What do you think is the most common type of camera that is used day to day around the world and almost everybody has one? Well you guessed right it is the smartphone. In this day and age the majority of phone cameras are capable of producing high definition videos and pictures and in some cases are used to make production style cinematic movies. So it only make sense that you would want to take your phone to capture all your underwater adventures.
This is where the Weefine Smart Housing comes into its own. Waterproof phone casings are not a new concept however the Weefine Smart Housing is very different from most. It is a high-quality underwater housing with a built in vacuum system compatible with most of smart phones on the market today, regardless of IOS or Android operating system.
As a videographer I often use my phone along with other camera systems to capture video footage for projects. I find phone cameras have a place in what I do and are also quite versatile. Some of the reason I use them is that they are compact and non intrusive, perfect for shooting on cramped dive boats or in other crowded areas.
So when Ken Thongpilla owner of Macro Mode handed me a Weefine Smart Housing to use on a recent project I jumped at the chance to try it. Over the next few weeks I put the housing through its paces below and above the water.
To get started the first thing you must do is download the Dive+ App. The Dive+ App is really popular with over 100,000 people using it worldwide. The app on its own is perfect for editing photos/videos as well as recording your dive logs and sharing all your underwater adventures on social media. The app also links your phone and smart housing together through bluetooth allowing you full control of your phone camera via the Weefine Housing.
Setting up is easy to do just scan the QR code inside the housing and the phone and housing will pair. Insert the phone (I was using a spare Samsung S8 that I had laying around) and close the housing. The next step is what makes the Weefine Smart Housing unique and worry free. By using the small hand pump, you create a vacuum inside the housing creating a secure seal. This is indicated by a green light displayed on the housing.
Once underwater the first thing that I notice is the large screen on the back that the phone and housing provides, something that I truly miss when using a GoPro. The larger screen allows you to easily compose your shots and adjust camera settings.
In regard to the ergonomics of the housing it fits perfectly in your hand with easy access to all the buttons and trigger. The size of the housing is perfect. Not to big so you can clip onto or put into a BCD pocket and not to small that you struggle to operate the camera when wearing dive gloves or people with larger hands.
I also tested the Weefine Smart Housing with a Weefine tray and arm system. This allowed me to hold my shots much steadier and also the option to add various lights and other accessories. (Stay tuned for future reviews)
Auto or manual mode? What suits you best?
With most types of photography you really do get the best results when shooting in manual mode, so I was excited to find access to manual setting such as exposure compensation, iso, shutter speed etc. A must if you want to produce high-quality footage and photos.
However in saying that the auto mode worked great and allows you to focus on what you are doing. Combined with the Dive+ app editing tool I was really amazed at how my videos and photos turned out.
The Weefine Smart Housing will absolutely have a place in my bag. With the ability to capture high quality imagery along with all the available accessories such as macro and fisheye wet lenses, remote triggers, lights and arm systems the possibility to be creative is endless.
Perfect for all types of water activities, from scuba diving, snorkelling, surf photography to boating jet skiing. Less complicated to set up then similar brands on the market and the price is within most people’s budget. With the ability to use with most types of smartphones with most people having a second older phone camera available
Built-in depth sensor
Depth sensors can detect real-time diving depth and temperature and the depth and temperature data can be recorded on photos or videos.
Built-in vacuum system
Vacuum system lets you clearly know if the housing is sealed before diving. This is important to keep your devices safe.
Phone clamp is adjustable
The adjustable phone clamp enables the case to fit different sizes of smartphones on the market today.
Ergonomic lock system
The lock system is simple and comfortable. Just simply rotate the knob CW. or CCW. to unlock or lock the case. It’s convenient and safe.