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Thread: UNDERWATER FILMING: Sony FDR-X3000 ♥ Review, Tips, Tutorials & Discussion

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    Senior Member Pod of the Great Lakes The Magic Crafter's Avatar
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    Lightbulb UNDERWATER FILMING: Sony FDR-X3000 ♥ Review, Tips, Tutorials & Discussion

    Filming Underwater with a Sony FDR-X3000 Action Cam (for mermaids and mermen)
    Hey all! So... I bought an underwater camera this year and I am absolutely in love with it. However, it doesn't seem to be a camera that many other merms use, so I figured I'd create a thread for it as to increase the awareness of its awesomeness. Dad and I are literally in love with it.... ♥

    In this post, I'll get the ball rolling by posting the Unboxing Video & Review video of this camera to better explain why I bought it and to show off the footage it can capture. There will be GoPro comparison footage too, for all who are curious to see that! Then, I will post videos showing you how to set up the Sony Action Cam for underwater filming (the setup I use, anyways) and will also show you how to put the camera in the underwater housing... since it took me an embarrassing amount of time to figure out how to open/close the waterproof case.

    UnBoxing Video (Shows off the camera in its housing, explains why I chose to purchase it)
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    Review Video (Compares Sony FDR-x3000 footage to GoPro footage. Also covers overall satisfaction with camera)



    This Camera is Better than a GoPro, in my opinion.
    I am the type of person that researches a TON before buying something. Especially tech stuff... since tech and I don't get along. When I decided to break down and FINALLY buy a camera for filming underwater mermaiding videos, I decided NOT to go with a GoPro for various reasons. I mean, you can obviously do what you want, but I personally think that the Sony FDR-X3000 is superior. ♥ (My dad films most of my videos and he got to use a GoPro to film me for another creator's project... so we have gotten to use both brands... the GoPro was a pain in the rear to use and didn't look as great, put simply.) Why do I like the Sony FDR-x3000 so much? Here are bullet points... because bullet points are EASY TO READ! (organization makes me happy.)


    • It works: I have never had a problem with it overheating or freezing up. I have a friend whose GoPro has issues like that, and the GoPro my dad got to use refused to turn on throughout our time filming. This resulted in us wasting a lot of time freezing in Lake Leelanau.
    • It is easy to use: I didn't get to physically touch the GoPro that dad filmed with (nor could I see it... since I can't see when swimming!) but I have spent some alone-time with my Sony action cam. After you select the settings that you want, it has only two buttons that you need to use... "Power," and "Record." Ahhh.... Sweet simplicity!
    • Anti-Shake/Image Stabilization: Kinda self explanatory, but this camera has a setting that helps you look less like a shaky caffeine-addict and more like a human (merm) tripod when you film. From the research I did via YouTube (and various blog posts), I do recall most people pointing out how impressive its stabilizing abilities were in comparison to other action cams. I'm impressed, at any rate.
    • Color Enhancement: I'm not sure if any of the GoPro models have this feature or not (or if many other cameras do at all?) but the Sony FDR-x3000 has a setting called "Vivid" that will enhance the colors/look of your videos. It works like an Instagram filter, basically, and looks VERY nice. The GoPro footage that I saw of my silicone tail (Sparda) did not look "true to the colors" of my tail.... it made my tail look ill. The Sony footage with the "Vivid" setting turned on (I haven't used it without "Vivid" yet... I'm obsessed!) makes my tail look fabulous. It makes the colors of the underwater world of Lake Michigan look exceedingly magical too!!! ♥
    • Shoots in 4K: I don't give a hoot about 4K, since my internet is carp and everything looks blurry 24/7 when online, but 4K is the future, so it's nice to capture your videos in 4K, I guess!
    • Easy to Travel with: Just like a GoPro, this camera is tiny. The downside to that is that it doesn't have a flip-out screen (or any sort of image-viewing screen) to see what you are filming/photographing. It fits in a purse though.... unlike a DSLR Camera (@Loki)!!!
    • Minimal Post-Filming Editing Required: I still edit in Window's Movie Maker... because I'm NOT tech savvy and don't have a high-tech Laptop capable of doing much. With that being said, I can't really do much to edit my videos after they are filmed... my program doesn't allow for it and I don't quite know how to do that sort of fancy stuff (yet) anyways. Since the Sony FDR-X3000 enhances videos, stabilizes videos and shoots crisp footage, that means that I don't have to do anything to the videos after the basic editing (cutting and cropping clips) is finished. It saves time and helps reduce headaches. It's ideal for merms who aren't familiar with/able to use the high-tech editing software that does the fancy color-correction stuff.
    • It is adorable. It for real makes the cutest sounds when you push buttons! Call me shallow, but I like it! Bwahaha!


    Hopefully I remembered to include everything there? My brain has been swamp-gunk lately. Yum. ONWARD TO TIPS!

    How I Set Up my Sony FDR-X3000 Action Cam for Underwater Mermaid Videos
    From the many reviews I watched back in the day, I recall hearing over and over again that the Sony FDR X3000 can be complicated to use at first. It has very few buttons (4 in total, I do believe!) and many different features. It takes some time to learn how to navigate through the camera's many different options. HOWEVER! After having played around with mine for some time, I have gotten quite used to the camera's layout thingy. If you're just planning to film underwater mermaid/merman videos with your camera, then you only really need to set it up once and then it's just a matter of pressing "record." To make your life easier, here is my setup guide to show you the exact setup/settings I use to film my videos.



    How to Put your Sony FDR-X3000 Camera in its Underwater Housing Case
    This seems like a stupid tutorial to include... but I could NOT figure out for the life of me how to get the underwater case off of my camera at first. I felt like a raccoon trying to break into a garbage can!!! Putting it back on was a challenge too, but mostly because I was fearful that I would manage to "put it on wrong" and completely wreck my camera. The Sony FDR-X3000 has a Splashproof body, by the way. It is NOT waterproof until you put it in the underwater housing. To save you time and embarrassment, here's a tutorial showing you how to put your camera in its underwater case.



    Additional Tips & Things to Remember
    • Micro SD Card: My camera did not come with an SD card. Make sure that you buy one before using your camera! Otherwise, you will be sad. It requires a "Micro SD Card," by the way.
    • No Display Screen: This camera does not have a display screen to show you what you are filming. You literally have to get used to guessing. I do believe all "Action Cams" are like this though. You get used to it!
    • "Fisheye:" Like all action cameras, this one does give your videos a bit of a "Fisheye Effect" sort of look. If you don't know what that means, it basically means that the outer corners of your videos/pictures will look slightly rounded in certain situations. It isn't too bad... but it isn't my preferred look for my videos! I don't find it to be very evident in most of my videos clips though.
    • Get a Grip: Get an attachment to add onto your camera. This goes for any action camera... not just the Sony! This will make your camera easier to hold onto, since action cams are very small. Also, certain handles can help stabilize your videos and reduce the shakiness. I use an aluminum handle for mine, but if you're worried about dropping yours in the ocean/lake, then you can buy handles that float!
    • Keep it Clean: We all know that mermaiding is messy at times. Carry around a micro-fiber cloth/lens cleaning cloth in your camera bag/purse/tote to wipe down your camera AND its underwater case before each use. I don't care what camera you use, but if you get lube, oil, shampoo, sweat, ect on the lens... it won't look pretty.
    • Not just for Underwater Use: While I got this camera primarily for filming underwater videos, it is NOT strictly an underwater camera. It can take videos and pictures underwater AND above water. It's an action cam, after all. So... attach it to your head and ski down a hill, or whatever. You do you!


    Your thoughts, input and footage?
    That's really all I have to say about this at the moment. I know this probably sounds like a sales pitch for the Sony FDR-X3000... but, like... I am in awe of this camera, and firmly believe that others should know about it. It is a great alternative to a GoPro, after all. Plus, if people can get in passionate arguments about PC's vs MAC's, Canon vs Nikon and DMC vs DmC (guilty... DMC totally rules), then I feel that it is okay to open up this discussion too.

    If you have any comparison videos of your own, footage taken with your Sony FDR-X3000 or tips for using one, please feel free to post them below! Additionally, if you have any questions about this underwater camera, leave a comment and we can all try to help one another! ♥



    Happy Filming! ♥

    XOXO~ Mermaid Phantom
    New YouTube Videos Every Week!!
    I can be found at www.TheMagicCrafter.com


    This is my tail!
    ~*~ Please call me "Phantom!" ~*~

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Nice!!! I have the basic model GoPro. It does what I need, which is take nice photos and video, capabilities are way better than my $50 mobile phone!
    Formerly known as ireneho

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pod of the Great Lakes The Magic Crafter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    Nice!!! I have the basic model GoPro. It does what I need, which is take nice photos and video, capabilities are way better than my $50 mobile phone!
    That is true! And in the end, I suppose it comes down to what you need a camera for. Personally, I use mine for my YouTube show, which is part of my business and is my passion project/art. Go with what works best for your needs! ♥
    New YouTube Videos Every Week!!
    I can be found at www.TheMagicCrafter.com


    This is my tail!
    ~*~ Please call me "Phantom!" ~*~

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