Options for underwater housing for EPL3

Discussion in 'Help and Feedback' started by andymaaan, May 8, 2013.

  1. andymaaan

    andymaaan New to Mu-43

    6
    May 8, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    I own an Oly EPL3. Given that I consider the cost of the Oly underwater housing too pricey ie. nearly double the cost of the camera itself - has anyone got any suggestions for less expensive alternatives? I'm also considering buying a decent point & shoot with dedicated housing as an alternative eg. Nikon p7100/7700 or Oly XZ-1/2. Anyone recommend P&S options? I plan to use it for shallow snorkling/swimming or in wet weather.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    It really depends on how much "quality" you require from your UW camera. If you want to stick with :43: then the best deal I've seen is the E-PM1 housing for $199. That's cheap enough that you might be able to justify buying a second body.

    If you can get by with a smaller sensor, then you might consider something like the Olympus Tough TG-1 or TG-2. I've got a "semi-rugged" Panasonic TS-20 that I was able to pick up for less than $100 and that works well enough for me for vacation snapshots.
     
  3. andymaaan

    andymaaan New to Mu-43

    6
    May 8, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks very much for your thoughts Keith! Getting an older EP wasn't something I considered so I will now explore this avenue. Turns out I may be visiting Niagara Falls later this year so I do want some relatively decent quality to capture what I anticipate will be some spectacular views.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Niagara should do fine with a normal camera (and/or weather sealed). For snorkeling something with a case or just a tough waterproof should be fine, but sort of depends on what you do - when I snorkel I frequently dive down to 15 to 30 feet (max) to take a look around, and if I have a camera, I want one that will survive that.

    The oly 'tough' waterproof works for shallow, and has an Olympus brand case for 'true' waterproof performance. For a really tough to beat underwater setup in terms of price, there's also the E-PM1 kit including camera and underwater housing for 500 bucks, here for example:

    Olympus E-PM1 camera & underwater housing bundle, best deal ever on an underwater camear | Bluewater Photo & Video

    Or the housing for 200, as mentioned above (which is probably the better deal since the PM1 is cheap these days). Thing is, I would not shoot any of these housings out of water. That's not what they're for.
     
  5. andymaaan

    andymaaan New to Mu-43

    6
    May 8, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for your thoughts Mattia. Re:Niagara, I know we're planning to do the boat tour as well as the viewing platform to the side and looks to me like lots of spray and droplets in the air so didn't want to risk my EPL3 but wanted something that could do Niagara more justice than a lower quality P&S. What do you see as being an issue with using housing out of water?
     
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Well, not a huge deal, but for that kind of 'water' just get a cheap (couple of dollars) rain cover and call it a day. Putting the camera in a full-sized housing increases bulk significantly means you shoot through an extra layer of glass, and it's complete overkill.
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I agree that an UW housing is really overkill for shooting outside of the water. The housings (particularly those built to accommodate an interchangeable lens camera) are really big and bulky. The images on the E-PM1 and E-PL3 housings on Olympus' website really do a poor job (perhaps intentionally?) of demonstrating this bulk. I would highly recommend that you take a look at the housing in person to gain a better understanding of their size prior to making a purchase.

    As for Niagara Falls, I would echo mattia's advice to just use some sort of raincover (e.g. this one from OP/TECH). If you're not comfortable with that, the next step I would consider would be a sub-$100 flexible ziplock-type option like this one from DiCaPac.

    What I would probably do for Niagara is to use the money I would spend on a UW housing to justify upgrading to a weather-sealed OM-D. :wink:
     
  8. andymaaan

    andymaaan New to Mu-43

    6
    May 8, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Yeah, I did think it might have been on the side of overkill. I got a few rain drops on my EPL3 awhile ago and ever since it makes a small creaking sound when it's turned on. So, overkill probably, but peace of mind 100%. Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions Mattia.
     
  9. andymaaan

    andymaaan New to Mu-43

    6
    May 8, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks again. Exploring the Rainsleeve option.
     
  10. andymaaan

    andymaaan New to Mu-43

    6
    May 8, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks Sammyboy.