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Seacam Prelude for D 7000


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#1 JACohen

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:13 PM

I have just taken delivery of the Seacam Prelude housing for the D 7000. I'll probably do an in depth review in the next month or so, but it will have to wait until I go diving again and that's not until the end of May.

One thing that you should be aware of when considering this housing is the lack of controls. This is a photo of the rear of the housing and from the lack of buttons you can ascertain what is missing.

untitled_2.jpg

Whether or not this affects your decision to purchase is a personal matter, but for me, when I realised there was no ISO button I almost sent it back. I managed to rig the review button on the housing to the ISO button on the camera and so I will persevere.

If anyone has a clever way of adjusting white balance or ISO in the D 7000 without use of the menu button please let me know as I am desperate to find work-arounds for the manufacturer's lack of buttons. Bear in mind also that you can only access the up button of the multi button at the rear that controls focus points and review.
Nikon D7000, Seacam Housing, Inon z240, 105mm, 60mm, Tokina 10-17mm

#2 derway

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:45 PM

why spend that kind of money, for such incredibly limited functionality?

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#3 diverdave1

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:12 PM

I have no idea what this housing costs but traditionally Seacam housings are at the far upper range of what you can pay for a housing. Part of justifying the choice is functionality, not just the name. If Seacam has reached that place where they think their reputation precludes them from making sensible housings, it may be time for the folks that use underwater housings to send them a message. They are not the only kid on the block. From your photo alone, this housing looks like a dog. Good luck, sorry I couldn't help.

And....were you not able to review the specs before purchasing this housing?

#4 lundysd

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:36 PM

Seacam may be a high end manufacturer trying to break into the moderately-priced housing market, but shipping a housing with at least 9 key controls missing is utterly obtuse and borderline insulting to customers in the market for a new housing.

I'll stick to my fully capable, moderately-priced, CNC milled aluminum housing from Nauticam (for less money) thank you very much.

#5 Don in Colorado

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 10:43 PM

I would return that housing.

#6 JACohen

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 11:54 PM

And....were you not able to review the specs before purchasing this housing?


Yes I was but I couldn't find any photos of the back, and I was foolish enough to think that a manufacturer like Seacam would include such basic controls as ISO. To be fair to them, it doesn't say that there is an ISO control on their website.

I like the housing, and I've had problems with my Subal rusting twice, so I wanted to get something that could handle a lot of diving, and that I wouldn't have to change for a few years. I'm gonna take a drill to it and manufacture the buttons that are missing and then I will have a great housing. True, Seacam should be selling the housing that I'm going to create themselves, but they have decided not to.

I know there's not too many of these housings out there, and I want to make sure that if someone buys one, they know exactly what they are getting. I'm not rude enough to say exactly what that is, but I'm sure you can fill in the blanks :)
Nikon D7000, Seacam Housing, Inon z240, 105mm, 60mm, Tokina 10-17mm

#7 loftus

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 02:00 AM

I guess the Prelude name is appropriate; a starter housing for rich kids. :)

Edited by loftus, 13 April 2011 - 02:01 AM.

Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#8 cor

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 04:58 AM

It's really quite insulting for such a prominent housing manufacturer to deliver this .. thing. Are they trying to dumb down the photographers? ISO is one of the most important buttons on any modern housing.
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#9 Aussiebyron

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:11 AM

I believe that the Seacam D7000 is retailing for $3350......

I am glad with my decision to go with the Aquatica AD7000. Cheaper, well made, and it has alot more features

Regards Mark
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#10 loftus

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:39 AM

It's really quite insulting for such a prominent housing manufacturer to deliver this .. thing. Are they trying to dumb down the photographers? ISO is one of the most important buttons on any modern housing.

To deliver anything but a fully functional housing for that price is as you say insulting. Unfortunately then they would have to justify the cost of their regular housing, which is becoming harder and harder to do with competition from housing manufacturers like Nauticam and Aquatica. Clearly the European manufacturers are having a tougher and tougher time remaining competitive as they no longer are streets ahead of the competition from a design and engineering standpoint. Subal is apparently having their problems. I was most impressed with the engineering of the Nauticam D7000 housing I used in Dominica last month, overall surpassing the quality of my Subal housing in every respect.
It's hard to believe that their cost difference for adding a few buttons is that much more to justify the cost difference from their fully functional housings.

Edited by loftus, 13 April 2011 - 05:54 AM.

Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#11 Drew

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 07:59 AM

It's fair to say that features for , the Seacam D7000 does look rather bad. It is also fair to say that whatever controls are listed clearly, so people should know what they are getting.
I remember the D7000 can allocate certain functions to different buttons so ISO control is available. Also with access to the INFO button, I believe you can access all shooting parameters, using the dials and SET button no? I use the LCD INFO to change settings more often nowadays, especially after chimping.
There's no doubt the Asian and North American brands offer better value and features for money. However, the Seacam is more than just prestige of being the most expensive and best looking. The shutter trigger on Seacams feel so sensitive you know exactly where 1/2 press is without thinking about it. Only the S&S, which use to dominate the SLR market, feels as good to me. That full turn port system feels more reliable (whether it is or not is debateable) than the bayonet mounts, which can turn and hence require port locks.
I doubt Seacam is trying to go mass market but probably trying to build a baby model without the full trimmings to gain more followers. It's probably a testament to the D7000 that Seacam is even attempting a housing for such an entry level camera.

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#12 loftus

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:55 AM

I think you are being kind Drew. I don't think anyone can argue about the quality of Seacam housings, and I'm sure this one is machined beautifully as well, but I don't think they will successfully draw many customers with a housing that does not compete feature for feature with the others.
I just think it's a fact that other companies like Nauticam and Aquatica have really upped the ante with quality and features, at very competitive prices, that make it more difficult to justify spending the extra money for brands like Subal and Seacam. I was really impressed with how well the Nauticam was designed and engineered for example. Clearly companies like Nauticam have big advantages from a labor cost perspective over Seacam, just like most other products coming from the Far East and China in particular. I would not like to be one of the European housing manufacturers at this time......

Edited by loftus, 13 April 2011 - 08:56 AM.

Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#13 meerseen

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:53 AM

I have just taken delivery of the Seacam Prelude housing for the D 7000. I'll probably do an in depth review in the next month or so, but it will have to wait until I go diving again and that's not until the end of May.

One thing that you should be aware of when considering this housing is the lack of controls. This is a photo of the rear of the housing and from the lack of buttons you can ascertain what is missing.

Whether or not this affects your decision to purchase is a personal matter, but for me, when I realised there was no ISO button I almost sent it back. I managed to rig the review button on the housing to the ISO button on the camera and so I will persevere.

If anyone has a clever way of adjusting white balance or ISO in the D 7000 without use of the menu button please let me know as I am desperate to find work-arounds for the manufacturer's lack of buttons. Bear in mind also that you can only access the up button of the multi button at the rear that controls focus points and review.



Hey!

Take a closer look to the manual of your camera.

You will see, that you can change a lot of thinks like ISO or white balance and a lot of thinks more with :

front or/ rear dial and the multi-controller

Try and and you will find out, that nearly everything is possible.

Schorsch :)
Canon 5D MK II
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#14 loftus

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 10:32 AM

Hey!

Take a closer look to the manual of your camera.

You will see, that you can change a lot of thinks like ISO or white balance and a lot of thinks more with :

front or/ rear dial and the multi-controller

Try and and you will find out, that nearly everything is possible.

Schorsch :)

Come on Schorsch; sure there are workarounds for many things; but the buttons are placed on the camera for optimum functionality in the first place.......
I'm surprised at Seacam, as I've always admired their housings.

Edited by loftus, 13 April 2011 - 10:34 AM.

Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#15 cor

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 10:36 AM

On a modern body i want to use ISO like i use f/stop and shutterspeed. I wouldnt want to have to go into some subsubsubmenu to change iso. Dont have my D7000 bodies here to see how it works without button.
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#16 Drew

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 10:44 AM

I think you are being kind Drew.

I've been called many things Jeff, but "kind" is a rare one. :(

Definitely manufacturing and assembling in Austria (with parts coming from the EU and I'm sure from China) not only has labor and supplies costs but also restrictions for environmental reasons compared to a place like Shenzhen. I do think Seacam will do "ok" with the higher end cameras in the new market. In fact, I think this is the first low end experiment for Seacam and the feedback will certainly resonate in Harald's ear in Voitsberg (or not :) )

I totally understand the thing about Subal houses though :)

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#17 cor

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 10:45 AM

Subal needs to get their act together and get a D7000 housing out soon :)
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#18 JACohen

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 01:03 PM

Hey!

Take a closer look to the manual of your camera.

You will see, that you can change a lot of thinks like ISO or white balance and a lot of thinks more with :

front or/ rear dial and the multi-controller

Try and and you will find out, that nearly everything is possible.

Schorsch :)


Thanks for the advice Schorsch but the problem is there is only an up button for the multi controller. You can press the info button, but then you can only move the multi controller up and not across. Plus the info button doesn't allow access to any of the controls for white balance and ISO. Now if there were a menu button on the housing, then I would be able to work through all the menus but sadly there isn't.

I appreciate your help though.
Nikon D7000, Seacam Housing, Inon z240, 105mm, 60mm, Tokina 10-17mm

#19 StephenFrink

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:36 PM

Thanks for the advice Schorsch but the problem is there is only an up button for the multi controller. You can press the info button, but then you can only move the multi controller up and not across. Plus the info button doesn't allow access to any of the controls for white balance and ISO. Now if there were a menu button on the housing, then I would be able to work through all the menus but sadly there isn't.

I appreciate your help though.


Hi all - I'm just catching this thread in an airport and have to reply via iPhone. Please excuse brevity for now and probable typos, but as north American distributor for SEACAM I wanted to weigh in promptly to your concerns.

Harald Hordosch, owner/designer of SEACAM, and I have had many philosophical discussions about the Prelude concept. His desire was to create a minimalist "less is more" design that would invite user perhaps new to SEACAM in the hopes they would be lifelong enthusiasts. I don't think he meant prelude to replace or equal SEACAM Silver housings, but I'll leave it to him to explain specific intentions for the Prelude line.

From my point of view, we have delivered several housings now. Some clients have been disappointed as they were expecting more controls on the rear of the housing, but others have been very positive as well. I'm not familiar with D7000 as I shoot Canon, but one of our clients has taken considerable time with camera and housing and shared with me his preferences.

For iso he sets it at 200. Apparently you can navigate to 2 preset iso settings with the housing. With 3 available iso settings, he feels comfortable in his options. As for navigating the zone of autofocus, he uses the 3d setting, which is apparently quite accurate, and then may tweak with focus lock. He also has a focus gear for his 60 and 105 micro Nikkor (new style) so he is very satisfied with the housing for fish and macro. Wide angle with his 10-17 is likewise easy with 3D AF.

The housing comes standard with the pro viewfinder, but also accepts s180 and s45 viewfinders. Anyone doubting SEACAM quality should pit their facemadk to one of these viewfinders for a revelation in optical quality.

Please don't misunderstand me. I can certainly relate to the desire for full functionality. The Prelude is meant to be an affordable entree to the SEACAM system. It may not suit everyone with very specific housing needs, but it may also introduce Shooters to the inherent advantages to the SEACAM system that might otherwise be denied access.

Hope all this makes sense. They are now boarding the plane. Got to go.
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#20 JACohen

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:54 PM

Hi all - I'm just catching this thread in an airport and have to reply via iPhone. Please excuse brevity for now and probable typos, but as north American distributor for SEACAM I wanted to weigh in promptly to your concerns.

Harald Hordosch, owner/designer of SEACAM, and I have had many philosophical discussions about the Prelude concept. His desire was to create a minimalist "less is more" design that would invite user perhaps new to SEACAM in the hopes they would be lifelong enthusiasts. I don't think he meant prelude to replace or equal SEACAM Silver housings, but I'll leave it to him to explain specific intentions for the Prelude line.

From my point of view, we have delivered several housings now. Some clients have been disappointed as they were expecting more controls on the rear of the housing, but others have been very positive as well. I'm not familiar with D7000 as I shoot Canon, but one of our clients has taken considerable time with camera and housing and shared with me his preferences.

For iso he sets it at 200. Apparently you can navigate to 2 preset iso settings with the housing. With 3 available iso settings, he feels comfortable in his options. As for navigating the zone of autofocus, he uses the 3d setting, which is apparently quite accurate, and then may tweak with focus lock. He also has a focus gear for his 60 and 105 micro Nikkor (new style) so he is very satisfied with the housing for fish and macro. Wide angle with his 10-17 is likewise easy with 3D AF.

The housing comes standard with the pro viewfinder, but also accepts s180 and s45 viewfinders. Anyone doubting SEACAM quality should pit their facemadk to one of these viewfinders for a revelation in optical quality.

Please don't misunderstand me. I can certainly relate to the desire for full functionality. The Prelude is meant to be an affordable entree to the SEACAM system. It may not suit everyone with very specific housing needs, but it may also introduce Shooters to the inherent advantages to the SEACAM system that might otherwise be denied access.

Hope all this makes sense. They are now boarding the plane. Got to go.



Thanks a lot for the advice Stephen.

I fully agree with all you say about the Seacam quality and that's why I wanted to get their housing. I must admit it would have been nice if Seacam had made a full blown housing for the D7000 as then I would have chosen that instead of the minimalist design. This Nikon is considered by some to be the best all round camera for underwater photography, and certainly for Nikon shooters it is the camera that many will upgrade to. it might look like an amateur camera but it most certainly is not. If Seacam doesn't make a fully functional housing for it then they will miss out on business to the other manufacturers. Maybe they don't care about that, but I think they must care a little or they wouldn't have made the prelude. I think Seacam has underestimated this camera and its capabilities and desirability by Nikon shooters. But that's just my opinion. I'm sure Seacam knows what it is doing.

I guess I will have to make do until Seacam decides that the camera is in fact worthy of a fully functional housing. Either that or drill out the back and make my own buttons.

Edited by JACohen, 13 April 2011 - 04:08 PM.

Nikon D7000, Seacam Housing, Inon z240, 105mm, 60mm, Tokina 10-17mm