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04-22-2007, 11:52 PM
SILVERFISH underwater housing for camcorders


SILVERFISH is a new underwater housing with remarkable flexibility in application for camcorders having LANC-control. The housing manufactured by RWE Mechatronics will be delivered by AVD Videoproduktion GmbH.

This underwater housing intends to put an end to compatibility problems with regard to camcorder models and underwater housings. It can take many different types of camcorders – now and in future.

For the user, nearly all options are left open: He or she will not have to stick to a certain manufacturer, e.g. when choosing a successor model for his camcorder. And the SILVERFISH can be used jointly, e.g. in clubs or diving schools.

Because of its versatility, uncomplicated operation and robustness
the „SILVERFISH“ housing is also suitable for commercial rental, e.g. in diving bases.

The possibility of renting a suitable underwater housing for the own camera at the vacation resort simplifies a lot. Costs, transport volume and weight are saved. All that is possible, provided that the own camcorder is equipped with a LANC-jack, its length does not exceed 220 mm and its diameter does not exceed 115 mm. And that holds true for many standard commercial camcorders.

SILVERFISH is not only brilliant due to its receptiveness of different camcorder sizes of various manufacturers, the line work of the housing makes also clear that this is the introduction of a potential prizewinner in design. The housing and all metal parts located at the outside are made of special-purpose steel (high-grade steel 1.4571), which is sea water resistant due to its high share of chromium and nickel. The process technology is pure high-tech.

Hydro-forming, a process opening completely new possibilities for the design engineers. Water under high pressure distends a steel tube and presses its surface against the insides of a mould, so that its geometry is precisely depicted. Pressure from the inside and counter-pressure from the outside bend the metal – without interfering its structure. So, objects made of metal take shape, which up to now could only be made of plastic.

When commissioning the SF at the latest, the user will realize, that the design has not only been based on optical, but also on ergonomic demands. The camcorder is simply fastened on the punched bar, being also suitable for the fastening of trimming weights, by means of a tripod screw.

The camcorder and the control module are forming a unified whole, so that, when opening the housing, the total contents (camcorder, plug-type connections) can be pulled out without any dismantling and is then freely accessible.

With its solid double-handgrip the housing is easily maneuverable under water. Easy to operate, even when wearing gloves, are the solenoid push-button elements on both sides of the housing rear which communicate with the camcorder inside by a standardized LANC-interface. This is a prerequisite: The camcorder must be equipped with a LANC-interface.

The SF has been designed for unrestricted underwater video fun for demanding amateurs. But construction method, equipment and performance data make this device also interesting for professional use.

The housing tube and the 12 mm thick, thermally hardened and colour-neutral front glass are dimensioned in such a manner, that a wide-angle converter, installed on the camcorder lens, can be used. At the housing rear, abuilt-in 2,5 inch TFT LCD display (480 width x 234 height) is working. Not a matter of course for housings in this price range.

It is fed by the four mignon batteries included in the scope of delivery
(AA, LR6, AM-3) or corresponding NiCd/NiMH-storage batteries. The batteries allow for an operating period of approx. six hours. The display is protected against incidence of light by an anti-glare made of rubber.
The built-in underwater microphone is described to be well-balanced and efficient. The support bar between the two handgrips offers fastening possibilities for underwater lamps.

At the lowest point of the housing, in usual operating position, a leakage sensor has been installed, which will signalize even the slightest water entry by the yellow LED.

The SILVERFISH is suitable for a maximum diving depth of up to
160 m, which underlines its semiprofessional (and also professional) possibilities of application.

For a price of EUR 1,799.00 both the demanding amateur and the
pro will receive an underwater housing, which they will enjoy even after several alternations in generations of camcorders.

By means of a tripod screw the camcorder is installed on the
punched bar. Fastening of additional trimming weights is possible.
TFT display 2.5 inch (480 width x 234 height) with anti-glare
Easy connection by means of 3 couplers
Easy to operate by means of 8 solenoid push-button switches


www.silverfish.info (http://www.silverfish.info)
Number: 01/2005_GB
Date: 15.01.2005
Restrictive period: no
AVD Videoproduktion GmbH
Burgstrasse 17
53842 Troisdorf-Spich
Phone ++49 (0) 22 41 39 79-0
Fax ++49 (0) 22 41 39 79-499
E-Mail: team@silverfish.info
Internet: www.silverfish.info (http://www.silverfish.info)
Media contacts:
AVD Videoproduktion GmbH
Hans Knaust or Joachim Knaust
Phone ++49 (0) 22 41 39 79-0
Fax ++49 (0) 22 41 39 79-199

04-23-2007, 01:49 PM
That's fantastic. This hydro-forming process sounds amazing ...

05-15-2007, 03:34 PM
I applaud this housing, but its equivalent (the Backscatter Top Dawg, made by Light & Motion) has been around for ages. I've used FIVE different camera formats in that housing without modification... 8mm, Hi-8, digital-8, ini-DV and now HDV. Of course all cameras were Sony and had a LANC connector.

Was disappointed to see that some of the newest Sony camcorders do not have the LANC connector. I'm not sure about the Canon line (a number of which could be used in the Top Dawg and most likely this housing as well).

Kudos on this product as it offers an additional choice and looks like it may be technically superior to the Top Dawg. The inclusion of the video monitor (an extra on the Top Dawg) is a big plus, especially with the newer HDV camcorders (I assume it displays SD video output from HDV camcorders... possibly even HD output?).

Not sure I like the placement of the controls. They appear awkward to access while holding the housing's handles. I prefer my controls on top of the handles, but should reserve "judgement" until I actually test one of these units.

05-15-2007, 03:39 PM
A few other observations. The placement of the handles at the very rear of the housing seems unbalanced to me. The Top Dawgs are towards the front which I think adds stability in shooting.

I love the fact that this housing is rated to 160m. That's more than three times the depth rating of the Top Dawg (150 ft), although I've taken mine to 200 ft a number of times with no problems.

The leak sensor is also a great addition, especially since the monitor back does not allow looking into the housing.

Battery rating seems excellent. My mini-DV camera battery was rated to 6 hours or so and provided power even on a full day (5-6 dives). My current Sony HD battery is rated at 6.5 hours but only yields about three hours underwater.

Although I'm not in the market for another housing at this time, I am definitely checking out the manufacturer's web site!

PS- I just looked at their web site. It does not appear (unless I missed it) that the current controls access the stil image feature or manual white balance of the camcorder. For me these are two very critical functions. Can anyone verify or contradict that? Of course this is an economy priced housing but has a lot of other features for the Euro (or, in my case, the $$$).