Month: December 2010

How to modify an underwater camera case to fit a camera it was not designed for and save 93%

This one really appealed to my sense of thrift.

First, stumble across an Olympus PT-043 underwater camera housing in a white goods department store. Second, ring the office (as yet again you have left your camera behindĀ  in your suit coat pocket) to find out what model it is, as you have a mind blank. Third, be disappointed to find your camera won’t fit the case, as it needs a model PT-047. Bah.

Look at the price tag again – reduced from $349 to $25 – yes, just twenty-five bucks. Maybe you might find the right camera at a thrift sale at some point in the future. Yeah, right. So take the plunge and buy it, as you won’t ever see one again at this price.

When I got back to the office, I tried my camera – an Olympus Mju Tough 6000 – and, sure enough, it wouldn’t fit, as it needed a PT-047 housing, also priced at $349 bucks – too long, but the right height and thickness. But it was pretty close, so visions of a bit of DIY goodness crept in. I remembered there was a Dremel in a cupboard, and so I decided to make the case fit my camera. It turned out to be pretty simple. All I had to do was grind off two small plastic lugs, and it fitted like it was made for it. Five minutes work, and three-hundred-and-twenty-four bucks were saved.

Luckily, the Olympus Tough 6000 and the camera the PT-043 was really designed for, the Olympus 1030SW, share an identical rear control button layout, and the shutter release is in the same spot on the top of both cameras. This means that all of the camera controls are accessible from outside the case just as it was designed to be able to do. There is only one fly in the ointment, and I believe that I can address this too – the only issue that remains to be sorted is that the main power button is not located precisely under the right spot to be able to switch it on and off. It is 2 mm too far away from the articulated plastic control lever inside the case, so it looks like I will be fabricating a new button soon. The controls pierce the case, being stainless steel rods sealed with O-rings. The control buttons are hard plastic, held on with a split spring washer so they are removable. Stay tuned.