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All About Video and Photo Gear This section is for your video and photography gear questions, comments, and experiences

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Old 01-03-2018, 09:39 AM   #1
grey2112
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Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

When I had my first GoPro (Hero 2) I tried numerous red filters with little success.

Now I'm using a Chinese knock off and have had similar bad luck with the filters.

So, am considering getting a Hero 3+ or a GoPro 4 Black (from my research, the video quality is very similar for my purposes to any of the newer, much more expensive ones).

So, am looking for a GOOD filter or filter set that will make my 20-60 feet dives in Gulf of Mexico waters a lot better looking, since currently it looks mostly green due to loss of red after about 20 feet.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

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Originally Posted by grey2112 View Post
When I had my first GoPro (Hero 2) I tried numerous red filters with little success.

Now I'm using a Chinese knock off and have had similar bad luck with the filters.

So, am considering getting a Hero 3+ or a GoPro 4 Black (from my research, the video quality is very similar for my purposes to any of the newer, much more expensive ones).

So, am looking for a GOOD filter or filter set that will make my 20-60 feet dives in Gulf of Mexico waters a lot better looking, since currently it looks mostly green due to loss of red after about 20 feet.
Eric, when my cameras finally flood I think I'm going to go with this.... It's pricey, but the camera is made for diving. The white balance is compensated for being underwater, unlike the GoPro and knockoffs. https://www.paralenz.com/
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

Good idea. Older Hero - I have looked at some of my HeroHD video with SRP filters and it still looks good. https://youtu.be/wxDe0gjFU6k and https://youtu.be/YxX4bK4Egoo


Filters: http://www.snakeriverprototyping.com/
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Old 03-21-2018, 02:08 PM   #4
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

The Polar Pro filters are very good.
I had a Hero3+ and I missed it (lost at sea...). It was superior to my Gopro Session particularly in the Mid Field of view, which was very linear with no curved distortion and very similar to what the eyes see and feel.
If it is for diving I encourage you to use Mid-field of view instead of Wide field. I also encourage you to use Magenta or Red filters (I had the Polar Pro).

The only thing where the Session may be better, is the real time white balance correction. That is, even with a red filter on, the Session will always try to balance the white automatically and therefore change during the shooting, provided it has some source of Green Red and Blue in its field of view.
With a light magenta filter it is not very important, but with a deep magenta or Red filter, everything can be all Red without the white balance.
With the Hero3 +, or Hero 4, I don't know if the White Balance can change automatically in real time during shooting, like with a Session, but even if it can not, you can still balance later in the Gopro Studio software (warning this software works well only on windows10) .

In my experience, a classic Hero3+ or 4 with a Polar Pro Magenta or Red filters, shooting at 1920X1080 in Medium Field at 60 fps in bright light, or 30fps in darker condition, was a knock off, comparable to Jacque Cousteau-quality movie shot with thousands of dollars of equipment. And you had a 60ft depth water proof case, which you don't even have with a Session and have to buy separately.

My last Hero3+ shooting is at https://youtu.be/_-RkQRe3Mdw and this one with Polar Pro Magenta https://youtu.be/uX3bR0iE4mk as opposed to this one without filter https://youtu.be/NTLNME2fxOA Everything is green passed 15 ft. In this later case, post processing in Goprostudio to balance the colors would fail, simply because there is no red in the picture after 20ft.

After June 2017, I shot with the Session. My latest shot is with a Red filter. Yet, I re-balance the Whites after shooting in Gopro Studio, so that it allows me to see Red/brown colors even at 20ft and deeper. like here https://youtu.be/XdLkQjomv44

You may ask, why do I rebalance the white after shooting if the camera+filter automatically balance during shooting ? it is because there is still a lack of available colors to properly balance at depth during shooting and the white balance cannot change that fast, it takes a few seconds. But the Reds are there (they would not be there without the filter) even if they are not visible. The post process re-balancing just make those reds more visible.
Without a Red filter, there would not be any Red in the picture and the post process would fail as I mentioned above. I tried.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:44 AM   #5
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

Filter + White Balance https://youtu.be/dpc_yIkRJuQ
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:51 PM   #6
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

Hi Dangerous,

It won't be that easy to set the white balance at different depth and different lightning conditions in the sea than in a well lit fish tank. In the Gopro Studio software, you pick an area that you feel is relatively white, which means in practice for me, the sand. (I know it's not white but I just don't want to stick a white sticker on my gun because after all I am spear fishing and don't want to alert the fish).
So the thing is that in GoPro Studio, you set up the white balance by picking on the sand and clip by clip, manually.
Since you may be at different depth with different light (clouds passing in front of the sun make massive lighting difference) in different clips, plus in new jersey at least the deepest layer is really greenish with algea, it means that my clips are all slightly different in terms of white balance, some are neutral, some are more blueish, purplelsh etc, and when you assemble the clips for the final video, well, it shows up. I tried to do my best but it is almost impossible to keep an identical white balance during an entire video made of dozens of clips, all white-balanced differently.
So it is not that easy, but it is still better than an uniformly greenish submarine landscape with no colors at all.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:59 PM   #7
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

Thanks for the compliment on my video, so good you thought it was a fish tank -- NO -- you saw the rare video of a real red carpet anemone IN THE WILD. https://youtu.be/gT2jeGcjPkU Videoed with underwater tripod for stability looks like a fisk tank, Huh?
The original has more than 60,000 views and shows me videoing the rare creature (see link above)

I understand the shifting light and usually have to cut up clips to white balance individually. I like PowerDirector better than GoPro software, easier to use and more features and much faster, 64 bit. Plus multiople plugins like SonicFire.

I prefer Photographic Glass Filters over Plastic. Use SRP when possible on old Hero.
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Last edited by Dangerous; 03-23-2018 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:03 PM   #8
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

PS: That's me breathing in the background, slow steady controlled breathing so not to spook fish. https://youtu.be/dpc_yIkRJuQ Not fish tank
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:08 PM   #9
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

Haha you fooled me. Well I guess you can produce excellent near perfect videos with a Gopro3+ (or better) and any software, if you spend the time necessary to fix those issues.

Do you agree that, if the goal is to produce the best possible quality video, then an easy trick is to carry on your dive gear a white sticker, so that an any depth and in any particular lightning, you can always post-process the white balance consistently by software later ?
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:47 PM   #10
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

You aren't the first to think that was shot in a tank, it is rare to see such a beautiful red carpet anemone in nature. Sadly, global warming and pollution seems to be having a bad effect on the creature.

Totally agree, I cut out a nice rectangle from a Clorox bottle and punched a hole in it and added a spring loaded line clip so I can extend it with one hand and get a shot on it and let it snap back out of the way.n With the Nikon, it was easier since you can set white balance before you video - have to reset when things change. However, you mentioned time, think Power Director and the new Sony Vegas and maybe some of the new Adobe are all 64 bit platforms. There is a huge difference in speed. Maybe the CineForm GoPro is now 64 bit too? The hedge is that you have to have a computer with enough CPU's to make it happen.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:49 AM   #11
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

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You aren't the first to think that was shot in a tank, it is rare to see such a beautiful red carpet anemone in nature. Sadly, global warming and pollution seems to be having a bad effect on the creature.
forgive me, those clear water seem surreal to me. I think what fooled me the most was the uniformly blue background, like the back of an aquarium tank.

Quote:
With the Nikon, it was easier since you can set white balance before you video - have to reset when things change.
With the hero3+ I always left the white balance in automatic. Did it change during the shootings like with the Session ? I can't remember. Perhaps it could have, IF I had indeed put a white patch in the line of sight of the camera, that'd be the tip of my spear gun for me which is usually always visible, but I didn't want to do that. In dirty waters, during ascent or descent, there is nothing to focus on and nothing to change the white balance. This is why I often surface in a totally washed out Red or Blue hue landscape, consequence of the filter and because the balance has not changed since I hit the bottom.

Quote:
However, you mentioned time, think Power Director and the new Sony Vegas and maybe some of the new Adobe are all 64 bit platforms. There is a huge difference in speed. Maybe the CineForm GoPro is now 64 bit too?
Yes Gopro Studio is 64 bits. It won't even work properly on windows7-64 bit(my experience) You need Windows10.
The process is lengthy not so much because the software is 'slow' although professional software may be faster, but because the camera slices the videos in 12 minutes sequences (that's for the Session, I can't remember for the Hero3+) and then you have to do the work of clipping. My videos are typically 2 or 3 minutes long when posted on youtube, made of about a dozen clips out of a 2 hours long footage (sliced in 12 minutes subfootages as I said).
But the process is easy and simple in Gopro Studio.
Once the clips are sorted, this is where you can edit them individually, in contrast and white balance, this is also very simple and quite fast.
There is even a faster editing software that comes with a Gopro camera, called 'Quick', but this editing software forces you to use a Music background...You can not have it. What were they thinking at Gopro ? This is for ultrafast editing and fancy effect that you can do even on smart phone I believe.

Can you still find Gopro Hero3+ or 4 anyways ?
Refurbished Gopro Hero4 were available on the official Gopro site for a while for $279, while the Session were available brand new for $149 ! In two weeks the hero4 were gone. If you can't find them, you'd have to get a Hero 5, or 6.

Would I suggest the ordinary Session ? hmm, for an extra $100 I strongly suggest to go for the 5.
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:32 AM   #12
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

When I'm spearfishing, I don't think of the video since the camera is on my mask, just let it run Hopefully get some sand in there somewhere, sometimes an amberjack swimming by is a good white reference. Have you tried green water filters? https://youtu.be/ishcb_qGybI

I prefer the color editing sometimes to white balance, PD has stand alone color editing that integrates with editing. You might find this interesting https://youtu.be/F2kEhtVOCnQ

Lastly, I just noticed my clumsy fingers entered 6K Youtube views for the orig Red Carpet Anemone Video but it is 60K+ views
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:48 AM   #13
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

[quote=Dangerous;2164011]When I'm spearfishing, I don't think of the video since the camera is on my mask, just let it run Hopefully get some sand in there somewhere, sometimes an amberjack swimming by is a good white reference. Have you tried green water filters? https://youtu.be/ishcb_qGybI]

'Green water' aka Dark Magenta filter ? I use a Red at 25ft and it reduces the amount of light reaching the chip tremendously, which forces me in turn to shoot at 30fps, which blurs everything.
With a more sensitive camera (I assume the Session5 and hero6 have a better, more sensitive chip than the basic Session) i would shoot at 60fps.
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:38 AM   #14
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

I just looked at some of my original video I uploaded to Youtube and the YouTube Compression really degrades the video. Originals were crystal clear sharp, but not YouTube or Vimeo in their best mode. Think my videos look best on mobile device
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:07 PM   #15
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Re: Best GoPro 3+ filters for better video underwater?

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I just looked at some of my original video I uploaded to Youtube and the YouTube Compression really degrades the video. Originals were crystal clear sharp, but not YouTube or Vimeo in their best mode. Think my videos look best on mobile device
Same for me, but beside the compression artifacts, which are there to stay unless you resubmit your video in higher res and with a lower compression rate, the play back on you tube depends on the data band-pass available. So videos in 4k may play at 1280x720 on your device, even on your computer. Anyways, always keep all your originals to resubmit because, who can say that youtube will still be there in 10 years ?
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