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Hi all,

 

I always wanted to share my finding for using a color checker for underwater video. I will detail this in a later edit hence I have to go now :)

Here is a clip:

https://youtu.be/cI7uxQYAm3o

 

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Thanks Thani. thats interesting, never thought of using an X-Rite underwater...

 

Any experience on the durability if this kit when used underwater? As they are not particularly cheap, I'd hate to buy a new one after every dive trip :)

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Great / Interesting Topic Thani!

 

Any experience on the durability if this kit when used underwater? As they are not particularly cheap, I'd hate to buy a new one after every dive trip :)

 

 

I read somewhere they aren't good with prolonged use in water, which is why I never got one, I ended up buying one of these (http://www.amphibico.com/store/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=48) alas you can't use it for auto-matching sadly like the X-Rites.

 

But if Thani doesn't have any problems using the passport underwater - and it lasts, I would be interested to get one.

I did look at these also - http://www.filmtools.com/dsc-labs-splash-underwater-chart.html- But boy they are even more expensive!

 

As to the video, although once corrected for making the passport look correct, is it me (and/or my monitor) but I'm not keen on the water colour it produces?

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Hi all,

 

I always wanted to share my finding for using a color checker for underwater video. I will detail this in a later edit hence I have to go now :)

Here is a clip:

https://youtu.be/cI7uxQYAm3o

 

 

Thani, any chance you could share the raw footage somewhere? I'd be curious to see how useful it is for adjusting colors in post. What depth was this filmed at, and using what camera?

 

Also curious to see that even after matching the colors the sand in the background still has a very pronounced blue tint. Perhaps because the white balance is done for the slate which is a few meters shallower then the sandy bottom?

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I thought about something like that but just never get to experiment it. While I was research about this idea, I added the DGK Color Tool to my Amazon wishlist:

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AWT2QCE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=TH83Y2NNTEAJ&coliid=I3TIYMJBCBGUTL

 

It's cheap, in theory you can just laminate the chart so it become water proof. I think it depends on the thickness of plastic used for laminate, the durability should last quite a while. If the color chart need to be replace every 50 dive, hey, it's only $13!

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Also curious to see that even after matching the colors the sand in the background still has a very pronounced blue tint. Perhaps because the white balance is done for the slate which is a few meters shallower then the sandy bottom?

 

Thats probably the key problem with manual WB underwater: You get the balance right at the distance you're putting the card in front of your lense (in most cases 20-30cm), but the color temperature at your target, which swim at a longer distance away will be different again.

 

In Thani's example, his skin-tones and the chart look great, but the sand two meters down looks blueish. However, overall I like Thani's white balance in his Raja Ampat clip filmed on the FS7.

Edited by bubffm

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I played around with this years ago with a laminated checker for stills. I was basically trying to work out how deep I could shoot with available light in The Red Sea. The problem seems to be that our brains, or maybe optic nerves, do a bit of colour correction when we are underwater so you then have to adjust for this in post when you are out of the water. It's a really interesting excercise though and I learnt a lot from doing it.

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I played around with this years ago with a laminated checker for stills. I was basically trying to work out how deep I could shoot with available light in The Red Sea. The problem seems to be that our brains, or maybe optic nerves, do a bit of colour correction when we are underwater so you then have to adjust for this in post when you are out of the water. It's a really interesting excercise though and I learnt a lot from doing it.

 

How deep then? :)

 

Weeks ago I found this seven years old Thistlegorm video. I know nothing about camera, setup, etc...

 

 

Question of personal taste, of course, but I find its colors amazing. AFAIK it should be shot with ambient light with red filter (except interiors) and the resulting palette/light gives him a very particular atmosphere IMHO. From its pastel colors I could think of a Canon camera or a old Sony video-camera. Who know. Maybe the author will read this.

So with a proper filter and light, at 30m it's possible get good result.

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Great find, Davide. That WB is truly amazing considering the clip is from 2010, you hardly find anything matching this in 2017. Must have been a very capable camcorder setup.

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I came to the conclusion that 25 metres is as deep as you can really use ambient light in The Red Sea. If you go to 30 it is possible but an awful lot of work in post. So OK for Thistlegorm but as I was only shooting stills I did finally decide that on a wreck you need to do quite a bit of work on the red channel, even on the deck on Thistlegorm, to get a bit of the rust colour.

 

I have also tried a bit in the Med but it doesn't work so well and you need definately need a filter in green water.

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The video about the Thistlegorm could be from 5DMark2. The person who shot it is "Henrik Jonsson", never heard of this person so he might hang around Scubaboard or some place else.

 

If there is one thing I have noticed, those who shoot really good UW video do not share what camera they use, how they get stable footage, they don't tell people if they use red filter or not. People ask questions in their Youtube/Vimeo page, the videographers do not response to question and only thanks for compliments. People who hang around here and share technical info are Panasonic and Sony shooters..... why?

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If there is one thing I have noticed, those who shoot really good UW video do not share what camera they use, how they get stable footage, they don't tell people if they use red filter or not. People ask questions in their Youtube/Vimeo page, the videographers do not response to question and only thanks for compliments.

 

Well, your question brings to the table several aspects...

 

IMHO

 

  • Unless the title contains magic words like test, review, etc.. as user I tend to avoid asking techie details.
  • As video producer I do not define myself an artist or a videomaker but I'm frustrated when people write "nice, which camera settings did you use?". I tried to put inside my video an idea, maybe a message. I believe that my video are nothing special but are mine. I would believe that they express my personal point of view and they have nothing to do with the gear I used. Yes I'm naive and I would believe that I could have made my piece with anything. There are countless video about a dive, a trip, a wreck but that video contains my perception of it.
  • I never confused the tool and the goal. Gear is a means to an end rather than an end in itself.

 

Nevertheless sometime I would ask which gear they used but I'm shy to ask :) Asking Howard hall which camera used, in some way is like saying "ok with that camera I can do the same".

 

Bye

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I don't think we care what camera Howard Hall use, because we can't afford it :D

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Hahaha. Good point :)

 

What I mean is what's the point asking these guys about their equipment and setting?

 

 

 

Do I think that if I could afford their gear I would produce something comparable?

No.

Edited by Davide DB

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I think it's very common/natural for people to curious about what other accomplished shooter used, and it always come across as the "easy way out". Just like in photography world that people always say "Full frame is best", hence it created this obsession of gear hog and constant camera upgrade.

 

Personally I don't care about what camera other people use, because I have my own set of budget, I have the GH4 and decide that the LX100 is better for me to use UW because of my budget, and my diving experience is more suitable for a more compact set up. These days I just focus on the quality of content and stuffs that I capture. I come to term that it's better for me to spend the money on more exotic dive trip instead of having nice gear but can't travel anywhere :D

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Do I think that if I could afford their gear I would produce something comparable?

No.

You may well be able to afford it. As far as I know Florian and his gang are using Canon DSLR's

Problem is I would not even get this with an 8K Helium RED

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Are you sure?

From what I see in their latest productions they have a Red in Nauticam housing. Maybe Canon as b-cam?

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The editing is the key, if you look at the "Angel of the Deep", at 1:49 and 2:32, any camera can get this kind of shot (DSLR, RED, Point & Shoot), there is nothing special about the color and composition on those specific frame/clip. At the end of the day, it's how you use the clips you shoot, put them together (with the help of appropriate music), and create the right emotion.

 

A couple years ago I was just obsess about 4K cameras, until recently I just starting to pay attention to use Premiere Pro properly, stop just using fade in fade out transition, try to do complex stuff. I have to say, having more than basic editing skill makes a big difference.

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The editing is the key, if you look at the "Angel of the Deep", at 1:49 and 2:32, any camera can get this kind of shot (DSLR, RED, Point & Shoot), there is nothing special about the color and composition on those specific frame/clip. At the end of the day, it's how you use the clips you shoot, put them together (with the help of appropriate music), and create the right emotion.

 

A couple years ago I was just obsess about 4K cameras, until recently I just starting to pay attention to use Premiere Pro properly, stop just using fade in fade out transition, try to do complex stuff. I have to say, having more than basic editing skill makes a big difference.

 

 

So you are back to my post or bottom line my signature "Your new gear will not make you produce any better art than you already do" :D

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I never imply that a new/better gear would make a better artist, I just point out that a lot videographers do not tell people what/how they use their equipment.

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That Thislegorm video is very impressive, only thing I can say in terms of the colours is that it appears a fisheye lens was used, so minising the amount of water between camera and wreck which is proving some excellent colours. But still I think we all know it's a canon eh! :-)

 

As to camera upgrades and equipment. I've gone back for the time being to 1080 but filming at 60fps - this has made a massive difference to the quality of my videos, yes I've now got a GH5, but going to stick with the GH4 for a while and improve my craft using what I have. Been really enjoying filming with a red filter - very little to adjust in post and the foreground colours really do pop.

 

Hoping we get an answer on how well the xrite survives the water

 

 

Regards - Richard

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That Thislegorm video is very impressive, only thing I can say in terms of the colours is that it appears a fisheye lens was used, so minising the amount of water between camera and wreck which is proving some excellent colours. But still I think we all know it's a canon eh! :-)

 

As to camera upgrades and equipment. I've gone back for the time being to 1080 but filming at 60fps - this has made a massive difference to the quality of my videos, yes I've now got a GH5, but going to stick with the GH4 for a while and improve my craft using what I have. Been really enjoying filming with a red filter - very little to adjust in post and the foreground colours really do pop.

 

Hoping we get an answer on how well the xrite survives the water

 

 

Regards - Richard

 

Yes.. definitely a fisheye lens, which means it was a DSLR, which, given the timeframe, probably means a Canon 5D Mark II. No real secret that the Canons have always produced nice white balance results at depth with good noise characteristics too because of the large sensor.

 

As for the whole equipment vs. skill debate, I think it's definitely true that what you put in front of the camera, the story, and the skill of the camera operator, director and editor ultimately have a much larger impact on the overall production value of a film than any technical characteristics of the camera itself. That said, equipment does impose real limitations -- for example, you won't be able to include nice slow motion sequences if your camera can't shoot at 48 or 60fps, and to get really nice colors at depth you're going to need a camera that can white balance well, powerful video lights, or both.

 

So I definitely understand why people ask what camera was used to film something -- it can be important information. On the other hand, I do sometimes feel frustrated when others ask me what camera I used to film something because it does feel like less experienced shooters ascribe the overall quality of the finished product to the camera choice -- when in fact other factors make much more of a difference. Hard as a creator to not feel like your skill isn't being unappreciated by the lay public at times.

 

Regarding Florian's work, I'm pretty sure Angel of the Deep was filmed primarily using a Red Scarlet-W. That said, most of Florian's projects before 2017 were filmed on a GH4 I believe. Actually, going through Florian's work in chronological order is quite interesting. You definitely see the way he's improved over time. And very little of that improvement has to do with gear, IMO.

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