Extreme athlete Marc Sluszny takes Sony’s Action Cam with custom-built housing 200m deep

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 — Marc Sluszny, not afraid of any challenge, will be adding another feat to his quite impressive curriculum vitae. At the beginning of December he will be diving in Dahab, Egypt, to a record depth of 200 m. While most recreational divers will not cross the 40 m limit, he will be the first Belgian to dive this deep on open-circuit and add his name to the very short worldwide list of divers to ever attempt it. A professional camera crew will accompany him to Egypt to capture the mission on ‘tape’ and moreover, Sluszny will be equipped with two Action Cams, the HDR-AS15, to create the first images ever at this extreme depth with an Action Cam.

First class adventurer, Marc Sluszny does not like to hear the word ‘impossible’. He believes in challenging and extending the limits of human boundaries. Be it his own or in a global scope, he’s been climbing mountains, swimming, jumping, flying – in a bobsleigh or a plane – sailing and racing since 1982. His last world record dates back to last June when he ran the fastest 100 m Vertical Run in only 15 s 56. More about his exploits can be read in his biography ‘Fear Less. The Nine Lives of Marc Sluszny’ that’s just been published. And now he’s back in the water to beat another record.

If you want the audience to experience your challenge from a first-person viewpoint, the HDR‑AS15 is the appropriate action camera for the job. Weighing just 90g with supplied battery Sony’s Action Cam is ultra-compact while shooting detail-packed Full HD video. The sensitive Exmor R CMOS sensor inside gives crisp, low-noise video footage in almost any light, from dawn until dusk. The high quality Carl Zeiss® Tessar® lens offers an ultra-wide 170° angle of view for a thrilling sense of the surroundings. The SteadyShot image stabilisation helps keep footage clear and judder-free. Top that with the large, fumble-free Record button and you’ve got all the tools to make high quality images while keeping your head with the challenge at hand.

Although each Action Cam comes with a marine pack that can be used up to 60m, this casing would not be up to par for this particular deep challenge. For this dive, the Belgian company Hugyfot has accepted the challenge to design and produce a custom-built housing that can withstand the pressure of 200 m of Red Sea without conceding in operability.

Hugyfot housings are renowned for their robustness while allowing single hand control. They are machined out of solid aluminium and are extremely pressure resistant. While they come standard with a pressure rating up to 150 m, this custom housing was designed with additional ribbing to strengthen the structure and the lens is covered with an 8mm thick acrylic layer.

The design and developing process is fully automated by using the most advanced CAD/CAM techniques. The camera is first digitalized to guarantee a ‘tight’ fit of the compact and ergonomic housing. Then all buttons and controls are added in 3D to this ‘virtual’ housing thus creating a first prototype that becomes tangible by using a 3D printing machine. After extensive testing, the first aluminum prototypes are machined on a 5-axis milling machine. This process guarantees a high level of precision to which housings, buttons and controls are machined and assembled. Hugyfot housings are ‘plug & play’ instruments that are ready for immediate use at delivery.

“ Sony’s Action Cam is the ideal camera to film at this depth. Marine housings are by definition a lot bigger than the camera inside and I’ve got enough gear on my shoulders already. With its small dimensions, the camera can be easily mounted on the scuba tank without requiring any manual adjustment afterwards” says Marc Sluszny. “The sturdy Hugyfot housing prevents further worry about the ease of use or resistance to the immense pressure.”

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