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Old     (garveyj)      Join Date: Sep 2009       03-29-2010, 9:10 AM Reply   
Hey all - I have a Canon EOS-7D and want to do some tube shots this year. My question is do I need to go all out and get a diving housing? I do dive, but not much so I am not sure that dropping $1500 on one of those housings is really worth it.

On the other hand I am not convinced that the "zip-loc" type housings are enough protection. I don't intend on falling off the tube much, but know that it can happen and don't want to submerse the camera without the right type of protection.

What have others done?
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-29-2010, 6:48 PM Reply   
My thoughts on my Aquatech housing for my 1D:
+ clear back piece so I can see the o-ring and see the inside the housing to check for water leaks
+ there's a water sensor that beeps if it senses moisture
+ buttons on the back allow me to adjust 90% of all the settings on my camera
+ multiple different lens ports can be attached so I can shoot with a 15mm, 70-200mm, etc
+ I can attach a pole w/ shutter release to the bottom and a flash housing to the top
+ floats

- expensive
- heavy (though my opinion may be skewed since I shoot w/ a heavy camera)
- accessories are expensive
- buttons on back can be bent if it isn't stored/transported with care
- rated for 30 feet depth so you can't dive with it

Yes, Aquatechs and SPLs and other high end housings are expensive, but they're worth it IMO if you're going to use your camera in the housing a lot. I really like the piece of mind in being able to see inside the housing and see the o-ring. That way if there's ever any water that gets in I'll know pretty quick and I might be able to save the camera.

Another option would be to have a housing made by Jim Bailey at He seems to have good prices and he's made gear for some of the pro wake photogs. This might be a viable option for you if you want a housing that will be usable and wont break the bank. Perhaps someone with one of his housings will chime in.
Old     (garveyj)      Join Date: Sep 2009       03-29-2010, 7:28 PM Reply   
Thanks for the info Scott - I value your opinion as I know you work with some of the wake photogs in the industry. How much did your housing run? Any other models you would recommend - I don't know that we are going to use it a ton, but maybe 10-20 times a year. (we have a short season here in Minnesota)
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-29-2010, 8:03 PM Reply   
I wanna say that my housing ran me about $2500 when I got it a few years ago. It's dropped in price since then. B&H sells Aquatech gear so you can sorta price things out over there. Looks like the 7D housing with a lens port will be between $2000 and $2500

10-20 times a year is pretty good. I think I use my housing 10 weekends per year. I do use my housing for shooting winching and rail jams where I'm in the water for an extended period of time, so my needs may differ compared to someone who plans to sit on a tube.

What types of models are you looking for? I think the zip loc style run about 500ish, then there's Jim Bailey's stuff that's a little more than that, then you get into the expensive stuff like Aquatech and SPL. If I think of anything else I'll let you know
Old     (garveyj)      Join Date: Sep 2009       03-30-2010, 7:51 AM Reply   
To be honest I have one of the zip loc type housings already, but am not sure if I should even use it (I have had it for a number of years and did not have the right place to use it). I figured I would ask to see if anyone would recommend them for that type of shooting and if not I might just drop the cash on a nicer one that I can use to go diving with too....even though I only go diving maybe once every couple of years.
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       03-30-2010, 10:21 AM Reply   
I have a jim bailey housing and it has done quite well. He builds it around your camera so you will be without your camera for a week or so depending on how busy he is. He can make whatever you want. Different ports for different lenses, pocket wizard and flash housings, for the price you can't go wrong.

That being said I'm about $1500 away from buying a 1D Mark 4 and I will be buying an SPL for that camera with a port for the 16-35 and a port for the 70-200 with some other goodies to get get different angles than you typically see in wake shots.
Old     (joshturner)      Join Date: Jun 2007       04-06-2010, 11:15 PM Reply   
Dude, do not go diving with an SPL or Aquatech housing. These are splash housings, not dive housings. They are only rated to about 30 ft deep. Dive housings that are rated to 300 ft and are between $3000-5500 plus a heap for other accesories. 1500-2000 is not that much for a decent housing. The EWA bags and such bag type budget housings will hold up and im sure would be fine on a tube. I knew a guy that went into surf with one, but that said i would never do that. way too easy to hit a reef or something where you really need the solid protection. Wakeboarding on the other hand, i think you would be alright unless you are in risk of being hit by a rider. I have been pretty happy after taking a board in the housing.

With a brand new 7D i would save up and get the right product.
Old     (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       04-08-2010, 7:31 AM Reply   
I've been shooting with a EWA bag for a few years. I like the price and the glass port but that's about where it ends. It's hard to make adjustments on the fly and difficult to feel the shutter button. I've missed a lot of shots because of not being on the shutter button. I have fallen off the tube a few times and it was fine. I wouldn't submerge it on purpose though !

I've seen Riley's set up and it looks nice but I'm not a fan of acrylic ports. I would think that they would scratch really easy.
Old     (garveyj)      Join Date: Sep 2009       04-09-2010, 6:52 AM Reply   
Thanks everyone - I guess I can start with the bag and see if I like it - at least that is only for tube shots and would give it the protection that I need to start with. Guess I need to start saving the pennies for a real housing though!
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       04-09-2010, 11:17 AM Reply   
Honestly I would just save up a little longer and get a Jim Baily housing. That way you have a nice housing and when you upgrade your bag wont be a $300+ dust collector


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