NEW WAVE UNDERWATER HOUSING REVIEW
Since I have got my hands on this housing I did around 50 dives with it, diving pretty much every day, twice and filming all the time (I use two 2 hour long batteries every day). I create scuba diving videos for divers by filming their whole day of diving starting from the land based operations to boats and finally underwater. The housing is being used very intensively. I chose this housing from experience with using the previous version of it in Koh Tao, Thailand where I used to train with Oceans Below Underwater Videography Training Centre for 2 months. As it happened you have introduced new version of it so I decided to have a go with it.
All the packaging and instructions would be perfect, if only I got the moisture alarm in it as stated in the instruction. That was sent to me later on, so no hard feelings. First impression: the housing is really compact and small.
Assembly according to the instruction is clear enough, maintenance instructions are also stated very nicely.
At the beginning I noticed few differences from the previous version like only 4 handle distance set ups on each side instead of a whole line to find your best spot and of course the idea of the remote control instead of buttons on the screen. As it turned out on first few dives this new set up proved to be super intuitive even though I was expecting more time to get used to it, it was really easy and it took me maybe 2 dives to get a good hang of it.
One word: stunning. The housing itself is tested to the extremes as diving in Sodwana Bay, South Africa is famous for the way diver boats (rubber ducks) have to launch through the surf. Every few days the launches can be really hectic and everything is flying on the boat including myself and my camera. I am trying to hold it in the air to avoid any contact with the boat, but every now and again it would bump into something. Few scratches and bumps appeared on it (on the shell not the screen or lens, cause I am protecting them as they’d be my kids;) but I mean ï¿½ its indestructible!!! Some of those plastic housings you now about from your competitiors wouldn’t be able to survive as many dives here as WAVE does, I think.
Underwater it performs awesome as well, thanks to the huge viewfinder and without buttons on it I can see everything clear and pretty much the camera is extension of my eyes as I don’t really use them anymore:). So far I had no problems whatsoever with it. All the buttons on the remote control side work well and there is always connection with the camera. With the old version I remember there sometimes were issues with the buttons not touching exactly right the camera buttons inside and it was sometimes a struggle to turn on some options, especially deeper. With the remote control all works well.Additional advantage of the remote control is that you can actually film with one hand only, which of course needs skills in stabilizing the image but this is very useful.
I use Sony CX 700, and the image quality is absolutely amazing. The choice to make a housing for this camera was spot on. Divers I make movies for are stunned after screening of their videos. Thanks to the access to absolutely all manual functions in the camera I can shoot however I prefer (manual white balance is a must)
The only small thing that is annoying, and it happened as well with the old housing is those black port/lens endings on the left and right side of the image when the camera has the ï¿½image stabilisingï¿½ option enabled with max zoom out. This option is very useful especially here, as conditions sometimes can be challenging with surge underwater and current involved. I fix it by zooming in just a touch and by now it doesn’t annoy me at all, I do it automatically, however would be nice if in the future that could be fixed somehow, I guess it’s just lens issue not the housing itself.
Another small thing is the REC button, could use some better sensitivity as sometimes especially when shooting from a bit twisted hand position the finger I use to record is not able to push it all the way to press it (or my finger is too short;). Minor issue, though.
All in all it is an awesome piece of equipment. With its compact size I could actually take it in my hand luggage when flying from Europe to South Africa, which is pretty important for a travelling videographer and safe!!!
My portfolio of all movies I have created using Aquatica Wave housing will be hopefully up and running soon. Unfortunately internet connection here is too slow to upload anything. I let you know as soon as I upload them.
UPDATE: Video from Sodwana bay, South Africa, uploaded to Vimeo. Embedded below: