U/W digital (video) cameras

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at aoml.noaa.gov
Thu May 15 13:25:28 EDT 1997

Forwarded message:

Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 16:31:17 -1000 (HST)
From: Bruce Carlson <carlson at soest.hawaii.edu>
To: Erik Meesters <meese000 at goofy.zdv.uni-mainz.de>
cc: Coral-List <coral-list>
Subject: Re: U/W digital (video) cameras

I have been in Palau for several weeks and therefore unable to respond to
the slew of questions about the SONY 1000 camera.  Most of you asked that
I post a response to everyone on the list -- so here goes.

First, check out Richard Pyle's web page.  He is capturing still images
from his SONY digital video camera and posting them on his web page after
each of his 300' dives on the reefs in Palau.  His web page address is:


Both Richard and I tested our cameras in our separate Amphibico housings
and both of us had difficulties.  At 180' my housing stopped functioning.
The manual aperture button stuck would not release once pushed to the "on"
position, neither would the zoom or focus buttons operate.  The only
function that would work at that depth was the record-on/off button.
Function resumed to normal once I returned to depths above 150' a few
minutes later.  Likewise, Richard's camera failed to function at even
deeper depths.  According to the person using it (not Richard) the camera
took on a "mind of its own" and began to focus and record etc. without
hitting the buttons.

These problems seem to be related to the housing and not the camera.  The
camera otherwise functioned superbly and produces excellent images.
Moreover with the digital copying capability of the SONY cameras we could
make exact copies between the various cameras available to us in Palau
(seven SONY 1000's at one time in one place!) using the firewire (I noted
that someone mentioned the Panasonic digital camera has a better
viewfinder which might be useful, but as of now, you cannot make digital
copies off of the Panasonic camera which I find to be a distinct
disadvantage of the Panasonic camera).

One other point for amateur videophiles like me:  don't let the sun
directly hit the viewfinder on your camera!  This can easily happen on a
boat when you pass it up to someone else.  The sun leaves nasty permanent
greenish smudges on the viewfinder screen!

Hope this information is of value to all who asked.

Bruce Carlson

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