Rx100 Vii with 60m (200ft?) housing

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Scuba-Lad

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Hey All,

I loaned a TG-6 from a friend with the 60m housing and have been shooting 4K video with it for some time. I found however, the battery runs out far too fast on video, and the 5 minute 4K record limit is very annoying since I sometimes leave it recording and swim to the front of the camera.

Based on these two issues alone, I was looking at the RX100 VII, I spotted that sea frogs do a salted line housing rated down to 60m, but when I read the fine print it mentions something about full button functionality only being possible down to 10m. Since this camera is not weather proof, this sounds like a bit of a risk. I regularly do dives down to 45m (and stay there for some time) hence a 60m rated housing is a must for me, whilst still being able to press all camera buttons.

Does anyone have experience with the Sea Frogs Salted line of housings for the RX100 VII, down at depth? Or alternatively recommend another affordable housing rated to at least 60m, whilst still allowing the full zoom capability of the camera?

I'm based outside of the USA (south east Asia to be precise) so looking for recommendations that are available world wide.
Also open to recommendations for other cameras, 4K is a must, as well as long battery life. I don't want to swap lenses, so the compact camera seems like the best option.

Although I shoot mostly video, I posted this in the photography section as I figured more users frequent this part of the forum.
 

Barmaglot

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RX100 VII is not a camera I would associate with long battery life while shooting video. Maybe look for a used GH4/GH5 rig? You can shoot it with 14-42mm + wet lenses, same way you'd shoot an RX100. Another option would be a Sony A6600 + 16-50mm kit lens or Sony A7 III with 28-60mm lens - both are served by SeaFrogs housings, work with wet lenses, aren't much more expensive than an RX100 VII, and have fairly good battery life courtesy of the larger NP-FZ100 battery. Note that A7 II series cameras and A6xxx cameras below A6600 use the smaller NP-FW50 battery, which gives them a decidedly mediocre battery life.

Regarding SeaFrogs, I've been using their A6xxx Salted Line housings for years now, and I haven't had any issues with buttons at depth, but I haven't taken them much past 30m either - maybe 35ish at most. That note about 10m limit looks really odd to me, but maybe the RX100 version is different? A few notes to keep in mind:
  • The basic flat port allows you to use the full range of the zoom lens, but cannot mount wet lenses. There is a third party 67mm flip adapter, but it will only let you mount macro lenses. I'm assuming here that the basic port is the same for A6xx and RX100 housings.
  • With the short threaded flat port, you can mount wet wide lenses but you lose access to most of the zoom range and AFAIK the camera locks up when the lens bumps into port glass while zooming - you have to turn it off and back on.
  • With the long flat port, you can use macro lenses, but the lens will vignette if you zoom out much past maximum zoom.
  • Avoid the SeaFrogs VPS-100 vacuum valve, it tends to leak underwater - get a Leak Sentinel instead, Miso has a model that fits SeaFrogs' proprietary connector.
 
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Scuba-Lad

Scuba-Lad

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Thanks for the info @Barmaglot

The GH5/s, A6600 and A7 III are all significant price hikes over a used Rx100 VII here in south east Asia. Not to mention the housings jump up in price too. Import duty is also an issue (basically doubling the price of camera housing when importing) - though the links to the leak sentinel look good, is he in stock at the moment? A note on Vivid housing say they are all out of stock due to production issues.

I'd seen reports online of the RX100 VII recording an hour or so of 4K footage with the over temperature option enabled (meaning the camera allows itself to run hotter) which is significantly better than the 20 minutes or so I've been getting from the TG-6.

Macro isn't a huge area for me, so long as I can focus within about 20 cm of the subject. Perhaps I'd need a dioptre for that with the RX100 VII
 

Barmaglot

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I believe the overtemperature limit comes into play when you're using an external power source; on the internal battery, the recording time is about 40 minutes. Basically count on replacing the battery after each dive, maybe two if you're really frugal with it.

The Vivid website is updated very rarely, and the note says the new model is coming July 1st - I would suggest writing Miso an email, he's generally pretty responsive.

If you don't need (super) macro, you can save money and hassle by going with RX100 model Va rather than VII - it's the model VI electronics with a model V 24-70mm lens. It won't give you as much macro capability as the 24-200mm lens on models VI and VII, but you won't have to worry about swapping ports.
 
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Scuba-Lad

Scuba-Lad

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Interestingly, I contacted Salted, regarding the depth rating and they got back to me already. Basically after 10m the mode dial pushes down on the camera, shifting it down a little inside the housing, meaning some of the buttons don't align properly, that's why they list it as not all functions below 10m.

Was looking into the RX100 VA, seems battery life is not as good despite having the same battery as the VII ?
 
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