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Salted Line's versatile housing for Sony RX100 III-VII series compact cameras with underwater test and sample photos
By Jenna Szerlag
Salted Line continues to deliver with their rugged underwater housings for Sony RX1xx and a6xxx series cameras. Both designs feature an interchangeable dry port system, a cold shoe mount for accessories and three different handle designs to choose from including a unique two stage pistol grip for surf photography. The RX1xx housing is designed for Sony RX100 III, IV, V, VI and VII cameras and includes the standard glass flat port for an economical price that is easy on the budget.
Maui, Hawaii. Sony RX100 VII f/6.3, 1/250, ISO 100
The newly released RX100VII is Sony’s latest addition to their popular compact camera line. Key upgrades from the RX100VI include an updated sensor and processor, improved AF tracking including animal eye focus and unlimited 4k video. It also features a 20fps burst rate without blackout.
Sony’s RX100 IV, RX100 VII cameras
Salted Line Housing with 6” Acrylic Dome and Sony’s RX100 VII
Moisture alarm inside Salted Line housings
Day Octopus Sony RX100 VII f/8 1/250 ISO 100
The Salted Line Housing for Sony RX1xx series comes with a standard flat glass port. They also have a flat glass macro port with 67mm threaded front and two dry dome ports for wide angle photography. Upgrading to include the macro port or a 4” or 6” dome port still includes the standard flat glass port at a surprisingly low cost.
Salted Line interchangeable dry ports for RX1xx Series Cameras
Flat Macro Port
4”Dry Dome Port
6”Dry Dome Port
The all around design of this housing with the water sports enthusiast in mind, is versatile and can be comfortably operated with or without the optional handles. The comfortable grip of a built in finger grip on the right side makes for easy handling while snorkeling. Or if you choose to go all out with the dual handle tray and strobes, this housing transforms to a respectable, fully outfitted underwater camera setup.
Salted Line Dual handle tray system with included 1” ball mounts
Each button has an engraved label (so it won’t fade away with use) and operates smoothly with precision allowing full access to the camera controls. The aperture control dial located on the left side of the housing is one of the best features in regards to the ease of changing your settings underwater. It connects to a control ring that slides over the lens itself prior to inserting the camera into the housing and delivers dedicated access to the aperture twist – turn operation that the camera offers topside.
Labeled buttons allow for easy access to camera controls
Interested in surf photography? The pistol grip handle puts the trigger button at your fingertips to easily operate the camera with one hand. It makes for a fun way to capture the ultra popular scenic over under shots or even the inside barrel of a wave.
I took the housing for a few dives on Maui with Sony’s RX100 VII camera and both the macro and standard ports. It is a compact set up even with the dual handle tray and Sea & Sea strobes. The housing itself with the camera installed is buoyant but with it mounted on the dual handle tray with strobes the system was negative. I added two small buoyancy cubes on each strobe arm to add a slight lift and added wrist comfort while diving.
Salted Line Housing for Sony RX100 VII with Flat Glass Macro Port and aperture dial
Overall, maneuvering the controls and the ease of the shutter release button on the housing was flawless. Having the ability to use the aperture dial with my left hand and separate from the other buttons made for quick, easy adjustments to exposure settings.
Salted Line Housing, Standard Port, Sony RX100 VII f/11, 1/500, ISO 100
Choose the port first. After cleaning, lubricating and reinstalling the orings, line up the dot on the port with the one on the housing. With gentle pressure, twist the port clockwise. The port will stop when it is in place. It is precisely in the correct position when the locking groove lines up with its groove on the port. Install the locking piece from within the housing and tighten the screw.
Place the anti-reflection ring into the housing. It rests between the housing and port. With your camera settings ready to go, slide the aperture ring over the camera lens and install the camera into the housing. I found this was a nice, secure fit, having to give it a little extra assistance.
Once the camera is in place it’s time for the back panel. It drops directly onto the housing and secures itself with dual stainless steel hinge locks, one on each side. The latch is secure when its red release button slides into place. I recommend checking the latches by giving them a gentle tug.
Be sure to clean, lubricate and reinstall the orings before each set up. I prefer to clean each oring as I am installing them as opposed to all at once leaving zero chance that a hair or other debris could float onto them they wait to be installed.
Salted Line Housing fiber optic cable ports and accessory cold shoe mount
Mounting onto the Dual Handle Tray
Check each connection on the tray between the ball mounts and handles ensuring they are secure. The housing attaches onto the tray with two ¼’ screws that slide back and forth to allow for the perfect positioning. I preferred to place the housing slightly to the right making it easier to reach and operate the shutter release lever.
Salted Line offers additional accessories for the housing including a GoPro adapter for the cold shoe mount, fiber optic cables for use with strobes and three different handle setups. An aluminum tray with a single foam padded handle a 1” ball mount; a lightweight aluminum tray with dual handles each with 1” ball mounts; and a pistol grip with a built in two stage shutter release button for taking the housing into the surf. Salted Line also created a pre dive vacuum pump kit for added assurance that the housing is water tight prior to entering the water.
Salted Line vacuum pump system
The optional pre-dive vacuum leak test system is an added measure of confidence ensuring that the housing is properly sealed and water tight. An added bonus is that comes equipped with three interfaces (10mm, 14mm and 16mm) to fit all Salted Line housings and most Meikon and Nauticam housings.
The vacuum test is quick and in my opinion worth the ten extra minutes. Simply replace the vacuum protection cap located on top of the housing with the vacuum alarm interface. Turn the vacuum alarm on by pressing the button until the red light flashes. Pull the air from the housing with the vacuum pump until the flashing light turns from red to green. During the recommended wait time of 5 minutes, I like to test the buttons and dials (with the camera OFF so that your settings aren’t changed). If the green light turns back to red during the recommended 5 minute wait then the seal is compromised and the housing is not water tight. Return to the setup process and check each connection again.
*Note that the vacuum pump system is not waterproof and must be removed before entering the water. Reinstall the water tight cap and clean oring once the vacuum test is complete.
Day Octopus Sony RX100 VII f/6.3 1/250 ISO 100
Salted Line created housings that are all encompassing when it comes to a variety of water sports. They can morph into fun surf housings from full dive setups with a quick exchange of the handle tray to the pistol grip. And with the factors one most considers when taking their camera underwater, the durability, accessibility of controls, size and cost of Salted Line housings make this the least expensive interchangeable port system available today.
Review by Uwphotographyguide