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Member Since 16 Jan 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:39 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

10 February 2015 - 02:14 AM

I respect Jonathan's views as a professional who needs to rely on the production process - i.e. efficient work and less missed shots.


However, I personally moved from a video camera (Sony MC50E for semipro use) to a DSLR (Canon 5DIII) for the following reasons:

- Overall better image quality

- Less noise

- Better colors (but only after learning how to do it properly)

- Sharper video


Yes, I occasionally make the mistake of shooting out of focus footage due to the clumsiness of focusing. However, I plan to solve this By a) back button focus, b) external monitor and c) perhaps Magic Lantern.


I DO miss the optical image stabilization of my previous video camera. It is more difficult to avoid shake with a DLSR housing even it is almost perfectly balanced.


Even though the 5DIII is quite sensitive, I am still bothered by noise in the darker areas of the image, especially since I prefer to shoot with lights off-camera. Denoisers do help a bit though.


Since Jonathan recommends a video camera for the "advanced" user, I wonder what options are there between the image quality of a DSLR and a RED, and, have an ergonomic housing available - not just a piece of plastic pipe. In this forum there has been some concern about FS100 suitability in deeper/darker waters. There is not much information about FS700. And cropping factors and limited battery life eliminate some other choices.


Conclusion/question: is there any good video camera available for "advanced" u/w use?

In Topic: DIY rebuild

07 January 2015 - 04:30 AM

I have some own experience of doing overhauls "semi-professionally". Considering the hours required vs a reasonable price for the overhaul, this is more in order to support my local (european) clientele than actually earning anything.


Whilst pondering whether to do a full overhaul yourself or not, consider:

- how good you are at fine mechanics

- that you should be prepared to use several hours, or more, on the overhaul

- that it is wiser to document the bits and pieces before you tear them down

- that different housing models (even under same brand) vary in internal complexity

- that although most parts are relatively straight forward, some might be surprising difficult to reassemble in close quarters

- that at the middle of the overhaul you might realize you need an additional tool or spare part, thus leaving the project on the bench for a while

- that eventhough all the sealing surfaces and shafts might be clean, there might be corrosion elsewhere, e.g. preventing removing a knob or an external lever

- that despite best efforts the newly reconstructed housing might develop a minor leak that might be difficult to locate

- that after reassembly some of the controls might become stiff/jam at depth depending on a number of factors and that you'll need to analyze and solve the problem(s)


The points above originate from actual cases, i.e. this is not a service sales pitch.


Finally, you wouldn't believe how much peace of mind you get by performing a proper hydrotest to the rated depth.

In Topic: Deep spring kit installed

04 January 2015 - 12:44 AM

I hope you noticed that the buttons have shafts of different length. Thus it is quite important to make notes of which button belonged where, especially if you washed them altogether. For example, some of the Aquatica housings have a series of top buttons each being slightly longer than the others.


For buttons not quite reaching the corresponding camera button, please note that you can "fine tune" the buttons by utilizing some of the old button O-rings. Just place one (or two) beneath the rubber cap at the end of the button shaft (but above the C-clip holding the button in place).


However, if you have buttons sticking at depths greater than 60m, you might want to contact Aquatica directly.

In Topic: GoPro/still camera combo?

02 January 2015 - 04:48 AM

I have done something similar by attaching a GoPro on my Aquatica housings for Canon 5D III and Sony MC50E eventhough I use the main camera for shooting video!



- The GoPro has a slightly wider angle of view so occasionally there might be better composition

- Whilst shooting continuously with GoPro, one might catch an event that otherwise might have been missed with the main camera

- I can film myself. For example in caves and wreck corridors you can get additional continuity and variety this way

- It is easier to take sneaky sideviews of accompanying divers

- The GoPro footage acts as additional insurance in case I manage to have a mishap focusing the main camera (see further below)



- One additional u/w casing to take care of. The GoPro is actually so cheap, that it is easy to become a bit complacent with it. I flooded one due to my own error

- The GoPro always runs out of battery before end of dive. My typical dive is 90-100 minutes in cold water.

- The image quality is not very good in low light and consequently the additional GoPro footage is rarely used

- Hundreds of GB of additional storage requirement.

- The hassle of charging additional batteries


Due to these drawbacks, I eventually gave up shooting with the add-on GoPro.


However, recently I really regretted this when I was the video shooter for an unknown submarine and I managed to shoot almost all of the footage slightly out of focus!

In Topic: Aquatica D7000 Housing issues with new camera

28 December 2014 - 06:27 AM

If you forgot to remove the rubber eyecup from the camera before installing the camera into the housing, you would get similar symptoms...