It's fitting that the first Marelux underwater housing that we've had the pleasure of diving with has been the housing for the Canon EOS R5. As you may have seen in our Canon EOS R5 underwater review, the R5 has remained our top choice for an underwater camera for two years since its announcement. With the R5, you have incredible autofocus, 12 fps burst shooting, 8K/30p, and 4K/120p video at your fingertips. So it's very important that the housing you use with this camera has excellent ergonomics that allow you to take full advantage of your camera in a quick situation underwater. After shore diving with the Marelux R5 underwater housing extensively in the winter waters of the Pacific Northwest, we think this housing is more than equipped to handle a beast of a camera like the Canon EOS R5. Here's why....
A rockfish photographed with the Marelux Canon EOS R5 housing in the field with the Canon EOS R5, Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens, and dual Sea & Sea YS-D2J strobes. f/13, 1/15, ISO 800
A dual locking system design in the R5 housing provides security and minimal effort to lock the back panel to the front panel of the housing. The lock features a locking button on both latches that ensures there is no accidental unlocking while making it easy to open up your housing for a battery or memory card swap.
Port Lock Design
The port lock system secures your port and port extensions in place with one simple latch. Like the housing lock system, it is easy to use but very secure.
The flash trigger converts the electronic signal from your camera into an optical signal which triggers your strobes. The flash trigger has a very long battery life - 10,000 triggers with the (2) CR2032 batteries. It also does not require you to turn the on/off switch on for it to operate. All you need to do is plug in the hot shoe of the camera and you're good to go!
The housing comes with a quick release camera tray which makes camera installation a breeze. Also, the tray locks in place to the housing and can be easily be installed and removed. Once in place, the camera is secure and locked to the housing. The camera tray comes with a key that helps you remove the tray from the camera when you're done - and it's stored right on the tray!
Ergonomics and Trim
The ergonomics, design, and underwater trim of the housing are all top quality. Each control that is important to the function of the R5 is within a fingers-distance from the handle. All levers, dials, and buttons have great action (though the dpad was a little on the stiffer side, which loosened up over time), and each button is labeled with all necessary control for easy use underwater. During our dives, we never had any buttons stick, press the wrong control, or misalign in any way. Everything was smooth and seamless with the housing. One of my favorite controls was the record, function toggle lever on the side of the housing. The same lever had two different functions depending on which direction it was pushed, which I thought was very innovative. The only downside that we saw in the ergonomics, was that some of the levers and dials could be a little close together on the right side of the housing, but that is where you want your controls!
The Marelux R5 housing is extremely compact. Underwater, it feels lighter than other anodized aluminum housings, though we still might recommend a sitx float or two. We managed to do all of our dives without floats! What's interesting about Marelux housings is that their port opening is so large and their housing is so compact, that the already-large port opening seem to take up the whole front of the housing. This doesn't seems to affect trim underwater, but it does make it very easy to swap lenses in and out! When we swam with the housing in high current, there was very little drag because of its small size. For divers that are easily tired, a small housing like this can mean not going through your air or quitting the dive early.
Excellent trim underwater was needed to capture this photo of a nudibranch photographed with the Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing, Canon EOS R5 camera, Canon RF 100mm macro lens, Sea & Sea YS-D2J strobe, and a Reefnet fiber optic snoot. f/18, 1/160, ISO 100
Scratch Resistant Anodization
When we first received the housing, the engineers at Marelux sent us a video of "the knife test." That's right.... they showed us a video of what happens when you try to scratch a Marelux housing with a knife - apparently nothing! This is because Marelux has a specially designed extra strong anodization. At first, we almost didn't believe it but after a few dives through high current and swell, smashing into rocks along the way...the Marelux R5 housing has been one of the most scratch resistant housings we've seen!
Opening the Housing and Loading the Camera
One of the joys of using the Marelux R5 housing is putting it together....seriously! The compact size of the housing and the large port opening takes the best of both worlds from small and large underwater housings. Getting a lens into the port opening is a breeze and the opening allows you to fit large lenses in the housing. In many cases, you don't need to remove the lens to take the camera out of the housing. In fact, Marelux has an innovative zoom gear system that moves the zoom gear into place as you lock the camera in place. This means it's super easy to install the zoom gear without worrying about the gears getting caught.
The housing opens and closes with two simple latches. These latches are locked so that you need to press the buttons on the latches to open them. This makes it almost impossible to accidentally open the housing underwater.
A nice view of the large port on the Marelux Canon R5 Housing
Safety Features - the Vacuum System and Moisture Alarm
The Marelux R5 housing comes equipped with a built-in moisture alarm that can detect any water droplets entering a housing and provides both an audible and visual alarm. Moreover, you can purchase an optional vacuum system and pump to ensure your housing is vacuum sealed before the dive. Creating a vacuum seal allows you to check to make sure your seal is water tight before entering the water. We find the vacuum system to be very easy to use, though it can take a few more pumps to reach a vacuum than competitors.
A Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing in the Field
Anytime a new housing brand hits the market, there are kinks in the housing to be worked out. While we noticed one or two, our first experience with Marelux went seamlessly! The photos speak for themselves. The Marelux R5 housing survived tough diving conditions, all the while providing us with excellent ergonomics and functionality. What more could you want from an underwater housing?
More Underwater Photos taken with the Marelux Canon EOS R5 Underwater Housing and Canon EOS R5 Camera
A Clown Dorid photographed by a Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing in the field. f/16, 1/160, ISO 100
A sea cucumber photographed with the Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing. f/11, 1/80, ISO 800
Anemone tentacles photographed by a Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing in the field. f/18, 1/160, ISO 100
A wolf eel photographed by a Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing in the field. f/13, 1/15, ISO 640
A sculpin photographed by a Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing in the field. f/18, 1/160, ISO 100
Metridium anemones photographed by a Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing in the field. f/11, 1/80, ISO 800
An anemone photographed by a Marelux Canon EOS R5 Housing in the field. f/13, 1/15, ISO 800