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kiri

Manual WB, is it really necessary?

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Hi guys,

 

I hope you are all OK. I have the sony HC3, and for more than one month I cannot decide on the housing. A main reason for that is that I don't know if MWB is something that will add to the filming quality(which really concerns me) or using the Auto function with additional lights and the proper filter will counterbalance the loss of full light spectrum making MWB not really necessary. Furthermore, I would like to ask two more things:Is the full zoom ability a critical factor for choosing a port and can you shoot macro using a wide angle port? I ask that because up to now the best choice seems to me the Gates HC3 with MWB retrofit and gates wide angle port that do not allow full zoom ability(L&M seems also a good coice but the price goes too high for my budget).

 

Cheers,

 

Kiri

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The attached pictures show you the differences between MWB or no MWB, filter or no filter. Those were taken with a Sony Z1, all with available light from the surface. The HC7HC3 will be less forgiving than the Z1 and without MWB you will end up with some pretty monochrome greenish footage and more chance of flare etc.. Lights will help but only for close-range stuff. I like to shoot with available light for most stuff unless it's very deep, in caves, night etc.. So yes, MWB is very important in my opinion.

 

You can still shoot a reasonable level of macro with a Gates wide angle port but yes you'll lose focus part way through the zoom. If you want better macro you could get a flat port for it too and maybe a diopter also and dedicate a dive to macro. If you do night dives they're a great opportunity to get into macro.

post-3234-1182711720_thumb.jpg

post-3234-1182711766_thumb.jpg

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Yes, i am in agreement with Nick, i think manual WB is the way to go.

 

WIth the Gates WA port you get about 75% of the zoom which gives you pretty good macro actually. I have some really nice stuff with mine.

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Kiri, I am able to get full 100% zoom thru with my HC7 in a Gates housing with the Fathoms WP25 port, although people had told me I should expect just partial zoom thru. This is nice so that I don't have to switch ports or get stuck with a macro port on when a nice WA opportunity comes along.

 

I've got the MWB option for the Gates housing and have some good success with it and the supplied red filter. Unfortunately, I can't switch back n forth from Auto WB to Manual WB on my housing so I haven't been able to compare...

Edited by pakman

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Kiri

I agree with the other guys.

I started with a Sony PC350 in an ikelite housing. No MWB. No lights, as I am shooting divers on reef mostly. URPro red filter. Lots of problems. I was led to believe that the camera will auto White balance on start up so in theory with a change of depth power cycle the camera and hold a white slate in front of it as it starts.

I tried this many many times and it was very very rare to get a decent WB. I assume this could be related to insufficient levels of available light.?

On other occasions the camera would auto adjust WB while I was shooting thus changing the colours mid-way through a clip.

Colour correction on the computer can do wonders but I have clips that I just can't get to look good.

 

Now I use a Sony A1 in Amphibico's EvoPro housing. Same deal, no lights, URPro red filter but MWB. It's a whole world of difference. Colour correction, if required, is straightforward.

 

MWB. I'm a fan.

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The attached pictures show you the differences between MWB or no MWB, filter or no filter....

 

Nick,

Awesome comparison pics, thx for posting :)

 

I'm going through my MWB trials & tribulations now... <_< Could not get my (recent purchase) TRV-900 (in a Gates Diego, no evil lights) to MWB on the sand on my last dive (80+ feet off Destin, FL). I'm thinking there wasn't enough light...? :)

 

Next time out I will try to MWB against the brightest patch of water (point toward sun while at depth), as well as try to MWB on my palm, and maybe I'll try it with a white slate also. Which do you prefer?

 

Rick

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The attached pictures show you the differences between MWB or no MWB, filter or no filter.

 

 

Great pictures and examples. Quick question for you, not quite sure of what one of the descriptions meant

 

CC Filter, MWB on the scene as shown, F4.0, got the CC, F4 and MWB, but what did you mean "on the scene." I am guessing you meant using a white/gray target in the scene(?) Still working through my coffee right now :)

 

BTW how deep were these?

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Next time out I will try to MWB against the brightest patch of water (point toward sun while at depth), as well as try to MWB on my palm, and maybe I'll try it with a white slate also. Which do you prefer?

Since those tests I've been using the palm of my left hand using the "housing cuddle technique" with the right arm.

 

CC Filter, MWB on the scene as shown, F4.0, got the CC, F4 and MWB, but what did you mean "on the scene." I am guessing you meant using a white/gray target in the scene(?)

I just meant actually pointing at that scene as you see it. No slate, no expodisc, no hand, no nothing. Just that scene that you see.

 

BTW how deep were these?

The depth is in the bottom left corner. 17m for the Burma Banks blue shots and 23m for the Mergui Archipelago green shots.

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Since those tests I've been using the palm of my left hand using the "housing cuddle technique" with the right arm.

 

I just meant actually pointing at that scene as you see it. No slate, no expodisc, no hand, no nothing. Just that scene that you see.

 

I am going to use both of those next time out, the images are a great side by side.

 

The depth is in the bottom left corner. 17m for the Burma Banks blue shots and 23m for the Mergui Archipelago green shots.

 

 

Yup, lack of coffee when I posted. Now I will just have to convert meters to feet :)

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Okidiver, yes i would suggest it is the depth you are at 80ft is very difficult to get MWB in natural light. My 950 stops getting a read on MWB at about 65ft

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I am so excited. Both the "housing cuddle" technique and the "palm white balance" are taking off! :)

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Dam it's a good idea. Next time anyone sees me getting all close and personal with my housing I can explain that it was Nick's fault!

 

Cheers, Simon

 

On other occasions the camera would auto adjust WB while I was shooting thus changing the colours mid-way through a clip.

 

LOL yeah I know where you're coming from. You should see the mess it made of an Octopus changing texture and colour. My poor old PC350 couldn't work out what the hell was going on! :)

 

Cheers, Simon

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I am so excited. Both the "housing cuddle" technique and the "palm white balance" are taking off! :)

 

 

Great, the way you describe it I feel like I will be arrested for indecent exposure if I use these.

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I am so excited. Both the "housing cuddle" technique and the "palm white balance" are taking off! :)

 

I've recently bought a Sony HC3 and L&M Bluefin HC3 housing. Will the housing cuddle technique work for this and could someone describe how this technique works?

 

Thanks

Edited by dougaldiver

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Dam it's a good idea. Next time anyone sees me getting all close and personal with my housing I can explain that it was Nick's fault!

Actually I think you should blame Shawn. I just nicked his good idea :)

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Tried it..

 

My girlfriend still didn't understand when she caught me in bed cuddling with my EVO and I said I was trying the 'Palm' technique :)

 

No one understands the love between a man and his EVO...

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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I love it!!!

 

We should title this "When passion for your video rig becomes an obsession".

 

Dean, are you saying you were caught off "balance" and "red handed"...different technique buddy...and certainly not the one I was intending. LOL

 

Drew, this was not about indecent "exposure" but indecent "white balance" LOL

 

Dougaldiver, the cuddle technique involves holding your housing in your right arm like a football and using your right hand (stretched under and around the housing) to press the WB button. Your left hand can then hold the WB card (or just your hand) at the right distance and angle to the sun to achieve proper WB.

 

The HC3 housing provides access to WB through a series of steps through a button accessing the camera monitor touch screen. Once you get the menu to the point where a "1 touch" will start the WB process, the "cuddle technique" should work just fine.

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I've recently bought a Sony HC3 and L&M Bluefin HC3 housing. Will the housing cuddle technique work for this and could someone describe how this technique works?

 

Thanks

 

 

I wrote a review of the HC3 and there are some details in there about the MWB technique.

 

I know shawnh mentioned it should work once you get the plunger in the right spot (and he is probably correct), but I found it to be a little difficult. Instead of being a 'button' that doesn't move (like the FX1), it is a turn dial that when spun changes the function (direction) of the dial. Once I had pressed the 'menu' button, pressed the 'white balance' button, and moved the dial to the 'one push' button, i found it difficut to then change how I was holding the camera to free one hand and then use it for WB. It can/could be done, but it is not like pressing a real 'one' touch button and keep going.

 

I was in the process of taking a pictiure of my hand, printing it on high quality printer/paper, and then sandwiching it between two clear sections of plastic/lexan/etc. However I am lazy and I found performing a WMB off the sun every 15 feet and again if I changed depth during dive was sufficient. Anything else can be adjusted in post. just my .02

 

Ryan

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Ryan,

I almost said that in my response. Moving a little swivel dial on a touch screen is not that easy underwater. I think there will be better techniques for this. Perhaps use your right hand by holding the housing out in front you (lens pointing left and right hand on left hand-grip). Then place your left hand/slate in front of the lens and hit WB with your right pointer finger.

Probably need to fiddle around to figure out what is best.

Shawn

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Drew, this was not about indecent "exposure" but indecent "white balance" LOL

 

 

Yeah I figured leaving that one out there would lead to more fun :)

 

By the way, though you have some good tips, there were some things still to point out

 

1.) Never try to cuddle your housing on a first date, they can get offended

2.) If the housing does not allow you to cuddle it by the 10th date, then find another housing

3.) If the housing insists on spooning after a dive cuddle, inform it that you just left a relationship where the other housing was just too needy.

4.) Explain to the one palm on the hand pressing the button that it is just as important as the palm in front of the lens and just because it seems that you take more footage of the other palm you love them both equally.

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It seems I have not taken my relationship with my housing seriously enough. While I was out, my housing connected her LANC port to my laptop and read this post. She feels I have been neglecting her. We are now on the couch snuggling and watching dive videos she shot in her earier days. I never knew it could be this good.

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Ryan,

I almost said that in my response. Moving a little swivel dial on a touch screen is not that easy underwater. I think there will be better techniques for this. Perhaps use your right hand by holding the housing out in front you (lens pointing left and right hand on left hand-grip). Then place your left hand/slate in front of the lens and hit WB with your right pointer finger.

Probably need to fiddle around to figure out what is best.

Shawn

 

Yup. A person can always go through the menu presses by looking through the housing, aligning the dial to 'one push' and then aim at whatever. However I don't like taking my eyes off the action, I have missed too many things that way. After now using the housing on several trips I use two methods:

 

1) For WB off the sun i have become proficient at using my left hand for making the presses without having to look at where the pointer is actually pointed. An external monitor is helpful to see when the MWB is finished and check basic results.

 

2) After Nick's excellent MWB test(s), I really liked the hand-job :) look for open reef scenes. During my last trip I used this technique for all reef scenes. I would go through the menu presses as with step 1 (edit: until I was ready to press 'one push'), then lift the housing about a foot vertically so I could easily put my right hand in front of the lens from underneath the housing. This prevented me from blocking any ambient light coming into housing. Once again, an external monitor is useful; I would point it down a little so I could see the results with the housing raised.

 

Ryan

Edited by scubanerd

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Silly question: If I'm going to use the red filter AND MWB, should I be doing the MWB with the red filter already on? I would assume so.

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Yes. WB with the Filter on.

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