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Old January 4th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #1
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Recommendations? UW housing Sony HDR-HC7

I just ordered a Sony HDR-HC7,
I am an uw photographer, so I thought I'll start playing with video, part time
Any thoughts on a UW housing? I have been looking a the upper end housing,
Gates and above, opinions?
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Old January 4th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #2
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I have the Gates housing for this camcorder, and I like it very much. The controls are relatively easy to use. I particularly like the port for viewing the LCD display. It shades the screen so it is easier to see when youre in bright light. I have one of the Sony sportspaks as well, and I find it more difficult to see what I'm filming and control the camera.

Pat
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Old January 5th, 2008, 04:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pat Reddy View Post
I have the Gates housing for this camcorder, and I like it very much. The controls are relatively easy to use. I particularly like the port for viewing the LCD display. It shades the screen so it is easier to see when youre in bright light. I have one of the Sony sportspaks as well, and I find it more difficult to see what I'm filming and control the camera.

Pat
Which port do you recommnd for the Gates?
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Old January 6th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #4
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I'm a long time fan of Amphibico's housings. I currently own housings for my PD-150 & for my Z1U making it my 6th Amphibico housing. I'm a professional videographer and I've been nothing but satisfied with their performance and customer service over the past 15 years.

My biggest complaint about mechanical housings is that the more ports/holes you have in a housing the more potential for leaks. My 2 cents worth.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 04:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
I'm a long time fan of Amphibico's housings. I currently own housings for my PD-150 & for my Z1U making it my 6th Amphibico housing. I'm a professional videographer and I've been nothing but satisfied with their performance and customer service over the past 15 years.

My biggest complaint about mechanical housings is that the more ports/holes you have in a housing the more potential for leaks. My 2 cents worth.
Is the Gates mechanical?
I would love to have a housing for my HVR-Z1U, but I only go diving once or twice a year, and the size of the HVR-Z1U housing is prohibitive.

I took up UW photography as a hobby, used to shoot pro and still shoot Stills, so with have all my still equipment and scuba gear travelling, that's why I ordered a HDR-HC7 for a holiday type camcorder. Can't lug a HVR around with my Nikon gear.
Here's my outdated website of some of mune UW photos.
Sooner or later will update it when I finally sort and scan all my slides.

http://clubweb.interbaun.com/yhmah
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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #6
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All Gates housings are mechanical housings. Have you checked the website?
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:24 AM   #7
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All Gates housings are mechanical housings. Have you checked the website?
I did out the Gates website, and you're right it's mechanical, for $$$ the Amphibico would be the best housing to go with, I looked at Light and Motion Bluefin, nice, too much money, for me

Thanks for the advice.

Yung
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:08 AM   #8
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I like the direct control with a mechanical housing (I use Gates). I feel the I have 100% control over focus and so on. my last housing was a Sony electronical housing but I was not pleased with the control. I have never used an Amphibico housing but guess that it is a flawless housing. It is up to you to choose between electronical or mechanical, both types of housings got its good and bad sides.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 09:09 AM   #9
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Yung, I just have the standard and dome ports for the gates housing. Gates has a range of very high-quality wide angle ports for this housing.

Pat
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
I'm a long time fan of Amphibico's housings. I currently own housings for my PD-150 & for my Z1U making it my 6th Amphibico housing. I'm a professional videographer and I've been nothing but satisfied with their performance and customer service over the past 15 years.

My biggest complaint about mechanical housings is that the more ports/holes you have in a housing the more potential for leaks. My 2 cents worth.
While the Phenom is a great choice for the Z1U, the Evo HD is lacking in features for the HC7 (Manual White Balance). I have the Gates and highly recommend it.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #11
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Good point - not having manual white balance is a big issue. One other problem with mechanical housings however is that beyond 100'/30m the control arms have a tendency to react to the pressure and push on zoom controls, buttons and other things that shouldn't be pushed while you're shooting.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 09:10 PM   #12
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I've only taken my housings to 130' - but haven't had any of those issues. Would be a pain if that occured - but I think 130 will be my limit for the forseeable future...
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Old January 9th, 2008, 12:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
Good point - not having manual white balance is a big issue. One other problem with mechanical housings however is that beyond 100'/30m the control arms have a tendency to react to the pressure and push on zoom controls, buttons and other things that shouldn't be pushed while you're shooting.
That problem only exist on cheeper houdings. When we are talking about Gates, that is not an issue, they got a depthrate to 300'/100m (most of them). I have dived my housing to 140'/45m and I hade the same perfect control.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #14
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HDR housing in moving water

I shoot almost exclusively in rivers and streams where the housing gets bashed against rocks and exposed to heavy turbulence. Mechanical controls simply don't work in this environment. I've migrated all my cameras (including a couple of HDR HC7s) to Amphibico. Amphibicos are excellent housings but must be shipped to Canada (I'm in California) for r&r - freight is expensive.

Amphibico will nickel and dime you without blinking an eye. The housing for your HDR is a couple grand but comes without a handle. It is hardly an optional accessory, but they'll charge you a hundred bucks (plus freight) for a 2 bit part that every other housing includes as standard equipment. As you might tell I have a strong love hate relationship with this company and I'm not alone.

As an aside, do NOT use lithium batteries for the viewfinder and install fresh alkaline batteries every time you come up for air - this thing devours electricity. Learn to use the housing without looking through the viewfinder because you WILL, sooner than later, get a dead finder towards the end of your dive.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #15
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Interesting perpective regarding your application Ralph. Guess it makes sense that mechanical controls would take the abuse worse then the simpler electronic controllers. On a somewhat related note - I found out today that when a large wave hits my mechanical housing, which in turn hits me in the eye - blood, a large cut and swelling results...
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