Our Underwater Camera Equipment – The Sony A6000 and the Sea Frogs Housing
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Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important. Capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.
We would like to make two points straight upfront:
All products were paid by ourselves but we’re so happy with our equipment and it’s in our opinion the best way to start with professional underwater photography without spending massive amounts of money! Therefore we decided to write a review about it and to offer our readers a code for the Sea Frogs shop to save money on their order.
Get 5% off with the code “divingthisworld”
The Sony A6000
The Sony A6000
The Sony A6XXX series is very popular because the mirrorless cameras are small, lightweight and compact. Furthermore in price performance ratio they are unbeatable and therefore ideal as the first underwater camera. The different A6XXX models do not vary too much, we watched lots of reviews and saw comparison pictures taken of the different models, but we couldn't recognize which picture was taken from which model. And that was finally our point where we realized that they are all good!
So we decided for the Sony A6000 with a 16-50 mm f/5.6 lens simply because we didn’t want to spend too much money on our first proper underwater camera (besides the GoPro) and we knew that it’s sufficient for our purposes.
While we were still searching for a camera, we already had a look for underwater housings. Soon we noticed that underwater housings are apparently more expensive than the camera itself!
But then we luckily found Sea Frogs and their Salted Line Waterproof Housing for all Sony A6XXX cameras for an affordable and reasonable price, which is only 297 USD!!
The housing itself is waterproof until a maximum depth of 60 meters, you have an optical viewfinder, a sun glare hood for the display and full zoom control for 10-18mm and 16-50mm lenses inside the housing (for other lenses you can buy additional zoom gear in the shop).
The Sea Frogs Salted Line Housing
Furthermore there is a port for a fiber optic cable to use a strobe and threaded holes with a metallic bottom plate to use a tray for strobes, lights, or just for a better handling. Moreover on the top of the housing you have the opportunity to attach a GoPro on the cold shoe mount.
Another really positive aspect is their changeable port system because the housing can easily be upgraded later on piece by piece when your photography skills grow. Therefore Sea Frogs offers different dome ports, macro ports or other lens ports to use many different lenses with your new housing.
And because of some replaceable parts and buttons inside the housing, you can always switch to another Sony camera from the A6XXX series and keep your housing.
Waterproof Safety Aspects
The Sea Frogs housing comes with two O-rings on the front and back part of the housing and stainless steel latches on both sides with locking pins for a better safety. Therefore it will not accidentally open underwater.
Steel latches with locking pins
Additionally there is an inbuilt leak sensor that starts beeping if there’s any water inside. Of course it will only draw your attention to it when there is already water in it, but nevertheless these can be the crucial minutes when you realize it and directly start to react.
The front and back part of the housing
An additional gadget that is not included in the housing but can be ordered separately for 107 USD is a vacuum leak check system. In the beginning we thought that it’s not really necessary but now we’re so happy to have it! With a hand pump you can pump the air out of the housing to create a vacuum. A red or green LED lighting symbolizes if the housing is tight.
The vacuum pump system
We always do this before we get ready for the dive and if it’s still green immediately before our dive, it’s safe! Furthermore it helps a lot that the lens doesn’t fog up – which can be really annoying and makes you impossible to take pictures.
One time after a dive we tried to open the housing without removing the vacuum first. There was no way to open the housing, even if the steel latches were open. So once you made the vacuum, the camera inside the housing is totally safe and that gives you a really good feeling of trust in the Sea Frogs housing.
You can be a really good photographer or really good with image editing programs, but if there’s not enough light, you’ll see that on your pictures, especially on close-ups. Therefore we totally recommend to buy a strobe for underwater photography!
The Sea & Sea YS-03
We bought the Sea & Sea YS-03 strobe at the Sea Frogs shop for 320 USD. It’s pretty compact but still powerful and works with the camera flash and a fiber optic cable, which can be connected on the top of the housing. The exposure control is slave TTL and it also has a slave function for a second strobe.
The strobe runs with 4xAA Ni-MH batteries to take 230 - 330 flashes according to the battery voltage. For less waste we recommend using rechargeable batteries like these ones.
Swipe left and right to see the difference between using a strobe and not
Further Useful Accessories for Your Camera Equipment
The most useful accessory which we haven’t mention yet is an aluminium trayfor the underwater housing that gives you a better handling. In addition to that you can buy arms for the strobe or light to position it the way you like.
Another accessory that we’ll definitely buy next time is a neoprene cover for the housing. You don’t need that of course but it protects the housing and the glass port.
The last fact that we really love at the Sea Frogs housing is that you can replace everything separately that can get lost, broke or damaged, for example a shutter release, a metal latch or the leak detection sensor. So in case anything should happen, you have the possibility to fix it with the spare parts.
As a conclusion we can only say that we’re so happy with our underwater equipment and every part of it was a really good investment! In the future we will for sure buy some other camera lenses and the suitable ports for our housing. And because we’re that happy and can totally recommend it, we have a code for our readers to save money on their Sea Frogs order:
Get 5% off with the code “divingthisworld”
If you have any further questions on our equipment, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below or write us a message. We’ll be happy to help you!