DiCAPac WP-S5 Camera Case (Black)
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- Compatible with small DSLR/SLR cameras
- 100 percent waterproof protection, guaranteed for water depths up to 5 meters
- UV polycarbonate coated optical lens allows you to take clear pictures
- Fits zoom lenses up to 9.5 centimeters in length
- Easy button control with the finger sleeve
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Has port for lenses 2.0-inch(50 millimeter) to 3.7-inch(95 millimeter) long. Waterproof underwater housing usable up to 16 feet (5 meter), JIS IPX8, UV coating polycarbonate on the lens for clear pictures. All controls are accessible , ideal for swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, skiing and many other activities protects securely against fog, water, dust, snow and sand.
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I have used it for my Nikon D3100 with the Kit lens.
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My use for it -
I was heading to Maui on vacation and planning to do a lot of snorkeling. I have a Canon 40D and some decent lenses, and am towards the enthusiast side of the scale (shoot RAW, play with the settings a lot, etc), and wanted an option to take pictures while snorkeling.
There aren't a lot of good options without going to a much higher budget range-
-Buy a Quality Waterproof Case - There are great waterproof cases out there that are rated for diving and would fit my 40D with total access to the controls, but they cost several times as much as my camera is worth (around $1500) and I couldn't justify that for the amount I would use it.
-Rent a Quality Waterproof Case - This is still expensive - BorrowLenses rents some for cameras a little more current than mine but it would have run $500+ to rent the housing and the lens port for the vacation even if I had a newer camera where housings were available.
-Buy or rent a waterproof point and shoot - cost-wise this was not the worst way to go, and depending on the camera this might also work deeper for scuba, but I've gotten spoiled with the larger SLR sensor and the responsive, non-laggy shutter. I also like to shoot RAW for the added flexibility when post-processing and most of these won't.
-Buy a higher end point and shoot with a dedicated case - Canon offers good waterproof cases for its compacts in the $200-300 range, so I could get an S or G series compact and add a case, but that's still a big outlay.
-I also read about other waterproof "bags" such as the one Adorama sells.
Based on my budget and needs I opted to go with the Dicapac.
Getting the camera into the bag-
This was a bigger challenge than I expected with the size of my camera and lens (17-55) for the WP-S5. The body and the lens were too big to go in at the same time. The body alone barely fit through the top, and I had to turn the body sideways to get it in, then straighten it once it was in. I then had to unscrew the lens port lid on the bag and attempt to maneuver the lens in and attach it to the body without having a clear view of where the dots line up on the lens and housing. With the finger sleeves in the way and wanting to get it done quickly to prevent dust from getting on the sensor, this was the trickiest part. Sealing up the bag was not hard - but as mentioned above, be careful.
Once the camera was in it fit fairly well. Dicapac provides some foam inserts which help center the camera. I use two below and one to the left and my setup was snug and close to centered. Some more padding may be needed to keep a smaller camera stable and centered. The 17-55 fit pretty well and there wasn't a lot of extra space at the end, though there was a little.
Lessons I Learned when putting the camera in the bag -
- don't forget to make sure you have a full battery and lots of space on the memory card before loading the camera
- make any settings adjustments first before you load the camera (and double check them when the camera is in - the mode dial on mine got twisted the first time I put it in the bag without me noticing it)
- if your camera/lens are too big to go in through the top and you need to detach them to get them in the bag, it takes a minute, so if possible load the camera into the bag indoors or somewhere without a lot of dust. If you see a shot you want to take before you get to the water, and you don't want the bag interfering with the image quality, just unscrew the bag's lens port cap and shoot while the camera is in the bag.
Using the camera -
Strap - I had the most success with looping the strap around my right wrist and pulling the camera through to secure it. It wasn't in the way.
Operating the camera - I had pretty low expectations for what I could control, but it wasn't bad.
I had to fish around a bit to reach the shutter release button through the finger sleeve but I just kept my finger there once I found it and it was easy to use.
Zooming was not really feasible even though there was a finger sleeve that theoretically allowed it.
It was just possible to use the viewfinder to check settings and occasionally to take pics of stationary or slow-moving objects (I used it on a few sea turtle pics to make sure they were framed right) - but it was not easy looking through my mask and the bag to get a clear view through the small viewfinder - it is definitely built for your eye to be up against it. For the most part I was pointing the camera at my target and snapping a few shots and hoping they were framed and focused right.
I was pleasantly surprised that without too much difficulty I could work some of the controls on the top and right side of my camera - such as adjusting ISO or aperture, and even changed the focus points around (I usually use center point focus on land but changed it to use all the points while underwater). The dials on the top left and on the back of the camera were not usable though.
I tend to dive down when I snorkel and probably went down at least to the 16 feet where the bag is rated a few times, and had no leaking issues during those times.
Image Quality - I was happy with the quality of the pics. The clarity of the water and the quality of the light affected the pics a lot more than the housing itself, though I am sure a touch of quality is sacrificed since the viewport is not optical quality glass. I got some amazing shots though.
I didn't have any fogging issues (until the time it wasn't sealed properly, and that time it fogged immediately when I got into the water).
As long as you are careful when sealing it, and understand the risks of taking expensive electronics under water, it's a great value and will let you take some quality underwater pictures without making a huge investment.
The WP-S3 is very small. The a7rii body fits is snugly, and the buttons are very accessible. However, it can only handle really small lenses. The 35mm worked in it, but the a7rii + 35mm combo is one of the smallest mirrorless + lens combos available. Great for portability, but very limited.
The WP-S5 is a nice compromise. The main compartment is a little too loose around the a7rii body, but the buttons can still be somewhat maneuvered. The lens port is the same diameter as the WP-S10, without the unnecessary length. The 35mm is tougher to use because of excess space, but it can be done. The 14mm is a perfect fit. It fills the lens port diameter right to the edge.
The WP-S10 was a monster and I can't imagine what huge camera body could fill that bag. The lens port was way too long. It fit my 70-210mm with the E mount adapter, but I never intend to use that lens underwater. My a7rii and lenses were bouncing all around inside that and trying to constantly pull the port tube back against the lens was terribly annoying. Trying to pack that in a bag to rivers and lakes was not worth it.