AirLock System Lets You Test Waterproof Camera Housings for Leaks


Underwater photo gear company Backscatter has released a new product that’s designed to give photographers peace of mind when diving with expensive camera gear in waterproof housings. Called the AirLock Vacuum System, it’s a new device that lets you verify that your housing is completely free of leaks before you take it into the water.

The system consists of four separate pieces: a custom bulkhead, a waterproof one-way valve, a vacuum gauge, and a hand pump. These pieces work together to create a negative pressure environment inside your camera housing and to monitor the pressure, which lets you ensure that water won’t be invading your precious camera’s circuitry during underwater shoots.


A common way camera housings are checked for leaks is simply to dunk them into a fresh water tank and then looking for bubbles escaping the enclosure. This may work relatively well, but it’s basically eyeballing the gear rather than putting it through a rigorous test.

What AirLock lets you do is verify that your housing is leak proof within 10 minutes, even without a tank of water handy. Simply create a vacuum inside the housing, and if the pressure is identical 10 minutes later, you have yourself a leak-proof setup. For even more peace of mind, you can leave the vacuum overnight and check it the next morning.

AirLock is available for many popular underwater camera housing brands, and can be purchased through the Backscatter website for $399.

  • agour

    It’s a smart concept, but I’d imagine the price put’s it out of most peoples reach. Also, it’s just essentially a £5 valve, and a £10 bike pump. I bet you could DIY something like this pretty easily!

  • Brett

    I hate how some camera gear is expensive simply because they can. Zacuto are huge examples of this.

  • stijn

    just to let you know. I have an exact same system allready more then 6 years. developed by a belgium underwaterhousing company.

  • Roy

    That’s supply & demand for you, and it doesn’t just apply to camera gear.

  • paul

    Top bad a vacuum will only create a pressure diff of 1 bar==10m of water.
    This will not prove it is also waterproof at larger depths..

  • Andres Trujillo

    yup, that will fixed on the updated system and sold for the same price

  • BrokenPencil

    There’s a couple Chinese knock off for a tenth of the price of Zacuto. Enjoy the quality while it lasts ;)