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Panasonic LX3 in Coolpix 5000 housing

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I have an old Ike Coolpix 5000 housing which doesn't get much use these days, so I thought I'd try to fit my wife's wonderful Panasonix LX3.

 

The LX3 is a great still camera but also does 16:9 HD video and has a really nice 24mm wide lens.

 

With a minimal amount of tweaking, the camera now fits and I can start and stop the recording.

 

I tried the flat port first but that gave too much fringing and pincusion distortion so changed to the dome port with excellent results.

 

Images, video and DIY instruction to follow.

Edited by Panda

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...

I tried the flat port first but that gave too much fringing and pincusion distortion so changed to the dome port with excellent results.

...

domes on these compact housings would be appreciated for sure!

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After 2 dives, one video and one stills, I'm thinking this is a brilliant compact underwater.

I don't have any controls other than shutter release (and manual flash output on my Inon Z220 optically triggered) so I used Aperture priority (f/8) with -2/3 EV (to reduce ambient exposure) and Forced Flash (which limits shutter speed to no longer than 1/30th)

Results are sharp all the way out.

Here are some pix, no tweaking, only resized.

 

4474961857_e36a490260.jpg

 

4475738194_46f99332dc.jpg

 

4475738152_59335ca6da.jpg

 

And here's the video. Using -2/3 EV exposure compensation, with a UK Light Cannon HID light with 2 diffusers fitted.

 

Edited by Panda

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looks like a great little combo!

 

BTW what is the limit for drink diving in Victoria? How many Cruisers can you pack in your BC pockets for a 45 minute dive?

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Here's how I mounted the LX3 in the Coolpix housing.

 

4475872704_04058bf415.jpg

 

First I unscrewed the base plate and moved it as far to the left (looking from behind the housing) of the back plate as possible.

 

4475095835_b53d3e9f90.jpg

 

It involved drilling new screw holes into the inside of the back plate but that wasn't too scary because you can see exactly how deep you're drilling.

Then I had to drill a new tripod mount hole in the base plate. The the camera had to be as far forward as possible without clashing with the long shaft of the knob on the left of the housing and the lens had to be concentric with the dome port.

This took a little bit of gouging and fiddling and I eventually flipped the base plate over and drilled one accurate hole once I had worked out exactly where it needed to be.

Then added some thin plastic strips and tape to to the base plate lift the camera up a little.

 

I then carved a shutter release knob extension from an old nylon chopping board.

 

4475872816_0428cf8fdb.jpg

 

4475095885_a0d4cd3985.jpg

 

All done.

Edited by Panda

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looks like a great little combo!

 

BTW what is the limit for drink diving in Victoria? How many Cruisers can you pack in your BC pockets for a 45 minute dive?

 

Dont think I could force myself to drink this stuff.

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I can now operate the zoom, mode dial and aspect ratio switch using the (straightened out) long shafted knob on the left.

These control knobs are easy to unscrew from the housing using a spanner.

Edited by Panda

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