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Universal VidDSRL housing


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#1 Long John Silver

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:05 AM

Hi all,

Given that Italy is very far for most of us :D
I would like to share with you the link to a "new" italian housing company which produces a universal camera hosing. The Leo II
They use a USB control with a programmable piece of hardware which in minutes makes compatible nearly all DSLR available.
With the advent of VidDSRL camera this housing could be of interest also in this forum.

At the beginning of 2010 here on wetpixel most of the users were skeptical about this housing because it was lacking of some important features...
This housing was initially produced nearly two years ago and the company has continuosly improved and added new accessories and features. Now, nearly all those req. were implemented: Professional back with 12 more controls, video back, magnifying viewfinder and recently also a second hand control for video.
You change camera just update the software control or, if you have two camera you can just change the little electronic board between the dives. Canon 5d and 7d works with the same software so you just change the camera.
This the Leo II page in english


Weeks ago, professional italian film makers Alessandro Beltrame and Luca Coltri shot a promo video for this housing using a 5DMKII, usually they use a fat Panasonic HVX 200 with Gates housing (still used for the backstage) and they were impressed by the quality of the clips taken with the camera.

Disclaimer: I do not work for Easydive nor I get something from them ^_^


[vimeohd]14541256[/vimeohd]

#2 Drew

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:46 AM

That's a very interesting design. I like the universal approach and the added bulk and handles should give a bit more stability. Looking at the available view finder options in the housing backs, I can see the housing is optimized to use live view mode, which doesn't bode well for continuous shooters on the 5D2, because in LV mode, it is only 1 shot per click. The Easy View looks small and being flush against the housing has to make for even harder viewing.
It would be interesting to see how it compares to a more conventional housing design and also what other functions can be used with the USB commander.

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#3 Long John Silver

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:09 AM

That's a very interesting design. I like the universal approach and the added bulk and handles should give a bit more stability. Looking at the available view finder options in the housing backs, I can see the housing is optimized to use live view mode, which doesn't bode well for continuous shooters on the 5D2, because in LV mode, it is only 1 shot per click. The Easy View looks small and being flush against the housing has to make for even harder viewing.
It would be interesting to see how it compares to a more conventional housing design and also what other functions can be used with the USB commander.


You are right. Also the Real View solution seems odd and it's not for video.
Probably this is the reason because Beltrame and Coltri are using an external monitor.
Anyway the company seem to be very responsive to user feedback. They have a forum for their users. They posted that they are working on a special back for video.

In June, they added dedicated video controls on the left handle for the 7D and 5DMKII:

Button 1: LIVE VIEW (ON/OFF)
Button 2: REC / STAND-BY
Button 3: PRESET WITHE BALANCE
Button 4: AUOTOFOCUS
Button 5: MANUAL FOCUS -
TASTO 6: MANUAL FOCUS +

Would be nice hearing directly the opinion of the two videographers

Bye

#4 SimonSpear

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:10 AM

Very interesting! If you can access all the controls electronically then it could actually work really well. I looked on the website and I wasn't 100% sure of what controls were available:

Controls (standard):
Shutter priority +/- Shutter speed??
Diaphgram priority +/- f stop??
Preshutter Release hmm focus?
Shutter Release take a photo?
Iso +/- ok obvious!
Mode ok
Exposure compensation. am I being dumb when I say I don't know what this could be??

Obviously it says the video model also has record on/off and a control to enable the video mode. I guess from this that there is no access or ability to MWB so you are going to be reliant on lights?

Cheers, Simon

#5 SimonSpear

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:14 AM

I was slow in posting above!! Thanks for the info on the additional controls. Just one question on Preset White Balance - is that based on temp adjustment?

Also I agree a high res monitor would be excellent - maybe something like a housed HDMI monitor.

Cheers, Simon

#6 Long John Silver

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:35 AM

Very interesting! If you can access all the controls electronically then it could actually work really well. I looked on the website and I wasn't 100% sure of what controls were available:

Controls (standard):
Shutter priority +/- Shutter speed??
Diaphgram priority +/- f stop??
Preshutter Release hmm focus?
Shutter Release take a photo?
Iso +/- ok obvious!
Mode ok
Exposure compensation. am I being dumb when I say I don't know what this could be??


Yes the translation is is a little bit odd.
You are correct, shutte release means Photo and preshutter is the "pre-photo" that I guess is like you slightly press the photo button and the camera set everything to shot.

Exposure compensation is ... +- EV

#7 wagsy

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:17 PM

Yep that's it. ^_^

I can drive my camera via software via laptop and often thought if someone makes a universal housing using this same method, they are onto a winner.
Good to see a company is doing just that.
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#8 Drew

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:04 PM

The video shows the dome isn't optimized for 16-35 II. The corners are soft even in the video. I used a 200mm dome and that couldn't get the corners decent until f8. It will be important for the optics to be good. Perhaps an adapter for other brand ports?

Interesting to see the setup. I usually setup the 1/2 shutter for AE lock and * for AF lock. Would be nice to take both a 7D with the 5D2 instead of the 1D4.

Even I'm not going to jump into a forum run by the manufacturer and tell them how to design a housing. E piu, tutti in italiano. Io ha dimenta come scrivato in italiano! ^_^

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#9 jonny shaw

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:46 PM

Very cool.... and I like the idea that's it fits multiple cams

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#10 echeng

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:08 PM

A few embedded images:

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eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#11 sea squirt

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 07:12 AM

I am sure that this represents the future - light and motion tried something similar with the Titan housing for the D200. When someone gets this right it will certainly revolutionise equipment purchase. May be a wake up call for the other housing manufacturers. I originally bought a D200 to house but then got cold feet over the price and the lack of upgrade path only to buy a second hand subal this year. A "universal" housing would solve all of these problems especially if a large monitor was included

congratulations and look forward to seeing some really rapid evolution on this front


d

#12 acuevas

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:35 AM

What I think is missing in this housing is an external view finder, an external view finder not only magnifies the image but also gives more space for the regulator, not to mention if you are using a rebreather.

The problem with the external view finder is that different cameras means different position of the view finder.
Maybe custom backs in order to locate the external view finder for a specific camera. ^_^
Regards
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#13 ronscuba

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 11:57 AM

The video shows an external monitor in a separate case mounted to the housing. The concept is great and is used on camcorder housings. The ability to rotate and tilt the external monitor is a great aid in framing and positioning the camera to get the shot.

Edited by ronscuba, 01 October 2010 - 12:48 PM.


#14 acuevas

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 01:40 PM

The video shows an external monitor in a separate case mounted to the housing. The concept is great and is used on camcorder housings. The ability to rotate and tilt the external monitor is a great aid in framing and positioning the camera to get the shot.


But using an external monitor means that you are using live view, that might be good for video but is not so good for still pictures.
Regards
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#15 lorysub

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 04:56 AM

But using an external monitor means that you are using live view, that might be good for video but is not so good for still pictures.


Hi, sorry for my english.
I have un Housing LEO II for use with CANON EOS 5D MK II, with 2 remote control.
This housing is Super!!!
we have the Easyfinder and we have not a problem for use.
with this housing I have this control:

Right control:
1) autofocus/shutter
2) only autofocus
3) Shutter priority +
4) Shutter priority -
5) Diaphgram priority +
6) Diaphgram priority -
7) button 3+4: Iso change

Left control:
1) on/off Live view
2) rec/stand-by
3) preset WB
4) Autofocus
5) Manual Focus +
6) manual focus -

for any question do not esitate to write me!
best regards

#16 Long John Silver

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 05:21 AM

Hi Lory,
Did you tried to shoot some video with it?
How are the results?

Drew pointed out that the video we saw seems to have the border a little bit soft.
Is it a problem of the dome used? So which dome do you use and which lens?

How is its weight underwater? And the balance?

Could you post some photos of your setup?

PS
Sorry for my english too ^_^

Edited by Long John Silver, 04 October 2010 - 05:25 AM.


#17 lorysub

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:25 AM

Hi Lory,
Did you tried to shoot some video with it?
How are the results?

Drew pointed out that the video we saw seems to have the border a little bit soft.
Is it a problem of the dome used? So which dome do you use and which lens?

How is its weight underwater? And the balance?

Could you post some photos of your setup?

PS
Sorry for my english too :)


Hi the housing it is very easy, and also the function.
we go to realize a picture of my housing and then we go to post
I use the 5D MK II with 16-35mm with extention 30 and Dome port without problem
Best regards

#18 Drew

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:31 AM

Hi Lorysub
Can you post an underwater still photo using the dome with the 30mm extension and dome? I don't doubt you but the physics seem to say otherwise for clean corners. Even their own video has soft corners. In my experience with the 16-35 II, it needs a 57-60mm extension to get the nodal point to the right place.

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#19 lorysub

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:44 AM

Hi Lorysub
Can you post an underwater still photo using the dome with the 30mm extension and dome? I don't doubt you but the physics seem to say otherwise for clean corners. Even their own video has soft corners. In my experience with the 16-35 II, it needs a 57-60mm extension to get the nodal point to the right place.


hi tomorrow we send the pictures, but for the distance depends of the position of the lens of the camera!
but if you prefer we think there other extention.
by

#20 alessandrobeltrame

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 02:39 PM

Hi everybody, I'm the filmaker that has used the Leo with Canon 5D. The author of 5 minutes about Leo.
I'm not only an underwater filmmaker, I'm using the 5D for over 2 years in external shooting, and I think to know some tricks about it.
I'm a professional cameraman and I could answer in useful mode about video, not the same about photos, I like a lot shooting photos, but I play with still and I work with video...

Some considerations:

The external monitor is really useful, but it's poor quality compared to back display of 5D, so it's important to check always the focus and it's not easy with external one.
I've forced Easydive to add the monitor, because I'm used to video housing, but the quality of custom Canon Display is really better. And the problem is that it's not possible to have both. I think because the video OUT of 5D is not so good.. composite.. probably HDMI could be better, but not in HD, because Canon has interdict this option (HD HDMI OUT, only HDMI SD OUT)

I usually use M mode (manual) then I put the shutter to 50 and move the ires to have a correct exposure... that's why the progressive scan make a strobo movement if too hight, so 50 shutter is close to 25 frame for second that is PAL standard.
Then let you have more deep of field, and in water, where is not so easy to have always the correct focus, it could be useful.

The "best" optic is 16-35... but I've tryed the 100 mm macro and it's really amazing... but only for particular use.. (macro)

The full frame and quality of 5D is amazing... and the feeling is similar to BBC Planet Earth production.. and with a 1500 Euros camera is not so obvious.

The camera sensibility (in my experiments I have set 400 ISO) permits you to use not so strong lights.. normally with video cameras we have 250 W x 2 halogen, here the leds could be enough, but in the 2 minutes about Leo I have used 2 75 W HID.

The software now is ok, after some release it is like the situation of the camera connected to a laptop by USB cable.

I hope these could be useful indications for now...

ciao

ale