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Sony HDR-HC1/HVR-A1 and housings


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#81 DeanB

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 02:38 AM

Good man Steve,

I am looking to invest after xmas as well, for a trip to the Red Sea, but I may hire the housing & Camera for a week to give it a try B4 i buy..??

$2995 I think thats about £1675 Sterling.. Which after the greedy sods have added their share will be £2100. Might have to look at traveling for a purchase.

I have not heard of USVH, can you give me a review and a link please.

Dive safe

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#82 sjspeck

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 06:36 AM

USVH is UnderSea Video Housings, a US-based company. They've been around for a while and make a quality product.

http://www.usvh.com/index.html

#83 triswebb

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 03:43 AM

Hi all,

Not sure if this has been covered on here - but you can still get the $1995 Amphibico housing (A1 version) with WB access - Amphibico confirmed that its $200 optional extra!

Cheers!

Tristan

#84 DeanB

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 08:19 AM

Hi Tristan,

That sounds better. "Any more offers, lower on the Amphibico". If we keep going their be paying us to use it (you never know, one day)

I was wondering if the 120 degree lens could be used with the A1E or does high-def need high-def lenses. If so (bugger !!) more expense. Maybe fathom imaging will do a quality one for the EVO. Lets hope and pray.

Dive safe

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#85 Clive

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:56 PM

Hi Tristan,

You meant the EVO HD and not EVO PRO HD, am i right? :P I believe the EVO PRo HD is going at $2995 and the MWB button is already incorporated.

The EVO HD is a simplified version without the WB button hence you have to pay the additional for it to be added. Is this correct? Have you receive your Amphibico yet? Let us know how it works.

THanks :D

#86 triswebb

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 01:04 AM

Hi Clive,

Yes I mean the Evo HD and Evo pro HD.

I have had extensive chats/emails with Amphibico about this and the state of play is as follows.

You can get the Evo HD ($1995) and ADD the WB button (only for A1E) for $200. The Evo pro HD comes with this button as standard!

Hope this helps!!

tristan

#87 Drew

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 07:51 PM

As an alternative there is also the Sea & Sea VX HC1 housing. It has the assign button and all the other stuff but no flip filter (which is very disappointing). There is an outside filter which I suppose would work in a pitch but easy to scratch etc.
It's also not aluminium but a resin composite material so it's not as sturdy but then again corrosion is a non-issue.
Perhaps one of the sponsors would like to chime in on MSRP or streetprice. I'm considering it because I have a SWA100 dome lens already made for S&S mounts and this housing can take it with an accessory stepup ring. We tested one last night at a foam party so can't really show the clips but I know it didn't leak. Will give a small review later this week... need to recover from the partying first.

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#88 Drew

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 11:21 AM

A small update on the A1 telemacro and black stretch mode.
Telemacro mode is very nice. At 19" minimum focus distance, the FOV was about 40mm wide. With the century optics +7, MFD dropped to 7" and FOV was just over 15mm. Stacked +11 resulted in 10mm FOV.
Black stretch really does give blacks more definition esp in low light shots. But blacks are that much a factor u/w except for stuff like black frogfish. however the gain noise is still high and not comparable to the Z1, which was noteably better. But I was pushing the limits of the camera with low light 35W bulb 2.5 m away.

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#89 Detonate

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 12:03 PM

The way I use Black Stretch is when it's low light, like a darker room. Rather than letting the camera use Auto Exposure and pumping the gain all the way up. I switch to manual exposure and dial it back a bit.

This makes for a noticibly darker picture, but with Black Stretch on, it really really does flatten the contrast a bit and you get a very very good low light picture with out the extra noise.

Then in post if I feel it needs to be brighter, I use Vegas to up the brightness and saturation as necessary, and then add a curves layer.

It works much better than shooting with boosted gain and trying to deal with the noise in post.

I also love Telemacro mode, but man, you really need a tripod.

#90 Drew

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 08:13 PM

I never shoot with autoexposure. Sony tends to blow highlights on auto. I shoot about 1/2 stop before any highlights show 100% on zebra. With black stretch on the A1, it is effective although black stretch on the Z1 is better still.
I think the A1 is definitely a better choice than the HC1, which is the real comparison for most people reading this thread. With modes like black stretch and the switch color/bw view finder for focus on macro, the ability to play with color settings in camera so post can be minimal, it's worth that $700 extra. It's a nice little package for $2300.

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#91 Drew

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 07:16 AM

Update on the S&S housing function for telemacro:

The housing does not have access to telemacro (even thought they claim so on their website). The housing owner is a bit upset with this but after looking at the way it is configured, we concluded it would be very easy to get telemacro function on the housing.
The expanded focus button pushes a rectangular plastic piece with a knob that touches the button on the camera. The telemacro button is 11.4mm left of the expanded focus. Since the plastic piece is easily removed. We are checking if the local machinist can fabricate a plastic piece that will hook 90° perpendicular and activate the telemacro button instead of the expanded focus. Great thinking S&S, backlight and expanded focus but no telemacro. You'd think they'd check that the minimum focus distance for non-telemacro mode is over 800mm vs 480mm with telemacro. Still the housing looks very well made and hopefully with this modification, we'll be able to upgrade the features of this housing.

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#92 Detonate

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 08:40 AM

Seems like expanded focus is only desired WITH telemacro.

Would it be possible to ditch the Backlight for Telemacro?

#93 Drew

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:36 AM

Nope, that switch is too far away and is a direct button extension. Unlike the expanded focus which is lower and the plastic piece gains the height.
All S&S really had to do was use the old switches from the VX housings where the dial could be turned and give you all three controls. I'm liking this housing less and less.

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#94 Detonate

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 12:49 PM

Man, I sure am glad I'm waiting....

Looks like L&M and Amphibico are my last options.

I really like the L&M housing, and I could see myself paying the premium for it. But the fact that they do not have access to the Assign button, pisses me off to no end.

#95 Ryan

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:12 PM

I believe you might be confused...

The Light & Motion Bluefin HC1, which has been shipping for about a month, does not access the assign button.

The Light & Motion Bluefin A1, which does, started shipping last week. They are the same price.

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#96 Drew

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 07:15 PM

Man, I sure am glad I'm waiting....

Looks like L&M and Amphibico are my last options.

I really like the L&M housing, and I could see myself paying the premium for it.  But the fact that they do not have access to the Assign button, pisses me off to no end.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Jim
What premium? The housings from Amphibico and L&M cost about the same. My primary concern is the WA option. Neither offer one. But then again it's mostly macro I'm after with this rig. I'm waiting on the HVX for WA setup.

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#97 spaceflight

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 06:00 PM

I've been reading these posts for a while, just thought I would let everyone know that the Gates housing does have wb control (via the lcd viewfinder) and also has access to the assign button on the A1U. The housing with a standard port runs about $3000.00.
Joe Holley

#98 larsdennert

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 12:02 PM

One idea instead of ditching the Expanded focus function is that most buttons will rotate as well as push in and out. If you design the arm with the correct arc, it can be made to activate both functions. You might need to add an attachment to the outisde of the switch to allow you to rotate it.

I modified a Canon housing deisgned for a different model camera as there wasn't one to fit my camera. It works well and operates all functions now.


#99 Mike L

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 09:33 PM

The Amphibico, L&M and Gates housings for the HC1 and A1U are all excellent options. However for those shooting the HC1 and who are looking to have the utmost control over their camera, the Gates is the only housing to allow access to the Manual White Balance control via the LCD display. Although using the MWB on the HC1 is not the easiet to do (due to Sony's set up which requires 4 steps to get to the MWB setting), it is user friendly and using this control will result in better quality footage.

All three housings (L&M, Gates, Amphibico PRO) are in the same price range (approx. $3,000) depending on the options and accessories chosen.

We were finally able to get our Gates HC1 demo system in and it will be off to Hawaii this week for some thorough testing (hopefully get some shark abuse on Kona) A full review and some clips will be available when we get back.
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#100 ikelite

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 10:40 PM

Ikelite offered way before Gates, and at a suggested retail of $1,300:

All touch screen menu functions are provided in the Ikelite housing, allowing white balance. The A1 allows assigning white balance to the right-front push button for which a control is provided.

All camera controls can be accessed with this housing, including both manual and auto focus.

Housing includes image reversing circuitry so objects appear correct when screen is viewed using the mirror.

See: http://www.ikelite.c...o/sony_hc1.html