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The Underwater Kit

I had a few people ask me what cameras and housings I shoot with so thought I would add some pics of both my rigs here and a little history of them.

Me with the Phenom. Image source:

When I first started shooting underwater I pooled my savings and every cent I could borrow from friends and family to invest in what was at the time considered to be the best camera and housing you could pair. The mighty SONY Z1 with the indestructible Phenom Underwater Housing by Amphbico. This very rig was what the first season of the BBC's Blue Planet was filmed on so I was certain it would do just fine!

The SONY Z1 was perfect for underwater shooting because it handled low light very well and had a fantastic manual white balance. Here is the camera outside of the housing......


And another one taken in my studio room....


The Phenom Housing by Amphibico was an engineering masterpiece. It was made of cast aluminium and had controls points for every required function on the camera. It also had a large view finder glass on the top of the housing which made it easy to hover above the camera while filming, rather than always needing to be behind the camera like many other housing rigs. Fully loaded with the camera sealed inside and some trim weights, she was around 22kgs. This housing had done several thousand dives and although you can see general wear and tear on the body it worked perfectly right up to its retirement.




Eventually all tech becomes obsolete, and with cameras it seems that happens at least every year. The year that Panasonic released the Lumix GH4 I knew it was time to retire the old beast that had served me well for the last decade. The GH4 was a compact mirrorless camera that was taking the industry by storm due to its ability to offer consumers 4K capabilities - until then you needed to spend 10s of thousands of dollars if you wanted 4K - it was only in the realms of film and TV production houses that such cameras existed. Now suddenly you had 4K in the palm of your hand for less than 2000$. And the small size meant that housing manufacturers could start getting them underwater. I had just been engaged to film the 2nd season of a Finnish reality program about celebrities learning to be life guards. There would be underwater footage required every episode and the agreed payment would more than cover the cost of the camera and housing. Here is the camera......


This time I opted for a housing by Nauticam. It was very expensive to be honest but I consoled myself with the fact that the newest filming job immediately paid for it. Like the last housing by Phenom it had full access to all the camera controls and was made of cast aluminium. Here's the housing.....


Heres some pics of us shooting the housing and cameras in my home studio.....

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Here is some video from the GH4 in full 4k. If your internet connection is fast enough and your computer has 4K capability you can set the video to 4K on the youtube resolution settings...:) It's from the Sogod Bay in The Philippines.

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