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Testing the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 with the DMW-MCTZ10 Housing--Live, from Palau

Discussion in 'Panasonic Planet' started by BlennylipsBonaire, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. BlennylipsBonaire

    BlennylipsBonaire Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
    6
    1
    0
    Greetings all from Palau,

    I am about one half way through a three week jaunt to Micronesia.

    Before I left I scoured this forum and other nooks and internet crannies trying to decide what to replace my aging Sony VX2000 and Light & Motion Bluefin housing.

    I decided on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 / ZS7 with the Panasonic DMW-MCTZ10 Marine Case Underwater Housing.

    So, a lot of changes for me, videoing underwater! Not least of which is no longer toting around 50 pounds of gear...

    Anyway, I'm sort of logging & blogging as I go via my Blennylips Picasa Web Albums account.

    And you are welcome to follow along.

    The internet connection is like emptying Lake Mead through a soda straw, so I will not be responding to any queries till I get back to the states and/or Bonaire...but, comments & questions & suggestions are highly appreciated!

    You can checkout my Sony work at blennylips.com

    and be sure to see the extra Youtube feature from Palau:

    Survivor Palau - Hermit Crab Edition on youtube.

    Cheers,
    Roger Burnham
    Blennylips Bonaire

    RANT: No url's till 5 posts! Then take the bloody icon off of the tool bar! I spent a number of minutes trying to nicely format the info and I cannot do it till I earn some merit badge!

    So, You will just have to do a little google sleuthing to find the info.

    Maybe a more responsible poster could put the links up for those who follow...

    /RANT

    http : // picasaweb.google.com /Blennylips

    http: // www .youtube .com /watch ?v=pw4rv6JG_1w


    ....Hah! I did it!
     
  2. froggie01

    froggie01 Nassau Grouper

    71
    0
    6
    hey,

    I've bought the same gear and I'm planning to use it in january. I'd like to have heads up to avoid wasting time using it and getting in a rut! So I bought a Transcend Class 10 16GB card for starters as I noticed some where having difficulties with the lower classes. I was provided with 3 O-rings in the original package, and a small tube of grease. Is this enough for one or two intensive weeks of diving or is it better to purchase more at this stage? I'll be sharing my pics and videos once I have them!

    froggie
     
  3. Diver Alan

    Diver Alan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ontario Canada
    6
    0
    0
    I am looking at the ZS7 camera and housing now as my first underwater camera. I will be very interested to see your postings and hear of your experiences (good and bad)

    Diver Alan
     
  4. BlennylipsBonaire

    BlennylipsBonaire Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
    6
    1
    0
    Well, I back home and now dealing with about 90 GB of media (about 19 days of shooting).

    I'll make a few posts about my experience to build up my brownie points so I can actually use links to the examples in a post!

    White Balance:
    While the Lumix TZ10 has an underwater mode (that works surprisingly well), it seems pretty noisy though: When I do some basic corrections in Picasa, I can see faint vertical red streaks in the photo.

    It took me a while to stumble onto it, but what seemed to work the best was using the Aperture Priority mode and doing a manual white balance pointing at the sun (from 15 to 40 feet deep).

    Video Mode:
    No contest here. I used the motion-jpeg format. The AVCHD-lite mode is just to complex to deal with getting off of the camera and merging with the photos into a coherent time line and work-flow, not to mention finding a program that would not choke my laptop.

    The files are roughly twice as big, but with a 32GB card, I never came close to filling a card before getting back to the computer in the evenings to empty it out...now, I did come close to filling up the laptop! I had to delete a few movies I'd brought along to make room.

    Impression so far? I love the camera and housing! The old Sony VX-2000 plus Bluefin housing was more like maneuvering a fire hose, while this combo is more like wielding a paint brush. The Sony had a much better/lower noise CCD, but I found I can get pretty good results with the Lumix in many situations.

    Until I can include links, just google on "Blennylips" and look on Picasa and Youtube...

    More later,
    Roger
     
  5. BlennylipsBonaire

    BlennylipsBonaire Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
    6
    1
    0
    Good Morning,

    I'm working my way through the video and have about a dozen segments up on youtube.

    For the day I did not dive, I took all of the video from the whole trip and strung together all of the two and three second clips to make an 8 minute video that is a sort of random sample of all the shooting depths and lighting conditions I encountered...gives you a good idea.

    Some of it suffers from bad white balance. It was not until the end of the trip that I settled on using the sun (from depth!) as the manual white balance source.

    Now I want to talk about the GPS and battery life.

    I love the GPS! It makes documenting the trip and organizing the video/ photos so much easier. Very cool to have Picasa automagically geo-locate your photos.

    I found the battery more than adequate for a typical dive (70+ minutes) including using it on the long boat ride to the dive site. Most of the time I turned the GPS off during the dive, but found that was not necessary and I could just leave it on (and get the underwater photos geo tagged with the last surface position).

    One memorable dive (Sweet Octopi Love) I spent 90 minutes with a pair of mating octopods before the battery ran out.

    So, the GPS does not seem to be a big battery hog and I'm very glad I got it.

    Roger
     
  6. Offroad

    Offroad Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: SW Missouri
    183
    1
    0
    Thanks for your posts and video's, I recently purchased the Panasonic ZS7 (TZ10) and housing, but haven't been diving with it yet. I upgraded for better video quality as my Fuji F31fd only did 640x480 (4:3 aspect ratio) and custom white balance did not affect video. When using the Fuji I set a custom white balance with white plastic from a laundry soap bottle, some will also just use the sand on the bottom. Did you try either of these methods, and if so did pointing at the sun work better with your Panasonic?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  7. BlennylipsBonaire

    BlennylipsBonaire Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
    6
    1
    0
    Well, Offroad, now that I'm digging through the footage, I'm not sure what to think.

    With my old VX-2000, white balancing on the sand worked really well, but below 35 feet or so, it would usually not find a balance, so I usually just balanced it around 25 feet and used that for the deeper shots.

    I've never carried around a white card to use.

    The problem in Palau and Yap was often the lack of sand, believe it or not!

    As my BC was already loaded down with sausages and reef hooks, etc, I did not want to carry one more item I had no good way to store and use. Besides, my aim in this kind of diving is to keep up with the group and stay aware of the sometimes rapidly changing currents.

    I judged the white balance by comparing the LCD view with what my eye sees. By this standard, the balancing on the sun worked best.

    Now, while editing, I notice that a lot of footage has a blue or gray cast...it seems, but, whenever a diver is close by, the gear colors appear correct (quite good at times), but the far scenery appears off in color (to be expected somewhat).

    I think that what is going on is that the Lumix ZS7 is not so good at low light scenes. Quite often, the deepest and/or darkest shots show thin vertical red strips in the picture. I originally thought that was from using the built-in underwater mode, but I can see it no matter the mode shot in, if it is not a bright sunny scene (which really do look good!).

    Any thoughts?

    Roger
     
  8. Offroad

    Offroad Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: SW Missouri
    183
    1
    0
    Yes, the closer your objects are to you the better chance for good color. As they get farther away most things will fade to blue. Yes, it does take a few moments to set white balance on a card but with practice its pretty fast. Just wondered if you had tried it with the ZS7.

    I got the best results with my Fuji with a white balance card then running the pics through an Auto Levels and noise reduction with Noise Ninja. Auto levels will bring back contrast to flat shots but also unfortunately will emphasize particles floating in the water on some shots. My Fuji was also reluctant to set a custom white balance if the light was dim and even in clear water I had to do it before 60ft. The ZS7 at least testing in dim light around the house seems better but I haven't dove with it yet.

    I plan to set the ZS7 to aperture mode and the widest aperture, auto ISO 400, and custom white balance. I know I'm going to like the ZS7's video, but hope I don't miss the lower noise sensor of the Fuji too much. Available light photography is challenging but with work can still get some pretty good results. My best results are in clear, relatively shallow water with full sun but I've also got some keepers when conditions were less than ideal.

    From your pics it looks like Palau is a fantastic place for critters but the water is not as clear as say the Bahamas or Cozumel, would you say that's correct?
     
  9. ScubaMoMo

    ScubaMoMo Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hong Kong
    87
    3
    0
    Hi Blennylips,

    I think you really have a problem with your camera. In nearly all your videos are those pinky/red lines. They are definatelly not normal. I have exactly the same camera and don't have those except when you film against bright light or the sun. You should exchange it as long as you have warranty.
     
  10. ScubaMoMo

    ScubaMoMo Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hong Kong
    87
    3
    0
    Btw. apart from that, very very nice videos! I'll probably go to Palau in september this year and after seeing lots of your footage even more looking forward to it!
     

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