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S.U.P.E.R. Part 12: Fantasea FRX100 MKIV housing for the Sony RX100

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FRX100 MKIV

In our ongoing series S.U.P.E.R. (Scubaverse’s Underwater Photography Equipment Reviews), Scubaverse.com’s underwater photography editors Nick and Caroline Robertson Brown review new underwater photography equipment, general diving equipment, and some older favourites too. 

For the twelfth instalment of S.U.P.E.R., Nick and Caroline take a look at the Fantasea FRX100 MKIV housing for the Sony RX100.

The Sony RX100 is one of the leading compact cameras on the market, and so naturally it’s also a camera that underwater housing manufacturers have focused on. We are now on the Mark IV edition of this versatile camera which boasts a large sensor, high ISO abilities, 4K video and 16 frames per second continuous shooting.

FRX100 MKIV

I had a quick dip at Capernwray quarry with the Sony camera in the Fantasea FRX100 MKIV housing to see how the camera and housing performed together in less than ideal conditions. The first, and most important, feature of this housing is that you can access all the manual controls of the camera while it is in the housing. Most of the buttons are well thought out and easy to use, even in the cold conditions, and therefore with thick gloves like the ones I was diving in. If I had to lay one criticism on this housing however, it is that the rear dial button, in 5mm gloves, can be a little difficult to operate. I had to remove my hand from the camera to make any adjustments – but this was more than manageable to be honest, so no major drama. The camera does, however, allow you to setup which controls you would like to adjust by which dials, so you can find what works best for you and make the appropriate changes; a brilliant personalising option for underwater photographers.

FRX100 MKIV

The Fantasea housing is made from polycarbonate and is therefore less expensive than the aluminium models on the market. It is depth rated to 60m and, unlike many in this class, also comes with a leak alarm included as part of the package. It has a cold shoe mount for attaching a video light or other accessories. It also has dual fibre optic connections, and so for our testing we used the system with a single INON Z-240 strobe, but the option for a second strobe is a very useful facility. Another feature which really helps the underwater photographer out is that the housing has a switch that allows you to pop up the camera flash if you forgot during your setup routine. This will save many a photography dive! Another nice touch is that the housing has been designed so that it can house both the MKIII and MKIV models of the Sony RX100, so you don’t need to buy a new housing if you want to upgrade.

FRX100 MKIV

A resident of Capernwray

Given the excellent RRP of £649 for this housing, this is a system that will continue to be popular. The lightweight, but yet tough, housing with plenty of admirable features is an excellent choice for those wanting to keep costs down.

www.fantasea.com

For dealers in the UK: www.blue-orb.uk/dealers

Find out more about Nick and Caroline at www.frogfishphotography.com.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Searching for images to help Save Our Seas

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The Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by The Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) and organised by the Underwater Photographer of the Year opens for entries on 1st November and closes on 7th January 2023. The conservation contest is free to enter and offers cash prizes for the first, second and third placed photographs.

The Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year is open to both above-water and underwater photographs. Photographs must highlight a marine conservation story or theme, with both positive and negative stories encouraged. Freshwater themed conservation images are also accepted.

Chair of the judges, underwater photographer and marine ecologist Dr Alex Mustard MBE said: “Powerful photographs are able to change hearts, minds and attitudes. Conservation imagery is especially important from the oceans, which faces many threats from our activities. However, these issues mostly happen unwitnessed, out of sight of land or beneath the surface. This contest gives these valuable images a huge public platform.”

Dr James Lea, CEO of the Save Our Seas Foundation, said: “Images have a profound capacity to affect how people view the world, and at SOSF we are all about encouraging positive change in how people view and interact with the marine environment. As such we are delighted to partner with the Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year award, which is uniquely placed to highlight issues our oceans are facing and inspire change”.

Previous editions of the contest have attracted entries from photographers around the world, keen to draw attention to conservation issues, campaigns and success stories important to them. The award was most recently won by Thein Nguyen Ngoc from Vietnam, with his aerial photograph “Big Appetite”. The photo shows boats straining the waters for anchovies in the Phu Yen province of his country.

“Salted anchovy is the most important raw material in traditional Vietnamese fish sauce. But these little fish are also a keystone of a natural ecosystem. Despite increased fishing, the catches of anchovies have decreased by 20-30% in the past 10 years. When they are overfished, the whales, tunas, sea birds and other marine predators face starvation and critical population declines.” 

The Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year, part of UPY is an annual competition, that traces its roots back to 1965. The Marine Conservation photographer of the Year is free to enter at www.underwaterphotographeroftheyear.com

The Save Our Seas Foundation has been dedicated to protecting life in our oceans, especially sharks and rays, for 19 years. They have funded around 425 projects in over 85 countries, supporting passionate and innovative researchers, conservationists and educators.

Each project strives for deeper understanding and more innovative solutions in marine research, conservation and education.

Header Image: Thein Nguyen Ngoc

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Scubaverse UWP Winners Gallery: Sofia Tenggrono

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Each month we give the winner of the Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition the opportunity to show off a little more of their work in a gallery. The September winner was Sofia Tenggrono.


What equipment do you use?

I work with Olympus TG-6 camera, Nauticam CMC-1, 2 Inon S-2000, minigear snoot dive torch

Where can our readers see more of your work?

https://www.instagram.com/s.tenggrono/


To enter the latest Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition, with a chance to win some great prizes as well as have your own gallery published, head over to the competition page and upload up to 3 images.

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