Underwater Housing for the 7D at DVinfo.net

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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old January 19th, 2010, 04:54 AM   #1
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Underwater Housing for the 7D

First hello, first proper post on here!

We have a MA in Wildlife Film Making and we have the 7d's on order, I have one now, testing it out, one thing we wanted to do with the course last year is to do underwater filming.

Has anyone bought any housing for the 7D? Or even the 5D? And how has it faired?

The dives won't be too deep.

I have found this

Underwater Housing for Canon 7D Camera

Apart from the depth rating, anything I should look for?

Thanks
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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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That will work fine for UW photography, but you want to shoot UW video, you are better off with a camcorder. The way you focus and set manual white balance with the 7d will make UW video difficult.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 02:55 AM   #3
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I'm a UW filmmaker and I would say that that will work fine, as long as you know what you are doing. I got the 7D but no housing yet... But soon, and the I will film wit hthe 7D under water... I got friends who got the 5D2 and it works god UW. As long as you can handel the manual focus... I don't shot anything in Auto with my XL2.

you can fined some more housing on the market but the Ikelite is a good and not too expensive. if it's just shalow you can get the Ewa-Marine bag, but I only use it as raincover, it flooded a 400D for me...

Markus
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Old January 20th, 2010, 06:56 AM   #4
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The 7D presently has two housings for it at this time... (more vendors are working on their
versions, soon to come)

The Ikelite one and the Aquatica housing... In general terms...
The difference between the two is the cost, Aquatica is around 2 times the cost because its machined aluminum... the Ikelite is Poly

They both take the same quality of picture/video.

Backscatter just tested the Aquatica housing for underwater use...

Underwater Camera Articles: Canon 7D Underwater Housing Review

I just purchased one of the Ikelites because I have the ports required.. The 7D works great underwater...

Backscatter also has a writeup of the 5DMKII in a Ikelite housing...

Underwater Camera Articles: Canon 5D Mark II Underwater Video Review

I think they also rent housings if you decide you don't want to invest that kind of money.

Just remember that underwater shooting is much different than shooting above water,
it takes quite abit of practice to get it correct.

Ron, in the post above has done some very nice underwater work. I'm sure he could answer some questions about his shooting style... check out some of his work, very nice examples....
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Old January 20th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #5
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Thanks a lot guys, my work colleague is a diver and had housing in the past, I'm just wanting to get an understand of what is out there, the links on backscatter are fantastic, cheers!

What about lenses?

On backscatter it talks about this lens

Tokina 10-17mm f3.5/4.5 DX Fisheye Zoom Lens
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Old January 20th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #6
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The reason the Tokina is a good choice is that its an adjustable fish eye.. notice too that
they shot underwater footage with the 5DMKII with the Canon 15mm fish eye...

Choices for lens selection for underwater work are, wide angle, macro and general purpose.

You need to study the port charts and determine what style of shooting you want..
here's Ike's port chart...

Canon SLR Port Chart

a hot topic seems to be a style termed "wide angle macro shots" .... you might want to look into that, and also task oriented macro lenses...
the wide angle lens and the macro lens take different setups for underwater shooting...
and then there are color correction filters and diopter filters that you'll want to research also.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #7
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For me, the big draw for 7d topside video over a camcorder are the shallow DOF and low light capabilities. Shallow DOF is not really something I look for when shooting UW. Low light capability is defintely needed UW, but the benefit may be negated by focus difficulties and shallow DOF.

Ray how are you getting along with the 7d focus underwater ? I think one of the reason's the Tokina lens is being recommended is the wide angle deep DOF makes focusing less critical.

Are you using manual white balance ?

I ask because in my experience these 2 tasks are a big part of making good UW video and they happen to be 2 weak points of the 7d video mode.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #8
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Ron, I just got the housing so I have not had it in the water yet....

Normal DSLR shooting underwater is to have a super high aperture settings (f11+)
to ensure that the depth of field is there... so for video, I'd say you have to practice
to get your depth of field and the low light capabilities that would be optimum....
only because, if your shooting without lights the higher aperture settings are going to make you want to push the ISO. And I don't like to push ISO or gain when shooting video footage on any camera...

As to white balance, a must without lights... and I'm sure very desirable with lights...
I see some fins now that are white being used for white balancing.. :-)
The 7D seems pretty easy to perform a custom white balance.. not like a single button balance on a standard video camera but not too bad once you get the hang of it...

The best video camera I have ever used underwater is the Sony PD-170... just a fantastic camera
that just about shoots in the dark... I wish Sony would release a HD version of that camera...
I'd be all over it... The EX1 comes very close but the housings are crazy priced for the EX1.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 11:07 PM   #9
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I used to shoot a Sony TRV900 and currently use a Sony FX7. Pretty happy with both and the Gates housings. One touch MWB is very quick and works well. Focus is a breeze since I can use the push/auto focus and then lock manual focus instantly. As you know, camcorder auto focus is much faster than 7d. I lock shutter at 60 and let the camcorder adjust aperture accordingly.

Funny you mention the EX1. From the UW footage I have seen, it is not a huge improvement over the FX7/V1u or FX1/Z1. Recently speaking with a few pro's they agreed but said the broadcast industry won't accept HDV footage and pretty much insist on EX1 or "better."

Wetpixel is an discussion board similar to DVinfo except it is dedicated to UW photo/video. DSLR's like the 7d and 5d are getting buzz just like on here, but the general consensus for UW use is photo with video a far 2nd thought and for people with a primary video focus, a camcorder is still the way to go.

Never the less I'd be very interested to see some of your UW 7d footage when you get it in the water. Only thing I've seen so far is the backscatter vid.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 10:41 AM   #10
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Think we have decided on buying one from here
Cameras Underwater: ewa-marine flexible underwater SLR housings.

Look forward to it! Mostly going to be river work for the students.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:07 AM   #11
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I'd love to know how those work out for you Craig.
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