S.U.P.E.R. Part 12: Fantasea FRX100 MKIV housing for the Sony RX100
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.
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.
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.
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.
For dealers in the UK: www.blue-orb.uk/dealers
Find out more about Nick and Caroline at www.frogfishphotography.com.
Palaemon Divers shortlisted for top Business Award
North West-based Dive Centre, Palaemon Divers, has been shortlisted for Leisure and Tourism Start Up of the Year with Start Up Awards 2023.
Palaemon Divers is delighted to be named a finalist in the Awards which celebrate Start Up Businesses and what they have brought to the economy within three years of their launch.
Palaemon Divers was started by Leanne Clowes in the midst of COVID lockdowns. Leanne walked out of her well paid corporate sales job with no savings after a redundancy in a previous role and spending the majority of the year before COVID to follow the dream! After the redundancy and COVID, life struck just a little differently and the pull to become a full-time dive instructor became impossible to ignore!
So with that… notice was handed in, no savings, nothing physical to start being a full time dive instructor other than personal kit at the time – oh and the fact, Leanne was actually an Assistant Instructor at the time and hadn’t attended the instruction exam at that point as there had been none going on through COVID obviously!
However, the first Instructor Exam that was happening out of COVID was booked onto – no pressure at all with no full time job, no money as a back up, mortgage and bills to pay…
Leanne started freelancing as an instructor in the North West using various outdoor locations for training, and the business snowballed and quickly gained its first physical dive centre in January 2022 along with finding their own private in-water training facility at Princes Dock in Liverpool. Since then, 100s of new people from Liverpool and further afield have been introduced to the amazing sport of scuba, and experienced the abundant life under the surface of the dock itself.
In a time of no travel to outside your area or abroad, Palaemon Divers found something new and exciting to introduce the city of Liverpool to those who spend five days a week in the office looking down at the dock and not really being able to appreciate what the dock actually means to Liverpool!
It became apparent during 2022, that although Liverpool was fantastic, more growth was on the cards which came in the form of a second location, Palaemon Divers – Warrington. The second dive centre is an ex micro brewery in Warrington with a central location close to the M6, M62 and M56, spread over two floors which includes a classroom, workshop, compressor and a floor dedicated to retail.
The efforts in building this business have not gone unnoticed with the shortlist for Startup Awards, and also another shortlist which will be announced in the next month.
For more, email or visit:
Gear Review: Quilted Polar Hat from Otter Watersports (Watch Video)
In a video shot exclusively for Scubaverse.com, Jeff Goodman reviews the Quilted Polar Hat from leading drysuit manufacturer Otter Watersports.
For more information, visit www.otterwatersports.uk.
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