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Which housing? - White Balance access on HC7

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I am the Marketing director for Whites Mfg. - and we are just starting to get into video as a better form of marketing - but we have a somewhat limited budget. I have an HDR HC7 and I am after a housing.

 

From my limited experience I think that white balance control is paramount while shooting video (yes/no?).

 

There seem to be some manufacturers that have access to the touch screen functions and some that do not...Can anyone recommend an HC7 housing that has a monitor back and access to white balance, while at the same time not setting us back $4,000....

 

Let me know,

 

Until the next dive.....

 

Tyler Preston

tylerp@whitesdiving.com

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Hey there Tyler,

White balance is definitely an important function to have access to!

Gates and Light and Motion both have access to wb.

The Gates housing actually uses a viewing window on that housing, rather than an external monitor.

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I am the Marketing director for Whites Mfg. - and we are just starting to get into video as a better form of marketing - but we have a somewhat limited budget. I have an HDR HC7 and I am after a housing.

 

From my limited experience I think that white balance control is paramount while shooting video (yes/no?).

 

There seem to be some manufacturers that have access to the touch screen functions and some that do not...Can anyone recommend an HC7 housing that has a monitor back and access to white balance, while at the same time not setting us back $4,000....

 

Let me know,

 

Until the next dive.....

 

Tyler Preston

tylerp@whitesdiving.com

 

There is a lot more than white balance in choosing a housing. Among other things consider service, and manufacturers experience. That in mind, with litle doubt I would go Amphibico or Gates. Some brands I'm not so familiar, but stay away from Sea&Sea the worst service ever. Ikelite is good, excellent for the price but tends to fog very easy when getting into cold waters. Amphibico has a housing with a monitor that sounds within your budget and a great support.

 

Hilario Itriago.

letsseatv.com

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I have the Gates housing and the access to the white balance works very well. My last trip I used the Gates WB slate that mounts to the top of the housing with a flexible arm which makes it much easier to WB. I could not be happier with this set-up and I think you couldn't go wrong with the same set-up. Good luck and have fun!

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Funny I should check in here after just looking at such a housing. I also have an HC7 and am doing some comparison shopping.

 

I saw this and am checking it out but have not personally seen or handled one, but it has an rear external 3.5" monitor and can be fitted for white balance.

 

It's made by Aditech and is their Mangrove MVD-L1. With optional WB it should set you back about $2800.

 

www.aditech-uw.com

 

For those with more experience with other housings please take a look and post an opinion.

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I'm in the process of writing a report of the Mangrove. Electronic WB (didn't work for my camera but it's claimed to work for the HC7) and all electronic buttons. I doubt I'll have the report out this month unfortunately.

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I'm in the process of writing a report of the Mangrove. Electronic WB (didn't work for my camera but it's claimed to work for the HC7) and all electronic buttons. I doubt I'll have the report out this month unfortunately.

I took the plunge with the Aditech Mangrove housing for the HC1 a month ago, I was previously using an Ikelite housing, although good for the price it was a real pain to white balance and used a mirror at the side, which sometimes resulted in subjects not being centred, as you were looking at an angle.

 

I'm off to the Red Sea next Saturday to try it out properly :D , so will let you know how I get on when I'm back.

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Hey there Tyler,

White balance is definitely an important function to have access to!

Gates and Light and Motion both have access to wb.

The Gates housing actually uses a viewing window on that housing, rather than an external monitor.

 

Hey Joe - any big disadvantages to the Gates housing....it would be nice to have a smaller rig to travel with, as well as not having to worry about extra batteries for a monitor.

 

Thanks,

Tyler

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I have completed my exhaustive shopping and research, and will be ordering my Gates HC7 with the optional WB control tomorrow.. For me, I like simplicity and robustness, and the Gates housing is all mechanical controls, and a little less expensive than the LMI housing. The LMI housings have lots of high tech fancy controls, more whistles and bells, but also apper to cost a little bit more too.

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Hey Joe - any big disadvantages to the Gates housing....it would be nice to have a smaller rig to travel with, as well as not having to worry about extra batteries for a monitor.

 

Thanks,

Tyler

 

Hey Tyler,

Definitely no big disadvantages to the Gates housing and in regards to travelling, the Gates HC7 housing is small enough to put in a carry on bag. The handle slides off, which makes it very easy to pack in with other gear, etc.

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I've got the HC9 and the Gates housing - essentially the same thing. I've only had it in the water twice in the short month I've had it, and I'm totally in love with it.

 

For sure get the white balance option.

 

Call Joe Holley at Marine Visions. When he sold me mine, he pulled the foam on a Pelican case and packed it so it fit perfectly with the light kit in a carry on size case.

 

I've honestly never had better customer service.

 

marinevisions.com

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I'm off to the Red Sea next Saturday to try it out properly :D

Have a great trip Jo - we are off to the Brothers in a couple of weeks B) I hope the housing works well ;)

 

Roger

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Have a great trip Jo - we are off to the Brothers in a couple of weeks B) I hope the housing works well :D

 

Roger

 

Thanks Roger and many thanks for the copy of your DVD, the colours were brilliant, hopefully I'll get things half as good with the new housing.

 

Have a great trip to the Brothers. Hope the sharks are there for you.

 

See you soon,

 

Jo

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Since Sony put the White Balance control on the LCD screen for the HC-series HDV cameras you'll need to find a housing that has a mechanical control to touch it.

 

The Amphibico EVO does not support MWB with the HC7. Neither does the L&M Stingray HD or the TopDawg (same mfr., different options)

 

So your U.S. options are the Gates or Equinox for mechanical housings, Ikelite if you want to use their mirror instead of a monitor back. I think the Gates allows you to open the camera monitor inside the housing so you won't need their HD external monitor - it costs as much as the housing so would put you over $4k.

 

On the electronic side there's the Ocean Images HC-series or L&M Bluefin. The Bluefin is pretty close to your $4k limit, over if you go with an optional port. The O/I housing also lets you view the camera's LCD. Both use a mechanical control to access the touchscreen on the HC7. I'm not sure what USVH does, their website isn't clear.

Edited by sjspeck

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Tyler,

You may also wish to consider buying 2nd hand housings. I'm sure with the advent of the EX1/3/Z7, HPX170 etc, many people will be dumping their higher end stuff. Then you'll get 3 sensors and MWB and a plethora of other stuff.

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I'm in the process of writing a report of the Mangrove. Electronic WB (didn't work for my camera but it's claimed to work for the HC7) and all electronic buttons. I doubt I'll have the report out this month unfortunately.

 

I know you are a busy man, but you need to step this one up, LOL. I'm taking a serious look at this housing in comparison to my Seatool HC7. I need and like a monitor such as this has. I just wonder how well it balances and how easy it is to do MWB with it.

 

This just in: The Mangrove is sold by Reef Photo Video in the US. They're located in Fort Lauderdale. The price is $2500. Not that bad if it does what is expected.

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Neither does the L&M Stingray HD

 

actually the L&M does... http://www.uwimaging.com/hc7/index.htm#

 

Looking at their demo video, I actually like their implementation as you have an additional LCD control considering it is sleeker than the Gates with the LCD opened. The downside being you have to live with using the viewfinder or getting a $$$ external monitor...

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Here's a photo below of how the White Balance control works in the Gates HC7/HC9 housing.

And here's a photo of the rear of the Gates HC7/HC9 housing from the rear, you can see better how they implement the opened view screen and the WB control access to the screen.

 

My Gates housing arrives Friday! I cant wait to get it into the water. When I've had a chance to get it in the water, I'll post a thread with a review, ie. bouyance characteristics, control useage, etc..

 

Regarding the LMIs housings.. I believe they have more buttons for accessing the white bal controls and a few other functions on the LCD screen too.. and I also believe that most of their higher end housings for the HC7 also now include a monitor back as part of the package. Thus, no need for an external monitor.

post-17401-1213199887_thumb.jpg

post-17401-1213200063_thumb.jpg

Edited by wolfeeldiver

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lol... hmm... that looks like my desk and mouse pad... :D

 

wait, that is my Gates HC7!! (courtesy of Joe at marine visions :) )

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Hey Pakman. I could be wrong but when I looked into a LM housing for the HC7 only the Bluefin model accessed the MWB, the Stingray housings did not. I was surprised but they are appealing to a

different market with that housing. That said, I would definitely rate MWB ability a must (at least for me).

Good Luck. John

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John, thanks for the correction... got the stingray and bluefin mixed up...

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Sorry for "lifting" your photos Pakman.. but you did a great job taking them, I couldnt recall who posted them.. but I thought theyd be good for this topic and you wouldnt mind. So you got your housging from Joe? very cool, I ordered the same housing from him this week.

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I am extremely happy with the Gates housing for my HC7 :D The manual WB is easy to use.

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