing yesterday and it appears very well constructed & sturdy.


    Have not taken it underwater but did try my existing lenses for fit issues;


    Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 Pro in the 180mm glass dome with extension etc appears to work fine.


    Olympus 60mm in Nauticam 77mm Macro port for 12-50mm also appears to work fine.


    The Olympus 12-50mm with Nauticam macro / zoom gear contraption I used with my EM-5 wont even properly connect to the camera. It will mount, but due to the teeth on the zoom gear and alignment of the 'cage' around the lens it doesn't seat well enough for the camera to even recognize it.


    Awaiting further input on the new components for this lens that work with GH5 (cost, availability etc...)


    FYI for Canadian purchasers. Panasonic Canada does not list the Panasonic flash specified on the Nauticam website. Unless things change it looks like we will have to order through USA.


    Looking forward to testing this weekend in the water.







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  7. Personally I find the 12-40mm my preferred lens if conditions are reasonable for wide angle. And even when the top 20-30 feet are soupy and it dark down below it can still collect alot of light.


    Not super wide, but when you find a reasonably small critter you can zoom in to 40mm and get some close ups, or fish portraits.


    I find the 180mm dome a bit bulky, and it really changes the buouyancy characteristcis but if you like over-under shots it works well.


    That being said I would prefer something wider....


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  8. Following as I am seriously considering GH-5 as an upgrade to my Olympus EM-5


    Already have the Nauticam Macro Port for my 12-50mm & 60mm. Plus the 180mm glass dome for my 12-40f 2.8 Pro.


    Curious to see reviews and opinions on wider lenses such as comparing the Oly / Pana 7-14mm and a WWL set up.


    Also curious to see a comparison of the Oly / Pana 8mm fisheye







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  9. Others may have input specific to your Nikon but with my Olympus EM5 I often struggle in murky, water which often is one step from plankton soup or mixed with river silt and glacial run-off.


    I started with a Sola 800 photo light as it can double for macro video. It has a red setting which doesn't scare most critters, amd I find my camera can focus with it even when my eyes cannot.


    Pardon the pun, but for extra flexibility I mounted it to the housing cold shoe using a loc-line arm. This allows me to get it up and above a smaller subject, but also twist it down alongside the flat port to light up critters hiding in cravasses.


    Having it higher than the camera also helps reduce backscatter on longer exposures.


    The light is many times less powerful than a strobe flash, so I don't think it has ever impacted the images (except really long exposures) If anything it can provide minor fill light for shadows etc.


    Lately I have been shooting a mix of still and video, so have a pair of Archon 2600 lumen video lights mounted on a 3-way clamp at then end of the first arm segment. I use one of them on low for focus and prefer the light from the side as it seems to produce less backscatter in turbid water.


    Good luck & happy diving





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  10. Shortly after getting my 2nd YSD1 I was having issues with imbalanced lighting.


    I kept adjusting the low lightung one upward to compensate then suddenly would have blown images. No rhyme or reason.


    Turns out I had unknowingly activated 'Slave' mode on one strobes by pushing and holding the focus light button while rinsing. It was firing slightly later than the other creating imbalanced lighting on short shutter speeds.


    This may not be the case with you, but check to confirm that both lights on back of strobes cycle the same after firing.


    I seem to recall one of mine cycled red, green, red. The other was red, blue, red.


    If this isnt the case then like the others suggested I would start swapping synch cords around to see if that is the issue.


    Good luck





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  11. Perhaps further discussion on autofocus should move to Video section but as a mirrorless camera, and one I am considering for a mix if stills and video I want to see others opinions.


    Most of the reviews about autofocus have been for use in Video Blogs, which isnt relevant to my underwater shooting. If it turns out there are no consistent ways to achieve focus for underwater macro and wide angle then the camera isnt at all appealing.


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  12. The 60mm is a different beast entirely when it comes to autofocus. I find it better to back button focus and tweak with manual focus knob as needed.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I completely agree it is a different beast. The Oly 60mm is a great lens which can produce crisp results but it can be challenging.


    When conditions are less than ideal, or when a small subject is close enough to other things to confuse auto focus my preferred still photo solution is as follows;


    1) Pick an easy nearby target in same approximate focal plane.


    2) Use a pre-set function button to first switch to Manual Focus


    3) Use the other function button to magnify the target in the viewfinder. I find the Nauticam dials very useful to 'walk' the magnified area into the right location.


    At that point I use the focus knob or rock the camera to fine tune focus on the details I want.


    Now for video??? That is the question of the day.


    Mind you, I think I read somewhere that the GH5 provides the option to zoom in on specific areas of the screen while recording? Anyone know if this is possible?



    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk


    Yeah, I watched that video previously. It performs better, but still kinda flakey. I have a GH5 and am deciding if I'm going to keep or return it. I have just the 60mm lens to test with. Moving from a dedicated video camera to mirrorless is a big change.

    Stephen, if you do keep it and get the GH5 underwater in the Northwest please post comments.


    My EM5 struggles with focus at times, especially with the 60mm in waters near Vancouver. Be interested to see how the GH5 compares.


    There is alot of fresh water mixing near the surface at many of my regular sites. So I imagine any camera will struggle focusing through changing water densities...


    It is a big financial commitment to purchase a GH5 and housing, even if my current lenses and ports are compatable. Seeing some real world results and reviews will be required before I make my decision.







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  14. There appears to be dozens of opinions on the autofocus. Hard to say if it is as bad as many say, or if there are setting changes that could improve things.


    This is probably the only positive one I have watched so far


    If anyone does get the GH5 housed and underwater I am very interested in how autofocus reacts in murky / silty water.


    Thanks in advance



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  15. Feeling no judgment or criticism from your comments. That is why I posted to see others thoughts and opinions.


    I am not rushing this, if it turns out that firing strobes is an issue then the GH5 may be removed from consideration.


    Waiting to see a few real world reviews. Ideally including low light performance, and autofocus in murky, plankton / sediment laden water....


    Happy diving


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  16. Pehaps some people like me want to shoot both photos and video?


    Personally I holding off upgrading my EM5 mk1 until I see reviews of both EM1 mkii and GH5


    While I currently shoot 80-90% stills video is becoming of more interest for the Marine Comservation projects I volunteer with.


    The still photo to video ratio would likely become more balanced, but I find the video capabilities of the EM5 somewhat lacking. Then again that may be due a combination of the user and the often murky environment of my local waters.


    It would appear that the EM1 mkii is the better choice for stills, but initial reviews indicate the GH5 is a capable stills camera.


    How this translates to underwater imaging, and the use of strobes remains to be seen.


    Regardless, until I read otherwise I will assume that with technological advances the GH5 would be a more capable stills camera than my current EM 5 mk1


    So, if the real-world underwater reviews show the GH5 as greatly superior for video, and holding its own for photos then I will likely change from Olympus to Panasonic.


    All my current lenses and Nauticam Ports will work on either camera.


    Then again, with people upgrading their rigs perhaps I will spot a good deal on a used Sony A7Sii and completely change direction based soley on it's superior low-light performance for conservation work on Glass Sponge Reefs in my deep, dark & murky local waters...


    For now I have more questions than there are answers so will have to be patient.


    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  17. Another thing to consider is that with all the great new camerw offerings people are selling their used gear.


    A used rig which may not be as good as the EM1mk 2 or D500 will likely be better your current compact. Watch the classifieds, some great deals, and some which are barely discounted (I often scratch my head at that)


    And if you strategically purchase good strobes / arms etc those can migrate to a newer rig if you feel you outgrow the used rig.


    Good luck,





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  18. Hi all. I have an olympus OM-D EM-5 MkII setup in a Nauticam housing, specifically this is with the 60mm lens in Nauticam port. At macro distances with a focus light when needed AF is quit acceptable. I often want to shoot smaller fish as well up to around 200-300mm, which requires backing off and shooting from further back if I want to get the whole fish in the frame. I generally dive around Sydney in temperate waters and the visibility is often not that great with floating snot algae at times and other particulate matter.


    The issue I have is that when trying to focus at greater distances, like 0.5 to 1m away the lens/camera often seems to not even attempt to focus. Yes I know I should be closer, but often times you have to take what you can get. I suspect it is locking onto particulates and deciding not to move any further. I've tried various tricks like focusing on my hand and progressively increasing the distance, but that seems hit and miss. I thought I'd try the focus gear, (setting AF to S-AF plus MF) but the slow manual focus speed Olympus has provided for the lens coupled withe slow gearing on housing/gear combo means I need to spin the housing focus/zoom knob 30-60 times to get the system in the ballpark so the AF can take over.


    Anyone have any tips to get the camera to re focus at greater distances? Yes I know closer is better, but there are plenty of worthwhile targets in the size range I'm talking about as well as smaller macro stuff. Thanks in advance for any tips......



    I have a similar problem in the turbid waters around Vancouver. Plenty of mixing with river water, silts, glacial milking and plankton blooms... My EM5 mk i with 60mm is constantly searching and never achieving focus lock. Or as you say simply being stumped.


    I find myself avoiding shots over 18" / 45cm away. IF the lens tracks focus and I get the shot it's generally a milky, washed out image due to particulate etc.


    As a work-around to these focus issues I've tried using Single Auto Focus / Manual Focus setting. If you can't lock on your subject try locking on an easy nearby subject at a similar distance. Then switch to Manual and either dial, or rock the camera to achieve focus on your original target.


    BTW one of my Function presets is set to toggle to AF/MF










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  19. I had the same problem with my EM5 the last day of a 6 day live aboard trip in Channel Islands.


    Try cleaning the battery contacts on both the battery and inside camera.


    Regardless of how 'dry' I though my hands were during battery swaps some moisture caused minor corrosion / film to build up and interfere with the connection.


    One of my buddies used diluted vinegar on q-tips and scrubbed the contacts clean, dried them and it has worked fine for past year.


    Good luck



    Adam Taylor

  20. I will have to watch the video to comment on it's content, but have heard LOTS of chatter about it. From what I have heard the 'documentary' is very biased and some information has been used out of context.


    Perhaps someone with more knowledge of the specifics can comment?


    Having been involved in a number of Citizen Science and Marine Conservation initiatives with the Vancouver Aquarium I have nothing but respect for the individual researchers and the organization for it's efforts in those specific areas.


    Before tarring the whole organization with the same brush consider both the source of the video, and the other initiatives the Vancouver Aquarium is part of (science, conservation, education, marine mammal rescue / rehabilitation etc)


    I will reserve judgement on the whales in captivity part until I have time to watch the video.


    This issue, and discussing support of the organization should be relevant to the Underwater Photography Community as they have a number science initiatives that local underwater photographers can and do contribute towards. Off the top of my head these include; Rockfish Surveys, Annual Lingcod Egg Mass survey, Sea Star Wasting Syndrome, Glass Sponge Reefs etc.


    Input from their researchers and support from the organization has helped with numerous conservation issues over the years which are directly relevant to Scuba Divers and Underwater Photographers. Some of these include creation of Rockfish Conservation Areas, reintroduction of Black Rockfish to Howe Sound and Bottom Fishing Closures for Straight of Georgia Glass Sponge Reefs. Aquarium staff are working with other non-profit groups that I am involved with on two other glass sponge reef initiatives;


    1) Proposed expansion of Halkett Bay Provincial Park to include glass sponge gardens and glass sponge reef (bioherm) all of which are within recreational scuba depths.


    2) Expansion of Bottom Fishing Closures to include ALL known glass sponge reefs in Howe Sound (5 of which occur shallow enough for air diving which is unique in the world).






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