So I was off to an island where the reef is excellently preserved and it would be a shame if I didn’t take any underwater pictures. I was thinking of getting a dedicated underwater camera but I thought the price was too much so decided on getting a Dicapac WP-H10 instead. The Dicapac is a brand of camera underwater housing, the WP-H10 model is ideal for advance compact cameras like Canon’s G-Series or even mirrorless cameras such as my Olympus OM-D E-M5. The underwater case cost PHP2700 (US$65). I was a little adamant putting my gear inside such case but I thought the OM-D’s weather sealing can handle a little wetness in case water gets in.
The Dicapac WP-H10
This underwater housing claims to be able to go up to 16ft (5m). It has 2 zoom rings available for lenses. The main glass is said to be UV coated. The locking system uses velcro and a series of folds like a regular dry bag to keep the water out. It also has a foam to keep the camera properly placed inside the housing. I kept one of the silica gels to keep moisture out when underwater.
Preparing the Olympus OM-D E-M5
Depending on the lens to use, one has to remove the zoom rings before attaching the camera. The zooms won’t operate though if you are using a non digital zoom lens. I tried the Panasonic 20mm, M.Zuiko 45mm and the M.Zuiko 12-50mm and I found they fit just rightl inside the bag. The Pany 20mm fits well even without removing the ring.
Before inserting the camera inside the housing, do disable to Eye-viewfinder sensor as it reacts to the plastic unless you want to shoot through the viewfinder. I also initially wanted to used the Touch-shot feature but I found out when I got into the water, the water pressure would render the touch screen useless so it’s better to just use the main switch. It is possible to change settings once the camera is inside but I would recommend setting it up already before inserting the camera inside.
I like that the Dicapac WP-H10 has a neck strap to secure it while on the water. It also floats naturally. Once under the water, I could feel the pressure as the plastic tightens up on the camera. I tried taking it deeper about 10 feet and didn’t encounter any problems with it. The Panasonic 20mm was an ideal choice for me as it’s wide enough, long enough and fits like a glove on the small ring. It didn’t even produce vignetting. The control was easy to handle, I had no problems on clicking the shutter. Changing the settings like rotating the mode dial could get some work but its possible.
Personally I thought the underwater shots were crisp and sharp. If there was any degradation in picture quality shooting through their UV glass, it’s almost unnoticeable. It’s great that I can shoot in RAW so I can adjust the colors as I saw when I was underwater.
Overall I was pretty happy with its performance. It works well as it claims. Even far better than I expected. Better than a dedicated point and shoot which I eventually bought but leaked after taking it underwater for the 3rd time (I was even so careful about the sealing). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Digipac WP-H10 especially for those using a mirrorless camera. Of course, care should always be taken when using the product.