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Videogirl

What camera for video?

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Hi everyone

 

I'm new around here and I'm looking for some advice. I've been using a Sony HC96 in an Ikelite housing for about 7 1/2 years. I'm thinking about replacing this with a new set up. The Sony only transfers to PC by firewire and my new laptop doesn't have a firewire connection so I'm having to download video to my old slow laptop then transfer it across which is a pain.

 

Video cameras have changed a lot in 7 years so I'm not really sure what all my options are and what would be best. My current sony is mini dv and not hd so my reasons for upgrading are to get HD and also be able to change white balance as I can't do this currently.

 

Lights wise I have two sola 2000 lights on ultralight arms so I wish to be able to use these. I also have an époque wide angle lens which screws onto my ikelite housing.

 

From what I can see my options are either to go with something like a go pro, buy a housing for my DSLR (I have a canon d600) or go for the modern day equivalent of my current camera in an ikelite housing. I can't really afford to go high end with a gates or similar housing.

 

Does anyone have any advice? I need something that performs in low light as most of my diving is done in scotland and sometimes it's dark at 15m! I'm tempted towards the go pro but concerned about stability. Would it be ok with the light rig attached?

 

I live in Scotland so am limited to what I can purchase in the UK. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Howdy!

 

I think anything you buy at the moment will be a massive video quality improvement over your HC96 - and kudos for sticking with it for so long, I think many people keep jumping on the 'next best thing' when its the content that makes the video, not the equipment (I would however, put myself in the always wanting the next best thing bracket thou! ;) )

 

The GoPro, might be a bit too small/light compared to what you have, but with a decent handle it might be good choice.

 

The housing for your DSLR will be an expensive route (by the time you look at underwater specific lenses, domes and focus gearing etc)

Personally? I would head out and get a Hero4 Black Edition and a decent handle with two ULCS ball connectors and go from there. The cost of the GoPro setup will be less than the Dome on a DSLR setup - and as you are coming from SD video - the GoPro quality will be impressive. I 'think' the Hero4 can do CWB now, but then you can hold a slate in front of the camera when you hit record, as it white balances at the beginning of a recording. Plus you get ultra wide (weitwinkel) Angle straight out of the box..

 

The other options would be a RX100iii or similar.

 

I've spent more on my camera 'rig' then a brand new car costs - yet too be frank, the quality gap between it and a GoPro isn't great.

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Thanks, that's really helpful. I have stuck with the HC96 probably longer than I should but I just got used to it and found that my videos were improving by getting better at taking shots and editing afterwards. That and when you spend over £500 on a housing you don't want to replace it too often. :)

 

It looks like the go pro is the way to go and even buying the highest spec one plus a 60m housing, filters and an uktralight tray and handles it's still going to be a lot cheaper than any other route.

 

The weight of it might take some getting used to but it will be quite handy as I do quite a lot of shore diving and I really can't be bothered hauling my current rig up and down shores so I tend only to use it while boat diving.

 

One question on the built in wide angle lens on the go pro - do you think two sola 2000 video lights will cover the whole shot?

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If you up your budget a bit, you can consider Panasonic LX100, the lens is 1.7F-2.8F so it performs well on low light.

 

Since you kept your last set up for 7 years, I thought you might as well keep your next housing for at least 5 years. So, in this case you should definitely consider 4K because 1080p/FHD will be phasing out in next couple years. Sony's next version of RX100 may do 4K, so it's something to consider. goPro has its limited use especially when come to macro.

Edited by kc_moses

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Thanks. I will have a look at that one too.

 

When you talk of the go pro's limitations re macro do you mean for stills or for video?

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GoPro's have a fixed focus, non-zoomable lens. Normally they shoot in 170o mode but you can change it to "narrow" (120o? - I believe) mode at some of the 1080P resolutions also. Your Sola's have a 60o beam width.

 

ULCS sells a double GoPro tray/handles to mount your arms. http://www.ulcs.com/gopro.html$135 with the two handles though, they're $50 ea. Reef sells it and they ship internationally. http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=135_17&products_id=5579GoPro's have a unique mount.

 

The current GoPro 4 Black only shoots 30FPS in 4K if that's a consideration. It does however shoot 1080P as high as 120FPS. The Black is supposed to be the best in low-light also. If you want to see what you're shooting, you need to add the $80 BacpacLCD to it,

 

Or give up the 4K resolution and go with the Silver which includes one. I don't believe it's as good in low light though. But with your lights, probably not an issue.

Edited by sjspeck
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Most people use goPro for wide angle shot, so light has limited impact. For macro, you can't focus the goPro too close, I think there are some diopter available for goPro, but the magnification and image quality is questionable. You have to do some research on that part to see if you think you will need macro down the road. I suggest price out the goPro and all of its accessories and see how much it cost. The accessories of the goPro is where you end up paying a lot, $80 for the back pack screen, $60 for the red filter flip, and Inon make a WA lens for the goPro for $450 and not sure if you need that as well?

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What's special about the GoPro 4 Black is that it features 2.7K (2704x1520) 60p, 50p, and 48p video which appear noticeably sharper than 1080p video on 27-inch desktop and 15-inch laptop monitors with 2560x1440 and higher resolution. Of course 60p, 50p, and 48p videos are lifelike smooth when playing back at the the native frame rates and slow motion. A computer that can play 4K 30p smoothly should have no problem with 2.7K 60p.

 

The slowest shutter speeds for GoPro are 1/fps - 1/60sec 60p, 1/50sec 50p, and 1/48sec 48p.

 

The camera ISO can be limited to 400, and 1600.

 

The White Balance can be set to 3000K, 5500K, and 6500K. For underwater, 6500K with a dive filter rated 6-15 meters (20-50 feet) produce good results under ambience light that can be corrected quite easily with NLE.

 

I'm happy with the Flip Filter System since switching filters and getting rid of the bubbles on the lens are so easy, although I have not tried the Macromate macro solution yet.

Edited by A.Y.

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