Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Aquatica/Amphibico Wave HD


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Roger Eve

Roger Eve

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Sussex, England
  • Interests:Amateur u/w videography. Warm Waters only :-)
    Sailing, Flight Simulation....
    Enjoying a healthy (so far) retirement :-))

Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:44 PM

If any one has any experience with the latest version of the Wave HD for the Sony CX700 I would really like to hear from you. I really do need to get smaller and lighter, and it looks a good option as a recreational housing.

Thanks for your help and advice.

Roger

Edited by Roger Eve, 04 March 2012 - 12:44 PM.

Roger "Bones" Eve - Arundel England

#2 r4e

r4e

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 137 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern Finland

Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:04 PM

I have had generally very good experiences with the previous Wave HD model for Sony 550 or MC50 which I am using. About a hundred dives with this configuration and many rough rides on a RIB boat. I dive mainly in icy cold dark murky waters with gloves on.

I am extremely pleased with the overall ergonomics allowing effortless continuous video shooting. The main advantage is the positioning of the LCD screen so that you can view it both from the back and also from above allowing optimum video framing all the time whilst swimming in proper horizontal trim. I like the wide angle. I also like the light weight of the configuration, very good for air travel. The newer housing is still a bit lighter than mine.

Combined with camera's image stabilization (I use the mid setting) and the two sturdy handles, the video image is very stable. However, most of the time I hold only the left handle and use my right hand for aiming my lamp. Here I have to be careful to use modified fin kicks instead of full kicks, or otherwise there will be slight wobble in camera angle and uneven speed when gliding over objects.

I have learned to be careful in loading the camera into the housing and do it well in advance of the dive(s). Whilst sliding the camera tray in, you have to be careful with the cables and the on/off bar as these might prevent the tray from sliding fully in. Couple of times I have forgotten to lock the tray which will become apparent during the dive. Thus I run through all the controls after I have closed the housing. I am not fully pleased with the housing latches. The double locking of the other latch is a bit soft and it might open from contact. For peace of mind, I have secured both latches by covering them with duct tape.

Knock on wood, the housing has not leaked yet despite my minimal maintenance. Max depth sofar has been 55m. I do rinse/soak the camera after dives, but often this takes place many hours after diving. I have not bothered taking the main O ring out except a few times a year. I do a visual check and slide my finger on both the O-ring and the opposing metal before closing the housing. Sometimes there appears white powder at the edges and I wonder whether this is salt or oxidization of the aluminium.

The lever for the red filter is very light. It is possible to inadvertently have it move slightly during surface action thus causing an unfiltered light leak or shadow in the picture. Thus I try to remember to check it during descend.

If shooting fully upwards, the LCD screen might lean backwards on the control buttons thus causing undesired operations on the touch screen. This has occurred only a couple times and can be prevented by playing with buttons to reposition the screen and then not pressing too hard on the Rec button.

In my first videos I was too reliant on autofocus. The benefit of autofocus of course would be sharpest focus. But I have learnt that autocus might pump in and out in darker conditions with less contrast in sight and also might be distracted by water particles, lamps or even dust reflected from the inside of the dome. The single click manual focus is very convenient in this respect. In the beginning of the dive I setup the manual focus once and then forget it.

I recommend using fastest memory cards if shooting full HDMI. With lesser cards I have noticed occasional dropped frames in continuous video shooting.

Some minor grudges:
- After about a hundred dives, the cord for the hydrophone must have come loose at the other end. No sound anymore. Need to fix.
- The rolling knob for doing manual adjustment of exposure, focus, color shift etc does not get a reliable rubber to metal mechanical contact on the corresponding camera control. I have tried adjusting this further in/out, but the contact is more or less fiddly and cannot be relied on. Gave up on this one. On the other hand, the single click manual focus works and has been sufficient.
- The dome port is sensitive to scratches. I have couple of times clipped the camera on a chest D-ring and thought that the camera would be safe enough. Unfortunately some small scratches have appeared on the dome and are visible in certain lighting conditions. In order to prevent further damage I now take the neoprene dome cover in my pocket and protect the dome when not in use.
- The touch screen controls cover all controls necessary for recording. More than pleased with this. However, for playback review whilst U/W it is difficult to select a given clip for review.

For clips shot with this camera/housing combo, please see vimeo.com/r4e. I have tens of hours of more recent (and better) video waiting for edit.

Despite these grudges I am overall very pleased with this camera/housing combination. The main reason is light weight and ergonomics. This has made me hesitant in investing in a new and heavier housing for my 1DIV with 1.3 crop factor requiring FF lenses. With an external monitor and the 8-15mm this might be doable, but I am still not sure whether the possible (hoped-for) improvement on image quality is worth the investment.

vimeo.com/r4e

http://www.cerella.fi for the Underwater Photographer and Videographer

 


#3 Roger Eve

Roger Eve

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Sussex, England
  • Interests:Amateur u/w videography. Warm Waters only :-)
    Sailing, Flight Simulation....
    Enjoying a healthy (so far) retirement :-))

Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:31 AM

Thanks R4e,

That is a really excellent reply, and very reassuring. I think the newer version answers some of your grudges. I assume the wide port is acrylic, and therefore fairly easy to repolish. One further question, how easy is it to use the one touch white balance?

Thanks again,

Roger
Roger "Bones" Eve - Arundel England

#4 r4e

r4e

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 137 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern Finland

Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:32 PM

This applies to the Sony 550/MC50 (the Sony CX700 might be different):
1) Point camera at sand or something grayish, remember to use your lamp if you intend to use it,
2) decide whether you want to use the red filter of the housing
3) click any key on touch screen
4) click menu (on touch screen), this activates "My Menu"
5) click WHITE BAL which I have preconfigured in My Menu
6) click ONE PUSH to select mode
7) Click the button below it to actually do the balancing
8) click OK.

So actually 6 clicks, but you should be able to do this in 15-25 secs even with gloves on.

For deeper or night dives and cave dives I cheat and select OUTDOORS at step 6. This matches the color temp of my lamp. You can preset the camera to outdoors beforehands and then shutoff the camera, it will remember the outdoors setting.
Another way to cheat is to put the camera into auto whitebalance and not to turn it on until you have reached your destination depth. Thus you will not need to click anything in the menus if you are lucky.

The camera has a tendency to overemphasize the reds if nothing red can be found. This can be seen as red noise or red flaring if you point the camera towards the surface. That's why including more or less light from your torch is useful when whitebalancing.

vimeo.com/r4e

http://www.cerella.fi for the Underwater Photographer and Videographer

 


#5 Roger Eve

Roger Eve

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Sussex, England
  • Interests:Amateur u/w videography. Warm Waters only :-)
    Sailing, Flight Simulation....
    Enjoying a healthy (so far) retirement :-))

Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:40 AM

Thanks again for your help. The latest Wave doesn't seem to have the buttons on the screen, so I will really need to see one to check out how easy it is to operate the white balance.

Best wishes

Roger
Roger "Bones" Eve - Arundel England

#6 r4e

r4e

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 137 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern Finland

Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:59 AM

Looking at available pictures of the newer housing and comparing to handbook page 124, remote controller for the Sony 560 camera, it would seem that the buttons on the housing are:
- Record
- Tele
- Wide
- Menu up/down/left/right and Enter
- Photo/Video

Please note that the housing does not(?) seem to include a Play/stop button and that the camera manual states that some buttons on the LCD cannot be selected by the remote control up/down/left/right buttons. The latter would seem to be camera specific. And perhaps you can access playback via the menus. You might want to test try using the camera via the Sony remote control. However, Aquatica state that you CAN access white balance.

Aquatica seem to have also changed the touch screen button layout of the older housing for Sony 550/MC50.

Good luck to you, Roger.
Richard

vimeo.com/r4e

http://www.cerella.fi for the Underwater Photographer and Videographer

 


#7 Alan B

Alan B

    Brine Shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:04 AM

If any one has any experience with the latest version of the Wave HD for the Sony CX700 I would really like to hear from you. I really do need to get smaller and lighter, and it looks a good option as a recreational housing.

Thanks for your help and advice.

Roger


Roger,

I have been using an Amphibico/Aquatica Wave housing with my Sony CX700 since October. Still learning, but have had some good results. Have an ongoing issue with a missing remote cradle, but I have temporarily fixed this with cardboard packing. Found the housing good to use, but when filming Sperm Whales in Dominica recently, had issues with seeing the monitor while swimming rapidly with the housing held out directly in front of me, and tilting it back slightly to see the monitor caused me to have a few clips with the whales at the bottom of the frame. The housing wasn't designed for freediving with whales, and would be better with a shroud over the monitor. That said, I found the monitor very good when scuba diving. The UR Pro filter flips up easily, and when not wanted, so I removed it. Look at videos for Alan Beckhurst on Vimeo.

Alan

#8 Pete L

Pete L

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 421 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney Australia

Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:18 PM

G'day Alan,
Good to see you here on wetpixel. There are a few diveozians on the wetpixel pages. Looking forward to some more of your videos.
Cheers Pete.

My Vimeo page vimeo.com/user8157547

PHOTO - Canon 7D-Nauticam Housing/60mm macro/10-22mm/twin Z240 strobes.
VIDEO - Panasonic HVX200/Gates Housing/EM43 Monitor/SWP44/L&M Sola 4000s.