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Shooting With Underwater Camera Housing | The Ikelite Gear Review

By Pye Jirsa on October 2nd 2015

Greetings! Today, I’m going to talk about the Ikelite 5D Mark III Underwater Housing. This is one of the products that you need in your arsenal because it automatically makes you look like a pro (okay, and a few other reasons you’ll see in the video below).

Shooting With Underwater Camera Housing | The Ikelite Gear Review

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Ikelight Review

One of my recent clients requested to do a paddleboarding shoot out on the ocean off the coast of Laguna Beach. I needed an underwater housing and picked up the Ikelight for this shoot.


Immediately out of the box, my initial impression was that this was going to be incredibly complicated to use. However, I went to their website, watched a really short video on how to use it, and found that it was really simple.

Besides its heavy weight, the Ikelite perfectly sealed my camera in and had manuals and latches that would allow me to press every button I needed in order to dial in the settings.


With the basic Ikelite kit, the price is set at about $1800. It isn’t inexpensive, but for the quality and the functions it provides, it is worth it. If you’re in the market for an underwater housing, you should check out the Ikelite.


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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Sky Neary

    Besides the it being a hard case how would you compare it to the Outex if you wanna just have waterproof casing and have that capability? Think the massive price cut is worth it, I think it would be

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    • Thomas Major

      I’ve never used Outex but from what I have seen, I would not use one if you are serious about underwater photography. They are only good to 10 meters (33ft), they only last 1-2 years and there is no means to attach an underwater strobe. They appear to be more useful for keeping your camera safe from the elements and spray than for true underwater photography. After reading information from their website I would not recommend using one but that is just my opinion.

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  2. Thomas Major

    I’ve been using Ikelite housings for ten years now. First for my D70 and now with my D7000. Yes there are cheaper and lighter ones on the market but I went with Ikelite because it was clear so I would be able to see a leak hopefully in time to save my gear. I dive regularly so I needed something of high quality. I’ve loved using their housings. Just like a new camera, you need to get familiar with it but it doesn’t take long. I will say that I did discover a small leak while on a dive with my housing for the D7000 and because I was able to see the water collecting in the bottom corner, I was able to abort the dive before any damage was done. I returned the housing to Ikelite and they repaired it and overhauled all 100 o-rings and had it back to me in a couple of weeks from when I sent it. I highly recommend them if you are serious about underwater photography.

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  3. Dave Haynie

    I got a close-out Olympus case for my Pen E-PM1 some years back. Custom cases are the right way to go, but they pretty much do have to change for each new model. Given the new case cost versus some more affordable bodies like the Pens, I migh just look around for a good deal on a case next time, then buy a body to go with. Obviously not an option if you’re looking for a case for a current flagship body.

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  4. brian williams

    Awesome review. I would have loved to see this prior to purchasing mine. Even though it is expensive, I would recommend to everyone that underwater portrait photography is a very niche and OPEN market in most communities. I decided to stay away from wedding, portraits because of the saturation and focus on underwater. =

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  5. Daniel Thullen

    Darn, another gadget I can’t afford. Thanks for the review Pye. Maybe someday . . .

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  6. Leslie Troyer

    I’ve not wanted to spend quite the sum of $$ for the occasional in water use. Canon makes very reasonable cases for the PHD (push here dummy) type camera’s that turn out fairly good jpg’s. Wanting a bit more (and RAW) – I got a NIKON J1/2 case to go with the J1 I have. That case was under $100 at B&H (cheaper than the Canon’s). I haven’t had the opportunity to try it out, but expect to in Jan/Feb when I go to Australia/Tasmania to visit #1 son who is in grad school down there.

    And I hate to break it to you but you looked like a poser with that rig. To really look serious you need two big underwater flashes on ridiculously long articulated arms hanging off each side of the housing….

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