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John Doe II

New plan - but what is it?

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I was really looking for the S1H as for me it is an upgrade for the GH5 but to have really a step above, I wish the S1H had 6K60fps.

That's why I bought the zcam e2 s6 yesterday, as the network feature is interesting for me too. And above all because I really like the @bgreene  setup and his imagery here  : https://www.youtube.com/c/TheDeepGreene/video

I don't know if it was a good idea to go with a not IBIS camera and will probably spend times trimming the housing but I can have a bit of slow motion in 6K and more in 4K to smooth out the camera movements. And this WACP stuff, my god !

 

What do you think ?

 

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IBIS is a very personal matter. 


For me it is certainly a very useful tool for small units with the classic camera form factor.
But I wonder: how did we survive without it until now? 
Simple: a lot of care in trim, a lot of practice and a lot of patience. Without forgetting that to be a good operator you must first of all be a good diver. Good diving skills and a perfect trim are fundamental.

For larger units with the classic camera form factor, the problem is certainly less. It seems to me that the Z-Cam housing definitely falls into this category. They are also easier to set up as long as they have plenty of space and ad hoc arrangements for weights.
I happened to play with a Canon C300 in a Seacam housing. Impossible to get a shaky shot!

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12 hours ago, Davide DB said:

I'm shooting at 105 meters and got screwed for 2 meters.

Jesus - what are you doing at 105m!!! You clearly like to live dangerously!

Rebreather or trimix?

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10 hours ago, Maiko said:

What do you think ?

Looks like this is on a tripod - and its not deep as the surface does not look too high up. Could it be that this footage is being captured from a remote location on the end of a tether?

This is close to what I want to do - camera on a tripod and watch the live feed on a laptop from the surface and then trigger the camera to record when my target fish come into shot.

I think the cannons can do this ? (1DXI/II/III). The fp can but no housing for it now, and so can the E2 - if they remain in business.

Edited by John Doe II

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10 hours ago, Maiko said:

That's why I bought the zcam e2 s6 yesterday, as the network feature is interesting for me too. And above all because I really like the @bgreene  setup and his imagery here  : https://www.youtube.com/c/TheDeepGreene/video

 And this WACP stuff, my god !

 

 

So which one - the WACP or the WACPII?

Its only a kidney after all and you have 2 of them, so..... selling one is no big deal.

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IBIS is a very personal matter. 

For me it is certainly a very useful tool for small units with the classic camera form factor.
But I wonder: how did we survive without it until now? 
Simple: a lot of care in trim, a lot of practice and a lot of patience. Without forgetting that to be a good operator you must first of all be a good diver. Good diving skills and a perfect trim are fundamental.
For larger units with the classic camera form factor, the problem is certainly less. It seems to me that the Z-Cam housing definitely falls into this category. They are also easier to set up as long as they have plenty of space and ad hoc arrangements for weights.
I happened to play with a Canon C300 in a Seacam housing. Impossible to get a shaky shot!

Now most people shooting ‘cinema’ type camera go at 60 fps and slow down in post to reduce shake
This creates those videos with 5’ of short repeated slow motion that in my opinion are horrid
Underwater things go already slow those tricks can be justified with a gopro perhaps
Dean Spraakman has good zcam material though with lots of slow mo


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, John Doe II said:

Jesus - what are you doing at 105m!!! You clearly like to live dangerously!

Rebreather or trimix?

No. I don't like living dangerously.

Rebreather 

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42 minutes ago, Davide DB said:

Rebreather 

That's the direction I want to go in eventually. Problem is the people I dive with are very simple guys who dont speak much English and would be of no use in any sort of emergency. Rebreather in that scenario makes me take pause.

Decided it would be better to sell a Kidney and invest in the video setup first and look at rebreather down the road.

Hats off to you Davide - rebreather to 105m....thats something !

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1 hour ago, Interceptor121 said:


Dean Spraakman has good zcam material though with lots of slow mo
 

So are we all agreed then - apart from the possibility of Zcam having some "problems" with staying afloat, the Zcam range looks like a reasonable contender - especially for the money. Look at the price of the housings compared to all the other "Cinema" housings. 

I put it to you....underwater is the great leveler of video. Shooting through a filter (water) that is 800 times denser then air, pretty much evens out the high end and makes it to be comparable with the middle end. Agree ? even the latest Gopro's are getting up there for what they are.

Are we at the point that we are splitting hairs over this cam or that cam? Its now more about 10 bit or 12 bit (or 16bit - but whos going there at that price level for the small improvement it renders?). Is it slog or raw? IBIS or no IBIS? To me its more about those things then the picture quality because the picture between them all is so close....esp underwater. 

Thoughts?

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25 minutes ago, John Doe II said:

So are we all agreed then - apart from the possibility of Zcam having some "problems" with staying afloat, the Zcam range looks like a reasonable contender - especially for the money. Look at the price of the housings compared to all the other "Cinema" housings. 

I put it to you....underwater is the great leveler of video. Shooting through a filter (water) that is 800 times denser then air, pretty much evens out the high end and makes it to be comparable with the middle end. Agree ? even the latest Gopro's are getting up there for what they are.

Are we at the point that we are splitting hairs over this cam or that cam? Its now more about 10 bit or 12 bit (or 16bit - but whos going there at that price level for the small improvement it renders?). Is it slog or raw? IBIS or no IBIS? To me its more about those things then the picture quality because the picture between them all is so close....esp underwater. 

Thoughts?

That's you John. The rest of us are getting on just fine with our GH5/GH5s/BMPCC and not planning immediate upgrades...!

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Well i need something. Whats it to be ? The Zcam is no more expensive then the BMPCC.

I was also not a fan of Zcam until you put me on the right track re the Pro Res raw output via the Ninja V.

The GH5 does not do it for m. The S1H is interesting.

Bang for buck the Zcam wins....if they are still around next year.

Edited by John Doe II
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I went with the S1H earlier this year to replace my Canon 5D3. Pretty happy so far though I am still getting up to speed on it.

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On 12/18/2020 at 11:19 AM, John Doe II said:

Well i need something. Whats it to be ? The Zcam is no more expensive then the BMPCC.

I was also not a fan of Zcam until you put me on the right track re the Pro Res raw output via the Ninja V.

The GH5 does not do it for m. The S1H is interesting.

Bang for buck the Zcam wins....if they are still around next year.

I'm pretty much in the same boat as you John.

My current setup is a FujiFilm X-T3 in a Seafrogs housing. I'm VERY happy with the camera (underrated here imo) as a hybrid setup - 4k 10-bit 420 (422 prores over ninja v) and 24mp images with good autofocus and colours.

Not so impressed with the housing. Don't get me wrong - I think it's amazing for the price and the perfect solution for beginners. But I think my money would have been better spent with a proper housing with full functionality. This one is definitely lacking.

So here's my line of thinking:

Since i'm looking to upgrade to a full housing. I'm wondering if I should just upgrade the camera at the same time to something that is going to be a lot more future-proof than the XT3.

The Zcam E2 S6 is currently at the top of my list and here's why:

1. The NA E2F housing can fit 3 different cameras: the S6, F6 & F8.

That gives me a clear upgrade path if I decide I want to go full frame in either 6k or 8k. With the BMPCC6k (the main alternative) i'm stuck with having to purchase a full upgrade if I want to beef up my resolution in the future.

Not only does this make sense financially, but also means I can offer different options to potential clients.

2. The form factor.

This camera is more along the lines of a proper cinema setup without the big time investment. It's still pricey but you get a lot for the money imo. I hate the BMPCC form factor and the cables all being on the left side. I love the fact that the Zcams are really compact and minimise cables. This is great for me because I shoot a lot topside too.

But mostly I just love the idea of a proper cine camera in the hands compared to a clumsy video DSLR/mirrorless rig when it comes to getting handheld shots. Rigging it up on a tripod/slider might be a bit trickier but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Also the cine-style locking mount seems like a really nice thing to have, more-so for topside but still.

3. A few features on the Zcam compared to the BMPCC6k.

First is the pre-roll feature on the Zcam - This allows me to basically shoot into my buffer and capture a moment AFTER it has happened. The X-T3 also has this feature for stills only and it's been really amazing to have. I can only imagine how useful this would be for video when filming behaviours, especially in fast-moving and shy macro subjects.

Also interchangeable mounts and internal Electronic ND filters. Both of these are great features to have, especially when using certain lenses that won't allow for filters (fish-eye, etc). This gives me a choice of basically any lens ever made whether that's Canon EF, Sony E, MFT, etc (I'm not sure on the full list but I also know there are more coming).

4. Flexibility.

With the Zcam S6 I have the flexibility to choose what resolution and codec I shoot in. This is great if I'm just shooting something for social or mobile platforms, or online platforms such as YouTube that will compress the video anyway. Alternatively I can go all the way up to 6k 75fps max OR even 4k 100fps for certain shots. This is less so the case in the BMPCC6k which is more restricted in that area.

 

My only hangups, as you've stated, is the ZRAW for editing. I'm of the understanding that it requires proprietary software which is next to useless on Mac, but useable on Windows. That and the need for a monitor, but currently I'm looking at the anglerfish monitors as a non-recording and more streamlined (and affordable) solution.

 

Bear in mind this is just from my research and only theory at this stage, although I hope to test these cameras out very soon and hopefully that will help me make a decision!

Alternatively I'm just wondering if I should keep the X-T3 for now and get the Nauticam housing for it. Probably won't do that though as I really don't like or trust the side ports for monitors/recorders and power solutions as well as the form factor.

 

Cheers,

Greg

 

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Hi Greg,

You have summarized it pretty well.

There is not much I can add to your points - I think you are pretty much spot on.

I have decided to invest in a WACP II for now - if one comes up used. It may take a while before they start to appear used but over time it WILL happen. The optic while pricey is forever - it will go from housing to housing until it is far out classed by another newer better performing optic - which does not seem likely. So a forever lens. At this point I will probably go for the S6 as well - but no hurry on that as I still cant get out - and who knows when the world will return to some sort of normal. 2021 is not looking promising at this point.

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John I lost myself in this endless discussion.

Which kind of dives do you do?

Which kind of video productions are you after?

Did you already shoot underwater video?

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17 hours ago, Davide DB said:

John I lost myself in this endless discussion.

Which kind of dives do you do?

Which kind of video productions are you after?

Did you already shoot underwater video?

Davide,

This is the place for discussion. Some people are finding it useful as do I.

My diving is all open circuit air to max of 60m. I was certified as an open water diver in 1985 and been diving ever since. I own a Bauer dive compressor as I do lots of remote area diving.

I am going to produce documentaries on fish and I live at the place where I am going to shoot this.

I have been shooting video since a 3 tube Sony camera in the 80's - but not underwater. You may or may not have seen I was here posting years ago about trying to get a Digital Ikonoscope - so pretty much at the start of the digital underwater scene. Well Ikonoscope failed and closed down so that was that. Next camera I was going to pull the trigger on had its housing cancelled before production began. So here we are having an endless discussion on possible options that are real and exist today.

This thread has really turned into a Zcam thread in the end because there does not seem to be anything else out there right now that is as innovative and cost effective (important to read those two points TOGETHER). Its Achilles heel is its Zraw format, but the Atomos recorder gives prores raw 12 bit 4K at 60p and lately 5.8K prores raw. Thats a powerful combination right now (which we will look back and laugh at in 5 years time). Some say the need for the Atomos is a draw back, but if you were a Zcam fan and wanted a Zcam because that's the camera you like then a monitor is needed in any case.....regardless of prores raw ability.

Far from an endless discussion I think the post by Tutem a few posts up is great - a well laid out set of points that totally resonate with me.

 

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On 12/26/2020 at 11:54 PM, Tutem said:



The Zcam E2 S6 is currently at the top of my list and here's why:

1. The NA E2F housing can fit 3 different cameras: the S6, F6 & F8.

That gives me a clear upgrade path if I decide I want to go full frame in either 6k or 8k. With the BMPCC6k (the main alternative) i'm stuck with having to purchase a full upgrade if I want to beef up my resolution in the future.

Not only does this make sense financially, but also means I can offer different options to potential clients.
 

4. Flexibility.

With the Zcam S6 I have the flexibility to choose what resolution and codec I shoot in. This is great if I'm just shooting something for social or mobile platforms, or online platforms such as YouTube that will compress the video anyway. Alternatively I can go all the way up to 6k 75fps max OR even 4k 100fps for certain shots. This is less so the case in the BMPCC6k which is more restricted in that area.

Cheers,

Greg

 

Hi Greg,

All your points are on target. You briefly touched on cost but have you seen the difference in price between the E2 housings and the BM4k/6K housings? Edit - hmm I just looked again and the Backscatter price has jumped $1000 for the NA-E2F compared to the price a week ago.

Like you I like the idea of using the Z CAM NA-E2F housing - use an s35 sensor today (Zcam S6 camera) and maybe in the next year or two upgrade to a used F8 8K Zcam camera - using the SAME housing! Big money saver right there. Icing on the cake is the NA-E2F housing is an N120 mount - so can use the WACPII optic if one wants to go that far.

Edited by John Doe II

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Don't be touchy. I called it an endless discussion because it touched on an infinite number of completely different topics and by the end it was no longer clear what the requirements of this elusive camera were.
I've only seen remote surface connections used in film productions and ethernet connections only in large multi-camera TV productions. So I wanted to understand if you were James Cameron in disguise :)

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22 hours ago, Davide DB said:

Don't be touchy. I called it an endless discussion because it touched on an infinite number of completely different topics and by the end it was no longer clear what the requirements of this elusive camera were.
I've only seen remote surface connections used in film productions and ethernet connections only in large multi-camera TV productions. So I wanted to understand if you were James Cameron in disguise :)

OK gotcha.

I want to film a certain species of fish spawning. They are a deep dwelling fish. They come up to a relatively shallow depth of around 50-55m in August of each year to spawn. I dont know how many years diving you have but you are certainly more accomplished then me by the sounds of the type of diving you do. So you would know very well that 55 meters on air is not a great idea .....but if you have to its only a few minutes of bottom time if you dont want a deco obligation. I dont like my chances of grabbing excellent footage of this fish spawning at 55 meters with a few minutes down there. 

So the plan is, to put a camera on a tripod and run a cable to the surface and sit and watch for some action and trigger record at the right time. I expect to spend a month trying to get a few minutes of usable footage.

This is partly why I was so hot on the Sigma fp - it could also stream footage and control signals via a cable to the surface.

I do get its a very narrow vertical I am into, but thats fine..... makes it all the more fun.

James Cameron..... hmm you never know - right? I could be him. I will leave you guessing.

Edited by John Doe II
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