Canon 5D Mark II underwater housing shootout

Since its release in December 2008, the Canon EOS 5D mark II has become one of Canon’s best selling DSLR. With 21 megapixels and the ability to shoot HD 1080p video on a full frame 35mm sensor (vs S35 which is a film motion picture camera’s equivalent size), it was regaled as a game changer, pushing the era of HD ViDSLR hybrid cameras which do shoot high quality stills and also record good HD video.

With such popularity, all of the major housing manufacturers rushed to deliver a housing for this camera. The popularity of the camera gave Wetpixel the idea of planning a shootout among several brands.  Originally we’d planned to run the Subal, Ikelite, Seacam, Sea & Sea and Aquatica together on a 20 day liveaboard trip. Ryan Canon of Reef Photo & Video arranged for the Wetpixel staff to test the Sea & Sea 5D2 MDX-Pro housing with the Zen 8” glass port. However, last minute problems left the other housings unavailable so I only tested the MDX-Pro on that trip. I later borrowed the Aquatica A5D Mark II and Seacam’s versions for the shootout. I could only fully review the Aquatica since the Seacam was only available for a limited time, but I did manage to dive with the Seacam for 5 dives. For the test accessories, I used a combination of 2 Inon Z240 for macro and 2 Hartenberger 250TTL strobes for wide angle, all shot in manual. I also used Dual LK1 100W Hartenberger HLX halogen lights corrected to 4300°K for video.

(Note: My apologies to readers for this late review. It was suppose to be online 6 mths ago but as explained, the logistics gave out and then I was very busy. Hopefully someone will find this review helpful, if late)

Page 2: Sea & Sea MDX Pro Features and Setup
Page 3: Aquatica A5D Mark II Features and Setup
Page 4: Sea & Sea MDX Pro Field Trial and Zen Dome Report
Page 5: Aquatica A5D2 Field Trial
Page 6: Conclusions and comparison with Seacam 5D Mark II
Page 7: Canon 5D Mark II Field Report

Each of the images in the review are downsized. Click on the image to see a larger copy.

FTC Regulations Dislosure:
All equipment reviewed were either bought or on loan from dealers and friends. The reviewer has received NOTHING from the manufacturer or dealer for this interview. All equipment are returned after the interview. Magic filter for the 16-35 II were kindly supplied by Dr Alex Mustard.