I've been shopping around for an underwater housing for my new DSLR that replaces the video cameras I used since the turn of the century. There are many amazing choices out there, but I haven't found what I'm really looking for, so I'm tossing this out to see if anyone has any ideas.
The biggest obstacle I had with my previous underwater video system is that it was exceptionally difficult, if not impossible to get a lot of macro shots because I physically couldn't position my head behind the camera to frame the shot — at least not without adverse impact on lots of flora and fauna when I stretched my body out on the seafloor. I was looking into right-angle viewers and external monitors when my old system gave up the ghost.
Since then, on land, I've been using a CamRanger that plugs into my camera and allows me to use my iPad as both an external monitor and a controller. It's a brilliant solution, and it has other benefits as well, such as touching the picture to select a focus point, or automated focus stacking, etc.
So it seems to me that an underwater housing could do away with most of the mechanical controls, and just have a through-the-hull port for a cable that goes to a tablet. The electronics between the camera and the tablet could be a CamRanger or a custom built controller. Benefits of this over the mechanical housings I've been looking at:
- eliminate a large number of mechanical penetrations and associated cost, maintenance, and risk of leak
- housing is no longer physically suited to just a single camera model, perhaps delaying obsolescence, certainly reducing cost even further
- focus rings and gears won't be needed
- advanced programmable controls
- external monitor
I asked Ikelite and Nauticam and Aquatica if they were working on any such product. Ikelite and Nauticam replied "No", and Aquatica didn't reply.