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1st time out HC7/Gates


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#1 NWDiver

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:04 AM

1st time out so not a great clip. But for those interested in low light abilities of the HC7 this can give some idea. Conditions were overcast with about 15ft of viz, depth between 20-40ft. This was WB with and without lights, everything else set to Auto.

Housing worked great, lights did not give as wide of a spread of light as I had hoped but still very nice. For me it would be hard to hold a WB slate in front of lens and work the WB lever so ordered the Gates slate on a Loc-line arm.

HC7/Gates/WP25/Green Force 50s
Edited with Pinnacle, and with a lot of help uploaded to Stage6. Tried to keep it "HD" but not sure.

Hope to get out again this week and try again...

http://www.stage6.co...Protecting-Egds

Edited by NWDiver, 19 January 2008 - 10:06 AM.


#2 wolfeeldiver

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:40 AM

Nice Footage. Looks like you might have been diving in Edmonds?
I'm seriously considering purchasing the Gates HC7 house too for my HC7.
Sorry, but have just a few questions about your setup:
What port were you using when taking this video?
Did you use your Green Force 50 lights during this video? Looks like you
did towards the end.
I'm curious what batteries you purchased the FI or the II? And how is the
balance and "weight" and feel of the system with the batteries...?
I'm trying to decide if to get one Squid 150 or 250 vs two smaller Squid 50s....
Do you feel that the arms are long enough?

#3 NWDiver

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:03 AM

Nice Footage. Looks like you might have been diving in Edmonds?
I'm seriously considering purchasing the Gates HC7 house too for my HC7.
Sorry, but have just a few questions about your setup:
What port were you using when taking this video?
Did you use your Green Force 50 lights during this video? Looks like you
did towards the end.
I'm curious what batteries you purchased the FI or the II? And how is the
balance and "weight" and feel of the system with the batteries...?
I'm trying to decide if to get one Squid 150 or 250 vs two smaller Squid 50s....
Do you feel that the arms are long enough?



Ok, we just got back from +30 dives with this setup in Yap and Chuuk and had to deal with 9-15ft of viz in Yap. Overall love the housing and camera they worked great. We just got back yesterday and have to look at all the tape and will have more info in a week or so.

Our SWP25 port did not arrive in time so we used a demo WP25 port provided by H2O Photo Pros. In general a very good port. If you want to shoot macro you have to get very close to the subject. If you try to zoom you lose focus. On our camera it seemed the focus was lost when you were "1/2" way zoomed in on a macro subject.

We went with the Green Force 50s and FII batteries. We had some issues here.
1. We were sent two Squids one with a lightly frosted flat glass front the other with a more heavily frosted convexed front. The convexed front seem to give off better/more/wider light.
2. I don't like the way you turn on/off the lights. You just keep turning the power cord/plug clockwise until the lights come on. You had to be patient and sometimes turn back and forth until the lights would come on. It was not just turn to the right until stop and lights would power up. We had a consistent problem with one light, it would turn on only 1/2 the time; you really had to play with the cord, might be a short in the cord and this will be going back to the shop/mfg.
3. The 50s are great for macro or night dives. At night, in +60ft viz, the lights cover a large area say 25'x25'. So when we dropped in on a wreck at night more standard dive lights with a narrow beam were good for spotting the wreck, then using the 50s to light it up when we got in closer.
4. The 50s are not much use in high viz, daylight, WA settings. Just use the filter and WB.
5. The loc-line arms that it came with were wide enough for Mantas and Wrecks. For macro I "cut" them in half.
6. The FII batteries would last 3-4 dives. This is with them being used about 20-30min per dive.
7. If you can afford it I don't think you can go wrong with the bigger lights. But I don't know how one 150 or 250 would compare against 2x50s. Others may be able to help if you break out that question and make it another post.

System is negative, maybe 4 pounds. My wife mainly shoots the video. She carried it on almost every dive and did not find it much of a burden. I found it much easier to deal with than my still system.

White Balancing. We could not hold a slate and use the white balance feature. So I made an acrylic white board with holes, heated it and bent it over my thigh and attached stretchy webbing. Went over thigh like a pad, many thought it was a big white board for writing. This worked ok but you have to watch your depth if you are WBing in open water. I ordered a Gates white board that I had hoped would attach to the spot you can slide in a handle for the Gates housing. But it came with a loc-line arm that is meant to attach to the handle where your lights attach. So Need to get a Y loc-line fitting or need to come up with another plan.

Hope this helps. As I said I will know more in a week or so when I have gone thru all the tapes.

Edited by NWDiver, 12 February 2008 - 08:07 AM.


#4 ronscuba

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:34 AM

How much of the 4lbs negative is from the lights ? Were the batteries mounted to the bottom of the housing ?

#5 wolfeeldiver

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:00 AM

NWDiver.. thanks very much for taking the time to answer my questions, and for the comments on your new system. I really appreciate the info, that helps me better understand what I may be buying. Yea.. thats interesting about the white balance board mounting issues... Thanks again.

#6 NWDiver

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 02:48 PM

Don't quote me on the 4lbs, its a guess based on how much weight the wife had to take off her weight belt. I would say 1/2 the weight came from the batteries. And yes they were mounted on the bottom.