It has been a few months now that I have experimented with my UHD set up and I have been able to draw a few conclusions.
My Tv is a Sony KD-55X8505B and as 4K player I use the Tv itself for Netflix (one of the few places you can find 4K content) I have not tried amazon 4K. In order to play your own files you can either connect your TV to a NAS or use a small box.
I went for the Minix X8H-Plus as a media player to stream from my NAS as the client in the Sony TV is pretty basic.
The minix has hardware accelerated HEVC decoding so it will work as a player for any 4K TV that has no compatible codec. A word of warning though the Netflix and Youtube client in the android box are not 4K compatible.
I have an FTTC connection with 32 mbps speed that is more than the recommended 25 mbps for Netflix UHD so I gave it a go and the results are spectacular, not just the Tv shows (house of cards, better call saul, Marco Polo) but the short features on deserts and flowers are amazing. All of this content is HEVC so 25 mbps or less for 4K UHD.
Tears of Steel is a short series shot in 4K using the old school H264 codec as the Panasonic GH4 and LX100 do at 100 mbps, the files encoded at 72 mbps end up with a massive 6.12 GB for just 12 minutes.
H265 vs H264
On average at similar parameters the same source compressed with H265 results in 65% space saving compared to H264.
Now that is quite a lot so if you think about it your 100 mbps GH4 file could shrink to 35 mbps which is just a little more than AVCHD progressive and less than Sony XAVC 50 Mbps you can still record it with a class 6 card though class 10 would be appropriate.
Cameras and Editors
Today only Samsung NX series can encode HEVC and for editing there are no programs on Mac using HEVC, possibly something exists for windows. But it is fair to say we are a long way away from main stream.
Why is HEVC important? With H264 the files are too bit and if compressed to youtube average of 25-30 mbps they do not look that good you wonder if it is actually worth it.
A large 70 mbps file require a very fast wireless ac router close to the player or simply using a memory card to play your videos locally. This is not user friendly.
I believe it will take at least another year to see HEVC included in cameras and editors if not longer, until then for me it makes no sense to invest in a 4K set up as the file produced are just too large to be shared so remain in the realm of semiprofessional to professional users.
Following from my previous post I managed to get together a clip out of the 5 dives I did
The first day was somewhat plagued by visibility a bit lower than the norm for the location but the second day was fabulous
For this trip I brought with me the Inon UWL-H100 and the red push on filter from deep roof H20 and the Inon UCL-330 as I was expecting medium size fish and nothing really small
Here is the outcome
I am quite happy how things turned out so let me share the settings with you
First I shot most of the footage in 25p AVCHD mode only some small sections are shot at 50p and actually I did not need to slow down any of the material.
For the wide shots I used steady shot in normal mode and shutter priority at 1/50th. With the filter on I had auto white balance with tint correction G2 A1. I noticed that the camera was giving red tint in some situation and so added a bit of green back. The Amber correction instead is for the RX100 itself the camera does not have vibrant yellow and is a bit blue.
For the first time I use creative mode changing the standard contrast to -3 in order to prevent crushing of blacks.
Exposure was set all along to -1/3 and metering to multi area with AUTO ISO limited 160-800.
I think the results are so good that in fact I have performed no colour correction to any shots in ambient light.
For shots with lights I set up first colour temperature to 6500K and A1 to match the lights but then in some of the far shots this resulted a bit cold so I adjusted very slightly in post the temperature.
Only 40″ are adjusted in the whole video in essence is as shot and the editing took me half hour.
I did a bit of analysis and the camera was operating for most at ISO200 with aperture around f/3.5 – f/4.0 which is really the sweet spot of the lens.
I did have some challenges using the UCL330 for some nudibranches that really required a stronger lens so they look a bit small, there was also surge so I had to fight with focus problems but all in all very happy.
The longer working distance of the UCL330 (20-30 cm or 8″ to 1′) proved challenging on walls as you are too far to hang on to anything or use a stick. I will bear this in mind in the future.
For the close up shots I used steady shot active.
I also wanted to say that a few times the camera did manage to white balance properly however the results were not exciting and frankly not worth the hassle. Using the filter is just so much better with the auto white balance.
I am currently in Malta for few days relaxing and I manage to squeeze in some dives. The Mediterranean sea is nothing sensational (from a pure diving point of view) but does offer clear water, and some brisk thermoclines, and a combination of algae, blue water, caves and silvery fish that is challenging on the dynamic range of our little RX100.
The purpose of this trip is mostly to refine the video settings and go more in depth in few topics. I wanted to try specifically the following:
Medium size fish portraits
Caves and low light
Some of my settings will be the same and I am not intending to changed them those are:
Auto ISO: 160 – 800
Starting off with metering, the first attempt was to try and use the camera on 0 exposure compensation with centred weighted average metering.
Pretty soon I realised this gave issues of banding of the blue water, this was apparent not only in backlit shots but also in normal wide angle of fish in specific cases. So after dive number 1 I changed it to the standard -0.3 from dive 2.
I set a new creative style with contrast at -3 in the hope to recover detail and seem to be working fine with the shots still having plenty of contrast.
I also tried spot metering for close up but it makes no sense the video lights are too wide and ended up with burned highlights at the edges of the frame so back to centred weighted average for close up shots.
So when it comes to metering my settings are:
Wide angle: multi area
Close up: centered weighted average
I did some tests with stabiliser in steadyshot mode, this gives back some field of view and the lens offers 100 degrees diagonal and 90 horizontal, I actually think a bit more anyway with fairly stable conditions this worked fine. At longer focal length for close up I am still using active mode.
I have a +3 diopter for this test as I realised in my last still trip I don’t have a lens for medium size fish, the lens worked very well and I also tried the camera tracking focus but it seems it won’t work with fireworms or similar. So either keep normal focus or manual with peaking.
White balance has been a subject of discussion, I did manage this time to white balance a few times but to be honest it was not worth the effort there is a better correction of the purple hue of the filter but this can be corrected setting Green to 1 or 2 in AWB. I also changed the AWB to include a correction with Amber 1 as per examples. Very happy with the results I think this is the final set up with this filter lacking a proper orange filter.
Shooting in low light was rewarding with ISO maxed out at 800. I am becoming less and less a fan of video lights in cave due to the amount of backscatter am getting. I think I will default at using the lights as dive torches instead of wide beams of even leaving them off for effect.