Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

  1. #1
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere North
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    This thread is a review on Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1. The review is of my own opinion, base on years of using Canon's OEM underwater casing.

    The Housing was tested from 20-23rd Feb in the Similan Islands, Phuket. The Housing was tested to a max depth of 30 metres. Underwater Photos will be posted in another thread.

    Spec of PT-050
    Compatible models: Oly XZ-1
    Pressure resistance: Depth of up to 40m
    Main materials: Polycarbonate / Multiple coat glass / stainless steel
    Diameter of lens ring: 67mm
    Dimension: 154mm (Width) x 116mm (Height) x 119mm (Thickness)
    Weight: 285g (Housing alone)
    Weight U/W: 350g (with camera and accessories)


    PT-050 Package
    1x U/W Housing (PT-050)
    1x LCD Hood
    1x Port Adaptor + Flash Diffuser
    1x O-Ring Remover
    1x Housing Lens Cap
    1x Silicone Grease (tube)
    1x Hand Strap
    5x Silica Gel pack
    * Manuals and misc paperwork


    The PT-050 is a relativity small and light... the back is made of clear Polycarbonate plastic with the front made of black, non-transparent plastic. The 67mm lens ring is threaded and made of stainless steel. The front port of the PT-050 is made of multiple coat glass. The housing handles well in my hand and is easy to control underwater.

    The housing has positive buoyancy (floats) even with the camera and accessories loaded. While some divers isn't too worry about this... and a floating camera is better than a sinking camera if you lost your grip. I for one, perfer my camera to have negative buoyancy (sinks) as I normally attach the housing to my BCD from a layard.... the last thing I need is the housing 'floating' everywhere as I dive.

    The bottom of the casing have the standard tripod mount that you could use to install onto a tray for your U/W Strobe system. I added a DIY lead weigh to make give the housing negative buoyancy (sinks).


    The standard tripod mount screw thread...


    Lead weigh brought from fish gears shop. Drill a hole, add a stainless steel screw and tape it up with rubber tape...


    DIY weigh to keep the housing from floating...
    Last edited by diver-hloc; 28th February 2011 at 02:08 PM.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  2. #2
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere North
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    What I like about the Housing

    1) OMG... !! Built-in 67mm screw thread in the Lens Ring !! How I wish every OEM casing from every camera maker add this simple but very important thing onto their casing. You could add wet-lens, underwater filter for those who don't dive, onto your housing without expensive 3rd party adaptor or buying an expensive 3rd party casing (example: Ikelite Housing) As most, if not all, wet-lenses uses the common 67mm size filter... any diver could now buy close-up filters or Wide Angle lens from 3rd party makers like Ikelite or Fantasea.... even Olympus sell wide (PTWC-01) and macro (PTMC-01) conversion lens for their housing.


    The 67mm screw thread... tried using my 67mm close-up filter for my Macro lens on it... the filter fits without problem.

    2) The shutter button is not just a simple, spring-ed button anymore... but it comes with a simple lever. While not as good as from more expensive 3rd party housing like those from Ikelite... its much better than those from Canon OEM casing.


    A simple lever than make it easier to press the shutter.

    3) I also like the idea that the rear buttons are labelled instead of giving you a piece of sticker to paste onto the casing.


    Things are easy to see with clearly labelled buttons.
    Last edited by diver-hloc; 28th February 2011 at 11:06 PM.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  3. #3
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere North
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    What I dislike about the Housing

    Only one thing..... the zoom lever is difficult to use. It just too hard to both zoom-in or zoom-out. The amount of strength needed to zoom in/out makes it quite difficult to zoom in or out in a hurry. I think the strength of the spring could be reduces abit inorder for a much smoother zoom.


    The zoom lever is large and flat... but doesn't give you much leverage for zooming.
    Last edited by diver-hloc; 28th February 2011 at 09:50 PM.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  4. #4
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere North
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    Other Things to Note


    1) The Housing comes with connector for those who uses Sea & Sea Strobe with optical fiber cable. For those using other model of Strobe, make sure your optical fiber cable fits the housing.


    With the connector plug sticking out... might be a problem fitting every form of cable onto the housing.

    2) The opening/closing dial is kind of a love hate thing. I personally find it better than those from Canon, but it really depends on you.


    The locking dial works by unlocking then turning the knot.

    3) A simple rubber lens cap is there for you to protect the front element of the casing from scratches.


    A simple, yet useful item.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  5. #5
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere North
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    A very important note....

    While doing this review for the Olympus XZ-1, I notice a very strange and weird bug while using the camera with the U/W housing.

    There are times that the camera 'refuse' to work inside the U/W housing. The camera could be turn-on... but nearly all the buttons refuse to work. The shutter, all the buttons at the back of the camera doesn't work when pressed. But strangly, when taken out from the casing.... everything goes back to normal.

    This problem happens often enough that its quite a headache for me. The problem could be solved by turning OFF the camera, then turning it back ON. Turning the Control Dial knot could also sometimes solve this issue. But nevertheless... hoping Olympus could issue a firmware update to solve this issue.


    Final Thought....

    For about the same price as a Canon OEM casing... I would gladly get this housing. To me... the 67mm lens ring is the best part of the housing. No more using wet lens only with expensive 3rd party housing or with adaptor from shops like ScubaCam. While the housing is in no way prefect... the zoom lever could really be made easier to be push around... the housing still have enough good points that I like.
    Last edited by diver-hloc; 28th February 2011 at 09:39 PM.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  6. #6
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere North
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    PS... was informed from a local diving forum (ScubaSG) that the problem regarding the camera buttons freezing inside the U/W casing, could be caused by the camera zoom level not returning to its normal position inside the housing. It seems that Canon S90 having the same problem. I can't be sure that this really is the problem since I don't own a S90 or ever used one.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Far far away
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    Thansk for the review ...

    does the XZ-1 fires flash in macro mode?

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Far far away
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    Thanks for the review ...

    does the XZ-1 fires flash in macro mode?

  9. #9
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere North
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    Macro... Yes. Super Macro... No.

    Pop the flash up before locking the housing. And yes, you could still disable the flash from the menu if need be.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  10. #10
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    10,943
    Blog Entries
    26

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    Thanks for doing this review diver-hloc ! How is the reach if using in-camera flash only?
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  11. #11
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere North
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus Underwater Housing PT-050 for XZ-1

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119 View Post
    Thanks for doing this review diver-hloc ! How is the reach if using in-camera flash only?

    The flash is capable to fill-in about a metre or so... but best result is between 60-20cm. Go look at the underwater sample section... the Moral Eel is shot from around a metre or so away (can't get too near to a bitting fish).... while the Harlequin Shrimp is not more than 30cm away.

    Anything further than a metre or so.... you can forget it. No PnS camera with a single flash is powerful enough for this purpose U/W. That why makers of U/W Strobe light is able to charge us from anything like $600 to well over $1600 for a good U/W Strobe. But for a camera this size.... the flash works well enough.
    Last edited by diver-hloc; 1st March 2011 at 09:05 AM.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •