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Sabster

Rate this Noob Setup for Video

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Hi All!
New to the forum and want to get my feet wet with producing underwater video. Based on the research I have done so far (much of it on this site which is an excellent resource) I figured what I would lay out what I am thinking of purchasing and was hoping to get some feedback from the experts here. 

I am mainly interested in wide angle video and am looking to put together a versatile setup I can grow with. Budget-wise was hoping to get out for under $3k but could be convinced to go up to $4k.

  • LX-10 Camera: Based on Backscatter reviews of it as best compact for video
  • Ikelite Housing: Based on price point. I don't understand the wide pricing difference between this brand and Nauticam. Is there some major difference in functionality I am overlooking?
  • 2x Scubalamp V6K: From everything i've read, light's are crucial and two are better than one. I found this brand on this forum. Seems like great value for a high lumen output but worried the burn time is too low or quality might be low. Maybe I should consider the V4K pro or another brand?

Do I need a special wide-angle lens or can I capture scenes with the normal lens/housing setup? Also am especially confused about the huge range of lights out there. Was interested in some of the Chinese brands like Scubalamp or Archon because they seem to offer high power for a decent price. But let me know if I am making a mistake here. 

Overall what do you think? Any suggestions, additions, or swaps?

Thanks in advance for all of you help! Looking forward to posting some videos here in the future :)

 

Edited by Sabster
removed mistake attachment

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I've not used many of the current compacts, but the LX10 is certainly a nice camera and Panasonic does very good underwater white balance, which is important for video. 

The difference between housings like Ikelite and Nauticam is build quality and ergonomics. Ikelite is basically a plastic box with buttons. Nauticam builds their housings so that camera controls lie at convenient places for underwater photographers. Also Aluminium housings do not fog up as quickly and are generally more durable. Allthough resale (used) is pitiful for all underwater housings, aluminium is slightly better as long as it's still current. One generation behind and prices drop like stones in water though, no matter the brand...

Isotta is another housing brand that has a housing for the LX10. They are in my opinion the nicest housings from an ergonomic standpoint. Maybe slightly cheaper than nauticam, but not much. If you're looking at plastic housings to safe money, ikelite is not the cheapest and other brands are also in that "good enough" range, but I don't know much about them.

 

Can't tell you anything about lights. I've only used Weefine, but not very high powered ones. I am very happy with that brand (reliable, good build quality) but I have no idea how they fare against other brand lamps.

 

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The LX-10 is 24mm equivalent at the wide end which with the flat port reduces to 30mm or so which is not that wide, so a wide angle lens is pretty much needed for wide angle video.

Regarding lights, they are generally cheap for a reason.  You need to consider coverage, beam angle and CRI.  Searching the specific model you are interested in on the lighting forum should turn up some reviews.  Here is one thread: 

On the question of housing Nauticam is much better built, the Ikelite housings are quite OK, but the are just a big square box with plungers to activate the various buttons. 

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The new Nauticam WWL-C works with the LX10 and I would think it is a system of choice for compacts at this stage if you do not want to have a port system. Having said that Doug (Evilotter) had some good results with Ikelite so worth checking specific combinations

Scubalamp have a good reputation however be careful because with a very wide beam you need 15000 lumens plus to feel them in some cases. I for one use 95 degrees light instead

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I've been diving since the late 80's, however I'm new to U/W photography & video. I just ordered and received (but it's still dry):

  1. LUMIX LX10
  2. Ikelite Housing and tray
  3. DS51 strobes

Looking for a video light recommendation, something I can relatively easily swap out with one of my strobes? Thank you

Not trying to highjack your post Sabster :)

 

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I am coming late to this thread but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents since I have relevant experience. I have been using an LX100 in an Ikelite housing for the past three years and I have been very satisfied. I was initially attracted to the LX100 for its M43 sensor, awesome Leica lens, 4K video capability and ability to manual white balance.

I also considered the RX100 Mk 3 but was put off by its inability to MWB without a filter and overheating issues (note that these issues have been addressed in later models). The LX10 was not out at the time but in retrospect, I still would have purchased the LX100 due to the larger sensor and faster lens.

I went with an Ikelite housing for reasons of cost and I have found it to be just fine for my needs as an amateur. I am sure that the ergonomics of the Nauticam are far superior but it is in a much higher price range. This is compounded by a complex and expensive three-port system, which seems to defeat the simplicity and utility of a point and shoot.

For lights, I have a pair of Scubalamp V4K Pros for portraits and two BigBlue ALX2600 for macro. I like the Scubalamps but I regret that I did not spring for the V6Ks at the time. The BigBlues are serviceable for macro but are very cold and are only 80 CRI. I will eventually upgrade both.

Over time, I have added on a WD-4 wet lens for shooting wide as well as a CMC-1, two UCL165-M67s and a custom flip holder for macro. I mainly use the CMC-1 but I do stack all three lenses for very tiny stuff. I also made a DIY quadropod using ball arms for improved macro stability.

The main limitation of the LX100 is macro due to the comparatively low magnification ratio of the lens. Since this has become a primary interest for me, I am currently upgrading to a mirrorless setup that will leverage the Olympus 60mm macro.

You can see some of my footage on my YouTube channel which is linked in my signature block. Happy to take any specific questions on my setup if it is helpful.  
 

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