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I took a trip aboard the MSY Seahorse in the Banda Sea back in late September/early October. The primary goal of such a trip is to see schooling hammerhead sharks. This was my second attempt and managed to get some good footage of them. It's really quite a challenge to capture them well as you never know when they will show up and how close they'll be. The GH5 has a hard time focusing on such a subject in the water column at a distance. My strategy each dive was to swim off the wall, turn around and focus the lens on a contrasty area on the verge of visibility.  Then, I would keep my fingers away from the focus lever for the rest of the dive!

When we finally encountered the school, I had to make a few short fin kicks towards them till the focus peaking appeared around them on the monitor, then pressed record!

Here is the video of the trip. Comments and critiques are welcomed.

 

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The quality of the aerial and land footage is as always great and the clip as usual is well built I continue to have the view that shooting prime is limiting and not enhancing your abilities look for example at the turtle progression and how the 8mm really does not fit that situation.

I generally dislike slow mo tricks and in this video this technique is well abused on this clip and I just can't stand watching sharks, banded sea snakes or bumpheads moving like that in the frame but this is personal I guess

You can obviously hold a camera and the shots that are dark would have benefited of a lower shutter speed that a normal frame rate would give if you were not shooting 60p systematically. Besides the clips are conformed to 30p so you are trashing 50% of the data you have recorded on your card. If you don't have a fast SD card I would consider shooting 100 mbps 30p to improved the IQ and using VFR for the bits you really want to slow mo

All of the above is for your benefit and don't need to agree or disagree the clips are great and could be so much better with some different choices some of that are purely settings

Very well done

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Thanks for the feedback Interceptor121. I'm curious about this statement:

"...look for example at the turtle progression and how the 8mm really does not fit that situation."

I'm wondering if you can expand upon this as I'm not clear on what you mean.

Thanks!

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at 1:48 you have a sequence of a turtle where the turtle is in the middle of the frame and looks fine and so she does in the cave as the subject is not near

At 2:46 you have a glimpse of a turtle again but this time you are close so the distortion is much more apparent as the turtle turns  left the relative shape of the head goes from middle of the frame where it is looking puffy to side of the frame where it looks more elongated. The cut is very short so unless you are OCD like me you won't notice. In the other shots in the distance for example you don't 

What lens have you used on the sharks? They seem pretty far

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Okay, you're talking about the barrel distortion. Thanks for the clarification. I agree not many will notice the shape of the turtles head for the second or two it's at the edge of the frame.

I used the 8mm for the sharks. Not the best, but it's what I had with me. Sometimes I compromise between lenses and luggage space! I also have the 7-14 Olympus and would have preferred it should I had it along.

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11 minutes ago, stphnmartin said:

Okay, you're talking about the barrel distortion. Thanks for the clarification. I agree not many will notice the shape of the turtles head for the second or two it's at the edge of the frame.

I used the 8mm for the sharks. Not the best, but it's what I had with me. Sometimes I compromise between lenses and luggage space! I also have the 7-14 Olympus and would have preferred it should I had it along.

I think the 12-42 or 12-50 actually as the sharks are really far

Time to invest in a wet lens for video hahaha 

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Very nice. We did the Banda See crossing in 2016 and despite some very rough waters at times it was one of the best trips ever.  I only got the hammerheads from the distance, so you were quite lucky! 

The water can be quite murky around Serua....

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One comment on the post-processing -- the underwater footage comes across as much too crisp and unrealistic -- I think if you've applied a sharpening filter, it's way overdone in that area.

I realize that conditions can be a bit murky in the Banda Sea, but I'm not sure the oversharpening is helping you at all here.

I echo Interceptor21's comments re: lens selection. A fisheye lens can be nice for certain shots (and it's great for wide-angle photos), but as your primary lens for underwater video, it's really quite limiting and makes it difficult to put together wide-medium-close sequences. Supplementing with a zoom lens, either a wide-angle zoom like the 7-14 (or more ideally 8-16) or the 14-42 + WWL-1 combo would let you capture a wider variety of shots. 

None of that to take away from the overall result though, which I think shows a lot of promise :)

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Thanks dreifish. Appreciate you taking the time to watch and comment.

I did apply default level (2.5) sharpening in FCPX to help counter the softness of vlog in some scenes. I'm wondering if you can point out a particular scene that demonstrates the overdone sharpness you're seeing.

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Thanks dreifish. Appreciate you taking the time to watch and comment.
I did apply default level (2.5) sharpening in FCPX to help counter the softness of vlog in some scenes. I'm wondering if you can point out a particular scene that demonstrates the overdone sharpness you're seeing.

The GH5 applies sharpening also at -5 there is no need to sharpen in post in my opinion
Why do you use VLOG?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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