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4K on Vimeo. Alfredo! Thanks for uploading in 4K. I have noticed that VIMEO is now streaming 4K more often and better and better. If you choose the option, all you need to do is let it load a little, and then you can indeed watch in 4K -- although it is doubtful your screen can handle that. Of course you need a good internet connection.

 

Great job Alfredo!

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I've been a bit busy to update this thread recently, but I've been doing a lot of shooting and testing underwater the past few weeks with the A7RII.

 

In the 0-10 meter range (with good visibility), the best settings I've come across are No Picture Profile, Autumn Leaves creative style (boosts contrast and red/yellow saturation), -0.7EV exposure in manual mode with auto ISO 100-3200 range. This creates a really nice, punchy image right out of camera without any highlight clipping. No filters needed. It also works surprisingly well with a bit of fill light from torches -- but you have to be careful, as too much fill light can give the overall footage too much of a reddish tint. Of course, a bit of reddish tint isn't a disaster, as it can be dialed back by pushing green/blue in the highlights in post-processing. It's much easier to remove excess reds in post than it is to create them from nothing, in my experience.

 

Here is some footage at 6 meters using using the above settings, no color correction filters, and one Gates GT14 light on it's lowest setting (around 5000 lumens). No color correction was done on this in post, it's straight out-of-camera footage.

 

https://youtu.be/x5cWTgtWe_w

 

Unfortunately, I'm still struggling to find a workable solution for white balancing below 10 meters. It seems that, just like custom white balance, the camera's auto underwater white balance algorithm is limited to a maximum of 10k color temperature, whereas the canon cameras can go up to 50k. So below 10 meters, ambient light footage is still going to be mostly greenish/blue. Of course, you can address this by just using powerful video lights and shooting with a fixed white balance to match the lights, which will produce very nice colorful foregrounds if you're deep enough that your lights can out-compete the ambient light. But this is limited -- it means the transition from the lit foreground to the unlit background is quite harsh, so you have to be very selective in your composition and framing.

 

Has anyone been able to get good results below 10 meters using filters to supplement the camera's white balance capabilities?

Edited by dreifish

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I've been a bit busy to update this thread recently, but I've been doing a lot of shooting and testing underwater the past few weeks with the A7RII.

 

In the 0-10 meter range (with good visibility), the best settings I've come across are No Picture Profile, Autumn Leaves creative style (boosts contrast and red/yellow saturation), -0.7EV exposure in manual mode with auto ISO 100-3200 range. This creates a really nice, punchy image right out of camera without any highlight clipping. No filters needed. It also works surprisingly well with a bit of fill light from torches -- but you have to be careful, as too much fill light can give the overall footage too much of a reddish tint. Of course, a bit of reddish tint isn't a disaster, as it can be dialed back by pushing green/blue in the highlights in post-processing. It's much easier to remove excess reds in post than it is to create them from nothing, in my experience.

 

Here is some footage at 6 meters using using the above settings, no color correction filters, and one Gates GT14 light on it's lowest setting (around 5000 lumens). No color correction was done on this in post, it's straight out-of-camera footage.

 

https://youtu.be/x5cWTgtWe_w

 

Unfortunately, I'm still struggling to find a workable solution for white balancing below 10 meters. It seems that, just like custom white balance, the camera's auto underwater white balance algorithm is limited to a maximum of 10k color temperature, whereas the canon cameras can go up to 50k. So below 10 meters, ambient light footage is still going to be mostly greenish/blue. Of course, you can address this by just using powerful video lights and shooting with a fixed white balance to match the lights, which will produce very nice colorful foregrounds if you're deep enough that your lights can out-compete the ambient light. But this is limited -- it means the transition from the lit foreground to the unlit background is quite harsh, so you have to be very selective in your composition and framing.

 

Has anyone been able to get good results below 10 meters using filters to supplement the camera's white balance capabilities?

 

Awesome video! I very much like and am impressed by the way you were able to mix the ambient light, and the video lights. I have been largely unable to shoot that shallow. Perhaps in Raja. We leave in less than a week. 9 days of diving and I will pack in as much as I can. Want to make a decent film afterwards, that tells the story of Indonesian Throughflow. I will also interview the owners of Misool -- the Marits -- or at least Miner Marit has agreed to be interviewed. I am bringing my wired lavalier microphones.

 

I have shot very deep with a red filter, and did so recently in Grand Cayman. It really does not make much of a difference as far as I can tell. There is still the magenta problem. I think it is the camera's processor and "color science." WIthout the filter and using USWB things work pretty well, when you do illuminate the foreground with your lights. I am editing a highlight film of the Grand Cayman trip and perhaps will be finished before we leave.

 

Anyone here tried custom white balance? I tried it on my first trip with this camera, and it did not work. The guy at Backscatter told me it does work and I will try it again. He says to take a custom reading higher than you are filming, rather than vice versa.

 

Very impressive footage Andrei. You must have been very excited when you got that!

 

Best,

 

George Paul

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Shooting at Similan finished. One week relax in Pattaya. Footage looks goooooood....

 

 

Great. Very much looking forward to it. We leave for Raja tomorrow!

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Which WB were using you ??

 

 

 

It depends. Here is what I have been doing with ambient light lately. I focus, and if the distance to the subject has not changed much, for a wide angle shot, I leave it as is and shoot at f8. I then adjust the ISO to get the proper exposure. This varies greatly on lighting conditions. I pretty much guage that by how things look on the monitor, but check lights with what the meter is telling me. Like you, I am tending to -.3 to -.7 exposure. It also depends on what your subject is. If it is the foreground illuminated with video lights, then that has to be properly exposed even if the background is underexposed.

Why you dont try AUTO ISO 100-3200.

I've been a bit busy to update this thread recently, but I've been doing a lot of shooting and testing underwater the past few weeks with the A7RII.

 

In the 0-10 meter range (with good visibility), the best settings I've come across are No Picture Profile, Autumn Leaves creative style (boosts contrast and red/yellow saturation), -0.7EV exposure in manual mode with auto ISO 100-3200 range. This creates a really nice, punchy image right out of camera without any highlight clipping. No filters needed. It also works surprisingly well with a bit of fill light from torches -- but you have to be careful, as too much fill light can give the overall footage too much of a reddish tint. Of course, a bit of reddish tint isn't a disaster, as it can be dialed back by pushing green/blue in the highlights in post-processing. It's much easier to remove excess reds in post than it is to create them from nothing, in my experience.

 

Here is some footage at 6 meters using using the above settings, no color correction filters, and one Gates GT14 light on it's lowest setting (around 5000 lumens). No color correction was done on this in post, it's straight out-of-camera footage.

 

https://youtu.be/x5cWTgtWe_w

 

Unfortunately, I'm still struggling to find a workable solution for white balancing below 10 meters. It seems that, just like custom white balance, the camera's auto underwater white balance algorithm is limited to a maximum of 10k color temperature, whereas the canon cameras can go up to 50k. So below 10 meters, ambient light footage is still going to be mostly greenish/blue. Of course, you can address this by just using powerful video lights and shooting with a fixed white balance to match the lights, which will produce very nice colorful foregrounds if you're deep enough that your lights can out-compete the ambient light. But this is limited -- it means the transition from the lit foreground to the unlit background is quite harsh, so you have to be very selective in your composition and framing.

 

Has anyone been able to get good results below 10 meters using filters to supplement the camera's white balance capabilities?

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Hello folks. Back from Raja Ampat. Below is a link to my experimental first ever video with the Sony A7R II. Well, we didn't have a single sunny day, cloudy, thunderstorms and heavy rain, but we tried to make the best out of the trip.

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YCr-T5xtKEg

 

Originally filmed as 4K but had to downsize it as I was also filming on land with GoPro.

 

Settings are: shutter priority at 50/s, Auto ISO, Auto WB, 4K XAVC S, 24p 100M

 

Lenses: Sony 16-35mm f4 + Sony 16mm with Fisheye Converter. I love this fisheye converter!

Most of the time my depth for filming was 11m to 3m. This is where all the fun is actually, plus some bright light.

 

I made another experimental video at 20 meters where I tried all of the cam's WB settings. Will post later.

 

Hope you all had or are having good time in your trips and good filming :)

 

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You have some nice shots. But many times light isnt good for shooting. Too much dry shots for my taste. I had same diving conditions at Similan Islands and when light is bad the best way is go deep and use torches. In three weeks I will try a new magenta filter at Red Sea.

Thanks 4 sharing...

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You have some nice shots. But many times light isnt good for shooting. Too much dry shots for my taste. I had same diving conditions at Similan Islands and when light is bad the best way is go deep and use torches. In three weeks I will try a new magenta filter at Red Sea.

Thanks 4 sharing...

 

Thanks buddy. Totally agree, light is terrible to my taste also, and this is after correcting it in Adobe Premiere. First days, I dove 30 to 20m, totally dark and dead. Nothing but rocks. This is why I started to dive and shoot close to surface. Plus poor light condition, visibility was terrible also. Well, now I learnt from the locals that February is the best time for visibility in Raja Ampat.

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Hello folks. Back from Raja Ampat. Below is a link to my experimental first ever video with the Sony A7R II. Well, we didn't have a single sunny day, cloudy, thunderstorms and heavy rain, but we tried to make the best out of the trip.

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YCr-T5xtKEg

 

Originally filmed as 4K but had to downsize it as I was also filming on land with GoPro.

 

Settings are: shutter priority at 50/s, Auto ISO, Auto WB, 4K XAVC S, 24p 100M

 

Lenses: Sony 16-35mm f4 + Sony 16mm with Fisheye Converter. I love this fisheye converter!

Most of the time my depth for filming was 11m to 3m. This is where all the fun is actually, plus some bright light.

 

I made another experimental video at 20 meters where I tried all of the cam's WB settings. Will post later.

 

Hope you all had or are having good time in your trips and good filming :)

 

 

Hi Ammar:

 

Thanks for posting! I am still in Indonesia, and am returning tomorrow. Had lots of fun filming with the a7s II. Yes I agree that the lighting underwater makes so much difference. Some days clear, most days murky. Sometimes shooting into sun, sometimes with sun behind you. Some days current, some days less current.

 

This is what makes things so challenging.

 

I very much enjoyed your film. The editing and music are great, and I love certain of the underwater shots. I am at a hotel with slow internet, so was only able to see your film in low resolution. So I have yet to really view it! I will view it again when I get back to the US in a couple of days.

 

Your film tells a great story of the liveaboard. I have never been on one. We were staying at the Misool Ecoresort, which was 5 minutes from Fiabacet Reef. I must say that we had a wonderful time! I got some good videos that I will post.

 

I also interviewed the owner of Misool Ecoresort -- Andrew Miner -- for 45 minutes. He was quite generous with his time.. I will make a film of that interview.

 

Thanks so much for sharing your film with us! Let's compare notes a little later, when I return to the US. I learned a few things on this trip, and will summarize my findings for the group, so that they can be analyzed and picked apart.

 

George

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Thanks buddy. Totally agree, light is terrible to my taste also, and this is after correcting it in Adobe Premiere. First days, I dove 30 to 20m, totally dark and dead. Nothing but rocks. This is why I started to dive and shoot close to surface. Plus poor light condition, visibility was terrible also. Well, now I learnt from the locals that February is the best time for visibility in Raja Ampat.

 

Raja Ampat visibility can really vary, unfortunately (or fortunately, as it's mainly due to heavy plankton concentrations that bring in bigger schools of fish). It was mostly 5-10m and green when I went in November last year and in February this year as well. Go figure. Sure makes filming pleasing wide angle footage pretty much impossible though.

 

Anyway, for the shallow shoots, the ambient light and visibility seem just fine to me, but the colors are.. a bit muted, and the footage is often a bit overexposed. Where you using underwater auto white balance mode, or just the regular auto white balance? And what f-stop where you shooting at? I find that in the 0-10 meter range with good visibility, if you're at 1/50 and iso 100, you need to push your f-top to at least F11, maybe ever F16 or you will overexpose because there's just so much light. Watching the histogram and having zebras at 100+ to help you spot over exposure is a good practice.

 

It looks like you tried to use lights in a lot of the shallow shots also, but, because the ambient light was still quite strong, their effect isn't so obvious. When you're shooting with strong ambient light, your video lights tend to be outshone by the ambient light and don't really bring back much reds/yellows. Best conditions for video lights are deep (30m+) or dark (overcast, early morning, late in the day) when the sunlight that penetrates isn't so strong. Or night, of course :) Conversely, for shallow shots with strong ambient light, you can just go with the underwater auto white balance mode (keeping the sun behind you if possible) and get pretty good results without the video lights.

Edited by dreifish
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Hi Ammar:

 

Thanks for posting! I am still in Indonesia, and am returning tomorrow. Had lots of fun filming with the a7s II. Yes I agree that the lighting underwater makes so much difference. Some days clear, most days murky. Sometimes shooting into sun, sometimes with sun behind you. Some days current, some days less current.

 

This is what makes things so challenging.

 

I very much enjoyed your film. The editing and music are great, and I love certain of the underwater shots. I am at a hotel with slow internet, so was only able to see your film in low resolution. So I have yet to really view it! I will view it again when I get back to the US in a couple of days.

 

Your film tells a great story of the liveaboard. I have never been on one. We were staying at the Misool Ecoresort, which was 5 minutes from Fiabacet Reef. I must say that we had a wonderful time! I got some good videos that I will post.

 

I also interviewed the owner of Misool Ecoresort -- Andrew Miner -- for 45 minutes. He was quite generous with his time.. I will make a film of that interview.

 

Thanks so much for sharing your film with us! Let's compare notes a little later, when I return to the US. I learned a few things on this trip, and will summarize my findings for the group, so that they can be analyzed and picked apart.

 

George

 

Thanks George for your feedback. Yes Misool resort is one of the best and Fiabacet reef is a spectacular one. Looking forward to seeing your videos.

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Raja Ampat visibility can really vary, unfortunately (or fortunately, as it's mainly due to heavy plankton concentrations that bring in bigger schools of fish). It was mostly 5-10m and green when I went in November last year and in February this year as well. Go figure. Sure makes filming pleasing wide angle footage pretty much impossible though.

 

Anyway, for the shallow shoots, the ambient light and visibility seem just fine to me, but the colors are.. a bit muted, and the footage is often a bit overexposed. Where you using underwater auto white balance mode, or just the regular auto white balance? And what f-stop where you shooting at? I find that in the 0-10 meter range with good visibility, if you're at 1/50 and iso 100, you need to push your f-top to at least F11, maybe ever F16 or you will overexpose because there's just so much light. Watching the histogram and having zebras at 100+ to help you spot over exposure is a good practice.

 

It looks like you tried to use lights in a lot of the shallow shots also, but, because the ambient light was still quite strong, their effect isn't so obvious. When you're shooting with strong ambient light, your video lights tend to be outshone by the ambient light and don't really bring back much reds/yellows. Best conditions for video lights are deep (30m+) or dark (overcast, early morning, late in the day) when the sunlight that penetrates isn't so strong. Or night, of course :) Conversely, for shallow shots with strong ambient light, you can just go with the underwater auto white balance mode (keeping the sun behind you if possible) and get pretty good results without the video lights.

 

Thank you buddy for your input and helpful tips. I do need to go back to Indonesia, Komodo my next destination, for anther round of shooting.

 

I wasn't happy with the UW Auto WB, as it evenly turns subjects kind of yellow. I'm thinking of covering one fin with a mat white sticker and perform custom white balance with depth changes. A bit of a hassle, but worth trying I guess.

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I wasn't happy with the UW Auto WB, as it evenly turns subjects kind of yellow. I'm thinking of covering one fin with a mat white sticker and perform custom white balance with depth changes. A bit of a hassle, but worth trying I guess.

 

FWIW, I bought a set of white fins specifically for white balancing on photo trips. I keep them for just those dives. They are the same brand and model as my regular fins, just white. As it turns out, getting my feet in the right position to WB off them can sometimes be an issue, but it does seem to work pretty well most of the time.

Edited by SwiftFF5

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The WB slates are normally a 15% grey... but I think in green water you will go better with this...

 

://www.amazon.com/Hoya-72mm-FLW-Lens-Filter/dp/B0000AIS20

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That FLW filter seems like a rather unusual choice for color correction, TaxiDiver. Have you tried it out? I'm quite curious about the results. What are you using it to achieve underwater?

 

Regarding custom white balance, to the best of my knowledge, it's a bit of a pain on the A7 series -- you have to be in one of the picture modes (manual, aperture priority, shutter priority) to be able to set it. It's can't be set directly in the movie mode. You can change back to movie mode afterwards and the white balance will be retained, but it makes the procedure quite lengthy. Or you could film in the picture mode, but then you don't have the 16:9 crop until you start filming.

 

Moreover, just like with the UAWB mode, custom white balance will require a red/magneta filter below 10 meters. The camera's internal white balance range maxes out at 10000 calvins, which isn't sufficient at depth. So you need to filter out some of the blues/greens with a red magenta filter first to allow the camera to produce a more accurate white balance at depth. From my (admittedly limited) experimentation with custom white balance and filters on the A7RII, two issues bother me:

  • custom white balance tends to push too red, even when white balancing off my palm or a brown coral. This produces rather muddy, purpleish blue water column
  • below 5 meters (10 if the visibility is excellent) it invariably creates a pretty flat, low contrast, low saturation image which I find aesthetically unappealing even if it may be technically correct

I've acquired two new red filters (one auto-magic, on ur/pro) which I hope to experiment with more in a couple of weeks when I get back into the water. I've also gotten some blue gels to use on my lights so that I can hopefully film with the filter + light combination at depth. We'll see how the results turn out.

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RETURN FROM RAJA AMPAT

 

Last night we returned from Raja Ampat, where my fiance Bonnie and I dove for 8 days at Misool EcoResort, which is located in a "no-take" zone in southern Raja. Had a great time. I have about 12 hours of video I will be looking through. Some is good and some bad, and I was studying the results on the trip and analyzing why I was getting certain results with exposure, focus and of course, our favorite topic -WHITE BALANCE. I will post a few sample clips, and then give reflections on what was learned, as so many have done so here on this topic. I used UAWB exclusively, and auto ISO. I also interviewed and filmed the owner of MIsool Eco Resort, Andrew Miner, for 45 minutes, while there. It was a fascinating place. I will be making several films of the journey.

 

Best GLP

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I am looking forward to your output. It's pretty normal that 80% or more of the footage is for the cutting room floor :-)

 

I heard great things about the Misool Eco Resort, so very much interested in that report a well.

Edited by bubffm

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Bravo!

 

You seem to have mastered the camera and the white balance issues. Great! I found it interesting how the reef there differs from Raja. The Misool "no take zone"in southeast Raja Ampat is exploding with coral and fish species. I will post some video soon. Just got back less than 48 hours ago!

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Hi guys. As I said many post before keep it easy. If you get 1 or 2 minutes of good footage every dive you are doing well.

 

1. Shoot at GOLDEN hours, early morning and sunset.

 

2. Below 10-15m use lights.

AWB A+3,M+3.

 

3. Above 10m AUWB.

 

Camera settings: Manual mode, Auto ISO 100-3200, Creative style STANDAR, -0,7 EV (will try -1.0 next time).

 

Do not think to much underwater. Fix your settings and enjoy your shots.....

Edited by TaxiDiver14
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