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UW (not diving) project


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#1 butterflies

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:37 AM

Hello,
I have several ideas for photography/images from just under the surface of the water. Think of amphibians that mate and sprawn in pools, so shallow that diving would not be an option, amongs many other ideas.
I have been floating (still am) between buying a gopro or another compact with housing, a Nikon AW1 or a housing for my DSLR. Alternatively I would built a waterproof tank myself. Whatever I decide, it will depend on the connectivity from the UW-system with a gadget on land. I need to see what the camera sees and must be able to change camera settings. The only way to do this comfortably is wired through USB. Wifi, I think, is not really an option when you work with RAW files.

I have been reading a few reports about modifying the flash port of a commercial housing in a way that it was tranformed into a USB slot, but I do not really want to go this way, unless somebody can suggest me a simple solution with an existing housing.

The software that enables to communicate with a camera through USB, is, as far as I know, only compatible with DSLR camera's. That excludes compacts from the project. If some of you knows of software (or hardware) that would control a compact, i would be happy to here. A good compact would be a great option in some of the locations where I want to go, because of the shallow water.
Lastly, a gopro hero has too limited manual control for serious photography.

Remains the DIY option. I could built a tank for a DSLR and buy a waterproof USB connector, a waterproof USB cable and put it together. Then i will have a tablet on land to communicate wired with the camera.
But I fear condensation problems. I guess, these are of the same magnitude as with a commercial housing. Or not! Especially regarding this potential hazard, i would be happy to get some advise. Would I need a sort of ventilation system. I could make a tube that connects the air in the tank with the air on land and blow air into this. I am just thinking. I don't know. Or would this make things worse?

But also, i would be happy with any advise, any suggestion, any potential issue that has slipped my mind, of how to realise this project of having a camera just under the water surface and communicate with it being on land.

Many thanks,
Rob

#2 Vondo

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:20 PM

New cameras (including some P&S) are starting to come with Wifi. I assume you want a live image and then a way to trip the shutter? I presume something like the Canon 6D can do that and that an Ikelite housing would not interfere too much with the Wifi. No need to drill anything or have waterproof connectors.



#3 SteveB

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:20 PM

Wifi does sound like a good option.

You can control the Canon Powershot P&S cameras via USB. There is also the option of using CHDK (Google it) and writing a script to control the camera (eg. Use motion detection and then shoot a range of bracketed shots). Some of them also have IR remotes.

The only thing that you may or may not have considered is just how big a housed DSLR is, when you try to get it into a pool.

 

Steve.



#4 butterflies

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:10 PM

Wifi for two reasons, is not a good option.
1 no more then 5 inches through water.
2 very slow on transferring data (RAW files)

I didn't know anout the canon powershots, that you can control them through usb. Could you also share with what?
I will check that out and see if there is some manual control on them.

Oh yeah, I do realise the size of the housing. That is why I started researching other options in the first place.

#5 SteveB

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:20 PM

I don't have it installed on my machine any more. The Powershot camera controller is similar to the EOS utility that comes with DSLRs. You can zoom, (auto)focus, adjust shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc. The version I had ran on a PC.



#6 butterflies

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 07:09 AM

And there is Live View??

#7 SteveB

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 11:21 AM

Yes.



#8 DiveMasterDewey

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:38 AM

Would a simple mirror do?  Then you would not even need to get your camera wet.

Another possibility is to build a periscope (using two mirrors).  Then you could operate your camera 'topside' and still see underwater.

 

Here is an example.  Someone made a periscope to shoot video underwater without getting the extremely high-speed video camera wet.  


Edited by DiveMasterDewey, 25 October 2013 - 10:40 AM.

Alan Dewey
Reef Photo & Video
n2theblue at
reefphoto.com
 

S.D.I. Scuba Instructor

S.D.I. Underwater Photographer Instructor

 

www.AlanDewey.com

 

www.AlanDewey.Photography


#9 butterflies

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 01:28 PM

I have been drawing more than one periscope. I can do some things with it, but the main problem, that kept me from realising this option, is that I cannot do any wide angle photography with such a system. What you see at the mirror is a rectangle the size of that mirror.

Still I will probably create a system for some work. So I will take a look at your link.
Thanks for the thoughts anyway.

#10 Tom_Kline

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 04:33 PM

I have some experience with non-diving UW photography shooting fish spawning behavior. This has been done using the Seacam system which has several remote control options. My primary lenses are fisheyes. I use manual exposure and strobe settings but rely on AF, which needs to be fast and work under dim illumination. Batteries need to last for hours. I am posting some recent pix done of Dolly Varden Charr spawning in very shallow water. The smallest ones were about 4"/10cm long, the larger ones about 8-10"/20-15cm long. The set up shot shows some rubbish that was left there in the 1980's. The challenges of this location include stained water (though not as bad as other locations in my area) and air bubbles from a series of waterfalls.

Tom

Attached Images

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Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
www.flickr.com/photos/tomkline/

 

 


#11 SteveB

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 01:54 PM

Is that your typical lighting setup for those shots Tom ? It's a bit hard to see in the picture. Could you describe it please.

 

Steve



#12 Tom_Kline

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 04:38 PM

Is that your typical lighting setup for those shots Tom ? It's a bit hard to see in the picture. Could you describe it please.

 

Steve

The photos you see above were taken with that set-up. The EOS-M shot was taken during the shoot - same fish are in the topside and UW shots. Basically it is a Seacam housing with a D2X inside and a Seacam Seaflash 150D strobe with diffuser mounted on an A-frame rig made up of a blend of parts from various companies. 10.5 mm lens and macro fisheye dome port.

 

I used this same rig yesterday and did some shots of the setup as well - it is the housing located to the right, downstream (third pic, the one that is closer to the set ups). The other Seacam housing has a 1Ds3 with 8-15mm fisheye inside, a wideport and the Canon version of the same strobe.  Fish are Coho Salmon. It is very shallow, you can see the dorsal fin of the alpha males sticking above the surface. It has been a relatively warm and wet autumn so the stream is high and still slightly trubid with glacial sediment. The stream was much higher during the summer - you can sort of see this by the sediment leading into the forest and the stripped surface of the plants. The stream should be about half this width in about a month since flow will slow once it gets below freezing. The shot of the actual spawning is cropped, the other not cropped.

Tom

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Edited by Tom_Kline, 27 October 2013 - 04:43 PM.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
www.flickr.com/photos/tomkline/

 

 


#13 butterflies

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:23 AM

Tom,
That is very nice photography, especially the image with the three salmons. Very nice.
Thanks for sharing your set-up.
I am afraid that such a setup is beyond my possibilities. It's a fortune that you have there.
I will have to go the DIY way, I am afraid,
Rob

#14 Tom_Kline

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:05 PM

Thank you Rob,

I bought my gear over a period of several years, so it is now quite an accumulation. The D2X, which I bought when it had been out for about a year, is worth today about 10% of what I paid for it. Nevertheless it still takes great pix as shown above. The key for me is the ability to remote control the camera allowing the fish to do their thing without disturbance.

Tom

Tom,
That is very nice photography, especially the image with the three salmons. Very nice.
Thanks for sharing your set-up.
I am afraid that such a setup is beyond my possibilities. It's a fortune that you have there.
I will have to go the DIY way, I am afraid,
Rob


Edited by Tom_Kline, 29 October 2013 - 08:05 PM.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
www.flickr.com/photos/tomkline/