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John Doe II

New plan - but what is it?

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I was very keen on the Sigma fp and the uber small housing that was being developed for it. Alas it is not to be. The housing manufacturing run for the fp is not going ahead.

 

So now left wondering what to do for a housed video camera. The E2 just does not grab me and I am not keen on the GH5. That leaves the Black Magic 4K and 6K which Naughty Cam have a housing for.....and those lovely water contact optics.

I am wondering if the FS700 is still a viable choice these days? Older camera for sure but there are plenty of them about for reasonable prices and there are housings out there for them. I am looking at this as a stop gap till the next generation are mainstream (because we know there are coming - they never stop coming). I feel its a bit late in the cycle to be setting up for a GH5 or a BM4K. Best to sink the big money into the next gen when they hit.

Thoughts anyone?

Edited by John Doe II

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Great question John,

I personally think we are in a bit of a change over phase from HD, 4K,SDR to 8K HDR and anything you buy today isn't what I would call future proofed at all - and with anything underwater camera related - it ain't cheap - so its got to last.

I don't know about you, but my camera setup(s) when I purchase them I want to last 4-5yrs at least - and you're right buying a GH5 now might not be the best option - I mean the GH5 and BMPCC4K/6K are great for today, but in 2025 say???

They (and everything similar) all produce wonderful imagery at present (and its credit to the GH5 its still holding its own against cameras 3yrs+ newer) If the only place you view them is online via YT or FB then and you're not making money from it - perhaps nothing more is needed now or for a while - I'll even go as fair as admit that I found an older video of mine on FB the other day, via the history thing that pops up, and it was amazing quality (to me) and I couldn't remember which camera I recorded on - then I remembered it was my Hero 7.... so gee I don't even need my GH5 or BMPCC4K...

We have ProRes RAW slowly slowly becoming more mainstream - and I can see eventually some cameras supporting that in-camera so you won't need an external monitor - and underwater having the ability to alter the WB etc after the fact is real nice.

We have 8K screens, which obviously will demand 8K/12K sensors and then we have HDR and wide dynamic range.

Interesting times - but if I was buying today, its a hard decision. Maybe get some super lights and a Hero 8 to tide me over...

 

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2 hours ago, thetrickster said:

Great question John,

and with anything underwater camera related - it ain't cheap - so its got to last.

I don't know about you, but my camera setup(s) when I purchase them I want to last 4-5yrs at least - 
 

Interesting times - but if I was buying today, its a hard decision. Maybe get some super lights and a Hero 8 to tide me over...

 

This is THE TRUTH. Thank you for your thoughts on this Trickster.

I am thinking of buying something a few generations older so its cheaper for the camera anyway and the housing will also be 1/4 of the new price.

Lights are also a problem in that LED tech is changing so fast.

I am going to buy Keldan's but not until I am ready to get wet - why buy some expensive Keldans today then wait to be able to travel (maybe one day.......does anyone remember what it was like to fly somewhere if you wanted too?). By time I am blowing bubbles again Keldan will have thier new range out (not that I know if a new range is on the horizon but its only time isn't it)

So what cameras fit this description? How about an EX1? :-)

Seems the only thing thats not changing all the time is lenses. WACP's , dome ports or ports in general.. those sorts of things. Strobes are also fairly stable but thats a stills thing of course.

Anyway, much pondering go on here. Such a shame to lose the Sigma fp setup. Still, those the cards we are being dealt so we have to work around it.

I am wondering what the general thoughts are on the Zcam S6 /S8 etc are ? Zraw seems to be a problem to my mind. Bring back good old DNG I say.

Looks like my only real choice is an old video camera or to find a BM housing and get whatever BM camera that fits into that housing. As a stop gap anyway.

 

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How do you guys feel about a BMPCC 4K vs an FS700 ?

The FS700 is quite a bit older for sure but it can do 120/240 fps at HD and with an Odyssey 7Q can do 12 bit 4K RAW DNG's

The BMPCC 4K is very well known for what it can do. Its an OK choice - not cutting edge anymore but there are housings for them floating around and plenty of used cameras floating around as well. Thats the good thing about being behind the tech curve...prices are at least 1/2 of new. Sometimes less.

As mentioned I think we will see a new class of camera in 2021 so its just not a great time to be buying BMPC4K/GH5 etc new right now.

What else should I be considering do you think ?

Edited by John Doe II

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Personally - as someone owning and using Atomos products and all the underwater housings that go with it

Don't do it.  if you are spending your own money.

The amount of bulk these external records add - plus the Odyssey is huge (and its discontinued..) is a lot if you are going to travel with it.

Do I like my Shogun's 7" brighter screen and the better viewing position - oh yes, but it doubles the size of my camera rig - and weight too - and yes there is a marginal improvement in image quality going to ProRes from the GH5 - or now ProResRAW with the NinjaV and newer cameras - but it then needs its own bag on the boat etc - all for little improvement. Its a ball ache using it if you aren't on a liveaboard. I use it with my BMPCC4k just as a larger screen.

There is zero wrong (some IBIS would be sweet mind..) with the BMPCC4K, its got loads of DR, its got RAW and is 12bit - a lot to like, and its relatively cheap now - its just lacking resolution comparatively with the current gen of incoming cameras.

Saying that the newly released mid tier camcorders from Sony (FX6) and Canon (C70) are still only '4k' today.

If you want something now - just go 2nd hand on a GH5 orBMPCC4K and spend the money on wet lenses, lights (things that will out last your camera) even a trip! and enjoy.

 

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19 hours ago, thetrickster said:

Personally - as someone owning and using Atomos products and all the underwater housings that go with it

Don't do it.  if you are spending your own money.

The amount of bulk these external records add - plus the Odyssey is huge (and its discontinued..) is a lot if you are going to travel with it.

Do I like my Shogun's 7" brighter screen and the better viewing position - oh yes, but it doubles the size of my camera rig - and weight too - and yes there is a marginal improvement in image quality going to ProRes from the GH5 - or now ProResRAW with the NinjaV and newer cameras - but it then needs its own bag on the boat etc - all for little improvement. Its a ball ache using it if you aren't on a liveaboard. I use it with my BMPCC4k just as a larger screen.

There is zero wrong (some IBIS would be sweet mind..) with the BMPCC4K, its got loads of DR, its got RAW and is 12bit - a lot to like, and its relatively cheap now - its just lacking resolution comparatively with the current gen of incoming cameras.

Saying that the newly released mid tier camcorders from Sony (FX6) and Canon (C70) are still only '4k' today.

If you want something now - just go 2nd hand on a GH5 orBMPCC4K and spend the money on wet lenses, lights (things that will out last your camera) even a trip! and enjoy.

 

Excellent advice from Richard here. Invest in lights and optics (though you are then locked to a format) is very important and this stuff lasts a long time.

Video is at a tipping point now. ProRes RAW will require 1:1 pixel mapping so you need dedicated video sensor and a choice if this is 4K or 6K. We are already seeing it through. 4K is going to be MFT 6K APSC or Full Frame. 

Unless you want to commit to WACP type of optics cropped remains the way to go when shooting small aperture as the equivalence destroys the benefits of a larger sensor. And at present real 6K options are more specialist suppliers like BMD and ZCAM that do not offer IBIS. 4K APSC from full sensor crop does not make a lot of sense to me.

And clearly you don't need 8K. There are not even computer screen there. Right now is common to have a 4K monitor and TV but you need to sit close to see all the pixels.

For me there is one research point to be resolved and I have no answer to this: what is the REAL difference between shooting 400 mbps LOG or Gamma corrected video 422 10 bits vs shooting 12 bit raw on MFT. I am suspicious it is not worth it 

On a full frame camera is 12 bit RAW which is limited to 12 linear stops better or worse than 10 bit log 422? Is log compression more effective than simply operating at 12 bits?

As ProRes raw is limited to 12 bits currently this is the real question. Obviously an ARRI alexa with 16 bit sensor hardware log compression and 12 bit container is miles away from 12 bit ProRes raw that is a 12 bit readout

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19 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

Excellent advice from Richard here. Invest in lights and optics 

this stuff lasts a long time.

Video is at a tipping point now. 

Unless you want to commit to WACP type of optics

BMD and ZCAM that do not offer IBIS. 4K APSC from full sensor crop does not make a lot of sense to me.

And clearly you don't need 8K. 

 

I agree - excellent points.

I am so bummed out about the Sigma fp. Oh well, time to move on.

I do agree on lights and optics. As I  mentioned earlier the thing about lights is that LED tech is moving rapidly. I fully intend to invest in Keldans. Pricy but the best IMO. Thing is Keldan brings out a new light every other year - slight improvements in lumens and CRI. Small incremental improvements for sure but every little helps - right? I will pull the trigger on Keldans the day before I can dive again.

Optics. A big reason for the sigma fp was the housing being developed for it had a Nikonos mated to it - the absolute best in my opinion! Now that is not a thing it looks the only option is the WACP. Another pricy item but its a forever purchase and so I am willing to do it.

Looks like I will have to go for a BMPCC4K for now and just accept its only an interim camera till the next gen are out and established.

Re the 12 bit raw Vs 10 bit 422. More bits surely help for graduation of water colour. There is probably not a lot in it...a few percent maybe. We are at the stage were we are splitting hairs now on quality. Really its a great spot to be in.

I am still not sold on the Zcam. Zraw is a big problem to my mind.

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9 hours ago, John Doe II said:

I agree - excellent points.

I am so bummed out about the Sigma fp. Oh well, time to move on.

I do agree on lights and optics. As I  mentioned earlier the thing about lights is that LED tech is moving rapidly. I fully intend to invest in Keldans. Pricy but the best IMO. Thing is Keldan brings out a new light every other year - slight improvements in lumens and CRI. Small incremental improvements for sure but every little helps - right? I will pull the trigger on Keldans the day before I can dive again.

Optics. A big reason for the sigma fp was the housing being developed for it had a Nikonos mated to it - the absolute best in my opinion! Now that is not a thing it looks the only option is the WACP. Another pricy item but its a forever purchase and so I am willing to do it.

Looks like I will have to go for a BMPCC4K for now and just accept its only an interim camera till the next gen are out and established.

Re the 12 bit raw Vs 10 bit 422. More bits surely help for graduation of water colour. There is probably not a lot in it...a few percent maybe. We are at the stage were we are splitting hairs now on quality. Really its a great spot to be in.

I am still not sold on the Zcam. Zraw is a big problem to my mind.

ZCAM records prores RAW with ninja you don't need their RAW

For me IBIS is important and I am not sure about small format cinema camera. If you had a massive rig with a red monstro that is very stable is one thing on a small housing it even feels you pressing the button so no IBIS no game for me

Looking at the histograms of in water footage seems like the dynamic range is limited most times and you can get good quality colour with a mix of lights and filters this is something already dealt with on my side.

I am now trying to fine tune my grading not sure if you have seen my very short tutorial

 

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On 12/12/2020 at 5:19 PM, Interceptor121 said:

ZCAM records prores RAW with ninja you don't need their RAW

 

I didnt know that - stopped following the Zam ages ago as I was not too impressed with the first 1. Having spent the weekend reading about Zcam and catching up on it all, perhaps its time to put the Zcam on the list of possible's .... IDK.

Its an odd twist...groaning because of all the choices. We are so fortunate to be where we are with all. I started reading wetpixel in 2003. Its a different game today.

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OK so something that I somehow missed on the Zcam - that now jumps out at me.....ETHERNET port on the camera. Tethering and streaming to topside possible.

 

"The NA-E2F supports an ethernet surface feed in 5m (pole cam) and 45m (studio) lengths.  The Z Cam E2 lineup offers a wide range of remote control options including live preview over ethernet.  This opens up the option of using an ethernet to lighting adaptor, then having an iPad or iPhone on the surface to allow monitoring and full control via the Z Cam app."

Edited by John Doe II
Added Naughty Cam Blurb

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John, I've owned Keldan lights - and they truly are fantastic - and if money was no object I would probably be on the new 24,000lm packs with the remote controls and all the goodies

But (and I'm sorry to Daniel for saying this) there are much much cheaper options out there (DivePro being the one I'm currently using) that perform just as good for 1/2 or 1/3 of the money - there is nothing special about the LED COB Arrays (quality / power of the light) used throughout the industry for the higher powered units - they either come from CREE, LUMINUS or similar and most manufacturers (if they are any good) will provide info on which array (and what binning) they are using.

Keldan's are built better and no doubt use good quality lithium packs - but this I can't see these aspects alone being worth that much of a difference.

The other thing to watch out for is travelling with them, I had the Luna 8 as they were called back them - and its a pain travelling with the bulky dome fronts.

Just my 2c

-

As to the ZCAMs - you will be forced into getting a Ninja V (or similar) at the minimum for monitor support - add the cost of a housing for that also - its not such a bargain as a GH5 or BMPCC4/6K.

Its a shame the BMPCC6K isn't using the new canon mirrorless mount like the Komodo - as that would be a good option also for future proofing lens choice, while still being relatively cheaper than other options at the moment.

 

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Thanks Richard, appreciate your insights.

Will take a look at those lights and see how I feel about them.

Do the BM's do streaming from the camera via ethernet or otherwise? I am not sure. I have never seen it mentioned but I may very well have missed it. That ethernet port on the Zcam has me very VERY interested. I do get the monitor part and yes it adds to cost - but what can we do if that ethernet streaming is very important? This was one of the big things the fp did that I was so hooked on. The fp housing was going to need a monitor housing as well. So no real difference in overall cost that I was braced for in anycase. Its always nice to save money but when you need a certain tool, you need it.

Not made a decision on this yet - got the holidays to muse over this.

Thanks again for your input.

Edited by John Doe II

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3 hours ago, thetrickster said:

John, I've owned Keldan lights - and they truly are fantastic - and if money was no object I would probably be on the new 24,000lm packs with the remote controls and all the goodies

But (and I'm sorry to Daniel for saying this) there are much much cheaper options out there (DivePro being the one I'm currently using) that perform just as good for 1/2 or 1/3 of the money - there is nothing special about the LED COB Arrays (quality / power of the light) used throughout the industry for the higher powered units - they either come from CREE, LUMINUS or similar and most manufacturers (if they are any good) will provide info on which array (and what binning) they are using.

Keldan's are built better and no doubt use good quality lithium packs - but this I can't see these aspects alone being worth that much of a difference.

The other thing to watch out for is travelling with them, I had the Luna 8 as they were called back them - and its a pain travelling with the bulky dome fronts.

Just my 2c

 

Hi RIchard, this time I have to disagree with you :) 

My buddy bought a pair of G18+'s about two/three years ago (if I remember the model correctly). The company had recently changed their name. It used to be called Jaunt. Also I have a pair of small MP10 snoot lights (Jaunt branded)  that I use for macro.
Although Divepro claims they are CRI 95 the color quality of the G18+ is nowhere near as good as my Keldan. We've done a lot of dives and several videos using them side by side and they have a greenish tint to them. I have wasted so much time color correcting clips shot with these lights! With the Keldan I basically adjust the tones slightly and the clips are pretty much perfect. I have never spent this much time color correcting with the old FIX lights either.
After a few months one light started to flicker. At the time there was no Italian importer so the only solution was to send it back to China with costs equal to that of the lamps.
After 2 years both switches stopped working. Warranty expired and we were able to repair them ourselves. That type of switch is used by virtually all Chinese manufacturers and is bound to give problems in the future.
Maybe we were unlucky but I would never recommend them to a friend.

For my little MP10s after a year I lost a little piece of the snoot. I went to their website and found that they had a new model of Snoot with a lens inside. I tried to ask if it was possible to get the new snoot or just the little piece I had lost. They basically asked me for the price of the new lamp. Crazy stuff. We're talking about a 1 cm piece of aluminum. I refused and 3d printed by myself.

Now back to the Keldan. I have had the Luna 8 CRI since 2013. At the time the CRI model had 5000 lumen LEDs. Fantastic light. Nowadays 5000 Lumen is low so a year ago I bought just the 8000 Lumen Led modules for a very honest price and now I have new lights after 7 years. 

I know that their reflector and dome is bulky but you can swap the module while with their most powerful models you cannot swap the Led module. 


Of course, in those 7 years I had a few little problems:

3 years ago I broke a magnetic switch while on a liveaboard. I wrote an email to Daniel from the boat asking what I could do to fix it while on the trip. Within half an hour he set up a Skype video call showing me how to temporarily fix the problem. A week after I got home I had the replacement part in the mail :o 

Two months ago I broke the plastic U-bracket that holds the lamp (the only real weak point in the design).I wrote to Daniel to buy the replacement but he shipped me via DHL the replacement part at no cost.

What more can I ask for?

P.S..
To be honest the old 5000 Lumen Led module was composed of a series of LEDs that gave a very high quality light.The new 8K LED module is a COB type and although the quality is very high, I do not find it up to the previous one. I don't have any scientific data to support my thesis. It's just my impression. 

Last but not least: I believe that Keldan is one of the rare companies that indicates the real lumens of their lamps, or the lumens emitted at the current at which the LED is driven and not the maximum current at which it is possible to drive the LED.
Basically if the Divepro G18+ emit 18K lumen I am John Wayne :) 

 

 

3 hours ago, thetrickster said:

As to the ZCAMs - you will be forced into getting a Ninja V (or similar) at the minimum for monitor support - add the cost of a housing for that also - its not such a bargain as a GH5 or BMPCC4/6K.

 

To see the NA-E2 in action see this thread (if you missed it). Maybe Brian can give additional info about its use.

 

Regarding Z-Cam, watch out to some rumors:

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/24341/z-cam-e2-cameras-lineup-production-can-suddenly-stop/p2

 

Edited by Davide DB
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Completely agree on all points Davide :-)

For sure ‘out of warranty’ we / I might have issues. Mine have been fine so far - of the little diving I’ve done recently :-(

I too was very very skeptical about the performance of the G18’s - so many cheap Chinese lights promising lots of power only to be very crap.

But drefish did some excellent testing back in January 2019 side by side with other brands:

https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/63400-testing-3-10k-lumen-lights-gates-gt14-vs-scubalamp-v6k-vs-jaunt-g18-plus/

And that sold me on them, especially considering we know they are using CREE CXB CRI92 arrays.

I do think the original CRI98 Luna8s were special - I had the same ones as you.

I agree that 18k lm is very optimistic and definitely a marketing poly - but from an Image exposure point of view from Drefish tests above they are generating at least >15k lm from the tests done. So for me they were a massive improvement over 5k.

But back to Keldans. If I had unlimited funds - I’ll be there :-)

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Quote

For sure ‘out of warranty’ we / I might have issues. Mine have been fine so far - of the little diving I’ve done recently :-(

 

I don't know if they have an official dealer in Italy right now.

Main problem with Chinese manufacturers: they always sell you goods directly regardless of existing country dealers. So it's nearly impossible to have exclusive agreement for the sale of goods.

 

5 minutes ago, thetrickster said:

Completely agree on all points Davide :-)


But drefish did some excellent testing back in January 2019 side by side with other brands:

https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/63400-testing-3-10k-lumen-lights-gates-gt14-vs-scubalamp-v6k-vs-jaunt-g18-plus/

And that sold me on them, especially considering we know they are using CREE CXB CRI92 arrays.
 

Maybe they suffer the Mediterranean water color or maybe their quality control is not that good so lights leave the factory with different specs.

But back to Keldans. If I had unlimited funds - I’ll be there :-)

 

I keep mine as a son :)

 

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More great points raised. I think David has some great insight to the lights issue. Some things are worth more then money ....like the feeling of not being left on your own to figure out how to solve a problem with gear we buy/use.

Yes I did miss the video - at the time was not interested in Zcam. I am now seriously taking a fresh look because so much has changed with Zcam in terms of models and capability.

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2 hours ago, thetrickster said:

 


OMG. That’s crazy Davide! Great find

John - I think take ZCAM off your list, looks like a nonstarter


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Panasonic BGH1 is also netflix approved and support MFT lens correction. Suddenly most interesting option on the scene of the 'Cinema' except of course needs a monitor

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5 hours ago, thetrickster said:

 


OMG. That’s crazy Davide! Great find

John - I think take ZCAM off your list, looks like a nonstarter


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Yikes!!! ....Its not looking great. Letts hope these are just rumors.

B&H has stock of everything except the E2...all other variants are in stock.

This is what I am on about... https://www.diveandsee.com/products/underwater-cables/dnc-1044-underwater-to-surface-cat-6-ethernet-network-cable-lan-length-300ft

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Is it possible that I am jinxing every camera I look at ?

First it was the fp - was almost perfect for "My needs"...then the housing got axed !

Ok so regroup, refocus and take a deep breath and start researching again. Massimo alerts me to something interesting that I missed because I just stopped looking at Zcam a long time ago....ProRes Raw 12 Bit 4K and upon research I see they are now doing 5.8K Prores 12 bit raw..... 

OK I think to myself, lets look at this.....  and find ethernet.........ohhhhh ahhhh that juicy Ethernet port - perfect.

Now it looks like Zcam is going to fold.

I give up.

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I do not know if those rumors are true but certainly before investing a lot of money on a housing and all the accessories I would think 10 times.

Who knows maybe with the new U.S. president the trade tensions with China will not be resolved but at least alleviated.

For the moment I am very happy with my GH5. Not so much with the housing.

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19 minutes ago, John Doe II said:

Whats wrong with the housing?

 

I can't blame Nauticam for anything. The housing is guaranteed 100 meters and up to exactly 100 meters it works! But I am really disappointed that at 103 meters the AF-Lock and the shutter release lever no longer works. I can shot video with the back button but without autofocus I'm f***d.
I'm shooting at 105 meters and got screwed for 2 meters. With the 7-14mm I solved it by doing a pre-focus a few meters above and then working in hyperfoca as usual but with the 35mm or 45mm in macro I have no chance.

Nauticam can modify the buttons and levers for 120 or 130 meters but the operation costs a lot and I would have to stay without my housing for who knows how long.

I'm sorry because I've had better luck with my previous housings for the GH2 GH3 and GH4. I took them all to over 110 meters and they were great.

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You should join the Zcam group on facebook to see what's going on. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/zcame2/

The CEO, Kinson Loo, is there giving news and updates. That does not mean that the company is in good health but he is here. And like a nightclub, if the boss is here, the party is not over haha !

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