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Sony RX100 housing: Nauticam vs Ikelite, pair with Inon UFL-165AD

rx100 inon ufl-165

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#1 kc_moses

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:21 AM

Hi all,

I would like to get a housing for RX100. Initially I was going to use my Sony HX30v because the housing for it is cheap but soon realize the wide angle port option could be a nightmare, so I decided to up my camera budget a bit to get the RX100 later .

While researching housing for RX100 I came across the Nauticam. But found out Ikelite release the RX100 housing for half the price of Nauticam. My question is why choose Nauticam (non video version) over Ikelite? I know the Nauticam has half press shutter feature but that really doesn't justify a $500 difference!

Also, I already have the Inon UFL-165AD. I have the AD to 67mm converter so would I have issue to use it on any of the housing (Ikelite have adapter to convert to 67mm mount for $50)? I invested $500 for the Inon wide angle port and don't want to get another wide angle lens. Besides, I think the UFL-165AD has the best optic quality, widest angle of view. Anyone have experience using the UFL-165AD on recent camera? I have been using the Inon port on my Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 which start out at 35mm and doesn't require zoom in.

Any suggestion would be appreciated, thanks!

#2 Fasando

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:27 AM

I believe the price difference is because main the housing is made out of different materials. Ikelite make their housings with polycarbonate and nauticam makes them with aluminium therefore the nauticam housing will have better depth rating.
hope this helps:)

#3 Xanderwater

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:58 PM

Hey KC,

I have just bought the NA-RX100 and have had the Ikelite Canon S95 housing before. This is my first Nauticam(/or aluminium) housing.
I do not dislike Ikelite, I have used mine happily for over 400 dives. But there is difference in quality build and ergonomics.
I have used my Ikelite housing a lot for about 2 years and never had any big issues with it. The difference I experience is that controls are less well lined up and work less smooth as the Nauticam. The Nauticam housing lets me acces every control with one hand, and Ikelite will make you use your other hand to use certain controls. Also the Nauticam has better depth rating like Fasando said.

With Ikelite I liked that you can see the o-ring, and that you can see if water droplets would be inside the housing.
You can not see whats going everywhere inside the Nauticam but it has a leak alarm.

The lower Ikelite price could be a big advantage, you could buy 2(or even more?) Ikelites for the price of 1 Nauticam if you wanted to.
For as far as I know Ikelite and Nauticam both have excellent customer service.

Personally I chose Nauticam when I upgraded from S95 because I had more money to spend, and liked the ergonomics, smooth controls and quality build. The optical cable system on the Nauticam is better than Ikelite. Another advantage was that there is no vignetting with wide angle lenses with the Nauticam. I am not sure how this is with Ikelite RX100, but with the S95 Ikelite housing there was a lot of vignetting with my FIX UWL-04.
I also appreciate the Nauticam housing as well designed and good looking product.

Hope this helps!
Xander
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#4 kc_moses

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:29 AM

Thanks for the reply, it make sense that the material used for the housing cause the price difference. Xander you logged 400 dives in two years? I'm so envy, wish I can dive more often!

Anyway, it sounds like Nauticam is kind of premium class housing. Since Ikelite gets the job done, that's what I'm going with, besides, I could use the extra $500 to either get a strobe to begin with, or get some nice diopter!

My first housing was Canon's housing, that was okay. But my existing housing for my set up is Epoque, I think Ikelite would be a good step up.

#5 derway

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:48 PM

I've used little but ikelite, in 2 decades of diving, starting with a film SLR, and then 3 different digcam housings. As noted, the price is right, and the function adequate.. And seeing all the o-rings, AFTER, assembly is a huge boon! It sets the mind at rest, in a way not possible with hidden seals that you hope are right.

Best of luck,
Don
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#6 SPP

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:46 AM

Hi all,

I would like to get a housing for RX100. Initially I was going to use my Sony HX30v because the housing for it is cheap but soon realize the wide angle port option could be a nightmare, so I decided to up my camera budget a bit to get the RX100 later .

While researching housing for RX100 I came across the Nauticam. But found out Ikelite release the RX100 housing for half the price of Nauticam. My question is why choose Nauticam (non video version) over Ikelite? I know the Nauticam has half press shutter feature but that really doesn't justify a $500 difference!

Also, I already have the Inon UFL-165AD. I have the AD to 67mm converter so would I have issue to use it on any of the housing (Ikelite have adapter to convert to 67mm mount for $50)? I invested $500 for the Inon wide angle port and don't want to get another wide angle lens. Besides, I think the UFL-165AD has the best optic quality, widest angle of view. Anyone have experience using the UFL-165AD on recent camera? I have been using the Inon port on my Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 which start out at 35mm and doesn't require zoom in.

Any suggestion would be appreciated, thanks!


Go for Nauticam, the price difference is too little over the Ike.
This is the short reasoning version.

If you want the long version, you need a cup of coffee to read all hahaha.

Happy shopping

#7 derway

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 04:54 PM

SPP has a point - the thing is, with no hotshoe on this camera, you cannot use an ike wired strobe solution, so that advantage is less than it is, otherwise.

Seeing the orings is still a big peace of mind factor, for me.

If you can pick up and handle both housings, that would be the best.
Don Erway
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sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#8 oskar

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:00 AM

I don't agree that price difference is too little Nauticam vs Ikelite. The price is exactly double if I buy it here, and the difference makes up for a UWA wet lens. (Which is essential in my kit)

The big question is if the advantages justify the leap in price though ;-)

If there are problems with vignetting on the Iklite, it's off the table for sure! However I doubt it, the RX100 lens is fully extended in max wide and max zoom in so I think that what's makes it work so good with Wa lenses in, at least, the Nauticam and Recsea housings.

Cheers
/O

#9 kc_moses

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:01 AM

Well, my main application is video, so I haven't get into strope/sync cable etc. But I was just thinking about Nauticam. For the price of Nauticam + RX100, you can buy a Canon G1x + Ikelite housing. Now, G1x is a better camera than RX100 from photography aspect, it has hot shoes, bigger sensor. I don't mind the slight bulk as long as it's not to the size of a DSLR. So it's really hard to justify the Nauticam.

My goal is to reuse my Inon UFL-165AD. So I think I will live with the fact that I will need to zoom in a bit since none of the new camera is 35mm anymore.

I'm still learning underwater video/photo, but right now I'm relying on natural light, and focus on things like WA, Diopter, and shot composition. Advance stuff like red/white strope, sync, bug eyes etc. if I ever get to that I may have to upgrade my gear so it's not going to be part of my decision making now especially my budget is not that great.

#10 SPP

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 02:51 AM

I don't agree that price difference is too little Nauticam vs Ikelite. The price is exactly double if I buy it here, and the difference makes up for a UWA wet lens. (Which is essential in my kit)

The big question is if the advantages justify the leap in price though ;-)

If there are problems with vignetting on the Iklite, it's off the table for sure! However I doubt it, the RX100 lens is fully extended in max wide and max zoom in so I think that what's makes it work so good with Wa lenses in, at least, the Nauticam and Recsea housings.

Cheers
/O


Hi Oskar,

You have to calculate this way to see why I find Nauticam RX100 as VERY AFFORDABLE and worth the extra price over an Ike.

01. Material, aluminum versus plastic......I value that at US$250. Just my guesstimate.
Longevity, abuse-resistant, increased depth rating = All are extra cost

02. Plastic body as port receiver and we are to use a 595 grams of 1.31 lbs of Ike W30 wide angle lens weight ?? , adding to the stress the original Ike port would bring to the port receiver at main plastic body. I do not know how to quantify this, but this is one reason I will never buy plastic housing, unless for sizes like GoPro or its port & main body is as a single moulded unit like common Canon OEM plastic housing. Still I will not add heavier than 0.5 lbs to a Canon kind of housing's port front end. If Ike RX100 can survive 1.6 meter drop onto concrete with its port and its wide angle lens hitting side way ( crow bar effect ) and main body too, do it 3 times, I may consider. Rocking boat, slippery deck and etc etc, one must build a housing to take a real severe use. I don't mind a dome port shattering but not the port receiver ( bayonet ) at main body being destroyed. If 1 drop kill a housing and the other housing can withstand the same abuse, the broken housing will have no value, no matter how low cost it is.

03. How much for an Ike to equal Nauticam free fiber optic ports, if Ike is to have the same. Ike RX100 strobe by Ike only and for Ike only and using hardwire is something I will not accept in the age of Z240 Inon existence with the most intelligent S-TTL so far. You can take macro shots with Inon Z240 with 95+% rate success when set right....AUTO.

04. How do you devalue an Ike if it sprays strobe flashes all over the place since it is clear casing ? For what is lacking compared to another product, that means savings of cost in production and design and we the customer loose. I don't know how to quantify this too. Value the material you will use to block the stray lights and the labor in making them. Time is money, I do not want to waste my time doing DIY thingy, I will pay for people to do so because my hourly rate is much higher than the technician I will be appointing for the job. US$40-70 value here ???

05. How do you attached a single strobe or focus-video light on an Ike ?.........without a tray ?
On Nauticam it has the female thread for its ball using M10 or something. You can never rip a part the kind of threading size Nauticam uses on its housing top. Its not the small 1/4" bolt of typical Ultra Light ball. Any provision for extra mounting is cost to make and design.......value that.....how much........US$30-50 ???

06. Leak detector. US$100 to buy. Nauticam RX100 comes standard with that.
Which do you prefer, visual leak where we loose sight of our target or audio warning of leak without even looking ?

07. This one I am about to describe IS expensive.
Sony RX100 and the NEX7 uses Sony's famous Tri-Nav control at the camera rear body.
That beautiful control is a nightmare for housing makers to mimic. This is one reason NEX7 housing, only two companies in the world now making them at a real production rate, Nauticam and Aquapazza. Nauticam one outsold Aquapazza easy.
Other manufacturers realized the nightmare involved for a housing which probably only has 3000-4000 units market share world wide for its SHORT business life span. That is why big names dropped NEX7 project. Some only managed to make NEX5. NEX5 is a piece of cake compared to NEX7. NEX5 only has 1 dial, the Tri-Nav at the back. NEX7 has extra two dials on body top.

Take any housings in the market right now which control the Sony's Tri-Nav and compare to Nauticam's Tri-nav control on housing and play and inspect it to believe the complexity of the engineering involved. At the same time the 5 buttons and 1 spinning dial of RX100 Tri-Nav on a Nauticam is spaced out for comfort of use, especially the spinning dial which gets two intermediate gears so that it can be located at a much better ergonomic. The spinning Tri-Nav dial on an Ike is using gears-to-detent as movement transfer, on a Nauticam the two part gimbal-in-a-gimbal cupped the spinning dial a 100% contact with rubber pad, its awesome to use. Much superior than RecSea RX100 Tri-Nav control.

Look at Ike's Tri-Nav 5 buttons and 1 dial and 4 other buttons made as-is-where-is on the housing.
9 buttons cramped side by side and 1 dial. Nauticam uses link arms to space out the buttons 4 buttons and the gimbal handle 4 +1 buttons. The complexity of Sony's Tri-Nav and the other 4 buttons close to it cost money to improve for UW housing.
If US$20 per buttons is the cost to relocate and for the link + labor + engineering cost and the dial is say US$50 to do, that is US$230 worth of engineering there. The Tri-Nav is used very often. You can never re-work a housing as small as RX100 Ike to match the ergonomic and accuracy of a Nauticam, unless you want to spend crazy money.


Do you know why SeaCam Prelude D7000 has so many buttons missing ? Reduced cost or trying to be lower cost at retail.
Because it is expensive to make buttons on alu housing. The buttons, the link, the engineering, the machining, the installations and etc etc.

I pay for this seat with full option, more than the price of Nauticam RX100V.
http://www.hermanmil...ron-chairs.html
Is the extra money worth it ......hell yeah !!! It is precision ass/spine-to-chair interface and I value those differences for my comfort and my health.

In my line of work, my job is to evaluate mechanical & electrical products/machineries for a start up coal mine and this is not a small mine. My bosses wants to know why A cost more than B and is that actually worth the money ?, how about longevity, trouble-free operation and so on and so on ?. This is why I am so "anal" when looking at two different products for same purpose and with different pricing.

If anything in the diving business world where investment in 5 axis machining, 3D measuring system, anodizing, designing where button are to be relocated, the kind of links/gears/arms for the buttons and testing and etc etc................ I put aluminum camera housings as the worst of the worst business to do. Low volume, low margin at manufacturer level and a design/sales life is so short, unlike dive regulators.

So, believe it when I say US$500 extra is nothing.
At the end of the day, the strobes, the extra wet lenses, lights and whatever toys you need to rig an RX100 the way you like it and the DIVING TRIP itself....are the real wallet drainer.

Have fun shopping...........
.

#11 kc_moses

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:14 AM

Thanks SPP for the detail assessment and explanation. A lot of the good point you laid not do not apply to me at the moment due to my skill level. Like I said, I'm not working with strobe right now so all the sync and S-TTL stuff is like foreign stuff to me. If the boat is rocky or have strong current, I tend not to bring my camera gear so I emphasize on safety,

I still have a year to decide what gear is right for me since my next dive trip is next October 2013. I was hoping the RX-100 will be on sales this Xmas hence I'm activly research that camera set up now. But I may have to wait it out, as who knows they might release Sony RX-200 next year, like with hot shoes or something, he he.

#12 Fasando

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:22 AM

It might be with a smaller sensor then the RX100, but the new canon G15 seems pretty good. being the prodeccessor of the G12 which was considered a really good UW camera and comes with a hotshoe. you should also research that aswell, and wait for reviews.

#13 kc_moses

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:50 PM

Thanks Fasando, the Canon G15 sounds good in term of feature, but quality may suffer due to the sensor size. If the sensor size is just slightly smaller, it's worth consider, but it's almost half of the size of the RX100. Here is the sensor size comparison:

Posted Image
Also, Sony is known to have one of the best Image Stabilization when shooting movie. It started with their HV9 series. I own a Canon 7D, I have to say, when come to shooting video, Sony is more consumer friendly.

#14 oskar

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:45 AM

True, the sensor size alone puts in a different league than other compacts.

Still, I hesitate. For me strobes are essential. If it just had a low-power flash mode like for example the Olympus XZ-1 that would tip the scales for me.

Sony, please, it's just a tiny firmware update ;-)

Cheers
/O


Cheers

#15 SPP

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:15 AM

KC,

If video is ur target, RX100 is the best smallest unit now in the market.
Its continuous auto focus is a joy to use.
Its can do many manual settings, very nice.

This camera will blow 7D out of the water, for wide angle and general purpose use for video. 7D macro seems very good due to lens option. IQ wise RX100 is better.

The AVCHD is also great for underwater, you will not get banding or too much blown out sun ball like you would on some bigger cameras. Minimum use the either one of two best quality video setting. I say this based on NEX7 and on land I have tested NEX7 with RX100 side by side. But please use the MULTI metering mode on RX100, this is VERY important when you have sun ball in a footage. Keep sun ball within 40% horizontal and 60% vertical of mid center, where the Auto Exposure decision is the strongest. RX100 center weighted sensing area is quite small, unlike NEX7.

Reliable continuous auto focus UW is a very important asset for casual care-free UW video, RX100 qualifies in this department. At the price, size , image quality, low cost housing, ease of use, RX100 video will put to shame most <US$1000 DSLR videos.

Have fun..............

#16 kc_moses

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:56 AM

Thanks SPP! Good to some assurance about the RX100 with video. I don't have the chance to play with the RX100 yet as my local store do not carry it, and I will have to buy it online. If it's simily to the HX30V, I will use the ISO mode in video as I use custom white balance even shooting video.

Thanks for the tips about sun ball as well. I know it's best to have the sun behind the back to reduce flare, but I never consider sun ball. I guess I have always look down at coral during diving, and rarely pay attention about what's above me unless if it's a wall dive.

Let's hope the RX100 will be on sales this holiday season!!!!

#17 albatross911

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:20 PM

if you want more proof that it's great for video, check out this one on Vimeo:



I'm going to dive with it in the Nauticam housing this coming weekend so hopefully will have something to share soon.

#18 Sfen

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for sharing.... i have this camera and love it.... going to purchase the housing soon....

for video editing and upload to youtube and facebook, should the video files be coverted from 50p to 25p for better quality? or it does not matter?

what would be the recomment setting for video? M mode, auto ISO, shuttle 1/100 and F8?

#19 kc_moses

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:44 AM

Sfen,

For frame rate, I generally stick with 30p (NTSC) unless if there is high motion involve. 60p/50p will yield a big file size. Image quality has more to do with compression bit rate, I try to stick with the compression that looks good offline, generally about 700Mb for 14 minutes of clip. Keep in mind that YouTube will recompress your video after upload. I don't bother to deal with FaceBook because the could "own" the stuffs you uploaded and keep changing user agreement.

Many people favor Vimeo for good HD quality but I found that its streaming bandwidth quality is very frustrating, half of the time I'm waiting for the video to buffer.

As for shooting mode, my existing video camera do not have much manual control. I just stick with auto ISO, but custom white balance all the way.

I'm new to Wetpixel as well so I'm sure there are tons of info and indepth detail tips at the beginner section, which I plan to spend some time to learn from there.

#20 Sfen

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:45 PM

there is no 30p option with AVCHD... and i would like to stick with AVCHD file format....

Spec:
AVCHD: 28M PS (1920x1080, 60p) / 24M FX (1920x1080, 60i ) / 17M FH (1920x1080, 60i)
MP4: 12M (1440x1080, 30 fps) / 3M VGA (640x480 30 fps)