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Light & Motion D-200 housing


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#21 Barrett Heywood

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 10:46 AM

Thanks, David. Sweet website, BTW.

If anybody wants to see more images and/or larger images, they are posted here. http://www.uwimaging...s/d200_more.htm

:-) Barrett
Barrett Heywood, CEO
Light & Motion
www.uwimaging.com
www.bikelights.com

#22 Barrett Heywood

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 02:49 PM

Let me address the handle design first. The D100 handle had a lot of advantages. Push buttons were right at your finger tips and easy to see. However, we believe we have improved the user experience for several reasons.

There are 5 controls that are accessed when setting up most shots.

a) shutter release/half shutter
B) focus lock
c) shutter speed
d) aperture
e) ROC strobe control

We wanted all those controls easily accessed by the user's right hand to facilitate one handed shooting. One handed shooting is important because frequently the left hand is posting (gently) to establish a stable shooting position.

The Titan D100 used push buttons to control shutter speed and aperture. There is an argument and I think a good one that frequently the user wants to stop down several stops quickly. A rotary dial facilitates this. Imagine shooting a trigger fish that is feeding along a reef. Sometimes the background is the surface. Sometimes the background is the reef. With a rotary dial you could quickly change from f11 to f5.6 and back again.

I should say a word about our rotary dials. They are non-penetrating electromagnetic. This eliminates the need for o-rings which is always a good thing. But it also provides a smoother control because there is not any o-ring drag to overcome.

The Titan D200 controls all run off of the camera battery. So there are no lithium batteries to replace. This is a convenience that we believe will be appreciated.

As for the 1:1 viewfinder, we don't have final pricing yet, but it will competitive with the Subal which means around $1000.

One thing nobody has asked about yet is the LCD screen underneath the camera's screen. This screen does a couple things. It will provide feedback when accessing Mode, Exposure comp, Bracketing, QUAL, ISO, WB, and ROC.

One thing I think will be particularly cool is in the review mode. When reviewing the image/histograms, you will also be able to see strobe output and Shutter Speed and F-stop on the LCD.

We should have our fancy flash drive web page up next week sometime that will show all the details of the control set.

-Barrett
Barrett Heywood, CEO
Light & Motion
www.uwimaging.com
www.bikelights.com

#23 climbrox

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:28 PM

One handed shooting is important because frequently the left hand is posting (gently) to establish a stable shooting position.


I can tell you're used to diving the California coast where surge is a common issue for photographers and not bath water in the Carribean where you're bound to get very nasty looks for posting. It's nice to see the Northen California roots reveal themselves in the product design.
David
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#24 james

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 04:22 PM

Hi Barrett,

Firstly let me say that we really appreciate your posting here at Wetpixel. We strongly encourage manufacturers to post here and in return get relevant user feedback about product ideas. Also, let me say that Dan loaned me a Titan D100 for the 2004 Digital Shootout and it was fabulous to use and really saved my butt when my Fuji S2 setup died.

I have a few comments about your D200 housing and I hope you'll take them the way I intend.

It looks to me like your D200 housing has taken all that I liked about the D100 and gotten rid of it, and and at the same time, the price has gone up a lot :-(

The thing that made your IR controls so great was that they were on the handles. I can tolerate electronic controls (I see them as just one more thing to fail) as long as there is a benefit. For example, replacing a mechanical aperture shaft and knob on the housing with a duplicate electronic device makes no sense to me. I don't see this type of USB control as a positive that I should pay more for, but rather as another "version 1.0" electronic that can fail resulting in a bad bad end to my international photo/dive trip.

Is there any way that the handle controls can be offered as an option?

I guess what I'm asking for is a Titan D100 housing, but rev'd up to version 2.0 - meaning a magnified viewfinder and other slight improvements, but keeping the same design principles.

Seeing the CAD model that you posted, the first thing that I thought was that your D200 housing looks exactly like the Subal housing, but with electronic controls and at an additional cost of about $1,000. In my experience, I think you should offer some additional features (handle controls, built in Heinrich's TTL controller, etc) besides USB control and ROC for that premium.

If you could offer a plug-in module for the Matthias Heinrich's TTL control circuit board, as a supplement to ROC, that would be a reason to pay extra.

This is my contructive feedback - I hope you are very successful with this housing.

Cheers
James Wiseman
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#25 Kasey

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 02:23 AM

Chime in guys - Barret just invited us to comment on a universal housing with perfectly ergonomic controls. I don't think it needs to be huge - probably a little smaller than my D2x housing would allow for every future iteration of Nikon's semi-pro lineup. No other takers???
Seacam F100;D2x; 60mm;105mm;16mm;17-35; 10.5mm;12-24mm
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#26 Kelpfish

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:19 AM

The thing I like about the Titan D100 is that if one arm fails I can use the other arm as a back-up. I use the Ike dual sync cords and I can merely switch ports and use the laft handle to control roc, etc. I am all about redundancy and have made that clear on a few of my Wetpixel posts. I have had WAY too many electromagnetic knobs fail on me in the past, mostly on dive lights, but enough to worry me about that feature as a one-dial setup. Maybe electromagnetic use has improved in reliability, but I haven't heard any ground-breaking news. However, like all have suggested, a larger housing that can accommodate varying control prongs for different cameras. For the D300 perhaps.
Joe Belanger
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#27 PRC

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:46 AM

Well first of all Hi Barret, it is great that you have posted and I would love to hear from more of the industry. I have no doubt that this whole community could be a fine resource for your design efforts. Wish there were a similar community in my area of work.

No other takers???


Well I am torn both ways - I have just taken a bath on selling my old housing that was still in very fine shape and as my day job is electronics design I have a view on electronic related controls.

In all of my in water activity I avoid electronics like the plague - don't get me started on wireless contents gauges. I have just seen too many electrons disperse the wrong way on intimate contact with salt water - it is a very tough environment.

In my day job, the marketing guys would get a bit uncomfortable over selling the equivalent of a long lived universal housing - "what are we going to sell next year ?" I hear them say. This market is quite small and may require high turnover of equipment to make it viable.

Having said that I figure our marketing types would soon figure out the potential of upgrading electronics and replacing toasted bits and bobs.

<disclaimer> I am not in marketing and the sector that I work in does not relate to this one.

Think I still want mechanical controls. :lol:

Paul C
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#28 Ryan

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 02:21 PM

I'll reserve judgement on this housing until I hold it in my hands. I love the idea. If properly implemented, this is "revolutionary" (light & motion is going to have to find a new adjective some day). But only if the electronic controls are more ergonomic, and tactile, than other options already on the market.

I dove titan d100 housings for over 2 years. I wasn't all that thrilled with the ergonomics of the handles, and I hated the spongy shutter release, but I loved having independent lighting control at my fingertips, allowing me to independently adjust my flashes. I carried spare electronics, and I used them, but overall I don't think I spent any more time under the hood than I do w/ needle nose pliers, duct tape, and mechanical housings.

I really dig that the lcd will show strobe output, that was something I wished the titan d100 embedded somehow in exif, so I could answer those "what the hell was I thinking" questions after the dive.

I have no desire to implement TTL circuitry in my own housings. I've done it dozens of times for customers, but it doesn't fit the way I shoot.

I love that a company innovates, rather than copying their competition to improve (ok, so maybe the viewfinder isn't so innovative). I get frustrated by many vendors of underwater housings, especially the ones that make the same mistakes over and over again.

There is lots of promise here.

founder of Reef Photo & Video
manufacturer of Zen Domes

distributor of Nauticam in the Americas

 

n2theblue at reefphoto.com


#29 Barrett Heywood

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 02:42 PM

There’s a lot to comment on here.

Light & Motion is utilizing USB to better place the sub and main dials than could be done mechanically given the constraints of touching and moving the camera's sub and main dials. Whether we are successful will be up to users and we will have to wait for the functional prototypes which are still a couple months out.

I really like the D100 handles as well and still love them as a video handle. But I think the sub and main controls are better as a dial than a push button.

Now potentially we could have made dials on a handle and then talked to the housing via IR. However, we wanted to eliminate the need for primary battery cells. I think having one battery to run the whole system is pretty nice when possible.

James mentioned that the function of the one handle could be swapped for the function of the other handle. So if one handle goes down the other handle can be used with the other’s functional controls. This is very true and for video this is very useful since the handles are primarily used for play, momentary focus, and zoom and all those controls are on one handle.

Our photo handles are a little different in that you need both handles to control shutter, aperture, and ROC. Conceptually, you could lock down shutter speed and control aperture and ROC and be fine, but you’d really prefer to control shutter as well without continually swapping handle function.

What you really want is for the product as robust and redundant as possible. We are attempting to do this by moving to a single battery powered system, minimizing the number of PCB's, environmentally sealing the few PCB's that we have, and allowing for user installable replacement boards.

Joe mentioned having a bad experience (or several) with electromagnetic dive lights. I have no intention of rolling Princeton Tec under the bus b/c they make some great products and scared the heck out of Petzl in the headlamp market. But they shipped a bunch of lights with reed switches that didn’t work so well. The technology has come along way since them (early 90’s) and there are many very reliable electromagnetic switches to choose from. (google magnetic encoder IC for more info)

In my view pure mechanical solutions are limiting. My goal is to make a housing that is a transparent conduit to the camera. So I don’t want camera’s controls to necessarily determine the placement of the housing controls.

Whew, that is enough. I think I’ll comment on a universal housing in another post.
Barrett Heywood, CEO
Light & Motion
www.uwimaging.com
www.bikelights.com

#30 Barrett Heywood

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 02:49 PM

Quick thought on a universal housing.

It becomes much closer to reality if users could do without some rotary dial controls on the camera. Controls like

- Focus mode (C, S, M)

- Lens release

- Shooting Mode (dial on upper left of body)

- Metering Mode (dial to right of viewfinder)

- Focus area selection (dial under multi-selector)

- AE-L/AF-L (maybe we could upgrade to this one per housing)

Take the above controls away and a universal housings is fairly straight forward. At least that's my 10 minute take.

:-) barrett
Barrett Heywood, CEO
Light & Motion
www.uwimaging.com
www.bikelights.com

#31 Kasey

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:44 PM

An upgraded back could solve most of the useful controls here. Focus area and AE-L being the most important ones to me. MSC less critical now that we have more AF-S options.

Perhaps universal housings are not as important now that digital is hitting maturity. I intend to shoot my D2x for a LONG time. Interesting concept nonetheless.
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#32 okuma

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:22 PM

I would like to just say "THANKS" to Barrett for posting.
Other than Ike, don't get that much conversation with manufactures!

Allan
Underwater Photography:
If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

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#33 jarhed

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:17 PM

Second what Allan said!

Thanks!!!!
John B
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