Ronald M. Coleman: Underwater Video
Using the Prowler Underwater Housing for the Sony PC330 Digital Video Camera
PROTECT THE LENS COVER OF THE HOUSING AT ALL TIMES.
1. You will need
a. Prowler housing
b. Sony PC330 digital video camera
c. Sony battery
d. Mini-DV tape
e. a coin (nickels work best)
2. Start by opening the Prowler housing
You need to open both latches at the same time. Push in where it says “Push” and rotate the latches counter-clockwise. As the latches pass the 6 o’clock position, the back of the housing will open.
3. Remove the removable tray.
There is a removable tray inside the housing. It has a small black release slider in the front right corner. Slide the release button toward the center and pull out the tray.
4. Prepare the camera by
- loading it with a fresh Mini-DV tape (30 minute max)
- be sure the battery has lots of charge
- be sure the camera is not in Nightshot mode (unless you want that)
- remove the lens cap from the camera
- pull out the eyepiece viewer on the back of the camera
5. Mount the camera on the tray.
Use either a coin or flathead screwdriver. The connection needs to be tight for the controls to work properly.
6. Open the A/V connection panel on the camera.
It is just to the right of the eyepiece and below the letters A/V. Pry this latch open gently to expose the A/V connections.
7. Slide the tray partway into the housing.
8. Connect the A/V cables by
- plugging the white-ringed cable into the red socket
- plugging the blue-ringed cable into the blue socket
- do not plug anything into the green socket
9. Slide the tray the rest of the way into the housing
Be sure it locks
10. Turn on the camera
Push in the little green lock button, and slide down the switch. The top green light should illuminate.
11. Close the back of the housing
Rotate both latches clockwise at the same time until they click.
12. You are ready to record
The CAM/Photo light on the right handle of the Prowler should be lit. In the viewer, you should see “STBY” (Standby)
13. Remove the lens cover from the camera housing.
Do not lose it!
14. To record,
Using your right trigger finger, depress the trigger button sharply and firmly. STBY should change to REC in the viewer. You are recording. Repeat to stop recording.
15. Sleep mode
If the camera sits too long (about 5 minutes) in STBY mode, it goes asleep. Depress the right trigger button to wake the camera up.
Hit the right grip “Focus” button to toggle Auto versus Manual focus.
If you are in Auto focus, you see no indication of this. If you are in Manual mode, you see values in the lower left of the viewer ranging from 0.1m to infinity. Change Manual focussing distance uing the Focus+ and Focus- buttons on the left grip.
17. To turn the camera off
Depress the right trigger button and the Mode button simultaneously (this takes some practice) and hold for about 5 seconds.
18. To wake the camera up again, depress the right trigger button.
19. The Mode button
The Mode button changes the camera from video recording mode to single shot camera mode to play/edit mode and then back to video recording mode. To record video, you want the camera in video recording mode. If you are not good at shutting the camera off (i.e., hitting the two buttons simultaneously as described above), generally your attempts will be treated as hits of the Mode button which will change the mode.
If the red ALARM light ever comes on, get the housing out of the water immediately. The alarm indicates that the onboard sensor has detected moisture INSIDE the housing.