View Full Version : Serious Question

07-26-2007, 21:09
For those out there that have video experience... what should I look for in a video camera for underwater videography?

07-27-2007, 08:19
What kind of underwater video will you be doing? Vacation show your friends or serious videowork? How often do you dive? Where do you dive? How much do you have to spend? I could give you better suggestions with more information.

TAH 73
07-27-2007, 08:30
Best thing is for the camera to be waterproof :icon_cheesygrin:
Do you have any gear, or are you just starting out?

Something like this, pick up a cheap cam on Ebay, and off you go..

Its's alot more expensive than shooting digital underwater, although with my Canon S1IS shoots OK underwater video, for alot cheaper than a video format.

07-27-2007, 08:50
I'm actually looking at that housing myself. Does anyone here have any tips on it or have used it before?

07-30-2007, 15:08
For those out there that have video experience... what should I look for in a video camera for underwater videography?

Most important spec, IMO is the low light capability. Zero lux and IR ("night shot") features aren't applicable underwater, you need actual low light capability, since not much light makes it down. After that, you're looking at a small fortune in video lighting gear. LOL

07-30-2007, 22:47
What kind of underwater video will you be doing? Vacation show your friends or serious videowork? How often do you dive? Where do you dive? How much do you have to spend? I could give you better suggestions with more information.

I will be doing mostly vacation shows, but I do some deep dives, so I know I will need some sort of lighting. Serious video work comes after I learn the ropes, but I wouldn't mind getting something that I can grow a little with.

I dive about once a month locally and once or twice a year tropically.

I don't want to spend a fool's ransom, but a beggar's fortune would suffice.

I currently have no gear...


Devil Diver
07-31-2007, 15:48
-deleted- Man you guys are posting fast.

08-08-2007, 07:34
Hi guys i know nothing about Video but would like to get involved.
I was thinking about purchasing a JVC Everio and the 30m housing.

Any ideas views?

What about lighting?

I would appreciate any views you have.

I looked at the Top Dawg as I thought I could get a Sony but the lighting system is not available through ST.

Any idea for a noob like moi?


08-08-2007, 12:43
Give a call to Ryan at Reef Photo. (www.reefphoto.com) That dude knows all.

02-14-2008, 11:03
Hi Everyone, My name is Kent. I've been shooting UW Video for about 15 years and have really seen it evolve. I've also gone through a LOT of equipment along the way. For housings, I definately recommend housings made by Light and Motion. All they make now is video housings. You can see what's available at Underwater Housing, Underwater Video Housing, Underwater Camera Housing, Light&Motion,Light and Motion (http://www.uwimaging.com) and you can purchase their stuff from Scubatoys or from Backscatter. As for cameras, I see many people running out and buying some of the affordable HD cameras that are now available. However, be warned!... If you shoot with an HD (1080i resolution) camera, you MUST: 1. Have a very new and good computer to process HD with, 2.Have software that not only will process/edit HD/1080i video, but which will also burn your project to a high definition DVD, such as a Blu-ray disk, 3. Have a Blu-ray drive/burner so that you can actually create a Blu-ray disk, 4. Have a Blu-ray player so that you can play your Blu-ray disk, and 5. Have an HD TV to watch it on. If you don't have one of the pieces in this puzzle, your final output WON'T be HD, and, in fact, since you would be downscaling, your final output could be worse that standard DV (digital video @720i resolution). Again, I say this from experience. Going HD is a substantial investment; in both time and money. If you go HD, you must go HD all the way - from beginning to end! For this reason, I strongly recommend (especially for new videographers who want to get VERY good results) is that you invest in a DV camera, rather than an HD camera. The results from DV cameras are phenomenal. Additionally, it isn't as demanding on your computer, and there are a number of software (Adobe Premier Elements, Sony Vegas, and Final-Cut) that will edit your video with ease and create fabulous results. However, if you go HD, virtually everything changes, and what was easy stuff on DV, could become a nightmare unless you are both experienced and willing to invest a lot of time and money in producing your video.
Another great thing about DV cameras is that you can get cameras that are small in size, but huge in features and which take great video. Again, look at the housings that are available, and then get a camera from there. I do recommend that you call the guys at Backscatter (in Monterey, CA) Backscatter : Underwater Camera, Underwater Video Housing, Underwater Photography, Waterproof Camera (http://www.backscatter.com) as they specialize in underwater photography only. They are also just down the street from Light and Motion and know L & M's products very well. (They do also sell other brands such as Sea & Sea and Amphibico).
One person above stated that he thought he would probably need video lights because he likes to dive deep. Hmmm... you don't have to go deep in order to justify the need or use for video lights! Nearly all your reds and yellow's are gone after 15' or 20'. Thus, below that depth, you'll either need lights (to bring out the colors of your subjects), or you'll need to engage the red filter on your housing. Both have their time and place. However, you should never use both the red filter and lights at the same time! The use of lights also removes shadows and provides even coverage of light that sunlight won't provide. Additionally, if/when you go on night dives, your lights will give you pictures that will be better than your daytime pictures, since daytime pictures are often flooded with Blue since it penetrates the water more than any other color. The two types of video lights that are available are Halogen and HID. Halogen is less expensive and HID is more expensive. They type, or color of light that each type emit is different, and a 10 watt HID light can easily be twice as bright as a 10 watt Halogen light. The ideal light is one which produces the "whitest" light possible; light much like sunlight. That light is going to come from an HID light which typically burns at 5400 degrees Kelvin and produces a very white light. Halogen lights burn at approximately 3600 degrees Kelvin and produce a more orangish light - similar to an incandescent bulb. IF you can afford HID lights, they will reward you with phenomenal colors and lighting. Otherwise, if you are on a budget, Halogen lights will serve you well. Last, I recommend that you look for a camera and a housing that allows you to set your White Balance. Since colors change as you descent and ascend, you constantly need to check and reset your White Balance. Using "Auto-White balance works 'so-so' but if you can manually set your White Balance, you'll be much better off. To set your White Balance, you need to point your camera at something VERY white. Some people carry along a White Slate. But I find that cumbersome. Rather, I use White Fins! Scubapro has some VERY GOOD fins available that are also available in White!
Good Luck! Kent

05-02-2008, 18:49
Hi Everyone, My name is Kent.

wow, kent. thanks for the download of info. VERY helpful to us noobs!

05-31-2008, 22:22

I do have to say that you have a lot of knowledge in that noggin of yours. There is just nothing much better than experience. I'll be paying attention to the things you say. I'm illing to learn even though I've already made a couple mistakes you mention, like buying an HD camcorder.

I am finding that this whole video thing is quite a learning curve. Quite interesting, too.