To quote someone that we can't name "the best camera is the one you have with you". Well for the vast majority of people that's a smart phone, and for us, it's a shiny new iPhone 8. Not convinced? How about a pocket camera that shoots 4K 60fps video? Sold.
During a non-working fun dive we may not want to take the big camera system with us. The option of diving without a camera is obviously not an option at all! We can't not have a camera underwater! So we're always on the look out for a super easy, super handy, super practical little camera to take on adventures underwater. With the iPhone 8, we found it.
We've tried a lot of iPhone and iPhone housings over the past few years, the latest iPhone 8 paired with the Lenzo housing (made by ValsTech) is by far the best. By a massive margin. It's the solution we've been looking for, and really does pack a ton of amazing video and photos features into a system that is small enough to take anywhere, and easy enough to use on a day off (little brain activity required!).
Lenzo iPhone housings are tough, they have great optics, the latch is reassuring, the buttons feel nice, and the two little "arms" mean you can focus, select different functions, and dismiss any "low battery" error messages. It's the most versatile, practical, highest functioning and best design iPhone housing on the market.
The iPhone 8 is a fantastic camera to have underwater. Using the iPhone's native camera app we can take "Live Photos" - essentially 3 second snapshots, we can shoot HDR images, switch between 240fps slow motion at 1080, time lapse, and video functions. Using Camera+ we can shoot RAW still images, and using the awesome Filmic Pro app we can shoot a ton of video with more options than ever before (an app that really shines above water), such as focus peaking, increased bit rate and an incredible stabilization mode.
The Lenzo is now our go-to "day off" camera. We always have it, it shoots remarkably well, and it makes for a very fun dive! In fact, it really gives a lot of other, more expensive cameras a run for their money. Never underestimate the power of a telephone!
Find out more here: https://www.valstech.com
DPReview is the single best online resource for in-depth camera information and reviews. Well written, concise, and trust worthy. Of course they aren't written from the point of view of an underwater shooter, but it's still a fantastic place to read more about any given camera.
The GH5 was recently announced and it's every bits as awesome as people had hoped. Bang for buck the GH5 could be one of the most important camera system for underwater videographers: a small, broadcast quality, and affordable video system.
Though the camera is not yet out (pre-orders are being taken) DPReview have posted their first review, and it's well worth a read...
Every now and then we get our hands on a piece of gear that is a little different, but makes a big difference, Dive n' Dry is just that.
Designed in Australia, the Dive n' Dry is a foldable rinse and dry station, lightweight, tough, and comes in a handy little draw string bag. It's made from blue aluminum (that just so happens to fit in well with the Seaproof.tv branding!), and has fold out plastic hangers for a multitude of dive gear.
Being designed in Australia we presumed it would basically be good enough only for wetsuits and more lightweight scuba gear. Not so. In fact we loaded the Dive n' Dry up with a drysuit, heavy BCD with steel backplate, heavy dry boots, gloves, hoods, turtle fins, and a few other bits n' pieces. The Dive n' Dry stood firm, not wavering under the weight of a shitload of wet, cold water dive gear. Solid as a rock.
In short, we're loving the Dive n' Dry, it's footprint is small so it's perfect for anyone living in a confined space such as an apartment. Standing 6 foot tall it can handle a drysuit of wetsuit, and one, or maybe two BCDs, plus a host of other gear. It's sturdy too, and is designed to allow the air to really get in and help dry the gear.
It works, it's reasonably priced at $150USD, and it's a really practical and useful piece of gear. We'll be buying a second one in pink once they'r released in the coming months.
For more info: www.divendry.com
A couple of months back we were hired to shoot the underwater portion of a web video for Canon's new Road New Roads campaign. The shoot was to capture diver Gary Marcuse using a Canon 7D for the first time. The shoot was a challenge, as the visibility that particular day was minimal, in fact our first dive was called early due to lack of being able to see one's fins! The shoot ended well though and we're proud show you the two part video below.
Our video was shot on a Canon 5D Mark 2, using an Aquatica housing, and a Canon SL1 using an Ikelite housing. Gary can be seen shooting with a Canon 7D with Ikelite housing. Charter operator is the ever excellent Sea Dragon Charters.
For more info visit the Roam New Roads website.
Often overlooked in favour of shiny brands like Manfrotto, Benro are fast becoming a very sought after equipment manufacturer – even the BBC is buying their equipment on mass. Benro’s video gear has gone from strength to strength, utilizing good quality materials, durable construction and excellent ergonomics. The real winner though is the price – way cheaper than anything Manfrotto will release, and to a lot of people – a lot better gear.
The new Aero 4 is a super lightweight all-in-one travel tripod and monopod, with a fluid head capable of supporting up to 8.8lbs.
A fantastic piece of gear for anyone wanting quality as well as compactness. It’s easy to store on a dive boat or take on an expedition into the middle of nowhere, and can be used in a dozen different ways. Top stuff!