Mi OPINION EN : “DIVE Magazine”- MY OPINION ON: “DIVE Magazine”
Neil Hope es el dueño de la prestigiosa plataforma digital “divingimages.co.uk”. Neil es Senior Contributor- Analista y crítico de equipos – en la bien conocida revista “DIVE Magazine”, donde este mes ha publicado mi opinión al respecto del equipo GATES AX 100 4K carcasa -Sony AX 100 videocámara, con el que llevo ya trabajando un año.
Dive Magazine :
El número de Diciembre de la misma ya está disponible en:
Tel: 07505 263011
No os perdáis las opiniones de Neil un verdadero experto que lleva muchos años trabajando en el ámbito profesional de la imagen submarina.
Dive Magazine, es un referente mundial en técnica e imagen submarina.
Tel: 07505 263011
My opinion on “DIVE Magazine”:
Neil Hope owns the prestigious divingimages.co.uk digital platform. Neil is Senior Contributor in the popular publication “DIVE Magazine” where he has published in the December issue, my views about the GATES AX 100 4k housings -Sony AX 100 4K camcorder with which I have been already working one year.
The December issue of it is now available at:
“Dive Magazine” is a world leader in technical and underwater imaging.
Article by Neil Hope :
by Neil Hope.
video is increasingly popular, as
technological advances have made the
preserve of the pro or serious enthusiast
now accessible to almost everyone who
dips their head beneath the surface of
the water. Fuelled by the availability of
inexpensive mountable action cameras
and the ability of modern compact stills
cameras and DSLRs to provide high
definition video, it has never been easier
E Q U I P M E N T M A T T E R S
to film, edit and then upload your diving
experiences for the whole world to see.
How far an individual is willing to
go in the pursuit of their film-making
is very much in their own hands – and
budget – with each of the many different
systems available offering advantages
and disadvantages. After having some
modicum of success with your initial
efforts, you’ll quite possibly begin to
think a little more seriously about your
film-making and consider moving
on to a set-up that will provide more
professional results but still be portable
enough for that regular liveaboard trip.
It seems nothing stays the same
in the world of technology for very
long and just as consumers rushed to
immerse themselves in the joys of high
definition video, along comes a new
kid on the block to stir things up again.
Delivering four times the resolution of its
predecessor, 4K is set to become the new
standard for video equipment with many
consumer products such as televisions
and laptops already 4K compatible.
It may be a couple of years before
broadcasters fully adopt this system, but
when choosing a camcorder it certainly
doesn’t hurt to do a little ‘future-proofing’.
Don’t worry if your current editing/
viewing technology isn’t up to processing
this new memory-crunching format as
you can always shoot in lower definition
until such time as rest of your equipment
catches up with the times. Once you’ve
identified a suitable camcorder you feel
will best capturing the wonders of our
oceans, then you’ll need to check out
the availability of a suitable housing and
consider what’s best for you.
Housing manufacturers often approach
their products from very different
standpoints to achieve similar results.
Some prefer to use mechanical rods and
levers as a means to access the device’s
main controls, while others utilise the
camera’s own remote port to provide an
electronic connection to a series of push
buttons on the body or handles of the
housing. Monitoring what’s going on
behind the lens is of obvious importance,
so a large, bright viewfinder that won’t be
overpowered by ambient light is essential
and again there are various options
available. These can vary from a simple
mirror to reflect a reversed image of the
camcorder’s LCD screen, to a housing
design that incorporates the LCD in
its flipped-out position. Other options
include a rear-mounted internal screen or
a separate top-mounted external monitor.
The deeper we go the more colours of
the spectrum we lose, which can result
in flat, bland footage with – depending
on your location – a green or blue cast.
The solution, of course, is to replace
those missing colours using aids such
as the camera’s white balance setting,
colour correction filters or artificial
lighting. In shallower depths, filters
can produce impressive results. They
work by filtering out a percentage of
the dominant hue allowing more of that
all-important red to reach the camera
sensor. Typically coloured magenta for
green seas and red for use in blue water,
these simple devices may be screwed
directly to the lens front or used as and
when required via a housing’s internal or
external flip-up system.
Unlike a standard diving torch, which
may have a central hotspot with a lessintense
halo surrounding it, video lighting
must provide a uniform and even edgeto-
edge output in order to illuminate
both subject and surroundings. With
advances in LED lighting and improved
battery technology manufacturers now
provide a varied range of self-contained
compact systems with innovations such
as variable outputs that allow fine-tuning
of exposures for filming close-up or
reflective subject matter.
Simple to use and small enough to fit in
the palm of your hand, they can provide
excellent image quality – up to 4K in some
cases – and can be wrist or head-mounted
or used as a pole-cam. With a variety of
accessories available such as lighting rigs,
macro attachments and filters they can
offer an inexpensive introduction. They do,
however, lack a degree of creative control
and this, combined with their fixed-focus
lenses, may be a source of frustration as
your experience level increases
COMPACT AND MIRRORLESS CAMERAS
Many compact cameras have underwater
housings. With their inbuilt zoom facility
it’s possible to shoot wide-angle, midrange
or close-up. This can also be
expanded with ‘wet’ accessory lenses.
Mirrorless cameras, however, offer larger
image sensors, a choice of prime lenses,
increased functionality over their compact
cousins and their smaller size and superior
focusing ability offer advantages over the
much larger DSLR alternative.
With large image sensors and interchangeable
lenses, they can provide outstanding results
within the limits of their autofocus capabilities.
However, their video options utilises a much
slower contrast-detecting AF system. Manual
focus is almost always preferred. Great for
wide-angle, but much less so for close-up and
moving subjects where focus is critical. Some
DSLRs also have a limitation on shooting time.
to prevent overheating.
While the choice may not be as expansive
as it once was thanks to the video
capability now found in other imaging
products, a dedicated video camera,
housing and lighting system offers the
most effective solution for the aspiring
underwater film-maker. This is the real deal
where video is the point with fast autofocus
systems, zoom capability and plenty of
DIVE VIDEO KIT SELECTION
Sony FDR AX-100
Since its launch in 2014, Sony’s FDR AX-100
has established itself as one of the most popular
‘prosumer’ camcorders and, with a variety of
underwater housings readily available for this
particular model, it’s a great starting point. With
a large one-inch CMOS/14.2 megapixel sensor,
the AX-100 is capable of shooting 4K cinematicquality
footage at 24 or 30 frames per second in
XACV S, AVCHD or MP4 Codecs, with the latter
pair simultaneously if required. Featuring a 29mm
wide-angle Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens plus a 12x
optical zoom, the camera has a shutter speed
range of 1/8 to 1/1000 second. Exposure and
white balance controls offer a variety of options
from auto settings for the beginner to full manual
for the advanced user.
Gates AX100 Housing
Housing with flat port $2,920
Constructed from type III hard-anodised aluminium and with
stainless steel hardware, Gates’ offering has kept things simple by
using an uncomplicated rod and lever mechanical system to access
the AX-100’s controls. The housing can be used with a choice of
three port options: macro, standard dome or wide-angle dome. An
internal flip-up filter is fitted as standard, while the camera’s LCD
display is viewed via a large clear window located on the left side
of the housing. Depth-rated to 137m, the camera, housing and port
combined weigh 5.1kg in air making the setup slightly negatively
buoyant underwater. Optional extras include a vacuum seal check
system, water alarm, carry handle and tripod.
Gates GT14 LED Light
Gates GT14 90 CRI LED 14000 Lumen light
offers a uniform 90-degree beam angle with a
duration of 30 minutes to ten hours. Constructed
from robust aluminium and stainless steel, the
GT14 is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion
battery, features a three-hour charge time and
utilises mirrored light output and fuel gauge
indicators to provide at at glance readings from
either side of the light.
Housing with flat port €1,995
With a marine-grade aluminium front case
and solid Delrin rear section, Mangrove’s
cylindrical housing utilises Sony’s LANC
remote system to link control to a series
of 12 electromagnetic push-buttons sited
on the rear of the housing. These controls
are grouped together in three convenient
locations to the left, right and below the builtin
3.5-inch rear-mounted TFT LCD monitor.
A 77mm threaded port accepts a choice of a
wide-angle dome or a flat port that supports
any 67mm threaded wet lens. A leak detector
with audio and visual warnings is fitted as
standard to the housing, which is rated to a
depth of 200m.
Sealux HDX100 Housing
Housing with flat port €2,850
CNC-milled from a mono-bloc of aluminium, Sealux’s
anodised housing for the AX-100 is covered with a waterresistant
powder coating and provides a maximum depth
rating of 80m. A large display window offers a complete
view of the camcorder’s 3.5 inch screen, tilted at a
15-degree angle for optimum viewing. Fitted with a 90mm
bayonet mount optical glass flat port, the housing also
offers the option of a wide-angle alternative to increase
angle of coverage to 110-degrees. As well as a flip-up
colour correction filter, the Sealux housing also provides an
additional close-up lens that can be swivelled in front of
the lens to give a choice of macro or wide-angle shooting at
any time. Camera functions are accessed via an electronic
keypad located at the right side and a set of manually
operated switches on the left.
Subal VS-1 Housing
Subal’s VS1 housing is a versatile universal video housing
designed to fit a variety of makes and models. Manufactured
from anodised alloy, acid-resistant stainless steel and
high-quality plastics, the VS1 is supplied with a flat port
as standard that may also be extended via port extensions
or substituted by a dome port for wide-angle filming.
The housing features a programmable 7-function control
handle operated via the camcorder’s remote control with an
adjustable slide to allow fitting of approximately 80 per cent
of current camcorder models. An integrated 15cm rear screen,
powered by standard AA batteries currently offers full access
to the camcorder’s display when shooting in high definition
only, however future upgrades will allow full functionality in
Sealux FL5200 Video Light
This rechargeable and multi-functional video light is
manufactured from anodised aluminium and rated
to 100 metres. Offering a 120-degree angle of even
illumination with no hotspot, it provides 5200 Lumens at
maximum power for 90 minutes. A further two reduced
outputs of ‘medium’ and ‘low’ offer burn times of 180
and 240 minutes respectively. The light also offers a
choice of red or ultraviolet LED options accessed via the
device’s simple two button system
Keldan video 4x/8x Video Lights
Rated to 200m, the Swiss-made Keldan 4x (6,000 lumen)
and 8x (10,000 Lumen) video lights offer very similar
specifications in a lightweight, compact package. Both offer
110-degree coverage, variable power settings and a burn-time
of 45 minutes at their respective maximum outputs, with 170
minutes at their lowest setting. A removable rechargeable
lithium-ion battery pack features an integral charge indicator
and can be fully recharged in three to four hours.
Mangrove Videocompact K-VC-3L6 Video Light Set
This dedicated lighting system consists of two self-contained Mangrove VC-3L6 LED
video lights, a pair of stabilising wings, two adjustable arms and associated mounting
hardware. Each light offers a maximum output of 6,750 lumens and a 100-degree
angle of coverage, with high to medium selection for exposure adjustments.
Light & Motion
As its name suggests, the Sola VideoPro
offers a maximum output of 8,000
lumens. Featuring a wide beam pattern
the light has additional settings of
4,000 and 500 lumens with a runtime
of between 50 and 800 minutes. The
Li-ion battery recharges in just 1.75
hours via a mains connection and also
features a rear OLED display to monitor
settings and remaining battery life.
Orca Seawolf EX2260
With a 22,000 lumen output and a runtime
of 1.25 hours at full power, the Seawolf
Expedition canister light is made from a
combination of aluminium and carbon fibre
to provide neutral buoyancy underwater. With
a choice of interchangeable 60, 90 and 120
degree optics, a recharge time of as little as
2.5 hours and a 30-minute 8,000 lumen
emergency back-up, the Seawolf offers a
completely flat beam for filming purposes.
This high-resolution external 4.3 inch colour TFT
LCD monitor with its 16:9 aspect ratio, allows easy
viewing from above to allow the housing to be used
at arm’s length. Fully displaying the camcorder’s
status information via a direct cable connection,
the screen is powered by rechargeable lithium-Mn
batteries with a duration of nine hours to reduce
power drain on the camera itself. Other features
include a swivel mount and an aluminium hood to
SKILLS & TECHNIQUE
w w w. d i v e m a g a z i n e . c o . u k 125
You may have a great set of kit but if
your technique is lacking then you’ll
only have yourself to blame for
1- Number one on the list is to make
sure you’re in control of your buoyancy
at all times.
2- If you’re trying out a new system for
the first time take great care, especially
among fragile reef systems and think
about checking it out in the pool first.
3- Always make sure your camera is
steady by keeping it close to your body.
4- A good rule of thumb for successful
filming is to take three basic shots: an
establishing shot, a medium shot and a
close-up and don’t be afraid to look for
different angles of the same subject.
5- Don’t shoot ad hoc, but attempt to tell
a story by including surface shots of the
immediate area, such as divers kitting
up and entering/exiting the water.
6- Just as with underwater stills
photography, the less water you have
between yourself and the subject the
better so get close and closer still.
7- Research your subject. For example,
is there a particular time of day or state
of the tide when feeding behaviour is
mosr likely to occur.
8- Avoid shooting downwards as it
gives a flat uninteresting viewpoint.
Shoot horizontally or slightly upwards
for a more dynamic look.
9- Use white balance, especially when
using ambient light. With increasing
depth colour absorption is quite
dramatic so readjust every metre or so.
10- Don’t record while zooming.
Choose a focal length and stick to it
to make for a much easier and more
11- Count to ten! Nobody likes to
endure minute after minute of
continual footage so, unless something
absolutely incredible is happening,
shoot in ten-second bursts.
12 Don’t chase your subject. Finning
at speed behind some fast-moving
critter stresses both animal and diver.
Relax and observe and let the action
come to you.
13-Always respect the marine
E Q U I P M E N T M A T T E R S
Juan Miguel Núñez Arellano has
been using a Sony AX-100 with a Gates
housing for the last 12 months. The 54-
year-old, who is Director of Audiovisual
and Multimedia at Granada University in
Spain, believes that the mantra that ‘more
expensive is better’ is not always the case.
‘I do think that many examples of
professional equipment have serious
limitations for underwater filming,’ he
says, explaining why he opted for a more
compact, dedicated video system.
‘Photo-centric cameras have a number
of limitations for underwater – from
autofocus issues to depth of field,
ergonomics and the auxiliary equipment
they often require, also size and expense.
Additionally equipment that is too small
may suffer from poor buoyancy while
excessively large equipment can be
impractical for travel and also not be used
easily without support from others. A
lot of equipment is too expensive to risk
underwater in certain conditions so why
risk kit costing $50,000 when I can produce
images of the same or better quality in 4K
resolution for a fraction of the cost?’
‘If a person has an interest in professional
or semi-professional filming then this type
of equipment is unbeatable.’
by Neill Hope
Tel: 07505 263011