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Everything posted by sparklehorse

  1. Thank you dreifish, that's very helpful. I don't anticipate shooting much video in shallow water. I'll be diving at the Marietas Islands, and from what I gather a typical boat dive there is between 40-70 feet. I know the 2000 lumen Hydra is not a lot of light to work with, but the Sony a6300 seems to be capable of shooting decent video at ISO 3200 or even ISO 6400. So I wasn't too worried about being under-gunned with the light, but I could be way off on that. I'll probably shoot video at 1/60th sec with an aperture of f/5.6, maybe f/4.0. I'm just hoping to get nice color on things like morays, or other fish or coral from a few feet away. Do you think I'd need more lumens at a depth of, let's say 60 feet? Also, I am concerned about backscatter from this video light. I'll have the Hydra light mounted on a 4 inch flexi arm attached to the cold shoe. I was told at the LDS where I bought the light that that setup shouldn't cause much backscatter for video, but what do you folks think? Thanks again for all the help!!
  2. Thanks for your reply. Are you using any artificial lighting, or shooting with only ambient light? I'm sure the red filter helps get pleasing color for ambient light, but I'd be concerned that anything illuminated by my video light or strobe would be too red if I used a filter. I've seen folks mention using a cyan filter, I assume on their video light or possibly on their strobe. I'm guessing this is to help tone down the red hue caused by a red filter. Not sure I'd want to go that way unless it's truly necessary.
  3. Hello again, I'd like to conduct an informal poll on the White Balance settings you folks like to use underwater with your Sonys. I did a lot of underwater photography back in the days of film, but have not yet shot any digital underwater, and figuring out white balance settings is a major concern for me right now. I'm headed to Mexico next week with my a6300, but I think all the Sony Full Frame and Mirrorless bodies from the last couple of years are fairly similar in terms of their white balance characteristics. I've read so many posts on this WB topic recently that my brain is just fried. Some say you should take a custom white balance every 10-15 feet, some say if you do this the Sonys throw an error because the reading will be outside the 9900k color temp limit, some say just set the WB manually to 9900k and add a +7 M tint, some say Underwater Auto White Balance works well enough, some say just Auto White Balance is fine, one guy posted PDFs of A4 size color swatches he made that simulate UW color cast, and that you can print those out and take a custom WB reading from them in daylight. Wow, so many freaking choices! Last time I took photos underwater the only 'White Balance' options were either Kodachrome or Fuji . I'll be shooting video as well as stills, using Sony's 10-18mm wide angle zoom. I'll be diving on the Pacific side of Mexico. I expect visibility of only about 30-40 feet. For video I have a Kraken Hydra 2000 lumen video light mounted on the cold shoe of my Nauticam housing on a 4 inch flexi arm. My plan was to use Sony's Underwater White Balance for video, because I'm afraid if I set a custom White Balance for the ambient light, anything illuminated by the light will be too red. Is this a valid concern? But I've read that Auto WB can change the color cast of your video abruptly and is best avoided. I think I'm going to shoot XACV-S in 4k, but I'd rather not have to do any color grading in post. What settings do you folks like to use for WB for UW video with a light? For stills I'll have two Sea & Sea YS-D2 strobes with diffusers. My plan for stills is to use Sony's Flash White Balance setting. That should give me good color for whatever is illuminated by the flash, but I'm not sure how the background water column is going to look. I will be shooting RAW, so I'm thinking I'll have enough latitude to adjust the background water to a color that is pleasing if need be. Does this sound like a good plan? What WB setting do you like to use on your Sony for Wide Angle stills with strobes? One other quick question - do you think I'll need to kill the video light prior to shooting a still? I'm concerned it could cast unwanted shadows or add a color cast, but maybe the strobe will be so much brighter it won't matter. Thanks for all your help guys and gals!
  4. Hello, I finally decided on a camera system for my Mexico trip next week: my Sony a6300 in an NA-a6300 Nauticam housing. I also purchased the optional Nauticam vacuum valve. I'm wondering what the battery life is like for the little CR2032 cell that mounts in the housing and powers its leak and vacuum detection system. My plan is to seal up the housing in the morning before leaving the hotel, and then leave it closed with the vacuum system on all day. I'll be on a small panga boat in open Pacific water, so I do not want to open the housing between dives. But I have no clue what the battery life is like for this system, and can't seem to find the info online anywhere. I'm planning two days of diving. Will that one little CR2032 cell power the system for potentially 12-15 hours (2 days, 6 hours each day)?? I don't mind if I have to swap out the battery after one full day of diving, but will it even last that long? It's too bad you can't turn the system off without opening the housing. What say you fine folks? Thanks for the help!! Gordon
  5. In case someone lands here someday looking for intel on the DC2000's image quality, I finally found a good gallery for it here: https://pillpusher.smugmug.com/Bonaire-May-2017/ Turns out, it's actually pretty darn good, at least in the center of the frame. I believe he is using the Sealife Fisheye wet lens, and as you might expect it's a little soft in the corners. That would be bad news if I were shooting street scenes or buildings, but for underwater photography I don't necessarily see that as a deal breaker. Hmmm. Now if only I could find some good DC2000 macro examples!
  6. Thanks for the link to the magnetic adapter. That looks like a good solution if I go the Meikon route. I have to ask about the last photo. Above the fishes' dorsal fin there is a strange, almost circular area where the background reef is blurred. Any idea what caused that?
  7. Thanks for that info Barmaglot. I've looked at the Meikon housing as well and haven't completely ruled it out yet. How were your results with their Flat Port and Wet Dome? I was concerned their Wet Dome optics might be sub par, and also that attaching and removing/storing the Wet lens while on a dive might be awkward and time consuming. I'd read somewhere that it can be tricky to get it threaded correctly, but wondered if maybe there is a swing away adapter available for it that would solve that problem. Sealife have what seems like a pretty good "snap on" solution for their wet lenses, and a decent looking storage dock for them too. Another plus for Sealife.
  8. Hello Wetpixel folks, New member here, I'm sure glad I found these forums! I would have posted this question in the Dedicated U/W Digicams forum, but it looks like that one hasn’t seen much traffic for a while. Anyhoo, I’m heading to the Marietas Islands near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in mid-December for my first diving trip in 25 years. I was a very active diver and underwater photographer back in the 80’s and 90’s, and had a great Nikonos V setup with SB102 strobe and 15mm Wide Angle lens. I want to get a new camera system for this upcoming trip, and I’ve narrowed my options down to either a Sony a6300 in an Ikelite housing, OR the Sealife DC2000. With the DC2000 I can also afford to get the Wide Angle wet lens, macro wet lens, 2 Sea Dragon flashes on flex arms, and their 2300 lumen video light mounted on the cold shoe. For the Sony option, I already have the camera, 16-50 PZ lens, a Sony 10-18mm and Sony 30mm Macro. I could afford the housing and the ports for those lenses, but then only one of the Ikelite DS161 strobes (which I like since it can also serve as a video light). I’m hopelessly torn between these two options, and hope you guys and gals can help me out! I am VERY attracted to the Sealife DC2000 rig due to its relative ease of use, integration of parts, camera body itself being waterproof, and their wet lens options allowing great versatility on one dive. It also seems more compact and portable, easier to deal with on a rocking 20 foot, open Panga boat. It also saves me some money over the Ikelite option. The only thing holding me back is image quality. Try as I might, I have seen very few image examples from the DC2000 that impressed me. They all seem to be quite soft, or not as sharp as I would like to see. But that may be due to image re-sizing for the web, or folks not working from RAW files, or some other factor. See the images in this otherwise excellent review as an example: http://www.divephotoguide.com/underwater-photography-special-features/article/review-sealife-dc2000-underwater-camera/ I realize the DC2000 with its smaller sensor is not going to have the low light capabilities of the Sony, but I’ll be using strobes, so I don’t see that as an issue. So can anyone fill in the blanks here? How good is the DC2000 image quality? Are there any Smugmug or other galleries online with good examples from this camera where I can view the full size image? That would be extremely helpful. Also, if anyone has experience with the a6300 in an Ikelite housing please share your thoughts on that rig. Or if you can point me to some high-res examples that would be great too. I’m especially curious about how the 16-50 does in the Ikelite housing with the 6 inch Dome Port (5516.15). Can you do some semi-reasonable macro with that setup? I’d love to stick to a one-lens solution for the a6300. Also, can you get 2 dives out of a Sony battery with the 6300? Thanks very much for the help! Gordon Portland, Oregon
  9. Hello Wetpixel people! I'm Gordon from Portland, Oregon. Haven't been diving in 25 years, looking forward to getting wet again soon. And taking lots of pictures!
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