sequence shot on water in sports housing with fig rig at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old August 4th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #1
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sequence shot on water in sports housing with fig rig

Ocean Pearl on Vimeo
This may be of interest to some DV Infoers.
I shot some footage of a boat on the water as a test and it didn't work out too bad so I made it up into a sequence.
A Sony A1 was used inside a sports housing mounted on a Fig Rig.
The big lesson learned is that it is very difficult to shoot using the image of the LCD display seen in the sport housing mirror - because it is a mirror image and everything is the opposite to what you expect eg pan left and it pans right, tilt left and it tilts right, tilt up and it tilts down.
The second is that the LCD is very difficult to see in bright sunlight. Not impossible, but difficult, especially whilst trying to cope with lesson one.
As a matter of fact many of these shots were taken standing up in a dinghy travelling at 6 or 7 knots which was captained by yours truly without any crew (not to be recommended on health and safety grounds). The standing up shots are noticeably smoother than the sitting down ones.
Despite all that much of the footage is usable.
In a rib with a driver I reckon you could get some very good boat footage with this rig.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #2
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I recently had a similar experience filming a sailing race from a Zodiac using a SR1 and a Sony Sports Pack. Drving and filming at the same time was very challenging and not recommended!

I found it much easier to use the viewfinder than the LCD because of the glare but the SR1 has the image flip thing so you don't have move the opposite way to whats happening in the viewfinder.

How did you get the A1p inside the sports pack? And do the controls work? I bought the SR1 instead of a used HC1 because I was under the impression the HC1 would not fit inside the Sports Pack.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 03:09 AM   #3
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Hi John
Sorry for the delay. I have only just seen your post.
The A1 fits into the housing OK. I had to drill two holes in the sledge. I put a small aluminium pin (a bit of an old burgee tube) in the forward hole and this fits into the locating hole in the base of the camera. The other hole does of course take the screw that fits in the bottom of the camera.
BTW I drilled the first hole very close up against one of the plastic webs in the sled. This keeps the pin upright. In fact the pin is very slightly forward facing so that when it is located and the screw is tightened they are pushing towards each other slightly which takes any sloppiness out of the fit.
Of course the housing is not designed to take the A1. It is not easy to see through the viewfinder that way I fitted the camera because the lens is up close against the front window of the housing and the viewfinder is some way forward of the rear of the housing.
The only option therefore is to use the mirror.
Are you saying that you can select an option in the SR1 menu that makes the camera produce a mirror image in the viewfinder? That would be pretty amazing and very useful. I'm pretty sure that you can't do that with the A1 but I am going to have a look to make absolutely sure.
One other option would be to drill holes in the housing and to use an external monitor but that would be quite unwieldy and maybe difficult to waterproof properly.
The controls work fine and so does the microphone.
There is more than one sports housing. The one I am using is a SPK TRV1.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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The image flip is not a menu selectable function - it is automatic! So as soon as you plug in the control cable from the housing into the camera, it automatically flips the image to be viewable in the mirror!

However, I am using the SPK-HCE which is alot newer. I know from at least the SPK-HCB they have had this feature.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 03:00 AM   #5
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Thanks John. It's not automatic on the A1. A shame. It would make like a lot easier. Filming through a mirror takes some getting used to!
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