REVIEW – As a photographer/videographer, I love capturing many types of footage including seaside videos of the waves crashing against the shore and even some underwater footage when I get the right opportunity. Watertight enclosures for my high-end DSLR cameras are expensive, and the risk of damage to a $5000 plus camera is always on my mind. Since cell phones are now capable of decent video footage, I was intrigued by this water housing that allows you to use your iPhone 7 Plus or 8 Plus to shoot footage and take pictures without the risk of water damage.
What is it?
The AxisGo System is a sealable watertight enclosure for the iPhone 7/8, 7/8 Plus and iPhone X, allowing users of all skill levels to use their compatible smartphone as a professional-grade underwater camera.
What’s in the box
1 x AxisGo System Sport Housing with Standard Lens Port
1 x AxisGo Pistol Grip/Control handle
1 x Silicone Sealant (O-Ring Grease Tube)
1 x Angled Phillips Screwdriver
! x Storage Pouch
1 x Wrist Strap
1 x Lanyard
1 x O-Ring Removal Tool
1 x Instruction Card
1 x AxisGo Sticker
Design and features
The AxisGo iPhone Underwater enclosure is made by AquaTech and is designed to provide an airtight seal around your phone while aligning the camera lens in the correct position allowing you to take photos or shoot videos. The body of the apparatus seems to be constructed of some type of polycarbonate material and aluminum, and the viewing/touch cover is made from a hard-coated polycarbonate membrane that is strong but flexible and it works well for navigating the home screen that is sealed within the AxisGo housing.
On the back of the AxisGo, there is the sealed lens, the attached pistol grip (optional) with the trigger that allows you to start and stop recording and to take snapshots, the removable lens, and the hinge that allows the back device to open and close. On the front, there is just the viewing /touchscreen.
The pictures below show the iPhone within the case with the screen visible, and with the screen in video mode showing an image while recording.
On one edge of the enclosure, there is an on/off button for power and phone lock functions, and on the other edge buttons for video start/stop and snapshot controls (Also normally used at the volume control buttons). To take pictures and videos, you use the normal camera app that comes with your Android/IOS phone, and the buttons on the sides of the case mirror the buttons on the sides of your phone. For example, with the camera app on the iPhone, once in the app, either one of the volume buttons can be used to take a photo of start and stop video recording. Once you open the app on your phone and choose the desired mode (video/photo), you squeeze the trigger to perform the functions.
The picture on the left also shows the various threaded mounts that are available for attaching accessories. Similar mounts are also available on the opposite side if/when the pistol grip is removed. The picture on the right below shows how the pistol grip trigger engages the button to perform the start/stop video and snapshot functions.
The ideal test for this type of device would be to go diving with it in 60 to 90 meters of water. Since I was unable to do so, my plan was to attach it to a monopod and submerge it in the ocean at the water’s edge and let the waves that come crashing in have a go at it. I must say the I was quite worried about the possible fate of my iPhone, so the first thing that I did was to follow the instructions and submerge the housing in my bathtub full of water and thrash it about as hard as possible to reveal any possible leaks. The instructions did indicate how to adjust if necessary to fix any leaks, but my test revealed that the housing was perfectly sealed when closed.
Since the leak test was very successful, I felt more confident and headed out to the beach. I am happy to report that as the video below shows, it took a beating and my iPhone remained completely dry. The video is also very clear and the polycarbonate touch screen cover does not affect the operation in any way.
After using the AxisGo housing, I actually really like it. I can see it being a really nice option the next time I go to the Caribbean and go diving near the reefs. If is do use it, I will definitely provide an update. The housing is well made and should provide years of trouble-free use.
What I like
- The build quality of the enclosure
- The ability to mount it in various ways via the 1/4-20″ threaded mounts
- The secure watertight seal that is creates
- The additional lenses that are available – https://aquatech.net/collections/axisgo-lens-ports
- The Pistol Grip functionality that allows you to start and stop recording and to take photos
What can be improved
- For what it is designed to do, I cannot think of anything that would make it better
If you are an underwater photographer/videographer whether professional or just an enthusiast, the AxisGo iPhone water housing is the perfect solution for you if your smartphone phone is the recording device of your choice. This underwater housing is well built, and the materials used should withstand the elements for many years without rusting or leaking. Even if you want to shoot footage at the water’s edge like I did, and you are concerned about the water and salt. etc damaging your phone, this housing will work well. There are also enough optional accessories like lenses, etc, that make it flexible enough for you to enjoy shooting a variety of underwater footage. From my experience with it, I give it a thumbs up!!