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DrMark

Canon WP-DC21 (OEM) housing vs Ikelite housing for G9

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Hi,

 

I mostly do underwater video with my Sony HDV camera. I recently decided to buy a Canon G9 for a compact on-land point-n-shoot, and started thinking that it might be fun to take on a few dives as a change of pace from video. Does anybody have any experience with the Canon OEM housing? It is considerably cheaper than the Ikelite housing. Since I'm only going to use it for a few dives, I thought I might be able to save some money, but don't want to buy a piece of junk.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice,

 

--Mark

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I'm on my second Canon housing and they work just fine. First was a housing for a Canon S410 and the second is for my current camera a SD 700 IS. When used properly they work great. Some have described housings in levels and OEM housings are certainly at the start of that type of scale.

 

Jeff

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I used OEM housings with various compacts and all were fine. I experienced few limitations in their use, like not taking my Sea and Sea DX 8000G through the arch at Elphinstone (55 m) due to depth constraints.

 

However recently I learned that, generally, OEM housings (with shallower depth limits than third party housings) may be less likely to flood than say, an Ikelite.

 

It has been explained to me by a prestigeous supplier that depth limits for OEM housings are set at levels at which the push-button controls will continue to operate effectively. These controls are equipped with relatively weak springs which can stop working properly 'at depth' due to increasing pressure. It has been suggested to me that to take an OEM housing deeper than recommended, the springs need to be replaced with stronger ones. Of course, it then becomes less easy to operate the controls...

 

An acrylic port on OEM housings are apparently less likely to fracture at a given depth than an optical glass port on say, an Ikelite housing as they are able to flex.

 

The primary consideration for going with a third party housing may the flexibity it offers for attaching a suite of supplimentary glass, like the INON range which is the reason I equipped my new G9 with an Ikelite.

Edited by Timmoranuk

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An acrylic port on OEM housings are apparently less likely to fracture at a given depth than an optical glass port on say, an Ikelite housing as they are able to flex.

 

The primary consideration for going with a third party housing may the flexibity it offers for attaching a suite of supplimentary glass, like the INON range which is the reason I equipped my new G9 with an Ikelite.

 

 

Just about every OEM housing has a glass port. I think Ike's compact housings do, too. The difference is that the Ikelite housing walls are much thicker. I cannot see how the Ikelite would have less water integrity than the OEM housings. It should be the opposite. Ikelite housings make it very easy to determine that the o-orings are properly selaed. I've seen people here using old Ikelite housings for hundreds and hundreds of dives.

 

One subject not brought up here is regular service for small OEM housings. Due to all the control buttons, they will ultimately require some service. Many here regard them as somewhat disposabe. On the other hand, all the Ike housings are fully serviceable.

 

I'm in agreement bout the lenses. The Canon OEM housing for the G9 would make it difficult to add a wider lens. I would just assume get the Ikelite housing, or choose another camera model.

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In a discussion with the engineer of a first class UK u/w camera specialist it was said to me that it would be the glass port of the Ikelite which would fail when overpressured, whereas the acrylic ports of OEM housings are more resiliant under similar circumstances.

 

Frankly, I've always treated the ports of my OEM's with the upmost respect, assuming them to be made of soft acrylic. However I've just tapped the ports of my remaining Sea and Sea DX 8000G and Pentax Optio housings with a coin and they do seem as you say - glass. I stand corrected sir!

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That's weird, I was always told Ikelite's have an acrylic port, whereas the top end dSLR housings use glass ports.

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One subject not brought up here is regular service for small OEM housings. Due to all the control buttons, they will ultimately require some service. Many here regard them as somewhat disposabe. On the other hand, all the Ike housings are fully serviceable.

 

Just because some people deem the OEM housing as disposable and unserviceable, doesn't mean they are.

I have serviced the control buttons on my pt-010. It definitely made a difference.

Now, not everyone might want to do that, but it can be done and it really wasn't that difficult.

 

Here's a link on how to handle a pt-010:

http://pt010.da-kine.info/plungers.htm

 

I wasn't as thorough as this guy, but it came out fine.

 

I've seen and handled a few ikelite housings and they are more sturdy than the OEMs I have experience with. But, the OEMs, in my experience, are fine if taken care of.

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Well the Canon G 9 is a very capable camera and it would make sense to house it in something that allows you the flexibility to use it at optimal levels. So an Ikelite would be a better choice than the OEM housing as it allows you to use wide angle lenses. Having said this the OEM housing also gives some amazing results if one uses an external strobe. Check your budget and decide. Finally it all depends on the photographer's talent, creativeness and eye :blush:

 

Cheers,

 

Diggy

 

Hi,

 

I mostly do underwater video with my Sony HDV camera. I recently decided to buy a Canon G9 for a compact on-land point-n-shoot, and started thinking that it might be fun to take on a few dives as a change of pace from video. Does anybody have any experience with the Canon OEM housing? It is considerably cheaper than the Ikelite housing. Since I'm only going to use it for a few dives, I thought I might be able to save some money, but don't want to buy a piece of junk.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice,

 

--Mark

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Hi Mark

 

I have the G7 Canon housing and the Ike as well. I hv just this week received a G9 and G9 Ike.

 

G7 Canon Housing

+++ used for over 100 dives. Small-> easy for water entry.. wun need tender to pass it to u.. and can do a -ve descend easy!

+++ Ergonomically more comfortable as I have small hands and can do pic/video everything w one hand.. so much for my buoyancy control!

--- worry as it fogs up when water temp too cold

--- o-ring kindda thin.. so I'm always worrying (my old Canon housing for IXUS had a slow leak from front port dat cant be repaired.. so i always worry!)

--- cant move the dial from the housing.. need to press the shortcut button then left right.. cumbersome

 

G7 Ike Housing

+++ feels solid and does not fog up. o-ring is thicker.. I feel safer.. :)

+++ stable for videography

--- my fingers gets kindda crampy as I hv to try to be gentle to half press to focus.. mus hold w 2 hands even tho kindda weightless in water cos I'm not strong

--- MUST carry strobe or the pics wun be good... unless u doing video.. think I might put magic filters for my new G9

--- high set-up cost... for strobe etc..

 

If only as a no.2 for easy fuss-free dives guess the Canon housing is ok. But from wat i gather.. the Canon housing tend to KO on u when u dun use it often enough.. the o-ring gets kindda 'porous' and the ports get 'leaky'... :D

 

I'm set to go w the G7 n G9 next week for resort diving plus LOB.... I'll come back and tell ya more!..

 

I'm not so keen abt the WA n Tele.. the barrel distortion is too much and end of the day its no diff for me to carry extra stuffs...

 

:D

 

mm

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My Olympus PT-030 housing flooded two weeks ago during my Red Sea trip. Luckily it was the last dive. I saw the housing starting to fog at first. I knew this was a problem because I assembled the housing in an air conditioned room, and added a dessicant pack. We were doing a shallow dive, so I watched the camera closely and did an ascent/safety stop.

 

The camera was fine. When I opened the housing, a few drops of water came out. Some of the rear control buttons look like the have some tiny amounts of rust. I always had concerns about the OEM housings, and I do regard them as semi-disposable. They cost roughly what the annual service for my Aquatica was. FYI I had stored the PT-030 housing in a zip lock bag, with the rear o-ring and strobe bulkheads removed. Those were greased and stored in a separate zip lock bag.

 

I always travel with two cameras/housings. The backup is a Fuji F31fd with a Magic Filter. I was going to sell my Sea & Sea WAL for the Olympus and buy an Inon one that fits both cameras. Now I'm contemplating a DSLR setup.

Edited by DesertEagle

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I managed about 400 dives with my OEM case on my IXUS500 before the camera died. The case was great right up until the end of my camera sensors life. I even had it to 45 mtrs and it worked fine.

Currently I'm using the WP DC-11 case with my G7 but it must have an external strobe as the port blocks the camera flash. The buttons on it don't work so good below 30 mtrs, strange as the springs look the same?

 

If you flush it after every dive and add silicon to the O ring every day I really cannot see why there would be any problems with these cases. As in my case it was the camera life which was the issue.

 

Having said all that this case doesn't support wet lens so I made the decision to get an Ikelite housing so I can use Inon wet lenses.

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I'm debating on both myself. Does anyone think that the WA lenses will be available in the future? With not diving a lot every year it would be nice to save some of the money on the housing if later I will be able to add to it and get the same results. The TTL through the Ikelite housing only seems to work with Ikelite housings and the INON strobes seems like way that I would be leaning because they are lighter and have a focusing light in them. I just can't afford to buy everything this year, I was even thinking about just waiting till next year to buy the G9 and the price should be lower but I would like to get the practice with the camera, any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Aaron

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I have discussed the issue with my housing supplier and they reckon its not worth the expenditure for the Ike housing just to use an INON WA lens as there is some distortion to the edges of the image.

I am going to wait until the summer and get a Subal and either a 40D or a D300 instead which will obviously be a lot more expensive but I feel its time to go to the next level with my underwater photography.

 

Currently though I have over 150 dives now on my G7 and Canon housing without too much trouble. Couple that with my IXUS500 housing and its more than 550 dives without a failure on 2 canon housings in the past 4 years. Twice in all those dives I've had a button stick but in each case it was below 30 mtrs. This was easily fixed by manipulating the offending button.

I am using an Epoque strobe with the canon housing. It is small and good value and all I need for great macro shots.

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I asked INON if they were going to produce any base mounts and here is the reply

 

Thanks for your inquiry.

Unfortunately, INON has decided not to produce a mount base for the WP-DC21 housing. The only way I know of that would enable you to use INON lenses with the G9 camera is to go with an Ikelite Housing (and purchase their ‘optional’ flat port).

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Hi All!

 

I decided on the Canon OEM housing, and took it to Thailand with me on my most recent diving trip. It worked very well *except* for one very annoying (lack of) feature: there is no way to use aperture or shutter priority mode! :P I could select the mode, but the camera requires that you rotate a dial to change the aperture or shutter value. There is no way to rotate this dial from the OEM housing (at least not that I could figure out).

 

So, if you are going to buy a G9 just for underwater, you must buy another housing (like the Ikelite). If, on the other hand, you are buying the camera for land based snaps and don’t care about the quality of the underwater snaps, then it works *very* well! B)

 

--Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

Using the OEM housing, I found out yesterday from Cameras Underwater that there is no way that shutter speed or aperture can be changed.

 

So IMO, the OEM housing is neither use nor ornament as it effectively downgrades the very capable G9 to no more than a P&S...

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I contacted Canon about this issue and received this advice. It works...

 

"Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding your PowerShot G9.

 

From the information supplied please see the following steps as to how you can use the settings with underwater case.

 

In order to change the settings with underwater case you will need to hold the 'Direct Transfer Button' which is on the top left handside of the camera altogether with the 'Flash' and 'Macro' buttons which are located under the dial/wheel of the camera."

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Timmoranuk,

 

It works!!! Thanks a bunch for finding this for me!

 

BTW, now that I knew what to look for, I found it on page 14 of the housing manual (who reads those things anyway? :rolleyes: ). It doesn't directly address shutter or aperture priority mode, so it wasn't clear to me that it was relevant, but it was!

 

I can now vouch for this combination! The G9 is a great camera, and the OEM housing does an acceptable job, considering what it costs. Its biggest drawback is the lack of ability to connect an external strobe. If you want to take very decent underwater snaps, go for it. If you want to take great underwater pictures, get the G9 and a housing that lets you connect a TTL strobe like the Ikelite.

 

One other caveat about the G9: the LCD (like all LCD displays, I think) is polarized. My sunglasses are also polarized (but 90 degrees off from the LCD on the G9). The first time I tried to use it on land, it was a very sunny day in Myanmar (Burma), and I had my sun glasses on. Even though everything appeared to be working on the camera, the LCD was totally black :) . I thought the problem was condensation, and I was pretty upset :D . It turned out to be operator error! The moment I turned the camera 90 degrees, it had a bright display :D

 

--Mark

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Timmoranuk,

 

It works!!! Thanks a bunch for finding this for me!

 

BTW, now that I knew what to look for, I found it on page 14 of the housing manual (who reads those things anyway? :D ). It doesn't directly address shutter or aperture priority mode, so it wasn't clear to me that it was relevant, but it was!

 

I can now vouch for this combination! The G9 is a great camera, and the OEM housing does an acceptable job, considering what it costs. Its biggest drawback is the lack of ability to connect an external strobe. If you want to take very decent underwater snaps, go for it. If you want to take great underwater pictures, get the G9 and a housing that lets you connect a TTL strobe like the Ikelite.

 

One other caveat about the G9: the LCD (like all LCD displays, I think) is polarized. My sunglasses are also polarized (but 90 degrees off from the LCD on the G9). The first time I tried to use it on land, it was a very sunny day in Myanmar (Burma), and I had my sun glasses on. Even though everything appeared to be working on the camera, the LCD was totally black :D . I thought the problem was condensation, and I was pretty upset :guiness: . It turned out to be operator error! The moment I turned the camera 90 degrees, it had a bright display :)

 

--Mark

 

 

If you are looking to put 67 mm wet lens to the Canon G9 or G7 housing, here is an option at this website for $41

 

http://www.fun-in.com.tw/catalog/index.php?cPath=33

 

I have not tried one yet as my G9 is scheduled to arrive MONDAY>>WOOHOOO.

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I justed wanted to add that this has been a great thread. Informative discussion. Very timely for me.

 

Where I think I am at is getting the G9 and OEM housing, as a starting point. I do use it, in large part, as a point and click--as I do REEF surveys and come across a new species or one I am challenged to identify in the field.

 

With this in mind, getting this set up is a big step forward from the SeaLife model I use now. A plus is that it does not have an awkward external strobe as part of the setup--more streamlined for the occasional but important use of rare species verification.

 

That gives me another year to save up for a 3rd party (Ike) housing and TTL external strobe(s). Wife will appreciate this plan --at least more than having me going for G9+Ike+external strobe all at once!

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I justed wanted to add that this has been a great thread. Informative discussion. Very timely for me.

 

Where I think I am at is getting the G9 and OEM housing, as a starting point. I do use it, in large part, as a point and click--as I do REEF surveys and come across a new species or one I am challenged to identify in the field.

 

With this in mind, getting this set up is a big step forward from the SeaLife model I use now. A plus is that it does not have an awkward external strobe as part of the setup--more streamlined for the occasional but important use of rare species verification.

 

That gives me another year to save up for a 3rd party (Ike) housing and TTL external strobe(s). Wife will appreciate this plan --at least more than having me going for G9+Ike+external strobe all at once!

You won't regret that ... I did the same and now own both the Ike and the OEM case. The OEM has its utility ... snorkeling, at the pool, skiing, in shitty weather, etc.

 

I've gotten some really nice results with OEM case using the built in flash and diffuser for close-up stuff ... just have to zoom in a little to avoid the shadow of the port.

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Good to hear that it takes good macro shots with the OEM housing, and nice hint on the touch of zoom to avoid obstructions.

 

I am about to purchase the camera, uw housing, 2nd battery (cold water diving, replace between dives), 4 Gig SD card, aux weights for UW housing...anything else? Easier to buy the stuff all at once.

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Good to hear that it takes good macro shots with the OEM housing, and nice hint on the touch of zoom to avoid obstructions.

 

I am about to purchase the camera, uw housing, 2nd battery (cold water diving, replace between dives), 4 Gig SD card, aux weights for UW housing...anything else? Easier to buy the stuff all at once.

 

If you take a SDHC card, make sure it is at least class 4, writes RAW in 4~5 seconds. I haven't see any differences from class 4 to class 6 thought.

 

I almost forgot, thre are adapters for extra lenses. Yuzo has got one, but the built-in flash will be of small use with 67mm shadowing it

Edited by lojo

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If you take a SDHC card, make sure it is at least class 4, writes RAW in 4~5 seconds. I haven't see any differences from class 4 to class 6 thought.

 

I almost forgot, thre are adapters for extra lenses. Yuzo has got one, but the built-in flash will be of small use with 67mm shadowing it

With the OEM case, I have seen some 3rd party adapter mounts, but they say the length of the port makes those only suitable for Close-Up lenses and not Wide Angle.

 

If you want good wide angle, you need the Ikelite housing and the short port (which restricts the full zoom a bit - but it is worth it) and then you can use 67MM wide angle adapters. The ability to get a 100 degree view with that kind of adapter was one of the biggest reasons I bought the Ikelite case after owning the OEM case for a year.

 

You may also want to investigate "magic filters" ... invented by one of wetpixel's resident super-pros Alex Mustard. They re-balance the light underwater and give ambient light photographs a unique and very "natural" look.

 

One other thing ... get a BIG card (I use 8GB from Kingston) ... the video works GREAT underwater and I find I end up shooting a lot of video with my G9. I like the 15fps 1024x768 mode a lot - looks terrific on a big TV. I find the combination of the video mode and the G9 is a great combo ...

 

Check out a little video from a trip in January ... shot with magic filters ...

 

[flickrvideo]2442492277[/flickrvideo]

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What the "wet lens" is referenced on page 1 of this thread?

 

I wonder also if there are any underwater filters designed for my WP-DC21 housing.

It seems like the lens port has some plastic frame with screws, so it should be relatively easy to attach something there for prefiltering blue color out...

 

Thanks.

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