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Review: Olympus PT-043, Underwater Housing Case for the Olympus Stylus 1030SW

written by: MelissaViews•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/6/2009
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With the Olympus PT-043 Underwater Housing, you can now take your Olympus Stylus 1030SW down to deeper depths (144 feet), instead of just 33 feet. You also no longer have to worry about small leaks, or time limitations in the water!

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    Images

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    Why You May Want It

    So you went and got yourself an Olympus Stylus 1030SW Digital Camera, you love the camera, but you hate the limitations. Believe me, I feel you on that one myself. I adore the camera, but cannot stand the time restrictions, the depth restrictions, and the fact that the camera (although rugged) seems far too vulnerable to be taken with you everywhere you go.

    This is where the Olympus PT-043, Underwater Housing Case comes in. This underwater housing is made specifically for the 1030SW, and I am going to fill you in on some pointers as to why investing in this underwater housing case is the best solution to all your issues when it comes to the camera.

    First and foremost, buying the PT-043 will allow you to keep your camera in the water for an unlimited amount of time. Without the housing, your Olympus 1030SW was only recommended for 1 hour underwater play time.

    Secondly, you can now expand your underwater depth in a huge way. The PT-043 will allow you to drag it down under to depths of 141 feet. Without the housing, the camera could only travel down with you to 33 feet.

    The third reason you may want to purchase the Olympus PT-043 is because you no longer have to worry about the cameras battery or memory card compartments accidentally being opened while in the water.

    The forth reason is that you can screw off the regular lens that it comes with, and attach an array of other special lenses. It allows you to screw in 52mm lenses such as colored filters, macro lenses, and much, much more.

    Why is it a good idea to buy the PT-043?

    Besides all of the reasons above, pairing your Olympus 1030SW with a PT-043 Housing is a great idea if you plan on extending the life of your camera. Although it works very well in the water as a stand alone, without a protective housing, the 1030SW would sometimes get very, very small beads of water that would surround the compartments mini protective rubber rings. Although the water would never enter the cameras body itself, high salinity could, and will, eventually erode the rubber, which in turn will cause the death of your camera. If you do not get every single dab of salt off of the rubber, the life expectancy is worse than one would imagine.

    -Turn to the next page to read about the PT-043's appearance, and functions

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    The Olympus PT-043 Underwater Housing Case Review - Page 2This section of review goes over the functions of the Olympus PT-043 Underwater Housing Case, and it goes into detail about the housings appearance and quality.
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    Appearance and Functions

    Rating Average

    The appearance of the Olympus PT-043 Underwater Housing Case is very, very beautiful. Although it sounds superficial to call a housing case beautiful, I have to admit it when I see it. The housing closes in on the 1030SW as if it is a protective glass, it has a high shine to it, with nice red detailing to it for flare. The red coloring added to it also makes it easy to find, if it were to escape your wrist.

    It is a very, very rugged casing, although I would not recommend being careless with it. The casing itself is made with a round polycarbonate design. In your hands you will automatically feel how sturdy the casing is. It's no low quality casing. It's a tough momma!

    The buttons on the PT-043 are all placed perfectly to align with the function buttons on your 1030SW. Nothing is out of place, and the large plastic buttons are embedded with the same logos that you will find on your digital cameras function buttons. It allows navigating the housing simple, as there is nothing new to learn.

    At the top of the housing you can attach strobe lights and other attachments to screw in for taking underwater pictures with more light. For the novice user this attachment is pretty unnecessary, but it is there for the taking for if you ever feel like purchasing the attachment.

    One particular nice feature about the PT-043 that I liked right away was the black window shade that I knew would help see photos better while under the water.

    The camera itself nestles perfectly inside of the casing, and is sealed shut using 2 very high quality side buckles to lock it into place.

    The red O-ring that stretches around the casing should always be kept clear of dirt, sand, or other obstructions in order to ensure that no water trickles through. O-rings can be purchased an replaced as needed.

    -Turn to the next page to read about precautions you should take, and to find out if the PT-043 is worth buying

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    Precautions To Take Before Bringing The Olympus PT-043 In The Water With You - ReviewThis section of review goes over a few of the precautions you should take before taking the Olympus PT-043 into the water with you. You will also discover if the Olympus PT-043 Underwater Housing Case is worth buying or not.
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    User Precautions

    The Olympus PT-043 works as perfectly as I imagined it would. It kept my camera dry to the bone while I happily bounced away in the water while snapping photographs.

    I especially appreciated the shading window that came attached to the housing because it allowed me to see my photos after I took them much, much better than before. I had a feeling it would work like this, but was not expecting it to be so efficient.

    On bright days in the water, it was nearly impossible to see what my photos looked like on the LCD screen. With the added shading window, it made it much easier, and my shots were much more on target than without it. The window shade is detachable, so if it annoys you, you are free to remove it as needed.

    On land the PT-043 is a little bulky to carry around, once you hit the water though, the housing weighs practically nothing. In the water the housing is buoyant, but will not drag you up to the surface if you were diving down with it. The wrist strap that the housing case comes with though will keep it attached to your wrist, so there are no problems.

    Now before getting in to the water and testing the Olympus PT-043 out, it is recommended to test it alone without the camera in it. Seeing that the 1030SW is already waterproof itself though, it is not entirely necessary, just a recommendation.

    The first test is to ensure that the housing does not leak. You will want to close it up, and dip it into some water for a few moments. You will want to inspect for any bubbles raising to the surface, and for water trickles. If you experience water trickles in the housing itself, it means there is a problem. Mostly a bad O-ring will be the culprit.

    After testing the PT-043 Underwater Housing, and finding no problems, I was ready to use it fully. Now before placing the camera into the housing, you will notice that your housing came with a bag of Silica Gels. You will not want to toss these, because you are to use them inside of the housing. There will be a very small gap underneath the area where you place the camera. This small gap is actually designed to hold one of the silica gel packs. The silica gel is helpful when it comes to reducing fog in the casing.

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    Images

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    Price to Value

    Rating Average

    The Olympus PT-043 is honestly the best purchase I could have made for my Olympus Stylus 1030SW. I no longer have to worry about time limitations, water leaks, or depths in which I take it. The PT-043 gives me peace of mind. My camera no longer feels vulnerable, and this is exactly what I wanted it for.

    Usually when I review anything I buy, I always include a pros and cons section, however I am able to find not one flaw when it comes to the Olympus PT-043 Underwater Housing Case.

    I picked the PT-043 up online for less than $200, and it was a purchase I am very happy with. Although some may consider the pricing of the housing a bit over the edge, believe me you will be glad you bought it. I have heard far too many horror stories from people who purchased the Stylus, only to have all of their vacation photos ruined when water seeped into the camera. Why risk it? The PT-043 will protect your camera, and protect your memories, and for me, that is an investment worth far more than what I paid.

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    Related Material

    Review: Olympus Stylus 1030SW, The Shockproof, Waterproof, and Freezeproof Digital Camera - The Olympus Stylus 1030SW, hands down has got to be one of the funnest, and most reliable digital cameras I have ever owned. Land or sea, this 10.1MP digital camera will take spectacular pictures.