Underwater housing for RX100

Started Aug 1, 2012 | Discussions
lesnag2
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Re: On the verge of buying one - update
In reply to lesnag2, Feb 8, 2013

In the mean time I contacted the seller on eBay (see my previous post).
He confirmed that the seller on Alibaba (Shenzhen Kaichengyi Mould Product Co., Ltd. a.k.a. hkmeikon) is the actual manufacturer of Meikon housings.

The price for the housing by both sellers is close - 149 vs. 145 USD. The significant difference is in the DHL shipping price, eBay seller being heavily more expensive. As alternative the eBay seller offers Hong Kong Speedpost which is 25 USD higher, but it complicates things when it arrives to my country.

I have decided to wait until Chinese New Year holidays are over to get shipping price and conditions confirmed by the Alibaba seller.
Frankly, I'm inclined toward the eBay seller simply because of the security but possible customs complications drive me off. If the Alibaba seller does not accept Escrow payment, eBay will win.
I'll keep posting updates.

P.S. Once I get my hands on the housing I will write a small review. I am going to a trip with some diving next month, hopefully with RX100 and will post the impressions.

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xabain2003
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Re: On the verge of buying one - update
In reply to lesnag2, Feb 11, 2013

lesnag2 wrote:

In the mean time I contacted the seller on eBay (see my previous post).
He confirmed that the seller on Alibaba (Shenzhen Kaichengyi Mould Product Co., Ltd. a.k.a. hkmeikon) is the actual manufacturer of Meikon housings.

The price for the housing by both sellers is close - 149 vs. 145 USD. The significant difference is in the DHL shipping price, eBay seller being heavily more expensive. As alternative the eBay seller offers Hong Kong Speedpost which is 25 USD higher, but it complicates things when it arrives to my country.

I have decided to wait until Chinese New Year holidays are over to get shipping price and conditions confirmed by the Alibaba seller.
Frankly, I'm inclined toward the eBay seller simply because of the security but possible customs complications drive me off. If the Alibaba seller does not accept Escrow payment, eBay will win.
I'll keep posting updates.

P.S. Once I get my hands on the housing I will write a small review. I am going to a trip with some diving next month, hopefully with RX100 and will post the impressions.

Hi

I have bought the Ebay one just this morning.

I think Meikon Housing are usually good. Equivalent to original housing.

The price for the Nauticam is to high for my use, around 30 dives per year and in 3 or 4 years probably you will changes your camara for another one.

I have put my actual one ( a panasonic original housing)  under 50 meters without any leak.

I know a few people who have the Meikon one for the Canon S100 and are quite happy with it.

I will let you know How it goes.

Regards

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lesnag2
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Re: On the verge of buying one - update
In reply to xabain2003, Feb 14, 2013

Thanks for the info, xabian2003! Nice to get another confirmation on Meikon quality.

You are absolutely right, for small number of dives per year any expensive equipment is an overkill.

When do you expect the housing to arrive?

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lesnag2
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On the verge of buying one - update 2
In reply to lesnag2, Feb 19, 2013

In the mean time Chinese New Year holidays are over and I'm in contact with the seller/manufacturer on Alibaba again.
I have their Hotmail email contact confirmed too.
I've got a very good DHL shipment offer from the seller (24 USD). They apparently have a contract with DHL. Excellent!
The seller practically confirmed I can use Alibaba's Escrow service for payment, only the payment method has to be confirmed by her boss.
From the information on Alibaba website, Alibaba's Escrow Buyer Protection service appears to be equal to eBay/PayPal.
All that taken in account, the eBay seller has no advantage any more - security is the same, has expensive DHL, alternative shipping (Hong Kong Speedpost, 55 USD) costs more and (indirectly) has a potential to complicate things at my country's customs.
I expect to place the order trough Alibaba Escrow tomorrow.
I'll keep posting as the process develops.

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Mark K
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Re: On the verge of buying one - update 2
In reply to lesnag2, Feb 24, 2013

We bought 5 Nex 5/Nex5n housings from Meikon this January. Apart from my flooding, all were very robust under water. The thing is ....buttons were not working properly.

I could not contact Meike by the hotline provided on their home page

However Fun In from Taiwan answered my worries....

Newer NB housing for RX100 showed much improvement

So please keep me informed if this is true.

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TOR8472
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Re: On the verge of buying one - update 2
In reply to lesnag2, Feb 25, 2013

looking forward to your updates and impressions once you get it. I'm about to pull the trigger on the RX100 and an underwater housing for my summer trips and this looks like an interesting option for me.

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lesnag2
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Re: On the verge of buying one - update 2
In reply to Mark K, Feb 25, 2013

Thanks for the info!

There is a difference between MeiKe and Meikon brand - Meikon is a brand of the actual producer of these housings, the Shenzhen Kaichengyi Mould Product Co., Ltd., the plant itself.
The eBay seller confirmed it.

I do not have any concrete info about MeiKe. They did not reply to my email inquiry either.

I will post updates here as I get new info. Going to post one right after this.

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lesnag2
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On the verge of buying one - update 3
In reply to lesnag2, Feb 25, 2013

As it turned out I did not place the order the day after my last post. The seller's boss was out of the office and the real clearance for Escrow was given today. It was the first time they were using Alibaba's Escrow and there should be no delays for future customers, I guess.

So, I placed the order trough Alibaba Escrow today and payed with a credit card as soon as the seller confirmed it. The Escrow fee on the 145 USD housing + 24 USD shipping was 5.23 USD. No problems there.
The seller promised to ship it tomorrow, what is really fast.
All this time she was really patient with all my questions and has put a lot of effort in making this purchase go trough Escrow service.

I realize that all this purchase stuff doesn't have much to do with photography but I feel that it can be quite useful for a low-budget underwater photographer.
And, I'm in no way associated with the sellers nor the manufacturer of these housings, of course.

I'll keep posting the progress info.

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lesnag2
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Ordered one
In reply to lesnag2, Mar 1, 2013

So, the parcel with the Meikon-42, the underwater housing for Sony DSC-RX100, is on its way.

There has been a delay that can be attributed to the aftereffects of Chinese New Year celebration (seems that there are still quite a few people on the leave). The package is in the hands of DHL as of Wednesday but showed up in the system only yesterday.
That means that, after it passes the customs, I could get it in my hands by the end of the next week.

Apart from that there is one other thing that might be interesting to all online buyers of underwater housings.

There is a problem with air-shipping the silicone grease (the one for the O-ring).
Namely, although silicone grease is not on the dangerous goods list (IATA, DHL, etc.), it is often confused by shipping clerks with silicone oil, which is. The result is that you get a lot of problems if you try to air-ship silicone grease.
The best way to avoid that is to attach a certificate from the grease producer which states it is not on the dangerous goods list.

Now, not every tube of silicone grease comes with that certificate (of course). Such is the case with the grease that comes with most underwater housings and the result is I had to give up on it for the sake of not causing a problem every time a clerk looks at the parcel specs.
It is not a problem specific to a seller. All sellers I contacted have shown concern about shipping silicone grease.

Giving up on the grease is not a big deal, however. I still have some grease left from my old housing. Besides, the grease can be purchased for a small price in every diving shop anyway. It is just not worth the hassle with the shipping company.

That is it for this time.
I'll keep posting the updates.

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Lsimon
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Saw the Meikon on eBay but decided just to get a Dicapac for my more limited uses
In reply to lesnag2, Mar 2, 2013

I saw the Meikon case for RX-100 advertised on the USA eBay site for the first time today - at least that I've seen.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/130ft-40m-Underwater-waterproof-case-Housing-for-SONY-DSC-RX100-RX100-camera-/251237538761?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123

I decided to take a different route since my uses are just for beach/boating protection and a bit of snorkeling. I'm just going to use my Canon 300HS again for snorkeling as I already own the Canon dive case for it. I'd rather use the RX-100 but doing snorkeling but I'm not going to spend the money for a case for it this year. My underwater photo opportunities are pretty limited and not real close up in any event. Plus the Canon case will be a little smaller and I only go snorkeling 2 or 3 times a year during a single March vacation each year.

I also bought a Dicapac for the RX-100. I plan on using this while carrying the camera at the beach, including swimming at the beach, and when doing a day sail where we're sitting in an area of a catamaran subject to being splashed frequently. While the Dicapac claims to be waterproof to the depths I dive down while snorkeling I just don't trust it with my $600 camera - so I'll stick with the lesser Canon P&S in the dive case for that.

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lesnag2
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Got one!
In reply to lesnag2, Mar 6, 2013

The housing arrived yesterday.

DHL service was fast and smooth as expected. No problems with customs, they accepted the screen-print from the Alibaba Escrow as proof of payment, just as DHL promised.

The packaging was a bit spartan, with only a protective cloth-bag to protect the housing within the (double) cardboard box but it arrived in perfect condition.

The housing is just as the photos show it. What is not so obvious on the photos and is a pleasant surprise is that all small parts (buttons, levers, springs) have very good finishing, look high quality and fit the camera almost perfectly.

Compared to my old Olympus PT-022 housing for C-770, it is less massive with thinner walls and less extra space around the camera making it less bulky. I do not know how the recent Olympus housings look in that respect but at the time I purchased it I saw that Cannon housings had thinner walls too so I guess this is not an issue.
All the buttons perform smoothly and the shutter button can be pressed half way down with precision.

I did not have much time to test it though. Did only the basic bathtub test (no leaks, of course, ha, ha, ha :-D).

I am not sure if I will have enough time to test it more thoroughly this weekend unfortunately. I hoped to write a "preview" before my trip next weekend but I will definitely not have enough time for that.
I will, however, write a "full" review when I return.

At this point I can say that the Meikon-42 housing appears to be a very good choice for a very affordable price.

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cdp8
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Re: Saw the Meikon on eBay but decided just to get a Dicapac for my more limited uses
In reply to Lsimon, Mar 6, 2013

I was wary of the dicapac, too. I used an old Canon S70 in a dicapac (rather than my RX100) while snorkeling for the first time last fall on Maui. Having got the hang of using it, I would not hesitate to use my RX100 in one.

That said, I would prefer the meikon or ikelite because it is easier to control the camera. While snorkeling last fall, I set the camera, put it in the bag, shot, and went back to shore to review the images. Then I made changes to the settings and repeated the process. It was difficult to do anything to the camera, other than press the shutter, while it was in the bag.

If I were to shoot underwater more than once every few years, I would certainly ditch the dicpac in favor of a dedicated housing.

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josefwells
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Re: Saw the Meikon on eBay but decided just to get a Dicapac for my more limited uses
In reply to Lsimon, Mar 8, 2013

Lsimon wrote:

I also bought a Dicapac for the RX-100. I plan on using this while carrying the camera at the beach, including

So which Dicapac did you get?  I have tried several similar underwater bags but none have fit very well..

An amazon review stats the RX100 doesn't fit well in the recommended WP-570:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R22NXI2IXG5HKO/

In a comment there I point to the bag I got that it fits in poorly.. but works.

I'm considering one of these Meikon cases, but only because I haven't found a bag that fits well.

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L Copps
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Re: Bought a MeiKe RX100
In reply to lesnag2, Mar 20, 2013

I was looking for a reasonabilly priced waterproof housing for my DSC-RX100.  I was not looking to spend $1000 dollars on a housing to bring my camera with me kayaking.  I will likely not take it underwater that much, and if I do it will be snorkeling in the Caribbean from time to time.  The alternative would be to buy a waterproof digital camera and leave my RX100 safely on shore.  I did not want to do this as I wanted the opportunity to take some outstanding pictures while kayaking on the Atlantic ocean or where ever.  I also did not want a huge housing like the Ikelight.

Bought a MeiKe RX100 from DiverVision.com for $189.00.  They shipped it from Taiwan to my doorstep on the US east coast by USPS in 4 business days.  With shipping, it cost me $214.00.  Not bad.  DiverVision was very good to work with.

When I opened the box, the build quality looked impressive.  Especially for that price.  The housing was the size of a DSLR, not bad and came with a wrist strap and neck strap, a spare gasket, and a tube of gasket seal grease.  When I put my RX100 into it, I noticed the back up direction button was not working.  When I opened the case, I noticed a rubber contact stub missing from the metal shaft for the button.  I took the camera out and looked carefully and found it rolling around in the case.  I pushed it back on to where it belonged and I was ready to go.

There are a lot of buttons cramed together on the MeiKe.  One for each button function with the center select button raised a little higher than the rest.   I found the buttons more intuitive after working with them for a while, but they may be a little too close together if you are wearing gloves.  There is no way to rotate the back dial with this housing which does not bother me.  There is a twist control on the front at the bottom that works well for the front ring.

What I found annoying, is the shooting mode control that you twist to change shooting modes slips terribly. It is rather hard to turn with your thumb sometimes when not in the case, but a real bother in the case.  If you turn it faster, I will slip, but eventually advance the control several clicks.  But it was unsatisfactory.  To fix it, I cut down some very small nylon washers and placed them under the camera bumpers in the front of the case which moved the camera back slightly.  The shooting mode control worked pretty well after that with only a slight slippage.  The case is rather small, so the screen was easily visible.  I wish they made an attachable display visor for the back.  But seems like waterproof housing designers always have diving in mind.  Noticed no vignetting at all with the lens wide.

I plan to take it out on the ocean off South Carolina this weekend.  The housing will protect the camera from splashing mostly.  Will not go under water unless I capsize or practice eskimo rolling which is a possibility.  Anyway I should have my bases covered as far as water protection.

So far, I am very pleased with the housing, despite the little bit of work I had to do with it.  Its a great housing for the price.  It enables me to take my RX100 anywhere.  I also have the Sony Jacket case which I am very pleased with.  Worked out great for skiing with the RX100 under my coat.  Even had it with me skiing the 2010 Olympic men's downhill.  Fell a few times that week, but the camera is fine.  With the two cases, the RX100 should be a fairly good sports camera as well as just a pocket camera.

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Lsimon
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Re: Saw the Meikon on eBay but decided just to get a Dicapac for my more limited uses
In reply to josefwells, Mar 24, 2013

josefwells wrote:

Lsimon wrote:

I also bought a Dicapac for the RX-100. I plan on using this while carrying the camera at the beach, including

So which Dicapac did you get? I have tried several similar underwater bags but none have fit very well..

An amazon review stats the RX100 doesn't fit well in the recommended WP-570:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R22NXI2IXG5HKO/

In a comment there I point to the bag I got that it fits in poorly.. but works.

I'm considering one of these Meikon cases, but only because I haven't found a bag that fits well.

I got the WP-570 and the camera fits fine.  Of course this is in the context that the Dicapac is just a thick plastic bag with a sleeve the lens can extend into with a filter like optical material at the end and a nice quality closure mechanism.  The control ring at the base of the lens does not fit into the lens sleeve and if things are not aligned right when you turn the camera on the lens won't extend properly and the camera will turn off - this happened about 5% of the time but just required me to shift things around and turn the camera on again.  The Dicapac is not a true underwater case by any means and as cdp8 said above you can't control much on the camera while it is in the Dicapac - although I was able to turn the mode selector a little and use the push buttons on the rear with a little difficult figiting.  I was able to switch the camera to panorama mode and back to automatic with only minor difficulty - but as a side note the panoramas of the water did not come out very nice as the camera couldn't "stich" the photos of the moving/shimmering water surface together so the water surface portion of the photo shows a multitude of vertical prism like lines.

But the Dicapac worked fine for the purpose I bought it for which was to be able to carry the camera with us at the beach while swimming and/or in areas where the camera would be subject to ocean spray or other wet conditions.  I didn't use if for snorkeling as I often will dive down 10 to 25 feet while snorkeling and didn't have enough confidence in a $45 plastic bag to protect my $600 camera at those depths.  Although there were a couple times I wished I had used my Sony in the Dicapac instead of my Canon P&S in the dive case I have for it as the Canon 300HS has terrible shutter lag making it difficult to catch the moving sea life I was trying to photograph.

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Robert Anderson
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Re: Saw the Meikon on eBay but decided just to get a Dicapac for my more limited uses
In reply to Lsimon, Mar 24, 2013

I just got the Dicapac WP-570. The RX100 fits OK but there is a major design flaw in this bag. The end of the bag where you insert the camera is on the right hand side. When you close the bag and roll up this end, it makes a big bulky thing which blocks your fingers from reaching the shutter and zoom controls. I have tried inverting the camera to place the controls at the opposite end of the bag but there is a seam along the bottom of the bag (now the top) which makes it hard to actuate the controls. I even tried inserting the camera sideways but it will not fit through the opening in this orientation and cannot be rotated once it is inside the bag.

As an engineer, I am amazed that this was not obvious to the designers as it should be the same for all cameras having the shutter button and zoom on the right hand side.

I bought this to use in my kayak on whitewater trips. I will reserve final judgment until I have tried it on the water but for now, it looks like a waste of money.

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lesnag2
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Re: Bought a MeiKe RX100
In reply to L Copps, Apr 3, 2013

Thank you for a detailed report!

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lesnag2
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Tried it out
In reply to lesnag2, Apr 3, 2013

I'm back from the trip but have not much time so will make it short until I get time for the review I promised.

Basically, the housing performs very well under water. I tested it down to 30.9m and all controls work as well as on the surface.

I can confirm that there is no vignetting at wide angle.

I made a makeshift weight to make it neutral under water. I almost got it right, it is still a bit buoyant but it is much better than diving with a buoy :-D.

The only handling problem I had was with the front wheel control which slipped some 30% in one direction only. It is a similar problem to the one L Copps reported in this thread with the shooting mode control (with which I had no problems at all).
It has to do with positioning the camera withing the housing and can be fixed. I'll address this in my review in more detail.

Just to note that problems with camera positioning withing the housing is not something specific to Meikon - the housing I often refer to, Olympus PT-022 had different small problems with two different C-770 cameras I used with it.

Flash performance is the only serious problem - the flash cannot extend completely when popped out and in combination with a rather big front port bezel creates a shadow across half of the frame at close distances (macros!). Flash diffuser could help (and it does a bit) but it goes only half way to the front port (as opposed to some other Meikon housings).
It would be great to see Meikon do something about it. I might actually improvise something in that direction.

Looking at the competition, Ikelite housing has more room for the flash but also has a big bezel around the front port. Aluminum housings do not even count on the built in flash for anything more than triggering external strobes.
In other words, flash shadow is not specific to the Meikon housing.

To make a conclusion, in spite of few small problems Meikon is definitely worth its price.

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L Copps
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Re: Bought a MeiKe RX100
In reply to L Copps, Apr 4, 2013

The other week, I took my RX100 in my MeiKe housing to the pool with my Epic 18X kayak to test it out.  I wanted to see if housing with the neck strap would stay around my neck with the neck if I capsized.  One fear I had was the camera would come off and sink to the bottom and I would never see it again.  I did a number of eskimo rolls with the camera on my neck with the neck strap.  After more than 10 rolls during the evening, it never came off.  I then dropped it in the water and happily I discovered it floats quite well.  A normal waterproof camera would sink like a rock.  I did break the strap as the small ribbon that attaches to the case came off when I pulled on the strap.  I can easily stitch it back on with some durable nylon thread.  I would suggest stitching it to bolster the strength before you use it.  You can see the camera LCD clearly and manipulate the settings with the controls.  I found myself even reviewing photos I took while sitting in my kayak.  After all the rolling and splashing, not a drop make it into the case.  I like the MeiKe's smaller size.  Its about the size of a DLSR and feels just like holding a DLSR with a very good grip built right into the case.  I notice some water droplets on the lens, so I plan to get a flip lens cover  to screw into the 67mm threads.  Took some pictures for a series of blog articles I am writing for the club blog .

One observation I made was the possibility of the LCD protector causing the mode button slippage problem since the rubber stand-offs of the case contact the camera on the LCD protector which will back the camera off the rubber control weel slightly.

But overall, I am pleased with the MeiKe case and plan to take it kayaking in the Ocean, estuaries, lakes, and rivers with my RX100 and not have to settle for second rate pictures from my kayak where some of my best photographic opportunities are.

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SportsMacro Photog
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Any chance the RX100 w/ Franiec grip fits?
In reply to lesnag2, Apr 4, 2013

I can't tell from the pictures, but I'd like to know if I'll have to remove my aftermarket grip for it to fit into this Meike waterproof housing.

I'm inclined to think it willl not, but wanted to reach out and ask.

Thanks! Jeff

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