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Cheap housing?

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#1 EllieBellie


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:11 PM

I recently started taking photos underwater, with a cheap $25 camera that I bought in Mexico.. that takes pretty bad pictures.
But I'm really into movie making, so I thought I would try doing some underwater filming. I have a Panasonic PV-GS500, but because it was fairly expensive (for my age, at least.. I'm only 15.) and I'm sort of nervous about bringing it underwater.

Soo... I was thinking about buying a video camera for 400-800 dollars, and then getting a housing for it... but I'm not really into the whole spending $5,000 for the housing... is there anyway to get one for around 1,000 that's still good quality?
So I'm just curious about what a good camera is that's fairly cheap, but still has good quality... and a good housing that won't break or anything. I was also concidering instead of paying a lot for the lighting to just get an underwater flashlight and attaching it to it to save money.. but I'm not sure if that actually works?

Or maybe I should just stick to photography. I didn't get my scuba license that long ago, so do you recommend waiting a bit? I have good buoyancy and everything, so I thought I would be okay.

#2 Scuba_SI


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:18 PM


If you are not looking for HDV, and you are happy with old fashioned DV tape then you can find some bargains on places like wetpixel and eBay.

But be very careful of scammers on eBay, i almost got caught by someone selling an Amphibico housing a while back.

You could maybe play on your age a bit and ask some of the housing manufacturers directly, it doesn't hurt to ask, and they may have some returned or part exchanged stock that they cant really sell, but don't want to give away.

I'd try light and motion first as they had some part exchange deals going recently.

They also make the top dawg housing which will take loads of different cameras.


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#3 danielandrewclem


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:23 PM

You might try looking at B&H online to see what kinds of u/w video camera and housing options they may have in your budget range. Some of the sponsors over on the right side of the wetpixel page sell video stuff, too, so you can browse among them as well.

If you're new to diving you shouldn't think about plunking down thousands of dollars on a digital SLR camera and u/w housing until you really know that you're going to dive often enough and/or be serious about taking u/w pictures. It's entirely possible to buy a decent point-and-shoot digital and u/w housing for it for a total of less than $500. You can get good pictures with that set-up while you get more comfortable with diving and consider whether you really want to get into this stuff. The other upside of waiting a bit is that the equipment on the next level gets cheaper all the time, and people also start selling their used stuff on places like wetpixel and eBay. So maybe after a year of practicing on your point-and-shoot (not that you can't sell photos from such set-ups) you can find yourself a good deal on a used Canon SLR and its used housing.
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#4 EllieBellie


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 04:10 PM

Thanks for your help. :)

What I was thinking about was getting the Sony DCR-TRV280 camera, along with either the "Top Dawg mini housing" or "Stingray III Sport." I'm not too sure about quality, or reputation with any of this equipment, so feedback would be appreciated. Does anybody know the difference between those two housings? They are the same price on the sites I was looking at, and look the same to me.

I'm not going to be going to buy anything until the end of May, so if anything else comes up, please let me know.

And as far as getting used to it goes, me and my friend are going to snorkel around with it a lot in her pool, and in a lake before taking it diving.

Thanks again! ^_^