Friday, October 3, 2014

Filming Under The Sea: Part Two

So now that we have covered some basics of under water filming. We can now do over some important equipment that is needed.


Underwater Camera Housing

The underwater housing for your camera is the most important (and expensive) item for underwater filmmaking. It is also the best investment you will make because it protects the camera from the hazardous elements of an underwater environment.

For the hundreds of cameras on the market there are relatively few underwater housings. If you don’t already have a camera, you should first look for a quality housing and let that lead you to a camera. In other words, shop for housing first and camera second.

In general, camera housings are mechanical, digital, or a combination of the two. Generally, they have buttons and pins that go through the hard casing to physically push buttons and turn switches on your camera. The benefit of a mechanical housing is that parts can be replaced if something breaks in the field. The buttons and switches have to be kept in good condition so they don’t jam or get stuck, but you don’t need to worry about electronics getting wet and ruining the electronic board. 

Digital Housings

Digital housings plug into a port on the camera and operate all the camera functions from digital controls on the housing. They are often constructed so that the buttons are in an ideal place for the diver to control in the underwater environment, usually where your thumbs would naturally grab the camera. This is a real plus. But be advised; an occasional failed circuit board can leave you stranded if you are in a remote location.

Watertight bags are a less expensive option, but they tend to restrict your range of depth. 



More energy-efficient LEDs are also gaining popularity with deep water filmmakers. With greater battery life and the decent colors they produce.

Small halogen lights are what most divers carry with them to see things at depth. If you want your video to look like daytime, you would have to get stronger halogen lights made specifically for use with video equipment.

Another thing that needs to be considered is how you are going to hold both the camera and the light or lights. Most divers use a mounting mechanism that attaches to the camera housing. Lights and mounting is are usually bought separately. If you are customizing your own lighting system, just remember that you will want to be able to adjust the lights underwater without much effort.

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