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Underwater Video System Checklist

After planning a trip, taking time off work, laying down a big wad of cash, and carrying a 60lb camera case halfway around the world, the last thing you want to deal with is forgotten, broken, or inadequate equipment. Below is a checklist of everything I needed, wanted, or forgot on my own trips. Not everything listed here is an absolute must have, but if you're looking to get the most flexible and fixable system possible this is the criteria to follow.

Housing - Spare O-rings
• Do you want your housing to flood? Enough said. Have extras for your front port and rear plate. - Red Filter
• A red filter will bring back the color to an otherwise blue underwater scene. If you don't have a housing with a built-in flip filter get a screw on. Make sure you know the filter size of your camera before ordering. - Field Repair Kit
• Essential for desolate islands without a Backscatter employee on it. This kit could be the difference between a completely wasted trip and the time of your life. Most housing manufacturers offer one. I suggest you get one.

Make sure the camera tray has it's mounting screw

- Spare batteries
• It's always nice to have spare batteries charged and ready for backup or your next dive. - Spare Bulbs - Fast Charger
• When on a live-aboard repeat dives are common. A full recharge in 1.5 hours is ideal. - Spare O-rings

Wide Angle Port

• Gates, Light and Motion, and Sea and Sea all have a selection of wide-angle ports. They range from 70 degrees to 110 degrees and from $500 to $5000. This is the must have lens for underwater shooting.

Macro Port

• You can either buy a close up lens or you can get a zoom through lens that allows you to go from very wide to close focus tele-macro using your video cameras own macro abilities. There are also flip down or screw on diopters that will increase the magnification of lenses. Backscatter also sells a product called the Macromate which fastens to the outside of your port for 3:1 macro.

External Monitor

• Essential if you want to see what you're shooting. A camera's viewfinder is usually insufficient for proper use. Gates sells monitors with 2' and 4' LCD screens and Light and Motion has a remote monitor that will let you control the housing from a distance.

- For macro shooting. You'll never be able to hold it still enough on your own!

Pelican Case

• either 1620 or 1610 depending on the size of your set-up. Just make sure it rolls, because this stuff can get heavy.

- O-ring Grease
- Video Tape - Camera - Camera Battery - Camer Battery Charger - Cleaner Tape - Port Cover - Spare Battery for Housing Electronics - Fine

Grit Sand Paper

• for cleaning contacts on light and monitor cables - Metal Brush Pipe Cleaner
• for cleaning bulkheads - Allen Wrench Set - Lens Cloth - AA Batteries and Charger - Duct Tape
• Always useful in a pinch - Small Screwdriver Set
If you notice anything missing please email us at:

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