Review: The NEW SeaFrogs Salted Line Underwater Housing

30.03.2020 by Editor Team

The NEW SeaFrogs Salted Line Underwater Housing

Sony has set the standard for compact mirrorless cameras with the extremely popular a6xxx series. They are known for their light weight and compact size, which makes them one of the best cameras for underwater photography.

The cost of underwater photography for many beginners is daunting. Especially when the housing costs more than the camera itself. This is over now! A new underwater housing for the Alpha a6xxx series could be exactly what you are looking for. SeaFrog’s Salted Line has developed an affordable, robust housing that is designed for ALL cameras from the a6000 to the a6500.

What makes the SeaFrogs Salted Line underwater housing so special?

The housing not only contains a flat port that is compatible with a variety of lenses, but it is also quite affordable. With the option to upgrade a macro or wide angle dome port, your equipment will grow with your experience. Without having to sell everything in between and buy a completely different housing! (We speak from experience 😉 )

Features of the SeaFrogs Salted Line Housing

The housing makes a very solid impression right from the start. Which of course is something you absolutely want in an underwater housing to protect your expensive camera with lens! With almost 1.4kg it feels very valuable for the low price. The housing was developed for the complete a6x00 series. This gives you the chance to start with a cheap camera (e.g. the a6000 or a6100) and switch to one of the better models later. For example, the Sony Alpha 6400, with which we did our test. 🙂

Get your SeaFrogs Salted Line underwater housing here:

www.saltedline.com

Important specifications

  • Dimensions: 19,8cm wide x 15cm high x 17,8cm long
  • Weight: 1,4kg
  • Polycarbonate construction
  • System with interchangeable lens mount
  • Contains a standard multi-coated optical glass port
  • Waterproof to 60m
  • Built-in leak alarm
  • Two fiber optic cable connections for lightning
  • Double ORing seals
  • Optical viewfinder or LCD viewing option
  • Two ¼”-20 threaded holes on the bottom side
  • Accessory shoe
  • Manual zoom equipment for Sony 10-18 and 16-50mm lenses included

Optionally there is also:

  • Vacuum pump system
  • 4″ or 6″ dry dome port or macro port

 

Handling

Access to the controls from the housing is quite easy. The arrangement of the buttons makes for more familiarity. You can change the settings manually under water. A clear, unobstructed view of the camera’s LCD monitor allows you to check images taken directly.

The housing itself has a notch for the right finger. This gives a comfortable feeling and extra grip when using the housing without an additional handle. You can screw it to the bottom of the underwater housing. But more about this later. 🙂

Connector and lens options

The Salted Line housing offers several versatile mounting options for a variety of lenses. The housing is supplied with a standard flat port. This is already compatible with a range of Sony lenses. These include the 10-18 mm, 16-50 mm, 30 mm macro and a few more. To use more lenses, you will need other ports. There’s the macro port for one thing. As the name says you can use more macro lenses with this one. Also this port has a 67mm thread. This is especially helpful if you want to use wet lenses. These are basically amplifying lenses for underwater use. They are available for the macro and wide angle range.

If you want to get the best out of your wide angle lens on the Sony camera, there are dry dome ports. This means that your complete camera and the large wide angle lens will fit in there. These ports look like a round dome in the front of the housing. They are available in sizes from 4 – 8 inches in diameter. Have a look at articles that compare Wet Lenses and Dry Dome Ports. They have different advantages and disadvantages.

Optional accessories

Additionally, the following accessories are available for the Salted Line housing:

  • Aluminium handle with single grip and 1″ ball holder
  • Aluminium handle with two grips with 1″ ball holder each
  • GoPro adapter for accessory shoe
  • Accessory shoe 1″ ball holder
  • Vacuum system for testing watertightness
  • Fiber optic cable for Inon /Sea & Sea Blitz Setup

All accessories for the SeaFrogs Salted Line underwater housing: Click

Preparing your Salted Line housing for the dive

The band begins to play. We prepare our setup for the first dive. There is: The Sony Alpha 6400 camera with the new SeaFrogs Salted Line underwater housing. On the camera we use the 16-50mm kit lens. Matching the flat standard port on the housing (standard flatport).

First open the stainless steel hinges on both sides of the housing. In the new version these are equipped with an additional security system. This prevents a hinge from accidentally opening under water. A very good improvement to the previous SaltedLine underwater housing, we think!

Afterwards you can easily remove the back of the housing and put it aside. First check the two large O-rings of the housing. If necessary take them out with the enclosed accessories and grease them a little bit. Then put them back in place and make sure there is no dirt on them. Then you can easily insert your camera with lens

Depending on which camera you use, there are a few small parts in the housing. This ensures that you can easily reach ALL buttons on ALL cameras. This is unfortunately not the case with all manufacturers of housings. So pay special attention to this! (Again, we speak from experience 😉 )

You can change the port of the housing similar to a lens on your camera. Simply turn the port to the side and remove it. This is a bit difficult. But rather too heavy than too light. Right? 😉

As soon as the camera is in its place, the back panel is fixed to the housing again. The red security system of the hinges should click into place with an audible click.

TIP: Check the hinges again by pulling them slightly.

Vacuum test of the SeaFrogs Salted Line housing

The vacuum system is optional. It gives you an extra measure of confidence by ensuring once again that the housing is properly sealed and therefore waterproof. The entire test takes less than 10 minutes. The vacuum protection cap on top of the housing is simply replaced by a vacuum attachment.

Now press the button until the red light flashes. Then use the vacuum pump to draw the air out of the housing. Until the flashing light changes from red to green.

If the light changes back to red during the recommended 5 minute waiting period, the housing is not waterproof. In this case, it is best to go through the instructions for inserting the camera again and check the O-rings.

Important: The vacuum system is not waterproof. The flashing attachment must be replaced with the cap before the dive.

Here you can find the vacuum system: Click

Mounting the housing on a handle  

Finally, you mount the housing on a handle, if you have purchased this as an option. We advise you to do this in any case! It is not very expensive and gives you much more support.

The housing is attached to the handle with two ¼’ screws. You can decide for yourself how to position the housing. We have placed the Salted Line housing a bit more to the right to make it easier to reach the trigger.

Tip: Check every connection between your housing and the handle before the dive!

We have used this handle: Click

Underwater test of the SeaFrogs Salted Line Housing

Our Sony a6400 and the 16-50mm kit lens with the flat standard port was easy to handle and worked under water without any problems. It still felt compact even with our two flashes. Overall, the operation was very easy and flawless to use. The knobs for manually changing aperture and shutter are located on the right side. Exactly where they are on the camera itself. This way you intuitively get the right grip.

The focus also works perfectly under water with the Sony Alpha series. We were particularly impressed with the a6400’s new focus tracking. It allowed us to track fish perfectly and take sharp pictures. You simply choose the best photo of the series on the computer.

The housing itself with the a6400 on a double aluminium handle has positive buoyancy. The degree of buoyancy can of course vary with additional accessories. When we attached the flashes, the system was negative. So we decided to use two buoyancy bodies on each flash arm to compensate for the negative buoyancy. This way you don’t have the feeling that your equipment sinks to infinite depths once you let go of it. 😉 Which of course doesn’t work if you attach it properly to your jacket. Nevertheless, from our point of view, a slightly positive buoyancy is the most comfortable.

Conclusion

The new SeaFrogs Salted Line housing has some small but very useful improvements. The safety system on the hinges for example is very helpful. The new positioning of the screws on the bottom gives you more flexibility in alignment on a handle.

There are some manufacturers of underwater housings for the very popular Sony a6x00 series. However, in our opinion, the SeaFrogs Salted Line is by far the best value for money! The fact that the housing is the only one of all manufacturers that works with all Sony cameras gives you a lot of flexibility. In addition, the costs for additional accessories are much lower than with other housings. You can start with the standard port and later buy a macro or wide angle attachment.

The vacuum system is cherry on the cake! 🙂 If you pay a lot of money with other systems, you can get the SeaFrogs Salted Line housing at an unbeatable price!

So what are you waiting for? Order yours and start into the fascinating world of underwater photography! 🙂

Get your SeaFrogs Salted Line underwater housing here:

Click