Photo / Video News & Reviews
S.U.P.E.R. Part 15: Fantasea FG9X Housing
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 fifteenth instalment of S.U.P.E.R., Nick and Caroline take a look at the FG9X Housing from Fantasea.
The Canon G9X in the Fantasea housing is an excellent package at a truly affordable price. This latest addition to the canon range is one of the few cameras on the market with the so-called one-inch super sensor. The sensor is a 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, offering an ISO range between 125 and 12800 and your images can be recorded in both JPEG and raw formats. The zoom facility is reasonable, offering a 28 to 84 mm equivalent, which makes it a versatile set up, allowing both macro and wide-angle photography on an underwater outing. The camera also shoots 1080 video, and whilst this is no longer regarded as stunning quality, it is quite hard to see any significant difference when shooting under water.
When paired with the Fantasea housing, the system works really well. The G9X was designed primarily as a touchscreen camera, but all the exposure controls can be operated by a single knurled knob on the front of the housing. This operates a dial on the front of the camera and by continuous cycling of the function button (one of only four buttons on the back of the camera), the aperture, shutter speed and ISO setting are all very easy to change if you are using the camera in manual mode. I like to test all housings with 5mm gloves on, to check out how easy it will be to use in the winter in the UK (even though there was no need to wear gloves on this dive), and found no issues with changing settings and controls. The camera is very light and small, and this, therefore, allows the housing to be small and easy to take away on your foreign dive trips.
The lens on the Fantasea housing has a 67 mm thread which allows it to be able to take wet lenses. When I took it underwater, I had two macro lenses with me, the AOI ULC – 05 +6 close-up lens M67 and the AOI ULC – 06 +12. It is great that so many housings for compact cameras now have this option to add wet lenses whilst underwater to give the user more creative options. There is a huge array of lenses that are compatible with the 67mm screw thread on the front of the housing. I got some nice shots of the Capernwray Sturgeon with the macro lenses removed and despite being regularly bombarded by divers under training, the results from a compact camera under these conditions were very impressive.
The housing is depth rated to 60m, and is clearly marked so that if you are not familiar with the controls, you can still find your way around whilst underwater. It has connections for two fibre optic cables, a cold shoe mount for accessories, moisture detector and alarm. So it is not short of desirable features.
My overall opinion of the Canon 9 GX in the Fantasea housing was that this is a great package at a great price. The cameras are priced at around £350 and the housing runs out at just over £400. This setup is a great way for beginners in underwater photography to get into the water and capture good quality images. With easy access to all the camera’s functions and the ability to add wet lenses, strobes and lights, this really is a terrific starter pack at approx. £750.
Fantasea is distributed in the UK by www.blue-orb.uk.
For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.
Discover the mysterious world of muck diving this Thursday evening
Join Dive Worldwide on Thursday 16 March for a virtual talk (7.00pm-8.00pm) to learn more about the weird and wonderful world of muck diving, and the strange creatures to discover. The talk is led by award-winning photographer Saeed Rashid. Throughout the talk, Saeed will show his own photographs, such as those of frogfish, nudibranch, mimic octopus, and mandarin fish. For those inspired by Saeed’s talk and photos, he will be leading a pioneering diving trip to Indonesia’s Lembeh Strait later this year, perhaps the finest muck diving location in the world.
Lembeh, Indonesia, is an extraordinary destination for divers; dubbed the engine room of evolution. Here, one can find all kinds of magical marine life, including mimic octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish and many varieties of frogfish. On this small group, expert-led trip, divers will spend 10 nights at the Dive Into Lembeh resort on Kasawari Bay, perfectly located for the muck sites of Lembeh Strait, two of which form the house reef. Any keen photographers will not be short of subjects on which to practice, and there is arguably no better place to develop your macro photography skills.
Divers without cameras will also enjoy the treasure hunt of finding these creatures, which are often perfectly camouflaged, with the help of expert local guides. The northern dive sites of the Lembeh Strait are also home to some exceptional coral reef dives to provide a balance of diving styles. Led by award-winning photographer, Saeed Rashid, the group will enjoy talks each evening in which Rashid recounts his adventures and shares his photographs. Price: from £3,295pp sharing, including 10 nights’ accommodation, all meals, 9 days’ diving, tanks and weights, evening talks, transfers and return flights from the UK. Departs 4 July 2023.
For further information visit Dive Worldwide – visit www.diveworldwide.com or telephone 01962 302087.
All photos – copyright Saeed Rashid
Dive Photo Guide announces UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition
DivePhotoGuide is pleased to announce the 2023 World Oceans Day Photo Competition is open for global submissions now through April 23rd. Complementing the annual June 8th World Oceans Day celebration at the UN Headquarters in New York, this year’s milestone competition draws on the power of the arts in support of the 2023 theme “Planet Ocean: Tides Are Changing,” and the call to action “time to put the ocean first.”
The Photo Competition for UN World Oceans Day is a free and open-to-the-public competition coordinated in collaboration between the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, DivePhotoGuide (DPG), Oceanic Global, Nausicaa and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. The 10th anniversary competition presents a unique opportunity for photographers to showcase the immense breadth and depth of the ocean’s beauty as well as to shed light on the lesser known promise and potential brimming beneath its waves.
From now until April 23rd, the following six categories will be open for global submissions: “Ocean Is Life,” “The Wonderful World of Tides,” “Putting the Ocean Fist,” “No Time to Waste,” “Underwater Seascapes,” and “Big and Small Underwater Faces.” Winning submissions will be announced during the annual UN World Oceans Day Event held in New York on June 8th as well as broadcast live on UNTV.
The annual competition has been curated by underwater photographer Ellen Cuylaerts and judged by a jury of world-renowned photographers. This year is no exception, with the 2023 jury boasting celebrated names including wildlife photographer Rathika Ramasamy (India), wildlife photographer Rajan Desai (USA), and underwater fine art wildlife photographer Ipah Uid Lynn (Malaysia).
Further information on submissions and rules for the 2023 Photo Competition as well galleries of past competition winners are available here.
Header Image: Nur Tucker
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