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Which housing is right for your FX1 or Z1?

So you're looking to get into an HD rig but don't know which one will fit your shooting needs? Each of these housings fits the FX1, but each has it's own attributes. The Light and Motion has IR controls on it's grips. The Gates is fully mechanical and field repairable. The Sea and Sea is a hybrid of both mechanical and IR controls.
FeaturesLMI BluefinSea & Sea VX-FX1Gates FX1 and Z1
LCD Window A clear port atop the housing allows you to view the FX1's built-in LCD display while shooting. YesNoNo
Control Types Electronic controls on the handles will bring all essential controls within reach of your fingertips, but electronics could fail if you're sloppy and get them wet. Mechanical controls are much less ergonomic and require additional holes in the housing. However, mechanical controls are typically robust and more easily repaired in the field with duct tape and bailing wire. Electronic Control - Rec, Zoom, Focus, Lights, Photo, On & Off, VCR modeElectronic Control - Rec, Zoom, PhotoMechanical
Macro Lens The standard ports on these housings offer good macro, but a flip diopter is even better as it allows super macro and medium wide shooting on the same dive. Flip down diopterFlip down diopter (optional)Macro port with diopter accessory kit for deeper macro (Diopters are optional)
Wide Angle Lens Essential to underwater photography, a good wide-angle lens will greatly expand your field of view and allow you to get closer to your subjects. The closer you get, the sharper the image. These housings have a selection of wide-angle lenses ranging from 80 degrees and up to 120 degrees. I say the wider the better! - 80 degree wide angle (optional) - 100 degree wide angle (optional)- 70 degree wide angle (standard) - 90 degree wide angle (optional)- 70 degree wide angle (optional) - 120 degree Fathom Ultra Wide Angle (optional)
Field Repair Kit Repair your own housing in the field with an accessory field repair kit. This usually includes spare O-rings, electronics, bulkheads, switches etc. Items you may need for a minor failure from heavy use and travel. YesNoYes
Housing/Camera Setup Electronic housings are generally easier to assemble. Mechanical housings usually have a more complicated assembly routine. Each of these housings has some level of mechanical controls, but varying ease of set-up. Very Easy Assembly - Minimal control alignment requiredFairly easy assembly - More tricky mechanical alignment requiredMore difficult assembly Most tricky mechanical alignment required. Largest number of mechanical controls.
Warranty and Service Each manufacturer has its own standard warranty and some offer extended plans that cover damage that you inflict on your housing. 1 year standard warranty Service time 2-8 weeks 24 month no fault warranty - covers anything but loss or theft. Some exceptions apply. (optional)1 year standard warranty Service time 2-3 weeks2 year standard warranty Service time 2-4 days

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