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wagsy

Amphibico Endeavor with HVR-V1 review and field test

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Thanks Drew,

 

unfortunately I found the same info on the page as well.... Capturing HDMI to HDD means live action, I guess. So the only thing I have to figure out, how will I put a mac pro with speedy hard drives into a housing to solve the problem :D

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The review is almost done. Just have to do the pics and send it in. I'm stuck in Africa so broadband isn't an option.

 

Jules

The signal is processed in 4:2:2 1920x1080. It's recorded as 1440x1080 4:2:0 HDV onto tape. The only way for 4:2:2 is to capture from HDMI to HDD.

 

"Almost done" on July 23rd but not yet posted by August 7th (two plus weeks later) seems like Drew may be dogging this job a little. I, for one, am really anxious to see what he liked or didn't like.

 

Come on, Drew. Give us what you've got!

 

--Richard

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Complain, complain, complain... like a bunch of kids on a road trip!

:)

I run on the lunar calendar.

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Complain, complain, complain... like a bunch of kids on a road trip!

:)

I run on the lunar calendar.

 

Sigh. I can't believe you construed my post as complaining, when all I was really doing was whining.

 

Are we there yet?

 

--Richard

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Hi All,

 

I collected my Endeavour two weeks ago now from our UK distributor. So far I haven't got it wet, and please remember these are the first impressions of a novice as far as "professional" housings are concerned.

 

It looks superb, beautifully crafted and sleak. It is certainly heavy out of the water, how do you Phenom guys lift yours :)

 

The rear mounted HD monitor is very clear and bright, even in sunlight. It does display all the camera info as promised. It is powerd by 4xAA batteries that are mounted in the rear door. I am assured that it will run for 4 hours on 2700 NiMah's.

 

The camera saddle is very stable and clicks nicely into position, and it is easy to plug in the connections. There is a slightly different arrangement for the mike connection for the V1 over the FX7, but both options are installed in the housing.

 

There is a nice combination of electronic controls and mechanical buttons. The handles allow access to all the common controls including playback option, and a few seconds of last footage if requested. The camera's menu is easily accessed through 4 buttons on the right just in front of the handle. Menu on/off. up and down and execute. So setting AE shift, peaking etc. etc. is easy.

 

Electronic MWB is easy to access. Simply press the White Balance button on the back of the housing to bring up the user set WB (A) and then press the WB button on the top of the right handle. Works well on the surface so I see no reason why it should'nt be OK u/w.

 

Aperture control is accessed with a mechanical button and large wheel in the same place as on the camera.

 

The 94 degree port looks awesome, and I can focus right up to the port. There is space with my FX7E to put one, possibly two dioptres, on the front of the camera, but this will disable the flip filter so I may have to fix a CC filter to the camera - I will need to experiment. I haven't yet looked at the possibilty of swapping the filter for a dioptre which would be better. Buying a flat port for pure macro dives is an option.

 

Electronic zoom works smoothly and slowly, you can speed up the zoom for quick adjustments using the left trigger as a "shift" key. The latter also doubles up most of the handle buttons for other functions, these include power off, standby return, backlight, record review, dispay toggle on the monitor, and the left and right lights if fitted.

 

Gain and shutter speed controls are initiated with mechanical buttons on the rear of the housing and then using the up/down menu keys.

 

The monitor has a digital zoom as on the stand alone version, but the housing also has a button for the camera's expanded focus so is redundant.

 

I am not taking it to sea until the end of September when Wendy and I are off to a photoshoot week on a liveaboard in the Southern Egyptian Red Sea. Fortunately we will be flying with Astraeus and they give an extra 25kg for £50 ($100) return, which is the best deal I have seen for a 5 hour flight from the UK.

 

I will be dunking it and myself in a diving buddy's pool this weekend just to see what it feels like u/w, there are six small removable weights on the bottom of the housing to adjust the buoyancy.

 

Well I am now off to the gym to work on my biceps and triceps so that I can hand the beast up to the crew on a standard Red Sea dive boat!

 

More later, and Drew I am really looking forward to your "expert" report, but I'm not moaning :)

 

Roger

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Roger, a couple of questions:

 

does the housing offer a button/control for the picture profile button?

-- control for the 3 assign buttons?

-- I am understand right, that the menu's scroll wheel is not avalaible at the rear side, insted of this, the mentioned right side's up/down button will adjust for example the gain, shutter and menu?

 

thanks,

Jules

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Gyula

No Assign Button access. Picture Profiles yes. Yes also on the menu control panel controls operating all functions except Iris.

 

Roger

It's not really all that heavy. 12kg with camera and big battery. I could easily toss it back on an RIB with 2+ feet of clearance. Not that I'd do that with the housing :)

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Hm,

 

I am between the Gates and the Amphibico housings. Each of them has its strength and weakness. Unfortunately I have never been in close contact with a Gates housing, so I have to rely on reviews and photos. :) And they have no dealer in Switzerland...

 

And: Drew or Roger, would you be so kind the send me the manual of the Endeavour housing? That would be a great favour to me. I try to have one Gates V1 manual as well, it could help me to decide.

 

I would wonder however, whether my Amphibico lights could be mounted on a Gates-housing...

 

thanks,

Jules

Edited by Jules (Helioxfilm)

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Jules

Here is the destructions for the Endeavor

Endeavor PDF

 

Here is some info on the Gates

Gates PDF

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Thanks Wagsy,

 

it was really fast :)

 

I am looking for the same detailed manual for the Gates as well, the feature sheet has been read already, but the Endeavour manual is very useful!

 

Jules

Edited by Jules (Helioxfilm)

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Well Jules the Gates review MAY come in Nov, hopefully along with the XH review :)

With housings, I never look at what functions they have but what functions they don't have and how it affects you as a shooter. I then assess how I can use the functions that are on the camera to overcome the shortcomings. That of course means that I have to know what I'll be shooting mostly. The most flexible housing functionwise comes at a price of bulk and weight often.

Wetpixel is going to start a database for the bigger 3 sensor cameras and housings and important 1 sensor cameras. The Endeavor is the beginning of this new service to readers.

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Wow you Guys answered Jules mighty quick.

 

One thing missing is the ND control. Am I right in saying this is really no more than an AE shift under auto exposure, if so this is available with the menu.

 

Roger

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Thats because I'm siting here editing and the net computers is always on :)

 

ND control is like a physical pair of sunnies on to restrict the light if too much is comming in.

If you are shallow and your fstop is maxed out at F11 just spin the shutter up....thats what I do and your fstop will drop abit.

 

AE shift in the menu is adjusting the cameras brain to say OKAY instead of me being on F11 with this much light coming in, I will be on F10. :):)

Or it can be the other way round - or +

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Roger

ND filter is separate from exposure/iris control. ND1 is 1/4 and ND2 1/16. It is important in controlling light, especially in shallow water conditions. Alternatively, you can use the flip filter to cut 1+ stop of light.

The AE shift merely changes the exposure by 1/3 increments if I remember correctly. It does not control the ND filter, unlike the smaller cameras which have it built in... or so they claim.

Since you are shooting in 50i, it doesn't matter as much as if you were shooting at 24/25/30P.

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I have the Gate housing and HD monitor. I leave on Saturday for a week in the Caribbean and will post some sample clips when I get back.

 

The Gates has access to ND 1 & 2, and 2 assign buttons. For now, if anyone has any specific questions about the Gates, feel free to ask. Jules, I have a hardcopy of the manual, but not the electronic version.

Edited by ronscuba

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Dear Ron,

 

I contacted Gates and they contacted me at the same time :) , so I have the manual. Thanks for the offer and have a good trip!

 

Jules

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-- I am understand right, that the menu's scroll wheel is not avalaible at the rear side, insted of this, the mentioned right side's up/down button will adjust for example the gain, shutter and menu?

Jules,

 

I actually don't like the scroll wheel on the back of the camera, perhaps I am a bit hamfisted, but as pressing the wheel is the "execute" it is all too easy to press it while scrolling and open the wrong menu. The separate buttons on the housing eliminate this risk.

 

Gain and shutter are controlled with the up/down buttons, after pressing the appropriate button on the back of the housing to bring up the numbers on the display. The aperture has its own controls on the left side.

 

Drew can confirm this, but I think those buttons will be better felt than seen in operation as they could be hidden by the monitor. It will depend how far away you are holding the housing.

 

Have a great trip Ron.

 

Roger

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Wagsy & Drew,

 

Thanks for the info on the ND filters. I have been used to using them on still film cameras over the years, but they were glass filters to put over the lens.

 

Just to satisfy my curiosity, on camcorders are they electronic or actual filters being moved in front of the sensors? On the FX7 the switch has a positive click between settings but I don't see anything move in the viewfinder, just a momentary lightening or darkening as the auto exposure etc. adjusts.

 

Roger

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When I picked up my dropped VX2000 from a very high place, I found the ND filters... it is a physical lens over the inner lens system.

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When I picked up my dropped VX2000 from a very high place, I found the ND filters... it is a physical lens over the inner lens system.

Oh my :) I will do my best not to look for mine in quite the same way :guiness:

 

Thanks for the info.

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Drew's review and field test has been posted on the Wetpixel front page.

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Now everybody say:

 

Thank you Uncle Matt!

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Great report Drew, interesting that you have confirmed about the lowlight of the V1. Would you say that the performance is closer to the Z1 than the A1?

 

It will be interesting to see how the Canon XH A1 compares when it finally gets a housing to take it underwater.

 

thanks for such a detailed report.

Edited by jonny shaw

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Well done Drew, lots of work there writing all that up. :)

 

Agree with the glare on the monitor problem.

Those Sanyo NiMH are what we got... they are very good.

Have yet to scratch my 94 degree port.

 

That whale grab pic, is that from raw m2t or FCP intermediate codec?

Have found with both Canopus HQ and Aspect HD 8 bit codecs to use the fine or higher setting when sucking in open blue water shots.

 

Have you any video clips shot with it?

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A very detailed review Drew, but it would be very nice to see some underwater example clips for consideration - nothing fancy or complicated - just the good, the bad and the downright ugly :)

 

Also the underwater frame grab of the whale - was the water really that blue, or did you do any colour correction?

 

Cheers, Simon

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