Sunday, February 2, 2014

Meikon underwater housing review

A few of weeks ago I pulled the trigger and bought an underwater housing for my NEX, I had a long weekend coming up and paid for express shipping hoping that I would arrive in the 3-5 days like it said. It didn't, it took 2 weeks and last week I finally received my underwater housing for my NEX after a delay due to the eBay store having issues with their supplier.

When it finally arrived I was immediately struck with how well the housing was built. To be honest, I haven't played with many underwater housings but this certainly didn't look or feel cheap considering it was only $120AUD.

The Meikon housing is rated to withstand depths of up to 40m. I tried to find some information on the Meikon housings for NEX but it was pretty hard to come by. From the few pages that I did find, people said that the camera started playing up around 20m due to the pressure it had on the housing. Luckily as a snorkeller I have not encountered any problems and find it to be a perfect housing for free diving <10m nbsp="" or="" p="" so.="">

There are 2 models for the NEX, the 16mm and the 18-55mm. I opted to go for the 18-55 because I didn't want to be restricted to only using one lens. The 18-55 gives me a few more options when it comes to shooting underwater as I can zoom the lens a little bit if I don't want something too wide and I can also put my 35mm lens into the housing which I have found to be a great lens underwater.

Like I mentioned before, the housing is built extremely well considering the cost. It has all the buttons to allow full control of the camera, which can be handy if you want to do any full manual controls underwater. I'm pretty lazy and leave it on aperture priority and let the camera do the rest. The buttons are useable, but underwater they can be a bit of a hassle to use.

The case adds a fair bit of size to the NEX and as a result, the ergonomics are a bit difficult to get used to when compared to using the NEX natively with no case. The shutter button is in a little bit of an awkward position due to the added size of the case and some of the buttons require a bit of force to push in in order to get them to respond. It's not overly difficult but can be a little annoying when you're wanting to do things relatively quickly.

My biggest surprise when using the housing was how buoyant the actual case is. It does not sink. at all.

The waterproofness of the case is pretty good, there's a tight seal around the edges of the housing with an O ring and also comes with some water resistant lubricant which should be used every time you go in the water. The case has 2 locks or hinges to unlock before the case can be opened, there is a top hinge which doesn't really do much in terms of keeping water out and actually doesn't do much at all. The main lock is located on the right and makes up the grip of the housing, it requires a pinch action to unlock two hinges which opens the housing. I'm always a little paranoid that I will accidentally bump the latches and the case will open underwater - fortunately it hasn't happened yet, touch wood.

Overall i'm extremely happy with the Meikon underwater housing. The only gripe that I do have with it, is the inability to pop the flash up or down when it is inside the case. This is only a small gripe, but sometimes I don't want the flash to fire and the only way I can turn the flash off is to open up the case and pop the flash back down. This is only a small issue, but for $120 I really shouldn't be complaining.

Until next time.