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Surface Material or a little underwater Gear adaptable to a RX100 IV


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#1 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:31 AM

Hello,     :fishblue:
 
I hope you are well? it's been now a year and 11 days since I joined this forum and it's time for me to make things happen!
 
 
 
 
I was in the past, for a time,  a professional consultant about studio photography and camera and everything related ( continuous light )
 
I'm still shooting but not professionally and I am passionate about optical formulas and rendering and I appreciate a lot of lenses from Voigtlander or Zeiss, for example, the Zeiss 50 1.5 Classic, etc...
 
For several years I wanted to start underwater photography but I always found excuses to delay: I am not informed enough, I do not have enough information, etc... Until a few days ago where I ordered on the internet a Sony RX100 IV
 
I would love a few tips because I'm lost.   :swimmingfish:
 
My goal is to start with a single Strobe and buy a second after a time (certainly - if I find it necessary). I also think that I need several accessories and I'm lost either about choosing.
 
 
my needs are as follows:
 
- I know myself and I will go crazy if the loading time between two eclairs is too long ahaha
 
- I would like to travel with my equipment, so it must be compact and light because I already have the habit to move with my full house in my luggage.
 
- Ergonomics is really important to me and I need to be able to adjust everything if possible (I do not want to waste time with bad ergonomics)
 
- I do not plan to film at first and maybe I never will
 
- I would like a housing adaptable to the next sony RX 100 and not only to a single one model ( even so we can not predict the future )
 
 
My BIGGEST problem and the reason for my post here is that my needs are different from a lot of information that I find on forums because most people will dive to take pictures
 
And I will not. 
 
I do not dive and I will not start, but I can spend hours in the water doing snorkeling.
 
I have always enjoyed snorkeling but my shoulder hurts and I do not know when it will be better as I'm in this condition since 2 years and I had to stop to go really underwater.
 
So at worst I should stay close to the surface and at best I could go down a few meters but I do not have right now this information.
 
That's why I do not need material resistant to a great depth & I am interested in all the advice.
 
 
It is not worth you lose a lot of time answer me: if you share me some references I could do the research.  :)
 
Thank you to this forum to exist and I wish you a good time underwater.
 
Emilio


#2 ChrisRoss

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 04:49 PM

Hello, yes it can be confusing, if you are freediving/snorkelling that places different constraints upon things. To address some of your questions:

Travelling, the RX100 is about as compact as you can get, strobes I would look at INON S-2000, very compact and adequate for what you want. However freediving with a strobe equipped rig may prove difficult due to drag and lack of time to adjust strobes etc, plus the arms and cables may prove to be a problem, they are really designed to be loosely tightened so you can easily move them and duck diving or swimming on the surface with the arms in position may prove a challenge. The other consideration is the strobes are only effective very close (preferably < 1m) to your subject, not as easily achievable when snorkeling. It seems most freedivers/snorkelers go natural light and adjust colour balance in Raw.

Ergonomic housing - there are a few around, Nauticam does not nice housings and they are well thought out.

Adaptable to later models - not really possible it depends on where manufacturers put the buttons, occasionally you will get a new model that keeps the same exterior layout but not often.

I initially thought I'd freedive with my UW camera but bit the bullet and started diving and have not looked back. I'm not sure how severe your shoulder problem is but I would think if you can snorkel and freedive you should be able to Scuba. It makes shooting things so much easier. I would suggest discussing the issue with a dive center before ruling it out.

#3 tursiops

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 06:39 PM

Hello, yes it can be confusing, if you are freediving/snorkelling that places different constraints upon things. To address some of your questions:

Travelling, the RX100 is about as compact as you can get, strobes I would look at INON S-2000, very compact and adequate for what you want. However freediving with a strobe equipped rig may prove difficult due to drag and lack of time to adjust strobes etc, plus the arms and cables may prove to be a problem, they are really designed to be loosely tightened so you can easily move them and duck diving or swimming on the surface with the arms in position may prove a challenge. The other consideration is the strobes are only effective very close (preferably < 1m) to your subject, not as easily achievable when snorkeling. It seems most freedivers/snorkelers go natural light and adjust colour balance in Raw.

Ergonomic housing - there are a few around, Nauticam does not nice housings and they are well thought out.

Adaptable to later models - not really possible it depends on where manufacturers put the buttons, occasionally you will get a new model that keeps the same exterior layout but not often.

I initially thought I'd freedive with my UW camera but bit the bullet and started diving and have not looked back. I'm not sure how severe your shoulder problem is but I would think if you can snorkel and freedive you should be able to Scuba. It makes shooting things so much easier. I would suggest discussing the issue with a dive center before ruling it out.

I can add nothing to this post, it has good information. Nauticam makes very ergonomic housings, but it is not likely it will fit any later cameras. In fact, it does not. You have purchased a RX100 IV; that housing does not fit the V or the VI. Sorry.

 

Yes, please look again at scuba. It is easier (for me) than snorkeling, so long as someone else handles the scuba gear in and out of the water. 

 

I would advise to use ambient light until you are comfortable taking pictures, and then add a stobe only if necessary. Especially if you are snorkeling, the added weight and balance of a strobe is problematic.



#4 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:06 PM

Hello

 

Thanks a lot for your replies, I do appreciate a lot!       :uwphotog:

 

 

Ok, was hesitating between fantasea and nauticam, I will check deeper all this as nauticam was one of my two first  choices?

 

at a shallow depth I can do without buying a filter : do we agree?

 

does this equipment float? and if not, what should you buy to avoid losing it in the underwater depths ahaha?
 
I think I will start without strobe, and see how it goes
 
what accessories would be advisable to simplify all this?  :surfing:
 
thanks a lot 


#5 Barmaglot

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:48 PM

For what it's worth, if you intend to only snorkel and never dive, a camera that is waterproof without a housing, such as Olympus TG-5 or SeaLife DC2000 will be far smaller and easier to handle than any housed camera. However, as already mentioned by another poster, freediving is much more physically challenging than scuba, doubly so if you are trying to take photos while at it - and if you stay at the surface, you can forget about good image quality, as you'll be too far away from anything interesting.

 

As far as buoyancy goes, the Nauticam housing is negative (i.e. it will sink if you let it go) while the Fantasea housing is slightly positive and will float on the surface unless you weigh it down with heavy accessories. In either case, you'd be well advised to keep it on a wrist lanyard.

 

Point of note: on the surface, in bright sunlight, the camera LCD screen is likely to be washed out to the point of uselessness. Both Nauticam and Fantasea offer anti-glare hoods to deal with that, but they cost extra.

 

Also, the white balance on Sony cameras is limited to 9900K, which is not enough to deal with underwater conditions in ambient light. Fortunately, you have RAW support in the camera, and Sony has a deal with Phase One where their excellent Capture One Express software is available for free for Sony camera users - you can shoot in RAW, then import the images into Capture One Express and use the spot white balance tool to remove the blue/green tint that will dominate your images.



#6 ChrisRoss

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 12:36 AM

you definitely want a lanyard and best attached to wrist.  There are a number of ways to colour balance UW images and a good raw development software is essential.  The tough cams are an option but it seems like they all eventually flood.  The manual for Olympus for example says you need to renew the seals annually to keep them watertight.  Housings are less likely to flood if you maintain the o-ring properly.

 

It may seem counter intuitive but floods are most likely on the surface, the O-ring needs to be loaded to develop a good seal.   Housings with a vacuum system pre load the o-rings making problems at the surface less likely. 



#7 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 01:52 AM

Hi

thanks a lot for your replies

 

I will re-read all this the next days, understand deeply, and come back with few questions if something is not clear

 

about software, I do have Lightroom (and other adobe software) - (latest version), and capture one for Sony (latest version too), as I'm using them both with my A7II 

 

@Barmaglot, about your point about to bee too far from something interesting, it's really a point that bothers me a LOT...because at the base I was going for a longer focal length...that's even why I had in mind to go for a  Cooplix W300S before with the 120mm ....hope I didn't made a big mistake there (if yes, it is not too late, I could send back the sony when he will arrive)



#8 Barmaglot

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 02:15 AM

Long focal lengths don't help you underwater - even the most clear water absorbs light very quickly, and you're not always lucky enough to have clear water to begin with; far too often you'll have silt and other particulates obscuring your view. Imagine shooting in a dense fog - how much will a telephoto lens help you there? Therefore, the cardinal rule of underwater photography is to get close, and if you think you're close enough - get closer still. Focal lengths in the 90-120mm range (FF-equivalent) are used for macro shots of small critters, not for shooting from afar.



#9 ChrisRoss

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 04:09 AM

Yes the wide end of the Sony RX100 is really not that wide, you can get accessory lenses to make it wider, but just start with the base camera.



#10 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 12:23 PM

 
 
Hello
 
I hope you are well? thanks a lot for the help
 
About Camera :
 
- Ok will remain with the RX100 specially as the captor is a 1"
 
- @Barmaglot : Ok, really good analogy about the fog : I get the image and the advise about getting closer. Easy to understand as I'm doing streetphotgraphy too.
 
 
About housing :
 
- Nauticam are not adaptable to all Mark for RX100 so I will have to skip this model
 
- Fantasea seems have many advantages and the model FRX100 V is compatible with Sony RX100 III / IV / V (and maybe VI even, I do not know)
 
- I will have to check If I could order too the anti glare hood on the fantasea
 
- Also Discovered the Ikelte, seems a big brand and it is also compatible with II IV and V (updated version). What's the comparison with the Fantasea?
 
- Just by curiosity, why nobody talks about the Sony housing?
 
 
About Strobes :
 
- Ok @ChrissRoss, I will do some searches about the INON S-2000
 
- thanks to your comments i think my needs are more specific than i thought, meaning lighter and more compact !
 
Since the density of the water is not the density of the air how are you playing with the opening of the lens in underwater photo with strobe?
I guess it's not recommended to close like you would do in studio, or?
 
In any case, saw the fast movements of the fish and the possible fps rate of the camera I thought also about continuous light.
But I guess it's the same as in the studio and the power level of continuous light versus strobe in comparison is ridiculous...and there is no debate to have
 
- I will forget about superior recycle rate than 1.6 Seconds :
SEA & SEA YS-01
SEA & SEA YS-03
IKELITE DS-51
 
- Best recycle rates are for :
IKELITE DS-161
9.6 x 17.9 xm
1343g
 
INON S2000
6.4 x 8.3 x 10.6 cm
295 g
 
SEA & SEA YS-D2
8.9 x 13.3 x 11.6 cm 
600 g
 
INON Z-240
9.9 x 12.2 x 10 cm
583 g
 
So yes, the Inon S2000 seems the most interesting one for me but I saw really strange prices variations between US prices and EU prices, will have to check deeply. (I'm in EU)
 
 
About Accessories :
 
- @Barmaglot and @ChrisRoss Ok seems that any floating wrist strap are equivalents
 
- do I need a special hermetical box and silicate gel?
 
- one underwater case seems a good idea too
 
- do I need Silicone?
 
- Ok to skip the colored filters as I will not go really deep
 
 
 
Thanks a lot for all the help


#11 ChrisRoss

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 02:19 PM

strobes also need to be close to the subject. Normally manual flash is recommended, it's not as difficult as it sounds. Because you are close the variation in strobe light on the subject is not much.

You do need mounting arms for the strobes to hold them in the right position to avoid backscatter. Suggest you read through some of the guides here:

http://www.uwphotogr...ter-photography

The 1" sensor has more DOF than full frame so setting the lens to f4 or so will be fine, it will give faster flash and has depth of field equivalent to f11 on a full frame DSLR.

#12 Barmaglot

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 07:12 PM

Ikelite strobes are quite large for their power output, and also only have wired connections. There is a fiber optic trigger add-on, but it costs extra and only allows manual mode, no TTL. They also use proprietary battery packs - I would steer clear.

 

Ikelite housings tend to have a rectangular box shape, rather than follow the contours of the camera inside. This results in poor ergonomics and excessive buoyancy.

 

Sony housing is inexpensive, and fits RX100 models I through V, but has two significant drawbacks: the rear dial is inaccessible, and on models I and ii, the lens is not held in the center of the port. The latter issue precludes the use of wet lenses with those models, which doesn't really apply to you since you have the model IV, but the former makes manual mode operation considerably more difficult - the camera has two dials to begin with (rear dial and lens ring), and with only the lens ring accessible, you have to use it for shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, ISO (unless you set it to auto) and zoom (although that one can also be controlled by a rocker around the shutter button).

 

Model VI has a completely new lens, so no housing for a previous model will fit it. Only Nauticam has a housing for it in production now, although Fantasea and Ikelite are 'coming soon'.

 

Inon Z-240 is out of production, having been replaced by Z-330, but you can find quite a few on the used market. However, I would suggest starting with using the bare camera first, no lights or strobes, just a tray with a handle to make it less buoyant and a lanyard to keep it from floating away. Get used to shooting it in the water, figure out the challenges and how to overcome them, and then grow into a big rig with arms, strobes, lights, wet lenses, etc.


Edited by Barmaglot, 29 July 2018 - 12:48 AM.


#13 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 08:40 AM

Hi
 
thanks you for replies!  :fishbowl:
 
Ok, the Removable anti-glare hood for the LCD screen Is included on the fantasea FRX100 V
I will buy this Fantasea housing! thx!
 
Thanks for the comparison with the Ikelite housings, I will skip this brand for housing and Sony one too.
 
 
About the Strobe, INON Z-330 seems really impressive BUt as I will stay close to the surface I certainly do not need such powerful equipment.
 
INON S-2000 seems a good compromise
 
Ok, thanks for this guide
 
Ah, F/4, interesting, ok thx
 
> Model VI has a completely new lens, so no housing for a previous model will fit it. 
This is a really bad bad news for me, but ok
anyway, as I see the mark VI, have 15 elements in 12 groups : I'm not fan at all of so much glasses (microcontrast Is like drug for me ahahaha)  :notworthy:
 
 
> just a tray with a handle to make it less buoyant and a lanyard to keep it from floating away. 
Ok, need to search for :
- a tray with a handle
- a lanyard
 
I will email one European website reseller I found, asking for some help because I'm not sure to get all the differences between all Inon Arm kit
 
thanks a lot for your help, I appreciate a lot lot lot lot lot lot lot !  :clapping:   :bye:
 
Emilio


#14 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 08:57 AM

also :
if one of these days I want to film with continuous lightning all the arms in a kit like those of the Inon brand will be compatible OR I might have unexpected issues?


#15 Barmaglot

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 09:19 AM

One of the advantages of using continuous lights is that they don't have compatibility issues. With strobes, you have varying wired sync protocols, fiber optic sync that might or might not be sensitive enough, TTL compatibility, etc, but LEDs just emit light. Physical connections are usually 1" balls or, less commonly, YS heads, but there are adapters between the two types. Continuous lights also help you see what the scene will look like in the photo - whether there is enough light at all, where the shadows go, etc, they help the camera focus, they help you see irrespective of photo taking opportunities - but they also don't have anything close to the reach of strobes, they can scare away the fish and other moving critters (although at night, they can also attract stuff), and you have to carefully manage them to avoid blinding other divers around you.

 

As far as brands, I just ordered a no-name tray and arms from Aliexpress; they've been serving me well enough so far.



#16 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 12:07 PM

Hello, Ok I read articles about different kinds of arms.

 

I just bought everything ; Arms, Accessories, Strobe Inon S-2000, Fantasea housing

 

I thank you very warmly : you are very friendly, I had this project in mind since years and now I finally will be able to start!!!
 
-
 
Ok Barmaglot, I exactly understand you as I'm a big fan of continuous lightning and for example Studio Harcourt in Paris
 
-
 
Have a beautiful end of day


#17 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 04:06 AM

Hello
 
I hope you are well?
 
I received everything this afternoon
 
I wanted to ask a few questions because I have some areas of darkness to clear but also because certainly some people will follow the same path as me and may be left with the same questions, so try to help as much as many peoples helped on this forum.
 
So to start, it's impressive to receive everything and to unpack everything. There are a lot of elements, and the last time I felt that way was when I had to assemble my entire computer tower. To get out of it you have to read and follow the instructions in the manuals.
 
I bought :
fews accessories
Sony RX100 IV
FRX100 V Housing
Inon S-2000Strobe Set with flexarm https://www.uwcamera...weefine-flexarm( Inon S2000 strobe & Inon Z-adapter & Weefine Flexarm with grip & Inon optical cable )
 
1) I saw an option to make communicate the flash and the camera without the cable (Wireless connection) but I thought that my system was not compatible and I decided to use the cable. Am I right? If I'm wrong what are the differences between the 2 systems? (Wireless & Cable Connection)
 
2) In the pile of accessories there is an Inon Double hole Rubber Bush for optical fiber : Do i need to use that rather than one of the 2 holes in the front of the fantasea housing, to connect the cable? (I do not see the interest but maybe something escapes me)
 
3) I saw some documents that spoke of possible strobe overheating. All this is still not very clear to me. If I take one picture, wait until the strobe is charged and the red light comes on, and then I take another picture, and same again and again : in this case, I have a risk of overheating? I would have thought that the flash could go into protection automatically but I'm not 100% sure about this.
 
4) I made a first try yesterday, I was very disappointed by the autonomy of the camera. I'd like to know about which variables I can act to change that :
- SteadyShot OFF
- Flash Compensation -3,0 IL (this point might be problematic no? Cause this might maybe impact the TTL measure, or am I totally wrong?- I hope so because this might be really problematic lol)
- AF not Continue
- lower the brightness of the screen
- no NR
- any other advice?
 
5) I'm not sure I understood exactly where to put the Silica gel inside the housing. Manual say that's the best is to insert on the left side of the camera between the 2 rubber shock absorber mounts. I was afraid that if I put a bag of silica gel in this place I could damage the camera zoom. Also I'm a bit paranoid about fog/steam/moisture inside the housing I think. 
 
 
I made some pictures to share all this in case people are interested to buy similar material, so that they know what to expect.
 
Some pictures:
 
Thanks in advance, have a beautiful underwater day!

sorry, I'm not able to successfully upload the pictures, will try again later : I do have error messages



#18 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 04:19 AM

I think I found a way for sharing all this :

 

IMG_8785_resize.jpg

 

IMG_8787_resize.jpg

 

IMG_8788_resize.jpg

 

IMG_8789_resize.jpg

 

IMG_8790_resize.jpg


IMG_8791_resize.jpg

 

IMG_8792_resize.jpg

 

IMG_8798_resize.jpg

 

IMG_8801_resize.jpg

 

IMG_8802_resize.jpg



#19 emilio_goncalvez

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 04:23 AM

IMG_8803_resize.jpg

 

 

 

IMG_8813_resize.jpg


IMG_8804_resize.jpg


IMG_8812_resize.jpg



#20 ChrisRoss

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 04:15 PM

 

Hello
 
I hope you are well?
 
I received everything this afternoon
 
I wanted to ask a few questions because I have some areas of darkness to clear but also because certainly some people will follow the same path as me and may be left with the same questions, so try to help as much as many peoples helped on this forum.
 
So to start, it's impressive to receive everything and to unpack everything. There are a lot of elements, and the last time I felt that way was when I had to assemble my entire computer tower. To get out of it you have to read and follow the instructions in the manuals.
 
I bought :
fews accessories
Sony RX100 IV
FRX100 V Housing
Inon S-2000Strobe Set with flexarm https://www.uwcamera...weefine-flexarm( Inon S2000 strobe & Inon Z-adapter & Weefine Flexarm with grip & Inon optical cable )
 
1) I saw an option to make communicate the flash and the camera without the cable (Wireless connection) but I thought that my system was not compatible and I decided to use the cable. Am I right? If I'm wrong what are the differences between the 2 systems? (Wireless & Cable Connection).Cable is better, the other method can be hit and miss
 
2) In the pile of accessories there is an Inon Double hole Rubber Bush for optical fiber : Do i need to use that rather than one of the 2 holes in the front of the fantasea housing, to connect the cable? (I do not see the interest but maybe something escapes me)  You can connect two flashes to the one fibre port, but you also use it with a single cable.
 
3) I saw some documents that spoke of possible strobe overheating. All this is still not very clear to me. If I take one picture, wait until the strobe is charged and the red light comes on, and then I take another picture, and same again and again : in this case, I have a risk of overheating? I would have thought that the flash could go into protection automatically but I'm not 100% sure about this.  It is unlikely to be a problem in "normal" shooting, if you take 2-3 shots and move on.
 
4) I made a first try yesterday, I was very disappointed by the autonomy of the camera. I'd like to know about which variables I can act to change that :
- SteadyShot OFF I would turn this on
- Flash Compensation -3,0 IL (this point might be problematic no? Cause this might maybe impact the TTL measure, or am I totally wrong?- I hope so because this might be really problematic lol)  you turn flash compensation to -3 when you use the external flash in manual, it recycles faster and saves battery power,  For TTL you need to use normal flash compensation.
- AF not Continue yes continous AF can be a problem and not work well under water.
- lower the brightness of the screen- maybe not , you need it brighter to see in sunlight
- no NR  you should shoot in RAW so this is irrelevant, noise reduction is done during raw processing.  Pics are much easier to colour balance as well.
- any other advice?
Read thishttps://reefphoto.com/blogs/lighting/selecting-the-proper-settings-for-inon-strobes-1  and try shooting in manual you can adjust the power on land first to get in the ballpark - try 1/125 @ f4 ISO 100 and adjust flash output to get proper exposure on a subject about 300mm away.  Keep that setting and fine tune underwater.  You need to deactivate the ACC function with the  magnet for this to work. 
 
5) I'm not sure I understood exactly where to put the Silica gel inside the housing. Manual say that's the best is to insert on the left side of the camera between the 2 rubber shock absorber mounts. I was afraid that if I put a bag of silica gel in this place I could damage the camera zoom. Also I'm a bit paranoid about fog/steam/moisture inside the housing I think. 
Try it on the surface first - be aware you need to keep it away from the o-ring.  Also keep the silica gel sealed in zip lock bag or similar when not in use, it will quickly absorb moisture from the air and no longer be effective.  An alternative to this is to assemble the housing in an air conditioned room.  The humidity is lower and this means there is less moisture inside the housing.
 
I made some pictures to share all this in case people are interested to buy similar material, so that they know what to expect.
 
Some pictures:
 
Thanks in advance, have a beautiful underwater day!

sorry, I'm not able to successfully upload the pictures, will try again later : I do have error messages