Seacam Prelude for the Canon 60D review

The Seacam Prelude 60D User “Cliff Notes”

This is a new part of my reviews whereby I list down the things I’ve learnt about the housing and what settings I used to get it to work for me.  I thought it’d be useful for owners and potential buyers to understand the settings etc of the housing and camera working together.  Please feel free to leave comments ON THIS PAGE ONLY as to what you as an owner/user have discovered about the housing and your settings.  You can also hit the link and post in the forums. After all, Wetpixel is about sharing information on the housings, good or bad news even.

Basically, with the limited controls, one has to learn to preset the camera before closing the housing and also develop habits to leave cursors on the functions they most use.

How I set up the camera for stills:

1.  ISO control: As mentioned in the field test, I keep the QCS cursor on ISO then hit the shutter.  This way, I can adjust ISO with a press of a button for stills.
2.  I use AF-Servo mode on center AF point only. It’s the most accurate and allows me to focus on what I want. AI-FOCUS AF achieves focus faster but can choose the wrong part of the subject or event the wrong subject.
3.  I shoot in RAW + S1 jpg.
4.  I set AF-ON for AF lock and shutter for metering.
5.  Turn on Shot Review for 8 seconds. Working in conjunction with the Seacam SeaFlash 150 which also gives how much power it used in the shot, it allows very detailed shot making choices.
6.  If using the Sea Flash ETTL, set metering to Evaluative.

How I set up for video mode:

Since there is no menu button on the housing, it’s essential to preset many things in video mode.

1.  I left the shutter at 1/60 for 1080/30p, 1/50 at 1080/24p and 1/125 at 720/60p, staying with the 180° shutter of the film cameras. Aperture and shutter speed can be changed as long as the camera is preset in manual mode.  For wide angle, I would choose f7.1 or higher to maintain depth of field. Note #5!
2.  I used AUTO ISO, with -1/3 stop on the Exposure Compensation, since there is no access to ISO in video mode.  This has to be preset.
3.  I use the Technicolor Cinestyle Picture Style. It gives the best dynamic range and that allows the best options for post correction.  The Q function allows the changing of Picture Styles.
4.  I put whitebalance on Daylight since I can’t do manual whitebalance underwater.
5.  I use Quick AF for AF mode in video. I’d prefocus to something 3-4 ft away from the dome and let the depth of field handle focus. Note #2
6.  Set AF-Metering to AE-Lock for shutter and AF-ON for focus only.

How I used the housing:

With subjects that required more attention in the viewfinder to frame properly, I learnt to use the viewfinder information to change various settings using the QCS menu.  Each function in the viewfinder menu will light up as the QCS cursor lands on the corresponding window in the menu.  So I never really have to look at the LCD and can concentrate on framing. Takes a bit of practice but that comes with usage.

I hope this little cheat sheet helps you find your own workflow with the Prelude 60D housing. Happy Shooting!