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I rarely see any information on Easydive housings, so I thought I'd write about the one I just bought.  (I'm not affiliated with Easydive.)

Introduction

I currently use a Nimar housing for my Nikon D5300, with a wet lens (UWL-09) for wide-angle.  I'd been frustrated with the soft corners of my wide-angle photos and was looking for a wide-angle dry dome.  However, the Nimar has functioned... poorly... so I didn't want to further invest into that system.  Plus, I plan on using it for deeper dives (60+ metres) which means a new system anyway.

My decision to buy an Easydive instead of, say, Nauticam, was that the housing allows you to change cameras without changing the housing.  I'm planning a set of camera upgrades over the next few years and wanted to use the same housing instead of dropping 2k+ EUR housing-tax for each new camera.  Since the cost of the Easydive was on par with any housing for a future camera (if not less!), I figured I could always change again if it didn't work out, eating the cost of any ports in the meanwhile.

I started with the Leo 3 Wi, as I plan on moving from DSLR Nikon cropped-sensor to mirrorless Sony full-frame, and this housing handles all of them.  I started with the 240 mm dome and extension ring for my 10--20 mm lens, and also included the vacuum system, flash trigger, and mounting balls as necessaries.

DSC_4247.jpg.585c47de093f1152b9d78076325b9633.jpg

Here's a size comparison between the Nimar and new Easydive.  The housings themselves are about the same size, although the Easydive is much heavier being made of aluminium instead of plastic and anxiety.  In the Nimar, the camera is connected to a plastic plate that inserts into the bottom.  In the Easydive, the camera is connected to the baseplate seen in the following.  Here's how the inside looks with the baseplate removed and battery disconnected (but standing alongside its slot).

DSC_4830.jpg.e0ac2f9018f06ba70dfa81c9940328df.jpg

When assembled, the camera goes on the baseplate, which inserts into the bottom of the housing.  The battery is placed against some velcro on the right and plugs below.  The camera connects to the housing computer by the two cables, with the third being the flash trigger.  (I think it can handle the internal flash, but haven't tried.)

The buttons on the right side are used to interact with the camera.  For my D5300, this includes the important aperture, ISO, shutter, and AF modes.  Other models (like the Sony) have more functionality.  The shutter release is another button on the front.  All are easily operable with 5 mm wet gloves and dry gloves.

Cons

Let's start with cons.  The housing's internal battery connects with velcro---it's hard to tell whether it's securely applied or not.  Specifically for the D5300, the magnifier for the viewfinder as-is doesn't fit within the housing, though it might after some tweaking.  There's no self-test for the moisture detector---I have no idea what it looks (or sounds) like when there's a leak.

The 240 mm dome doesn't lock into place, so I dive in fear of accidentally rotating the dome.  That's not new, though, as I usually live in fear of jostling and scratching my domes.  I'm pretty well-adjusted otherwise I guess?  Apparently the 240 mm is special in that it doesn't lock---other ports and domes do.

The universal zoom ring (which slots into the zoom wheel seen in the above photo) uses a velcro system to tighten over a lens. This is fine I guess, but I'd have added more grip to the internal part of the ring so it doesn't slip if over- or under-zoomed.  Some double-sided tape did the trick for me.

Pros

Everything works without any issue---I'm very happy with it!  I'm not fond of face-plate clasps in general (I like the Nauticam wheel lock), but the Leo 3's are very sturdy. Buttons and wheels work flawlessly even at depth.  Best yet, the company operator, Fabio, has taken time to help me directly with questions, and responds immediately to questions.

Diving with the Leo 3 Wi

...is more or less like with any housing.  As it comes, the Leo comes with a metal tab on the left side, which I use to clip off.  (After the first dive I realised that I should get a left-hand handle as well because I'm so used to holding two handles.)  The 240 mm dome is hugely buoyant, even with an ankle weight wrapped around the extension ring.  I'll need to tape weights directly to it for trim.  Beside trim, it takes only a few styrofoam blocks to have the housing be neutral.

DSC00282.jpg.a48812353fbd6c78a29d97c171eae526.jpg

(Photo courtesy of Jasper Mulder.) Matching my hose colour and the housing's trimmings was unintentional.  Or was it!?

If anybody has any questions I can answer as a user, I'll do my best to answer.

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I have been diving a Leo 3 Wii for 3 years first with a Panasonic GH5 then a Sony A7RIII let me know if you have questions. 

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Did you have all the controls on the GH5?

Gh5 battery doesn't have a long operating time. What's happen with wi-fi activated?

Thank you in advance

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On 10/31/2020 at 11:38 AM, Davide DB said:

Did you have all the controls on the GH5?

Gh5 battery doesn't have a long operating time. What's happen with wi-fi activated?

Thank you in advance

Davide, Fabio (the owner) wrote to me in response to this and said the "Gh5 works by USB not wifi, no problem with the batteries".

Edited by kristapsdz
misspelled name

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Thanks for your reply. Originally, GH5 was meant to be used inside the Wi housing. Nice to know that the plain Leo3 works with a GH5.

 

P.S.

I was trying to get real user feedback not from the company ;)

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Man this is awesome, been waiting for a review from someone that actually owns this housing! Created a topic a while back but not many responded. Main question I have: Is there any noticeable lag in the buttons, especially the shutter / changing settings; Because its electronically controlled, would assume there is some lag vs just directly clicking the buttons? Watched the videos on youtube, but hard to tell from watching only

@serpentara very keen to hear your input too, especially for the A7RIII as I am using an A7III with ikelite housing nowadays

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I haven't noticed any lag with a nikon dslr, no, though I haven't taken it down for macro shooting where I'd notice it the most.

The button interface is... different?  For example, I'm used to twisting a wheel for modifying f-number or shutter speed, and now I need to push a button, one for each position.  I guess this doesn't affect me much because mostly I'm tuning or changing multiple values (enter/leave wreck, change ISO, shutter, aperture) in which case it's much faster.  But changing from a 30 second long exposure to 1/200 probably takes a lot of button pushes, whereas before it'd just be a few spins.

What required the most change was the half-press of the shutter release to grab focus.  This now is a different button from the shutter release itself.

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20 minutes ago, kristapsdz said:

I haven't noticed any lag with a nikon dslr, no, though I haven't taken it down for macro shooting where I'd notice it the most.

The button interface is... different?  For example, I'm used to twisting a wheel for modifying f-number or shutter speed, and now I need to push a button, one for each position.  I guess this doesn't affect me much because mostly I'm tuning or changing multiple values (enter/leave wreck, change ISO, shutter, aperture) in which case it's much faster.  But changing from a 30 second long exposure to 1/200 probably takes a lot of button pushes, whereas before it'd just be a few spins.

What required the most change was the half-press of the shutter release to grab focus.  This now is a different button from the shutter release itself.

So for the A7RIII there is a significant lag when switching between using the shutter/autofocus and changing the settings.  Essentially if you want to change the F-Stop, ISO, Shutter speed, it requires the camera to switch over to USB mode. Once in USB mode the response is instantaneous. When you want to use the shutter again it must leave USB mode to allow the shutter to actuate. The switch back and fourth takes a few seconds. That can be super annoying. Once back in shutter mode the responsiveness is instantaneous. 

The other thing that I do not like is that some components are 3D printed that should not be. Primarily the sun shades. the way they are made with a FDM process puts the deposition plane in line with the shear plane which means that the shades break fairly easily if they get bumped. I have broken both the shade on my full frame port (9") and my smaller port (5")

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2 hours ago, singkwan said:

Man this is awesome, been waiting for a review from someone that actually owns this housing! Created a topic a while back but not many responded. Main question I have: Is there any noticeable lag in the buttons, especially the shutter / changing settings; Because its electronically controlled, would assume there is some lag vs just directly clicking the buttons? Watched the videos on youtube, but hard to tell from watching only

@serpentara very keen to hear your input too, especially for the A7RIII as I am using an A7III with ikelite housing nowadays

See post above. I also notice that the sides/corners of the frame are very blurry using the 16-35 F4 lens stopped down to F8 or F9, and the 9" dome but since this is my first housing I do not know if that is the normal amount of blur for underwater housings. 

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Wow thanks, great input guys

@serpentara Wow thats interesting, i thought the USB mode was only to review photos, but its for changing settings too. I guess that could be a deal breaker for me :( 

On the point of image sharpness, I've had a few Ikelite housings and domes, and I would say pretty much if you are using a rectilinear lens (not a fisheye basically) and its fairly wide, F9 isn't enough to get the corners to acceptable levels, you need to stop it way down. you can do a quick check on A.Mustards shots, he goes to like F20 -> F32 /max 

http://www.amustard.com/library/stock76/UK20_am-16129.jpg 

http://www.amustard.com/library/stock75/UK20_am-14911.jpg 

Also how big is your Dome? Another main driver of corner sharpness

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5 hours ago, singkwan said:

Wow thanks, great input guys

@serpentara Wow thats interesting, i thought the USB mode was only to review photos, but its for changing settings too. I guess that could be a deal breaker for me :( 

On the point of image sharpness, I've had a few Ikelite housings and domes, and I would say pretty much if you are using a rectilinear lens (not a fisheye basically) and its fairly wide, F9 isn't enough to get the corners to acceptable levels, you need to stop it way down. you can do a quick check on A.Mustards shots, he goes to like F20 -> F32 /max 

http://www.amustard.com/library/stock76/UK20_am-16129.jpg 

http://www.amustard.com/library/stock75/UK20_am-14911.jpg 

Also how big is your Dome? Another main driver of corner sharpness

I have two domes, a 5" and a 9". I shoot the rectilinear lens with the 9".

The whole "switching to usb mode to change the settings" issue differs from camera to camera. When I shot my GH5 it was not an issue. I don't recall if it still is. 

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On 12/8/2020 at 4:14 PM, kristapsdz said:

What required the most change was the half-press of the shutter release to grab focus.  This now is a different button from the shutter release itself.

Are you with the latest firmware update?
Now the function of the two front buttons are similar accross all camera models (Canon, Nikon, Pansonic, Sony):

  • Button 1: select the Focus/Shutter Release Mode (two modes available)
  • Button 2: button Focus & Shutter Release button

I use the default mode: press Button 2 to trigger focusing, release Button 2 to shoot. This is quite similar from the half-press button of the camera.

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Hummm I don't know for photos but for video many of us disable the classic half press focus and we use the powerful features offered by the AF-Lock function. Is it possible to control it via the housing?

 

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On 10/31/2020 at 3:20 AM, serpentara said:

I have been diving a Leo 3 Wii for 3 years first with a Panasonic GH5 then a Sony A7RIII let me know if you have questions. 

Hi, 

I have a question about the camera mode dail, can you change this settings in the Leo 3 housing on our Sony A7rIII? Chan you change the mode from M to A or to the Movie-Mode?

Thanks for your help!
Tino

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On 2/3/2021 at 10:46 AM, tdphoto said:

I have a question about the camera mode dail, can you change this settings in the Leo 3 housing on our Sony A7rIII? Chan you change the mode from M to A or to the Movie-Mode?

You can check which functions are available from the command manual: https://www.easydive.it/download-allegato-articolo?id=159

I don't have a Sony camera, so difficult for me to confirm, but from a quick look to the manual:

  • you can switch between shooting stills and video, you have separate button for video recording
  • changing photo mode from M to A doesn't seem possible, or at least is not straightforward

in any case, you should probably shoot in manual mode.

For Nikon camera, the ability to switch camera mode depend on the camera: when the camera has a mecanical mode switch, you cannot change the mode in the housing. For higher end cameras (D850 for example) which have an electronic mode switch, you can change the mode in the housing.

This is clearly not a feature that I have missed with my D7500, shooting in manual is clearly the best option.

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