The A7Siii has been one of the most hotly anticipated cameras of 2020.
Many people have been asking us about housing options for this camera, and we have finally got our hands on one.
Luckily, the housing fits perfectly in our existing A-PROii housings that are designed for use with the A7RiV and A9ii cameras.
We have these housings in stock, available now!
The BOOSTED housing allows for fitment of the battery grip, which is ideal for long sessions shooting video with the A7Siii.
Our A7Siii and housings are also available for rental from AUD200/day.
We have been secretly working with RED for the last few months to develop a dedicated surf housing for the exciting new KOMODO camera.
And we are stoked to announce that our KOMODO housings are now shipping, and are officially RED APPROVED!
RED were also kind enough to create a one of a kind, custom painted KOMODO, inspired by our custom painted housings.
We have two housing offerings for the KOMODO – the standard housing, and a compact offering.
Both housings accomodate the KOMODO camera with up to BP-975 sized batteries. The standard housing also fits the Atomos Shinobi monitor. The compact housing is designed to be used with an external monitor, or as a remotely rigged solution (using waterproof SDI cabling), or simply as a tiny housing using the top screen for image review.
If you are keen to get the KOMODO in the water our housings are shipping now!
We are also offering rentals of our KOMODO camera and housing, from AUD350/day.
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.
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 email@example.com for more info.
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.
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:
- ɑ-PRO standard housing – suits A9, A7(x)iii cameras
- ɑ-PRO BOOSTED housing – suits A9, A7(x)iii cameras with the battery grip.
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)
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.
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 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:
- Ensure your port is free of dust and debris.
- Spit on your port and lick it, as to spread the spit evenly over the entire acrylic element.
- Let the spit semi-dry before entering the water. This usually takes 5-10 minutes.
In the water:
- 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.
- 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.
- Return the housing to the water and wait for the next opportunity for a shot.
- 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 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:
- 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:
- Lift the port out of the water and then use a squeegee to wipe away any water drops.
- I use a 3M Squeegee, which can be purchased from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/3M-Applicator-Squeegee-PA1-B-Blue/dp/B00657SFPE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1523232375&sr=8-3&keywords=3m+squeegee
- You can also use a window cleaner style squeegee, which is commonly available for purchase at your local supermarket or hardware store.
- Punch a hole in the squeegee and attach it to your housing leash or on your spare hand with a short tether so you don’t loose it in the water.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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-D6.3||MINI||6-inch/150mm||Long||Sony 16-35mm f4|
|M-D8.1||MINI||8-inch/200mm||Short||Rokinon/Samyang 8mm 2.8ii|
|M-D8.3||MINI||8-inch/200mm||Long||Sony 16-35mm f4|
|S-D6.1||STANDARD||6-inch/150mm||Short||Canon 15mm fisheye|
|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-D8.3||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: