I’ve always wanted to shoot surf photos in the water. Sure I messed around with a disposable water proof camera back in High School, but now that I’m producing surf videos professionally, and snap heaps of surf photos, getting in the water with my camera was the next logical step. I’m a decent swimmer, and have no reservations about swimming around in big, unruly surf, so why not try some water photography? Well for one thing, most heavy duty water housings cost an arm and a leg. They start at around a grand, and go up from there! For me, and my humble Nikon D-40, investing in a water housing at this point, didn’t make a lot of sense. But thanks to an ingenious, more affordable camera weather proofing product called the Outex, I finally got the chance to get in the water with my digital SLR. I’ve had the opportunity to use the Outex three times now and really dig it so far.
The Outex water housing is a fairly simple, yet effective system that is comprised of a tough, rubberized bag and a smart sealing system to protect your camera from the elements (water, snow, mud, etc.) Because it is a pliable rubber material, it is super light, unlike the bomber, heavy duty water housings that you might be used to seeing in surfing. In fact, the first time I used my Outex, I was pretty sketched on submerging my Nikon! Kicking out through the shore break at C-Street in Ventura with my hermetically sealed Nikon I thought, “Well, I’ve gotten a lot of great shots with this camera in three years, if this is the end of it, so be it.” But not too worry! Outex aptly handled everything the ocean threw at me that day, and my first photo mission in the water was a success.
Tactile feel. With the somewhat thin rubber housing, you retain “tactile feel” of your camera. That is to say, you can still feel the knobs and levers of your camera as you normally would
Lightness. Again, because of the material of the housing, added weight is not an issue. Your camera weighs more or less the same with an Outex
Price point. Starting at $249 Outex is an great way to protect your camera from the elements and get you out into places you normally wouldn’t go (i.e. the ocean, rivers, lakes, etc.)
Quality. So far, Outex seems like it is a really well made, quality product. The rubber housing itself seems durable as do the straps that come with it. I am hopeful that I will get many sessions out of the Outex and that it won’t tear or puncture too easily
Because Outex is made of rubber, and is not transparent, you can’t easily see your settings. My first session with Outex, I could only hope I hadn’t knocked my setting to something other than “Automatic” while putting it on. Turns out, it had stayed on Auto and I got the shots I’d hoped for. In subsequent uses, I have applied a small piece of tape over my rotating settings lever to ensure it won’t rotate or slip out of Auto mode. I’ve found this to be a quick and easy solution to this issue.
For heavy duty surf photography, I don’t think the Outex is the call. I would be a reticent to swim out with my camera in heavy surf where I had to dive deep or where there might be a chance of getting hit by a surfboard. Outex is IP08 tested for 10 meters (about 30 ft), so, it can handle diving under waves which is good
Overall, I am jazzed on Outex. It has allowed me to get in the water with my digital SLR and that is the coolest thing about it. I can now get pretty solid water shots that I was never able to get: surfing, paddle boarding, even swimming. All of these water perspective shots are now possible, thanks to Outex. I look forward to capturing many magical moments with my Nikon and Outex.
The basic setup starts at $249 and includes the rubber housing, lenses (optics & viewfinder) plus strap holder. Outex works with virtually all the major SLR and DSLR major brands out there. To learn more or to purchase, check out, www.outex.com. There you can use their handy tool in the Shop section, to get the right Outex for your camera and lens.