When I first looked at placing my camera into the water I noticed that there was a lot of different options. The most practical and safe method was the big and very expensive dive housings that are used for scuba diving. The cheapest, most dangerous option was the little plastic zip lock bag-type housings that can be found on eBay for $100. I wanted something that would not break the bank, but would also be safe enough that I could put in an expensive DSLR plus a lens, and trust it would be safe. These stipulations are what brought me to the Outex underwater housing.
The Outex underwater housing is a middle of the line underwater housing. It’s definitely better than the zip lock bag styled housings, but it won’t keep up with the expensive housings used for scuba diving. In fact, this cannot be used for scuba diving at all. The Outex housing is IP08 tested, which means it can be submerged to depths of 10 meters. That makes this housing perfect for pretty much any water sport, other than scuba diving. It is also used for other events such as color runs, mud runs, and other types of activities where your camera may get dirty or wet. For this review, I will be talking strictly about using this housing in the water.
These days, it’s not an adventure unless you capture it on camera. And while photos and videos from your iPhone are good ways to start, if you’re looking to elevate your game, you’re going to need to upgrade your gear.
To get the big shots in extreme environments with your DSLR, look no further than the Outex waterproof housing system ($499). The Outex camera cover is made from a supple waterproof material that lets you access the camera’s buttons, switches, zoom and focus rings. Large viewfinders let you look into the eyecup and see the LCD screen. Outex covers work with tripods, external wiring, fisheye lenses, and mounted flashes.
Underwater photographer Sarah Lee (http://www.vivantvie.com/) loves the unpredictability of nature and creates art that captures the interplay of people, water, and light. Unlike other forms of photography, where pixels are painstakingly crafted, Sarah embraces what she can’t control and uses her photography to find beauty in the chaos.
Cabo Review by Andy Giraud of andygphoto.com/ describing his Outex use on a recent trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Lucia Griggi’s father is from Venice, Italy, and her mother is from London England, which perhaps explains her Marco Polo inspiration to trek around the globe capturing beautiful images along the way. She started her career as a surf photographer, but has transcended her search to paths both near and far from the beach, pursuing her passion of travel and understanding. In under a decade, Griggi has become a leader, and her work respected and followed by many in the industry.
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Tom Gliserman used Outex on his GH3 for most of the water scenery for this video, which he says “Came in very handy! Thanks for the cost-effective way to make those shots possible.”
Up until now, most of the photos we took on the water in dynamic conditions were shot with small waterproof cameras like the Nikon coolpix aw110. It’s a very good camera, but it simply doesn’t provide the features and photo quality of the the DSLRs we use on land (and, occasionally, on the water in calmer conditions). Early this summer we learned about a new product that allows us to use our DSLR on the water without worrying about it or the lenses getting damp. The Outex system is comprised of a soft latex camera cover, optical glass lens, and a viewfinder or LCD screen lens. The camera cover is sized to fit specific cameras and a range of lenses. You then choose an Outex optical lens that fits the diameter of your lens and screws into the filter threads. The latex cover fits over this and is sandwiched by a washer and threaded ring that fit over the optical lens.
SLR cameras in any environment, even underwater for stills & video, maintaining functional controls, flash, tripod, tethering, etc.
Outex: We’ve Got You Covered
WHAT: SLR cameras anywhere. Outex hermetically seals SLR cameras from the elements, even underwater (tested to 10 meters/33 feet), maintaining photo integrity (quality optics) and complete control over camera functionality. It’s malleable, small in size, lightweight, and modular in its design – grows with your needs. This specific Kickstarter project is for the “Big O”, the big Outex LCD viewfinder window, which is new. The Outex system is already available at www.Outex.com.
If you like to roll around in the mud, you might like the Outex Waterproof Camera Cover.
It features a patented seal design that keeps your camera watertight (up to about 33 feet) and weather sealed from snow, mud, and dust. The accessory is crafted from a special latex compound that makes it flexible and rugged. It also comes with a large circular window at the rear that allows users to preview images and gives a full view of your camera controls.
Besides covers, the company sells a range of optical lenses, viewfinders, and accessories that can be used as a kit with Outex covers.
The Outex could be a good balance between functionality and price considering what’s available now. Although waterproof bags are cheaper, they can sometimes be clumsy and of inferior quality. And while dedicated underwater housing lets you dive deeper, it is less mobile and much more expensive.
To start, all you need is to do is build your own kit to suit your gear. Kit prices start at $190.
In military situations the environment is often unpredictable. As a Soldier, I want reliable results from the equipment I know and trust. In Afghanistan, conditions were harsh on all of my camera equipment, but ruggedness is just as important as size and weight. I needed to travel light and be quick on my feet. I used OUTEX to protect my Nikon D-40, keeping out sand and dust without incident.
Anton Lorimer, of San Francisco’s Lorimerworks, during a shoot in Hawaii. Anton Lorimer is an award winning cinematographer and speaker residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lorimerwork’s unique style takes advantage of film’s dynamic nature by incorporating movement in all aspects of our production.There is always a sense of movement and pace in his projects to enhance the story. Anton has worked with other renowned photography heavyweights like Jasmine Star, Smug Mug, Stephanie Reeder, Sarah Lee, and many others. Here’s Anton during a recent visit to Hawaii, as photographed by Sarah Lee herself.
You can see more of Anton Lorimer’s work at http://www.lorimerworks.com.
Sarah Lee is incessantly glued to camera viewfinders, dafins, and the sea. Her aim in making photos is to capture and accentuate the beauty in the surroundings. She believes photography is a mode of visual problem solving and a way to perpetuate the stoke, whether it be above the surface or below. Sarah travels the world pefecting her craft, and is currently based in Hawaii. Here she is getting wet with OUTEX at a local break.
Sarah’s work has earned her a large following, and she’s a leading lady in outdoor, adventure, and surf photography. Sarah has received her share of awards and been featured in multiple publications.
“Outex is 90%+ responsible for my best shots involving water.”
Ale Socci, of Green Pixel Adventure Photography
I’ve been passionate about outdoor photography for as long as I can remember. My partner and I run Green Pixel, a photo agency that specializes in adventure sport photography. We have 10 photographers covering events around the world; kayaking, paddle-boarding, rappelling, 4-wheeling, paint-ball, and many more. These activities keep our staff busy – and dirty.
This past August Chris Burkard, Cyrus Sutton, Dane Gudauskas, Trevor Grodon, and Keith Malloy set out to explore Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. For two weeks they camped out, looking for waves, and fly fished. After the second World War, the Russian Government limited all travel, including Russian citizens, to this remote area, making the Peninsula one of the most remote and undeveloped places in the world. Since opening up in 1990, limited development has affected the area, but swell forecasting cannot dictate a trip to Kamchatka – like most surf trips these days – because of the difficult travel plans required to visit. The Peninsula boasts the most active volcano chain, one-third of the Pacific salmon and the largest population of brown bears in the world.
I don’t mind getting wet for a good picture, but I hate getting salt water on my expensive camera gear.
Pro series Nikon digital cameras and lenses do have amazing weather resistant seals but I doubt they were designed to sit in what amounts to a horizontal salt water waterfall which is what you can get on board a fast moving yacht.
I have been trying out a camera waterproofing product called Outex.
The Outex system is based around a latex camera condom with glass ports for the lens and viewfinder.
Once enclosed the camera can be pretty much used as normal, under water to a depth of 10 Metres.
You have to remember where your buttons are and you can’t review the images on the LCD screen of couse but it does allow you to hold and operate the camera as you are used to.
Underwater and water-sport photography needn’t be so daunting. Outex makes a range of fully waterproof molded latex covers for DSLRs ($250-400, depending on the model) with glass lens ports to maintain the best possible image quality while photographing in sopping wet environments.
I used an Outex setup for a canyoning adventure where I followed a creek down a narrow canyon. To give you an idea of how wet this trip was, I was wearing a lifejacket, a helmet, and a full-length, hooded 5mm wetsuit. The day included sliding down slick rocks rappelling down waterfalls and, where the pools were deep enough, jumping off 35-foot high waterfalls. I was taking pictures the whole time and holding my camera to my chest as I made the big jumps.
Cameron L. Martindell is a freelance adventure and expedition writer and photographer who is always “Off Yonder: Seeing the world for what it is.” In addition to writing his own popular blog (offyonder.com), he is a Senior Editor for Elevation Outdoors Magazine (elevationoutdoors.com) and he has written, photographed and/or worked for National Geographic, Australian Geographic,Mountainzone.com, Great Outdoors, UK Travel Mag, Trekker Magazine(Germany) and others. He has been to all seven continents and lived on five of them, including a four-month stint at the South Pole. Cameron has more than 15 years of mountain search and rescue experience, is an Eagle Scout, has been an Australian bush firefighter, competes in sailing regattas, plans national and international youth programs, guides Oregon rafting trips and Australian bush backpacking trips, the list goes on . . . really.
In 2010 Norm Hann paddled the 400km proposed tanker route. In 2012, Norm will paddle 350kms along the East Coast of Haida Gwaii from Old Masset in the north and finishing at SGang Gwaay, a UNESCO World Heritage site at the southern tip. With support from First Nations communities the crew will spend 3 weeks paddling and sailing this pristine part of the world to document what is at stake. They took OUTEX with them. Here are some of the early shots.
Leading figure in action sport photography, Tim McKenna has become recognised as one of the best outdoor photographers in the world, inspiring his generation by revealing the sheer beauty of the elements through images capturing the most spectacular sporting performances in extraordinary settings.
His work, has appeared in countless publications and advertising campaigns, product of twenty years of travel across the globe, often pioneering new destinations.
Ale Socci – Has helped establish Green Pixel as one of the leading photography teams in the world, coving all adventure sports and activities.
Check out some of his work at Green Pixel; http://www.greenpixel.com.br/
“There are some places with mysterious associations and almost mythical character; Norway is one of those places to me. Endless sunlight, cliff-lined fjords, lightning blue rivers flowing from glaciers into the sea, it’s easy to see why. Since I started kayaking I have seen and heard about this Scandinavian kayaking oasis and its unbelievable rivers, but I never thought I would get to paddle here.” —Kayaker Chris Korbulic, Born Out There
Aged 16 all Jon Nash knew was that he wanted to become a professional photographer. Armed with nothing more than a camera he started out his photographic journey learning the basic tools of the trade assisting studio photographers.
A year later and full of bravado Jon Nash headed off to South Africa to record and capture the horrors of a nation repressed by apartheid. Caught up in a troubled country Jon Nash was thrown into the deep end early in his career and here learnt the importance of shooting quickly and under pressure to deliver raw emotion.
Following the rigors of his African experience Jon elected to spend a year living a more sedate life and worked onboard a cruise ship as the ship’s photographer in the Caribbean. It was here that he was introduced to the world of ocean yacht racing when he was presented with the opportunity to crew a boat back to England. Without hesitation he jumped ship from the cruise liner into a career that enabled him to travel the world on a quest to deliver a range of perfect sailing and adventure shots.
Hardware Startup Outex Takes To Kickstarter To Fund Its Go-Anywhere SLR Camera Housing
I like to use my SLR, but there are many times when I leave it behind because I’m not sure whether it’ll be able to handle the conditions I plan to be using it in. LA-based hardware startup Outex is trying to make sure that photographers can use their cameras anywhere, without having to fork over north of $1,000 for environmental protection gear, and it’s taking to Kickstater to fund the latest piece in its product puzzle.
The Outex is a flexible casing for DSLR and other interchangeable lens cameras (it works with mirrorless systems, too) created by founder JR deSouza and his cousin Roberto Miglioli based on their shared love of photography, a hand-me-down from their grandfather, and a lack of good affordable options on the market for protecting cameras during use in harsh conditions. DeSouza told me in an interview that he and his cousin needed something that would work for surfing, kayaking, shooting around the pool, military applications and more, but that didn’t mean sacrificing portability or spending a mint to buy.
Mud, dirt, sand and water don’t stand a chance against this tough SLR protection system. Compatible with dozens of cameras, the Outex uses professional grade optics, a cover that maintains tactile feel and an excellent viewfinder to completely envelop your camera with a submersible, watertight seal. It eliminates the need for bulky hard cases or flimsy bags so your cameras’ ready when the moment strikes. A variety of accessories let you build a setup that gets you close to the action while protecting your investment.
Chris Burkard; from Pismo Beach, California. I have served as a freelance photographer for various publications and a staff photographer for Surfer magazine and Surfline.com. Recent Projects: Trips with Surfer Magazine to India & Mexico. Trips with Patagonia to Nicaragua, Japan, and to Tahiti for Keith Malloy’s Bodysurf film Come Hell or High Water. Awards include; LOOK Between Festival, Follow the Light Foundation, California Surf Project, Red Bull illume Project.