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Interceptor121

Is IBIS a must for for Underwater Video?

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Just now, gobiodon said:

It looks like a perfect macro rig

It is effective however if the fish moves you need to lift it as it can't pan.

Because you want it to be stable the set up is very negative so when you get an octopus it becomes really hard to track

I tend to use it only when I am absolutely certain I will have lots of frogfish and static life and sandy / flat bottoms when this is allowed by regulations

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1 minute ago, Interceptor121 said:

It is effective however if the fish moves you need to lift it as it can't pan.

Because you want it to be stable the set up is very negative so when you get an octopus it becomes really hard to track 

I tend to use it only when I am absolutely certain I will have lots of frogfish and static life and sandy / flat bottoms when this is allowed by regulations

Another thing is that a keeper rate of the tripod work is much lower

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Another thing is that a keeper rate of the tripod work is much lower

Well actually the issue I have is monitoring you need a monitor as otherwise you can’t easily see in the LCD when you drop it down
I am still working on it but for majority of shots is handheld


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Posted (edited)

Interesting discussion.

I like Nick's Hope close-up to macro work on the non-IBIS Lumix GH4 on a Xit 404 tripod with twist-lock legs. Still moves around a little at times to follow the action (there's clearly some hand-held closeup shooting in there as well), but more than a pleasant watch in my opinion.
 

Or this older reel here:


A detailled description and pics of the GH4 rig used can be found here:

http://www.bubblevision.com/underwater-cameraman/equipment.htm

Here's a pic:

Nauticam-NA-GH4-rig.jpg

 

For slightly more recent work, Dustin Adamson / Ocean Shutter is also shooting close-up to macro on an non-IBIS Canon 1DX Mark II +  and, yet again, a Xit404 tripod with twist clamp legs.

or

 

Edited by bghazzal
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5 hours ago, bghazzal said:

Interesting discussion.

I like Nick's Hope close-up to macro work on the non-IBIS Lumix GH4 on a Xit 404 tripod with twist-lock legs. Still moves around a little at times to follow the action (there's clearly some hand-held closeup shooting in there as well), but more than a pleasant watch in my opinion.
 

Or this older reel here:


A detailled description and pics of the GH4 rig used can be found here:

http://www.bubblevision.com/underwater-cameraman/equipment.htm

Here's a pic:

Nauticam-NA-GH4-rig.jpg

 

For slightly more recent work, Dustin Adamson / Ocean Shutter is also shooting close-up to macro on an non-IBIS Canon 1DX Mark II +  and, yet again, a Xit404 tripod with twist clamp legs.

or

 

You don't need Xit404 parts the difference between those two guys and a holiday diver is that they are always there

If you go to the same spot 1000 times and take a selection of your material will be great

You use the same equipment in your 1 week trip you are guaranteed not to achieve the same results it is just life

What XIT does is the ability to adjust the height. I don't find that an excessive issue to be frank once the rig is set it is set there is no movement while ideally you want a pan and tilt head which does not exist yet underwater

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

You don't need Xit404 parts the difference between those two guys and a holiday diver is that they are always there

If you go to the same spot 1000 times and take a selection of your material will be great

You use the same equipment in your 1 week trip you are guaranteed not to achieve the same results it is just life

Not so these two guys, Massimo.

Dustin Adamson lives in the USA, so all the shooting is basically regular holiday diving, 2 weeks or so -  he does plan ahead a lot though, and does return frequently to the same spots a lot (esp. Philippines).

Here'an interview / profile with some details on his approach, if you're interested:
 



And Nick Hope is based in Thailand -  as far as I know the Lembeh and other Indonesian videos were shot across different trips as well, rather than working as a live-in videographer.
Nick's more local work was on the Andaman sea, for instance.

---
To return to the discussion at hand, these are two examples of people using non-IBIS rigs on trays / quadripods for close-up and macro work rather effectively.

For comparison, here are some examples of their non closeup / macro work, so basically hand-held shooting with the non-IBIS cameras:

Nick Hope: (GH4 and older unknown cams)
"Reef Life of the Andaman
Diving in Bali

 

Edited by bghazzal

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Posted (edited)

What are you saying Ben?

That a tripod is better than handheld?

That is obvious

Those guys are trade not holiday makers and Nick has been both resident on a boat and local

They are not a representative case for a holiday diver and none of this means IBIS is not required

Or are you saying all dives are suited to a tripod approach??

Edited by Interceptor121

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Posted (edited)

There are also other types of dives where carrying any additional gear, like a tripod, becomes tedious. 

For example long cave dives. My cave dives are max 3 hours, e.g. 1 kilometer in, 1 kilometer out. In addition to the bulk of gas cylinders, any additional drag with the camera gear does become taxing for the camera man. Luckily in team diving some of my mates understand this, and voluntarily might carry some of my stage tanks part of the way.

In cave shooting, I mainly concentrate on shooting scenes on the go instead of static or panning shots. This brings an additionally source of instability: your swim kicks. I does help a lot to learn a perfect trim, also a perfect trim during the kicks, i.e. no "galloping" effect. But even with a perfect trim, you actually accelerate and decelerate with each of your kicks. If I have used image stabilization, I have noticed that it might falsely react to this acceleration/deceleration and create unnecessary IS action which shows as a superfluous wave type wobble. Thus I actually have turned off IS to avoid this.

Lights on long arms do stabilize the camera set via their inertia. Also having a float/floats on top and heavier lights below your midline, will stabilize the set to some extent. However, whilst swimming, the floats and lights should be placed so that they create an equal amount of longitudinal drag/resistance for each swim kick. Otherwise your longitudinal kick will cause you set to tilt and lean during each kick.

I have noticed that for critical shots, it might be better to change to a modified frog kick or modified flutter kick, which reduces the longitudinal acceleration/deceleration. Of course in tight spaces, this comes naturally.

Another problem is that during long cave dives fatigue will affect your concentration resulting in unwanted movement in the footage.

The video below is from a 3 hour long cave dive. This actually was shot during ten separate dives of 2-3h duration due to the complexity of setting up stage tanks en route etc. There is no stabilization on the 5DIII camera nor the 16-35mm lense. I do  admit that some shots are far from perfect. But for me, the main content of the video is the "being there" mood.

https://vimeo.com/176796652

https://vimeo.com/176796652

https://www.vimeo.com/176796652

PS. How do I embed a vimeo video into a posting?

Edited by r4e
vimeo link
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There are also other types of dives where carrying any additional gear, like a tripod, becomes tedious.  For example long cave dives. My cave dives are max 3 hours, e.g. 1 kilometer in, 1 kilometer out. In addition to the bulk of gas cylinders, any additional drag with the camera gear does become taxing for the camera man. Luckily in team diving some of my mates understand this, and voluntarily might carry some of my stage tanks part of the way. In cave shooting, I mainly concentrate on shooting scenes on the go instead of static or panning shots. This brings an additionally source of instability: your swim kicks. I does help a lot to learn a perfect trim, also a perfect trim during the kicks, i.e. no "galloping" effect. But even with a perfect trim, you actually accelerate and decelerate with each of your kicks. If I have used image stabilization, I have noticed that it might falsely react to this acceleration/deceleration and create unnecessary IS action which shows as a superfluous wave type wobble. Thus I actually have turned off IS to avoid this. Lights on long arms do stabilize the camera set via their inertia. Also having a float/floats on top and heavier lights below your midline, will stabilize the set to some extent. However, whilst swimming, the floats and lights should be placed so that they create an equal amount of longitudinal drag/resistance for each swim kick. Otherwise your longitudinal kick will cause you set to tilt and lean during each kick. I have noticed that for critical shots, it might be better to change to a modified frog kick or modified flutter kick, which reduces the longitudinal acceleration/deceleration. Of course in tight spaces, this comes naturally.  Another problem is that during long cave dives fatigue will affect your concentration resulting in unwanted movement in the footage. The video below is from a 3 hour long cave dive. This actually was shot during ten separate dives of 2-3h duration due to the complexity of setting up stage tanks en route etc. There is no stabilization on the 5DIII camera nor the 16-35mm lense. I do  admit that some shots are far from perfect. But for me, the main content of the video is the "being there" mood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://vimeo.com/176796652

PS. How do I insert a vimeo video into a posting?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No IBIS doesn’t react at all to finning it only compensates micro shakes I use it for panning shots on monopod. Electronic stabilisation instead creates all sort of issues. Am talking about a 5 axis well implemented IBIS here not all cameras are equalThe issue affecting cave divers with edge pulling is due to lens correction that when combined with IBIS gives side effects on extremely wide rectilinear lenses

This problem affects real estate videographers that use gimbals and in general if you want to use a rectilinear lens in caves you do need to turn IBIS off

IBIS today is much more sophisticated than it used to be and I have it always on with my monopod and my tripod Those are shots at 560mm equivalent to give an idea

 

 

Daily Roll 26 February 2021

 

 

 

For me a wildlife underwater camera without IBIS is worthless. If I don’t need it I can turn it off but I like it to be there it makes a significant difference to the keeper rate

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

What are you saying Ben?

That a tripod is better than handheld?

That is obvious

Those guys are trade not holiday makers and Nick has been both resident on a boat and local

They are not a representative case for a holiday diver and none of this means IBIS is not required

Or are you saying all dives are suited to a tripod approach??

Neither, actually - I was simply giving examples of respectable macro work done with tripods, then handheld, with non-IBIS prosumer camera setups similar to the ones commonly discussed here.
This was intended as a follow-up to the discussion at a time where the possibilities and limitations of a tripod/vs IBIS were being discussed.

You brought the holiday maker / resident videographer going-to-the-same-spot-1000 times distinction into the mix, so I was just noting that from what I understood Adamson is based in Utah, so doesn't really fall in the resident videographer but is, from what I understood, actually shooting skillfully, on regular, certainly dedicated but rather short trips.
And also that as far as I know Nick Hope was and is based in Thailand, so doesn't really fall into the resident videographer category either for the Lembeh and other macro stuff that I'd posted - I may be wrong here, I admit I'm not sure what the background is here, but it doesn't really matter that much.

Now I'm not arguing that these two are not professional - especially in Nick's case - and I certainly agree that they have way more experience filming/diving than a so-called occasional "holiday diver", but the reason I had brought these examples up is that they are both working with non-IBIS prosumer cameras / equipment and getting good, workeable results, both tripod and hand-held, which I don't fully agree can be solely attributed to being resident professionals somewhere and having more footage to choose from.

Moving on from this, if I myself was considering equipement, I would certainly choose IBIS over non-IBIS if I had the choice, and wouldn't really consider any dedicated close-up work without some kind of support, tripod/tray or even monopod (if allowed, as you rightly mentioned, no-touch no-contact rules are indeed getting more common) , but also believe it is generally possible to get stable, workable shots without IBIS, even for a non-resident, amateur videographer, so would not be basing my choice solely on that criteria.

This might become a question that I might actually face if and when the GH6 comes out and there are some second-hand GH5s rigs floating around, but until then it's a purely vicarious interest only :)

I do also like the idea of a bulkier, well balanced neutral rig that you can push around, but doubt that I will ever get to get close to one of those, as would probalby rather buy a house in rural Japan for the same price.

To end on a slightly tongue-in--ze-cheek note, maybe the solution to the IBIS/non-IBIS dilemna is simply.... the "underwater steadycam"??

;)
 

Edited by bghazzal
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Neither, actually - I was simply giving examples of respectable macro work done with tripods, then handheld, with non-IBIS prosumer camera setups similar to the ones commonly discussed here.
This was intended as a follow-up to the discussion at a time where the possibilities and limitations of a tripod/vs IBIS were being discussed.

You brought the holiday maker / resident videographer going-to-the-same-spot-1000 times distinction into the mix, so I was just noting that from what I understood Adamson is based in Utah, so doesn't really fall in the resident videographer but is, from what I understood, actually shooting skillfully, on regular, dedicated but rather short trips trips.
And also that as far as I know Nick Hope was and is based in Thailand, so doesn't really fall into the resident videographer category either for the Lembeh stuff that I'd posted - I may be wrong here, I admit I don't know what the background is here, and it doesn't really matter that much.

 Now I'm not arguing that these two are not professional - especially in Nick's case - and I certainly agree that they have way more experience filming/diving than a so-called "holiday diver", but the reason I had brought these examples up is that they are both working with non-IBIS prosumer cameras / equipment and getting good, workeable results, both tripod and hand-held, which I don't fully agree can be solely attributed to being resident professionals somewhere and having more footage to choose from.

Moving on from this, if I myself was considering equipement, I would certainly choose IBIS over non-IBIS if I had the choice, and wouldn't really consider any dedicated close-up work without some kind of support, tripod/tray or even monopod (if allowed, as you mentioned, no-touch no-contact rules are indeed getting more common) , but also believe it is generally possible to get stable, workable shots without IBIS, even for a non-resident, amateur videographer, so would not be basing my choice solely on that criteria.

This might become a question that I might actually face if and when the GH6 comes out and there are some second-hand GH5s rigs floating around, but until then it's a vicarious interest only

I do like the idea of a bulkier, well balanced neutral rig that you can push around, but doubt that I will ever get to get close to one of those, as would probalby rather buy a house in rural Japan for the same price.

To finish on a slightly tongue-in--ze-cheek note, maybe the solution to the IBIS/non-IBIS dilemna is simply.... the "underwater steadycam"??

 

Dustin Adamson is not a holiday maker
He must have spent over 100 days diving abroad in the years he was so prolific
Why did he do that if he had no ambition to be a pro I don’t know
There are many people that do 7-10 trips per year with the objective of winning some competitions
On tripod shots for sure IBIS doesn’t matter but if you asked Nick Hope between GH4 and GH5 I am sure the answer would be GH5
Macro/ critter video is not my main focus I prefer wide angle this goes also for my photography so I have to admit in the last years I have not been particularly focussed ok stabilised rigs
On land to work on a tripod I use a fluid head however this is based on a ball bearing and would not work underwater so all your underwater shots tend to be very static while on land tilt and pan makes things more interesting when things move assuming you are able to follow focus


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On 3/12/2021 at 10:16 PM, bghazzal said:

Not so these two guys, Massimo.

Dustin Adamson lives in the USA, so all the shooting is basically regular holiday diving, 2 weeks or so -  he does plan ahead a lot though, and does return frequently to the same spots a lot (esp. Philippines).

Here'an interview / profile with some details on his approach, if you're interested:
 



And Nick Hope is based in Thailand -  as far as I know the Lembeh and other Indonesian videos were shot across different trips as well, rather than working as a live-in videographer.
Nick's more local work was on the Andaman sea, for instance.

---
To return to the discussion at hand, these are two examples of people using non-IBIS rigs on trays / quadripods for close-up and macro work rather effectively.

For comparison, here are some examples of their non closeup / macro work, so basically hand-held shooting with the non-IBIS cameras:

Nick Hope: (GH4 and older unknown cams)
"Reef Life of the Andaman
Diving in Bali

 

I think Dustin's Tubbataha video is a good illustration of the principle. Overall, it's really smooth camera work, but without IBIS, there's still micro-jitters in the moving wide angle shots that are quite noticeable on a larger display. I'm not sure if a cinema-style housing which is more streamlined and with more mass would further reduce those types of micro-jitters compared to a DSLR housing, which is both smaller and not particularly streamlined, especially once you start adding external arms and floats to combat it being negative. I think I'm pretty good at getting my DSLR-style rigs neutrally bouyant and as trimmed as possible, but that's not to say they will stay in whatever angle you put them in regardless of the angle -- usually the center of gravity of a DSLR rig underwater is not the same as the physical center of the rig because you've got parts which are floaty (the arms) and parts that are negative (lights, the camera body, wet lenses, etc.). So it's not as stable as a well-designed cinema housing with adjustable weights on rails.

Thus, I think there's some value in IBIS to take care of the remaining micro-jitters, at least with DSLR-type rigs. These may not be apparent at phone or laptop screens, but they are when viewing the content on a TV or projector. That said,  there's definitely also artifacts that can be introduced from IBIS. One type is edge warping from using rectilinear lenses wider than about 17-18mm equivalent. Another is weird jerks when the IBIS system and/or additional electronic stabilization reaches its limits because of too much movement and 'resets'.

I'd be curious to see some samples of wide angle footage from a non-stabilized cinema rig like a RED or z-cam that's not on a tripod.

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5 hours ago, Davide DB said:

Z2 

RED

All of Rafa's superb video are shot on Red

https://vimeo.com/aquawork

 

The Z cam work is the typical 60 fps slow down that is painful to watch

Ripping current and where is it? Slowing down half speed or more completely removes the drama from the clip

 

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35 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

The Z cam work is the typical 60 fps slow down that is painful to watch

Ripping current and where is it? Slowing down half speed or more completely removes the drama from the clip

 

 

I completely agree with you on half speed shooting. These clips should be used with an eyedropper.

For the ripping current, it's only a title I guess. When you move with the current it's hard to reproduce the feeling in the video.

BTW I really liked the camera WB. Very nice colours for being at 50m away with no lights.

P.S.

I've never seen yoy give anyone a compliment. Can you give me examples of videos you liked?

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37 minutes ago, Davide DB said:

 

I completely agree with you on half speed shooting. These clips should be used with an eyedropper.

For the ripping current, it's only a title I guess. When you move with the current it's hard to reproduce the feeling in the video.

BTW I really liked the camera WB. Very nice colours for being at 50m away with no lights.

P.S.

I've never seen yoy give anyone a compliment. Can you give me examples of videos you liked?

Yours are dreifish are good and so are some other holiday divers here in the gallery show case I have made note of a few 

The videos of Adamson etc are excellent the way he controls the light but I am not a fan of critters slideshows

What I do not like are the stereotypes that we seem to be victim. Cinematic style? Or just a way to hide buoyancy flaws and other issues

I also think like you said we have a fundamental question in terms of story telling vs documentary fish id type

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks,

Quote

I also think like you said we have a fundamental question in terms of story telling vs documentary fish id type

They are two completely different genre.

The "fish id type" is a category born from the combination of music and images which is the simplest and most immediate thing you can do. In the specific case of underwater footage, it is a direct extension of the famous diaporamas of the film era.
As simple as it may seem, it has its own language, its own grammar to be respected:

  • Once upon a time I would have said that it was forbidden to exceed 5 minutes, but currently even 3 minutes is too much.
  • The choice of music is fundamental.
  • One should not go overboard with music beat editing. After a few beats, the brain notices and it becomes tedious.
  • Images must be outstanding: since usually the person who edits the video is also the one who filmed it, you should not fall in love with your own images. This, I think, is the most important advice.
  • The fact that the video is just music and images does not exempt it from having a story. Even a very simple one or even just telling the events in a coherent way. Almost a consecutio temporum AKA Sequence of tenses! This helps to get the viewer's attention.

From the desire of "outstanding images" arise the so-called "pixel peepers". The most popular category on photography and video forums. 

Don't get me wrong: I like perfect images too. I just find that sometimes the evaluation of the pure perfection of the footage has too much weight compared to the finished video product. 
 

P.S.

a few weeks ago I realized that on Prime Video (at least here in Italy) there are videos of Howard Hall.  They are proposed as a documentary but in reality they are "only" a compilation of his images with music in the background: I've never slept so well on the couch!

Yet the images of HL inserted in real documentaries are more than perfect.

 

Edited by Davide DB
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On 3/15/2021 at 9:26 AM, Davide DB said:

 

I completely agree with you on half speed shooting. These clips should be used with an eyedropper.

For the ripping current, it's only a title I guess. When you move with the current it's hard to reproduce the feeling in the video.

BTW I really liked the camera WB. Very nice colours for being at 50m away with no lights.

P.S.

I've never seen yoy give anyone a compliment. Can you give me examples of videos you liked?

Perhaps some of this is due to playing back 60fps video at 24fps and/or stabilization in post, but this footage is definitely smoother than the Canon unstabilized footage from Dustin. The housing for the E2 also looks to be exquisitely well trimmed with plenty of mass from the WACP. So.. basically, I think the moral of the story here is that a larger cinema housing with good trim can get you results at least comparable with those as of a smaller DSRL-type housing with IBIS. Either is viable.

A small DSLR-type housing without IBIS, even with good trim/balance and a solid operator is still going to leave a bit to be desired in terms of stabilization, and might not be the best choice.

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Perhaps some of this is due to playing back 60fps video at 24fps and/or stabilization in post, but this footage is definitely smoother than the Canon unstabilized footage from Dustin. The housing for the E2 also looks to be exquisitely well trimmed with plenty of mass from the WACP. So.. basically, I think the moral of the story here is that a larger cinema housing with good trim can get you results at least comparable with those as of a smaller DSRL-type housing with IBIS. Either is viable.
A small DSLR-type housing without IBIS, even with good trim/balance and a solid operator is still going to leave a bit to be desired in terms of stabilization, and might not be the best choice.

Large camcorders big box style housings from gates et co have been around a while and also Nauticam has some
Once your rig has inertia is good to provide stability unless you are in the current and that big box takes off with you
Those solutions however are not existing for digital camera form factor which as you noted is probably the worst in terms of trim
With the zcam though you always have a monitor though that is going to throw things out
Dean spreakman has done some really nice footage with zcam e2 but now has moved on


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A video of my friend Claudio Valerio on a 70m deep shoal in Tuscany. No IBIS 

GH5S + Pana 9-18mm in Aquatica housing

 

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The GH5S footage is pretty smooth. Might have to find a used body and experiment with it side by side with the GH5.

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12 hours ago, dreifish said:

The GH5S footage is pretty smooth. Might have to find a used body and experiment with it side by side with the GH5.

Lots of slow motion and a wide lens are not exactly the proof of the pudding

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Yes, but believe me, he is rock steady. A human dolly. Just look at his old videos before GH5S. 

Here he experimented with shallow focus. Perfect lightning. He creates a lot of shadows enhancing 3D and super CC.

Keep in minf he's at 80m freehand. No camera, no scooter.

 

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Posted (edited)

Davide, your pal is truly a human dolly, kudos to him and thanks for sharing.

However, if I may, I'd like to bring this thread back to life towards technology and GAS, since most of us haven't been able to hone our underwater skills for a while now and could certainly use a digital hand to make the most out of upcoming trips, wherever and whenever that may be.

I've been looking at Sony's Catalyst Browse post-stabilization software, which seems impressive from the topside footage I've watched, and I've been wondering if its gyroscope/software combo could be able to make IBIS "obsolete" whilst filming underwater. Maybe "obsolete" is a harsh term, but at least, provide a reasonable alternative. As in, "could it really be able to grasp those micro shakes underwater without proper/topside gravity/grounding?"

Let me share some background to this reasoning. Sony says there is no way to put IBIS (or Active SteadyShot, as they call it) at the same time with a variable ND. So, effectively, one must choose, amongst many differences that don't fall into this particular conversation, between two cameras that share the same sensor and lens mount, but have a different form factor and thus, are marketed towards vastly different users that are already invested in the E mount ecosystem.

Regardless of price, on the one side, you have a very capable low light mirrorless photo/video camera with IBIS but no VAR-ND and poor WB and AF tracking controls (such as the AS7III whilst underwater). On the other, you have a cinema camera with better WB control, proper audio inputs (when using the handle), a top notch variable ND and most "bells and whistles" to film a "Netflix Approved" doc, that -alas- has no IBIS and a poorer topside AF tracking system, no zebras or peaking to an external monitor, such as the FX-6. (Nor a housing...as of now).

Note: I'm already heavily invested in Sony FF and Nauticam (glass, batteries (that would only work on the A7S3, not the FX-6), extension ports, etc), so at least for me, changing ecosystems again is not an option. I'm sticking with both. I haven't tested any of these cameras, but have researched them as thoroughly as I can, so please take my opinions/adjectives with a pinch of salt. YMMV. Short(ish)-term-wise, I will be shooting both topside and underwater in the Maldives and would like to invest in only one body, so I'm leaning towards the VAR-ND/no-IBIS front, but I am open to be proven wrong.....or right.

So.....getting back to the IBIS/CB issue, I was wondering if someone could chime in using a different (older) Sony camera that had a gyroscope and tested its capabilities whilst underwater with the current version of the software? Maybe even share a Before/After comparison to have some sort of benchmark? Am I looking for the goose with the golden eggs? Hope not.

I know for a fact Massimo is not into Sony, for all the reasons he's listed before on this thread and on others. However, I do believe IBIS is a welcome spec that can make underwater filmmakers lives easier and agree with him on that front. So, in the end, my question remains, could Catalyst Browse become a solution to Sony's VAR-ND/no-IBIS - IBIS/no-VAR-ND "crippling" whilst filming underwater?

Thanks

Edited by elmelodico
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Good stable shots when shooting video is a significant factor for a shot to be a keeper.  The current crop of Sony cameras have darn good , WB and AF tracking. I use both the a7s3 and the a1 underwater and for birds in flight.

I personally have evolved from a Sony RX100 VII in a Nauticam housing to current rigs for multiple reasons but one was the challenge of creating good buoyancy and trim, the smaller config's sinks like a rock. My current rigs achieve about 45 grams of negative buoyancy in fresh water and I’m working to fine tune even this negative number which is still ever so slightly negative in the ocean. It is so much more fun to shoot with a reasonable balanced and stable rig.

Curious to me is the shooting for birds in flight and the relative difficulty of shooting burst stills compared to full motion video. The full motion attempts are so much more difficult it has amazed me.  I have fluid heads, monopods, gimbals and none of it is of value when the wildlife is unpredictable and fast moving.

I’m diving again next week and plan to hone my skills with a Sony 90mm lens. Not specifically on true macro but the intermediate setting to capture fish behavior from a non intimidating distance to the fish.  My use of wide-angle close ups only go so far and I am trying to shoot smaller and faster fish. All basically hand held. I'll also try and move back to ambient lighting if conditions permit. Again not to disturb the fish, and yes I do hold my breath, and have looked into an tested CCR's.

The Sony Catalyst software does look interesting and may take on that challenge to my post workflow one day but maybe not anytime soon.

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