June 1, 2015 Using the BTS floats to achieve a neutrally buoyant camera rig By Gayle Van Leer

Sony RX100 (Nauticam housing) and Sony A6000 (Sea and Sea housing) in BTS Travel Tray/Foam floats
Using the BTS floats to achieve a neutrally buoyant camera rig
By Gayle Van Leer

Photos for this story here:
I have used both the Sony RX100 and the Sony A6000 in the BTS light weight travel. One of my goals is to keep my camera rigs as small and light as possible and the BTS products make that possible. Also with small hands and carpel tunnel syndrome I don’t want to have to be straining to reach the controls or deal with a heavy camera in the water.
I have had my RX100 (Nauticam housing) for nearly 3 years and recently upgraded to the Sony A6000 (Sea and Sea housing). Upon setting up the RX100 and housing I positioned it all the way over to the right so it was easy to reach the shutter button. I have done the same thing with the Sea and Sea housing for the A6000 however it is a tighter fit in my original frame but that works out perfectly because not only is the shutter button perfectly positioned for me, the zoom knob is easily reached with my left hand.
There is no need to get my hands fully around the handles because with the way I have my rig nearly neutrally buoyant using the BTS foam, a light touch with a couple of fingers is all I need underwater. Having the camera neutrally buoyant or just slightly negative is important for me so I don’t have hand and wrist strain. The new BTS foam makes that easy to do because the foam can be quickly snapped on or removed giving you on the fly options vs permanently attached floats. When I swap out the dome port for the flat port with the A6000, I just snap on 4 more pieces of foam to have perfect buoyancy with the flat port. Shooting with one hand is strain free and easy when your rig is neutrally buoyant!
I shoot my stills with continuous lighting using a combination of Sola and Aqualite lights. See the photos to see how I have my camera rigged up. To tweak the buoyancy of your rig the easiest and fastest way to do this is from a boat. Securely attach your camera rig to a line where it can drop at least 15 foot underwater. The buoyancy is correct when the camera VERY slowly sinks under the surface. If you are a fresh water diver you can use a swimming pool to do your adjusting.
Happy Diving!!

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