The Seafrogs Salted Line underwater housing is a great improvement over the early Seafrogs housings. The biggest beef we had with the former model has been fixed along with a great overall quality bump. All this is done without driving the price up to some insane level. You will be able to take your Sony A6xxx series camera underwater for a mere price of € 285,00/$ 325.00. This is light year away from any other underwater housing for this types of camera’s on the market. Simply a great feat by Seafrogs.
The mirrorless revolution is an unstoppable one. It has given us great quality camera’s for reasonable prices which can do video and photo alike. Sadly a lot of divers weren’t able to profit from this revolution since a underwater housing for these types of camera’s often surpassed the price of the camera itself. All this is about to chance thanks to the Seafrogs Salted line.
The very beginning
We first stumbled upon Seafrogs during our search for a underwater housing for our Sony a6300 camera. Trying to get one which was even remotely affordable seemed to be a mission impossible. Until we found the first generation Seafrogs housing. With a price point around $ 300.- this was affordable but the million dollar question was, how’s the quality? No use for the housing if it is gonna destroy our camera. In the end we skeptically decided to go for it and purchase the housing.
After the initial test with a paper towel we we’re surprised to find that they inside of the camera was completely dry. Not without fear of drowning our camera we took the first plunge with our brand new Sony A6300 inside. The reward was great footage. A true upgrade from our GoPro Hero 3 at the time.
Not without frustrations
Although we loved our newly bought housing, it wasn’t without it’s fair share of frustration. The biggest one was the fact that there was some wiggle room inside the housing for the camera to move around. This meant that if the camera moved a bit some buttons couldn’t be used. This is mighty frustrating and led us to surface more than once to readjust the camera.
Other thing is the fact that there was only one lens port available. This means there was a set amount of lenses which we could use or otherwise the camera wouldn’t fit into the housing.
After more or less one hundred dives and a lot of clips filmed later we were getting more and more fed up with the housing and decided it was time for a better one. Right around this time Seafrogs announced their Salted line series which essentially is an upgraded version of our old housing. The price was still the same but it promised a lot of upgrades.
A new generation
After receiving the housing we first noticed the difference in build quality. The whole housing seems more robust and the buttons are way nicer to operate. It’s hard to bring into words but the best way to compare this is the closing of a car door. The difference between a cheap and expensive car door closing is easy to feel but hard to describe. The same can be said about the buttons on the salted line. They just feel a lot smoother.
Another thing which caught our eye immediately when we ordered the housing was the fact that it could be bought with different ports. This enables us to use a wide array of lenses. Right away we decided that a 6 inch dome would be added to our collection. This would set us back € 219,00/$247.00 which is the fraction of the cost of other similar dome ports. You still will get the standard port with the housing and need to install the dome yourself. This is easily done with the supplied instructions and only took us 5 minutes. In total there are 3 dome ports and 4 flat ports which all fit on the housing. This amounts to a fast array of lenses which you will be able to use.
Overall just better by a lot
Other improvements are the back of the housing which can be totally removed. This makes putting your camera in way easier. This also means that it’s way easier to check if there is any dirt obstructing the o-ring before closing it. Also they have added a vacuum pump valve to check if the housing is watertight which. The pump system is sold separately for € 119,00/$ 134.00.
The view finder is also a big improvement. It is now possible to not only look a the screen but engage the view finder in bright conditions. Since the A6xxx-series camera’s have an electronic viewfinder you still will be able to see how your photo turns out. One thing to keep in mind is that you have to choose between the view finder or the lcd display since the housing blocks the sensor. This will keep the camera in view finder mode at all time.
Not without faults
Of course not everything on the Salted Line is perfect. For one the housing lacks a good grip. The Salted line is quite broad and it’s quite hard to get your hand around the entire housing. Buying a separate tray or pistol grip is a simple solution but will cost you extra. Other thing we would like to see changed is the fact that you will always get the standard flat port with a housing. If you opt for a 6 inch dome ,like we did, you still will get and pay for the standard flat port.
Is the Seafrogs Salted Line worth a buy?
As you read along there can only be one conclusion, yes it’s worth a buy! The immense value you get for the relatively cheap price makes the Salted Line a great deal. Having made over 150 dives with the previous generation, we are convinced you can safely take your precios camera underwater in this housing. In the future Seafrogs is planning on releasing more well priced housings for different brands and models. So if you don’t have a Sony A6xxx-series camera you might be in luck in a while.
I appreciate the idea of the vacuum check option but have you tried it? I’m eyeballing this housing for my old A6000 ($300-400 kit lens/body if lost)+ housing or a GoPro 7 ($300-400 with bat/etc). I am itching to try, but I’ve never used a housing and I fear failure.