In our ongoing series S.U.P.E.R. (Scubaverse’s Underwater Photography Equipment Reviews), Nick and Caroline Robertson Brown from Frogfish Photography review new underwater photography equipment, general diving equipment, and some older favourites too.
For the sixth instalment of S.U.P.E.R., Nick and Caroline take a look at INON’s X-2 housing for the Canon EOS6D.
A few weeks ago, we managed to get our hands on one of the very few demo models of the new housing by INON: The X-2 for the Canon EOS6D. Unfortunately, we only had the chance to play with it over one weekend in the Farne Islands and so for life-long Nikon users, we had to get into the swing of how to adjust the settings on the Canon very quickly. This intuitive housing made that far easier for us than we had expected. However, the first thing you notice about this beautifully put together piece of kit is how small and light this housing is. The Canon EOS6D is a full frame camera, and so we were expecting a bigger, heavier setup than this lovely compact system that arrived as we were packing up our car.
The housing is an extremely well designed and robust aluminium affair, but even with the 45 degree viewfinder that arrived with the system, it came in at only 2kg (without port). Once we had set it up with a wide angle lens, port and strobes, we found it to be a full 2kg lighter than our own full frame setup, which is impressive, if not amazing. It is only fair to say that some of this likeness is due to the Canon 6D, which in itself is remarkably light for a full frame SLR. The housing, however, is also very compact and you feel that you could use it without a tray or handles to make it even smaller and lighter. We were not too keen on the handles that had been sent up with the system, which seemed a little flimsy, but it turns out that these are not the finished article and there are much more solid and tactile versions that have been made to go with this housing.
We headed up to the Farnes to photograph seals, and agreed that we would do a day each with the INON system. As Nikon users, our only problems came with an unfamiliarity of the camera system. Neither of us had ever used a Canon SLR camera and so struggled at times with that – but not with the housing, whose controls are designed to make sense to someone who is familiar with this camera. The one control that did catch us out somewhat was the switch for live-view/video. It is quite easy to knock it across without noticing it, but obviously, a Canon user would know immediately where to go to rectify the situation. All the other buttons are easy to operate, and the chrome push-buttons are inside a chrome surround which looks superb. The autofocus system works really well too, whereby the operator needs to use forefinger and the thumb to squeeze the two levers together with the autofocus lever on the thumb and the trigger on the finger. Personally, however, I found these two controls the least robust of all, but they certainly appear to do their job. The atlantic grey seals also seemed to like this new system, getting up close and personal with Nick, and even having a taste! (Sorry INON)
The price of this new housing is, amazingly, very competitive. Depending upon the viewfinder you select, you could be paying under £2000. It certainly gets our seal of approval!
For more information about the X-2 and other INON product visit www.inonuk.com.