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Seacam Prelude 60D Review


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#1 Drew

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 07:41 PM

I went to 2 continents to dive with the Seacam Prelude housing and tested it more thoroughly than I've ever done before with any other housing or camera. I hope this helps those looking into this model:

Read on:

http://wetpixel.com/...ude-60d-review/

There will be another review for the Nauticam 60D housing very soon!

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#2 edmond320

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:31 AM

I went to 2 continents to dive with the Seacam Prelude housing and tested it more thoroughly than I've ever done before with any other housing or camera. I hope this helps those looking into this model:

Read on:

http://wetpixel.com/...ude-60d-review/

There will be another review for the Nauticam 60D housing very soon!

Hi Drew,
Very very nice report ! Thanks for sharing and I like the last page the most, Drew's setup tips !!
Thanks again.

Regards
Edmond

#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 03:45 AM

Thanks for such a detailed review, Drew.

Alex

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#4 StephenFrink

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:31 AM

I went to 2 continents to dive with the Seacam Prelude housing and tested it more thoroughly than I've ever done before with any other housing or camera. I hope this helps those looking into this model:

Read on:

http://wetpixel.com/...ude-60d-review/

There will be another review for the Nauticam 60D housing very soon!


Drew - Thanks so much for your very detailed insights on the Seacam Prelude for the 60D. I have been using one myself but have to admit I never even thought of using some of the custom functions you've suggested. You've clearly invested a lot of work and thought into this project, and I deeply appreciate your effort. Like Alex said, the "Cliff's Note's" are quite helpful!

PS ... hello from Wakatobi.
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#5 Drew

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:37 PM

Hopefully I'll have Harald's feedback on my review and post it in the review soon. I think it's important for the designer to talk about his design and the critics. The 60D is very menu driven and the user manual leaves a lot to be desired in terms of explaining those functions.

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#6 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:19 AM

Thanks for this Drew, are you planning to review any other 60D housings?
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#7 StephenFrink

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:34 PM

Drew - Thanks so much for your very detailed insights on the Seacam Prelude for the 60D. I have been using one myself but have to admit I never even thought of using some of the custom functions you've suggested. You've clearly invested a lot of work and thought into this project, and I deeply appreciate your effort. Like Alex said, the "Cliff's Note's" are quite helpful!

PS ... hello from Wakatobi.


Drew - I was thinking more about how I tend to use the Seacam Prelude for the 60D, and note that I deviate from your workflow. But, of course that's the beauty of the system in that it allows personal preference in set-up and application.

I shoot manual, of course. I have always shot manual shutter speed and apertures and strobe output. But, when navigating I leave the default on zone of AF, as that is the one I change most often during a normal UW shoot scenario. I think you said you prefer to leave on ISO. I would more likely navigate to that setting in the rare instance I'd change ISO in the course of a dive.

I find the 60D and Prelude a very simple, yet intuitive way to shoot. Plus, it is very light and ergonomic, as you've observed in your review.

Thanks again.
Stephen Frink - www.stephenfrinkphoto.com
Publisher - Alert Diver Magazine
Distributor/North America - Seacamusa.com
Travel - Waterhousetours.com

#8 Drew

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:54 PM

Stephen,
That cliff notes page was more a service towards 60D Prelude users to get them started than a workflow guide. I actually kept the QC cursor i@ FEC for when the strobes are primary light source (or fill) and @ ISO for natural light shooting and wide changing backgrounds.
Personally if I were to buy the Prelude, I'd ask Seacam to put it the extra buttons I want for the functionality I'd desire from my housing.

Drew
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#9 CheungyDiver

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 07:23 PM

Stephen,
That cliff notes page was more a service towards 60D Prelude users to get them started than a workflow guide. I actually kept the QC cursor i@ FEC for when the strobes are primary light source (or fill) and @ ISO for natural light shooting and wide changing backgrounds.
Personally if I were to buy the Prelude, I'd ask Seacam to put it the extra buttons I want for the functionality I'd desire from my housing.



Hey Drew

I have one Prelude (D7000) custom fitted with all the necessary buttons to restore full functionality. I am doing some thorough pressure testing at the moment. I am hopeful with the results.
You know my motto.... " its never good enough- so change and adapt it to your needs"

Cheers

David

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

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#10 Drew

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:01 PM

Ruh Roh! Does that come with the Seacam warranty? ^_^

Drew
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#11 CheungyDiver

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:50 PM

Ruh Roh! Does that come with the Seacam warranty? ^_^



Nope. LOL.....but it works. tested to 80m!!!!!
Any customization of this nature is requested by the client. I have a release form that the client signs. I do not relish perforating any housing if I could help it but in this case it was worth the effort. Seacam is one tough housing. Still holding well even with 6 "bullet holes" ^_^ LOL. It will be field tested in the next Wetpixel indo trips. So will be monitoring the mod.


Cheers

David

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#12 Paul Kay

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 12:24 AM

Drew

Many thanks for this - a very detailed review which must have taken a lot of time and effort!

May I add that one application area which has not been mentioned is that where someone has a specific requirement and needs a housing to fulfill this, then the Prelude range can be set to do just this. For scientists and others with a technical requirement of a housing, the Prelude offers an effective solution especially with the 150TTL because it can be preset for a relatively unskilled operator (but is still built to Seacam's Silver standards). In such circumstances, reliability and toughness (you would be horrified if you saw how some housings are treated - I remember seeing one which lived on the floor of a 10m diveboat, by the feet of the driver so that it could be stopped from slithering around in rough weather!!!) are absolute requirements, and having supplied housings to a variety of scientists over the years I can say that they work extremely well in this application but are often not used anywhere near their design limits - so the Prelude fits this niche rather nicely too. Whilst I can understand the parameters most considered in discussions on Wetpixel, there are users with other needs out there!
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#13 Drew

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 03:54 AM

Paul,
I could've sworn I wrote that I tested it with the SeaFlash 150 and played with Full Auto and Creative Auto. I'm separating the 150 review because I ran out of space ^_^.

That does remind me that I forgot to include pics of the nicks on the silver finish due to being knocked around in big seas. I'll do that in the addendum when Harald sends his comments on the review.

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#14 Paul Kay

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:18 AM

That does remind me that I forgot to include pics of the nicks on the silver finish due to being knocked around in big seas.

Thanks Drew I'll look forward to your 150TTL review. One of my problems is persuading everyone to use the Seacam Silver Oil which helps to protect the Silver finish once it has acquired some of the inevitable scrapes. I'm not sure how it works but it certainly does, even if applying it can be a little messy at times.
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#15 Drew

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 03:35 AM

I've always wondered how eco-friendly that oil is... I've never used it myself because of that. ;)

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#16 loftus

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 05:03 AM

Thanks, great review. Reaffirms my impression that the Prelude range is probably best suited for folks who already own Seacam, and especially those who may want to have two setups. With the limitations it seems hard to justify the Prelude for someone starting from scratch, or someone considering switching from another brand.
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#17 Drew

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:04 AM

That'd be an inaccurate assessment Jeff. Beginners could definitely use the housing for stills and to a lesser extent, for video. I think it's very much up to mindset and workflow. The results I got shooting way off my own workflow, shows it's a competent system. The auto programs work well enough and one can shoot in manual or assisted manual, especially with the SF150 in ETTL and learn a lot with feedback from the camera and strobes.
Sure it's not perfect, but which housing is really all encompassing? I certainly haven't seen a housing that has the same build quality of Seacam. I'd be interested to see Harald's feedback on my review.

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#18 loftus

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:01 PM

That'd be an inaccurate assessment Jeff. Beginners could definitely use the housing for stills and to a lesser extent, for video. I think it's very much up to mindset and workflow. The results I got shooting way off my own workflow, shows it's a competent system. The auto programs work well enough and one can shoot in manual or assisted manual, especially with the SF150 in ETTL and learn a lot with feedback from the camera and strobes.
Sure it's not perfect, but which housing is really all encompassing? I certainly haven't seen a housing that has the same build quality of Seacam. I'd be interested to see Harald's feedback on my review.

Not saying beginners couldn't use it; just seems illogical to me to spend that much money on a system that does not provide ALL the controls unless one is already invested in Seacam and / or it's a second rig. Limited control access is really an ergonomic issue, no matter how well the knobs move and the shutter releases. I think optical and electrical options is also becoming pretty standard fare, and can be considered a significant omission. There are a number of fairly equivalent systems that allow access to all controls and come pretty close to Seacam at least in ergonomics, such as Subal and Hugy. Even Nauticam is getting there. Sure Seacam allows for bragging rights, but otherwise it's just not that much better in day to day use.
It's also not clear to me that this rig is that much cheaper to build just because of 3 or 4 fewer buttons, than their higher end housings, which indicates to me that it's just a way of justifying the cost of the Silver housings.

Edited by loftus, 21 October 2011 - 12:09 PM.

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#19 Drew

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:43 PM

Thanks for reminding me... I forgot to add the prices! That shows that the Seacam Prelude is pretty competitive. There's obviously a premium with the accessories, but the quality is excellent. Although not always true, there is some validity to paying more for better quality too.
I think you are mistaking the D7000 for the 60D. The 60D has 2 aluminum housing options right now, Nauticam and Seacam. I'll be writing up the Nauticam next week. Then you can make a more informed opinion. ;)

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#20 loftus

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 01:00 PM

Let's just say the Prelude concept of less functionality in general is a silly idea in my opinion with the exception of those invested folks I mentioned, no matter which camera is in it. Just my opinion of course. Any idea as to how well they are selling?

Edited by loftus, 21 October 2011 - 01:01 PM.

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