TShed has been developing specialised camera systems for wildlife filmmakers since 2007. Their Lunax Starlight HD Cameras were developed using cutting edge military technology, enabling filmmakers to capture nocturnal animals in extremely lowlight levels, from bright full moonlight all the way to pure starlight, an unobtrusive technique that negates the need for conventional white lighting.
Over the last 4 years TShed cameras have been used around the world to document and record unique and previously unseen animal behaviour for international broadcasters. Rhinos around a waterhole at night for the BBC’s much acclaimed Natural History Unit series “Africa” was a recent and notable success story. TShed have long experience of filming wildlife in night in a variety of land based habitats. One area of nocturnal filming that had eluded them, as the technology was simply unavailable, was life in open sea at night. In association with top underwater cameraman Doug Anderson (Frozen Planet, Blue Planet) they decided to embark upon adapting an existing underwater housing owned by Doug to work with one of their Lunax cameras.
This posed a variety of problems for their engineers, not least because the 8 kilo camera was never designed to fit in a conventional housing. Nevertheless after several meetings and over a period of 6 months the housing took shape, but as they were using an existing housing they had a requirement to transfer a HD-SDI signal between two underwater enclosures. Due to surface coatings and mechanical space considerations the connectors TShed were using were too large to pass through the existing machined apertures.
Nick Turner, Director at TShed commented, “COAX Connectors were able to solve our problem with their range of sub-miniature inline SMB & BNC connectors. These allowed us to pass the complete cable and connector assembly through the small holes and maintain signal integrity as well as retaining the important watertight glands”.
The completed housing was tested in a swimming pool in the UK before undergoing further testing in the Red Sea in June this year. Further refinements will be made over the coming months to both the housing and underwater infrared lighting systems before the complete package goes off to film its first sequence later this year. Nocturnal predation on reefs, bait balls at night glowing with bioluminescence, Humboldt squid in the Sea of Cortez are amongst the first projects that TShed will attempt to film with the system over the coming year.