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.