The AquaTech AxisGo Underwater iPhone Housing: Review
So before I left for Indonesia, I had been going back and forth on a little thing called an AxisGo.
Using the same technology for their standard camera housings, Aquatech Imaging Solutions (aka the brand used by most surf and underwater photographers), developed the AxisGo, a solid, sturdy, quality focused housing for your iPhone.
My obsession with the ocean pretty much ranges from documenting my entire life by it, to documenting my life in it. So the idea that I could capture moments with a device I use on the daily was very clearly a big fat “BUY ME NOW” sign waiting to happen.
Before we go on, I’ll get straight into the nitty gritty, for those of you who don’t like a long read,
AxisGo main points
Amazing quality camera housing
Impressive protective casing
(Goodbye fear of wetting your iPhone)
iPhone Quality Photos — In other words, amazing.
I definitely recommend getting the Pistol Grip (trigger handle to snap the photos — much easier than your normal iPhone camera button)
The Ultra Wide 6’’ inch Dome Port (lens) would make a fantastic addition (Soon-to-be purchase for my next trip!)
Overall Impression : HELL to the YEAH if you like underwater photography.
Kind to My Wallet & Recommended by the Pro’s
The Reality is : Fancy Camera + Quality Water Housing = SERIOUS investment.
So consider the AxisGo your starter Pack to getting creative in the water before considering spending that hard earned cash for the real deal. However I will say if you’re a pro photographer who just wants to shoot for fun without the heavy water housing, this baby is the real deal.
The starting price for the housing alone is $249.00 AUD (US $199.00).
The housings come in sizes for iPhone 7 & 8, iPhones 7+ & 8+, and the new iPhone X.
The housings come in White, Orange & Black. I picked Orange because it’s the brightest colour and I’d have more chances of seeing it if ever I were to drop it(hey — you never know!).
Having always dreamt of being able to shoot underwater without the hefty price tag attached to it (or the heavy equipment) it seemed like a really good product to test out. Not to mention, the camera quality of iPhones nowadays is just as good, if not better, then some DSLR cameras. I chatted to a few professional, reputable surf photographers about it who admitted their last Instagram posts were entirely done with the Axis Go and their iPhones! Since I do most my editing on my iPhone, this news was a great bonus. I hit purchase, filled up my shopping cart, and was very pleased to discover the housing at my door 2 days later (props for your delivery service, Aquatech!)
Water Clarity FYI
I waited for perfect water clarity to truly test out what the AxisGo is capable of. Although Bali was an incredible first trip and I got some fun surf shots, the water clarity on and around the island isn’t always the best, as this was during the massive Once-In-A-Lifetime swell that hit the Indonesian coast this July.
Hence, my trip to Greece was the perfect location. The calmer waters and clarity of the Mediterranean proved to be, quite simply, mind blowing.
The Pro’s And Con’s of The AXISGO for iPhone 8+
Here are some overall thoughts and impressions on the AxisGo
All in all I’ve had great fun and really enjoyed getting creative with the endless possibilities that shooting in the water offers. You may want someone with you to shoot if you’re looking for personal portraits/shots, as selfies aren’t exactly the easiest or most flattering in the water, but it still very fun if you’re an avid snorkeler/diver. Like I said, the possibilities are endless, so get those creative juices flowing!
Great size & quality
The quality of the camera is iPhone 8+ standard, so in other words, pretty flawless because the lens is a standard iPhone 8+ lens (They also have iPhone 7 and 7+ housings, and recently released iPhone X housings). You can even do your portrait mode shots! The housing itself is bigger then you would expect but it has a great “camera” feel in your hand, which I really enjoy (As opposed to a smaller Go Pro where you can’t really see what you’re shooting and end up with footage of the sand or the sky.)
Adjust settings while you swim
This might be a little tricky given you're bopping along in the water and the plastic protection makes it a bit hard to press on the screen. If the sun is out and bright, you may have trouble actually seeing it, but nonetheless, it's still extremely responsive and I'd rather have the screen there than not available at all. Given the possibility, you could even Instagram or Facebook live the experience, which is pretty crazy!
Don’t Surf, Swim.
Surfing with the AxisGo can get a little too big/less manageable then a GoPro. If you have a friend/photographer with you, go for it! It’s a great way to get shots you can edit and directly upload to your socials (Because at the end of the day, that’s really the point, isn’t it?)
I don’t really have Con’s to the AxisGo, however I would recommend a few things if you’re thinking of buying one yourself
Definitely Get the Pistol Grip
My one and only struggle was with the trigger, and this could have been easily avoidable with the extra little trigger handle. There’s a trigger button on the side (where your volume buttons are) and you have the choice between pressing said little side buttons or the camera button on your screen. Since the housing is bigger then you’d except my hands found it a little tricky to take the photos. A trigger handle would be way, way more comfortable and I’d definitely be purchasing one for my next trip (Whitsundays over Christmas should have great water conditions!)
Consider Other Accessories/Extra Lens
I really wanted to purchase the Ultra Wide 6” Dome Port for that epic over/under shot, but decided to wait and see how I liked the quality of the housing first — I also vaguely remember something about my wallet saying no to the extra $199, but considering the price of actual lenses on proper DSLR cameras, the dome is actually good value.
If getting creative is your jam and you enjoy shooting a variety of angles, I would totally recommend it. It’s definitely next on my list for any upcoming surf/ocean trips (along with that trigger handle!)
I hope you enjoyed this little review and that it’s helped you in deciding on whether or not to purchase an AxisGo. I’d also like to state that this post was in no way sponsored by Aquatech Imaging Solutions or Axis Go — I’m simply a little bit of a passionate nerd with these things and love to talk about it.