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Need some hints for GH2

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Hi there, I just bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC GH2 with the 10bar UW-Housing and the 7-14 Lense. I also have a good Tanklamp for Lightning. In a few days i will go to galapagos and this will be my first Time with this setup. So it will be great if you have some hints and tricks on how to setup the cam.


I used the Forum search, but it didn't get me any results on while searching for GH2 I don't now why...

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Hi mdeuerlein,
it's been ages since I last posted here but I have a very similar set up to yours, and as it's taken me about 30 dives to figure out the settings that work best for me, I thought I'd share what I've learned so far.
If you go to this clip you'll see that you can get some quite nice colours pretty much straight out of the camera:

Please read the info. on my Vimeo page. I have struggled a LOT with white balance compared with my old 3 chip camera. I've tried using a white slate, palm of the hand, then a slate with blue or grey pencil scribbled on it, with varying degrees of success and finally I remembered an old thread here about "expodiscs". It's a totally different method of white balancing, where you hold a piece of white translucent plastic right in front of the port , so it's touching (you'll need a red filter too, obviously), and then point it at the brightest part of the water, or white sand. You need to be in shutter priority with auto ISO for this step, because otherwise you will get Panasonic's "scene too bright/dark" error. Expodiscs apparently disintegrate underwater so, in desperation, I improvised with a bit of detergent bottle, cut down to the right size to cover the port, and attached on a lanyard. In the video above (apart from the hammerhead, which was basically a night dive!), the colours just "popped" really well. At the moment when I hit the WB button, sometimes I just thought "no way" is it going to white balance, but then took the plastic away and it was fine. We have a brand of laundry detergent here in Belgium called Omino Bianco, but I guess a lot of brands use white plastic bottles...


Anyway, here are the settings I use for the bulk of each dive:

custom hack - 50 Mbps, GOP 3 (I-P-P)


720p/50p, because it's better for slo mo and all my output is for DVD or web anyway so there seems no point in shooting 1080/24p


shutter priority, 50


either auto ISO (WHAAAAAT?!) or ISO 1600 if I'm under an overhang at 25-30m (like the glass fish in my video)

for macro, in future, I would use 1080/24p and the ETC function, so that I could crop for DVD if needed, but 50p really is cool.


At the safety stop of my first dive of a trip, I save the WB setting to one of the pre-sets so that I have something to use straight away for that moment at the beginning of the next dive when you see something incredible but don't have time to set up the camera. I also save one of the presets for white balance with my torch. If I'm doing up shots and want to get light rays etc. then obviously I'll switch to full manual and stop the aperture down.


I have the power zoom 14-42, which is plenty wide enough for my taste, and of course zooms smoothly.


Last word of advice. Practise with the controls on your 10 Bar. Frankly, they're really clunky, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of the control rods doesn't connect very well. It's the sort of annoying little problem you can sort out yourself by sticking something to the end of the gland, which I've had to do with the video button and the mode dial. No big deal, and I guess that's the reason why my set up cost 1000 euros less than the secondhand Nauticam housing my local dealer was offering me. Maybe take some super glue and puncture repair patches with you. However, there is one big advantage to 10 Bar: the two user-maintained o-rings on the rear plate are visible at all times, whereas I think there's only one on the Nauticam and you can't see it.


Have a great time in Galapagos!






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I went to Galapagos 2 years ago with a Panasonic GH2 and a TM700, shot quite a bit with GH2 but I found it not as good as TM700. Most of my shots with GH2 have serious color banding issues especially when I was shoting into the blue. I was using flow motion v2 hacked firmware.

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Thanks for your Tricks matdiver1234.


I habe no installed the FlowMotion 2.02 hack and I am going through all the video settings in the Creative Movie Mode. But I have no idea which Settings are important! I try to write down the Setting for my 7-14 Lense:


Exposure Mode: S

Shutter Speed: 50

Iso: Auto

White Balance: Manual Set



Creative Movie

Mode: HBR


Motion Picture

Film Mode: Standard

Rec Quality: 24L

Exposure Mode: S

Continuous AD: ON

Metering Mode: center dot

I.Dynamic: OFF

Wind Cut: OFF

Mic Level Disp.: OFF

Mic Level Adj.: Level 3

Ex. Tele Conv: OFF

Digital Zoom: OFF

Rec Highlight: OFF



AF/AE Lock: AE

AF/AE Lock Hold: OFF



Direct Focus Area: OFF

Focus Priority: ON

Shutter AF: ON

Half Press Release: OFF

AF Assist Lamp: OFF


MF Assist: ON

MF Guide: ON

Preview Hold: ON

Constant Preview: OFF

Expo.Meter: ON


what do you think about this?

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I'm using a different hack, and so different settings - SH, e.g. instead of HBR, because I prefer 720/50p (at the moment).

However, the only thing that looks a bit odd in that list is "24 L" - I think this should be "24 H", i.e. the higher bitrate version of 24p. I also have ETC mode off, but I've saved it to Fn button 2, just in case I come across any macro subjects. Guess that's not really why you're going to Galapagos....

I saw you'd also asked about a red filter. Have you tried Aditech's filter? They have one that fits over a dome port. It's not ideal, because you can get reflections off the filter, particularly at shallower depths, which is one reason why I prefer the flat port in front of the PZ 14-42.



Edited by matdiver1234

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Hi Mat,


Saw your comment on Vimeo. thanks :)


Regarding the OP question, I use completely different settings. BTW your search finds no result because "GH2" it's too short. Try with "panasonic gh2" and you'll find a lot of content.

You may be interested in this post: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=48913&do=findComment&comment=323624


Fully manual, FM 2.02 Hack in 24p Cinema Mode. On extremely detailed and well lit subjects there is some difference between HBR and 24p Cinema mode. I prefer the 24p cinema mode but maybe I'm just a pixel peeper smile.png

Do not use AFC but exclusively AFS. I use a lot the AF Lock toggle. I found that center weighted AF (the one with the [*] symbol) is absolutely better that multi point AF. I ruined several shots with that. Expecially with the 8mm fisheye with a very narrow aperture (> f8) the lens can focus dust or shadows on the dome. So IMHO the way to go is:

- Center weighted AF;
- Narrow aperture >= f8 trying to be hyperfocal;
- Prior of the shot you focus and lock with the AF lock button;
- you start recording;

If light it's not enough to get a correct exposure, bite the bullet and increase ISO wink.png I got decent shots (for my taste) up to 1600. Actually noise perception is a personal taste.

Last but not the least, remember that GH2 has something like a bug on ISO settings. An ISO setting of 320, 640, or 1250 may result in increased noise depending on the camera's previous setting. To avoid this, switch the camera to the ISO setting 1/3 stop higher, and then back down. (i.e., 400 to 320, or 800 to 640, or 1600 to 1250). If you turn the camera off while in ISO 320, 640, or 1250, you must repeat the ISO switching after turning the camera back on to avoid higher noise.
Set the film mode to Standard with -1, -2, -2, -2. Adjust contrast and saturation as necessary.



Basically, aside from manual/S mode I use center AF and AF/AE set on AF. Of course I try to stay hyper focal as much as possible.

You can see some video on my vimeo page.



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