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Gates FX7/V1 housing for the Sony HDR-FX7 and HVR-V1U
By Jason Heller, December 27, 2007 @ 02:00 AM (EST)

Our friend Drew Wong at Wetpixel posted a great review on the Gates housing for the HDR-FX7 and HVR-V1U...

Please note that the notes in italic are the responses from John Ellerbrock, CEO of Gates. I thought it would be good to include the manufacturer’s responses to my review.

During last year’s DEMA, I’d spoken with John Ellerbrock at Gates about the Sony HVR-V1 housing and the possibility of testing the housing when it was available. It just so happened that I had two trips, a 17-day Banda Sea voyage and another 11-day Wakatobi reef monitoring trip planned for October, so John graciously sent his latest offering to me for testing, the Gates FX7/V1 underwater video housing. Included in the test was the Gates tripod (which was introduced at DEMA ’06) and the flat port. Unfortunately, the big Fathoms SWP44B lens was not available before my departure and I’d forgotten to request for the SP44 standard dome port. Thus, I could only concentrate on my tests on the handling and ergonomics of the housing and the new EM43 16:9 4.3” External Monitor. This housing also fits the HDR-FX7, which has been discontinued in the US but still available for sale. It is not discontinued in other countries.

The Housing

The FX7/V1 housing is made of machined marine grade anodized aluminum in a black finish. All the controls and locking mechanisms are stainless steel and the window ports are acrylic. It is approximately 370mm (depending on the port) x 230mm (no monitor attached) x 180mm (310mm with handles). It weighs approximately 9kg/20lbs with camera and the flat port.

The FX7/V1 housing has 14 mechanical controls giving the using access to 18 functions on the camera, plus full menu and picture profile controls. The left side of the housing has 10 controls: the Manual focus dial/knob, Exposure (manual/auto), Exposure Dial, Push Focus (AF onetime), Assign button, ND Filter and Expanded Focus/AF Auto/Manual in the front half. The rear left side resides the Picture Profile/Status, Shutter/Gain and White Balance/Menu knob controls. There is also an internal URPro flip filter. The right side of the housing has the REC and Zoom controls on the side and the Flip Filter lever in the front right side of the port.

The rear bulkhead has 3 acrylic windows with push/dial knob control for Sel (functions for menu and other controls) on the left side and the power dial on the right side of the bulkhead. The top window is the unmagnified viewfinder, which can accommodate the FX7 and V1 viewfinders (they are of different height)...

Continue reading the review at Wetpixel.


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