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kotheimer

Attaching your computer to your camera

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I am thinking about diving with my dive computer (wrist mount, non-AI) attached to my camera rather than on my arm. Some considerations:

 

  1. I'm not going to ditch or get separated from my camera, no way, no how. Anything happens to the camera, the dive is over. Any emergency ascent, it's going with me.
  2. The camera will be in front of me and in my line of sight all the time. I do not clip off the camera to do other things -- I am an active shooter at all times while diving (it's my reason for going in the water).
  3. My camera is on a tether and neutral to a couple oz. buoyant. Even if I should let go of it for some reason, it will never float more than a foot or two above me, so the computer will still register my profile very accurately.
  4. I like to watch my computer closely yet continue shooting during safety stops. Right now that's inconvenient. It might seem that I can see it on my wrist while I continue to hold the right handle, but that hasn't really been the case.
  5. I think I'll look at it more often if it's mounted on my camera.

 

Anyway, rather than get beat up Scubaboard (the "you're going to die" forum), I thought I'd see if anyone here on Wetpixel does this and what their experience has been.

 

bk

Edited by Kotheimer

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Years ago I purchased my first air integrated hoseless computer. One of my best equipment changes for photo. (The hose had become very inconvenient.) Since then the wrist unit goes on my wrist, but I also have a small backup computer that mounts at the base of a housing handle. This arrangement has worked very well. Dive info is always in front of me & air pressure just takes a quick look at my wrist. Both computers now in use (Suunto Viper & D4) have same algorithm so no lost dive time if one malfunctions. I might suggest that your housing be slight negative vs positive buoyant, so if you ever need to temporarily set it on the bottom (things happen) it won't float away.

Edited by jcclink

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[*]I'm not going to ditch or get separated from my camera, no way, no how. Anything happens to the camera, the dive is over. Any emergency ascent, it's going with me.

 

I know you probably do not mean that literally and some people may be trained enough to handle emergencies with various skill levels. I truly understand that "no way my camera is getting dropped" feeling also. But going in with a mindset that you will not ditch your camera, even with an emergency ascent, is something that is not a good idea to put into people's heads as an option. Divers die from mistakes, and there are more than enough stories of divers who have died from failing to ditch equipment. I heard one last week from someone who was involved in a incident as a rescuer. It was chilling as to how totally unnecessary and easily avoidable a fatality could be avoided.

 

Anyway, I wear a computer on my left and right wrist, one facing in and once facing out, and usually have no issue keeping my eye on it.

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If you can .. I would got for dual computer .. one always on your camera and one on your wrist.

 

I see how you cannot ditch your camera as it is tethered to you.

I used to work as an divemaster with mine tethered to me, it was a compact set up with one strobe, and really didn't ever get in my way at all. But the camera was at the bottom of my priorities, hence it was tethered. I performed many emergency ascents to rescue people and had to let it go many times to aid people.

 

Anyway .. what i did with 1 computer was keep it on my wrist .. and i actually sat it so the face was either on the underside of my writs or on the inside side .. so it was just as visible as if it was on the housing.

 

There is no reason to put the computer on your housing if you only have one .. if you have two .. then why not.

My opinion.

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I have on occasion put a little Suunto Mosquito dive watch/computer on my camera handle to act as a depth & bottom timer. Then I wear one or two wrist computers depending on my setup, CCR or OC. The camera mount was a marginally useful to me but I found it just as easy to look at my main computers. If nothing else it handy to have a small comp that you can pop back on your wrist to tell the time and record your dive profile to your log.

 

You can't ever guarantee that you won't need to ditch gear. I've dropped a (fortunately tethered) camera and just ignored it to deal with a buddy problem, a difficult current, or other issues. Somtimes you need all of your attention on just making a safe ascent and you can't be bothered with unnessesary equipment like cameras. If your dive computer is dangling 3 feet below you it won't be very helpful.

 

Dave

 

 

 

If you can .. I would got for dual computer .. one always on your camera and one on your wrist.

 

I see how you cannot ditch your camera as it is tethered to you.

I used to work as an divemaster with mine tethered to me, it was a compact set up with one strobe, and really didn't ever get in my way at all. But the camera was at the bottom of my priorities, hence it was tethered. I performed many emergency ascents to rescue people and had to let it go many times to aid people.

 

Anyway .. what i did with 1 computer was keep it on my wrist .. and i actually sat it so the face was either on the underside of my writs or on the inside side .. so it was just as visible as if it was on the housing.

 

There is no reason to put the computer on your housing if you only have one .. if you have two .. then why not.

My opinion.

Edited by davehicks

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I dive with a Oceanic Datamask.

 

The computer is built into the mask, wirelessly air integrated and does nitrox.

 

Never have to fumble for dive info. I just have to look to the down and to the side for depth, time, etc. -- very convenient.

 

Does not obscure your vision very much at all, even with a diopter glued to the inside so I can read my camera controls.

 

I never have to worry about accidentally chasing a fish too deep.

 

Just wish it had a built in compass so I could ditch the compass too. (compass is clipped off to a BCD d-ring on a retractable lanyard).

 

Pricey, but you could do worse, IMHO.

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I use one on the camera (on a bar between the handles) and one on a wrist. I find it way easier to use the computer on the housing than the one on the wrist. After a week of 4-5 dives/day the information hardly differs on them to any significant degree, so in my experience it wouldn´t matter to much which of them I use.

 

/Bent C

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I have a Suunto Vyper wrist computer, and for the last year I have been attaching it to one of my Ultra Lite arms with Stix float. So far, no issues. It's always in my line of sight now. When diving with a camera, which is always the case now, it's a preferred placement for the computer for me.

 

Jen

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I've been doing that for years but I also have a 2nd computer handy just in case one fails. I always like the backup idea so the chances of abandoning a dive is lower. I use it to know air pressure, non-deco time and depth. I've had computers fail while underwater. It's a great idea because you always have your hands on the camera.

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I guess it's OK for no-stop diving, but it seems dangerous for deco. diving. Being permanently attached to a typical DSLR rig is asking for trouble as its awkward, and (as has happened in the Bahamas) it might get eaten by a shark! Even more importantly, it restricts your ability to get the camera into the right place, in the right orientation and results in poorer photographs. If you are not prepared to jettison any item of gear, then one day it might kill you, however unlikely you think that may be.

 

There's so much rubbish talked about gear, too. If you use a tech. diver's configuration you can easily keep a small high-pressure hose from interfering with your camera, not to mention the really awkward item, an octopus back-up regulator. Whatever works for you, but don't forget the KISS principle.

 

Tim

 

:D

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I guess it's OK for no-stop diving, but it seems dangerous for deco. diving. Being permanently attached to a typical DSLR rig is asking for trouble as its awkward, and (as has happened in the Bahamas) it might get eaten by a shark! Even more importantly, it restricts your ability to get the camera into the right place, in the right orientation and results in poorer photographs. If you are not prepared to jettison any item of gear, then one day it might kill you, however unlikely you think that may be.

 

There's so much rubbish talked about gear, too. If you use a tech. diver's configuration you can easily keep a small high-pressure hose from interfering with your camera, not to mention the really awkward item, an octopus back-up regulator. Whatever works for you, but don't forget the KISS principle.

 

Tim

 

:D

I guess I don't understand how putting a computer on a ULCS arm with a Stix float on it, makes it harder to take good pictures or results in poorer pictures. I agree that you should always be prepared to ditch your camera (a high speed swim to help someone maybe) but it isn't clear that putting the computer on the housing should make any difference in your pics.

 

Bill

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My approach is similar to Giles. Wrist mount facing me while hands are on the camera but my second computer is mounted to my BCD. I do tether my housing as I have had to grab people getting pulled down in current running down walls thus needing both hands quickly.

 

Cheers

 

Todd

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I guess it's OK for no-stop diving, but it seems dangerous for deco. diving. Being permanently attached to a typical DSLR rig is asking for trouble as its awkward, and (as has happened in the Bahamas) it might get eaten by a shark! Even more importantly, it restricts your ability to get the camera into the right place, in the right orientation and results in poorer photographs. If you are not prepared to jettison any item of gear, then one day it might kill you, however unlikely you think that may be.

 

There's so much rubbish talked about gear, too. If you use a tech. diver's configuration you can easily keep a small high-pressure hose from interfering with your camera, not to mention the really awkward item, an octopus back-up regulator. Whatever works for you, but don't forget the KISS principle.

 

I, too, fail to see how having the computer on the camera would inhibit photography. If you mean someone having to check the depth during a safety stop, I think it's ok to take a shot then check again. I think most times a shark has held on to a camera to the point it runs off with it , it's been during chummed shark dives. Those are never planned as deep deco dives. I've yet to hear of a shark do that in a natural feeding situation, with baitball or something.

 

And if some has to ditch the camera, just have a small weight attached somewhere that makes it slight negative. Then pull the weight off and let it float up while you deal with whatever issue you have. Just velcro a 100g weight on the top of your housing and pull it off when emergencies arise.

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I guess it's OK for no-stop diving, but it seems dangerous for deco. diving. Being permanently attached to a typical DSLR rig is asking for trouble as its awkward, and (as has happened in the Bahamas) it might get eaten by a shark! Even more importantly, it restricts your ability to get the camera into the right place, in the right orientation and results in poorer photographs. If you are not prepared to jettison any item of gear, then one day it might kill you, however unlikely you think that may be.

 

There's so much rubbish talked about gear, too. If you use a tech. diver's configuration you can easily keep a small high-pressure hose from interfering with your camera, not to mention the really awkward item, an octopus back-up regulator. Whatever works for you, but don't forget the KISS principle.

 

Tim

 

:D

 

 

Not quite sure I agree with all of that Tim - as I recall Alex M has his computer strapped to his camera and I have yet to see many poor quality shots from that direction.

 

If you are going to suggest that he changes so as to improve his shots - please can I be there ? and I _will_ bring the peanuts...

 

FWIW I have taken the ultimate KISS step with my backup reg - I unscrewed it some seven years back and put a plug in the hole..... This has lead me to a bit of conflict here and there with some of the more 'aggressive' DM's - notably in the Maldives for some reason.

 

Paul C

Edited by PRC

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I have an old Mares M2 computer where the strap broke, I tried having it on an arm with zip ties, so I could easily check depth, with real computer on wrist. Did find it to be a bit annoying at times, and have gone back to wrist only, a smaller computer or better location might have made the difference though.

 

Otara

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... as I recall Alex M has his computer strapped to his camera and I have yet to see many poor quality shots from that direction...

 

No. no: I'm sorry not to have been clear in my comments - that bit's about attaching your camera to yourself. The particular foolishness of permanently attaching yourself to your camera was what I was concerned about, and was mentioned in the first post! I think you'd have to try really hard to attach your computer to your camera in such a way that it would impede your shooting (suggestions on a postcard?)! But: Alex seems to be into no-stop diving, where, in a pinch, you can just surface slowly if you lose your computer. It's being parted from your computer that concerns me.

 

An old computer (the unlamented Cochran Commander) failed on a dive several years ago (it started the dive with every tissue compartment at 100% saturation, which seemed weird when I downloaded the profile after the dive) and, despite knowing that I must have been on a no-stop dive (first dive of the day, 30m and 5 minutes), I found it more than a little scary and spent half an hour at 6m (unsuccessfully trying to shoot a juvenile Drum-fish, as I recall) before daring to surface. I once lost all my deco. gas on ascent from a deep dive, and couldn't undo the gas switch (you see why the damn computer was unlamented, now), which was really scary. I sat at 3m in the English channel in a moderate (ie 2m) swell until my reg. wouldn't deliver any gas at all, then spent an hour on the skipper's precious oxygen convinced that every muscular twinge was a bend...

 

... and now use 2 computers for anything challenging!

 

Tim

 

:D

Edited by tdpriest

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I, too, fail to see how having the computer on the camera would inhibit photography.

 

See above: I would like to read suggestions about how it might, though. I have an evil streak.

 

:D

 

Tim

 

:P

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... you should always be prepared to ditch your camera...

 

Yes! That's my point. I, too, find it hard to see how the computer would get in the way (but would appreciate suggestions...)!

 

Tim

 

:D

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going in with a mindset that you will not ditch your camera, even with an emergency ascent, is something that is not a good idea to put into people's heads as an option. Divers die from mistakes, and there are more than enough stories of divers who have died from failing to ditch equipment.

I completely agree with this. Despite my camera being the reason that I dive, in an emergency situation I would not hesitate to ditch it if I thought that by doing so would help me to survive - which is the bottom line; if I survive I have the option of getting another camera and taking more photos. IMHO NO PHOTO is worth dying for. Fitting a computer onto the camera seems to be a pointless exercise given that other perfectly sensible options exist and in the event of DCS the data it contains could be of great value to the people providing treatment.

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I would never dive with fewer than two computers that I trusted, with identical algorithms, so attaching one to the camera would not be a problem

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