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Here is my first video using Sony camcorder  HXR-NX80 taken during the last diving trip in Philippines this August:
 
 
I have not mastered this camera yet, and on a few occasions I inadvertently used wrong settings (i.e. the internal ND filter was on on a few dives).  Also, playing with different settings and filters resulted in some color inconsistencies between different clips.  
 
While I am still trying to master this camera, I will greatly appreciate constructive criticism and recommendations.
 
The following equipment was used to make this video:
 
Camera: Sony camcorder  HXR-NX80
Housing: Gates AX700 / Z90 with Gates GP34A Wide Angle Port and internal UR Pro Red Filter (on most dives) and UR Pro Pink Filter (on a few dives)  
Tripod: Gates Tripod
Diopters: SAGA +5 Diopter Achromatic Close-Up Macro Lens, and SAGA +10 Diopter Achromatic Close-Up Macro Lens
Video Lights: Keldan Video 8X 11,000 Lumen CRI 92 (5400K) with Keldan Ambient Filter M1 (10-20m) for 4X/8X
Camera Settings: 4K, 30 FPS, Picture Profile: BT709.  I followed the following article for recommended camera settings: AX700-Z90-Housing-Recommended-Settings-R2.pdf
 
485458778_SonyNX80-Gates-Keldan.JPG.b347888964c7e9b7c15df55270c6494a.JPG
 
In my decision to buy this camera and housing,  I followed an advise from Juan Monterey, who convinced me through his articles that this Sony camcorder is one of the best cameras for underwater videography:   http://wetpixel.es/mi-actual-equipo-submarino/
 
As I am shooting only videos, I found many advantages of going with this camcorder and the Gates housing, including but not limited to the following:
  • No need to carry several lenses. 
  • With one wide angle dome and diopters you could shoot wide angle and macro on the same dive. 
  • Very good and fast auto focus
  • Very easy (one-button touch) white balance setup. 
  • Ability to use HLG - Hybrid Log Gamma (In the future for me)
  • Battery is good for four dives (about 4 hrs)
One things that puzzled me with this Gates housing is providing a control knob for ND filters, as I have never been in a situation yet when there is too much light under water. Maybe someone could enlighten me about this.
 
For all footage above water I was using iPhone X. 
 
Hope to hear your comments and recommendations on how to improve my videos. 
 
Many thanks and cheers.
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Excellent and a great improvement over the A7. The URPRO filter works well with Sony cameras for some reason

The camera is also held very steady don't know if you have stabilised in post the port with the diopters together with the camera 12x zoom work a treat

In some cases the colours look a bit cold maybe you wanted to keep the natural look or the keldan filters were in action and they result cold

If you only shoot video there is no need in my opinion to go for a camera the ergonomics are just too hard compared to a nice camcorder

Also the iPhone seems to be a winner!

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4 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

Excellent and a great improvement over the A7. The URPRO filter works well with Sony cameras for some reason

The camera is also held very steady don't know if you have stabilised in post the port with the diopters together with the camera 12x zoom work a treat

In some cases the colours look a bit cold maybe you wanted to keep the natural look or the keldan filters were in action and they result cold

If you only shoot video there is no need in my opinion to go for a camera the ergonomics are just too hard compared to a nice camcorder

Also the iPhone seems to be a winner!

Thank you for watching my video and your feedback, Interceptor121.  I am not sure if I could blame Keldan filters for cold colours, as I used them together with the internal red filter.  Most probably I over-did blue colour in post-processing.  I will pay more attention to this in the future.  Thank you again.  Your comments are very valuable. 

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I was referring to the close up shots being cold and actually have a blue cast from the keldan filters
Your system with a flip diopter is great you should limit the use of ambient filters only to shallower water to eliminate shadows or when you swim through a cave
I would recommend the 6 meters blue green filter that matches better with the urpro filter and definitely remove everything in close up shots to take advantage of the high cri of the lights



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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12 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

I was referring to the close up shots being cold and actually have a blue cast from the keldan filters
Your system with a flip diopter is great you should limit the use of ambient filters only to shallower water to eliminate shadows or when you swim through a cave
I would recommend the 6 meters blue green filter that matches better with the urpro filter and definitely remove everything in close up shots to take advantage of the high cri of the lights 



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you for the clarification.  I have to re-read your article about the ambient filters.  I see that, in addition to  6 BG filter, Keldan has 12 BG filter for a depth of 10-18 meters, but from your post I understand that you do not recommend using ambient filters below 12 meters or so (the limit of the  6 BG filter).  So, in this case if I am using video lights I should not use red filter, and rather focus on subject that my lights could light up.  Is this correct?

Edited by Laval

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1 hour ago, Laval said:

Thank you for the clarification.  I have to re-read your article about the ambient filters.  I see that, in addition to  6 BG filter, Keldan has 12 BG filter for a depth of 10-18 meters, but from your post I understand that you do not recommend using ambient filters below 12 meters or so (the limit of the  6 BG filter).  So, in this case if I am using video lights I should not use red filter, and rather focus on subject that my lights could light up.  Is this correct?

The way I work is to use filter in the first 12 meters where the color rendering is good. Actually the URPRO can go deeper however you have a great housing with a flip which means you can get rid of the filter and use the lights 

The ambient filter becomes useful in situations where you are at shallow depth and are in the shadow or you want to have colors in the foreground and background that are homegenous

For a close up you are going to use the lights as primary source so take filters off because you can

If you keep the filter on at close range on both you need to make sure you white balance for the dominant light not on ambient because the light with the filter will be predominant. For example you are at 10 meters and your ambient filter is 12 if you balance for environment you set for 10 but at close range it will be like 12 meters because of the lights and you end up with cool colors or  cast which is what happened to you

With a housing like the gates you have the flexibility required use the ambient filter only in mixed light situation and skip otherwise

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20 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

The way I work is to use filter in the first 12 meters where the color rendering is good. Actually the URPRO can go deeper however you have a great housing with a flip which means you can get rid of the filter and use the lights 

The ambient filter becomes useful in situations where you are at shallow depth and are in the shadow or you want to have colors in the foreground and background that are homegenous

For a close up you are going to use the lights as primary source so take filters off because you can

If you keep the filter on at close range on both you need to make sure you white balance for the dominant light not on ambient because the light with the filter will be predominant. For example you are at 10 meters and your ambient filter is 12 if you balance for environment you set for 10 but at close range it will be like 12 meters because of the lights and you end up with cool colors or  cast which is what happened to you

With a housing like the gates you have the flexibility required use the ambient filter only in mixed light situation and skip otherwise

Great information.  Thank you very much.  I will  look up at buying the 6 BG filters, and will experiment on my next dive trip.

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On 11/10/2019 at 4:02 PM, Interceptor121 said:

The way I work is to use filter in the first 12 meters where the color rendering is good. Actually the URPRO can go deeper however you have a great housing with a flip which means you can get rid of the filter and use the lights 

The ambient filter becomes useful in situations where you are at shallow depth and are in the shadow or you want to have colors in the foreground and background that are homegenous

For a close up you are going to use the lights as primary source so take filters off because you can

If you keep the filter on at close range on both you need to make sure you white balance for the dominant light not on ambient because the light with the filter will be predominant. For example you are at 10 meters and your ambient filter is 12 if you balance for environment you set for 10 but at close range it will be like 12 meters because of the lights and you end up with cool colors or  cast which is what happened to you

With a housing like the gates you have the flexibility required use the ambient filter only in mixed light situation and skip otherwise

I am thinking of buying another set of Keldan ambient filters, but not sure if blue-green (BG6) or green (G6)  filters would be better in my case.  The one set of ambient filters that I have is B6, which is for blue water.  With my Gates housing I have to URPRO filters - one for blue water and another one - for green water.  I do not dive in cold water, but even in Raja Ampat the water is  greenish. So, for diving in places like Raja Ampat would G6 (rather than BG6) work better with my URPRO filter for green water?  I realize that it will never be perfect, but I am trying to be close.  Thank you for your feedback.

 

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Raja Ampat blue green

I have yet to dive in water that is really blue :lol2: most waters are blue green anyway

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10 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

Raja Ampat blue green

I have yet to dive in water that is really blue :lol2: most waters are blue green anyway

Thank you for your recommendation, Interceptor121.  I just ordered a pair of GB6 filters, and I am planning to do some testing during my next trip to Raja Ampat in December - January.

Thanks again.

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Just now, Laval said:

Thank you for your recommendation, Interceptor121.  I just ordered a pair of GB6 filters, and I am planning to do some testing during my next trip to Raja Ampat in December - January.

Thanks again.

Val for Raja Ampat may want to also get a pair of 9 meters? As far as I remember the water is pretty dark

 

 

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20 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

 

I have yet to dive in water that is really blue :lol2: most waters are blue green anyway

Eastern Med. All the blue you want ;) No nemos though :)) 

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Eastern Med. All the blue you want  No nemos though :)

Once I was diving in a Tuna farm in Malta and it was quite blue in essence you need open water and no bottom or reef! So even when it looks blue is not that blue as you think
Raja is definitely on the green side but not pure greenwater URPRO will work fine


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5 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:


Once I was diving in a Tuna farm in Malta and it was quite blue in essence you need open water and no bottom or reef! So even when it looks blue is not that blue as you think
Raja is definitely on the green side but not pure greenwater URPRO will work fine


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Malta is not Eastern Med try Greece or Turkey you ll find the true blue you want.

Sorry for the off topic Laval

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Very nice. I use a very similar setup these days, just using the Sony Z90 camera, which is almost identical to yours. I fully agree with your comments re. advantages of a dedicated video housing / camera. After I sold my Sony AX100 I used the GH5 and never really warmed up to it. Nice camera nonetheless. 

On ND Filters: I have used them underwater. When you are shallow on a sunny day, it can get very bright. Also on muck dives I sometimes by purpose use the lights on a higher level than needed and then put ND Step 1 on. This gives often a richer color spectrum.

On color profiles: I use my own profiles based on the Cine1/Cine4 Profiles. Other profiles work as well. Just NEVER use HLG underwater. Looks pretty ugly. But I do use it overland. 

 

Edited by bubffm
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On 12/6/2019 at 4:47 PM, Interceptor121 said:

Val for Raja Ampat may want to also get a pair of 9 meters? As far as I remember the water is pretty dark

 

 

Thank you for your comment and sharing your videos.  On my next trip, I would like to test 6BG ambient filter and then make a decision about 12 BG filter.  I would like to see how much I could recover in the post process.  As much as I like Keldan product, I do not really want to buy  the entire lineup of their filters.  

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On 12/7/2019 at 3:01 AM, Interceptor121 said:


Once I was diving in a Tuna farm in Malta and it was quite blue in essence you need open water and no bottom or reef! So even when it looks blue is not that blue as you think
Raja is definitely on the green side but not pure greenwater URPRO will work fine


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Interesting comment about "open water and no bottom or reef" for water to be blue.  I never thought about this. My recollection is that during my trip to Socoro Island, the water was very blue (there was no bottom or reef).  Here is my video from that trip.  I should admit that this video was not post-processed properly due to the lack of skills.

 

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21 hours ago, bubffm said:

Very nice. I use a very similar setup these days, just using the Sony Z90 camera, which is almost identical to yours. I fully agree with your comments re. advantages of a dedicated video housing / camera. After I sold my Sony AX100 I used the GH5 and never really warmed up to it. Nice camera nonetheless. 

On ND Filters: I have used them underwater. When you are shallow on a sunny day, it can get very bright. Also on muck dives I sometimes by purpose use the lights on a higher level than needed and then put ND Step 1 on. This gives often a richer color spectrum.

On color profiles: I use my own profiles based on the Cine1/Cine4 Profiles. Other profiles work as well. Just NEVER use HLG underwater. Looks pretty ugly. But I do use it overland. 

 

Thank you for your comments, bubffm.  Could you please share a link to your YouTube channel? I would like to check your videos.  Also, could you share your 'own profile' settings?  I like your comment about using ND 1 filter setting on muck dives.  I will try it.

I did not try HLG setting underwater yet, but Juan Monterey from http://wetpixel.es/  uses it extensively with good results.  He has the Z90 camera.

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Hi Laval,  my channel name is the same as the user-ID here, so when you search in youtube for it, you'll find it ;-)  But I have only published some overland stuff (Antartica, Patagonia) shot on the Z90. I have quite a bit of underwater footage done on it in the Maldives - unfortunately I've not had the time to publish anything. Just played around here with grading to see whether its any good. And I am mostly very pleased with it.

ON HLG, I disagreee with Juan - I had some exchange on this with him. I like a lot of stuff he's done but I am not convinced of his HLG stuff.  HLG works absolutely fine overland. But as soon as you need the slightest corrections - and thats almost always the case for underwater stuff - the picture is falling apart very quickly.  The codec is just too thin: Wider color gamut, 8 bits - good for WYSIWYG, not for grading. And HLG was actually never designed for grading in the first place.

Even with the GH5, which does 10 bit, i have not been able to produce any really good looking output with HLG underwater. And I know of nobody else who has. 

Custom profile: I need to look them up and post separately.  Nothing major. I remember I changed the Black levels and scaled down sharpness in 4k mode. I get back on that.

Burkhard

 

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I have shot a snorkeling video on the GH5 in HLG that I have not yet processed

What I can say is that it is not a good idea to process HLG Rec2020 in 8 bits if you want to do any grading. On my GH5 that is not actually possible you can only do it in 10 bit and the 150 Mbps profile is also inadequate for grading.

Furthermore it is hard to do anything with tone mapping so it is critical to get the colour right in camera. In terms of contract adjustment and tones HLG can take a lot of beating at 400 mbps ALL I on the GH5 but am not sure about Sony 8 bit codecs with 100 mbps bitrate or similar

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6 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

I have shot a snorkeling video on the GH5 in HLG that I have not yet processed

What I can say is that it is not a good idea to process HLG Rec2020 in 8 bits if you want to do any grading. On my GH5 that is not actually possible you can only do it in 10 bit and the 150 Mbps profile is also inadequate for grading.

Furthermore it is hard to do anything with tone mapping so it is critical to get the colour right in camera. In terms of contract adjustment and tones HLG can take a lot of beating at 400 mbps ALL I on the GH5 but am not sure about Sony 8 bit codecs with 100 mbps bitrate or similar

Thank you for your comment.  It looks like I should abandon an idea of shooting in HLG.

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On 12/10/2019 at 4:50 AM, bubffm said:

Hi Laval,  my channel name is the same as the user-ID here, so when you search in youtube for it, you'll find it ;-)  But I have only published some overland stuff (Antartica, Patagonia) shot on the Z90. I have quite a bit of underwater footage done on it in the Maldives - unfortunately I've not had the time to publish anything. Just played around here with grading to see whether its any good. And I am mostly very pleased with it.

ON HLG, I disagreee with Juan - I had some exchange on this with him. I like a lot of stuff he's done but I am not convinced of his HLG stuff.  HLG works absolutely fine overland. But as soon as you need the slightest corrections - and thats almost always the case for underwater stuff - the picture is falling apart very quickly.  The codec is just too thin: Wider color gamut, 8 bits - good for WYSIWYG, not for grading. And HLG was actually never designed for grading in the first place.

Even with the GH5, which does 10 bit, i have not been able to produce any really good looking output with HLG underwater. And I know of nobody else who has. 

Custom profile: I need to look them up and post separately.  Nothing major. I remember I changed the Black levels and scaled down sharpness in 4k mode. I get back on that.

Burkhard

 

Hi Burkhard, I checked your YouTube channel and ended up watching your videos with my wife most of the last Friday evening.  We enjoyed them very much, especially Antarctica, Triton Bay and Tubbataha Reef. Very professional work!  We like footage, music selection and editing. 

Regarding the 'Antarctica' video, from what I understand, it is straight from the camera. Is it right?  The quality is very good. Is it actually HDR?  

Val

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20 hours ago, Laval said:

Hi Burkhard, I checked your YouTube channel and ended up watching your videos with my wife most of the last Friday evening.  We enjoyed them very much, especially Antarctica, Triton Bay and Tubbataha Reef. Very professional work!  We like footage, music selection and editing. 

Regarding the 'Antarctica' video, from what I understand, it is straight from the camera. Is it right?  The quality is very good. Is it actually HDR?  

Val

Hi Val,

thanks for your kind comment und spending so much time watching my videos :-)

The Antartica video was pretty much straight from the camera just the usual minor tweaking of exposure, saturation etc.here and there. On some of the midnight sun clips I applied some noise reduction.  Its actually not HDR/HLG as I did not trust my skills here. It is my well trusted and tested CINE profile in Rec.709. Not sure anymore whether CINE1 or CINE4 but they are pretty close anyway.

I was also happy that I could operate the camera easily with the top handle and big gloves. Some of my photographers colleagues froze their fingers off on their cams...

Burkhard

 

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