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bghazzal

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bghazzal last won the day on May 19 2020

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About bghazzal

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    Lionfish

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    https://tinyurl.com/afieldofblue

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Asia
  • Interests
    Underwater video -
    Filming on breath-hold in addition to scuba -
    Working with ambient light -
    Macro video -

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Lumix LX10 - Olympus TG5 - GoPro7
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam NA-LX10
  • Accessories
    UR-PRO CY Filters

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  1. more on the RGBlue Blackbody VM12 on the NHK website.... What a monster... https://www.nhk.or.jp/strl/open2021/tenji/16/3.html
  2. Never been so can't be of much help but this French blogger's dives were at 24m - visibility's supposed to be good in FP. https://worldadventuredivers.com/diving-in-fakarava/
  3. Thanks for the heads up, I was planning on buying a few! Best go stick to their freediving neck weight then, as it's made for use in sea water. I've been using their FRD500 1.5kg neck weight (https://www.decathlon.sg/p/8546390-114679-frd500-freediving-lead-neck-ballast-15-kg.html ) for actual freediving training, it's solid and comfy for that purpose, and worked quite well to stabilise a Joby tripod on scuba. It's soft, with 2 main (closed) shot compartments and then smaller ones on the sides and good .velcro I saw they also have a heavier mode "chabaud"model, seems maybe a little rigid for tripod purposes https://decathlon.lv/en/unlinked/335751-85214-freediving-chabaud-hydro-2-kg-neck-weight.html other types of FD weights: https://www.deeperblue.com/neck-weights-for-freediving/
  4. For weights, I've experimented with freediving neck weights. They have have a velcro strap and can be easily attached. Here's a Decathlon 1.5kg model, handy for different purposes https://www.decathlon.sg/p/8546390-114679-frd500-freediving-lead-neck-ballast-15-kg.html Decathlon also makes cheap soft ankle weights in different weights as well, but not sure how these would hold in salt water. https://www.decathlon.co.uk/browse/c0-sports/c1-fitness-and-gym/c3-ankle-and-wrist-weights/_/N-1dwz33b if you have acces to lead shot and want to go full DIY, here's the tried and true homemade freediving neckweight method, with a tyre inner tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cQOz9ePDN8
  5. Haven't seen any, they were announced last May, and marketed very recently (the product page is less than a month old) I'll let you know if I see any reviews, but I'm guessing will probably be restricted to the Japanese market for a while. This profile here (Japanese only) explains that the lights were initially developped as something of a collaboration project with NHK teams, for 4K/8K footage. https://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/1253757.htm They market it as "supernatural light with premium colour" and present the 5000K model as ideal for working on sunny days, and the 4200K as offering slightly more vivid colours.
  6. Thanks - I remember seeing these as well. Looks like they have quite a few models now: http://www.fisheye-jp.com/products/light/light.html Fisheye is also Japan's official Nauticam dealer / service centre, hence the products - but I definitely agree, most small Japanese companies are a little mysterious, even when you speak the language - they just seem to always do things their own way Recently there was some news on the Japanese UW grapevine of a new video RGBlue light aimed at professional productions, the RGBlue BlackBody (sic, ehrm...) VM2, said to give up to 20,000 lumen at either 4200K or 5000K, and all that for roughly 4,900 euros a piece: http://www.rgblue.jp/ja/products/blackbody/
  7. Out of curiosity, what are your opinions on Japanese lights? When I was working in a Japanese environment, and Japanese divers / guides swore by Inon lights, but then again they do tend to be quite chauvinistic and do that for all Japanese equipement brands (Gull, Bism, SAS...). RGBlue lights seem to be gaining in popularity on the Japanese scene as well http://www.rgblue.jp/en/ I'm moving to Japan next month so these will be an option. It's interesting to remember "Made in Japan" used to mean low-quality, from the first transistors of the 1960s up to the 1980s, then the label slid to "Made in Hong Kong", "Made in Taiwan" before it became the ubiquitous "Made in China". That said, quality of Japanese electronics did increase significantly after Japan's MITI refocussed R&D and investments on electronics, moving on from petrochemistry after the oil shocks of the 1970s, which led to rise of the well known electronic branches/brands of Japanese conglomerates. Taiwanese and Korean industries were developped in the wake of Japanese colonisation, based on the "flying geese model" and were initially working as assemblers for Japanese brands for the most part, before they started producing their own branded products (Asus started as a Toshiba assembler for instance), and eventually overtaking Japanese industries, especially following the drastic cuts in Japanese R&D budgets that took place after the economic bubble burst in 1989... The Japanese camera sector seems to be doing kind of ok, but I wonder how they're doing on the light front....
  8. This has been posted before, but here's an interesting article on using the gopro for simple underwater video production: http://www.divephotoguide.com/underwater-photography-special-features/article/shooting-underwater-film-gopro-indonesia/ As mentioned, even with a housing mounted cam, you really don't want to be filming the whole dive though, sounds like a logistical nightmare to get something useful out of the footage, especially if not shooting with intent and snapping strobe-lit pictures during the dive... Going for roughly 10 to 30 second clips (+handles), and up to one minute max if you want to capture a specific behaviour in more detail, all shot in between your still shots, sounds more reasonable. Having a point and shoot cam at the ready on your housing means that wouldn't need to change anything on your primary camera setup for stills, wouldn't be using up its the battery (video really shortens battery life), framing should be relatively easy, and the footage is nicely stabilised. Image quality will surely be better on a DSLR, but it also depends on what you're going after in the end. Here's some basic tips on action cams for UW use that might also be of interest (I personally don't subscribe to everything said there, and really not a fan of the word "cinematic", but it's a good introduction to a less "action-focused" use of such cams, for those of us who don't really "want to be heroes") https://youtu.be/bujdeD-DKEs https://youtu.be/9gh2ll8kPvI The original post described wanting to: - shoot occasionally, if a rare encounter/behaviour shows up and DSLR lens aren't a good fit, then maybe capture a video at less than 25m depth - occasionall, record a family video when kids snorkel - occasional (maybe) shoot some vlogging videos In this case, why not play around with a cheap housing-mounted action cam (GoPro, Paralenz, Sony...) for maximum hassle-free flexibility, shooting in ambient light in between still shots, to get a feel of what you would be doing with the clips, and the post work involved for editing and colour correction. Then maybe going for lights which you can keep as you upgrade - and eventually, if you want to dig deeper, going for good video-capable compact or a direclty something like a GH5 or Sony MFT and sharing the still/video workload? Regarding wide angle GoPro-style cams and ambient light, it also depends on conditions, what you're filming and the kind of result you're going after. In many locations, unless you have dedicated video lights powerful enough for wide angle even in the shallows, you can get acceptable results by shooting in a flat profile (limiting the adjustments the camera will try to do in terms of white balance and colour profile on a gopro this is done by turning on ProTune). You can white balance in post, but not UW. Your footage won't pop without lights, but you can definitely avoid colour casts, and if the focus is on the behaviour or the experience, it can work. Beyond the flat colour + WB profile setting on the action cam, on the GoPros you can also manually set the ISO (or leave on auto with a set minimum and maximum ISO) and also shutter speed, but aperture is indeed fixed. Main issue with the GoPro 5 up to 9 is the increased distortion in their not-as-wide "linear mode" fov, compared to the GoPro4's medium fov which was fine. The distortion is probably used to the stabilisation processed introduced - it's quite ugly on the sides at the slightest pan and the change also killed the possibility of using close-up lenses efficiently. On the TG5/6 you lose the shutter setting in video, but can set aperture to some degree and can also manually white balance underwater - sensor size is identical on TG and GoPro, but as previously mentioned, unless going for closeup (macro) video with lights, I wouldn't really bother with the TG for video for its bulk, hunting autofocus, weaker colour science, stabilisation and poor battery life when shooting video... Shooting in identical conditions, I prefer the results I got native wb on a GoPro white-balanced in post gives better results than Olympus' UW manual white balance. This here is shot on recent GoPros, mostly in ambient light, in the shallows https://youtu.be/Ftsv6a_RS3k https://youtu.be/wrUyigQwXjM These are shot in ambient light in tropical locations, 0 to 20m range, UR filter, flat settings https://youtu.be/cBl5Wc0Fscw https://youtu.be/0hwZXf4v0aE https://youtu.be/1DmbOUKrOMo If shooting mainly in Australia's more temperate and darker waters, ambient light might not be so much of an option though... There's some really sound suggestions in this thread. I'd just add that it really depends on what you're going for with the video footage. If it's too complicated to simply use your DSLR setup as-is for such purposes, a (pair of?) housing mounted action cam - that you can get real cheap second-hand since these things are really tough - if set-up and used efficiently, sounds like a good way to get some footage to work on, and then building on from there, according to your needs as they develop.
  9. I'd recommend a GoPro 7 and up, as a solid, cheap option. They are small can easily be mounted on the hot/cold shoe of a camera housing to act as a video backup, and they're hassle-free. The standard super-suit housing is tiny and cheap. You can set the field of view to less wide to limit distortion (linear) or shoot (very) wide , and other options with pro-tune if you plan on working on the footage in post. It's a good and simple way to easily shoot stabilized 4K, 1080 and not use up your primary cam's battery. i use a 7 with a UR Pro CY filter down to 20m in ambient light the tropics with good results, but you can probably get away without one to 15m with the newer models, especially if you white balance in post. I don't about the TG6, but on the TG5, the battery life isn't great when shooting video, and it's more bulky.. Their Tg6's main strength is close-up video, but then you need lights - for the kind of use you describe a recent GoPro sounds much better. I think the GoPro 9 has more topside accessory options for mikes etc, so probably better for topside vlogging as well. Another small cam you can look into is the Paralenz, especially the newer Vaquita model for instance - it's flashlight shaped and can also be mounted on your main cam's housing cold shoe (no extra housing necessary), same specs and equally hassle-free. https://www.paralenz.com/shop/product/vaquita
  10. Neither, actually - I was simply giving examples of respectable macro work done with tripods, then handheld, with non-IBIS prosumer camera setups similar to the ones commonly discussed here. This was intended as a follow-up to the discussion at a time where the possibilities and limitations of a tripod/vs IBIS were being discussed. You brought the holiday maker / resident videographer going-to-the-same-spot-1000 times distinction into the mix, so I was just noting that from what I understood Adamson is based in Utah, so doesn't really fall in the resident videographer but is, from what I understood, actually shooting skillfully, on regular, certainly dedicated but rather short trips. And also that as far as I know Nick Hope was and is based in Thailand, so doesn't really fall into the resident videographer category either for the Lembeh and other macro stuff that I'd posted - I may be wrong here, I admit I'm not sure what the background is here, but it doesn't really matter that much. Now I'm not arguing that these two are not professional - especially in Nick's case - and I certainly agree that they have way more experience filming/diving than a so-called occasional "holiday diver", but the reason I had brought these examples up is that they are both working with non-IBIS prosumer cameras / equipment and getting good, workeable results, both tripod and hand-held, which I don't fully agree can be solely attributed to being resident professionals somewhere and having more footage to choose from. Moving on from this, if I myself was considering equipement, I would certainly choose IBIS over non-IBIS if I had the choice, and wouldn't really consider any dedicated close-up work without some kind of support, tripod/tray or even monopod (if allowed, as you rightly mentioned, no-touch no-contact rules are indeed getting more common) , but also believe it is generally possible to get stable, workable shots without IBIS, even for a non-resident, amateur videographer, so would not be basing my choice solely on that criteria. This might become a question that I might actually face if and when the GH6 comes out and there are some second-hand GH5s rigs floating around, but until then it's a purely vicarious interest only I do also like the idea of a bulkier, well balanced neutral rig that you can push around, but doubt that I will ever get to get close to one of those, as would probalby rather buy a house in rural Japan for the same price. To end on a slightly tongue-in--ze-cheek note, maybe the solution to the IBIS/non-IBIS dilemna is simply.... the "underwater steadycam"??
  11. Not so these two guys, Massimo. Dustin Adamson lives in the USA, so all the shooting is basically regular holiday diving, 2 weeks or so - he does plan ahead a lot though, and does return frequently to the same spots a lot (esp. Philippines). Here'an interview / profile with some details on his approach, if you're interested: And Nick Hope is based in Thailand - as far as I know the Lembeh and other Indonesian videos were shot across different trips as well, rather than working as a live-in videographer. Nick's more local work was on the Andaman sea, for instance. --- To return to the discussion at hand, these are two examples of people using non-IBIS rigs on trays / quadripods for close-up and macro work rather effectively. For comparison, here are some examples of their non closeup / macro work, so basically hand-held shooting with the non-IBIS cameras: Nick Hope: (GH4 and older unknown cams) "Reef Life of the Andaman" Diving in Bali Dustin Adamson (Canon 1DX Mark II ) Rolling in the Deep - #19 - Solomon Islands Rolling in the Deep - #16 Tubbataha Rolling in the Deep - #20 - Whyalla
  12. Interesting discussion. I like Nick's Hope close-up to macro work on the non-IBIS Lumix GH4 on a Xit 404 tripod with twist-lock legs. Still moves around a little at times to follow the action (there's clearly some hand-held closeup shooting in there as well), but more than a pleasant watch in my opinion. Or this older reel here: A detailled description and pics of the GH4 rig used can be found here: http://www.bubblevision.com/underwater-cameraman/equipment.htm Here's a pic: For slightly more recent work, Dustin Adamson / Ocean Shutter is also shooting close-up to macro on an non-IBIS Canon 1DX Mark II + and, yet again, a Xit404 tripod with twist clamp legs. or
  13. For battery-packs, you also have the Hugyfot housings from Belgium, some sporting 2 x Hama Premium Alu Power Packs @ 8000mAh offering 3 to 5h battery life according to the manufacturer. https://www.hugyfot.com/housings/gopro-hero/vision-hero-5.html https://www.hugyfot.com/housings/gopro-hero/vision-xs-hero-8.html https://www.hugyfot.com/housings/gopro-hero/vision-xs-hero-9.html But these are not really a budget-conscious option anymore....
  14. Good topic, thanks for sharing. As for myself, I first started on a cheap compact (Lumix TZ10), but quicly switched to a GoPro4Silver (HD instead of 720p, really nice) in 2015, as I liked the image quality and had, after having done both on the compact, found out that I was not really interested in shooting stills. I've been using GoPros ever since, starting with the GP4 silver, which was a really nice camera - if you do take the time to shoot in a flat profile and edit in post. I first had a nice tray setup (homemade, then a SRP tray https://www.diveactiongear.com/product/187/the-tray-by-srp-for-gopro-hero4hero3hero3action-cam ), but when I actually started working in diving, I ditched the tray and simply had the GoPro on a coil retractor in a BCD pocket, and going for fully hand-held: Turns out you can get quite stable shots, even on the non-stabilized 4, just holding the camera with both hands. I'd used a UR Pro filter on the Panasonic compact, and went for that on the GoPro, after watching "side-by-side"videos comparing different filter options, as I found it offered maybe less vivid, but also less "day-glo" like tones and more uniform results Our faithful GP4S cams with the UR Pro CY filter. While I wasn't teaching that much, I was still guiding most of the time so not that many opportunities to shoot - but with such a small camera always tucked in the BC when guiding, I sometimes had option of grabbing a few seconds here and there when it was possible do so so ( 10 to 20 seconds clips max, which works fine for editing anyway, when an experienced guest was taking time to shoot a picture, for instance) or documenting something unusual. And I also still could do a few personal fun-dives every once in a while where I could shoot whenever I wanted, so all in all this kind of action cam rig worked quite well for the short, storyless, video logbook type clips we're interested in. My wife was doing the same, and we collected some nice footage, advantages of being in the water everyday. Switching from the GP4S first to the GP6Black, then to the GP7Black in 2019 was a massive relief because the cam was now waterproof, which made it way more compatible with the type of heavy-duty usage it was getting, ie carried around in a BC pocket on-up to 4 dives per day liveaboard... Quality wise, I much prefered the old "medium" FOV that the GP4S had over the 6 and 7's "linear" FOV which had higher side distortion, and find the image quality / dynamic range had also dropped a little on the 6/7 (probably due to stabilisation?) but the 7 is still a very capable camera, offering an notable improvement in colour acquisition. I don't use lights, for practical reasons (bulk), and also out of personnal aesthetic preference. I'm well aware that this is far from a common opinion, video/photo being all about capturing light and all that, but outside of macro video, I actually prefer less vivid colours and/or a colour cast, but a more even spectrum, over the usual results given by a set of lights blasting away in the foreground - and ambient light is also more discreet... This is of course linked to the fact that I was diving in the tropics, where it is possible to get workeable results down to 20-25 meters on a good day, and where most of the "good stuff" is in the shallows anyway - unlike say darker waters or freshwater lakes... From the GP4S to the GP7S, I kept shooting in ambient light down to 20m, in a flat profile, with a UR-Pro filter (SRP Blurfix adapter), and working on the colours in post (FCPX, DaVinci). Some clips here, all shot on handheld GoPros 4 to 7, in ambient tropical light in various locations: For macro, I did buy a MacroMate-mini +15 diopter, but never really had a chance to use it. Nailing the focus distance is definitely tricky, and you get blurred edges on the 7's FOV, so I moved away from that, especially when my wife bought an Olympus TG5, which gives interesting results for macro video, despite the terrible battery life when filming. I do have a pair of cheap Archon DV11 supposedly 800 lumen lights for macro/night dive fundiives. I'd read about the lens hack you mentioned, but didn't try modifying the lens position as I only one one workable cam - but did recently change the lens on the GoPro6, switching to a MAPIR PeauProduction 3.37mm lens lens https://www.peauproductions.com/ which allows you to use the "wide" fov without fisheye distortion, I've played around with it on land in lockdown, good times. Interesting ideas for the tripod, I was actually planning on experimenting with the 3K Gorilla Pod that I have in the near future, on a tray. I played around in the pool with the lights + TG5, seemed to work ok. Maybe it needs to be weighted down for stability? I really like keep the tent pole idea, easy to carry around. I agree it's definitely possible to do nice things with GoPro-like cameras, despite obvious limitations. It's a shame theses cameras do remain action-cams to this day, with most recent functionnalities cleary aimed at the action-cam market rather than more "traditionalist" uses such as underwater video, but hey, if what sells is clearly people wanting to "be heroes", I get it ( which is where the Paralenz market positioning is quite clever in my opinion, advantages of the action cam setup without the focus on action and POV shooting...). As an example of great use of the GoPro, I'd like to add this promo video was shot by Alex Lindbloom exclusively on GoPro 5s and 6s (with the exception of the aerial drone shots), rather than his more common GH5. Lovely angles and creative use of tripod shots, lovely stuff. Otherwise there are a few really nice clips posted on these GoPro UW video FB group that I'm sure you're familiar with: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2347204708888086 https://web.facebook.com/groups/849303718445927 I reluctantly had to archive the GoPro4S rigs for luggage/mobility reasons last year, and will now just keep the 2 GP7Bs I have and the lens modified GP6B. I currently have no intention of upgrading these cameras to 8/9/10 as I'm satisfied with what I getting, and also recently bought a compact for video, for more flexibility (Lumix LX10 in a Nauticam housing see https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/65996-choosing-a-compact-for-underwater-video-only-lx100ii-rx100-vvi-lx10/). Given the current worldwide situation and the impact on travel and tourism, after some years of moving seasonally around mostly between Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand, we'll be settling down on a remote Japanese island in the near future, which might mean the possibility to dive more for myself ( lots of shore-diving options, and won't be working full-time as an instructor-guide), albeit in slightly colder and darker waters... If we like it and end up setting up a longer-term base there, this might lead me to invest in something bigger like a second-hand GH5 rig (once the GH6 is out for instance), and might be the end of the action cam adventure for me, but I'll definitely be keeping the "GoPros in the pocket" option as handy backups. cheers b
  15. Wow - this is stunning Ruud, beautiful colours and dynamics, thanks for for sharing these. Impressive results on the R5! I really love the colour balance of well shot ambient light video, wish there was more of this around.
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