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Gates Housing for Sony PMW-EX1


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#1 DeanB

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 09:21 AM

Hi all,

Just received this... ;)

The design for the EX1 is coming along nicely and I wanted to give you information that has been released by the design department. We are still looking at end of June for shipping and still in the $7000.00 retail (no ports). Port options have not been worked out yet.

These are individual controls. Some access more than one function.

1. Rec/Stdby
2. Zoom
3. Power On/Off/Media
4. Menu
5. Picture Profile
6. Sel/Set (Roller)
7. Manual Focus
8. Manual Iris (with a lockout feature to avoid damage to the camera)
9. Assign 1 / 3
10. Zebra / Full Auto
11. Macro / A/M Iris
12. A/M Focus
13. ND Filter
14. Gain / WB Presets
15. WB Set
16. Color Correction Filter
17. Flip Diopter (not confirmed)

You will be able to change batteries and SxS flash cards without removing the camera from the housing.


So far so good...

Dive safe

DeanB
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#2 limeyx

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:13 AM

Hi all,

Just received this... ;)

You will be able to change batteries and SxS flash cards without removing the camera from the housing. [/i]

So far so good...

Dive safe

DeanB


Nice, sadly a bit out of my range at the moment!

#3 SimonSpear

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:39 PM

The battery and flash card replacement without removing the camera from the housing is a great feature.

I wonder if any of the existing SWP ports will work with the EX1? If not there could be a bit of a delay getting one designed and on the market (as with the FX7/V1's SWP44B), but a Standard Port with a WA lens inside could work ok initially. I've got that set up for the V1 and to be honest at the moment I've got no intention of forking out another $4000 for the SWP as I just don't need it for the forceable future.

At $7000 that's probably going to be 1/3 of the price of the Deep Red if the rumours are true!

Cheers, Simon

Edited by SimonSpear, 22 February 2008 - 01:40 PM.


#4 Dixter

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 06:38 PM

I'm sure its going to be nice but at the price and the fact that you'll need to add a port(s), lights and extra's which means even more $$$$$

I'm going to have to pass..... ;)

Edited by Dixter, 22 February 2008 - 06:40 PM.


#5 pmooney

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 06:44 PM

I'm sure its going to be nice but at the price and the fact that you'll need to add a port(s), lights and extra's which means even more $$$$$

I'm going to have to pass..... ;)



Assuming you have the budget for the camera - what price would be acceptable for a full featured housing ??

#6 Dixter

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 07:01 PM

Well, I'm still shooting with my PD170 and I'd like to move to HD UW but everything about HD is high $$$$$
New computer, new software, new camera (EX1) so on and so on .....

I purchased a HV20 just to play with HD and get the Computer and Software where I think I need to be and I'm there now... but I'd like to have a better Cam for UW work than the HV20...

Maybe NAB will have somthing???

I'm just hoping that someone comes in with a housing for the EX1 thats not going to cost me an arm and leg to put it under water....


by the time you add the cam, housing, lights ... your at ~$20000.00

#7 Nick Hope

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 11:17 PM

I got that email too from Gates and this is how I replied:

I don't know how the control works on the EX1 to do a momentary auto focus and also switch back to manual focus, but please include a control for it if you can!

I don't see peaking listed. Again I don't know how that is controlled but it is something I would find very useful.

Also it would be great if you could somehow include a flip ACHROMATIC diopter. The Century +3.5 would be great. I know it's a different thread size but that might not matter for a diopter.

Also I know some users, possibly including me, would like to stack 2 diopters in there, so please think about including room for that if it doesn't detract from other aspects of the design.

Having said all that I am likely to be a late adopter of this camera. I just can't justify the cost any time soon.


#8 Drew

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 11:11 AM

Let me answer some of those questions so Pam or John won't have to bother.
Being multiple element, an achromatic diopter would be thick. +3.5 diopter is about 2" thick. The distance between the port vertex of a dome port and the lens element of the camera would be too far apart, causing vignetting unless of course they make a port hole big enough, which would mean a bigger housing. In otherwise, not worth the hassle to make it a flip feature, especially with a specific SWA lens.
Peaking and zebra seem to be part of an internal display that doesn't come out of the video out (either HDMI or component). Unless that changes in the Sony design, I doubt those features will ever be available on external monitors.
Also made this the official thread for the Gates housing for this camera.

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#9 Nick Hope

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 10:24 PM

Let me answer some of those questions so Pam or John won't have to bother.
Being multiple element, an achromatic diopter would be thick. +3.5 diopter is about 2" thick. The distance between the port vertex of a dome port and the lens element of the camera would be too far apart, causing vignetting unless of course they make a port hole big enough, which would mean a bigger housing. In otherwise, not worth the hassle to make it a flip feature, especially with a specific SWA lens.

Where do you get the 2" from Drew? The Century is 21mm thick including the threads (18mm without the threads and the glass itself even less). Granted it's a 72mm thread and the EX1 is a 77mm thread (I think) but a little zoom should get past any vignetting shouldn't it? Mark even managed to fit 2 of these stacked inside the Z1 Gates housing. As for the SWA lens, well I would quite happily remove the whole flip diopter arrangement if using that. I would only want to use it with a flat port.

A flip diopter would really be a useful feature. Typical scenario... you're all set up for macro with your diopter screwed to the camera to shoot nudis etc and then a mimic octopus swings past. You zoom right out but the shot just isn't what it could be if you could get that diopter out. Exactly this happened to me in the Lembeh Strait. The video is OK but it would be even better if I could have flipped the diopter out of the way.

However I would rather sacrifice the ability to flip for the sharper image of an achromatic. I don't think I will ever use or purchase a single element diopter with a flat port again, having used an achromatic.

Peaking and zebra seem to be part of an internal display that doesn't come out of the video out (either HDMI or component). Unless that changes in the Sony design, I doubt those features will ever be available on external monitors.

OK but allowing it to be displayed in the viewfinder would be better than nothing for a quick check. Would be a huge help with macro work.

#10 Drew

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 06:14 AM

Where do you get the 2" from Drew? The Century is 21mm thick including the threads (18mm without the threads and the glass itself even less). Granted it's a 72mm thread and the EX1 is a 77mm thread (I think) but a little zoom should get past any vignetting shouldn't it? Mark even managed to fit 2 of these stacked inside the Z1 Gates housing. As for the SWA lens, well I would quite happily remove the whole flip diopter arrangement if using that. I would only want to use it with a flat port.

That was a brain fart on my part but the physics still stands. You can't make space for even 18mm from the lens element distance and not suffer from vignetting and other optical issues when using a SWA lens. An achromatic flip is just too thick. Mark used a flat or dome port and stacked diopters. To makes space for the diopter flip AND the filter flip is asking the housing to be super big and then you get buoyancy issues as well.

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#11 JohnE

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:08 AM

Greetings to all, and some answers/comments:

* The EX1 is not compatible with the SWP44. Not only does it have a wider FOV and would vignette with the SWP44, but the internal camera optics are simply not compatible. The EX1 has remarkably different optical characteristics than previous cameras. For example, look at the focus specification published by Sony and note the ‘break point’ at 800mm:

Focus: AF/MF/Full MF selectable, 800 mm to ∞ (MACRO OFF), 50 mm to ∞ (MACRO ON, Wide), 735 to ∞ (MACRO ON, Tele)

We are working on a SWP44C model compatible with the EX1.

* Drew - you are quite correct about space limitations. The housing has 0.75” / 19mm between the inside bulkhead and the camera face. In that space we have to fit the filter, guide and camera alignment collar. (This has been included in our designs since the XL H1 housing. It holds the camera precisely aligned to the port, and is critical when using any SWP for proper performance.) The Century +2.6 is 1.2”/31mm already so it could not be used in a flip mechanism. I expect it will be OK affixed to the camera. We are still examining the inclusion of a single element diopter in a flip mechanism.


Cheers,

J-

#12 Drew

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:53 AM

Thanks John for the information.
FYI for those who have not played with the camera, Shutter Speed is adjustable via the camera menu so long as you activate the Shutter control to on before putting the camera in. You can choose to have Auto Shutter ON in the TLCS menu or set it manually in the Shutter menu under Camera . It can also be adjusted via the Direct Menu settings (which has to be set at "Part") and the Set/Jog Dial. Gain and WB is also adjustable this way. I'm sure the manufacturers know this already but just in case people start asking for functions already there.

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#13 Nick Hope

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 05:33 AM

* Drew - you are quite correct about space limitations. The housing has 0.75” / 19mm between the inside bulkhead and the camera face. In that space we have to fit the filter, guide and camera alignment collar. (This has been included in our designs since the XL H1 housing. It holds the camera precisely aligned to the port, and is critical when using any SWP for proper performance.) The Century +2.6 is 1.2”/31mm already so it could not be used in a flip mechanism. I expect it will be OK affixed to the camera. We are still examining the inclusion of a single element diopter in a flip mechanism.
Cheers,

J-

John, what thread diameter is that Century +2.6 you are talking about?

Maybe you could fit the Canon 500D 77mm achromatic diopter in there on a flip arm, or allow room for us Heath Robinson folk to do it ourselves behind a flat port? I would even be happy to pull out the CC flip filter and replace it with that for a macro dive. It looks much slimmer than the Century and should be preferable to a single element diopter. Single element diopters really show their crappiness in high definition.

#14 Drew

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 06:21 PM

The Canon 500D diopter was not as good as my older Century Optics diopters, and that was for SD.
With the space constraints with Gates (for example), to make an achromatic diopter fit on an arm, they need to make the housing port hole BIGGER, so as to allow the camera to be moved back to make space for the diopter. Then they will need a bigger port system and of course a MUCH bigger SWA lens. Of course the housing has to be bigger as well. And suddenly you have a $10k(arbitrary number) system with no use of legacy accessories. How appealing is that now vs a flat port and screwing in your filters.
I know Fathoms has been designing a +2 standard lens for years but no one has bitten. Perhaps you should go get one made for yourself Nick :) Tell me how it goes.

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#15 JohnE

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 06:26 PM

The Century +2.6 is 86mm and requires a step ring.

We'll take a look at the Canon.

J-

#16 Nick Hope

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:15 PM

The Canon 500D diopter was not as good as my older Century Optics diopters, and that was for SD.
With the space constraints with Gates (for example), to make an achromatic diopter fit on an arm, they need to make the housing port hole BIGGER, so as to allow the camera to be moved back to make space for the diopter. Then they will need a bigger port system and of course a MUCH bigger SWA lens. Of course the housing has to be bigger as well. And suddenly you have a $10k(arbitrary number) system with no use of legacy accessories. How appealing is that now vs a flat port and screwing in your filters.
I know Fathoms has been designing a +2 standard lens for years but no one has bitten. Perhaps you should go get one made for yourself Nick :) Tell me how it goes.

John has already told us that there is 19mm between the inside bulkhead and camera face. He has also told us there should be room for a 31mm-thick Century screwed to the camera. I'm not familiar with the design of the Gates alignment collar but a CC filter arm is say 3mm thick and the Canon 500D looks about 10mm thick. Sounds feasible to me, in theory at least. If they're going to bother doing a flip diopter then on this level of housing it should be the best one possible, within the other design constraints.

#17 Drew

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:42 PM

Nick
I don't think we are on the same page here.
Shooting out of a flat port without a wide angle converter is limiting. Including the 25% magnification, you turn a 31mm lens into a 38mm lens. If you are saying you are happier with a narrow FOV just so you can have a achromatic diopter flip then that's fine. Things would be better with a dome port that compensates for the refraction, you still have just a 31mm lens. Sure it beats being stuck with a +X diopter in the front. It is probably very useful for you since you require maximum flexibility. Which is why I mention wideangle lenses. With a +2 diopter and medium wideangle lens built into one lens, that would give you even more flexibility.
Another issue of getting thinner diopters is the drop in quality which you are complaining about. The 500D were designed for still cameras. The duo element glass just didn't give a good picture compared to the thicker CO diopters.

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#18 Nick Hope

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 04:05 AM

Yes Drew I'm talking about dedicated macro dives. Lembeh Strait type stuff with a flat port on and wanting to get the diopter out of the way for the odd medium-close shot.

I hadn't really considered a diopter behind a wide port. L&M had to make 2 different flip macros for their flat and 80-degree ports so I was assuming that the Century and Canon achromatics would probably not work properly behind anything other than a flat port. I was also assuming that you get that bit more magnification with a diopter behind a flat port as opposed to a dome port.

#19 Aqua Luminous

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:11 AM

A Century achromatic diopter +2 or +3.5 will not work with the Gates dome port and my Z1, I tried both when Mark and I were in Lembeh Strait and the results were bad. The flat port is the way to go. I do think that a "PRO Housing" should have all the the bells and whistles so to speak (use of achromatic diopter and CC filter @ same time and access to all Settings etc..) because they sure ask that in there price!

#20 Drew

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:43 AM

Scott
Thanks for that insight. Optically, I didn't think it'd work but regardless, it proves the point there's no such thing as a free ride. Physics comes into play as well as the nature of the camera's controls. I mean looking at the PMW-EX1, it's a mess of controls but with control of the menu settings you can pretty much control the entire camera's tweaking ability.
My previous posts illustrate the difficulties and feasability of having multi-element diopters and filter on flip controls. If you think the present system is expensive, imagine when you can't use your old ports because of the new port system. And the higher costing big SWA because it has to allow for the camera to be set back 10mm to fit a diopter.
A more likely solution would come from having multiple screw mounts on the camera plate. With a bit of space in the back, you can move the camera back and fit the flip diopter and move it back for SWA work. Or get a custom 70-80 lens with +2 diopter capability. :)

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