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About redryder

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Sony XDCam Ex1 - Sony HVR A1E
  • Camera Housing
    Gates - Sea&Sea
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    FA&MI LED Lamp
  • Accessories
    Fathom SWP - S&S Wide "custom"
  1. I have just received the latest version of the adjustable viewfinder from Gates. I can say that this is a real improvement over the original eye-piece: distortion have been solved and all in all you get a clear view and camera information are readable. Moreover you have the ability to adjust it according to your diopter needs. Thanks to John Ellerbrok and Gates staff to have listen to customer need. I have appreciated John approach towards customer needs and opinion. Alberto Happy Gates customer
  2. I will give the adjustable viewfinder a try. I believe focusing will give us hassle with such a camera,... the camera viefinder itself is low res and hardly usable for proper focusing. I hate external monitors but if Gates comes out with a new full hd solution and possibly Sony will update firmware (dreams ?...) enabling peaking, zebra and DOF bar on ext. monitor, I will consider to buy it. At the moment I found that the best solution is staying within hyperfocal range (quite restricting...); I set shutter to 1/50 so that I always get a high IRIS, use ND when needed to stay at F8 at the highest, auto IRIS, manual focus. With Fathom SWP I get proper focus on full wide; I was not able to get a proper focus with zoom in. Some close subjects (ex. a dolphin at 50 cm. from the camera) even with full wide turned out very soft, probably they were out of the hyperfocal range. Alberto
  3. I am back from my first diving trip in Polinesia with the new Ex1-Gates-Fathom SW combo. The housing construction is top quality: good work Gates ! The Fathom is a big (very big) piece of glass, the combo is a little scaring but handling underwater is fine. The quality it delivers is high: no vignetting and very wide (in my estimate more than 110 degree). I used it only in wide (no zoom) due to the problem of focusing using the viewfinder. Coming to the viewfinder: this is the real weak point of this combo. Focusing through the viewfinder is impossible and even framing is not easy as the image is distorted. Moreover the magnificator is not adjustable and you cannot correct any presbiopya problem. I wrote to Gates about this issue and Mr. Ellerbrock has answered quickly and nicely, proposing a solution to change the magnificator with a new one which is adjustable. He wrote that other clients have already adopted it and they are happy with the solution. I will need to ship the housing to Gates and sadly shipping cost and repair costs will be at my charge, so I would like to be sure that this solution will fix the problem. Anyone of the happy customers' John mentioned around who can give me its opinion on the new magnificator ? Thanks Alberto
  4. Drew: I finally convinced Sea&Sea to adapt the lens for Z1 to the A1 housing and incredibly I was right, I got sharp pictures edge to edge and near full zoom through. I have approximatley 95/100 degree compared to the monster 120 degree but quality is ok. So an happy end to the bad story finally ! Concerning progressive vs. interlaced I thought that interlaced delivers a slight better light sensitivity than progressive but I may be wrong. Concerning 24p being in a PAL world I thought I'd better stay with it rather than 30p which is more suitable for NTSC. Mark: why don't you try to setup shutter speed to a fixed value, you may use a rather low speed shutter (1/50 for 24p or 1/60 for 30p or even shutter off for macro) so that you always get the maximum light and high IRIS value to maximize DOF; IRIS to auto (you may switch to manual if you feel you are underexposing or over exposing). I would also set gain levels to: 0, 3, 9 and toggle between them according to needs. Alberto
  5. I got my EX1 at the end of July and just had the chance to play with it on land during a vacation in Germany/Black Forest. I recorded only in 1080p24 HQ. Found that auto focus is too slow so manual focus is a must; on the contrary the exposure you get with auto iris is usually ok even if it may look underexposed in the lcd. Gain always to 0 even under trees shade. Picture profile is very important to get "wow colors" and I used most of the time "Philip Bloom" set but I preferred to keep details on. White balance most of the time for daily use set in picture profile to 5200 or max 5.600 °K. Panning / fast moving objects issue at 24p: I had a manfrotto tripod with a "fluid like" head 501 all the time; panning with 24p must be very very slow otherwise you get nasty effect. Based on 10 days experience I worked out some resolutions for the underwater video (I am placing an order with Gates): - 1080 24p HQ mode preferred but I will also give a tri to 50i; - Fixed speed shutter: 1/50 for 24p (I may even think to go down to shutter off as underwater world usually is quite slow); - Auto IRIS; - Manual Focus: I think that finding Hyperfocal should be quite easy with DOF indicator which I found very accurate and ofcourse peaking (red peaking is very evident even in the low quality viewfinder); - Fathom lens is a must; - No external monitor: I have always found ext. monitor of no use, plus my eyes are aging and they perform better with the viewfinder. - White Balance: 5.600 in Picture Pofile preset, plus preset A or B at an higher level (I may even think to test the max available 10.000 to push red at depth); one push white balance stored on the remaining preset. - Gain: Low 0, Medium 3 or 6, High 6 or 9. EX1 is capable of stunning quality, fantastic low light / low noise performance and mounts a nice wide lens; all this considered I am quite confident I can get out of it something really better than what I am currenty getting with my A1/Sea&Sea rig. P.S.: I am not a Macro fan/expert so I may have an easyer task
  6. I was very very close to change my sony a1 equipment in favor of the canon a1/equipment. Then EX1 was out and stopped the decision attracted by top notch performance. At the moment I am forcing myself not to order the camera and wait to have someone really testing camera underwater. Gates has undergone the development, housing should be ready for release by June. My worries/concerns are: - vignetting issue of the camera on mid zoom, problem & solution still not completely defined; - rolling shutter issue (present on all CMOS); - I have seem "banding colors" problems on gradient backgrounds (i.e. skies, not reassuring for blue water...); - I am concerned about heating problems; the Ex is substantially a PC with an objective attached and it has a fan to heat processors and components; not sure this can work in a small box (overheat in tropical water ?) - dimension & weights: housing will be bigger than a z1 and v1 housing we can be sure of this; this will make airplane trips more complicate; - need to upgrade to final cut studio 2 (final cut 5X does not work with ex files); need to buy a macbook pro to download files during dive trips. By the way I would love to have the camera in my hands tomorrow. Wanted to share all this with you. Alberto
  7. I have received a mail from Gates, they are working on xdcam ex housing; expected shipping date is June 2008. I know that Sony clip viewer software runs only on Intel Mac. Does anyone know how we, poor G5 quad owner, will be able to import xd cam ex files straight into Final Cut 5 (not 6...). Alberto
  8. Hopefully Gates will give acces to preset buttons... What I meant is that I can't see an easy way to select between 20 different presets underwater; this lovely camcorder gives acces to anything form chroma / luminance to selective colors enhancement which is wonderfu if you have time (and access to controls) to play with the finetuning which is not underwater.
  9. I nearly took the decision to go for the A1 and leave behind my sony A1. Gates housing should be on sale by August, they say, but I still have two big doubts in my mind. 1) I am not clear about low lux performance of canon A1, how does it compares to the 3 lux z1 ? Tech spec on user manual or camcorder info test are not comparable. 2) I have read a lot of comments on hdvinfo which say that you need to fully master manual settings to get nice pictures; sony works much better in auto mode than canon, which makes me think that canon is not so good for underwater video, I cannot see how you can effectively play with manual settings underwater. What do you think ? What is your suggestion ? Alberto
  10. It's ridiculous that Apple is selling its top machine 8 core bla bla bla, releasing a main update of its NLE and we still have those old SuperDrive writing our HD stuff with old old SD resolution. come on !
  11. DVD STUDIO PRO 4 Supported Output Formats DVD-R using Apple DVD-R drive or Pioneer DVR-S201 recorder DLT tape (required for DVD-9 projects) DDP to hard drive CMF on DVD-R (Cutting Master Format) Disk Image HD DVD blue-laser replication What about Blue Ray ?
  12. I usually edit on Final Cut Pro/MacPro G5 quad, but for a daily check of my footage on divetrips I planned to buy a MacBook Pro and use iMovie HD. I tested iMovie HD on a MacMini intel core duo 1,83 GHZ to see if such a small macchine could handle HDV import (sony a1e 1080/50i); everything seems fine but when a playback the captured .mov file it is in slowmotion (approximately 20%-30% slower then the original). Is this due to the machine, software or what else ? Moreover is the imported .mov file with iMovie HD the same quality as the Final Cut Pro and could be transferred to Final Cut Pro simply by copying it to an external hard disk ? Thanks for any help Alberto
  13. These are freezeframes from the DVD that Sea&Sea quality evaluation dept. has sent me as supporting evidence as mentioned in their report. Is this an acceptable quality ? I think it isn't. Still no further news from Sea and Sea.
  14. I have just received their reply by email: Thank you for your e mail and comment on Sea & Sea service division’s evaluation. I will immediately translate your e mail into Japanese and forward it to Sea & Sea service division and people concerned. I will revert to you after speaking to service division, please bear with me for a while. Unfortunately, I cannot offer you any solution today. Your patience is highly appreciated
  15. I would like to let you know the kind of reply I am having from Sea and Sea concerning poor quality issues I have with their X.035 lens. It is now 5 months I am coping with this and after having shipped them sample images and later on the lens after their tests they say: there is nothing to do with that, you bought (for 2.500 Euro) an old VX 4:3 format lens bye bye. Very different from what they say in their advertising that you can still read today on their web site under Hc1 accessories. I still hope they will recover from this bad customer satisfaction situation but the hope is very thin. Here is my letter to Sea and Sea: --------------------------------------------------- I write to you to bring to your attention a problem I have concerning Sea and Sea O.35X Super Wide Conversion Lens Pro in combination with VX-HC1 PRO housing and Sony HVR-A1. Here are the facts: - In october 2006 I have provided Fraco with DVD and a HDV cassette showing the poor quality produced by the O.35X lens; the DVD has been delivered to Sea and Sea during the DEMA fair; - After having seen and evaluated the DVD sample images Sea and Sea has asked to receive and test the lens; - On 25th January the lens has been delivered to FRACO and then shipped to Japan for testing. The results of the test (see Sea and Sea report in the attached PDF document) basically says that: - the lens has been designed for the VX-2000 PRO for Sony VX2000-PD150 model which are standard resolution cams (not HDV) and 4:3 (not 16:9); - the quality of the image of any conversion with magnification of less than 0.5x or 0.6x has some optical problems; - the lens is not judged as faulty or defective. But let me point out that: - as a matter of fact the quality image is very poor also underwater as shown on the images provided by Sea and Sea quality assurance dept. on DVD; the image is unfocused and distorted also in underwater condition; - as Sea and Sea admits the lens was not designed for 16:9 High Definition use; this was not said at all in any of your catalogue nor advertising nor FRACO mentioned to me. Please also note that I bought the x.035 lens (Paid Price 2.500 Euro) having been persuaded by your advertising which says: x0.35 Super Wide Conversion Lens PRO (Product No. 52105) Achieving a high-quality image with minimal distortion, this amphibious super wide conversion lens is the perfect solution for wide-angle videography It produces professional quality images allowing the videographer to get close and still capture the surrounding scene. My real experience is: - the lens is not amphibious: on land the lens is totally no-use; - the lens it does not produce professional quality images at all. For the above mentioned reasons I am totally dissatisfied with the product and unhappy with the reply from your quality assurance department. I still believed that you have the willing of recovering the satisfaction of a customer that has trusted your brand and your advertising. I therefore ask you to make any possible effort to find out a solution. On the solutions side I wonder if you can try to fit the 0.48X lens (the fx1 model) or a new (under design) lens. Hoping to have a positive feedback I remain. Kind regards SEA_AND_SEA_REPORT.pdf
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