Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Notes on Polecams

> I am sorry to bother you but I have a task at work it reminded me of a
> camera setup you used to shoot beneath the ice. You showed video at Sea
> Space in Houston TX that you shot from above the ice sort of with a pole
> cam?
> I need an underwater camera with a cabled above water video display.
> Any idea where to buy one?
> Thanks
> Bill

Hi Bill:

Are you shooting video or stills? 

I shot my polecam stuff in Antarctica with a huge HDCAM camera, the Sony HDCAM F900.  I had a standard Sony viewfinder taken apart and put in cylindrical, waterproof tube so that I could shoot the HDCAM with the monitor on the top of the housing.  It was attached to the housing with a short 30-pin Impulse cable.  I then bought a longer Impulse cable (at a cost of about $1500 just for the cable) that let me take that usual viewfinder and view it from six feet away.  I mounted the HDCAM housing on a PVC pole with a wood broomstick inside for stiffness. 

But that was 12 years ago. 

Today, I'd use a DSLR in a housing like the Canon 7D and Nauticam DP-4 monitor housing.   I have a review of the Nauticam monitor at:

All you'd need to do is set the video rolling and get a cable from the monitor to the housing that is long enough.  Taking stills would be a bit more work. 

I also see that  Seacam have a polecam:

I have found that taking video is easier than taking good stills with a polecam.  And keeping your gear as simple as possible is also important.  For a lot of big subjects, you may not even need a monitor to see exactly what the camera sees -- just put a video camera and wide lens in the water, and you will soon be be to guesstimate the view that you are capturing. 

I hope that this helps.