Let’s be real. Water housings for DSLR cameras are crazy expensive. They can often cost more than the camera itself, sometimes twice as much depending on how many controls you want on the housing. For example, I shoot with a Sony a6000 in the water and when I first bought it I got a great deal on a bundle at Best Buy where I got the camera with the kit lense and the 55-210 telephoto lense for about $700. The best price I have seen so far for a housing for the a6000 for basic or no controls is around $800. It’s nearly useless to have a housing with no controls because I have never not adjusted settings while in the water. I am constantly adjusting my shutter speed and f-stop since I usually shoot sunrise or sunset. The best price I have seen for a housing with basic controls is around $1300.
So, the only way I will be able to use one of these housings I’m speaking of is if I find a wad of cash lying around—which would be highly suspicious, especially if it had dye all over it—or if someone decides to give me one. Neither of these scenarios is likely to happen, so I found a solution that isn’t perfect, but it gets the job done for about a quarter of the price of a normal water housing.
After I got my camera and did my research, I came across the Meikon underwater housing on Amazon that was meant for scuba diving. At the time I got it cost around $220, but you can get it now for around $170 on some pages. The best thing about it is you have all of the controls that you would have if the camera was out of the housing. I was ecstatic when I found it because trying to convince my wife that I needed to spend $800 on a basic housing after buying a $700 camera was simply not going to work.
One of the downfalls is that the housing doesn’t come with a grip that is ideal for shooting waves. I also found a solution to that. On the bottom of the housing there is a universal 1/4″-20 thread, so naturally you can screw anything into it with that thread size. Conveniently, GoPole makes a universal adapter for their products so that their mounts can be used with cameras besides GoPro. I took the GoPole Universal Adapter and screwed it into the bottom of the housing. I then took my GoPole Bobber and mounted the whole setup onto the Bobber. In the end, I had something that resembled those housings that cost way too much. Here is what my housing looks like when everything is together:
I have to be honest, there are definitely some downfalls to this setup. It really should not be used in heavy surf since the housing is designed for scuba diving. I attempted to take it out on a heavy day at Seal Beach and immediately took it back in after the first wave. Also, there is no viewfinder port so you can’t use the viewfinder while shooting. You sort of just have to shoot from the hip, or do your best to use the monitor. And lastly, like I said above, it doesn’t have a trigger. This leaves for some awkward two-handed shooting as you hold the grip in one hand and hit the shutter with the other.
All of that to say, until that day comes when I find a wad of cash or someone is generous enough to give me a water housing for my a6000, the setup that I have described above absolutely gets the job done for a very low price. I’ll put the Amazon price breakdown below:
That’s a grand total of $205.84. Even with the downfalls of the setup that I mentioned above, you really can’t beat that price for a setup for being able to shoot waves in the water with a Sony a6000. I hope this helps. I know some people use a similar setup but with minor differences. Comment below on your cost-saving tactics or if you have any specific questions. See you in the water.