UK-D-E300 Underwater housing review
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UK-D-E300 Underwater housing review
Olympus E-300 SLR Housing
Sunday 22th October 2006
Written by Karin Brussaard
Introduction
UK have been making underwater housings since 1990. Owner Angelika Kühn-Kiehl and her husband Uwe Kiehl began making tailor made housing for AF-cameras made by manufacturers like Canon, Nikon, Minolta and Pentax. When this was a success, they quickly started making underwater housing for manually adjustable cameras. A few years later, they expanded to include mid format cameras like the Mamiya 645 and Pentax 645. In 1989, the UK mini range for camera manufacturers like Canon, Minolta and Pentax really made waves when they succeeded in making the world's smallest aluminium underwater housing. The series are aimed to make underwater housing as compact as possible, to save underwater photographers baggage space and weight when travelling around the globe.
Photo by Udo van Dongen
Underwater Photographer Karin Brussaard
Olympus E-300 Digital SLR
UK Germany underwater housing
UK Germany underwater housings Olympus E-300 Digital SLR
UK Germany Underwater housings Olympus E300 Digital SLR
UK collaborates closely with Subtronic and Kilgus Technik. Subtronic, also from Germany, has been making amphibious flashes for a long time. Kilgus Technik specialises in manufacturing flash brackets. UK has not been standing still when it comes to digital photography. The first professional underwater housing was for the Canon EOS 1n-D2000 and housing for compact cameras like the Canon PowerShot Pro 70 and the Nikon Coolpix 990 soon followed. UK-Germany now produces more than 60 types of underwater housings for both compact cameras and (digital) SLR cameras, whereby functionality and saving space are the main priorities. The Olympus E300 is a digital SLR camera with a resolution of 8 million pixels. The compact shape clearly sets this camera apart from other cameras in this segment. The penta prism has been replaced by a TTL optical porro finder, which gives the camera its striking and unusual shape. As well as its eye-catching design, the camera also gives excellent SLR performances, is simple to operate and attractively priced. The Olympus E300 is based on the Four Thirds standard and has a Supersonic Wave filter that ensures that there are no problems with dust or other particles on the sensor. The E-300's multitude of creative options can be extended with several handy accessories, such as a number of extremely advanced lenses that can make optimal use of the possibilities offered by the Full Frame Transfer CCD thanks to their virtually telecentric construction. In addition, the TruePic TURBO image processor gives even better picture quality and a quicker processing time.
Settings & accessories Supersonic Wave-filter Full Frame Transfer CCD
Settings & accessories
Supersonic Wave-filter
Full Frame Transfer CCD
Camera Settings & accessories Olympus Supersonic Wave-filter UK-D-E300 Full Frame Transfer CCD
With its excellent combination of photographic functions and user-friendly menus and settings, the Olympus E-300 offers serious amateurs the opportunity to use their creative talents to the full. For example, users can easily switch between various focus functions and exposure programs. Furthermore, a number of useful accessories increase the opportunities to be creative. There are currently fifteen exchangeable lenses. All models are based on the FourThirds System standard and are characterised by a virtually telecentric design. This means that the light falls practically at right angles on the image sensor, preventing troublesome shadows from appearing on the edge of a picture. It is practically impossible to prevent dust from getting into the camera when you switch lenses. Even the most miniscule particles can have a detrimental effect on picture quality if they latch onto the CCD. This camera has come up with an ingenious solution to save users the time and expense of cleaning the chip. The Supersonic Wave-filter developed by Olympus generates ultrasonic vibrations that shake dust and other particles automatically and catch them on a special sticky layer. This function is activated automatically when the camera is turned on, but can also be operated manually. The Full Frame Transfer CCD (FFT CCD) ensures that the maximum amount of picture data is taken. In comparison to the Interline Transfer CCD's, which is used by most digital cameras, the FFT CCD has a much large pixel area with larger photo detectors and transmission canals. This means that more electrons can be captured, resulting in a better signal to noise ration and a larger dynamic range. The end results are better exposure, fresher details and less noise. The picture quality is improved even further by the TruePic TURBO image processor that also contributes to a quicker-recording process.
Underwater housing UK-D-E300 Lid Operating buttons
UK-D-E300 Underwater housing
UK-D-E300 Lid
UK-D-E300 Operating buttons
UK-D-E300 Underwater housing UK-D-E300 Lid UK-D-E300 Operating buttons
The black milled aluminium CNC underwater housing looks both attractive and sturdy. The underwater housing's maximum diving depth is 80 meters. UK has done everything possible to save the maximum amount of space. Partly thanks to this and because the Olympus E300 is shaped differently, the underwater housing is very compact in comparison to other underwater housing in this segment. This makes this combination pleasant to work with and helps minimise luggage problems when travelling. The inside of the housing is covered in black material to protect the camera against condensation. The housing has an o-ring and closes with a sealed tension lock that shuts on both sides. The camera is placed in the housing by means of a slide, so it doesn't have to be taken out of the housing to change the batteries or memory card. The UK-D-E300 housing comes with a S6 or a Nikonos V for an Olympus TTL connection. Closing the UK-D-E300 underwater housing requires some precision. The lid just about fits on the underwater housing, and if you are not careful, there is a risk that the on/off switch will not work. In the worst case scenario, you could place the lid crookedly on the housing without noticing, the results of which would be pretty unfortunate. All of the camera's operating buttons can be operated by extension buttons, allowing underwater photographers to get the most of the camera. It is great that the functions are engraved next to the buttons on the housing, so that you know exactly which button you are operating. This enables you to get the best out of your camera, even underwater.
Viewfinder Lens System Flash bracket
UK-D-E300 Viewfinder
UK-D-E300 Lens system
UK-D-E300 Flask bracket attachment
UK-D-E300 Viewfinder UK-D-E300 Lens system UK-D-E300 Flash bracket attachment
There is a transparent window on the back of the underwater housing through which you can see the LCD screen. An assistance viewfinder has been placed in front of the viewfinder. Looking through the viewfinder with a diving mask on is rather tricky, mainly because the Olympus's viewfinder is so small. UK is currently working on developing an optional angle viewfinder that will enlarge the viewfinder picture even more. It is also possible to look in the viewfinder under an angle of 45 degrees. This extra option doesn't look like an unnecessary extravagance, although it will be a bit on the expensive side (approx. €900 to € 1.000). The housing has a UK lens system, which makes it easy to exchange the ports. The ports have a single o-ring. The standard port delivered with the housing can be used for both the 14-45 mm lens and the 50 mm macro lens. This port can also be supplied with a zoom ring for the 14-45 mm lens. This zoom ring is easy to operate and is on the left of the housing. UK has produced ports, zoom rings and focus rings for the following lenses: 14-45 mm, 14-54 mm, 50 mm macro, 11-22 mm, 7-14 mm and the 8mm fisheye. There are also extra intermediate rings for working with the EX-25 (intermediate ring) or the EC-14 (tele converter). A flash bracket attachment to which the flash brackets van Kilgus Technik can be easily attached has been fitted on the left side of the underwater housing. A hand grip with a flash bracket attachment has been fitted on the right side. The hand grip has a good grip and the camera is also easy to use for people with small hands. The UK-D-E300 with standard port and zoom ring costs €1750.
Final conclusion

+ Compactness of the underwater housing
+ All operating buttons can be used
+ The operating buttons' functions are engraved on the housing

- Small viewfinder
- Closing the underwater housing requires some precision
- The price
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UK-D-E300 Review
Underwater Photo Gallery