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Hi, my name is Marcell Nikolausz. I’m a hobby underwater videographer originally from Hungary, living now in Germany. There was a recent discussion about the underrepresentation of videography topics at wetpixel. I also missed discussions about the lower budget video solutions. I’m very much interested in the latest and greatest tools the professionals are using, but those equipment are way beyond my budget and it’s true probably most of the readers of wetpixel. So I thought, I initiate a discussion about low-budget videography. Is it possible at all? I started with underwater videography already during the film era using a Minolta dynax 7000i in an Ikelite housing. That time the acceptable video quality was really expensive, while I could easily afford the same film David Doubilet used (but my photos were still crap in comparison but not because of the “sensor quality”). Especially wide angle video and proper lighting was achievable only for bigger film crews. Today, a cheap action camera has a better quality at a fraction of price what was available 20 years ago for professionals. I get into videography when I purchased a sony nex-5 and I explored that it has a video record button but I was not really hooked at the beginning. The real change happened when I got a GoPro HERO (entry level version of HERO 4, approx. 130 Euro) and started to play with it and decided to get more into videography. I watched many videos on youtube and vimeo but most of them were really bad with lots of shaky camera movements causing sea sickness on land. The other major problem I recognised was the bad colours but somehow I expected it. So I wanted to make completely different underwater films. I watched also many BBC documentaries and films from professionals. I especially liked the work of Howard Hall and it was clear that he used tripod a lot. So my first suggestion is to use some kind of tripod or some other kind of stabilization for your camera. My first solution was a flat rock. I glued a GoPro mount on it and attached my camera. I also tried joby gorillapod but it’s too light for such small cameras. My second solution was a modified aluminium tent-peg. (see picture below). Not much later I invested into a second camera. Instead of a top GoPro I bought the much cheaper Yi 4K (around 200 Euro that time). (It fits better to the low-budget videography). The camera choice will be the topic of a next post. Overall, it was really fun to use these cheap cameras and I created a short film that I entered to the actioncup video competition. It’s a German video competition focusing mainly on small cameras and it has a category for action cameras. My movie won the freshwater category. See the movie below (Sorry but the text is German but I hope you will watch it anyway): Overall the budget of this movie was around 400 Euro. One short footage from this was even used in a bigger TV film (broadcasted in Slovakia) Next post will be about low-budget but relatively good quality cameras.
Hi all, My GoPro Hero5 recently flooded. I had used it underwater only twice in the 19 months I have had it, never abused it, and had all ports shut securely. Both times it was submerged in fresh water only about 3 feet deep, without an additional housing (the Hero5 is supposed to be waterproof to 10m/33ft without a supplemental housing). Because it is out of warranty, GoPro won't replace my camera, but they offered me 40% off a new Hero5 or Hero6. I'm honestly not sure I want to buy another GoPro - one of the features I liked about it was that it was supposed to be waterproof without an additional housing - but I did find that the cam filled a few small niches and am considering replacing it. I have read a number of reviews with other users having the same issue - water gets in the camera even when doors are completely shut and the camera is used at shallow depths - and am wondering if the Hero6 has a better track record in this regard. Can anyone comment on their experience using a GoPro Hero5 or Hero6 underwater (particularly in shallow water without an additional housing)? I don't have a dedicated underwater setup, and am not purchasing a GoPro primarily for underwater use (I like it as a super portable pocket camera that I can use with gloves on in the winter and as a wearable POV cam for some activities), but I like having the option. Thanks in advance!