DSLR underwater housing?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by battleaxe, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I am familiar with the underwater housing for the GF3+14mm lens, and the guy at the local scuba shop told me it should be more than acceptable for what I would want to do(snorkeling and swimming with the dolphins on vacation). But, a part of me doesn't want to take my GF3, as the only lens I have for it is the 14mm prime and a 57mm Minolta MF lens, while I have a more complete AF setup for my A57. If I took both I'd feel my friends would think I am a bit weird. The underwater housing for the GF3 goes for about $100, and is the hard shell kind. That said a part of me is thinking getting a housing for the Sony A57, but the only one I see in that price rage are the more softshell kind, like the Dicapac. Now my question is what are some of the housing options for typical compact DSLR sized camera in $100 range? thanks
  2. threebees

    threebees Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 13, 2013
    What kind of underwater pictures do you want to take?
    If you want to make good dolphins shoots you will need a wide angle with a dome or a wide angle wet lens. Every length underwater will have to be multiplied by 1.3 with the front flat port. Perhaps you also want to make macro shots...
    I don't really like the $100 housings, but would not suggest Dicapac if you want to make some shorts dive when snorkeling. I don't think you will be able to find cheap options for the A57, it will be easier to get the GF3 underwater.
  3. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    I think the only UW cases you'll find at that price point are all made by meike, do a ebay search for them.

    If you go with camera-branded cases... like as an example an olympus case for a camera, it's closer to $400.

    i.e. it was cheaper for me to buy an NEX3 + lens + meike UW case, than to buy a UW case for an oly.

    I think you'll find it's cheaper to buy the $100 case + $180 lens than to buy a DSLR case.
  4. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Ghetto are you saying I look at another lens beside the 14mm, I already have?
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    If you only ever plan to snorkel, any cheap case will do. If you ever want to dive, the own brand stuff is relatively cheap, but as a general rule a good housing costs more than the camera inside it - housing for my RX100 (scuba, 70 meter depth rating, full easy control of all features) cost me 780 euros. A setup for the E-M5 including lens port would run about 1500.

    I've had fine experiences with canon compacts and own brand housings, and Oly's offerings are tempting occasionally, though the surcharge for quality gear from Nauticam and such is often minimal for quite a bit more value.
  6. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    i'm just saying that sometimes it can be cheaper depending on the housing availeable for the lenses, some of the housings take the 14-42 lenses and those are cheap too.

    it's a little effort to find all the things that fit together but it can be cheaper sometimes.
  7. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
  8. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    The point made about the 'wide angle' I think is important. As was mentioned there is a 1.3x FOV underwater so that the 14mm becomes an 18mm. Further more underwater composition is difficult. So generally speaking probably about the best FOV for M43 is around 10mm.

    The chances are that underwater you will find it too difficult to zoom effectively even if you have a zoom and a dedicated zoom ring. A prime has the advantage of extra speed over using a wide angle M43 zoom at a fixed length.

    I think that the GF3 + 14mm is a pretty good set up and at a very reasonable price.
  9. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well about if I want to go swimming with animals also(I think this would be more likely than snorkeling)? Would something like the right sized Dicapac or the like be alright with the A57(or maybe even the GF3), or would I still be better off with the GF3 and Polaroid/hard shell casing? Thanks

    18mm in m4/3 equiv or 35mm equiv?

    If I didn't already have a GF3, and had the money, I would have been looking into that combo, but thank you for sharing that link.
  10. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    It will be 18mm Micro 4/3 - 36mm for 35mm.

    As I said my only concern with the 14mm is that it is not wide enough.

    Best micro-four thirds lenses for mirrorless cameras for underwater photography|Underwater Photography Guide

    If you look at this link the 8mm Rockinon fish eye is top choice followed by the 7-14 and 9-18 zooms at around 9mm.

    The one advantage though that the 14mm has is that it is faster.

    I am sure that the right sized Dicapac would be fine but I dont think your A57 would be quite as easy to handle. I would only consider it if I was you if you had a wide angle prime at the appropriate length.
  11. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I don't have a wide angle(someday), but the kit lens on the Sony does start at 27mm(35mm equiv), but I doubt 1mm would make too much of a difference? As for handling I like how it handles, though I think some of that has to do with weight and material used. I am really just trying to avoid taking two cameras with me, and I don't need another camera even compact waterproof model. I would just take the GF3, but issue I have there is I don't have a wildlife lens for it anymore, and if I did, handling isn't optimal(at least it wasn't with a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f3.5). Not really sure what to do.
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