HV-20 fits into a Sony camcorder underwater housing at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old April 18th, 2007, 03:45 PM   #1
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HV-20 fits into a Sony camcorder underwater housing

I'm headed to Quintana Roo this week with my HV-20 - and a Sony SPK-HCB Sports Pack underwater camcorder housing - to film along the Great Honduran Reef.

It turns out that this housing can hold the HV-20 - and the external mirrored viewfinder is actually usuable with it. Of course, I have to control the HV-20 with my remote control in a waterproof (I hope) pouch since the Sony handycam control system built into the case won't be of any use with the Canon.

Here's the really sweet part: this housing is on sale for $100 at various online retailers. Sony is replacing it with a new model, so for a few months at least it's going to be available for a fraction of its $250 retail.

I'm hoping for sunny moring on which I can film underwater in 60i. If it's cloudy or a bit dim, I'll have to use the 24p mode for its superior low-light handling. I've found that this camera really sucks in low-light - except in 24p. Of course in 24p I'll have to watch out for motion blur - unless I'm very careful and very choosy about the footage I use....

If anyone's interested, I'll link to some footage when I get back.

_______
Gerrit
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Old April 18th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #2
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May consider it... I film paintball and a nice case wouldn't hurt... only question is if you can use a tripod with it and how useable is the mirror...

My friend had one and it wasn't the greatest, paintballs don't do much damage to the camera honestly, only concern is the lense...
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Old April 18th, 2007, 04:05 PM   #3
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Hey Joe -
The underwater cases have tripod mounts on the bottom. The mirror is OK - it wasn't too well aligned on my HC3, but is perfect on my HC7 - dunno about the HV20. ALSO you can remove the mirror assembly entirely - 4 screws! Then you just look into the side directly.

And if anyone is interested, I've got a couple HCB shells without electronics... bought a big lot of these off that gigantic virtual yard sale - got good, bad and in-between...

DB>)
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Old April 18th, 2007, 04:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrit Schroder View Post
I'm headed to Quintana Roo this week with my HV-20 - and a Sony SPK-HCB Sports Pack underwater camcorder housing - to film along the Great Honduran Reef.

It turns out that this housing can hold the HV-20 - and the external mirrored viewfinder is actually usuable with it. Of course, I have to control the HV-20 with my remote control in a waterproof (I hope) pouch since the Sony handycam control system built into the case won't be of any use with the Canon.

Here's the really sweet part: this housing is on sale for $100 at various online retailers. Sony is replacing it with a new model, so for a few months at least it's going to be available for a fraction of its $250 retail.

I'm hoping for sunny moring on which I can film underwater in 60i. If it's cloudy or a bit dim, I'll have to use the 24p mode for its superior low-light handling. I've found that this camera really sucks in low-light - except in 24p. Of course in 24p I'll have to watch out for motion blur - unless I'm very careful and very choosy about the footage I use....

If anyone's interested, I'll link to some footage when I get back.

_______
Gerrit
Happy to see your enthusiasm is up.
Regarding the housing my question is do you have it or is on its way.
From my experience with this housings they are very buoyant and is a struggle to take them just a couple of fathoms underwater also make sure you put the camcorder in to the housing while you are in your hotel room otherwise fogging lens may occur.
Have fun
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Old April 18th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #5
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Good questions about the housing.

1. It has a tripod mount on the bottom.

2. I've had the case for a month.

3. I have pencil-shaped lead weights to counterbalance the bouyancy and to give the housing some inertia.

4. Thanks for the tip about removing the mirror - I'll check on that.

5. I'll have to load up in my car with the air conditioner running - some of the reefs I'm visiting are far from my condo.

I have a question: any advice on shooting 24p underwater vs. just 60i?

Thanks

_______
Gerrit
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Old April 20th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #6
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could you post some photos of the rig (front, back, sides)? i'm looking for a rigid underwater solution and this sounds pretty good. but i'd like to see an hv20 inside it first.

thanks
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrit Schroder View Post
I
If anyone's interested, I'll link to some footage when I get back.
Of course. Do post it.

Good luck

Dennis
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Old April 20th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #8
 
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Just wanted to let you know that Ikelite is going to make a housing for the HV20. We should have some more details in a few weeks.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 02:23 AM   #9
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Ok, I'm blown away by 24p underwater

I've used Connect HD to remove the 2:3 pullodown - and I'm amazed by what I'm seeing from my underwater footage. I need to add a few more weights to make the Sony camera housing neutrally bouyant, but man...I'm glad I went with the 24p mode with this camera.

I'm going back tomorrow to shoot more giant turtles at Akumal. I'm happy with my above-water footage too. Crocodiles, monkeys, little beachside towns....

Before you judge 24p from this camera, make sure you remove the 2:3 pulldown and view your footage on a progressive display.

Canon just leapfrogged the competition on this one - who knows when they'll catch up.

I'm also glad to hear about the case for divers - of course, it will cost 1800 dollars, but it will be worth it when I take down the Virgin Wall in Cozumel....
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Old April 24th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #10
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Gerrit, I thought the Sony housing was only good for around 17 feet???
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Old April 24th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #11
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got any samples yet? and/or pics of the cam in the housing?

thanks
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Old April 28th, 2007, 10:40 AM   #12
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Gerrit, you inspired me to go out and get this housing for my HV20. I have a Gates housing for the HC-7. I am planning to use the HC-7 as my "Surf" cam and the HV20 as the "Turf" cam, but I like the video quality of the HV20 a bit more than the HC-7. Now I will be able to use both underwater and to capture some 24p with the HV20.

I haven't had much time to mess with the housing so that it will accomodate the HV20. My short-term fix is to slide the largest tray into the housing, mount the camera to one of the thinner trays with the screw mount that is the farthest back and left, and secure the back end of the top tray with some electrical tape. I have mounted a weak neutral density filter to the lens and a 55 mm collapseable rubber lens hood on a step up ring that attaches to the filter. The 55 mm lens hood is the kind that is sold for 35 mm still cameras and costs about $7 US. It completely seals the front port from reflected light coming from other parts of the clear housing. It also slightly spring loads the camera/tray combo once I apply the electrical tape, and keeps the metal on the hood from hitting the glass port on the front of the housing.

I had to remove a small retainer bracket inside the housing so that the HV20 would fit with this setup. The little bracket is there to keep the AV cord that connects the housing to the Sony cameras out of the way.

I will set the camera to Cine Tone to limit blown highlights. Unfortunatley, with this setup I will only be able to start the camera rolling before I close the housing. I will get 60 minutes of footage, mostly of what the reef looks like from a bobbing housing tilted sideways as I swim around. Also, I haven't done anything to flip the image on the lcd, so I will be looking at a mirror image of reality on the side mirror. I did place a piece of flexible black matte plastic in the housing covering the top and upper left sides so that the mirror view of the lcd has less interference from light entering the top of the clear housing.

Gerrit, did you solve the camera control issue somehow?

Pat
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Old April 30th, 2007, 01:40 AM   #13
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just curious but why not put the remote in a watertight bag, attached to the housing and use it to start/stop the cam? and can anybody post pics of the setup? i'm this close to getting one, but i don't like to buy sight unseen.

thanks
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 03:24 PM   #14
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I, too would be very interested in seeing some photos of this arrangement! I just got my HV20 yesterday and am now very close to purchasing this housing as well...

Also, how does the remote control work for you? What kind of waterproof solution have you found for it?

Thanks!
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:10 PM   #15
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well i bit the bullet and ordered the housing...

here are some pics...

in these pics i used the A tray on the #3 hole. the edge of the lcd rubs just a bit, i've since modified the C tray, just drilled a new hole, and scavenged the bolt and vhs pin out of a quickrelease plate i had laying around.

images here....

http://file.meyersproduction.com/hv20/hv20%20housing/

i'm heading out to the natural pool by my house to do some testing. i'll post up as soon.
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