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10Bar LX3 Housing


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#1 Aqua_soul

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:09 AM

Hi, I have been in contact with Ada from 10Bar during the coarse of last week and he supplied me the following information.

Their housing for the Panasonic LX3 is now up for sale.
Price = US$630

Some details on the housing:
External lenses with a M67 thread can be used with the housing.
Options for optical strobe firing as well as hard wiring exist.
It uses two key hole latches for locking, and with double main o-rings for closure.
A target light can be fixed to the top of the housing.
The joystick can be used only for the central downward position.

The housing looks rather nice IMHO. Also keeping in mind that the LX3 is getting great reviews, the the latest DPreview it made the top of the list in its category.
Personally I would loved to have seen it in a black finish, not just for the shake of it, but shine things attract the attention of certain types of fish:)
I would have loved a different solution for the shutter button, either a trigger on the side or front of the housing with a pull back action.

I will upload the images of the housing shortly. :cry:

#2 Aqua_soul

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:40 AM

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#3 WizardHowl

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 02:28 PM

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This looks very promising. I remember when the LX3 was first introduced I kept telling myself that this would be awesome for an udnerwater camera (fast lens, wide angle, and compact size). Do you know where in the USA we can get this?

I know a barrier to this camera is the use of the joystick, being that this housing only works in the center down position, I assume this may effect a lot of manual options? I've never played with the camera so I'm can't say for sure, but this might be a potential downside?

Thanks for this information!

#4 Aqua_soul

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 12:34 PM

Yes its does look promising.

Sorry have no idea where in the USA the housing will be sold. Best would be to contact 10bar directly.

I am looking for a model in the local shops to see which functions I will be losing out on.

#5 davephdv

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 12:42 PM

Off the top of my head the joystick is used for changing aperture and for manual focus.

Many others but those are the ones I can think of that I might need UW.

It is a nice camera, I don't think I would pay more than around 600$ for a housing though.
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#6 allen

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:09 PM

Off the top of my head the joystick is used for changing aperture and for manual focus.


If one can only push the joystick in it is going to be really limiting as those are two pretty important functions.

In manual focus mode the joystick becomes a focusing control Up for closer and Down for further away. Similar for the aperture.

#7 bmyates

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:52 PM

Nice looking little housing! I look forward to hearing about access to controls (e.g., full manual shooting). If there's a way to use it in full manual, I think the LX3 would be a GREAT little uw camera!

Quick - somebody get their hands on one of these things - give it a good wringing out underwater and report back! :dancing:

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#8 allen

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 08:45 PM

Bruce I came very close to having a friend pick this housing up for me as he will be in HK this week. The price is quite amazing but the lack of more control of the joy stick made me step away. I am rather curious about what UK-Germany is going to do as well as the Nautilus housing out of Japan. The Nautilus (see the other thread) will be around $1k as will the UK-Germany (sans vat). The Nautilus is a lexan housing while the UK-Germany is aluminum. Both have solutions for the joystick.

#9 octopulse

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 02:26 AM

Bruce I came very close to having a friend pick this housing up for me as he will be in HK this week. The price is quite amazing but the lack of more control of the joy stick made me step away. I am rather curious about what UK-Germany is going to do as well as the Nautilus housing out of Japan. The Nautilus (see the other thread) will be around $1k as will the UK-Germany (sans vat). The Nautilus is a lexan housing while the UK-Germany is aluminum. Both have solutions for the joystick.


Hi Bruce et al

I just emailed 10bar and had a response from Ada

Apparently the joystick issue has been addressed and the housing control for the joystick is fully functional! This is great news as it means that all of the manual / aperature / shutter speed adjustments will be accessible.

I have included the rest of the response from Ada which may also be of interest to others as I am particularly interested in setting this up to work with my Ike DS 125s:

1) can the LX3 joystick be used when the camera is in the housing?
Yes, we have improved the joystick function to be fully working for all the
new delivery in 2009.

2) If not is there some other way to set the aperature / shutter speed
manually?
The new joystick function is fully working. Has the same function and feel
as touching the camera's joystick!

3) What strobes can be attached to the camera via the bulkhead? Is it a
standard bulkhead e.g. nikonos / ikelite compatible?
The 10 Bar Stobe Housing FL50 for Olympus and can provide TTL. Other
strobes can also be use with non-TTL by using non-TTL hot shoe plug or
non-TTL sync cord or optical fiber. The standard bulkead is SF6 which is
compatible to Subtronic S6 Bulkhead. Nikonos bulkhead can also be supply but
without TTL on request.

4) Are there any TTL strobe options?
The 10 Bar Strobe Housing FL50 for Olympus can provide TTL.

5) I have a couple of Ikelite DS125 strobes that I would like to use with
this set up is there anyway of connecting these to the housing?
Can be used with non-TTL function by using Ikelite cable for Nikonos
connector.

6) On your website it indicates that a dome port / extension adapter comes
with the housing? Which dome ports are compatible and would this require an
additional wide angle lens?
The dome port / extension adapter is optional. The 10Bar Port M104 x 125D
is compatible. The Dome Port can be used without converter but with wide
converter lens the wide angle effect is better.


I would be interested to see if a mike-dive.de converter would work with the standard bulkhead to provide TTL? Since the bulkhead apparently works with the FL50 in TTL mode the converter may work?

This housing / camera set up is looking better and better...

cheers

Roger

#10 allen

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 07:21 PM

Wow, this is some good info. Would be interested in hearing what you find out on the TTL.

#11 bjornb

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:13 AM

I also contacted 10bar asking about the joystick functionality including a picture and they sent me this image showing the new back with joystick functionality.

Posted Image

Edited by bjornb, 23 January 2009 - 03:15 AM.


#12 WizardHowl

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:06 AM

I also contacted 10bar asking about the joystick functionality including a picture and they sent me this image showing the new back with joystick functionality.

Posted Image



Wow this is great news! Anyone have any idea about availability, particularly in the USA? This camera on paper seems like it would be a great underwater camera

#13 allen

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:22 AM

Can some one explain to me how the menu/cursor is controlled with this housing? I really did not pay too much attention to this until they got the joystick figured out (and now that I own this camera).

The Display/Playback mode is controlled by the upper control.

The joystick is obvious.

Display LCD mode is controlled by the lowest control.


But what I have a hard time with are the two middle buttons and how the work together to control the menu/set and the cursor up-down-left-right.

#14 bjornb

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 04:44 PM

I am not 100% sure but I believe you have to rotate the knob (the white dot shows the current position) and then push it to select.
This is a picture of the first version (without proper joystick control):
Posted Image

#15 allen

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:31 PM

That makes sense and what I was thinking. It would seem that the button on the left rotates to adjust the cursor while the other gets rotated into place to activate the menu/set?? Once the menu button is pressed you can use the joystick to move the cursor. So you do not need the cursor buttons for menu but you do need them to adjust the Flash AV or do auto bracketing, or use the function button, etc.

#16 Neopreneninja

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 05:47 AM

Hi there !
I'm also following this cam. with great int.
(Panasonic DMC-LX3 & 10BAR housing...almost seems like a new version of my beloved Olympus 5060..with twice the pixel)
Has anyone out there tried this little gem UW??? As I'm shure many of us would love to hear and see the results...
I'm really int. in the macro preformance DOF and strobe sync. ...since us P&S UW only have a max of F8 !
As far as I have seen there is a nother OW-Housing costing 1000 Euro ,"UK/GERMANY" ore some thing...
Dose Panasonic never make there own WU-Housing like most others ???
have fun in the sun
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#17 mmakay

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:18 PM

Does anybody know of a vendor selling these housings? Where can you buy it that will ship to the US?

-Mickey

#18 jeremypayne

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:47 PM

DOF and strobe sync. ...since us P&S UW only have a max of F8 !


The DOF on a teensy sensor at f/8 is just fine - much more than one would see on a "full" or cropped sensor DSLR at F/8 ... and strobe sync isn't an issue because they typically have electronic shutters and can sync at any shutter speed.

I typically shot strobe-light macro on my Canon G9 @ F/8 & 1/1000th.

There are three top of the line P&S's that shoot RAW that seem similar ... Nikon p6000, Canon G9 and the Panny LX3.

Luminous Landscape compared the three and gave the edge to the G10 for image quality.

http://www.luminous-...ttleships.shtml

"The net of this comparison is that while the Nikon P6000 is a fine little camera, it finds itself in the unfortunate position of being released at the same time as the Canon G10, which it would appear is an attempt by Canon to produce a full-featured pocket camera with the highest quality that they are capable of. In this they appear to have succeeded, unlike with last year's G9, which was a decent camera, but which didn't seem to be a whole-hearted effort on Canon's part.

The P6000 holds up well against the Panasonic LX-3, with both of them being similarly sized. The G10 is quite a bit heavier and bulkier, with the trade-off being its higher image quality, better build, and superior features over the P6000, such as a multi-frame raw buffer and live histogram."


Here's an example of macro DOF at F8 (and this is with TWO macro lenses attached to the front which further reduce DOF):

Posted Image
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#19 LERF

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 04:43 PM

Hi there !
I'm also following this cam. with great int.
(Panasonic DMC-LX3 & 10BAR housing...almost seems like a new version of my beloved Olympus 5060..with twice the pixel)
Has anyone out there tried this little gem UW??? As I'm shure many of us would love to hear and see the results...
I'm really int. in the macro preformance DOF and strobe sync. ...since us P&S UW only have a max of F8 !
As far as I have seen there is a nother OW-Housing costing 1000 Euro ,"UK/GERMANY" ore some thing...
Dose Panasonic never make there own WU-Housing like most others ???
have fun in the sun
regards from
The angy rubber suit


I just got back from testing this housing in Anilao, Philippines last week. Here are my first impressions:

- very small and compact
- negative underwater
- new locking system difficult to use, springs are too hard, rather difficult to open the back after being pressurised
- salt crystal on the locking springs, regardless how long you rinse it in fresh water
- a bit dodgy to insert camera into housing
- program mode button not reliable
- joystick unable to activate quick menu ( push ), joystick direction works and indicator pointing in the popposite direction
- spring to operate zoom control can spring out occasionally, disabling the zoom fucntion
- shutter to hard, difficult to half press and focus
- main menu cursor and combo button for menu activation and AF/AE lock to close together, diffiuclt to operate with gloves
- port too long, slight vignetting at 24mm on upper left corner. Port can be ca 2cm shorter, LX3 lens is at its longest position at 24mm and retracts when zooming out!

All in all the housing is useable, one has to know the camera and housing very well to operate it, especially during night dives!

All my feedbacks have been reported to 10bar, hopefully they'll come out with a better, improved version.

The UK Germany housing would be interesting but rather pricey. Epoque came out with a housing for the LX2, who knows perhaps they're working on one for the LX3?

The 10bar housing is available from us and 10bar dealers worldwide.

LX3 in 10bar housing with UNCU-02 macro lens:

Posted Image

LX3 slight vignetting:

Posted Image

LX3 port:

Posted Image
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#20 LERF

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:52 PM

I just got back from testing this housing in Anilao, Philippines last week. Here are my first impressions:

- very small and compact
- negative underwater
- new locking system difficult to use, springs are too hard, rather difficult to open the back after being pressurised
- salt crystal on the locking springs, regardless how long you rinse it in fresh water
- a bit dodgy to insert camera into housing
- program mode button not reliable
- joystick unable to activate quick menu ( push ), joystick direction works and indicator pointing in the popposite direction
- spring to operate zoom control can spring out occasionally, disabling the zoom fucntion
- shutter to hard, difficult to half press and focus
- main menu cursor and combo button for menu activation and AF/AE lock to close together, diffiuclt to operate with gloves
- port too long, slight vignetting at 24mm on upper left corner. Port can be ca 2cm shorter, LX3 lens is at its longest position at 24mm and retracts when zooming out!

All in all the housing is useable, one has to know the camera and housing very well to operate it, especially during night dives!

All my feedbacks have been reported to 10bar, hopefully they'll come out with a better, improved version.

The UK Germany housing would be interesting but rather pricey. Epoque came out with a housing for the LX2, who knows perhaps they're working on one for the LX3?

The 10bar housing is available from us and 10bar dealers worldwide.

LX3 in 10bar housing with UNCU-02 macro lens:

Posted Image

LX3 slight vignetting:

Posted Image

LX3 port:

Posted Image



GOOD NEWS!!!!
:huh:

10bar replied to my feedback positively and the next batch will be improved! Here's a copy of their reply:

Thank you for your comments and advice on our LX3 housing.
In fact, we have received many feedbacks and suggestions after the launching of the housing. Continuous developing and improving the feature and function of the housing is always our mission.

Our reply to your querries are as follows in bold please:

1. Very difficult to open and close
Lid near the lock has been enlarged to provide a better grip for opening the lid and the size of the key-hole has been increased for easy closing.

2. Locking spring rusts easily, salt crystal also builds up there even after hours of soaking in fresh water
The spring has been changed since the second batch and no problem was observed in our salt water test recently.

3. Difficult to focus, perhaps use softer springs?
We will look into this problem and try to improve it.

4. Still some vignetting at widest setting, lens port can be 2-3cm shorter.
The length of the port in our current batch has been reduced to remove the vignetting as well as to facilitate the use of external converters.

5. Quick menu activate button cannot be used
The joystick function has already been available in our last batch.

6. Indicator ( white dot) on quick menu button pointing in the opposite direction
We have changed the design as aforesaid.

7. Program mode dialer button can be more precise
A different material for the control has been used to create a better contact friction and it should be easier to operate now.

Please be assured that your new order will be attended with the above.

Thank you again for your valuable input and contribution for our improvement and development of a better housing.

10bar

Edited by LERF, 11 February 2009 - 05:54 PM.

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