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  #1  
Old 11-13-2009
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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westyswoods
Default Underwater Video Capability

Please suggestions for an underwater video camera. I have been researching and find such a variety, went to Best Buy and they didn't know squat. I have heard good things about the Olympus 8000 but have been unable to find much info about its video capability. I do not need a still photo camera and presently have a very good video cam but it can not be used for underwater. Any suggestions and feedback will be greatly appreciated. The slate is wide open other than cost I would like to stay under $400 but main goal is functionality and ease of use.

Thanks To All

Westy
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2009
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CoachDave CoachDave is offline
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Default There are lots of little options

Personally, I prefer keeping the quality on the filming and making sure that it can store lots of content, so I use the Sportspack case for Sony- any sony camcorder can fit in it and you can take it down to 5m. If you've already got a Sony, you're talking $200 or less.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2009
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Default

Thanks Coach Dave,

I was hoping to find a quality case for the Video Camcorder I have which is a Canon FS100, to this point I have not found anything that looks descent. The case you mention looks like what I would like but not right camera. May be I just buy a new video cam, want to make sure it does quality uderwater video as its primary use will be for stroke analysis. To all input more than needed.

Thanks Again
Westy
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2009
RadSwim RadSwim is offline
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Default Consider less expensive

I like task-specific equipment. I recently tried a new Canon "water-proof" multipurpose digital camera that leaked on its second use. I bought a new HD camcorder for general purpose use and SCUBA but it too sophisticated and bulky to take to the pool once a week to monitor my swimming technique.

Instead, I bought a very inexpensive and very small sports camera that is well-suited for the purpose of sticking the camera to the side or end of the pool and recording my swimming.

http://www.goprocamera.com/index.php?area=2&productid=4

http://www.goprocamera.com/index.php...2&productid=17

There is a new HD version of the camera that I have not used yet.

The GoPro camera is limited -- no LCD playback for immediate feedback. Instead, I record 30 minutes of a swimming practice and watch the video later.

The system is small and very easy to use.

The wide angle housing is well-suited for continuous recording from a fixed camera position -- which is what I need for regular recording of solo swim practice.

The GoPro camera is by far the widest angle available on an inexpensive system. I get most of the same functionality for an investment of under $200 than I would get using a conventional video camera, underwater housing, and wide angle lens that would cost $1500 - $2500.

Image quality is good, sufficient to see details of head and body position, and extremity motion. There is the expected fish-eye distortion at the fringes of the image. The automatic exposure system has worked in full sunshine both morning and mid-day. Also, works well on a cloudy day. I swim outside, so I can not comment on its performance indoors.
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2009
Manofword Manofword is offline
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Default

I just bought this camera on ebay and will be trying it out at the "Y" this week to see how badly I look under water. I use my Exilim to video above above water, which does fine. There is a box right in front of the lane I use early in the morning so I can set it there, turn it on and start swimming. I am looking forward to using the suction cup feature for the GoPro camera. Will post my results!
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2009
tsesung tsesung is offline
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tsesung
Default Pocket still camera + case

Personally, I've been impressed with the underwater photos from my Canon SD-750 and its UW case, also made by Canon. I haven't used its video much, but I may try it for this purpose. Altho' the SD-750 is discontinued, I'm sure Canon makes UW cases for its successors, which seem to run about $150-170-ish, so tack that onto the cost of the camera. If you get last year's model, you can probably get a whole package under $400, and you'll have a decent pocketable digital camera to boot, which you can use for your next beach, canoe, diving, snorkeling, etc. trip.

Here's an example:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-WP-DC17-.../dp/B000V72M3A

BTW, I doubt there's any way to do this w/o someone filming you.

Last edited by tsesung : 11-29-2009 at 07:26 AM. Reason: minor edits
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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atreides
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadSwim View Post
I like task-specific equipment. I recently tried a new Canon "water-proof" multipurpose digital camera that leaked on its second use. I bought a new HD camcorder for general purpose use and SCUBA but it too sophisticated and bulky to take to the pool once a week to monitor my swimming technique.

Instead, I bought a very inexpensive and very small sports camera that is well-suited for the purpose of sticking the camera to the side or end of the pool and recording my swimming.

http://www.goprocamera.com/index.php?area=2&productid=4

http://www.goprocamera.com/index.php...2&productid=17

There is a new HD version of the camera that I have not used yet.

The GoPro camera is limited -- no LCD playback for immediate feedback. Instead, I record 30 minutes of a swimming practice and watch the video later.

The system is small and very easy to use.

The wide angle housing is well-suited for continuous recording from a fixed camera position -- which is what I need for regular recording of solo swim practice.

The GoPro camera is by far the widest angle available on an inexpensive system. I get most of the same functionality for an investment of under $200 than I would get using a conventional video camera, underwater housing, and wide angle lens that would cost $1500 - $2500.

Image quality is good, sufficient to see details of head and body position, and extremity motion. There is the expected fish-eye distortion at the fringes of the image. The automatic exposure system has worked in full sunshine both morning and mid-day. Also, works well on a cloudy day. I swim outside, so I can not comment on its performance indoors.
Which version of the camera did you get? I identified the 'surfer' version as the closest although the adhesive mounting seems to be a one time process. I saw a rubber mounting attachment for 19.99. Also is there anything that would allow it to be attached to the pool wall underwater so that you could get an underwater view. The camera specifications suggest that is waterproof up to 5 meters. Have you used it in this way? The 170 degrees seems ideal for horizontal sidebank views. How many meters do you lose on a straight on vertical view as you swim away from the camera. It would seem you might lose the first few meters because of the dropoff from the bank to the water. Have you had any problems with people almost stepping on it because it does seem pretty small. Let me know your precise attachment set. This seems ideal for me. thanks.
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2009
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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westyswoods
Default

Atreides,

FYI since starting this thread I've done much research on what may be the best for underwater (UW) filming. I finally decided to try the new GOPRO HD. Total cost from REI 299. I contacted GOPRO and spoke to an individual who has used it for skiing and biking. I was informed that it is next to indestructable. I had the chance to use it yesterday and found the quality of the video to be excellant. There is going to be a learning curve on best angles and distances to use camera, especially if you are going to film with no assistance. There is no lense adjustment and it is basically a point and shoot type video camera. The angle width takes away the question of capture. There is a fisheye effect on the edges due to the wide angle and I was told this by GOPRO. There is no view back LCD on the camera it must be downloaded. I use Mac OS X Leopard and had some difficulty in that it seemed to download into Iphoto and then was transferred to IMovie. You can also play directly to TV which I have not tried. The problem I see with this is, when using this camera for UW filming it is a turn on and let film, creating a tremendous amount of dead space which needs editing.

The set up and programing is one of the easiest to follow I have done.

For my first filming I used the base plate as it comes with the camera and sat it on the bottom of the pool at about 5ft depth. It captured good straight on video for about 20 ft. GOPRO informed me that the suction cup had to be applied to a clean dry and flat surface to work, if so it takes away the option of attachment to the pool wall. The package I recieved from REI has many various attachment more than needed to make adjunct modifications for pool use. I have some ideas for modification with a second person assisting UW videoing while staying on the pool deck but capturing the full length from various angles. They should work in open water also. I hope to put the attachment together today and have my wife try Weds.

From what I have seen so far this camera should work great. I took the extra step and purchased the newest verison with HD. The GOPRO Heroe version can be purchased for about $150. REI has both online if you have trouble finding and their return policy is very accomadating.

I hope this helps in some small way.

Westy
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2009
RadSwim RadSwim is offline
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RadSwim
Default

atreides- I get about 40 per cent of the 25 yard length in the field of view. I just took my Go Pro Hero to 30m using a head mount while SCUBA diving. No leaks. The URL's I posted above are the pieces of equipment that I purchased.

westywoods - "GOPRO informed me that the suction cup had to be applied to a clean dry and flat surface to work, if so it takes away the option of attachment to the pool wall."

Off-label use. My suction cup mount works fine underwater. It sticks to the underwater tiles so tightly that it is sometimes difficult to remove. It does not stick well to the gunnite (plaster).
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2009
Manofword Manofword is offline
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Default

I just used my GoPro (not HD) for the first time this morning at the Y. I put it about 1' below the surface facing down the length of the lane. Like the previous poster, I got about 40% of the pool distance but the quality was very good. Good enough to know that my stroke needs major work! I only paid $125 for mine, new on ebay w/free shipping so the deals are out there if you just look. Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and how it works and the quality of the video. I NEVER thought I'd get this involved just learning how to swim! LOL
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