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Old May 11th, 2010, 11:39 PM   #1
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Freshwater Underwater Videography Questions

Hello,

I have been asked about shooting some footage underwater in a few freshwater lakes in Missouri next week. I have an EX-1, I have dove all over the world and the client is looking at renting a Gates housing.

First, I would like to ask if there is a better setup? Is the Gates housing easy enough to rent and use without a lot of time with the unit?

Second, since this is not Cozumel, the visibility will be quite short. Do you think I will need lighting? If so, what depth can I get away without lighting? We will be shooting fish as well as habitat probably no deeper than 30 feet.

Third, how well do these housings like the Gates balance and stay buoyant? The EX-1 is a brick and without some positive force I can't see the whole getup wanting to stay with you in the water.

Thanks for your insight and help!
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12th, 2010, 01:12 AM   #2
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I use a XL2 with a Gates housing, heavy on land, but stabile and easy to use UW. When I shot UW in fresh water I always use lights, always. Even if its just 1 meter deep. The housing will not be positive in fresh water, it will sink (thay are made for salt water, on some model you can remove trim weights).

cheers from Sweden
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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Hello,

I have been asked about shooting some footage underwater in a few freshwater lakes in Missouri next week. I have an EX-1, I have dove all over the world and the client is looking at renting a Gates housing.

First, I would like to ask if there is a better setup? Is the Gates housing easy enough to rent and use without a lot of time with the unit?

Second, since this is not Cozumel, the visibility will be quite short. Do you think I will need lighting? If so, what depth can I get away without lighting? We will be shooting fish as well as habitat probably no deeper than 30 feet.

Third, how well do these housings like the Gates balance and stay buoyant? The EX-1 is a brick and without some positive force I can't see the whole getup wanting to stay with you in the water.

Thanks for your insight and help!
The GATES housing is awesome, rent one from Marine Visions (Chat to Joe Holley) or H20 Underwater Pros and they will supply you with everything you need. Go with the SWP44c Super wide port to overcome the poor vis. PM me if you want more info.

Jon
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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for your quick input guys. I will probably need to contact you as this is happening kind of last minute.

On the freshwater buoyancy, How much of an impact does this have for my own buoyancy and operating the camera?

Do they have any floats that can be added to the housing to help it?

Also, have you guys used the Gates viewfinder? Is it any good for HD and focus/exposure?

Thanks
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Old May 12th, 2010, 04:42 PM   #5
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Yes the Gates housing can have buoyancy tubes and yes it has a high res monitor
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #6
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Tim, You could luck out but I'd be very surprised if you get any footage from those lakes....
Typical freshwater lakes are very dark, have algae blooms and this time of year with rain water
run off its going to be a hard shoot. Plus each lake will have different issues depending on its topography.

As to the equipment, for the EX1, Gates is the best equipment you can get...
The key to shooting underwater is White Balance, White Balance and White Balance. Often I'll shoot
a scene with a couple different sets of White Balance... one, use a white card, two pick a light color
object thats laying at the scene and just pick another object and white balance off of it... of the three
you will get a white balance that you can live with when you get it all on the edit line. You should be
able to see the color shift on the monitor when you hit the white balance button while on the different
objects. If you want you can use a paper plate for the white card. Just fold it up and put it in your BC.

Another solution if you don't use lights, use a Magic Filter M A G I C - F I L T E R S
you would need the filter for green water.... they don't make one for black water :-)

Well at least your going to see how the EX1 holds up to low light conditions.

As to weights... when shooting its best to have the equipment neutral in weight or slightly negative.
Then I put on a couple extra pounds on my weight belt to give me more weight to steady the shots...
You don't want to be bobbing up and down for the shoot... like when you take in a breath.

If you can, I'd get in a swimming pool and get to know the controls and such first. You might even
try getting into one of the lakes around Dallas to see if you want to do the shoot at all....
Or might be best to call some of the local Dive shops in the location you plan on shooting and ask about
the visability and such.


If you want to shoot some nice freshwater underwater footage, go to the Florida springs.... :-)
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