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JACohen

Seacam Prelude for D 7000

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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.

 

I think your argument may have held up well when there were very few housings close to the quality of Seacam, Subal, Hugyphot - but the market has changed. I don't know specifically about Seacam, but it's no secret that some of the European (and maybe other) housing manufacturers are struggling. Now that other manufacturers have closed the gap significantly in quality on Seacam and Subal, and arguably are changing and adding new features far more aggressively than the European companies. Cant see the logic anymore of buying a lesser featured housing for Seacam 'quality' which is no longer unique.

Edited by loftus

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I personally think Seacam chose the wrong camera for the prelude concept. This housing seems to suggest Seacam thinks the Nikon D7000 is going to be popular with people 'who require a preset camera', or who 'preset iso to a set value'. I think this is a wrong line of thinking. I could see this perhaps with the D3100/D51000, not with the D7000. I know quite a few excellent UW photographers who have bought a D7000 because it's pretty much the perfect camera for UW use. it's probably the best value-for-money in the current Nikon lineup.

 

Also, if I think back about the type of photographers I generally see with Seacam housings, I wonder if they'll want a prelude type housing. I can fully understand trying to tap a new market of less experienced photographers, but again, im not so sure the D7000 was the best choice for that.

 

If Seacam is also about to release a non-prelude housing for the D7000, then forget what I said :)

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For Canon shooters that dont quite know the Nikon lineup, the D7000 has a Dxomark score that's higher than a 5DM2, and identical to a 1ds3. It's only marginally below a D3 sensor. It's got excellent high ISO performance (hence the wishes for ISO control). It's not quite a pro-body, but many of the things that make a body a pro body dont really matter underwater. It's definitely a pro-wannabe, for a price just slightly above $1000. It's really a killer camera.

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Hey!

 

Then the prelude housing came out, I checked the concept for the Canon 60D.

First, I thought, that some functions like ISO are not possible.

 

But than, I found out the new concept of Canon with the Q Button.

With his button, you can change nearly all thinks.

 

At the Back LCD you can see all important settings. Pushing the Q button, you can chance them directly.

That is relatively comfortable.

And it works fine with the Canon 60D.

 

And the D7000 should have the same concept.

But I can check that as well.

 

I was not able to find a setting,

* which I would like to use under water and

* which was not possible to change in the pelude 60D housing.

And this is the important point.

 

Schorsch

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I don't understand the inclusion of just the up arrow on the multi selector, can anyone explain that? I worked with my D7000 last night and really can't see much use. When you up call up the info and press again, you can enter the control mode of many features (not ISO) but, without the other direction of the cursor, can't do much. I just don't understand it. Also, can you start the video with housing? Ray J

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Hey!

 

Then the prelude housing came out, I checked the concept for the Canon 60D.

First, I thought, that some functions like ISO are not possible.

 

But than, I found out the new concept of Canon with the Q Button.

With his button, you can change nearly all thinks.

 

At the Back LCD you can see all important settings. Pushing the Q button, you can chance them directly.

That is relatively comfortable.

And it works fine with the Canon 60D.

 

And the D7000 should have the same concept.

But I can check that as well.

 

I was not able to find a setting,

* which I would like to use under water and

* which was not possible to change in the pelude 60D housing.

And this is the important point.

 

Schorsch

 

Thanks Schorsche - I've just ordered a SEACAM Canon EOS60 Prelude housing for myself, so appreciate your very nice comments on the ergonomics. Like Cor said, many of the features of pro-line cameras are lost in strictly underwater use, and sometimes it is nice to travel relatively light. I think this will be a fun, yet powerful tool. Plus, when my Canon 8-15mm lens arrives, it will have utility on all of my Canon bodies: 1DsMKII and 5DII, MKIV, and 60D.

Edited by StephenFrink

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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.

Absolutely it's a workaround for the lack of a button (or part of the design if you are kind :)!)

If one were to really look at the Seacam offering, I think they'd find quite a few flaws to pre©lude it for use as a serious housing. Harald would've probably saved cost by dropping the new lock and going old skool with the finger munchers snaps, which would leave space for a larger rear window and buttons for other functions. Then there is no optical strobe outlet. I could go on... but really it's all in the specs and buyers should do their research before buying.

I did go to the Seacam website and there is no image of the rear, as JACohen said. Even though the controls are listed, it is sort of lacking in detail what functions can actually be accessed. This is true for both 60D and D7000, whereas all the other housings have 2 pics of the back of the housing. That's truly disappointing.

 

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.

I agree. Even though S and A are the primary controls and ISO isn't used "as often" for exposure control, it is still a valuable control to have as a single button function. But for those with a Prelude Seacam housing, they gotta learn to use the INFO button :( I don't think pros are the only ones who want controls like ISO or a better view of the LCD screen.

 

I think your argument may have held up well when there were very few housings close to the quality of Seacam, Subal, Hugyphot - but the market has changed. I don't know specifically about Seacam, but it's no secret that some of the European (and maybe other) housing manufacturers are struggling. Now that other manufacturers have closed the gap significantly in quality on Seacam and Subal, and arguably are changing and adding new features far more aggressively than the European companies. Cant see the logic anymore of buying a lesser featured housing for Seacam 'quality' which is no longer unique.

Except a few of those features are unique to Seacam. And those with Seacam ports and viewfinders are more likely to repurchase the brand again. As I said and Paul seems to agree, the Prelude series aren't mainstream housings but for those who want the Seacam brand as well.

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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.

 

 

Thanks for your insights.

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Absolutely it's a workaround for the lack of a button (or part of the design if you are kind :(!)

If one were to really look at the Seacam offering, I think they'd find quite a few flaws to pre©lude it for use as a serious housing. Harald would've probably saved cost by dropping the new lock and going old skool with the finger munchers snaps, which would leave space for a larger rear window and buttons for other functions. Then there is only one sync cable outlet and no optical strobe outlet. I could go on... but really it's all in the specs and buyers should do their research before buying.

I did go to the Seacam website and there is no image of the rear, as JACohen said. Even though the controls are listed, it is sort of lacking in detail what functions can actually be accessed. This is true for both 60D and D7000, whereas all the other housings have 2 pics of the back of the housing. That's truly disappointing.

 

 

I agree. Even though S and A are the primary controls and ISO isn't used "as often" for exposure control, it is still a valuable control to have as a single button function. But for those with a Prelude Seacam housing, they gotta learn to use the INFO button :) I don't think pros are the only ones who want controls like ISO or a better view of the LCD screen.

 

 

Except a few of those features are unique to Seacam. And those with Seacam ports and viewfinders are more likely to repurchase the brand again. As I said and Paul seems to agree, the Prelude series aren't mainstream housings but for those who want the Seacam brand as well.

 

OK Drew ... take it back :) SEACAM has dual synch.

 

post-630-1302808920.jpg

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Opps, that'll teach me not to check the specs before I write! :)

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I personally think Seacam chose the wrong camera for the prelude concept. This housing seems to suggest Seacam thinks the Nikon D7000 is going to be popular with people 'who require a preset camera', or who 'preset iso to a set value'. I think this is a wrong line of thinking. I could see this perhaps with the D3100/D51000, not with the D7000. I know quite a few excellent UW photographers who have bought a D7000 because it's pretty much the perfect camera for UW use. it's probably the best value-for-money in the current Nikon lineup.

 

Also, if I think back about the type of photographers I generally see with Seacam housings, I wonder if they'll want a prelude type housing. I can fully understand trying to tap a new market of less experienced photographers, but again, im not so sure the D7000 was the best choice for that.

 

If Seacam is also about to release a non-prelude housing for the D7000, then forget what I said :)

 

Hi'

 

This is very interesting I would like to know the type photographer I am as I use a SeaCam, hopefully I won't be stereotyped & have to change to much :)

No joking apart, you pick your housing pay your money use your equipment take great images enjoy!! Its quite nice to pull someone elses equipment apart, it should

not matter to anyone else, as long as the user is happy. All housings have their good points & bad points, everyone likes & dislikes different housings,

I would just like to say I hope you get on & take great images with your new housing Enjoy!!!

 

Andy :(

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Hey!

 

I took a closer look to the Nikon D7000.

 

I think, it is possible to change a lot of thinks by using the info button.

 

Please check, that you can change with the info button in combination with the multi-controller.

 

May be that helps.

 

Schorsch

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This is very interesting I would like to know the type photographer I am as I use a SeaCam, hopefully I won't be stereotyped & have to change to much :)

So you use a D7000 seacam housing? Generally I think seacam housings rock, im only talking about this specific D7000 housing and the choices seacam made for it. I think it should have had more control buttons. But it's all seacam's choice, and I hope it turns out well for them.

 

Its quite nice to pull someone elses equipment apart, it should not matter to anyone else, as long as the user is happy.

 

Thats just the thing, the original poster (JACohen) is obviously not that happy for the reasons he stated. Having to drill your own buttons is a bit annoying :( Knowing him im sure he'll succeed and end up with the exact thing he wanted :)

 

I see this thread as feedback to seacam. I dont think seacam is a bad brand or anything, quite the contrary. They're probably the #1 housing brand quality wise.

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I think its a valueable tool to discuss the pro's and con's of a housing to give those that might consider buying that housing a better idea of what they are getting. I would consider Seacam to be one of the finest housing made and previously out of my budget. I think the idea of producing a cheaper version of the Seacam might make alot of people now actually consider Seacam. But the failure to include most of the rear buttons might be its downfall. Personally if Seacam had most functions available like they have with Nauticam and Aquatica and price the housing like they have done with the prelude that they would be on a real winner.

 

For me personally I want to have access to ISO, WB (for video) and control pad for single point focus selection for macro.

 

Regards Mark

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I understand that a aluminium housing is more sturdy, may be smaller and good a glass dome should provide a better image quality,

but for the same price of this seacam i will buy the Ikelite housing (with all buttons!), macro and dome port, D7000 and lenses.

 

Chris

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So you use a D7000 seacam housing? Generally I think seacam housings rock, im only talking about this specific D7000 housing and the choices seacam made for it. I think it should have had more control buttons. But it's all seacam's choice, and I hope it turns out well for them.

Thats just the thing, the original poster (JACohen) is obviously not that happy for the reasons he stated. Having to drill your own buttons is a bit annoying :) Knowing him im sure he'll succeed and end up with the exact thing he wanted :(

 

I see this thread as feedback to seacam. I dont think seacam is a bad brand or anything, quite the contrary. They're probably the #1 housing brand quality wise.

Exactly. The point of reviews is to analyze housing's strong and weak points. So far many have concentrated on the weak points because it's a glaring omission. No housing or brand is perfect and people have to choose what suits them. I don't think anyone has disparaged Seacam, although words like insulting may be harsh, but I think it's more a reaction to Seacam's choices.

I think this thread has been rather level headed. There aren't any silly car analogies (yet!) :)

 

I understand that a aluminium housing is more sturdy, may be smaller and good a glass dome should provide a better image quality,

but for the same price of this seacam i will buy the Ikelite housing (with all buttons!), macro and dome port, D7000 and lenses.

 

Chris

Chris, if $/features were a concern, I doubt many would consider a Seacam right now, especially for the D7000. However, for some, there are features which it worth that premium. I bought Seacam for a reason and I've bought Ikelite as well. I did a comparo for the 5D2 and the Ikelite couldn't fit the 16-35 II in their housing, and that lens is a staple for WA for Canon. Things like that and the vast availability of extension rings, quality accessories like S180 viewfinders, controls etc bring much more value than can be put down in $ terms.

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Exactly. The point of reviews is to analyze housing's strong and weak points. So far many have concentrated on the weak points because it's a glaring omission. No housing or brand is perfect and people have to choose what suits them. I don't think anyone has disparaged Seacam, although words like insulting may be harsh, but I think it's more a reaction to Seacam's choices.

I think this thread has been rather level headed. There aren't any silly car analogies (yet!) :)

 

And, let´s be honest, if instead of Seacam, it were a new/less known brand who produced a housing with so many controls missing we would probably give it a harder time.

 

I am noone to discuss Seacam´s strategy but producing a cheaper housing to "fish" new clients should be complemented with a cheaper line of ports, etc... as I think a Seacam dome is around 1000€? and, on the whole, it is still a very high priced setup.

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I understand that a aluminium housing is more sturdy, may be smaller and good a glass dome should provide a better image quality,

but for the same price of this seacam i will buy the Ikelite housing (with all buttons!), macro and dome port, D7000 and lenses.

 

Chris

 

You get what you pay for and for those that shoot almost everyday the Ikelite housing isnt an option as the controls get sloppy after 9-12months of regular use. Actually the controls are not that refined from new (just feel the difference in the zoom gear alone). There isnt a factory option for mini domes and the Ikelite port size itself in the housing isnt big enough for larger zooms for FX cameras.

 

Regards Mark

Edited by Aussiebyron

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And, let´s be honest, if instead of Seacam, it were a new/less known brand who produced a housing with so many controls missing we would probably give it a harder time.

 

I am noone to discuss Seacam´s strategy but producing a cheaper housing to "fish" new clients should be complemented with a cheaper line of ports, etc... as I think a Seacam dome is around 1000€? and, on the whole, it is still a very high priced setup.

The Seacam Superdome and Subal 10" dome are about $2100, the similar Zen is $1900 and Aquatica Megadome is about $1600. Not that high priced for the big domes, but the housings do command a premium in the US at least due to the exchange etc.

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Drew how does "Porsche with drum brakes" sound as a car analogy.... :)

 

Until 1962/3 all road Porsches had drum brakes!

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Oh gawd...it has begun! And FYI, the 356A/B drum brakes were competition brakes and were for me anyways, more powerful than the 356C disc brakes. Not that you'd drive very fast without SEAT BELTS!

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If one simply puts this in perspective of the economy over the last few years and the change in the competitive landscape with other players upping the ante both in quality and feature terms, I think this is a desperate move by Seacam to retain some market share. Sure Seacam makes the highest quality housings available, but they also make the housing that are full featured second to none. It has always been Seacam that had innovative products like their strobes and the remote monitor, so the argument that people would buy Seacam for it's quality at the expense of features simply does not hold water. (Excuse the pun)

Unfortunately Seacam lives in the same economic environment that we all do, and I think this is bad strategy. Bottom line is that other manufacturers are now able to produce full featured housings, arguably approaching the quality of Seacam, at a significantly lower price. Like everyone else, if they cannot drop their costs and price (maybe by shifting manufacturing elsewhere) they will not survive in the long run.

Wish I could own a Porsche, but my little S2000 runs quite well with those big boys. :)

Actually if I had the cash I'd still blow it on a really good looking Italian Job.

Edited by loftus

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WOW,

What a ongoing review! Harald how about a upgraded D-7000 housing back with buttons? or at least a decal with buttons that could be stuck on the housing back for those with button envy?

 

v/r

 

Bernie

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This is an ad from a very well known shop in Spain VAT included:

 

ofer_d7000.jpg

 

And Nauticam is 2.500€, Sea&Sea 2.155€ and Isotta 1.800€...

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