Underwater housing for RX100

Started Aug 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
Surya P Junior Member • Posts: 43
Re: Underwater housing for RX100

Part 2

Look at Sea & Sea D800 rear buttons locations


The camera itself

The D800 rear multifunction rotator dial is made as is where is and it is not rotating.


Nauticam D800 rear dial


Nauticam D800. The complex gear made for that rear dial ( all those stainless steel links left side )



3AA. A housing rotator dial like found on RecSea housing, operating a dial and a push ON dial that is found on RX100 or NEX7, is asking for sensitivity loss and eventually an operational error you are experiencing. Why ? ......because they need to use pre-tensioned spring to maintain friction contact but not accidental "ON" and at the same time the spring allows OFF position when dial not pressed. In a normal deepest recreational diving scenario say 40 meters, the total surface area of that dial will be exposed to 75 psi of pressure ( 5 ATM ). So the spring chosen must have at least 50 meters of seawater pressure in mind, at least. The RecSea is 80 meter rated, that is a whopping 135 psi of sea water pressure at 9 ATM. So a good dial sensitivity at shallower depth, may produce bad operations on the deep end. This is the reason shutter release button is almost always a Trigger Lever design (on good housing ) and and not push button design copying camera's real button. Rotating shaft ( trigger lever is a rotating shaft actually ) does not get effected by deep water pressure like a push button would. Its the gas law related to mechanical design thingy.

3BB. Mechanical controls can not replicate/mimic human way of operation a 100%. A rotating dial with push button ON is one of the most difficult piece of engineering to do it right for good feel, accurate and can operate flawlessly at maximum housing depth rating, if the position of that switch is the way RecSea is doing, which is carbon copy position. Why so ? Because mechanical rotating dial that can do push to ON operation, MUST use a shaft at the middle. How would one rotate a mechanical dial if there is no shaft in the middle ? Our fingers is a magic of a mechanical design no mechanical movement/hardware can mimic. Our finger do not have center line shaft the way mechanical switch requires. When we operate that dial on land, our fingers will never be on the middle of the dial when we spin the dial, we will spin it at the outer radius and will proceed to the middle button when we need to press the middle button. No way a mechanical dial can mimic that in a form factor that small and must withstand sea water pressure at least 50 meters and must be sensitive to touch.

For this reason I realized on my NEX7 why Nauticam positioned the rear dial as they did. Later on for Nauticam D800, they tried to mimic the exact same dial+ switch ( +not a spinning dial, its more like a 8 points round switch, hard to describe ) at the camera's back using single dial switch like RecSea but totally different in design. It uses multiple complex link, gimbal and etc etc to get it right, you can see the stainless links from Backscatter photo, but you can't see the gimbal. Amazingly they got it right and it is also re-located to top right side for ease of operation underwater, keeping in mind that a housing is expanding a camera foot print and housing does have a handle. That switch is patented. It offers near same user experience on land ( naked camera ) compared to the use in housing, but, with one exception, you need to overcome a bit more spring tension than on land, no choice, sea water pressure exist UW.

It took me a long time to decide what housing to buy for my D800.

The case study was D7000 housings. It is the only housing late model enough to convey each and every designer's design philosophy. Each brand usually evolve to do better and better for newer model, they should or they will loose customer base. I mean all big names made D7000 housings and in fact Nauticam improved their housing from D7000 to D7000V. My friends got the two housings and I studied why Nauticam took the trouble to do so, when knowing housings of that price league is not easy to sell. How in the world they make their money back ? Later on I read at Wetpixel that the Nauticam designer/owner is the big boss himself and he is a hard core UW photo dude, who seeks perfection above all else.

Will Continue............

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