As professional photographers (still images) turned professional cinematographers (moving images), we have a lot of camera equipment! Since we do much of our work underwater, we need even more gear to film beneath the waves. Waterproof housings for the cameras and their monitors, special lights, and more are necessary parts of our kit.
Between us, we also have a lot of dive gear for both warm and cold water diving. We carry 6 steel scuba tanks, a compressor to fill them, and have a beautiful custom stainless steel ladder so we can come back onto the boat with ease laden with tanks, cameras, and belts full of heavy lead!
Beth is bummed that she sold her RED 6K camera system, but she bought her truck and camper with the funds so she could explore western North America! She now uses the Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera in her Nauticam underwater housing. She chose this camera because it shoots video in 4K/60 and offers an excellent suite of features for creating video content.
The Nauticam GH5 housing for Beth’s camera is beautifully designed and easy to use. The NA-GH5 is a professional grade underwater housing, built with cutting edge manufacturing technology, supporting the pro-level GH5 camera to its full potential. The housing accepts a wide variety of ports and options depending upon which lens is being used on the camera.
We’ve been using Keldan underwater video lights for many years. They just keep getting better and better! We love how they are self-contained, lightweight, have adjustable settings, and are very smooth without any “hot” spots or shadows.
Tom pioneered filming underwater with the High Definition (HD) system. Then the RED Digital Cinema camera system came out and proved to be a game changer in the film industry. We started out with their 2K camera, moved up to the 4K, then 5K, then 6K models. Now Tom uses the RED 8K system.
Tom houses his RED 8K camera in the beautifully designed Nauticam Weapon LT housing. This is the smallest, lightest, and easiest to operate underwater housing for RED Cameras available. Depending upon which lens he is using, Tom can easily change out the port. A great thing about this housing is that it allows Tom to use two PAG batteries stacked together, giving him plenty of power if he’s underwater for a long, long time on his closed circuit rebreather!
In the early 1980s, Tom was frustrated because there was nothing on the market that would hold strobes (underwater camera lights) in place adequately. While on an assignment for Continental Airlines in Truk Lagoon, it was important that he get photos that required using 2 strobes. It was so difficult with the arms available at that time that he decided it was time to make something that would work perfectly regardless of cost. Technical Lighting Control was born from that experience. Read more about it here. This is the history of strobe arms used worldwide by underwater photographers & filmmakers! We still use his original TLC gear.
One of the most critical pieces of kit we use, with both the RED and Lumix systems, is our DSC white balance chart. Beth carries the DSC Splash chart in her BCD pocket and we always white balance both of our systems when we are on a dive. Sure, you can change white balance in post, but that takes time and, if you are using a professional edit suite, costs a lot of money. We get it right immediately using the DSC chart. Here’s some more information about why this is the best product to use rather than a white or gray card.
Our PAG batteries pack a lot of punch into a small package. Tom stacks 2 together, getting enough power to last a few dives each day.
To charge our PAG batteries, we use the PAGLink system. It’s nice to be able to stack the batteries on one charger and get them all popped at the same time. We are very aware of the seriousness of charging Lithium Ion batteries on our boat. We have a policy whereby we only charge when we are able to watch the unit and we don’t use any aftermarket parts.