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DSLR Housings

Frequently Asked Questions:

I have a DSLR and just starting UW photography, should I use my DSLR or get a compact camera ?

If your budget is limited and you are only beginning to practice underwater photography, I would recommend not taking your DSLR underwater.

Diving with DSLR is cumbersome, complex and expensive. Cameras like the G16 / Nikon P7800 or Sony RX100 Mark 2 offer full DSLR-like controls at a fraction of the price and are much smaller in size and easier to maneuver underwater. They are also more flexible in terms of wide/macro shots and do not require changing lenses.

I would think that is the way to go. The underwater photo used market is a very good one so at any point you can sell your basic point and shoot gear and upgrade to DSLR.

With that said, as of yet no compact cameras is comparable all the way to a DSLR in terms of optical quality, speed and lens versatility so take into account you will compromise something by using a compact.

What are the differences between a Polycarbonate housing and an Aluminum one ?

This question is asked very often due to the big difference in price between the 2 options.

An aluminum housing is normally 3D modeled and designed to a specific camera. Due to the fact that basically any shape and design can be CNC machined from this material, the housings are usually smaller , more contoured to the camera and more ergonomic. Having a housing body that is camera specific allows positioning the buttons in accurate locations and shaping the housing to a perfect grip.

In addition , Aluminum housings do not get warm in the sun thus don?t require any silica gel or other moisture absorbent to prevent the lens from steaming up.

Polycarbonate housings are usually molded in a universal size that fits more than one camera and then drilled to allow the camera specific buttons. This usually results in a larger , less ergonomic housing.

Aluminum housings are considered more reliable as the material will remain as good as new even after many years and thousands of dive, this is not to say that Polycarbonate ones are not reliable, just that in the long run Aluminum is probably better.

Why is the underwater housing more expensive than my camera ?

An underwater housing is almost always more expensive than the camera. This is due to the number of units made worldwide which is usually very small. For some cameras, it can be less than 20 units made worldwide. Even very popular housings for cameras like the Canon G series are made in the thousands and not more.. That is compared to the cameras themselves that are made in the millions.

The figure is usually 2 or 3 times the price of the camera. The only case where housings cost the same or lower than the camera is when the camera is a very expensive one like the Phase One, Hasselblad and others..

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