Tools of the Trade – The AquaTech New DV-4 Housing

When Canon released the Mark III to mixed reviews this year, my biggest concern was that I had to go out and get a new housing for my new cameras. Being that the button configuration, wheel, and even some of the dimensions were different, I knew I had to start from scratch. Luckily, when I discovered that AquaTech released their new DV-4 housing to accommodate the new Canon cameras, I had to look no further.

Over the past 10 years I’ve gone through several housings, from custom jobs for an A2 from Babish, to Ikelites for 1-V’s, to most recently SPL’s for my Mark I and II’s. But I have to say from the moment I held the AquaTech DV-4 in hand, I knew I was holding one of the best and most versatile water housings I’ve used. I recently brought my new housing to Brazil with me for a trial by fire (or water in this case) at the Pan-Am Games.

What immediately struck me is how aesthetically pleasing and sturdy the epoxy shell is, how well engineered all the machined stainless steel and aluminum knobs are, and how the ergonomics felt perfect. But most impressive is the ease of which all the interchangeable parts can be swapped. All the back plates, which use quick release clips with a safety latch (no more butterfly bolts!), are constructed of a clear acrylic with precisely positioned buttons for easy LCD viewing and camera control.

I have one back plate for my 1DS Mark II and another for my Mark III, which means if I’m switching cameras all I have to do is switch the back plate and slip in the new camera on the convenient mounting base plate which screws in the bottom of camera’s tripod threading and ensures the camera a snug and strong fit. AquaTech uses a threaded interchangeable front Lens Port System, which pressurized O-Rings means you just unscrew on one port and screw done another in seconds.

AquaTech has made available a wide array of lens ports for nearly every lens you would use in the water: from domes ranging from a large 8″ dome (LP-3) compatible with a 14mm or 15mm, to a zoom port for the 70-200 IS 2.8, it takes literally seconds to switch. In addition, it has the option for the interchangeable pistol grip or side grip depending on whether I’m shooting in the pool or in the surf.

There are other great accessories that are available like a detachable flash housing for a Canon 580EX, a detachable Pocket Wizard housing for when you want to use your camera as a remote on the bottom of the pool, a pistol or pole shutter release for when you want to go shoot some Hail-Mary’s in some big surf, and even a nifty moisture detector audio and visual alarm that can be fitted to the housing!

The best part of all, is with the amount of quality workmanship that goes into each housing, the DV-4 and the accessories are affordably priced. Leave it to the Aussies to get it right in the water! But you don’t have to go to AUS to get one…AquaTech’s full line of Sport Housings, ports, and accessories are now available through Backscatter (http://www.backscatter.com) and B&H Photo Video (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/). You can go to these websites for more product information or to AquaTech’s website at http://www.aquatech.com.au/ or contact them at 714-968-6946 

AquaTech DV-4 Sport Housing Specs

Physical Specifications

225mm X 220mm X 120mm (WxHxD)

Weight

1.7kg (housing only)

2.9kg (housing with Canon Mark II body)

3.7lbs (housing only)

6.5lbs (housing with Canon Mark II body)

Depth Rating

10 meters – 33 feet

(But I heard someone took one down to 100 ft and it was still H20-tight)

Material

An epoxy construction. The controls are tactile using stainless steel, aluminum and high strength plastics. All of the aluminum parts have been anodized for maximum protection and product longevity.

Features

• Housing comes fitted with Flash Bulk Head Connector and Remote Shutter Release Bulk Head Connector.

• AquaTech threaded interchangeable front Lens Port System. (No tools required for lens and lens port changes. Port compatible with all new AquaTech sport housing models.

• Quick release clips and safety latch

• Top display window

• Clear acrylic back plate for easy LCD and camera control viewing (available for Mark II DS and Mark III)

• Detachable flash housing capability

• Electronic pistol/pole and remote cable release capability

• Detachable left side handle.

Controls included with all DV-4 Housing Models

• Manual Shutter Release

• Main Command Dial

• Quick Command Dial

• AE-Lock (Back Focus)

• Menu

• Select

• Display

• MC Select/Magnify

• Trash/Delete

Comments

  1. I am looking for a wide angle lens for my Nikon full frame camera. I was thinking about the 14-24 2.8 but I am afraid about the corner sharpness of using wide angle lenses under the 8″ dome.
    I would need the underwater housing for engagement pictures. I am a wedding photographer. What do you think?
    Thanks,
    Otto

    • Hey Otto, I am a Canon shooter so I usually go with a 14mm rectilinear corrected lens when shooting underwater. I am not sure if Nikon has an equivalent, but I haven’t had any issues when shooting with this lens and a full frame camera under an 8″ dome port.

  2. Donald, what for a underwater cable do you use

    a) for a underwater remote?
    b) to sync a flash (when the flash is outside of the pool)?

    Can you share a picture of your cable(s)?

    And, the tripod mounting plate is a optional accessoire, right?

    Thank you for a possible answer.
    Phil

    • Hi Phil, I use Aquatech housings and the remote cable and flash cable are their design. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of them (and they are deep in storage) but I am sure you can find them on their website…

  3. How quiet are these housings? Can you use them on film / TV set as a sound blimp / silencer?

  4. hi Donald, the Aquatech website seems to be “off the air” the last few days 😦
    I have a Aquatech DV-4 occassion for my Canon mark III . Am I right that the housing comes without a hot shoe connection cable? The cable I see inside the housing is a flat cable with 6 pins in a small plastic connector. Maybe you can help me out….Again the Aquatech site is unreachable,
    Thanks very much !

    Regards,

    Ruud

    • Hi Ruud – I do believe the Aquatech DV-4 should come with a hot shoe connection cable that slips into that existing 6 pin connector cable found inside the top of the housing. If you still can’t figure it out of feel like you’re missing a piece you can contact the US Rep for Aquatech in California Corey who is very knowledgable and usually quick to respond – corey@aquatech.net Good luck!

      • Thnx for your reply and the Aquatech link . BTW I very much liked your latest blogs on Nike and the Ryder Cup . Keep up the nice work !
        Regards,

        Ruud

  5. Hi,
    Did U try it under 10m ? lets say 20m ? It’s look like it could survieve more then its specifcation ?
    Cheers
    Peter

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