Choosing an Underwater Housing for the Canon G16 Camera

Choosing an Underwater Housing for the Canon G16 Camera

The Canon G series cameras have long been a favorite compact camera used by amateurs and serious enthusiasts alike.  It has also been a very popular underwater camera for at least 6 model generations.  It sounds obvious, but one critical consideration for putting any camera underwater is what housing are you going to entrust with the job and it involves much more than keeping the camera dry.  An added characteristic of underwater photographers shooting the Canon G series is that they tend to keep their cameras and housings for a longer period of time than most compact shooters, so longevity is a consideration.  Fortunately there are several options for the G16, so let's take a look:

  • Ikelite TTL Housing for G16
  • Ikelite Fiber Optic Housing for G16
  • Canon WP-DC52
  • Nauticam Housing for Canon G16
Dimensions Weight
Canon WP-DC52 5.9 x 4.4 x 4.1 1.3 pounds
Ikelite TTL Housing 7 x 6 x 6
(Not including tray & handle)
4.7 pounds
Ikelite Fiber Optic Housing 6.8 x 4.9 x 6.0 3.0 pounds
Nauticam 17313 6.1 x 4.3 x 4.17 1.8 pounds

Looking at the table, above, we can see that these are all rather compact housings.  While the Canon is the lightest, the Nauticam aluminum housing is only slightly heavier.  The aluminum housing is actually smaller and lighter than the Ikelite housings.  All of these housings are light, compact, and easier to handle than a full size DSLR housing.

The Ikelite Digital Housings for Canon G16

Did you notice that plural word - housings?  Yes, Ikelite manufactures two different housings for the Canon G16!  One version includes their electronic circuitry for true TTL strobe operationg via electrical sync cables.  The other version, slightly less expensive, omits the TTL circuitry and is ready to plug in fiber optic sync cables.

By far the largest housing for the Canon G16, the Ikelite measures to be approximately a 7” cube.  Although it is also crafted in polycarbonate, it is quite rugged and can be serviced if needed by Ikelite.  Part of the greater cost of the Ikelite housing comes from incorporating on-board TTL circuitry and an electrical bulkhead for use with Ikelite strobes.  If a photographer doesn’t intend to use Ikelite strobes, it probably doesn’t make sense to invest in an Ikelite housing at this price point.  Button access for users with large hands or that wear gloves in the water often have trouble with the Ikelite button spacing which is fairly tight.  The 67mm thread on the Ikelite port does accept close up wet lenses for Macro and can utilize the Inon UWL-S100 ZM80 wide angle wet lens (with fisheye option) when employing the Inon adapter.

By adding the Ikelite WD-4 Wide Angle Dome, you can restore the in-air wide angle of coverage to the G16 system.  The WD-4 is a 'wet mate' dome which allows to you remove the dome underwater when you wish to take macro shots.

Ikelite #6146.16 TTL Housing for Canon G16

In addition to TTL circuitry, the Ikelite #6146.16 housing comes standard with housing tray and quick release handle.  The TTL housing is significantly larger than the fiber optic housing.

Ikelite #6147.16 Fiber Optic Housing for Canon G16

The Ikelite fiber optic housing for Canon G16 is noticeably smaller than the TTL housing. 

The Canon WP-DC52 Housing

The Canon WP-DC52 is the least expensive option for the Canon G16 Camera and does a reasonable job if the photographer isn’t going to be using wide angle accessories or putting too many demands on the housing.  The housing is polycarbonate and cannot be serviced or rebuilt so it must be seen as an eventual “throw away” housing however far down the road that may be.  The housing can be fitted with a lens holder for macro, but it is really not suitable for a wide angle wet lens.  Certain command dial functions can only be activated by push buttons which can slow setting changes somewhat.  Controls have limited “feel” but most functions can be operated.

Canon WP-DC52 Underwater Housing With Flash Diffuser Mounted

Nauticam NA-G16 Housing

A higher price point brings much greater refinement in a solid aluminum housing that is the smallest of all the housing options.  The Nauticam has the friendliest and most accessible ergonomics with button spacing and true command dial use, thus providing easy function access even with gloves.  100 meter depth rating indicates ruggedness and the housing is fully re-buildable.  This housing is the only one to incorporate a moisture alarm as standard.  The 67mm thread on the front of the port accepts close up wet lenses and the housing comes with an adapter to utilize the Inon S100 ZM80 without buying additional parts.

The Nauticam also has a control wheel on the front of the housing to operate the lens ring.  This permits adjustment of shutter speed with one wheel and aperture with the other.  With the Canon housing, the user must make menu selections to change functions, which requires the photographer to alternate between shutter speed and aperture adjustments.

By focusing on your personal priorities in a system, it should be fairly easy to find a good match from the housings above.  Still have more questions?  Give us a call - we are here to help!

Ready to dive with your camera but do not know where to start?  Take a look at our knowledgebase article "Setup Guide for Canon S110 and G16 Cameras for Underwater Photography."