Ewa-Marine raincover for XL H1; review at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old May 7th, 2006, 04:46 AM   #1
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Ewa-Marine raincover for XL H1; review

After two months of waiting I got an Ewa-Marine VC-XL 2 video-cape to protect our XL H1 during boat trips or rainy weather.

I must say I'm unsatisfied with it for several reasons.

1. I have the rear adapter plate mounted for planned external battery (for camera + light) and wireless system. It will not fit inside the cape even if we don't attach anything. I have to unscrew the three screws and remove the plate. This means I will have to carry dual battery systems, dual chargers and screwdriver if I plan to put on the cape and switch configuration.

2. The front glass mount is flat. This means the lens hood cannot be fitted. The rain drops will easily stick to the glass and distort the picture. A hood is also important on the sea in a little boat with all that reflected light coming from various directions.

3. To attach the front glass you need to screw a ring in the front thread of the filter/lens. Then you clamp a larger ring on that first ring. Then the cape goes over and you push the front glass ring over that second ring which has a notch keeping it to the first ring ... There is nothing keeping those rings together except a little friction between the anodised aluminum parts. Way too much to fiddle with on a rocking boat in a rainstorm ...

4. I have mailed 4 times to Ewa-Marine about this without getting any reply at all during one month. I have called them once and they promised to check the mails and answer. However they said they didn't have any more suitable cape which would allow more space rearwards. And it was too difficult to extend the PVC they told me.

5. The Swedish distributor has got a mail from the shop where we bought the cape and they have not reacted either.

If you need a cape you are better off with a clear plastic bag for 25 cent and two rubber bands; one around the lens hood and the other around the viewfinder. Save your money in this case!
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Old May 7th, 2006, 05:37 AM   #2
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John,

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. From your description, it sounds like EWA's cover is for the older XL1 and XL1s cameras. I have another suggestion for you which is rugged and fairly inexpensive. This cover fits the XL-2 (must specifiy when ordering) and should also fit the XLH1. Take a look at the review I wrote for it.

http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article14.php

regards,

-gb-
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:02 AM   #3
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For foul weather and on a boat, I used to use (until it was recently stolen with other gear) a Kata CRC-11 (RC-11) rain-cover for the XL1s that is big enough to fit everything inside, including with the large rear-mounted MA-200 + radio mics etc attached:

http://www.kata-bags.com/Item.asp?pi...d=1&ProdLine=1

The large RC-10 Pro cover provides more room than the RC-11, but I found the RC-11 more than big enough.

I now use a similar new black rain cover (bought for £22 on Ebay) that comfortably fits the XL2 (or H1) inside with the rear radio mic holder attached (the only thing that I don't like about it is that the material, although waterproof, is too noisy, and a softer more 'silent' material would be much better).

For serious boat work and surface or sub surface shallow underwater work, I have just purchased the Scubacam XL1 soft housing for my XL2. Unfortunately, even though the company advised me that the XL2 (and H1) would fit, it certainly doesn't fit properly! The main problem is the larger XL2 viewfinder as it fits perfect without it.
To get around this problem, I fit the XL2 - + 20X lens + wide adapter fitted - inside the Scubacam (like the Ewa housing, I also need to remove the XL2 rear radio mic holder, which is a real hassle), and then fit the XL2 viewfinder inside the Scubacam viewfinder holder, but let it lay inside the housing with the viewfinder cable attached to the XL2 body (with a soft foam divider to prevent it rubbing against the XL2 body when in use). This makes viewfinder provide a side-on view or can be twisted upwards for a nice overhead view (although not a good rear view), but at least I'm able to work with it when I'm wading in rivers/lakes/sea or leaning off the side of a boat and dipping it in to the water for half/half shots or subsurface footage of fish etc.

For a photo-description of the Scubacam XL, look here:

http://www.optexint.com/sales/bags/xl1splashbag.html

The UK Scubacam company that makes them is here:

http://www.ravello.co.uk/scubacam/

The Scubacam splashbag underwater housing also has a flat front glass, but I first spray the front glass with Rain-X rain repellent that leaves an invisible microscopic layer on the glass that make raindrops or water bead and slide straight off the glass to prevent water-slide build up when surfacing during underwater to topside shooting.

I haven’t used the Scubacam enough to give it a full review, but I will be working for it over the next three weeks in France, so I’ll let you know how it copes in a variety of situations.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:11 AM   #4
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Tony,

I bet Chris H. would appreciate a write-up for DV-INFO if you have the time.

-gb-
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
John,

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. From your description, it sounds like EWA's cover is for the older XL1 and XL1s cameras. I have another suggestion for you which is rugged and fairly inexpensive. This cover fits the XL-2 (must specifiy when ordering) and should also fit the XLH1. Take a look at the review I wrote for it.

http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article14.php

regards,

-gb-
Ewa-Marine actually make three types of soft underwater housings, the first XL1, the uprated XL1 and the latest larger size made especially for the XL2:

The XL1 flexible housing:

http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/e...video/vxl.html

The larger XL2 flexible housing:

http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/e...ideo/vxl2.html

Ewa also make the VC Xl2 Rain Cape (which is way overpriced!):

http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/e...deo/capes.html

Edit: I've just realised that Johan has the horrible overpriced VC raincape! Sorry, I thought that he had the Ewa VXL2 underwater soft housing.

Johan, you'll find much cheaper and larger (better) rain capes for the XL2 on Ebay...or go for the one that Greg describes, or even the Kata one which is also very good quality.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:16 AM   #6
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Good info, Tony. That's not good if he was using an XL-2 specific cover and it fit that poorly. I''m not familiar with EWA's product line since I don't do underwater video. I do know of the name because I am a certified diver, but only for pleasure.

-gb-
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Old June 9th, 2006, 03:22 AM   #7
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Thanks Greg and Tony for your very informative answer.
Yes, I used the specific VC-XL2 raincover from Ewa and it could not acommodate the accessory bracket which is provided with the XL H1. Not even without any mounted stuff on it.

Tony, will Kata CRC-11 fit over the camera with A/B battery (90 Wh) on this bracket? Is there even space left for wireless receiver or do you think the RC-10 is better despite it is double weight.

Also the Scubacam XL was interesting to know about. I wish they made it a little larger to more easily put in the camera with VF attached.

Sorry you lost gear in Spain. We drove two long trips from Sweden down through Europe and then several months in Africa, crossing Sahara twice. One robbery attempt was in Paris and one in Spain ... none in Africa.
Good luck with your filming!
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