View Full Version : buying new kit. Amphibico or Gates

03-14-2008, 03:17 PM
Hi, I would like to buy a camera + housing i'm thinking in getting the new EX1 camera from sony, but my concern is the Cards, they are too expensive. what else do you suggest form sony, Z1 or FX1.

i also would like to buy my housing, Amphibico or Gates. with amphibico i heard that the electronics will stop working after using for quite a while. and Gates, i know couple people who had leaking problems. i need some Help please!:confused:

03-14-2008, 04:38 PM
Most electronics will fail after being repeatedly exposed to conditions that encourage condensation. The best bet would be to use the silica moisture absorbent packs, but to seal each one individually in some sort of vacumn shrink wrap so that it is fresh each time you use it, & use new ones each time. Use as many as you can fit between the camera and the housing to get the moisture out fast. There are some other products out there than you can insert into the actual camera to help with internal moisture from condensation as well.

Also, get the largest card you can and the best batteries you can. The secret is to not have to open/close the housing that often. The downside to this would be that if something happened, you'd loose more if not all your pics.

If you don't mind lugging equipment around, there are also dehumidifer boxes/mini fridges where you can store your electronics in overnight to help with the moisture deep inside. But every second it is between the storage unit and the housing moisture creeps in so work fast.

Good luck.

03-14-2008, 07:23 PM
I use a Sony HD3 in a Gates housing and Niterider lights. I've had the set for almost two years with zero problems, other than the ones I created.

The Publisher
03-15-2008, 02:51 AM
I have never had any problems with my Amphibico Phenom housing after 3 years. There is not one spec of moisture corrosion in it even though the only places it has ever been is in the humid tropics.

The EX 1 does not have a LANC port from what we hear, and Gates has a waiting list for their housings for it.

The HC7 has quite a following.

03-16-2008, 02:45 PM
I just collect silica jell packets from pill bottles and keep them in a ziplock bag. You can lay them out on a cookie sheet and bake them at about 200 for a half hour and it will remove all the moisture, then put them back in the ziplock.

Carl at Sartek gave me some super water absorbing foam rubber stuff that works great, I'm sure he could fill you in on what it is, exactly. http://www.sarind.com/

Jon Shaw
03-19-2008, 04:06 AM
I use a Canon XHA1 and a GATES housing. It is fantastic, easy to use has heaps of functionality and I reckon it chucks out a picture that is as good if not better than the Z1. But that's just my opinion...


The Publisher
03-19-2008, 06:16 AM
That Canon videocam has quite a good reputation!

Abyss Images
03-22-2008, 05:21 PM
Hi Salem,

Well, I am definitely an Amphibico fan, and have professionally used various model and always was very satisfied with the gear.
As everything, it will depend on how you take care of your equipment ! I personally am a freak in controlling, cleaning and preparing my gear before and after every single dive !

I am selling a complete HD kit that you can find on this thread so if you are interested, don't hesitate to contact me !

Best regards

JM (Abyss Images)

03-23-2008, 02:48 PM
Both are excellent housings.
I use Gate but I've seen folks use Amphibico and I sometimes wished I had
an Amphibico. Not that gates is bad, just that they were able to get the
Amphibico housing in areas I had to fight to get my Gates housing in.

By one of each...

04-03-2008, 10:31 AM
What about Light and Motion? There are good reviews for both Amphibico and Gates so I was just wondering about LMI?

The Publisher
04-03-2008, 02:21 PM
The LM housings have the best macro flip down mechanisms I have seen. Good company too.

Abyss Images
08-10-2008, 03:49 PM
Hi Salem,

If you are still looking, I have a complete HD kit for sale (Amphibico Phenom + Sony Fx1 + HID Pro light system and Macro kit)
Just contact me if you are interested, I am ready to negotiate !

Kind regards.

JM (Abyss Images)

The Publisher
08-10-2008, 05:38 PM
Jean-Marie, I recognize the Inspiration rebreather but what housing and light system is that in your avatar? For some reason it looks like a Phenom housing but larger in relation to you.

David White
08-12-2008, 07:16 PM
Having used Amphibico housings for all my SONY cameras over the years I can highly recommend their equipment. However, I do not have any practical experience with other manufacturer's equipment. One thing to seriously consider though is the weight of all of your gear and how often you are going to be transporting it through airports. It is becoming increasingly expensive and arduous to lug an Amphibico Phenom and accessories to dive locations all over the world. If I were doing it again I would opt for the SONY A1U, HC7 or HC9 cameras and the Amphibico Dive Buddy EVO HD Elite housing for travel and keep the big beasty close to home. Now, if close to home for you is within a few minutes boat ride out to the reef then the the SONY EX-1 is the way to go and stuff it inside a Gates housing with their optional tripod and HD monitor.

The Publisher
08-12-2008, 10:40 PM
David, I would agree in that the Phenom with the FX1 inside of it and some miscellaneous kit in the case comes right to the 70lb checked bagged limit, and I often make it 72-73 lbs. They tend to not fuss over a couple of pounds in a good case.

The few times I have to actually lug the thing around with my separate rebreather case, and my packed to the gills carry-on, oh, what a pain.

I sort of like just using porters for as much as possible.....it gives them income, I don't have to carry that stuff, so it works for all.

Some of these smaller 3 CMOS chip cameras are pretty slick, I would probably have to go to some pretty strong gauge readers though to be able to see the HD widescreen monitor that is on the back of some of these Amphibico housings.

With a sold state drive, I know Sony can make a smaller full HD 3 CCD videocam, they just need to get back to having LANC port or all of the electronic housings are going to go the way of the dinosaur.

01-16-2009, 08:07 AM
I used Amphibico for around 5 years and a few thousand dives but that was when they had a fully manual housing option. After some dreadful customer service issues and seeing that they changed to mostly electric control, i moved to Gates and have never had a problem. I use the Gates HVX200 housing now which is a bit of a hassle travelling with, but has worked flawlessly for 3 years and a few thousand dives.

Whatever you decide, stick to manual over electric controls.

Happy shooting

The Publisher
01-16-2009, 08:21 AM
So far after 3 years I have no had any issues with the electronic controls on the Phenom.

I don't think you can go too wrong with any of the Big 3.

01-18-2009, 11:12 PM
I have used ordinary band-aid as a sub for silica gel packs. Just cut to size, the portion without adhesive backing that goes on the wound, and voila as good or better than SG!