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JACohen

Seacam Prelude for D 7000

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I have just taken delivery of the Seacam Prelude housing for the D 7000. I'll probably do an in depth review in the next month or so, but it will have to wait until I go diving again and that's not until the end of May.

 

One thing that you should be aware of when considering this housing is the lack of controls. This is a photo of the rear of the housing and from the lack of buttons you can ascertain what is missing.

 

post-11877-1302664311.jpg

 

Whether or not this affects your decision to purchase is a personal matter, but for me, when I realised there was no ISO button I almost sent it back. I managed to rig the review button on the housing to the ISO button on the camera and so I will persevere.

 

If anyone has a clever way of adjusting white balance or ISO in the D 7000 without use of the menu button please let me know as I am desperate to find work-arounds for the manufacturer's lack of buttons. Bear in mind also that you can only access the up button of the multi button at the rear that controls focus points and review.

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why spend that kind of money, for such incredibly limited functionality?

 

ikelite rocks!

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I have no idea what this housing costs but traditionally Seacam housings are at the far upper range of what you can pay for a housing. Part of justifying the choice is functionality, not just the name. If Seacam has reached that place where they think their reputation precludes them from making sensible housings, it may be time for the folks that use underwater housings to send them a message. They are not the only kid on the block. From your photo alone, this housing looks like a dog. Good luck, sorry I couldn't help.

 

And....were you not able to review the specs before purchasing this housing?

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Seacam may be a high end manufacturer trying to break into the moderately-priced housing market, but shipping a housing with at least 9 key controls missing is utterly obtuse and borderline insulting to customers in the market for a new housing.

 

I'll stick to my fully capable, moderately-priced, CNC milled aluminum housing from Nauticam (for less money) thank you very much.

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And....were you not able to review the specs before purchasing this housing?

 

Yes I was but I couldn't find any photos of the back, and I was foolish enough to think that a manufacturer like Seacam would include such basic controls as ISO. To be fair to them, it doesn't say that there is an ISO control on their website.

 

I like the housing, and I've had problems with my Subal rusting twice, so I wanted to get something that could handle a lot of diving, and that I wouldn't have to change for a few years. I'm gonna take a drill to it and manufacture the buttons that are missing and then I will have a great housing. True, Seacam should be selling the housing that I'm going to create themselves, but they have decided not to.

 

I know there's not too many of these housings out there, and I want to make sure that if someone buys one, they know exactly what they are getting. I'm not rude enough to say exactly what that is, but I'm sure you can fill in the blanks :)

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I guess the Prelude name is appropriate; a starter housing for rich kids. :)

Edited by loftus

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It's really quite insulting for such a prominent housing manufacturer to deliver this .. thing. Are they trying to dumb down the photographers? ISO is one of the most important buttons on any modern housing.

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I believe that the Seacam D7000 is retailing for $3350......

 

I am glad with my decision to go with the Aquatica AD7000. Cheaper, well made, and it has alot more features

 

Regards Mark

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It's really quite insulting for such a prominent housing manufacturer to deliver this .. thing. Are they trying to dumb down the photographers? ISO is one of the most important buttons on any modern housing.

To deliver anything but a fully functional housing for that price is as you say insulting. Unfortunately then they would have to justify the cost of their regular housing, which is becoming harder and harder to do with competition from housing manufacturers like Nauticam and Aquatica. Clearly the European manufacturers are having a tougher and tougher time remaining competitive as they no longer are streets ahead of the competition from a design and engineering standpoint. Subal is apparently having their problems. I was most impressed with the engineering of the Nauticam D7000 housing I used in Dominica last month, overall surpassing the quality of my Subal housing in every respect.

It's hard to believe that their cost difference for adding a few buttons is that much more to justify the cost difference from their fully functional housings.

Edited by loftus

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It's fair to say that features for €, the Seacam D7000 does look rather bad. It is also fair to say that whatever controls are listed clearly, so people should know what they are getting.

I remember the D7000 can allocate certain functions to different buttons so ISO control is available. Also with access to the INFO button, I believe you can access all shooting parameters, using the dials and SET button no? I use the LCD INFO to change settings more often nowadays, especially after chimping.

There's no doubt the Asian and North American brands offer better value and features for money. However, the Seacam is more than just prestige of being the most expensive and best looking. The shutter trigger on Seacams feel so sensitive you know exactly where 1/2 press is without thinking about it. Only the S&S, which use to dominate the SLR market, feels as good to me. That full turn port system feels more reliable (whether it is or not is debateable) than the bayonet mounts, which can turn and hence require port locks.

I doubt Seacam is trying to go mass market but probably trying to build a baby model without the full trimmings to gain more followers. It's probably a testament to the D7000 that Seacam is even attempting a housing for such an entry level camera.

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I think you are being kind Drew. I don't think anyone can argue about the quality of Seacam housings, and I'm sure this one is machined beautifully as well, but I don't think they will successfully draw many customers with a housing that does not compete feature for feature with the others.

I just think it's a fact that other companies like Nauticam and Aquatica have really upped the ante with quality and features, at very competitive prices, that make it more difficult to justify spending the extra money for brands like Subal and Seacam. I was really impressed with how well the Nauticam was designed and engineered for example. Clearly companies like Nauticam have big advantages from a labor cost perspective over Seacam, just like most other products coming from the Far East and China in particular. I would not like to be one of the European housing manufacturers at this time......

Edited by loftus

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I have just taken delivery of the Seacam Prelude housing for the D 7000. I'll probably do an in depth review in the next month or so, but it will have to wait until I go diving again and that's not until the end of May.

 

One thing that you should be aware of when considering this housing is the lack of controls. This is a photo of the rear of the housing and from the lack of buttons you can ascertain what is missing.

 

Whether or not this affects your decision to purchase is a personal matter, but for me, when I realised there was no ISO button I almost sent it back. I managed to rig the review button on the housing to the ISO button on the camera and so I will persevere.

 

If anyone has a clever way of adjusting white balance or ISO in the D 7000 without use of the menu button please let me know as I am desperate to find work-arounds for the manufacturer's lack of buttons. Bear in mind also that you can only access the up button of the multi button at the rear that controls focus points and review.

 

 

Hey!

 

Take a closer look to the manual of your camera.

 

You will see, that you can change a lot of thinks like ISO or white balance and a lot of thinks more with :

 

front or/ rear dial and the multi-controller

 

Try and and you will find out, that nearly everything is possible.

 

Schorsch :)

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Hey!

 

Take a closer look to the manual of your camera.

 

You will see, that you can change a lot of thinks like ISO or white balance and a lot of thinks more with :

 

front or/ rear dial and the multi-controller

 

Try and and you will find out, that nearly everything is possible.

 

Schorsch :)

Come on Schorsch; sure there are workarounds for many things; but the buttons are placed on the camera for optimum functionality in the first place.......

I'm surprised at Seacam, as I've always admired their housings.

Edited by loftus

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On a modern body i want to use ISO like i use f/stop and shutterspeed. I wouldnt want to have to go into some subsubsubmenu to change iso. Dont have my D7000 bodies here to see how it works without button.

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I think you are being kind Drew.

I've been called many things Jeff, but "kind" is a rare one. :(

 

Definitely manufacturing and assembling in Austria (with parts coming from the EU and I'm sure from China) not only has labor and supplies costs but also restrictions for environmental reasons compared to a place like Shenzhen. I do think Seacam will do "ok" with the higher end cameras in the new market. In fact, I think this is the first low end experiment for Seacam and the feedback will certainly resonate in Harald's ear in Voitsberg (or not :) )

 

I totally understand the thing about Subal houses though :)

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Subal needs to get their act together and get a D7000 housing out soon :)

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Hey!

 

Take a closer look to the manual of your camera.

 

You will see, that you can change a lot of thinks like ISO or white balance and a lot of thinks more with :

 

front or/ rear dial and the multi-controller

 

Try and and you will find out, that nearly everything is possible.

 

Schorsch :)

 

Thanks for the advice Schorsch but the problem is there is only an up button for the multi controller. You can press the info button, but then you can only move the multi controller up and not across. Plus the info button doesn't allow access to any of the controls for white balance and ISO. Now if there were a menu button on the housing, then I would be able to work through all the menus but sadly there isn't.

 

I appreciate your help though.

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Thanks for the advice Schorsch but the problem is there is only an up button for the multi controller. You can press the info button, but then you can only move the multi controller up and not across. Plus the info button doesn't allow access to any of the controls for white balance and ISO. Now if there were a menu button on the housing, then I would be able to work through all the menus but sadly there isn't.

 

I appreciate your help though.

 

Hi all - I'm just catching this thread in an airport and have to reply via iPhone. Please excuse brevity for now and probable typos, but as north American distributor for SEACAM I wanted to weigh in promptly to your concerns.

 

Harald Hordosch, owner/designer of SEACAM, and I have had many philosophical discussions about the Prelude concept. His desire was to create a minimalist "less is more" design that would invite user perhaps new to SEACAM in the hopes they would be lifelong enthusiasts. I don't think he meant prelude to replace or equal SEACAM Silver housings, but I'll leave it to him to explain specific intentions for the Prelude line.

 

From my point of view, we have delivered several housings now. Some clients have been disappointed as they were expecting more controls on the rear of the housing, but others have been very positive as well. I'm not familiar with D7000 as I shoot Canon, but one of our clients has taken considerable time with camera and housing and shared with me his preferences.

 

For iso he sets it at 200. Apparently you can navigate to 2 preset iso settings with the housing. With 3 available iso settings, he feels comfortable in his options. As for navigating the zone of autofocus, he uses the 3d setting, which is apparently quite accurate, and then may tweak with focus lock. He also has a focus gear for his 60 and 105 micro Nikkor (new style) so he is very satisfied with the housing for fish and macro. Wide angle with his 10-17 is likewise easy with 3D AF.

 

The housing comes standard with the pro viewfinder, but also accepts s180 and s45 viewfinders. Anyone doubting SEACAM quality should pit their facemadk to one of these viewfinders for a revelation in optical quality.

 

Please don't misunderstand me. I can certainly relate to the desire for full functionality. The Prelude is meant to be an affordable entree to the SEACAM system. It may not suit everyone with very specific housing needs, but it may also introduce Shooters to the inherent advantages to the SEACAM system that might otherwise be denied access.

 

Hope all this makes sense. They are now boarding the plane. Got to go.

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Hi all - I'm just catching this thread in an airport and have to reply via iPhone. Please excuse brevity for now and probable typos, but as north American distributor for SEACAM I wanted to weigh in promptly to your concerns.

 

Harald Hordosch, owner/designer of SEACAM, and I have had many philosophical discussions about the Prelude concept. His desire was to create a minimalist "less is more" design that would invite user perhaps new to SEACAM in the hopes they would be lifelong enthusiasts. I don't think he meant prelude to replace or equal SEACAM Silver housings, but I'll leave it to him to explain specific intentions for the Prelude line.

 

From my point of view, we have delivered several housings now. Some clients have been disappointed as they were expecting more controls on the rear of the housing, but others have been very positive as well. I'm not familiar with D7000 as I shoot Canon, but one of our clients has taken considerable time with camera and housing and shared with me his preferences.

 

For iso he sets it at 200. Apparently you can navigate to 2 preset iso settings with the housing. With 3 available iso settings, he feels comfortable in his options. As for navigating the zone of autofocus, he uses the 3d setting, which is apparently quite accurate, and then may tweak with focus lock. He also has a focus gear for his 60 and 105 micro Nikkor (new style) so he is very satisfied with the housing for fish and macro. Wide angle with his 10-17 is likewise easy with 3D AF.

 

The housing comes standard with the pro viewfinder, but also accepts s180 and s45 viewfinders. Anyone doubting SEACAM quality should pit their facemadk to one of these viewfinders for a revelation in optical quality.

 

Please don't misunderstand me. I can certainly relate to the desire for full functionality. The Prelude is meant to be an affordable entree to the SEACAM system. It may not suit everyone with very specific housing needs, but it may also introduce Shooters to the inherent advantages to the SEACAM system that might otherwise be denied access.

 

Hope all this makes sense. They are now boarding the plane. Got to go.

 

 

Thanks a lot for the advice Stephen.

 

I fully agree with all you say about the Seacam quality and that's why I wanted to get their housing. I must admit it would have been nice if Seacam had made a full blown housing for the D7000 as then I would have chosen that instead of the minimalist design. This Nikon is considered by some to be the best all round camera for underwater photography, and certainly for Nikon shooters it is the camera that many will upgrade to. it might look like an amateur camera but it most certainly is not. If Seacam doesn't make a fully functional housing for it then they will miss out on business to the other manufacturers. Maybe they don't care about that, but I think they must care a little or they wouldn't have made the prelude. I think Seacam has underestimated this camera and its capabilities and desirability by Nikon shooters. But that's just my opinion. I'm sure Seacam knows what it is doing.

 

I guess I will have to make do until Seacam decides that the camera is in fact worthy of a fully functional housing. Either that or drill out the back and make my own buttons.

Edited by JACohen

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Subal is apparently having their problems. I was most impressed with the engineering of the Nauticam D7000 housing I used in Dominica last month, overall surpassing the quality of my Subal housing in every respect.

It's hard to believe that their cost difference for adding a few buttons is that much more to justify the cost difference from their fully functional housings.

 

As I am waiting for the Subal D7000 to upgrade from two D200 Subal housings, I would appreciate an expansion of your comments relative to the Nauticam. I've had two previous Subals and can't complain......?

 

Thanks,

 

Allan

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As I am waiting for the Subal D7000 to upgrade from two D200 Subal housings, I would appreciate an expansion of your comments relative to the Nauticam. I've had two previous Subals and can't complain......?

 

Thanks,

 

Allan

Not to get off thread too much, but to answer your question; the Nauticam felt very solid; everything just worked and all gears etc meshed nicely. Port lock and back locks were very slick, O-ring groove and flange seem to be foolproof. Shutter release feel was excellent, maybe not quite as slick as the Subal, but definitely able to feel the half press of the shutter. I prefer the wider back to the Subal, that allows access to the card without removing the camera. (More like Seacam)

I am not as impressed with the quality of my D700 housing as I was with my D200, find that things like the focus mode lever are more finicky - seemed like I had to bend and adjust things more to get them to work just right. It's still a great housing, but just seems like Nauticam are much more on the ball making high quality housings with all the bells and whistles, making improvements and adding features with every generation.

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The Seacam S180 finder as Stephen says is brilliant, and the rear command wheel control on the D200 housing is easier than the Nauticam D7000 control. I hoped for a lighter, smaller housing making the switch, but the Nauticam with the 9" glass is 7.6kg with the camera and no flashes - more than the Seacam D200 I am sure.

If you want a housing with less functions, may I suggest this...

 

post-23126-1302752237.jpg

 

Silicone round the filter and Rainex on the outside. And you can get to the ISO button, although we set everything up as U1 and U2.

 

It was Songkran here yesterday...

 

post-23126-1302752388.jpg

post-23126-1302752578.jpg

post-23126-1302752713.jpg

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I hope no one minds, but as the UK/Ireland Seacam distributor I'm just going to add in a few comments myself in addition to Stephen's.

 

Firstly, Seacam HAVE built 'simpler' housings in the past - in film days Seacam built a housing with the bare minimum of controls for their older type ports - so there is actually nothing new about this concept of housing from Seacam.

 

Secondly, although it may come as a surprise to some wetpixellers, who with good reason may require as many controls as possible, there are users who actually require a camera and housing which can be preset and used with rather less user input underwater - for various types of survey and standardised recording work, just as an example. When used in this type of situation, a housing has to be, most of all reliable, and also robust as well as capable of delivering high quality results. Some of my customers use Seacam equipment in ways which would seem very alien to many underwater photographers on Wetpixel, sometimes even bolted onto scientific equipment. So what I am saying is that not everyone will have the same requirements or viewpoint on a housing's specification, and this does include many 'ordinary' underwater photographers who have specific demands on their equipment.

 

Like Stephen, I can't speak about Harald's intentions for the Prelude line but I personally see them as a welcome addition to Seacam's products which offer a lower cost, similarly robust, reliable and quality housing for users who do not want, need or desire a housing for a 'pro' camera.

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Like Stephen, I can't speak about Harald's intentions for the Prelude line but I personally see them as a welcome addition to Seacam's products which offer a lower cost, similarly robust, reliable and quality housing for users who do not want, need or desire a housing for a 'pro' camera.

 

I quite understand Paul. What do you think the chance of Seacam producing a D7000 housing for those of us that do want normal functionality? Do you think they realise that there is a market for it as well?

 

I'm just hoping that I can switch the back for a fully functional one when they do make it :)

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