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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.

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Old January 14th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #16
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,054
Hi Andrew...

The MiniDV format and the DVCam format are substantially different in terms of the track pitch. It's 10um for MiniDV and 15um for DVCam.

The result is a lot fewer dropouts and less tracking problems with DVCam, one of the reasons I switched.

My production partners and I had issues with my MiniDV tapes mis-tracking once in a while. But I've had very few DVCam tapes mis-track. The only time was when one of the cameras needed to be re-aligned. It's been worked on and tapes from that camera work just fine. The only drawback is that 60-minute tapes are now 40-minute tapes. I'm willing to trade the shorter recording time for higher reliability. The tapes are the same. The tape transport speed is different.

Regarding cameras, you might want to look at the PD-170. It has XLR connectors with phantom power. Because of that, it opens up a lot more choices in mic selections. I now use an AT 4051, a cardioid-pattern mic, that has excellent characteristics. Prior to that I was limited to self-powered mics.

Of course, there's the HDV cameras coming out. And there's the DVCProHD Panasonic that I'm considering, the HVX-200. One of the intriguing features is the ability to record-ahead which would help tremendously when waiting for fish to bite. We'd be able to catch the big moment without burning tape.

If 24p is an essential capability, then the HVX-200 might be worth considering. Although I'd be hesitant to take it underwater just yet!
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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Old January 14th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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The HVX200 is a little out of my price range, so is the PD170. The VX2100 is slightly more than the GL2, so it is an option I'm considering, mostly because of the larger CCDs.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 03:33 AM   #18
New Boot
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 14
another G2 housing to consider and other resources

Ocean Images also makes a G2 housing. The company has a good reputation on the underwater photo/video boards:

For those of you interested in underwater video, you might check out the forums at:
The forum specific to underwater video is called Moving Pixels

Finally there is another good forum for underwater video at:
they have a digital video forum

I frequent these sites above and try and keep up on underwater photo/video developments. let me know if I can provide any additional information
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Old February 8th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #19
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 44
I ordered an Equinox housing with arms on Monday. Hopefully be here soon!

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Old July 30th, 2006, 10:02 PM   #20
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canada
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As a note to this thread. As i stated I purchased a GL2 housing from Equinox at the beginning of February. After three months and countless empty promises later, my housing shipped. Gleefull was I, until I opened the box. The housing arrived, with all the extra controls I ordered, but the wrong arms and no LCD. More time goes by and my arms ship, again no LCD. Blame suppliers or misfunctioning LCDs, but it finally shipped Tuesday. I finally tried the housing yesterday, minus LCD, in the local quarry. I had enough waiting. But be forewarned, remove the 6.5 LB weight for fresh water. Instead add a 2lb weight for 60-100' dives and a 3lb for less than. With the 6.5 lb it was so negative you plumit to the bottom. With 2lbs on my dives today, 80' approx, it was slightly positive (no arms or lights), very easy to dive with. I haveto say their product is great, but their customer service is terrible, especially for such an expensive, limited market.

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