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Seeking Video Advice

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#1 chris_l


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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:16 AM

I've been doing underwater photography since 2002 but always with a smaller point & shoot. First I had an olympus C4000 in the pt-010. I currently have a Fuji F30 in the fuji housing with an Inon D2000 strobe. The fuji is sometimes frustrating because it does not have full manual controls.
My ideal setup would be the canon S90 if it had HD video, but it doesn't.
I've gotten to the point where I'm having more fun taking videos underwater than photos, so I'm considering a dedicated video setup.

So now to my questions.
I see that canon is offering the WP-V1 case for the HF20 & HF200. I do not plan on using video lights. Can you do manual white balance with this setup?
I've seen reference to an underwater mode on these cameras? Has anyone used this and how good is it? Does it have a sweet spot as far as depth that works well with it? Would a filter be better?
If I did decide to add a light, what is the recommendation?

I also see now there is the WP-V2 for the M31, M30 and M300. What is advantage of these cameras over the ones for the WP-V1?

A few more details about what I'm after:
I realize there are better video setups out there, but I'm trying not to break the bank. The price point for the canon is acceptable, but at the upper end of what I want to spend.
I usually dive once a year on a live aboard. I will be going to the Galapagos in May, so if I get a video system I need to act fast to have it for that trip.

Is there a recommended video software package? I have both PC & Mac, but I'll probably be getting a new PC laptop with i5 core.

Thanks for any and all info.


#2 Drew


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Posted 14 March 2010 - 09:34 PM

The Canon case is a very basic setup and you can't MWB AFAIK. Unfortunately there is no low cost housing with full controls.

Do a search in the production sub forum for editing suites. It's been talked about often.

"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

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#3 sjspeck


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Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:04 AM

I handled an HF200/WP-V1 for the first time last night. There is no MWB option. My buddy has done the U/W mode update so now he has it as an option permanently. He won't be shooting the camera for 2 mos.

It seemed like a reasonable housiing for the money. It has 5 controls, power, photo, zoom/tele lever, rec start/stop and a fifth button that acccesses the rightmost control on the touchscreen - what I saw it used for was to switch between photo display modes. I'm not familiar enough with the camera to know what other functions it has. Judging by the icon on the camera it appeared that you could cue/review video footage with it also. We didn't have access to the manual so weren't able to confirm that.

One feature lacking is a control to press or move the little joystick type control on the left edge of the LCD screen - that might be one way to possibly access MWB. I shoot Sony gear so am not all that familiar with Canon cameras.

One other thing to know that we discovered after playing around with it a few minutes:

If you buy non-Canon batteries, there is a startup sequence which requires you to remove the camera from the housing to get past the battery warning since you need to move the cursor to acknowledge it using the joystick LCD control.

Anytime the camera goes to low-power mode or is shut-off you have to do it again. So this means that you'd have to disable the power-saver mode and never touch the on/off button while filming. Of course this is not an issue with genuine Canon batteries.

If you're on ScubaBoard there's a long thread discussing the WP-V1 in the U/W Videography forum.

Edited by sjspeck, 16 March 2010 - 12:10 AM.

#4 ronscuba


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Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:36 AM

The scubaboard thread is monster long. Does the housing come with a filter ? Any of the footage out there shot with a filter ?

#5 chris_l


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Posted 18 March 2010 - 06:51 AM


I did find the scubaboard thread. Some good discussion there.

Not much info on yet on what the cameras in the wp-v2 add/subtract from the original setup.