Saturday, December 17, 2011

Homebrew Underwater Camera Weight

When I got to the Bahamas with the new underwater housing (WP-DC34) for my Canon G12, I realized that it was really buoyant (floats). I knew Canon had a weight kit for the underwater housings, but I hadn't needed one with my last camera/housing, so I hadn't really thought about. But the new housing is quite a bit bigger and has more air inside (e.g. around where the telephoto comes out).

I managed to borrow a bolt and some pieces of metal but the bolt was too long and the pieces of metal were large so it was quite awkward, but it was better than nothing.

When we got to Providenciales (in Turks and Caicos) we found a hardware store and I bought a bolt closer to the right length, and a bunch of washers for weights. I needed the extra nut because the bolt was a bit too long.

In case you want to try something similar, camera tripod mounts take a 1/4" bolt with 20 threads per inch (tpi).

This arrangement worked pretty well. With 15 washers the camera was almost perfectly neutral (not sinking and not floating).

I didn't bring my homebrew weight kit home because we were overweight on our luggage as it was. I'll probably order the Canon DC-1 weight kit for next time (although it's $55 as opposed to a couple of bucks for the bolt and washers).

Overall, I was pretty happy with the G12 and housing. A couple of times I had a few drops of water get inside the housing, not enough to cause any problems, but still troubling. I'll order a new o-ring and see if that solves it. If I didn't like having the G12 for other purposes, I'd be tempted to go with the Canon S-95 (or the upcoming S-100) which has virtually identical specs, but in a much smaller size. It doesn't have all the manual controls or the articulated screen of the G12, but those aren't important for underwater.

Check out the photos.  Related posts: Diving Photography

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