Video Housing Info

[All diagrams, photos, and information Copyright 2000-2003 Robert Laird. Not for use, duplication or distribution without express permission of the author.]

December 2004 --  Canon, since I bought my Optura, has gone through many generations of video cameras.  The competition is fierce and the consumer has benefited.  However, it seems like most of the underwater housing manufacturers have decided to standardize on Sony videocams...  so, as much as I hate to do it, I'd have to recommend that you select a Sony...  But I should preface even that to say, if you plan on doing underwater videography, select the housing first, the lights second (HID), and the camera last.  You'll be happier with the result that way.

August 2, 1998 -- Robert Laird

I had Barry Miller of Extreme Exposure construct a housing for my Canon Optura video camera.

Now, most video camera housings have an option of adding an LCD display on the back "window". Since the Optura already had a flip up screen, I asked if he could simply make the housing big enough to accomodate the existing screen.

The only way this was possible is if he used an 8" diameter housing. He had recently decided to switch from PVC to aluminum, so he had to find a "drop" of aluminum that was 8"... it took quite a while. But the results were worth the wait.

The other issue is that the Optura is not symetrical... it looks more like a 35mm camera in shape, with the viewfinder and lens pushed off to the left,, leaving a nice handgrip area on the right. Click here to see an image of the Optura. [WARNING: Large image! 110Kb]

From the pictures, you'll see that Barry did a fantastic job...

Front quarter view

Rear view, with cover off

Being the cheap person that I am, I decided to make my own bracket to hold the light head of my existing cannister light, Goodman handle and all. I can't say it's a rousing success, but it works as planned.

Right side view, with bracket

I, no doubt, will finally decide to get a real bracket some day along with another light just for video...

In summary: if you want a top-flight video housing, good to 425-feet, call Barry Miller (850-926-8834), send him e-mail (barry@extreme-exposure) or check out his Web page:

Since I purchased Barry's housing, Amphibico has come out with an aluminum housing for the Canon Optura... the MV-1. It looks pretty good... their web page... One difference is that Barry's controls are electronic and the Amphibico's controls are manual. The Amphibico is $995 msrp. <--- apparently, Amphibico stopped manufacturing this housing...

One thing I would like to see is room for the larger battery... Barry's is ALMOST big enough for it, but just not quite. The Amphibico is moulded just for the camera, so there is zero extra room.