underwater Photo Course :: (2) Equipment Guide :: Underwater Camera Housings :: Digital Underwater Cameras :: Build Quality
Camera Housing Build Quality
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The most sensible
material to make a camera housingA casing or box with waterproof seals designed to contain a camera or other equipment in such a way that it can be used underwater. out of is
cast aluminumIt is robust so will generally go deeper accept accessories better and has excellent heat sink properties which precludes internal misting in humid climates.. It is robust, so will
generally go deeper, accept accessories better, and has excellent heat sink
properties, which precludes internal misting in humid climates.
Aluminum housings are usually exclusively for D-SLR camerasDigital Single Lens Reflex Camera. A camera that uses a mirror to redirect the image projected onto the film into the viewfinder. The mirror flips out of the way when the button is pressed to take the picture..
There are two types of aluminum casting;
Sand CastingThe molten aluminum is poured into a sand mold to form the housing body
and Investment CastingCasting where the mold has wax inside which melts as the aluminum is poured in. This method precludes bubbles and it has less inherent weaknesses than sand casting..
Investment casting is the best type of casting (but not a deciding factor in buying a housing). You can tell whether
a housing is investment cast by looking inside it. If the surface is smooth (not
pitted) it is probably investment cast.
Clear plastic camera housings made of polycarbonate materials such as
ABSacrylonitrilebutadienestyrene copolymer a cross between plastic and rubber with excellent engineering properties used to make underwater housings cabinets for electronic equipment solventweld plumbing fittings etc. and
LexanAn extremely tough polycarbonate plastic usually transparent used to make underwater housings. Lexan is a trademark of the General Electric corp.
are widely available for both D-SLR and point and shoot cameras.
Whilst not as robust as an aluminum housing a well designed polycarbonate housing will perform almost as well and are good value for money.
When you consider that camera production cycles are short and you might upgrade your camera and housing every couple of years price can be a major factor.
Some polycarbonate housings are CNC machined but
injection moldingMethod of forming plastic into complex items used extensively to produce underwater housings
is the method most extensively used for manufacturing polycarbonate housings.
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