Recsea Canon G15 Housing & Macro Review

Amr reviews the Recsea Canon G15 housing, G15 vs G12 and G15 Supermacro Capability
By Amr Abdu-Majeed

Recsea G15 Housing Review & Canon G15 Underwater Macro Review


By Amr Abdu-Majeed

April 28, 2013

recsea g15

Christmas Tree Worm, Canon G15, M mode, F8, ISO 100, 1/200, 2x Sea & Sea YS-01 strobes with
SubSee +5

The Recsea G15 is a great housing and has many improvements over the previous G12 model.  The housing is made of high quality aluminum and comes with a big wheel in the rear which makes it easier to change settings like ISO, macro, manual focus and flash. The buttons are easy to press even when wearing gloves and do not get stuck.


Recsea Housing Improvements (G12 to G15)

In my opinion there are two major differences (improvements) between the Recsea G15 housing and the previous Recsea G12 housing:

1. The ISO wheel has been improved, which makes changing the ISO smoother than before.  It also fixes an issue with the Recsea G12 where if the ISO wheel is not pressed hard enough the Mode wheel will rotate with the ISO wheel, causing the camera mode to change.

2.  The Recsea G15 has a Record button (Red Button), which makes recording video quick and easy.  With the Recsea G12 you had to switch to video Mode through the Mode wheel.

A unique feature of the Recsea housing is that the port can be replaced by a fisheye lens like the UWL-04 fisheye.  For supermacro photography an adapter can be placed on the Recsea housing port to add macro wet lenses.


Recsea G15 Housing

Canon G15 Recsea housing with dual Sea & Sea YS-01 strobes (front view)


Recsea G15 Housing

Recsea G15 Housing (back view)


Canon G15 Improvements

I had a canon G12 for almost 3 years and the results I got from it were pretty good.  In my opinion, the thing that put the canon G12 at the top of the compact camera list for almost 2 years was the amazing macro capability with its 10MP.  I loved the sharpness in the pictures.  The Canon G15 has the same macro capability but with some major improvements.  It is smaller, focuses faster, is sharper, and the video quality has significantly improved since the G12.  Canon added the full HD 1080 video, along with faster focus during video shooting, improved white balance adjustment and a separate video recording button.


Recsea G15 Housing

M mode, F8, ISO 80, 1/400, Canon G15 , 2x Sea & Sea YS-01 strobes with Bluewater +7 and SubSee +5 stacked together


Shooting Supermacro with the G15

To achieve a supermacro shot with Canon G15 I recommend using a wet macro lens or two macro lenses stacked together for maximum magnification.  Common macro lenses (diopters) include the Bluewater +7, SubSee +5 and SubSee +10, which allow you to get closer to your subject and fill the picture frame with your subject, eliminating the need to crop photos.

Bluewater +7 Wet Lens:  This is a great lens that provides increased magnification and sharp details.  Because of the high-magnification, you must bring the lens close to the subject.

SubSee +5 Wet Lens:  This lens also delivers sharp image details, however at less magnification.  I've found that if you zoom the camera in all the way with the +5, the results will not be as nice as with the +7.  The front of the lens is further from the subject, allowing room for many creative strobe positions.

When you stack the 2 lenses together, the Depth of Field is very shallow, so remember to use a higher f-stop.  A focus light helps dramatically when stacking two wet lenses.  Shooting with two wet lenses takes some practice, and I would recommend new divers/photographers to practice with one wet lens before stacking two together.  Stacking 3 wet lenses together yields poor results - two is much better.


Recommended Settings

I recommend the following settings for shooting supermacro with Canon G15, along with one or two macro wet lenses.  If  you are using single or double strobes:

  • Flash always on (forced to fire)
  • Macro mode on
  • Digital Zoom standard
  • Servo AF on
  • Continuous AF on
  • F8
  • ISO 80-200
  • Shutter Speed 1/250 to 1/500
  • White Balance Auto
  • Zoom all the way in (even go with digital zoom 10x to 20x)

Note:  If you are not using strobes, use the same settings as above but with a lower f-stop - about F6.3.


Shooting Tips

1.  The photographer must be neutrally buoyant and keep the camera very steady in order to keep the subject in focus (especially with 1 or 2 wet lenses).

2.  Start with your aperture at F8 and play with shutter speed and ISO for a couple shots.  If the image still isn't light enough, reduce the aperture by 1/3 or 1/2 stops, which will bring in more light and help the camera focus faster.

3.  Try various compositions.  For macro, the subject often looks great in the center of the frame, however you can also frame the subject using the rule of thirds.

4.  I prefer to use the digital zoom in supermacro, which allows me to see exactly where my focus point is and to fill the frame.  The more you zoom, the more shaky the subject will be in the viewfinder, so remaining stable is key.


Recsea G15 Housing

Canon G15, M mode, F8, ISO 100, 1/320, Canon G15 , 2x Sea & Sea YS-01 strobes and 2 macro lenses together (Bluewater +7 and SubSee +5)


Recsea G15 Housing

Canon G15, M mode, F8, ISO 100, 1/320, 2x Sea & Sea YS-01 strobes, macro lens (Bluewater +7)


Recsea G15 Housing

Canon G15, M mode, F8, ISO 100, 1/320, 2x Sea & Sea YS-01 strobes (no macro lenses)



About the Author

Amr A. Abdul-Majeed was born in 1980, in Jeddah-Saudi Arabia to a Jordanian father and an Iraqi mother.  He graduated from Jordan University of Science and Technology in 2006 as a Telecommunications and Electronics engineer, and is currently works at the Consultant & Design Engineering office.  Amr became certified to dive in July 2009 and has been a PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Instructor since May 2011.  He lives in Jeddah, a coastal city on the Red Sea.


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