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JACohen

Seacam Prelude for D 7000

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Probably missing a button or two..... :)

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Ha ha Jeff! :)

 

I think that Julian is right that Seacam completely misunderstood the importance of the D7000 as a serious camera for Nikon users. Especially because my underwater review of this camera was published on Wetpixel 6 months ago now (in November) - and the conclusions i made were pretty obvious to anyone who tried the camera on land.

 

I know so many first class underwater photographers (and many more) who are now shooting D7000s underwater. I could write a long list of some very talented and successful photographers who are using the D7000. Some of the companies must have sold a serious number of housings already. It is a pity that Adam's wetpixel group review has been so delayed by a lack of availability of some brands - as it would have been really valuable for such an important camera.

 

Alex

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Misunderstood is a little unfair I think Harald underestimated the D7000's popularity. Seacam has been designing for mid to high range cameras.So it's to be expected that mistakes are made when he enters the low price range market.

By designing a housing with a specific goal, simplicity, instead of putting as many functions as possible, then the design will leave out part of the customer base, and more importantly, sales!

Speaking to Harald for a while,, he did sound very convincing about his design philosophy. So much so he convinced me to review the Prelude 60D, in very tough and quiclk changing conditions of baitballs. I sorta regret saying yes now since I'm only on the boat for 3 weeks this year and rather use a system I'm familiar with. But what's life without a challenge? :)

I suspect with the D7000, where some of the controls are have to be accessed via the menu, he will probably have to change the design a bit for faster access.

I've seen the housing and played with it and there's lots to like. But this design philosophy will have to be tested fully before I make a judgement.

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Is there any data on sales figures for the various housing manufacturers? I suspect that the higher end housing manufacturers are having a hard time maintaining market share and remaining profitable. Personally I think the Prelude concept is a misguided attempt at trying to maintain market share. Housings are not cars, Seacam is considered the top housing because of it's high level of functionality. Every aspect of the housing is designed with perfect functionality in mind. There is no other good reason to buy Seacam.

Seacam has given up (straightforward) functionality to create a housing which is still expensive, and now can no longer compete from a functionality aspect with many lower cost housings. Probably even Ikelite now is superior from a functionality standpoint with respect to buttons etc.

I have nothing against Seacam, I would have one if money was not a consideration in my choice of housings. I have to laugh when I read about all these menu workarounds to simply make my camera work the same way underwater as on land. But I can't think of any reason to own a Prelude housing except if I was stuck with Seacam ports.

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As a current Seascam owner, two D700 housings, I'd have to agree with Loftus. There is no really good reason to buy a Seascam housing for the Nikon D7000 (or any other Nikon in my opinion) unless you have a considerable number of Seascam ports and accessories from a previous housing, which I did from 10 years with housings for the F5. Harald just doesn't seem to "get" Nikon and clearly isn't getting or accepting quality user advice on Nikon as he seems to do on Canon from pros like Kurt Amsler and dealers like Stephen Frink and Paul Kay. His housings for the Nikon D700 lacked any control what-so-ever for the ambient light metering pattern, which can be a very useful option, and which is why Nikon has this choice on virtually all of their cameras.

 

Many Seascam controls have strong springs that return the control to a neutral position and don't allow you to leave the control in a position that keeps the camera button depressed, which can make varying things like compensation and flash compensation MUCH EASIER on shot sequences where you want to bracket the exposures. I removed mpst of those springs within a couple days of receiving my housings.

 

Seascam seems to be far more concerned with appearance, especially Seascam Silver, than about practical functionality of their housings. I see the lack of controls and buttons on the Preclude housing as just another indication that Seascam is slipping into terminal control deficiency. I also feel that the bright silver housing color SOMETIMES makes getting close to visually acute critters more difficult and ALMOST ALWAYS makes seeing the camera's LCD screen more difficult than a dark housing color would.

 

I've spent quite a lot of time and money on control modifications to my Seascam D700 housings and feel that they are now the best D700 housings anywhere. The housings NOW allow much more convenient accessibility to the Nikon D700's capabilities, which is what I feel is the most important thing in any housing. Except perhaps keeping the camera inside dry. I now have a real port lock. I can now change the D700's camera battery almost as easily as I remove the CF card, and without having to totally remove it from the housing as I did when I first got the housing.

 

It is unlikely that I will be willing to go through all that effort again and will probably change housing brands if I feel the need to change to another Nikon camera and can't modify the housings I have to accept that new camera.

 

Fred

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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.

 

 

If you put the camera in Aperture or Shutter mode, you can use the sub-command dial to change ISO. I discovered this during my current trip to Belize with my Seacam and D7000. So far I like the housing. It' so much stronger than an Ikelite. I also discovered that it's better with the Pro G viewfinder than with my 45 degree viewfinder.

Edited by kmahler

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Also, to those saying that other housings are better because they have more controls; I only have experience with Seacam housings. I own three; F100, D1X and D7000. I have several lens ports and an S45 viewfinder. They have traveled the world with me from Fiji to Galapagos and have always traveled well.

 

I once had the flood alarm go off on my D1X during a dive in Cayman. I slowly made an ascent including a safety stop. The camera is replaceable, I am not. Once back on the boat, I opened the housing and found a hair on the o-ring. The felt inside the housing had absorbed all of the water and the camera was completely dry. I let the housing dry out and went back to using it that afternoon. I doubt many other housings would have faired as well.

 

Kevin

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