In preparation for my upcoming trip to Bali, I went to scout around for a waterproof case for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 camera so that I can have the option of taking the camera into the water. The research made available a few options for shooting under wet conditions – 10bar underwater housing, Nereus Waterproof Housing WP-500 and DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case. The 10bar housing is definitely over my budget and is more suited for the serious & professional users. The Nereus WP-500 is good value for money (S$45) but I wasn’t really comfortable as the bag is clamped tight with 2 plastic strips and 3 screws. I needed a product that gives faster and easier access such as the DiCAPac which uses Velcro and sealed with waterproof zipper. DicaPac WP-610 for LX3 (made in Korea) is priced at S$89 and comes with free postage in Singapore. The delivery was very fast as well – I made the order on 14th July 2010 and received it on 16th July 2010!
DiCAPac WP-610 waterproof case is also compatible with various camera models. Check the DiCAPac Fitting Guide if your camera is not listed above. It is most likely that DiCAPac will have suitable case for your camera.
Another side view of the box. The waterproof casing is recommended for swimming, surfing, kayaking, snowboarding, bathing, rafting, wake-boarding, snorkeling, etc.
Extracted from http://www.dicapac.com.sg/
Features of DiCAPac
- Guaranteed underwater performance for up to 30 ft (10m) depth.
- UV coated polycarbonate lens allow consumers to take clear pictures.
- With more transparent and flexible case for convenient camera control.
- Reliable closing system with waterproof zipper and Roll & Double Velcro.
- JIS (Japan Industrial Standards) waterproof test 8 grades.
- Individual Quality check up.
Dimension & Weight: 190 x 142 mm (7 1/2″ x 5 2/3″), 130g Fits digital cameras up to 125mm in length and circumference no more than 250mm.
Contents in package
- Case & Lens
- Sponge (for supporting the camera)
- Neck Strap
- Extension Connector (for zoom lens)
Prior to usage, it is recommend in the manual to conduct a leak test by putting a piece of tissue paper in the waterproof case and then submerged it in water, shake it around and leave it for a couple of hours. After that, remove the tissue paper and check whether it’s dry. For my case, I found it to be perfectly dry.
Although I do not expect that the photos will come out professionally but it’s more of having the novelty to snap photos while in the water so that I can have some memories to reminisce. This is a vast improvement from previous experiences where I have to leave the camera on dry land (or even the hotel) when I am out having fun in water sports.
So now it’s really putting it into use during my trip to Bali and then update with a review.
Updated on 12th Aug 2010. Hey, I am back from Bali!
Photo above is taken with LX3 inside the DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case. Swimming pool at Kuta Beach Club.
In the swimming pool with DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case fully submerged.
Testing in open sea on the way to snorkeling with LX3 inside the DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case.
Photos of fishes taken during snorkeling.
It’s pretty difficult to take a good photo as the fishes are swimming around to eat the beard thrown by tourists. Yes, I wasn’t the only group there at the snorkeling site, there was around 6 to 7 boats crowding around.
Yeah, there was a few scuba divers as well too!
The DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case was pretty usable and have met my usage requirements. I was able to take the camera out from the case with ease whenever required without using any other tools. The removing of the camera from the wet case does requires a bit more care to ensure that water does not flow into the dry compartment. There wasn’t any leak from when I use it both in the swimming pool (1 hour) as well as the open sea (1 hour). But I did noticed that there was some condensation inside the case while at pool even though I left the silica gel inside the case together with the camera. It was probably due to the strong sun shining at the case while it was floating on top of the water. As for the open sea, there are constant waves splashing against the case at all times so it basically wet throughout. This is my opinion and may not be true. But even with the slight condensation (not touching the camera), the camera was still functional but I was quite skeptical and quickly kept it away from the sun (hide it under a beach towel).
As for the quality of photo taken with the camera in the case on dry land, I wasn’t able to spot any noticeable difference or drop in quality so I reckon that the lens cover clarity was up to par. The only thing I was quite afraid is whether I will scratch the surface of the lens cover when I was having fun or when it’s kept in my luggage bag. So please take note of this! The photos taken in the water was of resonable quality, of course, it will not compare to the professional stuff but it works! Perhaps, I should find another trip to snorkel in more still and clearer water to make further assessment. I also forgot to try taking videos in the water! Yeah, excuses again to go for a trip, right? Haha!
The DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case was rather bulky and it drew the attention and stares of envy from other tourists! So whenever I was not doing any water sports, I will take the camera out from the case for easier carrying around. The neck strap provided made carrying of the case in water easier and it was easy to swim around with the case slung around the shoulder too!
My conclusion is that the DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case serves my purpose well enough and is of reasonable price range. The main thing is that there was absolutely no leak (did not try more than 3m deep) and of durable quality. I seriously consider it a good buy and will recommend it to anyone (casual users) who wants to capture fun memories while engaging in any water activities!
If there is anything you wish to know further, please do ask in the comments. Thanks.