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Ikelite for Sony HC7 VS. ????????


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#1 apneadiver

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 08:44 PM

Hi,
First post, thank you all for the valuable info I learned lurking around here :) .
Anyways I am a freediver by heart and am also very into underwater filming.
I recently purchased a Sony HDR-HC7 and need to purchase a housing. My budget as a student is extremely limited so I am pretty much settled on the ikelite. Being a freediver I have no use for any lighting and wouldnt have the time to use AWB on a short dive so those features are not that important for what I am filming. Small size is also a necessity for traveling.

My questions are, Has anyone used this model? What about any ikelite video housings. I hear problems of sticky buttons but is there anything I might be shocked to find out after the final purchase? Thanks for any help.

#2 TheRealDrew

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 09:00 PM

Like you S/N :)

Check out this thread for some thoughts on housings in general (someone was a free diver looking for housing)

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=22688

#3 SimonSpear

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:36 AM

I've used Ikelite housings a lot. They are reliable, light to travel with while still very hard wearing and a good choice for anyone on a budget because as we all know this underwater videography game is not cheap! They do have a number of points that you should consider though.

- They have a tendency to 'fog up', especially if exposed to the sun for any length of time.
- I'd be surprised if you'd ever be able to use the controls instinctively. Even after tens of dives you'll still end up having to take your hands off the housing and physically look for the control you need.
- They are difficult to keep stable in water and it takes a lot of concentration and diving skill to get still balanced images.

On the plus side I've never had a flood with an Ikelite housing and although at times I've cursed them for fogging at exactly the wrong moment, overall I've been delighted with them considering how much I paid for them compared to other models.

I'd advise looking at all options before you decide on which housing is for you, but I hope this helps a little.

Cheers, Simon

#4 jonny shaw

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 07:23 PM

I agree with Simon totally, the fogging up issue is a nightmare, especially around where I dive, where air temp is warm but the water can be cold.

The controls are actually pretty good to use but you do need to practise,

They are also harder to hold steady, but hey they are reasonably priced, robust, but they do lack good WA options. I will be interested to hear from someone about the dome port that I has been mentioned.

J

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#5 sjspeck

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 08:18 PM

Thought about the new TopDawg II? It's an aluminum housing so that might solve the fogging problem. And it's electronic so that might make using it easier while freediving. Although the controls are located on the base of the housing near the handles and not on the handles like other electronic housings. So it probably requires two hands to use all the functions.

Flat port only and no MWB. But as you mentioned you likely wouldn't have time anyway.

The base price is only $999. H2OPhotopros is bundling it with an external widescreen (HD?) monitor for only $300 more: http://www.h2ophotop...mart/Itemid,26/

Personally I'd rather have an external monitor than the Ikelite's mirror also. Seems like it would be easier to view. The new TD II also matches Ikelite's 200' depth rating now. For the same $$ I know what I'd do...

Edited by sjspeck, 05 March 2008 - 08:28 PM.


#6 topjake

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 02:21 PM

I just put an HV20 in an Ikelite housing and took it to Bonaire for 2 weeks.

It is my first UW set-up.

My experience with it was great:

Lightweight and easy to travel with.
Rugged and low maintenance.
No fogging issues for me.

You do need to spend time learning the controls, but that was pretty quick for me and I found it very easy to handle UW.

Balance was good . . . it is negatively buoyant, but "front heavy" if you add the additional wide angle adapter. You can balance it out by turning the weighted base around.

But for the price, value, etc I think it is a good deal.

I did not like the Ikelite mirror option and used the viewfinder exclusively. LCD and mirror very hard to see and the image is reversed. I wonder how well the external LCD's are to see in bright clear water?

Edited by topjake, 09 March 2008 - 09:51 PM.


#7 jonny shaw

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 04:11 PM

I have had a couple of issues with the reverse circuitry...

One big bonus from Ikelite though is their customer service... it is fantastic.

Jon

www.ginclearfilm.com
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GATES DEEP EPIC Based in Sydney