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dougaldiver

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Posts posted by dougaldiver


  1. Yup. A person can always go through the menu presses by looking through the housing, aligning the dial to 'one push' and then aim at whatever. However I don't like taking my eyes off the action, I have missed too many things that way. After now using the housing on several trips I use two methods:

     

     

    Ryan

     

    OK. I used the camera and housing in the Red Sea for the last 2 weeks. I didn't find MWB too hard. setting up the menu to get to the one push button required tipping the camera sideways so I could glance through the window on the side to see where the pointer was pressing.

     

    Once I got to the one push I could hold the camera in the left hand (holding the left hand grip) and use my left thumb to push the button while my right hand held a white balance card (or I used the palm of my hand)

     

    The biggest problem was then finding the OK button to leave the menu. I got very frustrated trying to do this and continually hitting the one push button again.

    In the end I resorted to using the ON button on the back of the housing to cycle through from camera to memory to playback and back to camera.

     

    This kept the white balance setting and, while taking a few seconds to do was more reliable than making multiple attempts to hit the OK button.

     

    I made a few experimental shots comparing AWB and MWB and the colours were much better with MWB


  2. I am so excited. Both the "housing cuddle" technique and the "palm white balance" are taking off! :)

     

    I've recently bought a Sony HC3 and L&M Bluefin HC3 housing. Will the housing cuddle technique work for this and could someone describe how this technique works?

     

    Thanks


  3. Hi Dougaldiver,

     

    What made you to choose the Bluefin and not the Amphibico housing? Does it have more manual controls, better ports & lenses or does it come with a standard monitor in the back?( the L&M site did not gave me a clear picture about that). I ask you that because they have a dramatic difference in cost(3000$ for Bluefin

    and 1600$ for Dive Buddy Evo!!!)

     

    Hi Kiri

     

    At the time I was looking I struggled to find anyone in the UK who could show me the Amphibico housing 'in the flesh' so to speak and I really wanted to be able to spend some time looking things over and talking to someone about it beore I spent my money. I may have tried harder to find someone but my initial research also showed that MWB was not possible with the Amphibico and it is with the L&M.

     

    The Light and Motion Bluefin HC3 does not come with a monitor back. The standard back allows access to the viewfinder but if you want a monitor then you have to have the external compact monitor (which adds a lot more to the cost). I did like the idea that, if the monitor fails, I can use the viewfinder as a backup.


  4. Hi

     

    I can't comment on the Amphibico but I faced a similar decision between the Gates and Light and Motion Bluefin HC3

     

    I went with the LIght and Motion in the end for the following reasons. They make sense to me but may not be right for you

     

    The Gates housing had no access to MWB (although WB adjustment was available through the assignable button and roller). I believe for the HC7 Gates now offer access to MWB but I'm not sure if they can retrofit for the HC3.

     

    I like to be able to switch from wide angle to macro on the same dive. In order to do this with the Gates I would have needed the Fathom Super Wide port at about £2000, which also looked pretty big against the housing. The other ports were either wide angle with little or no zoom through or flat ports for macro. With the L&M the standard port allows a reasonable wide angle and also allows full zoom through including the tele macro facility on the HC3 (I also got a L&M wide angle port as part of the package that I will probably use on wreck dives where I can be reasonably sure that I only want Wide Angle)

     

    I wanted a very compact light system. Most of my videoing is done in warm clear water (Red Sea, Indian Ocean etc) and I only really use lights for inside wrecks or small caves, filming something under an overhang where the natural light is insufficient, sometimes for macro and the occasional night dive.

     

    I found the L&M lights integrated so nicely with the housing that it would be no chore to have the lights fitted on the offchance that I need them. The lights that seemed to be readily available for reviewing on the Gates housing (at least in the UK) seemed to add quite a bit of bulk and drag and I felt I would probably end up not taking them on dives for this reason.

     

    On the downside for the L&M I had to buy an external monitor which adds some bulk to the top of the housing (and some cost to the package) whereas on the Gates I could have viewed the cameras screen through the rear window. However, with the L&M I also have access to the viewfinder if the monitor packs up (not sure how this works with the Amphibico monitor back). I also, in many ways, like the idea of the manual controls on the Gates (having previosuly used an Ikelite housing) but I felt there was sufficient redundancy and security on the L&M so I didn't see this as a major down side.

     

    Did I make the right choice? I hope so, at least for what I want to do. I've only had a chance to take the camera on one dive (freshwater) to try out the balance etc but I'm looking forward to getting 24+ dives in with it in the Red Sea in July

     

    I hope this helps if only in giving you some ideas on the questions you might want to ask


  5. Thanks everyone

     

    To summarise what I think is the advice I'm getting here

     

    External via USB is probably not a good way to go

     

    External via Firewire is good (I guess I'd need to get another firewire card as I'd need to existing one for the Camera)

     

    External via SATA is good (I'd need to get an external SATA card)

     

    or Internal which limits it's use to one PC.

     

    I think I'll have a look at the prices of the externals and necessary cards and then decide if it makes sense to go this route or whether to just stick a 320 GB internal drive in the PC

     

    Cheers


  6. Following some advice receieved on this forum, and from a few other sources, I've recently bought a Sony HC3 camera and a Light and Motion housing.

     

    I've got Sony Vegas Movie Studio 6 (Platinum) and I've had a go at editing some footage with reasonable results.

     

    One thing I'm seeing is the size of the Intermediate files I'm using for editing (using the Cineform codec) which is stretching the hard drive on my PC a bit.

     

    I've currently got an 80GB gard drive and I'm wondering about adding another hard drive (300GB plus) so that I can keep the operating sofrtware on one and the video files on another.

     

    I wondered whether an external hard drive (USB2) would be any good for this. I could fit an internal drive but the externbal offers me flexibility to use it for other things on my other computer (the one I don't use for video).

     

    What are peoples thoughts / experiences of using an external hard drive for this purpose

     

    Any and all advice appreciated


  7. Dougaldiver, I am relatively happy with it. My biggest complaint is optics; I like the size and image quality of the HC3 but I would be willing to spend a lot more on a good WA lens. Gates had this option, but I really wanted electronic controls. I have been having a good year (business) so I have been thinking of selling the HC3 to get a FX1 or equivalent, but the size has me scared. Are you in the market for a slightly used HC3 housing? -_-

    The easy button is a bad bad thing. You are correct, once one-push WB is in effect, the plunger does NOT allow you to choose the auto WB again. This was not a problem for me as I didn't want to shoot with AWB anyway. Once Easy is pressed, you might as well stop shooting. All your settings such as WB, exposure, focus go back to the default, your external monitor shuts off, and any work you had done moving menu icons, etc is history. It is really a bad idea.

    I will post some more when I have a bit more time...

     

    R

     

    OK, Got it, Easy Button = BAD!

     

    Slightly used Bluefin HC3, Hmmm.... Depends on how much you want for it.

     

    As I'm buying the whole lot (lights monitor etc.) I can get a package price. If I bought the housing separately I would have to pay more for the lights, monitor etc, plus there's the shipping cost to the UK.

     

    Let me know, it's possible


  8. I guess that the only downside of removing that "easy" button is that, there is no way to get back to "auto" WB. Once you do a one-push WB, you will stay in one-push WB mode until the camcorder is taken out of the housing. This should not be too much of a hassle but you would need to remember to keep adjusting the WB if conditions change (e.g. moving to shallow depth or doing some surface shots after the dive). Should not be a problem as long as you are not forgetful...

     

    Regards

    Peter

     

    This is an interesting review as I am currently looking at this housing for my HC3.

     

    If you use the Easy button I believe it removes the settings that ouput to the external monitor so you wouldn't want to use it anyway. Could you not get backl to Auto White Balance by selecting White Balance and Auto on the screen using the plunger?


  9. Hi everyone,

     

    Just joined as I found this site searching for some information on upgrading my video gear (i've already posted my question in the appropriate forum)

     

    Based in the UK and most of my diving is done overseas. I've been diving for nearly 14 years took pictures for around 7 years and switched to video about 2.5 years ago (my wife now takes the stills)

     

    Having browsed some of the forums before I joined this looks like a good community and I think I can get a lot of useful information here


  10. Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum and will post an intro a bit later but I'm hoping to get some advice before I go and spend some money.

     

    I am currently considering upgrading my video gear and looking for some advice on the best way to go.

     

    As a bit of background I am very much in the amatuer bracket. Most of my video is done in warmer waters (Red Sea, Maldives, etc. I tend to use lights only for night dives or inside caves and wrecks etc (although I would like to use them more for Macro). I shoot video for my own enjoyment and to show family and friends what they are missing by not diving. I like to edit my 2 weeks worth of footage down to 15 minutes or so and burn to DVD.

     

    Currently I have a Sony DCR HC40 in an Ikelite housing with a wide angle lens inside the housing and a UR pro filter on the outside of the housing (when not using lights). I also have the Ikelite SPD II video light system with 2 50W heads.

     

    Current limitations I am finding with this set up are:

     

    Lack of access to some controls (manual focus, manual white balance)

     

    Bulk of the light system (which means I often don't take it unless the dive specifically needs it)

     

    Inability to fit an external monitor (the mirror set up is OK but the image is reversed and, due to the size of the housing the screen on the camcorder is a long way from the mirror and the image is not clear).

     

     

    I am currently considering the following options:

     

    Buy a Light and Motion Stingray III with lights and monitor back for the HC40 which resolves most of my issues except MWB

     

    Buy a Sony HC3, Ikelite housing and the new smaller battery pack for the Ikelite light system.

     

    Buy a Cannon HV 10, Ikelite housing and the new smaller battery pack for the Ikelite light system.

     

    I should say that I'm not really bothered about HD at the moment but I'm wondering if I should go that way rather than invest more money in the 'old' technology. I'm also wondering if I will see any improvement in quality using the HC3 or HV 10 and then converting to SD for editing and DVD production. Buying the HC3 and the Light and Motion Bluefin+lights etc. takes the cost way over budget.

     

     

    Any advice from the experts would be most welcome.

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