View Full Version : Underwater Camera?

October 11th, 2003, 04:58 PM
In the past, I've seen underwater cameras, the kind that coaches often use, or that would be handy for a coach.

For the life of me, I must not be doing my 'googling' right, I'm coming up empty handed.

Hints anyone?
Links? Camera/housing names? Other keyword hints?
Any specific recommendations, something you tried and like?

Thank You :)

October 11th, 2003, 05:42 PM
went to yahoo and typed in : underwater swim camera . it came back with a bunch of hits.

this was the first one -

October 11th, 2003, 06:00 PM
scuba camera?may find something.

Brian Stack
October 12th, 2003, 04:02 PM
Try http://www.zoomers.net/snooper.htm
I've had a snooper for a lot of years, it's durable and works great.
The Zoomers website is an interesting trip also, take the tour.
Check out the ASCA (www.swimmingcoach.org)website also, in the online catalog section they have another underwater cam, similar in design to the Snooper.

See Ya

October 12th, 2003, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the help guys and gals :)
That's just the kind of info I was fishing for.

Rob Copeland
October 14th, 2003, 10:44 AM
If you are interested in renting an underwater camera, you might want the check out the USMS SnooperŪ Video Camera Loan Program. Details can be found in the coaching section of the USMS web site at www.usms.org/coach/snooper.shtml

April 21st, 2006, 06:18 PM
What about inexpensive digicams for stroke analysis ? See post under
Swim video tools (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=56793#post56793)

Only using this now for peer analysis with an 8yr old who is just beginning to take swimming seriously. After some experience will move to the more demanding local Masters team so looking to hear of gotchas in presenting this type of tool.

Masters team coach is interested, but not sure of value of such inexpensive and relatively low resolution video tools.

April 21st, 2006, 07:04 PM


April 24th, 2006, 03:36 PM
I did a bit of research in this area and came up with a solution that I find works well.

First, I tried getting an underwater housing for my video camera. The housing was remarkably expensive considering that it is a glorified bag in which you place your expensive camera. The housing that I purchased was Ewa Marine. A quick search for those will show you that I must have had more money than brains at the time: ewa marine sony video camera (http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=ewa+marine+sony+video+camera&btnG=Search)

Aside from the price, I didn't like this solution because it requires that you enter the water and hold the camera steady. The air in the housing makes it difficult to keep the camera steady and submerged, so you may also need weights for the bad. Um, yes, I bought those, too. Also, it is difficult to film yourself when you are swimming alone at your local YMCA with this solution (perhaps this is not a concern for most).

Fast forward a couple of years and I found myself with less money than brains. I looked at several products that were mentioned above and luckily found this page (http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=73&Alias=rainbow&Lang=en&mid=891&ItemId=974) on usaswimming.org.

From that I found the Lorex 6991 (http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=lorex+cvc+6991&btnG=Search).

By adding a pole (broom handle) and plugging this into a video recording device on deck (vcr, camcorder, pvr), you avoid getting your expensive video camera close to the water, keep yourself dry and avoid the bouyancy problems that I mentioned with the underwater housing. Most important for me, I could set this up and swim without an underwater videographer.

The video is color and has a wider angle of view than my submerged video camera and it works out to be much cheaper than any of the other solutions.

April 24th, 2006, 03:40 PM
I should have mentioned that in my tests, I found that the limiting factor on the underwater video quality was usually the clarity of the water. So for those of you that are thinking you need to buy an expensive recording device that has a high resolution, I say save your money. Get an old video camera or vcr that you probably already own and a Lorex and you have a great solution for under $150.

April 24th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Great work finding an underwater camera. It will work fine with my Canon Elura 60 video camera, It will save me about $400.

April 24th, 2006, 05:14 PM
Now I like working as underwater cameraman around my kid and her teammates, but this didn't go over as well with the Masters team. And the pool wasn't setup as well for this - with the kids I had an area 3 lanes wide with no lane markers.

With the masters group, there was no undivided lane area, and much harder with just a snorkel and little digicam to get down low enough to see the swimmers entire body without being at least two lanes removed from the subject.

So I see that really useful video for deck replay analysis would be best served by a little camera on a boom like the Lorex 6991 in lieu of the venerable Snooper. Letsrace, could you share what pieces of a video solution worked for you? Velcro strapped the cables to a folding painters boom ? What video capture device worked OK for you in the relatively hostile deck environment around a pool?


April 25th, 2006, 09:00 AM
The important parts of the setup are the camera, a recording device, a support for the camera and a bag or box to carry things to the pool.

The Lorex comes with 100' of cable which which houses two wires. 1 to power the camera and one to return the video output. That video output is a simple RCA jack like you would find on the back of a vcr. 100' of cable is a lot, so I employed an inexpensive cable reel that I had in the garage (http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/jsearch/product.jsp?pn=162439) to help manage the cord to the camera.

For the recording device, you have a couple of options. If you don't want to spend any money, tell your significant other that you need to get your VCR fixed and sneak it out of the house. That is really all you need to record.

Realistically, you will want to see some of what you record at the pool, if for no other reason than to see if your subjects are in frame. That being the case, you will need a video output device, so you may decide to use a video camera. That is what I currently do. I have a Canon ZR 50 which has a little flip-out lcd which works well enough.

The Lorex has a screw-mount similar to what you would find on a pocket camera or video camcorder. It also comes with a little mounting device to mount this to, say, the outside of your house. You can screw that into the side of a pole (I did buy a fancy pole from homedepot which telescopes for portability).

So you have enough now to film while on the deck, but you still need to hold onto the pole and I wanted to set mine in the water, swim my workout and retrieve my equipment when I was done. To do this you need to come up with something to hold onto the pole in a fixed position. Simple. I use a clamp that I already owned (http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?vertical=TOOL&bidsite=&pid=00931591000) to hold onto the pole. I then set the handle of the clamp on the deck and I place a heavy object on the clamp (a 10 lb weight will do).

You will also want to get a small extension cord like you use for holiday lights, because you will most likely have to plug in your camcorder and Lorex camera.

April 25th, 2006, 09:13 AM
"So how do I setup this stuff to record?", you might ask. To give you some bearings, I practice each morning at a smallish YMCA. At 6 am, we frequently have as many as 3 swimmers in 6 lanes. If you just barge in and setup your camera equipment you are likely to get somebody upset.

So, first off, you need an accomplice. My accomplice is the lifeguard, thankfully. She allows me to setup the camera, on the wall of lane 6. I set the camera at the middle of the pool pointing straight out about 3 feet underwater. This will have lane 5 in a pretty good frame. The awkward thing here is that you will likely be the one swimming in lane 5 but you will have your equipment in lane 6. So this is where the bribery starts.

Although the camera is unobtrusive, you get a lot of questions. "Is that thing going to electricute me?" "Does it measure the chlorine levels, cause my lungs are killing me?" "Does it make my butt look big?" To avoid some of these awkward questions, I usually offer to record the strokes of each person in lane 6. That is usually enough to buy their silence.

Then I set the camera recording and I just swim a normal workout, mindful, of course, about how much recording time my camera has (1 hour).

When I am done with workout, perhaps 30 minutes after the tape is full, I collect my setup and leave. Usually with 6 email addresses and a promise to send their video clips.

April 25th, 2006, 09:21 AM
Do you have any short videos from head on and from the side. I will put them in my pro trainer program so I can see your swim style. email it to me prefer a 10 sec clip. geochuck@hotmail.com If you want I will send back a disect of your stroke.

This is the program I use for analysis, very good and cheap. http://www.sportsmotion.com/ you can get a free download and use it for 21 days disect strokes but it has logos on it til you buy.

April 25th, 2006, 10:43 AM
I will send you some clips. Perhaps, tonight.

I have one more post to submit on the topic of capturing the video. Don't let me forget ;)

April 27th, 2006, 09:19 AM
Here are some clips that I took with my current *Lorex* setup (no head on shots, sorry to say):

fly from side (slowed to about 1/4 speed): http://soundinsight.com/video/mike/mike_fly_push_down_11_22_2005.wmv

fly from side (again, slowed):

freestyle from the side on a very cloudy morning:

freestyle from the side (slowed):

Here is an earlier example with my "Camera in a Underwater Case" setup (notice the bobbing camera):


February 17th, 2007, 06:34 PM
I know this is an old, old thread, but I wanted to bring it back for the good info rather than start a new one.

Has anyone used this Lorex set-up and compared it with the "Coach Cam"? Is the Coach Cam worth all the extra money?