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A1 Housing Choices

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I have spent the last few hours reading the archive and researching the HD choices.... I have made the decision to retire my old Quest and go with an entire new system. Since I have HD TV's and monitors, I know I want to go with the A1 (unless someone can come up with a sound logic to go with something else).

 

Once the A1 was chosen, I realized that I always dreamed of an L&M, but after talking to many many people and doing hours of reading..... Amphibico & Gates were back on the radar!

 

While there are many posts about pros, cons, and overall reliability.... I don't feel that I can make a truly informed decision (especially as technology is changing on a daily basis).

 

My use will be both in tech and rec dives..... Mostly for fun ...... but who knows.... The Gates w/ the Squid HID's may be my final choice.... BUT I would love to hear more from those that have been diving the housings and what features are liked / disliked...

 

All posts will be greatly appreciated. While $$$ is always an obstacle, I am trying my best to bite the bullet and just get the right setup. Lastly, any good retailers for the houses (FL or East Coast) would be a help!

Thnx!

---

D

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Ryan at reef photo & video is in FL and has the LM A1 housing. You may want to contact him.

As for the others, ask the manufacturers who their dealers are.

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Meet me on the Starfish in Lantana this Saturday, and you can dive it!

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NOw that is a great offer right there!!!

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Fantastic customer service..

 

Come on the Brits.. We could do with that sort of offer.

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Just to say,

 

If anybody wants to know more about the A1 or the Amphibico 'Pro Evo' I will be shooting fish in the U.K for the next few weeks.

 

If you want to join me send me an email. I know buying this stuff can be a minefield. So if I can help in anyway.. ;)

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Steve and Dean - I'm very interested to know how well you are finding the A1 white balances with the manual control on your housings at below 7-8m. See my earlier 'A1 field tests' posting, but this issue (inability to WB at any depth without lights) is bugging me.

 

I realise this is probably more an A1 videocam capability vs a housing issue, but it maybe that if one has the ability to switch between auto WB and manual WB (which I do not with my modded USVH housing) then WB manually when there is light, and auto below may be the best recommendation for this cam - other than 30watt WA HIDs at all time B)

 

If I'm the only guy with access to manual WB who can't balance at medium depths and below, then the issue is with my particular setup. I'd like to know if that's the case too...

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Hi Nick,

 

I was at 22 metres in 2-3 metre viz last week, in very murky greenwater. and took a w/b off a white slate on my buddies BCD. It was at first through the filter (Greenwater) and with no lighting. It did change but what i can remember a bit to over powering. The w/b without filter (no lights) was better.

 

Flicking the exposure to auto then back to manual then down one or to touches, The reds and greys on his drysuit were more natural even the orange of his SMB was o.k. I guess it was practically the same as what my eyes were viewing.

 

The over coloured stuff I could fix in post..

 

Hope this helps. Though I really do need to buy some lights. <_<

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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This is really interesting Dean. The fact that you could manually white balance at all at that depth with crap viz *remembers UK fondly* makes me wonder if I have a fundamental issue with my camera, or camera+housing set up.

 

Has the WB icon ever just continued to flash at you and not stopped? This is what happened to me countless times - I was not having any joy with getting a WB 'fix' below 7m or so - even with 'overpowering' colours resulting or not.

 

One thing that I can remember happening was that when I tried to WB off the sun, the auto exposure kicked in and even though I zoomed in, the area of 'brightness' was cut down as the aperture closed up. I have read somewhere that you need quite a high percentage (70%?) of the frame to be 'white' for a good white balance - maybe this is an issue.

 

Hmmm, I think some camera spanking is is order <_<

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I looked at the original, and the noise was not there. Must be from rendering.

 

I have fixed the link on the wrasse shot. I also put out a corrected copy. I had been playing with corrections and did not realize I still had brigtness/contrast changes in.

 

Exposure was automatic, with exposure compensation. Both those shots were -1. Later shots were often at -2 and seemed to look a little better.

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No no... the perfect camera is the HVFX 9 1/2.69 which shoots 1080P at 100fps onto compact flash cards at 8MB per minute and has - 3 lux, 4/5 CCD.

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.... and is the size of a matchbox, but perfectly steady. Where can I buy one Drew?

 

Point taken :)

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lars_with_camera.sized.jpg

Yea if it keeps flashing, it's not seeing anything that it considers white-ish enough.

BTW I shot a week's worth of video in Kona recently and I'm very happy with the Ikelite housing. Honestly I'm still working out WB and color settings myself and did much tweaking in post.

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Hi Lars

 

Just a quick question - what light arm is it that you are using? I've been looking at various combinations for a replacement arm on my Ikelite housing and that looks like it is exactly what I'm looking for! I see you have what looks like a UK Light Cannon connected - do you know if they do a connector for the Ikelite Prolite heads? Also how did you find the Light Cannon for use with shooting video?

 

Cheers, Simon

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It's a Gates arm that I bought off scuba.com I don't know if they make a shoe for the Ike's. A bit floppy above water but fine UW.

 

The light works great on night dives. Very white compared to a Halogen. My HC1 camera doesn't struggle for illumination contrary to people saying the lowlight is poor. I stop the gain down a bit to prevent noise and the picture is still great. A few hours of battery life. The battery pack on the Ike's are huge for only being 1 hour life, but then they are twice the wattage.

On day dives the range is 2'-4' max in bright conditions. For longer shots I use a filter.

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Thanks for the info. You didn't have a problem fitting the arm to the actual housing I take it?

 

I've been thinking about the Light Cannon option for lighting as I'm not entirely happy with the Ike set up. One thing I was worried about though was the buoyancy of the Light Cannons. I have a D4 which is hyper buoyant and was wondering how that would affect the balance of the camcorder while filming. Any problems with that?

 

Cheers, Simon

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The Cannons are negatively bouyant, however, with the reticulated arms they will hold their position in all but the roughest currents such as you might find in Tahiti or the Blue Corner in Palau. They will not hold their position topside out of the water but that is usually not too important.

Steve B)

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Thanks for the info Steve. I think that I'm going to experiment with a combination of locline, a few misc brackets and the Light Cannon and see how I get on with that!

 

Cheers, Simon

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