Hello, I am a new user on this site and this is my first post. Thank you for this information as I have found it to be very helpful. I have the Sonly CX550V and the 2010 L&M Stingray Plus Housing. I recently returned from a three week trip (Palau and Phillipines) on which I used this set up for the first time and I have a couple of questions about white balance and focus lock. My last system was a Sony PC 110 with a L&M Mako Housing and it did not have the capability to WB under water so this was new for me. I take video to show family and friends and consider myself quite the amateur but with my old setup very rarely had color balance issues. With this set up, it seemed like I had to white balance constantly throughout every dive even when I was at the same depth with the same natural lighting. Here are my questions:
When you say you set WB on manual, do you mean you change the camera's white balance setting using a 'Manual' button? The setting options on my camera are 'Auto', 'Indoor', 'Outdoor', and 'One Push'. Am I correct in my thinking that 'One Push' is the manual setting?
When you push the WB button on your housing handle, does it white balance instantly or do you have to wait for it to run throuh the whole WB menu options? When I hit the WB button, it ran through all of the menu options before it would balance and it seemed to take forever - is this normal? (Nothing in the manual about this).
Do you WB prior to every single shot? (BTW, thanks for the tip about using white fins to WB. I used a white card and this was very cumbersome for me. The start/stop button are right next to each other on the handle and at least once a dive I'd think I was hitting the start/stop button but instead would hit the WB and vice versa - very frustrating - maybe using a fin and not having to hold the housing with one hand while I put the card in front of the port with the other will remedy this clumsiness!)
Color correction filter:Do you WB (and shoot) with or without the filter when you are in very shallow water?
In one of your posts you mentioned that you use automatice focus and then 'lock the focus'. How do I 'lock' the focus?
Overall, I think this is a great set up. When the color balance was correct, the video images were amazing when played back on a high def television. Interestingly, the L & M Stingray + does not have the microphone on the housing but in watching my video, I can hear my bubbles and even the fish crunching on the coral on the audio. The Stingray + does accept the optional Fathom lenses and I appreciate the comments about how you determined to go with the Fathom 90 rather than the 145 degree or 65 degree wet mountable lenses. (The basic Stingray does not accept other lenses)I originally ordered the package with the 90 lens but it wouldn't be available before I left for my trip so I went with the basic flat port. It is next on my list of equipment purchases so I look forward to reading about your experiences with it. I purchased the optional left handle (which is standard on the Bluefin). It provides complete access to the camera's menu and with that handle, I tend to agree, the main differences between the Bluefin and the Stingray + that I can see are the OLED monitor and the control wheel. I was extremely pleased with the monitor on the Stingray + but admit that I have not seen the Blueray's OLED monitor. I really like the black color of the Bluefin so can see why that was a contributing factor in your selection! I too am extremely pleased with the life of the monitor back. I did 3-4 dives a day in the Phillipines and never had to open the housing to change the battery on the camera or the housing until the end of the day. (On my old housing, the monitor back was powered from the camera battery so both exhausted more rapidly). I used 2700mAh rechargable batteries in the monitor back and they lasted all day.
Thanks in advance for answering all of these questions. As I said, this is forum has already been very helpful for me