Nauticam G7X housing and Canon G7X first impressions and the practicalities of the packing.
Ok, I had high hopes for this little camera and housing combination.
And I wasn’t disappointed in it at all. I had packed all my usual kit for my trip to the Red Sea, dive kit, camera kit and a few clothes, and I still had some surplus leftover, I was just over my alloted allowance of 23kg and hand luggage, but I always take an extra bag that I’m charged for, and it was this that only just tipped me over the edge.
In hindsight a bit of clever packing and perhaps carrying the camera and housing in my photographers jacket from ScottEVest, and I could have managed with one piece of checked in luggage, and stayed within the normal baggage allowances.
I consider myself quite good at packing and not bringing anything unnecessary, but this time I had quite a few kilos spare, which is always nice.
I carry the strobes, in this case a pair of Inon S2000’s, a nice small strobe in keeping with the camera and housings small form factor, (and you can see the camera and housing in my introduction that I posted earlier here) in my main luggage, wrapped in bubblewrap and placed inside hard plastic lock and seal food containers. Which in turn is placed with the remainder of my strobe paraphernalia, chargers, batteries and strobe arms, within an old reg bag, which fits neatly inside one of the compartments in my main luggage case.
Camera, housing and both Nauticam Compact Macro Lens and my own FIX UWL 28 fisheye lens, I placed padded with some more clothes (luxury) and bubblewrap inside my second piece of hold luggage, which in the end only came to 10kg, and this was because I had the extra room so I filled it with extra stuff, that I wouldn’t actually usually take, i.e. some warmer clothes and a big coat for the journey to and from Gatwick.
I had also decided to take a different strobe arm system this journey, and decided to use a system based around LocLine, which is segmented and allows you to freely bend and move your arms and strobes only limited by the number of segments you use, and the weight of your strobes. You eventually reach a point of the strobe arms not being able to cope with the weight of the strobes, even underwater.
You also have to be careful with LocLine as it can pop apart, at any segment.
And to this end I thread it inside with bungee cord, and drill both end pieces to attach the cord directly to the strobe and housing so as if it did detach at all in the rigours of getting in and out of a rib usually, then the strobes would still be safe.
I had been supplied with the Nauticam Easitray from Alex, but needed to attach to T-Plate adapters to accept the LocLine arms.
I took a chance on the length of the LocLine arms at 24 segments each, this gave me great range and allowed me to quickly place the strobe heads exactly where I wanted them underwater. Now what you think will work and what actually works when you get underwater, are often two different things, but I am pleased to say that my guess of 24 segments was absolutely fine, very practical, and didn’t flop with the weight of the Inon S2000’s although I can’t say that this would be the case with heavier strobes.
I also found that the strobe arms when bent into a U shape at the end of the dive around the camera, made a perfect handle for carrying purposes and for handing up to the boat.
Underwater this gave great range, and was easily adapted to macro or wide angle shooting, and it was a pleasure to quickly adjust the strobe positioning, without the hassle of the more usual and rigid clamps and arms system that I normally use.
I can honestly say that if I could use this system all the time, and the only real, let down is the output of the smaller strobes (come on Nauticam can’t you apply your obvious expertise to making a similar sized strobe that is a couple of stops more powerful than the S2000’s, I’m sure its possible with modern technology?)
Ok, to finish this first part of the review I will show you some pictures from the very first dive, a check dive at Marsa Bareika canyon. I normally suggest that folk take a first time housing for a dive without camera first to put their mind at rest about the integrity of the housing. However the G7X housing from Nauticam came equipped with the excellent vacuum pre warning system that all but prevents inadvertent flooding,and that is now being offered with most Nauticam housings.
Huge piece of mind to know that the system will warn you if there is any leaks before you even get the housing wet.
Why not come on one of my photo workshops and I can help you with all these techniques to get better photographs. Here is a link to my upcoming world wide workshops.