Rent – RED DSMC2 Surf Housings

We have two rental options available for RED DSMC2 cameras.

Our compact DSMC2 housing, and our DMSC2 I/O housing.

Both housings work with the Raven, Scarlet-W, Epic-W, Weapon, and DSMC2 (Gemini, Helium & Monstro) cameras.


The DSMC2 housing is great for action shots or where a compact housing is required.

The I/O housing provides opportunity for larger monitors and SDI output.


Both come with leak detection systems fitted, for peace of mind.


The I/O housing can be optioned with a SDI bulkhead and waterproof cabling, providing directors monitoring.

15m and 45m cables available.


Various ports, including Leica-R CINE-MOD available.


Rates from AUD500/day or $1500/week.

Rent Leica-R CINE-MOD Lenses

We now have an amazing set of Leica-R CINE-MOD EF mount lenses available for rental.


Leica Elmarit-R 24mm f2.8

Leica Summicron-R 35mm f2

Leica Summicron-R 50mm f2

Flat port with focus and iris control – suits Salty RED DSMC2 housings.

6 inch dome port with focus control – suits Salty RED DSMC2 housings.


These lenses have been CINE-MOD’d by Duclos lenses, which involves a Canon EF mount conversion, 0.8 module gears, declicked iris, and a 80mm front ring on all lenses.


We chose these 3 lenses because they all work in the same lens port on our RED housings.


Lenses available to rent individually or as a kit in a custom Pelican case.


Rates from AUD125/day/lens or AUD350/day/kit.


Email for more info.


Sony A7iii Surf Photography

The Sony A7iii is the ultimate bang-for-buck camera you can buy in 2018.

Well, that’s pretty much all you need to know, but I guess you might want to know why I think this.


The A7iii offers a full frame sensor, high frames per second shooting, and 4K video all at a relatively affordable price, all packed into a compact & lightweight camera body. This puts it high on the list of surf photography suitable cameras.



  • Compact body. Compared with traditional DSLR cameras (like the Canon 5D) the A7iii is tiny! This is great for shooting in the water when coupled with a compact housing.
  • Battery life. The A7iii uses the new NP-FZ100 batteries. The battery life of the A6X00 and A7ii was one of the biggest let-down of these cameras. The new batteries offer approximately 2.2x the battery life compared with the A6X00/A7ii. More than enough for a solid swim, or a couple of sessions shooting from the beach.
  • Full-frame. The full-frame ‘look’. Better low-light performance, more depth of view, wider field of view, when compared with a crop sensor camera.
  • 10fps shooting. You might fill up a card quickly, but you will have plenty of choices picking the best shot when capturing the fast paced action.


A7iii Housings

The A7iii shares the same basic camera body as the A9 and A7Riii, so works perfectly in our A9 housing.

As such, we have decided to rename this housing to our ‘ɑ-PRO’ housing.


We have two options for housings:


The standard housing is super compact, and amazingly light!


The BOOSTED housing offers a crazy amount of battery power in the water, probably more than you could swim in one session. However, I personally shoot with the BOOSTED housing for a few reasons:

  • Add a 128GB card and you can shoot multiple sessions without removing the camera from the housing.
  • The ODI Vans side handle, offers added stability (and looks bad-ass!).
  • Better balanced with larger lenses. Using Sony GM lenses means larger ports that often overshadow the standard housing. The larger BOOSTED housing offers a more balanced setup, yet is still compact compared with other manufacturers housing offerings.

What makes our housings different to other manufacturers?

  • Compact, form fitting design – not a ‘one size fits all’ approach
  • On/Off switch
  • Custom paint options
  • Multiple port options, including ports for 12-24mm, 16-35mm and 70-200mm
  • 20m depth rating

Here is a photo, sent to us by one of our customers.

This shows our ɑ-PRO BOOSTED housing (right) next to another manufacturer’s standard A9 housing (left)


Camera Alternatives

If you have more cash to splash around, you might consider the A9 or the A7Riii.

The A7Riii offers an insane 42MP, whilst the A9 provides 20fps and blackout free EVF shooting.

If the budget does not stretch to the A7iii, consider an A6500 (or the even cheaper A6000 or A6300).



The Sony A7iii is a relatively affordable camera, that has professional level features suitable for surf photography.

If you are looking to take your shooting to the next level, or simply want to downsize from a DSLR, the A7iii is one of your best options on the market today.

There’s a variety of housings on the market available for the A7iii, of which will all also suit the A7Riii or A9 should you ever want to upgrade in the future.


How to: prevent water drops from ruining your photos

Keeping water drops off your ports is essential in shooting good photos or video with your housing. One stray water drop can ruin the shot, so it is important to implement appropriate method of keeping your port clear.

There are two popular methods for water drop free shots; wet port and dry port.


Wet Port

Wet port is the easiest method, and refers to keep a thin, consistent layer of water on acrylic element of the port. This is best done by using the spit technique.

Before you enter the water:

  1. Ensure your port is free of dust and debris.
  2. Spit on your port and lick it, as to spread the spit evenly over the entire acrylic element.
  3. Let the spit semi-dry before entering the water. This usually takes 5-10 minutes.

In the water:

  1. Dunk the housing and then lick the port, as to remove any large spots of spit stuck to the port. Your port should now look clear.
  2. Hold your housing underwater until just before you want to take a shot. As you lift the housing out of the water there will be a thin layer of water sticking to the front of the port.
  3. Shoot!
  4. Return the housing to the water and wait for the next opportunity for a shot.


Quick Tips:

  • The performance of the spit technique will depend on what you have eaten or drunk before you shoot. Eating an apple or chewing a mint will help give your spit the right consistency for good results. I know one photographer who has a compartment dedicated to Mentos mints in his camera bag.
  • Spit and lick your port before hopping into your wetsuit and before loading your camera into the housing. This will give sufficient time for the spit to dry before you are ready to enter the water.
  • If you have let the spit semi-dry before entering the water you should not need to constantly lick the port throughout your session.
  • Do not use your fingers to spread the spit around as you will introduce unwanted oils from your skin onto the port.


Dry Port

Dry port refers to keeping your lens port completely free of water.

So, how are you supposed to keep your port dry if you are swimming in water!? Well, it is quite a tedious task, particularly if you are constantly diving under waves. However, once you practice it a few times you will get the hang of it and the results will speak for themselves.

Before you enter the water:

  1. Apply a small amount of unscented candle wax to the acrylic and buff it in using a clean, dry cloth. You want to buff it sufficiently so you don’t see a haze of candle wax. The port should look clear.

In the water:

  1. Lift the port out of the water and then use a squeegee to wipe away any water drops.
  2. Shoot!


Quick Tips:


So which method do you use?

It is best to experiment with both methods and find what gives you the best and most reliable results. These tips are based on what I have tried and tested in my 15 years of shooting surf photography and may not work for everyone.

My rule of thumb is:

Wet port method for dome ports, and flat ports when shooting with focal lengths <50mm.

Dry port method for flat ports when shooting focal lengths =>50mm.



  • 8mm fisheye / 6 inch dome port = wet port method
  • 25mm wide angle / flat port = wet port method
  • 85mm / flat port = dry port method
  • 70-200mm = dry port method

Some people swear by the dry port technique when using a flat port, even with wider lenses. And yet, some people swear by the wet port technique even when using longer telephoto lenses. So, simply use these tips as a starting guide, and experiment to find what works best for you with the lenses you shoot with, and the conditions you shoot in.

Which size dome port is right for you?

One of the most common questions we are asked is: what size dome should I use?

Well, the answer mostly depends on what style of shooting you do, what lens you are looking to use in the dome, and sometimes your budget.

When we talk about the size of the dome port we are referring to the overall diameter of the acrylic element.

Other variables with domes are the height of the acrylic element, and the length of the port itself. We have done the hard work and optimised the height of the acrylic for all diameters of dome so you do not need to worry about this. However, you will need to consider the length of the port based on what lens you are looking to use in the dome. We will discuss this towards the end of this article.

Shot by Scott Ruzzene


First, let’s look at the dome ports we offer, and what the pros and cons of each.

4-Inch Dome – The best for shooting above water, in-barrel shots with a fisheye lens.


  • Compact size
  • Small surface area, minimising potential for water drops and reflections
  • Cheapest


  • Can result in un-sharp image corners when shooting underwater
  • Difficult to shoot over/under shots.


6-inch Dome – The most popular and versatile option


  • Relatively compact size, particularly on larger mirrorless or DSLR housings
  • Sharp image corners when shooting underwater and when correctly matched to the length of your lens.
  • Over/under shots are possible with this size dome.


  • Larger surface area, compared with the 4-inch, increasing the potential for water drops and reflections when shooting above water.


8-inch Dome – Ideal for underwater and over/under shots


  • Over/under shots are easy with this size dome.
  • Sharp image corners when shooting underwater


  • Larger and bulkier, difficult to store/carry.
  • Larger surface area, compared with the 4-inch and 6-inch, increasing the potential for water drops and reflections when shooting above water.


We also offer custom order 10-inch and 12-inch domes. These larger domes are best used for over/under style shots, as they are very buoyant and difficult to sink underwater.


Lens length


For best optical results, the front of the lens should align (or close to) the base of the acrylic of the dome.

We stock domes of varying lengths to suit the most popular lens options, alternatively you can match one of our stock domes and a port extender to match your desired lens setup.


Product naming convention

We use letters and numbers to identify our ports.


The first letter determines the port system. M= MINI, S= STANDARD, C= CINE

The second letter identifies the port as a dome. D= DOME

The third letter/number is the port diameter.

The number after this corresponds to relative length of the dome, with a larger number corresponding to a longer dome.


It is easiest explained in the table below:


Product Name Port System Dome Diameter Relative Length Ideal lenses
M-D4 MINI 4-inch/100mm Short Rokinon/Samyang 8mm 2.8ii
M-D6.1 MINI 6-inch/150mm Short Rokinon/Samyang 8mm 2.8ii
M-D6.2* MINI 6-inch/150mm Medium Sony 10-18mm
M-D6.3 MINI 6-inch/150mm Long Sony 16-35mm f4
M-D8.1 MINI 8-inch/200mm Short Rokinon/Samyang 8mm 2.8ii
M-D8.2* MINI 8-inch/200mm Medium Sony 10-18mm
M-D8.3 MINI 8-inch/200mm Long Sony 16-35mm f4
S-D6.1 STANDARD 6-inch/150mm Short Canon 15mm fisheye
M-D6.2* STANDARD 6-inch/150mm Medium Canon/Nikon 8-15mm
M-D6.3 STANDARD 6-inch/150mm Long Sony 12-24mm or Canon 8-15mm on a RED housing
M-D8.1 STANDARD 8-inch/200mm Short Canon 15mm fisheye
M-D8.2 STANDARD 8-inch/200mm Medium Canon/Nikon 8-15mm
M-D8.3 STANDARD 8-inch/200mm Long Sony 12-24mm or Canon 8-15mm on a RED housing


*Product coming soon. For now use M-D6.1 + 25mm Port Extender


Hopefully that helps you choose what dome port is right for you.


Feel free to contact us if you need further assistance, and don’t forget our Lens Port Reference Charts found here:


Camera Housing Rental

We now have housings available for rental!

We also offer Sony A6000, A6500, A9, and RED DSMC2 cameras for rent to approved applicants, as well as lenses and housings accessories.

Rentals are based out of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

International rentals are available.

Contact us for rental fees.

Housing Camera Available
Sony A6000 Yes
Sony A6000 Flash Yes
Sony A6500 Yes
Sony A9 Yes
Sony A9 with battery grip Yes
Panasonic GH5 No
RED DSMC2 Yes- Raven
Alexa Mini + Leica Summilix-C Yes – via Cinoptix
Panasonic EVA1 (Coming 2018) No

Discounted rates apply for multi-week rental.

You can also rent cameras, lenses and housing accessories from us.


Contact for more details or to book in a rental.

Colour & Paint Options

Life is boring when everything is the same. That’s why we offer multiple colour and paint options for your housing. Every housing is custom painted, so you get to choose the colour and/or paint scheme for your housing. Our housings sit unpainted until your order is placed to ensure that your choices are not limited.

A6500 housing in Multi-Colour “Galaxsea” splatter

Our Sony A6X00, Lumix GH5, and Canon 70D/80D housings also have the option for our ‘BLAST’ anodised finishes. These finishes not only look bad-ass, but allows us to provide a more affordable option for your housing. The ‘BLAST’ finish provides superior corrosion protection, however cuts out the extra step of painting the housing, allowing us to pass on cost savings to you.

So why paint your housing?

Paint adds an extra layer of protection, as well as providing a means to customise the look of your housing. All painted housings are also anodised, therefore have two means of corrosion protection.

Paint options:

Single Colour provides an opportunity to paint your housing any single colour you wish. We can custom mix colours, or you can select from many of the previous examples. The paint is a durable two-pack solution, similar to the paint on your car.

A6500 Housing in Single Colour “Blue Pearl” paint.

Multi-Colour is our most exciting option. The splatter paint scheme has proven very popular for those looking for housing that stands out from the crowd. A two-tone fade is also possible. Or combine a two-tone fade and splatter! We are now also offering our new Cross-Hatch Paint scheme.

GH5 Housing in Multi-Colour “Cross-Hatch” paint scheme

A6300 Housing in Multi-Colour “Splatter” paint.

Housing Blast Blue Blast Grey Single Colour Multi Colour
A6000 BASIC Y × × ×
A6000, A6300 & A6500 × Y Y Y
A6000/A6300 Flash × × Y Y
A7ii Series × × Y Y
70D/80D × Y Y Y
7DMK2 × × Y Y
5DMK3 × × Y Y
1DX × × Y Y
XT-2 × × Y Y

70D Housing in “BLAST GREY”


Sony A6000 Surf Photography

I’ve been shooting surf photography for 14 years now, first starting out with a Canon 350D and Delmar housing. Over the years I stuck with Canon, upgrading to a 40D, and eventually a 1D in an Aquatech housing (before I started building my own housings). However, nothing in the camera world has got me more excited than when I stumbled across the Sony A6000.

I now shoot 100% of my stills with the A6000 as well as the newer A6300. And if it weren’t for my Canon-EF-Mount RED Raven that I use for video, I would have sold all my Canon lenses.

A lot of DSLR shooters underestimate, or simply ignore the A6000 as a professional surf photography camera. To many, higher quality is associated with larger cameras, with the beast-like, Canon 1DX leading the charge.

On the surface the A6000 might seem like a simple point-and-shoot toy camera. However, there is no denying that mirrorless cameras, such as the A6000, have been making a big impact on the photography market over the past few years and there are a bunch of people embracing it with open arms, despite many critics.


Sony, in particular, has been at the cutting edge of mirrorless tech, providing not only amazing specifications, but also continually improving the quality and range of lenses available for the Sony E-Mount system.

Below are my thoughts on why I switched from Canon, as well as providing some advice and opinions on how to best utilise the A6000 for surf photography.


So why switch?

It can be a hard transition if you have strong brand loyalty and/or a camera bag packed with thousands of dollars of Canon lenses. I must admit that even I was vulnerable to Canon brand loyalty years ago. A colleague was showing me his brand new Sony A7 and I was quick to dismiss it as inferior to the 60D, which I owned at the time (yes, I was quite naïve!). It wasn’t until a year or so later that I finally saw the light and the advantages that the Sony Alpha cameras had to offer.

Sorry Canon, you do still have undeniable qualities but the best thing I have done in my photography career has been switching to Sony.

  • Size

One of the biggest advantages of the A6000 is its small size and minimal weight. When compared side-by-side with something like the Canon 7DMK2, it becomes quite apparent how compact the Sony actually is. The small size of the A6000 also means a potential for small water housings and makes it the ideal travel companion when camping or hiking.


  • Specs

The A6000 shoots 24.3 Megapixels at a blazing 11 frames-per-second (fps). In comparison, a Canon 7DMK2 shoots 20 Megapixels at 10 fps.

Both cameras have the same size APS-C sensor, although people are quick to argue that the 7DMK2 still produces a better image (more on that later – see Lenses).

Sony stepped it up even further with the release of the A6300 and A6500, providing 4K, but more importantly 120fps at HD video.

  • Price

The A6000 body is currently priced at AUD$770. In comparison, the 7DMK2 is $2100. With the A6000 being a fraction of the price, there is no denying that it is a bang for your buck.

  • Social Media

Sony can thank social media big-wig, Chris Burkard, for inspiring my decision to make the switch (and many others photographer’s as well).


Stick a good lens on it!

I have found that one of the key factors to getting a ‘Canon-quality’ image from the A6000 is the lens. In my opinion the basic Sony kit 16-50mm lens will not provide the image quality people hope to achieve from the A6000, particularly when comparing it with the 7DMK2 and a nice piece of Canon glass.

There are adapters out there to stick Canon lenses on the A6000, however they have been known to produce less than ideal results with autofocus They also add extra bulk to the setup, as Canon lenses are typically larger than the E-Mount lenses, which almost defeats the purpose of using an A6000.

There is an ever-growing range of lenses available for the E-Mount A6000 at prices suitable for all budgets.



My personal lens setup includes:

  • Samyang/Rokinon 8mm 2.8 V2 Fisheye
  • Sony 10-18mm F4
  • Zeiss Batis 25mm f2
  • Sony/Zeiss 35mm 2.8
  • Sony 70-200 F4
  • Zeiss Batis 85mm 1.8.

I’m also looking to add the Sony 55mm 1.8 to my kit to close the gap between the 35mm and the 70-200. I carefully chose my lenses to provide a high quality, relatively affordable and versatile setup. My favourite go-to lens in this setup is the Batis 25mm f2.

Some popular lenses for surf photography with the A6000 include:


  • Samyang/Rokinon 8mm 2.8 V2 Fisheye
  • Sigma 19mm DN
  • Sigma 30mm 2.8 DN
  • Sigma 60mm DN


  • Sony 10-18mm
  • Sony/Zeiss 35mm 2.8
  • Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8


  • Zeiss Batis 25mm
  • Zeiss Batis 85mm


Battery Life

One of the biggest complaints with A6000 shooters is the limited battery life, and yes there is no denying that it is worse than a DSLR. This is mainly because of the viewfinder and/or LCD screen constantly chewing power.

In my experience shooting stills, I have been getting 1.5 hours per battery. Personally, I have no issues with the battery life and often joke that I get hungry and need to swim in for a bite to eat before my battery runs out.

There are a few tips that you can use to improve the battery life:

  • Turn ‘Pre-AF’ off. This stops the camera from constantly hunting for focus.
  • Turn WI-FI off and activate airplane mode
  • Turn ‘Auto-review’ off.
  • Turn down the brightness of the EVF or LCD screen

Some say that the EVF actually uses more power than the LCD monitor, however this is of no help when shooting in the water, as the LCD is fairly useless when trying to frame a shot through a housing.

A frustration I have with the A6000 is that a camera will not enter sleep mode if the EVF eye sensor is triggered. When the camera is inside a water housing the eye sensor is constantly triggered, so the camera won’t sleep, wasting a whole lot of battery life. I’ve run tests and determined that the eye sensor will activate when an object is within 100mm of it, therefore it will be an issue with any housing. I’m interested to know if anyone has a solution to this?


  • If you let your camera go to sleep before you load it in the housing it will stay asleep until you press a button.
  • Thanks to Salty Shooter Jake Lessie (@jakelessie) for this tip: Set the center button on the custom key setting “Lock-on AF”. When you want your camera to sleep, press that button. Select “ON” and you will reach the screen that says “Tracks nearest subject to screen center in {}”. If you leave it on this screen the camera will enter sleep mode after 1 minute while in the housing, as long as the sleep mode time is set to either 1 minute or 10 seconds. 



Most housing manufacturers are now offering A6000 housings. Ben from ‘Learning Surf Photography’ has created a great round-up of all the currently available A6000 housings.

With all the options available on the market there is something out there for everyone at a range of price points. Each offering has different features that will appeal to different people, so when selecting the right housing for you it really just comes down to personal preference and what features you value highly.

I’m proud to say that Salty Surf Housings had the first ‘off-the-shelf’ A6000 housing on the market, and that we are constantly adding new products to support our housings.

A6300 Kit

At Salty Surf Housings we pride ourselves on our superior housing durability without compromising on weight or functionality. Some of the features/ highlights with our Salty A6000 housings are:

  • CNC billet aluminium construction. This means that the housings are carved from a single block of aluminium, with no welds or joins. This provides an unbelievable strength to weight ratio, as proven when I decided to (intentionally) park my Toyota Hilux on top of a housing shell. The 350g (0.77lbs) housing shell withstood the front wheel of the Hilux with no issues. I’d like to see someone try that with a fibreglass or polyurethane housing.
  • Suitable for lenses up to 80mm in diameter. Our A6000 housings utilise our MINI port system, which we specifically designed for use with mirrorless cameras. The port system is large enough to cater for most E-Mount lenses, including the 70-200mm f4 with full zoom control, yet still allows for a small housing shell.
  • Lens ports. We currently stock the largest range of lens ports of any manufacturer including 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch dome ports, 18-105mm and 70-200mm zoom ports, and two different lengths of flat ports. We also have the ability to machine custom ports.
  • Front-loading design. Salty have the only front-loading A6000 housing on the market. All controls are seamlessly integrated into the housing shell, and all fasteners are pointed away from your face.
  • Compact, form-fitting design. The camera slides into the housing and sits snuggly between foam inserts. There are no baseplates, and no dead space inside the housing shell, resulting in a very small housing.
  • Tool free. Using wingnuts means you don’t have to worry about carrying (or loosing) an Allen key in order to seal your housing.
  • Grip options. Our housings ship with a pistol grip, and we also have side handles, dual handles and pole grips available.
  • Color options. Our housings can be custom painted to any color you desire. We have a very talented painter on board who can give your housing whatever look you are after.


Sony Shooters

Chris Burkard is probably the most well-known Sony shooter. He has been shooting on Sony cameras for a long time now and is a proud ambassador of the brand. A quick scroll through his Instagram feed will prove to you just how capable the Sony system is. He also has a great video shot by where he runs through some of his favourite aspects of using the A6000 for surf photography. I’m stoked to say that he has now upgraded from his Meikon to a Salty Surf Housing for his A6300.

We also support a bunch of other Sony photographers including:

  • Rambo Estrada (@ramboestrada)
  • Marck Botha (@marckbothaphoto)
  • Nick Maier (@beyond_the_curl)
  • Simon Treweek (@treeksea)
  • Riley Edwards (@rileyedwardsphoto)


The A6300 & A6500

Whilst this article is focused on the A6000, the majority of the information also relates to the A6300 and the newly announced A6500.

A common question is whether it is worth upgrading to the A6300 or A6500? I do not have a clear-cut answer for this. It really depends on your situation and what you want to do with the camera Here are a few possible scenarios and the outcome I would suggest:

  • If you own the A6000 and you’re happy with the stills it produces, and have no desired to shoot video, then stick with the A6000.
  • If you are on a budget and only want to shoot stills, then stick with the A6000.
  • If you want to shoot 4K or 120fps HD video, and/or have the cash to spend, then purchase the A6300 or A6500.

The only major differences in specs of the A6300 compared with the A6000 is the addition of 4K video and 120fps in HD. The A6500 adds in camera stabilisation and a crazy big buffer. Sony also claim slight improvements with the autofocusing on the A6300 and A6500, however the A6000 is already pretty fast, so it’s hardly noticeable.

Outside of specs, a notable improvement for me is the build quality of the A6300. At first glance both cameras look the same but Sony have really tightened tolerances and improved the feel of the A6300. Its magnesium body is noticeably more solid than the A6000s plastic shell, making the A6300 feel like a better quality camera when in your hand. The lens mount is also a lot tighter than on the A6000, and there are some minor changes in the side port cover and surface finish.

After shooting with the A6300, the A6000 will feel lacklustre in build quality, however still holds strong with image quality.



In my experience, Sony have beat out Canon in nearly all aspects of camera design and performance/functionality. Coupled with some decent lenses and a good housing you will be shooting professional quality surf photos that rival the guy or girl shooting next to you with a 5kg 7DMK2 setup.

Price to punch, the A6000 is a great little camera. If you can afford it, then the A6300 or A6500 are slightly better options with improved build quality and specs that might be of use to some. The average battery life of the Sony is a small price to pay for an affordable, lightweight setup, that is, in my opinion, the future of surf photography.

Matt Hipsley – Salty Surf Housings Owner/Designer