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Sony HDR-HC1 with Ikelite housing


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#1 LERF

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 11:28 PM

The Ikelite housing for the Sony HDR-HC1 is possibly the most affordable one available to date. A purely mechanical housing, it offers access to almost all functions of the camcorder, incl. the inevitable manual white balance via the touch screen menu. It also includes an extra buttton for the more advanced, pro-like model Sony A1. The extra button allows you to program the manual white balance, so that you don't have to go through the touch screen menu, however the A-1 costs much more than the HC-1 ! So much more that you'd almost be able to purchase the Ikelite housing with that amount!

Detailed infos on the housing from Ikelite's website:

Housing measures 6" wide, or 10.5" wide with the removable handle bar attached; 8" high including the removable base; and 11" deep including knobs and port. Weight above water is less than ten pounds.

Molded of clear polycarbonate to provide seamless construction and corrosion-proof performance. This "Clearly Superior" design provides full view of the camcorder, control functions, and assurance the system is safe, allowing you to see if the case is sealed.

Super Eye magnifier for the optical viewfinder is included, providing enhanced viewing while wearing a diving mask. External #9290.94 Side Mount Mirror is included to provide viewing of the color monitor through the clear housing. Reversing electronic circuitry shows correct left-to-right image.

Space is provided to allow use of the optional Sony NP-FM50, NP-FM70 or NP-QM71 batteries.

The base removes instantly with a unique toggle clamp for traveling or attaching of the optional Pro Video-Lite II battery pack. The handle assembly detaches from the housing by removal of just two nuts for packing.


All camera controls can be accessed with this housing, including both manual and auto focus.

All touch screen menu functions are provided which allows white balance. The A1 allows assigning white balance to the right-front push button for which a control is provided.

Housing includes image reversing circuitry so objects appear correct when screen is viewed using the mirror.

* Power on/off/memory
* Recording start/stop
* Zoom control
* Tele Macro
* Expanded Focus
* Exposure on/off
* Exposure adjustment
* Photo button
* Manual Focus Ring
* Focus Lock switch
* Back Light button
* Glass lens port
* Viewfinder magnification and
* Mirror for viewing screen included
* Removable external UR/Pro Filter
* Accepts external wide-angle lenses
* Accepts NP-FM50, NP-FM70 or NP-QM71 optional batteries

For pics of the housing, go to: http://ikelite.com/w...o/sony_hc1.html


Please share your comments, views, tips, tricks using the HC-1/A-1 with Ikelite housing here. Thanks to all contributors!
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#2 larsdennert

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 07:29 PM

I've been talking with Ikelite about this housing since July. Could've been June actually. It was before the camera was even available. They have done more of a job than I expected from discussions. They took the prototype to DEMA to display and then made revisions for production. My housing has been on order but I don't know if it shipped last Friday. I don't want to bother Glenn or Ike anymore. I suspected they could include touch screen controls as they did it with the Sony PC series but I didn't want to hope too much.

I tested my camera in a TopDawg and found it usable but not excatly what I was looking for. The Ikelite should do the trick.

Obviously I'll post when the housing comes in.

#3 MikeVeitch

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 02:58 AM

Would be great to hear your thought Lars, this is shaping up to be the most popular camera in a long. long time

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#4 ikelite

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 09:04 AM

We remain interested in any suggestions you care to make. We do have a price dilemma as it really should be probably $1,300 suggested retail rather than $1,100 currently listed. Just have not had nerve to change. Yet............

#5 larsdennert

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 07:25 PM

I could see how the price could be $1300 like the HC1000 housing but that housing also comes with the UWL100. Less controls though... Ah well that's why I'm in the buying of housings business and not the building of.

You'll have to see how demand keeps up. So far this is still a rare camera and rarer that people will take the plunge with it. Hopefully I will be taking the plunge soon? :) I commend you for the fast production.

#6 mack

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 07:41 PM

Hi

I was wondering how the IkeLITE housing handles sound.

Do they have a external microphone?
Does the sound of the camera get recorded when it is in the housing?
If you film above water with the camera in the housing is the sound very muffled?


Thanks
Mack

#7 LERF

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 10:20 PM

Waiting for my Ikelite to come but as far as I know, the camera can record some of your bubble sound through the housing. There's no connection for underwater external mike, we amateurs usually just add in music and comments during the editing. Who wants to listen to an hour of bubbles anyway? :( Any other sound or noise from the camera's motor,record head and tape drive might be recorded but has no impact on the editing anyway.

Unless you plan to shoot commercially, I believe the more advanced cameras such as the A-1, FX-1 and Z-1 have external XLR inputs for sound and housing manufacturers such as Amphibico might have more professional housings with exxternal underwater mike connection. Of course they come long with a much heftier price fator!

Hope this helps. :D
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#8 nshon

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 12:34 AM

Hi

I was wondering how the IkeLITE housing handles sound.

Do they have a external microphone?
Does the sound of the camera get recorded when it is in the housing?
If you film above water with the camera in the housing is the sound very muffled?
Thanks
Mack

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Just for kicks, heres a 35 secs clip in MP3(96kbps) taken from my Ikelite housing with no external microphone(?). Camera sound does get recorded.

#9 LERF

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 04:25 AM

Yup, that's the kinda of sound I get to, bubbles and inhalation from my regulator. I usually overwrite that most of the time during editing, leaving just a few seconds of that sound just to prove that the recording is indeed genuine! :(
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#10 DeanB

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 06:51 AM

Yes i must admit a lot of viewers of my film welcomed the sound of a few breaths ..Made them feel like "they were there"

Just don't over do it..Or it sounds like one of my late night private phone calls..??? Or you have been chosen for the darkside..

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#11 meekal

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 08:08 AM

for the 'bubbles/breathing" sounds what i ended up doing was getting a nice couple of minutes (no ancilliary sounds like the pop of o-rings tightening up or clunks of the retractor bumping the camera etc) and then i made it into a loop that i play at about 50% normal volume in the background.... that way it's there, but only during the 'quiet' parts of the music (and therefore ususally at the beginning before the music kicks in) nobody has ever noticed that the bubbles in the video don't match the bubbles in the audio.

the MAJOR benefit that this provides is that i import WITHOUT the sound in PPro. that way PPro doesn't have to 'waste' its time during editing doing that &$*%&% CONFORMING AUDIO of audio that i'm gonna turn down 100% anyway. in the editting process i import that 1 little LOOP and the various musical scores.

#12 nshon

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 08:32 AM

for the 'bubbles/breathing" sounds what i ended up doing was getting a nice couple of minutes (no ancilliary sounds like the pop of o-rings tightening up or clunks of the retractor bumping the camera etc) and then i made it into a loop that i play at about 50% normal volume in the background.... that way it's there, but only during the 'quiet' parts of the music (and therefore ususally at the beginning before the music kicks in) nobody has ever noticed that the bubbles in the video don't match the bubbles in the audio.

the MAJOR benefit that this provides is that i import WITHOUT the sound in PPro.  that way PPro doesn't have to 'waste' its time during editing doing that &$*%&% CONFORMING AUDIO of audio that i'm gonna turn down 100% anyway.  in the editting process i import that 1 little LOOP and the various musical scores.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Good idea, might try that on the next edit to see how the effect goes.

#13 mack

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 09:31 PM

Hi

Thanks for comments on sound.

I WANT SOUND, because I film/dive without tanks, and so parrot fish nibbling coral is all good stuffs, conversely I don't whirring sounds of the camera.

I will ask IkELITE what they can do for me - and let you all know.

Mack

#14 meekal

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 11:00 PM

that's gonna be tough one.... i seriously doubt you'll be able to get those nibblin' sounds with an INTERNAL microphone and NOT pickup the whirr of the camera... i know it's not the same, but i was less than 2 feet from a Goliath Grouper going BOOM and the microphone didn't pick it up... it might have been too low on the frequency scale, but i can tell you i FELT it. (http://piddlefish.se...CUBA/video.html then choose Tug Sheridan - NIGHT - highlights - around the 3:40 mark)

i know you're talking about the IKELITE housing... but maybe this can be 'juryRIgged' to your system:

http://www.gateshous...ries.html#audio

#15 LERF

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:29 AM

Hey Mack, this might be an alternative for you as well since you only snorkel and skin dive: http://ewamarine.de/english/index.htm

It provides protection up to 10m depth and might be able to record more sound than conventional solid housings since it's flexible.

Ewamarine also offers 1 year warranty on their housings.

Cheers!
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#16 LERF

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:23 PM

Ikelite just raised the price of the HC-1 housing to $1300! :P
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#17 ikelite

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 05:45 PM

Too many controls, mirror reversing circuitry, etc............

#18 LERF

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 06:45 PM

$ 950 to $ 1100 to $ 1300........no extras..........will it ever end? :P
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#19 larsdennert

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 10:59 PM

Sorry to hear about the price hike. Maybe I can help relieve the tension.

I recieved my housing today and it is beefy. I took some more detailed pics and posted them at www.larsdennert.com/hc1 I won't link them here because they are large 7mp but I'll ref them in some comments.

First the bad. The flash is occluded at close distances which I expected to happen.


The reversing circuitry functions only in Tape mode and when activated, some functions do not work. Not a problem as there is a switch to go back and forth. It really is an ingenous system and functions through the LANC.


The two wands reach most settings but can't quite reach ones in the very center of the screen. Things like, adjusting sharpness can't be reached. The two wands can easily be tweked a bit but really the necessary touch screen functions are accessible. I did yet not check every option though. The wands plunge and rotate and they can be flipped to use a shorter or longer finger.


Ok rant finished. It has access to so many more controls than LANC housings that I can't see using anything but the Ikelite. The focus ring is activated in a very slow/fine manner for tuning though I think I like the slide selector to autofocus and then lock. The Exposure control and zoom rockers work very smoothly.


Oh, both displays are on simultaneously with the panel being reversed or forward. The enlarged viewfinder seems like it will actually be useable through a mask too.

More pics on my website and I will be diving with it this weekend most likely. It also came with a filter. What did I miss? Oh, so far, thumbs up!!

#20 MikeVeitch

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 02:07 AM

Thanks for the heads up Lars, i am sure there are a ton of people waiting with baited breath to hear about your first dive. Sounds like a great product.

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