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Seacam polecam and electronic monitor


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#1 StephenFrink

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:31 AM

I used my Seacam polecam and electronic monitor for the first time (other than swimming pool work) last week with some blacktip reef sharks in Moorea. I can see will be useful for a lot of things, especially as the monitor is useful for underwater as well, to 80 meters like housing, and can be triggered from up to 50 meters away via S6 cord.

Here are the instructions for how I set it up: http://www.seacamusa...tructions.shtml

Here are a few sample shots:
Frink_FrenchPolynesia_2084.JPG

and



Frink_FrenchPolynesia_2128.jpg
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#2 loftus

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:45 AM

Steve,
You are a man that loves his toys. :) Will this only fit a Seacam Housing?
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#3 StephenFrink

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:47 AM

one more shot. Actually, this was the very first one I shot with this rig. As soon as I put the housing in the water the shark took a little nip right in front of the dome. This is with 15mm fisheye, so obviously quite close.

Frink_FrenchPolynesia_2104_2.jpg
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#4 StephenFrink

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:58 AM

Steve,
You are a man that loves his toys. :) Will this only fit a Seacam Housing?


Jeff - The polecam and trigger will work with any housing that has a remote connector terminating in S6, but the electronic monitor requires an electronic viewfinder. The viewfinder replaces the S45, S180, or Pro viewfinder with a special viewfinder that integrates a small video camera. It goes in the same viewfinder orifice, exactly like the other viewfinders. So, yes, Seacam only for the E-monitor.

Looks like some good fun for Shark Shootout this year!

Edited by StephenFrink, 18 May 2008 - 08:00 AM.

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#5 Giles

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 09:17 AM

Nice to see it in action ... looks like a nice little setup from the very first photo, and of course future use of this is really something to look forward to.

My question is though .. is it easy enough to do it on your own .. i see you had help holding the pole in that photo.

Who gets the credit for the image, the person holding the camera or the person with the screen ?

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#6 StephenFrink

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 09:48 AM

Nice to see it in action ... looks like a nice little setup from the very first photo, and of course future use of this is really something to look forward to.

My question is though .. is it easy enough to do it on your own .. i see you had help holding the pole in that photo.

Who gets the credit for the image, the person holding the camera or the person with the screen ?


Hah ... International supermodel and troublemaker I see :)

It is OK to handle by oneself, which I did for a number of shots in the series.

T132C0009.jpg

But, I did find it easier to use the boat driver to handle the pole, and in fact later put a towel over my head and the monitor so I could see the LCD better in the dark.

As for the photo credit, I clicked the shutter via a release button on the monitor, so I get the photo credit. The assistant in this case was the remote control for my remote control, responding to verbal direction as to where to put horizon and water/air juncture, etc. He essentially held camera in place, pointed in the direction I asked, and I watched through the monitor until the right action was in front of the lens, at which point I clicked the remote release.

It was nice to not have to have bare hands on the housing handles in photos like the one above.

Edited by StephenFrink, 18 May 2008 - 10:03 AM.

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#7 photovan

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 04:08 PM

so from that description, Version 2 of polecam will need to have the release button in-line, on the pole rather on the the monitor. With my low-tech, no monitor version, I have the release taped/cable-tied to the pole under my right hand.

Even with my no-frills version, Polecaming is more easily managed by 2 people.... passed to you when you are in position, taking it from you when you need a break, and depending on the length, moving it around the boat with housing attached. Awkward.

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#8 StephenFrink

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:21 PM

so from that description, Version 2 of polecam will need to have the release button in-line, on the pole rather on the the monitor. With my low-tech, no monitor version, I have the release taped/cable-tied to the pole under my right hand.

Even with my no-frills version, Polecaming is more easily managed by 2 people.... passed to you when you are in position, taking it from you when you need a break, and depending on the length, moving it around the boat with housing attached. Awkward.


Darren - The release in-line on pole is already an easy option, with or without monitor. In this photo you can see how it is triggered with remote mounted in receptacle on pole, under my right thumb. You can even run video goggle off the monitor if you wish, and trigger either with button on monitor, or remote cable release.

polcam_action.jpg

Edited by StephenFrink, 18 May 2008 - 07:23 PM.

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#9 photovan

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:42 AM

thanks Stephen, looks like it's the "real deal".
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#10 Undertow

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:55 PM

hi stephen,

cool rig and sweet shots. how does the pole mount to the housing, is it a ball joint?? how sturdy is this connection? I can't find any info on this kit on either of seacam's websites (seacam.com or seacamusa.com).

I'm curious about the pole as I've just built myself a rig using a gardening tool, a boat antenna holder, and a custom aluminum bar bolted across the handles. The rig is incredibly heavy and needs floatation so I'm chopping a body board to mount beneath. I have yet to get the rig working efficiently.

How does your rig handle weight-wise, especially when shooting over/unders with a strobe?? Is the connection sturdy under the strain? If compatible with my aquatica, this may prove far superior to my overweight macgyver rig. I do plan to eventually use mine for over/unders in a slight current.
Cheers,

Chris


#11 StephenFrink

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:23 PM

hi stephen,

cool rig and sweet shots. how does the pole mount to the housing, is it a ball joint?? how sturdy is this connection? I can't find any info on this kit on either of seacam's websites (seacam.com or seacamusa.com).

I'm curious about the pole as I've just built myself a rig using a gardening tool, a boat antenna holder, and a custom aluminum bar bolted across the handles. The rig is incredibly heavy and needs floatation so I'm chopping a body board to mount beneath. I have yet to get the rig working efficiently.

How does your rig handle weight-wise, especially when shooting over/unders with a strobe?? Is the connection sturdy under the strain? If compatible with my aquatica, this may prove far superior to my overweight macgyver rig. I do plan to eventually use mine for over/unders in a slight current.
Cheers,

Chris


Hey Chris - The Seacamusa.com site is mine, and there is polecam information in the "Tech Notes" section, or direct at http://www.seacamusa...tructions.shtml

My Seacam polecam rig itself is quite light, in terms of arm sections and trigger; but the housing + 1DsMKII is heavy. No getting around that. A smaller camera like a D300 would be lighter in terms of total package, of course. I'd be inclined to use a lighter weight strobe like an Inon Z240 for strobe work. The balljoints connecting polecam to housing on mine is quite sturdy, and I use the threaded socket and standard Seacam balljoint on the top of the housing for shooting horizontals.

top_mount.jpg

That won't work for verticals though, so I had the left handle modified to accept a ball as well.

handle_mount.jpg

Hope that helps.
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#12 Undertow

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:19 AM

thanx Stephen, that does help.

the question is then - when and where will these be available and do you know the approx cost of the pole alone? cheers,

Chris


#13 StephenFrink

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 06:54 PM

Looks like some good fun for Shark Shootout this year!


Here's what I meant by the Shark Shootout being good polecam opportunity:



http://www.sharkshootout.com
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#14 nathanm

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 04:51 PM

The Seacam site has prices for the polecam unit, but it does not say what combinations are used. What components constitute a full set up?

#15 StephenFrink

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 05:13 AM

The Seacam site has prices for the polecam unit, but it does not say what combinations are used. What components constitute a full set up?


Nathan - I just sent you that information via e-mail.

To recap:

E-Eye viewfinder (replaces normal viewfinder on Seacam housing with video viewfinder)
E-Eye Monitor (not essential for polecam work, nor is E-Eye monitor, but I am assuming you want to see what the camera sees, and not work "approximate" like a conventional polecam)
3/8 ball adapter for top of housing
Ball-head left handle (for shooting verticals, new item not on price list yet)
Polecam pole unit
Spare battery for monitor (not necessary, but prudent)
Cords (cord from viewfinder to camera remote comes with the E-Eye viewfinder, additional cord length is 16 euro per meter so the one going from viewfinder to monitor will be 204 base price for cord with S6 at both ends + letís assume 3 meters, which means the second cable would be 204 + 48 = 252 euro)

For everything I use for my polecam and electronic viewing system, the cost is about 7,500 Euro.
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#16 StephenFrink

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:21 AM

update - we clarified polecam bits and pieces on the seacamusa.com site as follows:

http://www.seacamusa...omponents.shtml
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#17 StephenFrink

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:22 PM

Used the polecam again in Guadalupe last week for great white sharks. Worked out quite well, but I wish I would have had another day to use it. My wrangler and I were just getting the rhythm dialed in and then I went back to the cages. The biggest issue was not being able to bring the bait close to the polecam. If that were possible I'm certain I could have gotten some killer "bite" shots. Meanwhile, these were with Seacam 1DsMKIII, 16-35II at either 16mm or 27mm, and polecam + electronic monitor:

StephenFrink_Guadalupe_37.jpg

StephenFrink_Guadalupe_21.jpg

StephenFrink_Guadalupe_22.jpg

StephenFrink_Guadalupe_2.jpg
Stephen Frink - www.stephenfrinkphoto.com
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