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Author Topic: Underwater DSLR Cases  (Read 2322 times)

KyleSTL

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Underwater DSLR Cases
« on: September 04, 2013, 08:53:58 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how many of the CR regulars own and/or have used an underwater case with their DSLR?  What has the experience been like? 

Based on their prices (new and used) I doubt I'll be in the market for one anytime soon.  Additionally, I can't think of many occasions during which I'd use it, but I think it would be fun to play with.  Please share with the community if you have had any experiences with one.
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Underwater DSLR Cases
« on: September 04, 2013, 08:53:58 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 09:06:31 PM »
I have used a lot of them, different manufacturers have different reputations and all housing require care attention and regular maintenance to look after your gear as designed. Housing prices are just the start too, factor in lens ports, viewfinders, strobes, cables, transport solutions and the excess baggage charges they incur and it is a rich mans game. I have worked with many underwater pros and it is not a growth niche.

However there is one angle that does seem to be growing still, that is underwater portraiture, this can be done with more modest setups, I have an SPL surf housing for my 1 series cameras now and that is all I have left of my underwater gear, other than a G10 and Canon housing!
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eml58

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 10:16:55 PM »
It's a big question and a little akin to "How long is a piece of string", but.

Depends on what Camera, I have housed the 5DMK II, the Nikon D800 (Now Sold) the 1DMK IV (Current) and now the 5DMK III. I use the 1DMK IV for my Macro work, the 5DMK III for my Wide Angle, the 1DMK IV I use only the 100f/2.8 Macro Lens, so the Port arrangement for Macro is straightforward, but with the 5DMK III and wide angle, i have 3 different Ports, and a different length Port Extension for each Lens I use, 8-15f/4, 14 f/2.8, 24f/1.4, 16-35f/2.8, 15f/2.8 Fisheye.

I originally housed ny 5DMK II's with a Subal Housing, but after a couple of drowned Bodies, switched to SeaCam Housings, never had another issue.

SeaCam are pretty well the best Housing on the market for a DSLR, Nikon or Canon, but damned expensive, they are a Housing milled from a solid block of Aluminium.

By the time you buy the housing, Wide Angle front Port, Macro front Port, a Pair of SeaCam strobes, Cables, Strobe Arms, Front Port extensions depending on the Lens you have mounted & viewfinder, you can be looking at +/- US$20K before you put you Camera & Lens into the equation.

Friend of mine shoots Underwater with a Nikon D800, he Houses it in an Ikelite Housing system, much cheaper, clear Plastic type Housing, seems to work just fine and his cost is more like +/- US$5k.

My son has a G11, cost to House & a pair of Strobes runs about $2k.

If your not an avid diver, and just want to try the concept of Underwater Photography, you may well want to just look at hiring some gear, see how you like it, it's a reasonably large investment unless your looking to House say a Canon S95, then you can probably get away with a few hundred dollars, but the Key is generally light, you need strobes to light your subject otherwise everything has the blue tinge of unlit underwater Imaging. 
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KyleSTL

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 10:51:01 PM »
I've thought about an S95, S100, S110, G12, G15, G16 or G1 X and the compatible Canon housing to replace my SD600 for the rare underwater excursion, with the added ability to do HD video.  I really didn't bring it up because I'm planning on buying an Ikelite or anything, I was just more curious than anything else about others' experiences on the forum.
Canon EOS 5D | Tamron 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 | 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM | 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM
15mm f/2.8 Fisheye | 28mm f/1.8 USM | 50mm f/1.4 USM | 85mm f/1.8 USM | 3x 420EX | ST-E2 | Canon S90 | SD600 w/ WP-DC4

privatebydesign

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 11:28:15 PM »
I've thought about an S95, S100, S110, G12, G15, G16 or G1 X and the compatible Canon housing to replace my SD600 for the rare underwater excursion, with the added ability to do HD video.  I really didn't bring it up because I'm planning on buying an Ikelite or anything, I was just more curious than anything else about others' experiences on the forum.

The Canon G series housings are ok for occasional use, and they are clear so you can see if they start to flood. But the big problem with underwater is fov, because of the port and water acting as lenses everything loses around 1/3 of its fov. If you dive and want a bit more flexibility then there are several companies that make custom G series housings that can fit wide angle convertors on the outside of the housing, these really do improve the functionality, but at a price.

It really is a case of set your price comfort level and see what you can get from that, obviously taking into account your underwater shooting interests, macro, wide angle, people, etc etc.
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KyleSTL

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 11:55:07 PM »
Think Canon will ever come out with an EOS M UW case?  Or a future mirror less case?
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privatebydesign

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 12:29:54 AM »
Think Canon will ever come out with an EOS M UW case?  Or a future mirror less case?

If sales are high enough somebody will. The problem with interchangeable lens systems is, well, the interchangeable lens! They need to make ports and controls for multiple combinations of body and lens and that makes the cost skyrocket. For the M the obvious first underwater lens would be the 11-22, but that isn't even available via Canon USA, so it makes the prospect considerably less attractive to housing manufacturers.

It looks like Nauticam and 10bar have both released EOS-M housings.
http://www.xray-mag.com/content/10bar-releases-new-housing-canon-eos-m
http://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/nauticam-canon-eos-m-housing
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:32:23 AM by privatebydesign »
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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 12:29:54 AM »

eml58

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 12:46:38 AM »
I've thought about an S95, S100, S110, G12, G15, G16 or G1 X and the compatible Canon housing to replace my SD600 for the rare underwater excursion, with the added ability to do HD video.  I really didn't bring it up because I'm planning on buying an Ikelite or anything, I was just more curious than anything else about others' experiences on the forum.

Hi KyleSTL, Ok, understood, but in your original Post, you mentioned DSLR, if your looking at Housing say the S95, then it's a whole different ballgame and much cheaper.

I House an S95 myself, takes quite good Images, takes Video, the Main drawback to Point & Shoots for Underwater Imaging, is the delay between Pushing the shutter & the Camera taking the Image, if you can work around that then your set.

The Housing I use for the S95 is the Fisheye S95, retails for around $700.

Add a single strobe set up, in my case the Inon D2000, $600, The D2000 has the advantage of being able to use it both as a Flash for Stills, or as a Video Light.

Then you have to add the Port, say $500,  and your good to go for around $2000 (added strobe arm & baseplate/Handles).
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:49:02 AM by eml58 »
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Nirmala

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 01:47:19 AM »
I housed my 40D for a few years in an SPL housing and never had a problem. (Surf photography) I am looking to house my 1D when I have the funds and will probably go with SPL again. But the money certainly adds up when you start adding a few ports and extras.
It will also depend on what you are wanting to shoot. SPL are not rated for much depth, so if diving is your thing then look at a dedicated dive housing. I could not reccomend anything in that field though as I have no experience.
google water housing and let the process begin its a deep hole once entered its hard to get out, a little like red ring syndrome. Plenty of options depending on how deep your pockets are willing to go.

Steve Williams

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 02:17:39 AM »
If you have some detailed questions on underwater photography in general you can checkout Wetpixel.com.  It's a wonderful resource for underwater photography.  (Disclaimer, I'm a moderator there so might be a touch biased)

I have a housed 7D and 40D along with an S100 in a FIX housing my wife uses.  Great little setup.  Shoots RAW, full manual control.  The trick is to catch them on sale when the newest version comes out.  The S110s housings should be on sale soon.

Good luck,
Steve
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surfer57

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 10:15:19 AM »
There are a number of really good splash housings out there (SPL, Del Mar, Aquatech, CMT, Essex, and more). These are specifically meant for above water photography though. I had an SPL for my 30D for about 5+ years and have since moved onto CMT for my 1DX. It is lighter and more streamlined which is key for such a big rig.

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Re: Underwater DSLR Cases
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 10:15:19 AM »