Video Equipment

Video Cameras

The videos on this website were shot using standard consumer video cameras encased within specialist underwater housings.

Initially I filmed with an entry level consumer camera, the Canon MV 630i, before switching to the Sony HDR-HC1 High Definition (HD) Video (1080i High Definition), and currently the Sony XR520 HD.

Video Housings

My first video cameras were housed in Ikelite housings. A basic clear polycarbonate shell, the Ikelite housing is a robust, reliable and relatively lost cost housing, ideal for the beginner providing a sturdy functional enclosure.

However limitations to more advanced videographers include minimal visibility of the viewfinder (or the mirror based alternate view finder) and the manual control access using a series of buttons and controls somewhat akin to playing table football underwater, resulting in relatively slow camera configuration. However these housings do provide access to most of the key camera functions including access to touch screen options.

Image of Aditech Video Housing

Courtesy Aditech.

Since 2008, the Sony HD video camera has been housed in the Mangrove MVD-L2 housing from Aditech. This provides a number of enhancements over the Ikelite including:

  • A 3 inch LCD display
  • Electronic controls for key functions including record, manual White Balance (WB), zoom control and manual/auto focus
  • Water/moisture sensor
  • Double O ring
  • Changeable port system

Additional accessories include a wide angle port, flat port and red water filter. In addition I have a tripod bracket to allow for the attachment of a Gorillapod or cheap tripod to provide a firm base for macro and close up video shoots.

Lighting

Image of Fix LED 1000DX Torch

Courtesy
Backscatter

The videos are shot using either natural light or artificial light provided by two Fix LED 1000DX LED torches.

When shooting with natural light, a red filter is optionally used to improve the colour saturation. Used in conjunction with the cameras manual white balance capability it is possible to reproduce a faithful representation of the spectrum of underwater colours.







Video Processing

Video processing is performed using a number of software tools including:

  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Smartsound - SonicFire Pro - for royalty free music
  • Final Cut Express
  • Crazy Talk
  • ULead Video Studio