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SeaFrog vs Fantasea vs Ikelite housing for Sony A6500


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#1 rwe

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 04:46 AM

I am planning on replacing my Sony NEX-5N/10Bar housing.  I have been waiting for Sony to update the A6500 but since this keeps dragging out I am considering going ahead and getting and housing the  Sony A6500. I would be interested in hearing the pro and cons of the SeaFrog vs Fantasea vs Ikelite housings for this camera.  I know the Nauticam is considered the top of the line but it is out of my price range.  Thanks for your input.

Rick


Sony NEX-5N,10Bar Housing, Olympus C-8080, PT-023 (broken port tabs, of course), single Inon Z-240, flickr site: https://www.flickr.c...9071@N08/albums


#2 Barmaglot

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:05 AM

There are very few reasons left to justify Fantasea's very significant price premium over SeaFrogs' housing - only ones that I can think of is the ability to attach an external monitor via HDMI through M16 port, manual focus gears for macro lenses, plus the ability to use some oddball lens setups like adapted Canon lenses. Ikelite offers wired TTL sync capability with their DS strobes, but unless you already own a pair of DS160s/161s, it's kind of pointless, and their ergonomics are typical Ikelite - huge rectangular box with randomly placed levers. I have the SeaFrogs housing with the kit port and 4" and 6" domes, and IMHO, it's perfectly adequate for a 'mainstream' setup. Planning to add a macro port + 90mm macro lens when I find a good deal on a used one.



#3 guyharrisonphoto

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 06:33 AM

I have handled the Fantasea, Nauticam and Ikelite housings with the A6500.  The ergononics are absolutely excellent on the Fantasea, with the dials and buttons placed for easy access and use.  I also handled the Nauticam housing and, honestly, I thought the Fantasea was better in terms of ergonomics.  The Ikelite was just not in the same ballpark as either.

 

I have not handled a SeaFrogs, but I can tell that the ergonomics look absolutely atrocious.  Tightly spaced buttons, tiny dials.  I would not want to live with that over the long term (but, I dive a lot, 30-80 dives per year). 

 

Yep, you save a lot of bucks for Sea Frogs.  You get what you pay for.  I think the Fantasea is the best middle road between terrible (Ikelite, Sea Frogs) and most expensive (Nauticam).  



#4 Barmaglot

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 09:44 AM

I haven't tried the Fantasea housing myself, but I did 50-odd dives with a SeaFrogs housing (last year's fixed-port model) and the ergonomics are just fine. Upgraded to the new model for dome port and vacuum valve capability, taking it to Red Sea in two weeks.