Sony a6000 housing – Meikon Starbea aluminium housing with interchangeable ports

I love Meikon, the Chinese housing manufacturer who make inexpensive dive style housings for a huge variety of cameras, including the Sony a6000.

So I was very happy when Andrew Grose tipped me off that they had announced a new housing for the a6000, I hadn’t noticed whilst I was away on holiday and now I’m back it’s actually been released:

Meikon Starbea Aluminium Sony a6000 housing with interchangeable ports

Meikon Starbea water housing for the Sony a6000

If you’ve been researching Sony a6000 water housings then you might have found my previous post. I love my plastic a6000 housing and it’s only missing three things:

  • Interchangeable ports (with a small flat port, dome port and telephoto zoom port)
  • A pistol grip
  • A viewfinder window

A Meikon Sony a6000 housing with interchangeable ports?

The good news is, this new aluminium housing has interchangeable ports, which is the most important missing piece of the puzzle. They asked for suggestions on Facebook on which ports to create next (currently only the standard 16-50mm port is available) and a lot of people mentioned the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 8mm fisheye which I love, so that’s a good start.

A pistol grip for a Meikon Sony a6000 housing?

I’ve also built my own pistol grip that works pretty well, here’s a sneak preview that appeared on my Instagram account:

KNEKT GPLT trigger and Meikon a6000 housing

I’ll put up a video on how this worked out and what improvements I’m planning on making once I’ve sorted through my holiday photos and got organised again.

Using the viewfinder on a Meikon Sony a6000 housing?

The viewfinder issue is the one thing that’s gotten worse with this new housing, the plastic one I have has a frosted plastic section obscuring the viewfinder, I have no idea why they would deliberately obscure it, I guess if you’re diving you can’t see it through the mask anyway, but they must realise people use these housings on the surface too.

Tim Nunn (check out Esker.tv) suggested in the comments of a previous post that he used T-cut scratch remover to get a clear finish on the plastic so he could use the viewfinder. He wanted to use it because using the LCD all the time caused some fogging due to increased heat inside the housing.

I haven’t had this issue myself (although I don’t shoot in extremely cold locations like Tim does), but I have had the issue of not being able to see the LCD due to bright sunlight.

I plan to fix this issue in a different way which will work with the new Meikon Starbea a6000 housing too, so I’ll report back once I’ve got a solution that works.

Attaching a GoPro to a Meikon Sony a6000 housing

One other minor thing was that there wasn’t enough flat space on the top of the housing for a sticky GoPro mount, there is a cold shoe for a flash bracket though, so you could use something like the Rec-mounts Hot shoe mount:

The Rec-mount GoPro Hot shoe mount

So it’s easy to get one on there with the plastic style housing.

The new Starbea aluminium a6000 housing has some threaded holes on the top next to its cold shoe, so it looks like it will be even easier to get a GoPro mounted securely on top.

Should I buy the new Meikon Starbea aluminium Sony a6000 housing, or the plastic Meikon Sony a6000 housing?

The prices are:

$160 – Meikon (branded Neewer in this case) plastic a6000 housing

$730 (from Amazon.com) – Meikon Starbea aluminium Sony a6000 housing with interchangeable ports (with one port for the 16-50mm kit lens)

If you’re using radically different lenses then buy the Starbea, it’s the only option. Although you can only get one port so far and more are likely to take “months” according to Meikon’s facebook page.

If you only want to use the kit lens and small prime lenses (the Sigma 19mm and 30mm both fit, but the Sigma 60mm doesn’t) then go for the plastic one.

If you absolutely need to use the viewfinder rather than the LCD, go for the plastic one and get some T-Cut.

I’ve got a couple of posts about water housings coming up soon after my experiences on holiday, spoiler alert – I’m selling my Aquatech gear and at least one other housing too. So this little housing is right at the top of my wish list right now.

Comments

  1. I am interested in what settings you usually use for the a6000 in the Meikon housing? I have been having a few issues with miss focusing and soft images and was wondering if you could give a few tips? I have been shooting usually at 16mm with 1/800 – 1/1000, f/8 , with auto ISO and continuous AF. I am sure that there is some technique issues as well but there are other times where I have a surfer in the center of the frame and it will miss the focus so just wondering if I could improve things with some other settings that I am missing?

    Many thanks, really enjoy the site!

    1. Hey Tristan,
      Those settings look pretty good to me, I have definitely used similar shutter speeds and got good results.

      I haven’t used the kit lens in my housing, just my Sigma 19mm and 30mm, and I don’t have any unexplained blurry shots from those lenses.

      Do you have any sample shots up online? I could take a look and see if there’s anything else I can think of.

      I’d check your lens port to make sure it’s completely clean with no water drops or residue, that might cause some focus issues.

    2. I would use manual ISO. You can get very good quality up to 1600. Also best to use centre focusing point, not multi. Front curtain to be ‘ON’. And give a +half point exposure to lighten up the surfers face and keep the waves nice and white. A polarizing filter would be good if you could keep it water tight.

  2. Hey how’s it going, awesome blog you have put together, very helpful. I have one question about the T-cut scratch remover for the view finder issue. Do you know how to get a clear or at least usable finish on the housing. I purchased the t-cut that you suggested but it’s doing nothing for the housing. I’ve applied it to the outside and inside. Or do you have another way of being able to use the view finder? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Stephen,
      I haven’t used T-Cut myself, Tim Nunn has had luck with it though, he commented on this post: https://www.learningsurfphotography.com/meikon-sony-a6000-water-housing-closer-look/

      I’ve got some similar polish for removing scratches from acrylic and I might get a chance to use the housing this weekend so I’ll have a go at it and see if my polish does the trick.

      There might be a technique to it or it might just take a long time, I know polishing out scratches in an acrylic dome takes quite a while so I wouldn’t be surprised if you have to go at it for some time to get a clear view of the viewfinder.

      I’ll report back when I’ve tried it out.

      1. Thanks for the reply! Yeah I just didn’t do it enough times for it to clear up. I’ve done it probably 100 plus times now and it’s pretty clear. Maybe another 100 times will do it for me. Thinking of glueing a viewfinder piece on the outside to help block the sun a little when using it.

        1. Hey Stephen,

          Good to hear it’s working, sounds like a long process. I ended up using my Aquatech instead this time

          Here’s what they do around the viewfinder, might offer some inspiration, I think you could easily do it with some stick on eva foam.

          I might steel that idea for mine once I get around to polishing it clear.

          1. Hey Ben. So I was able to get the viewfinder pretty clear. I ended up buying a Dremel rotary tool and used one of the polishing accessories that came with it combined with the T-cut and it worked great. It’s the Dremel 7300 to be exact. Got another question if you don’t mind.

            I’ve always used a GoPro for all my surf photos which works great but I wanted something more and better image quality. So I’m not use to what settings to have it on and all that. Any chance do you have another article on the basic settings to have the a6000 on? Or what the most important ones are for when in the water? Thanks in advance

          2. Hey Stephen,

            That’s a good tip on the rotary tool, I’ve got a similar one myself so I’ll give it a go at some point.

            I haven’t done a post on settings that I use for the Sony a6000, because they’re quite dependant on the conditions, lens and type of shot I’m after.

            I might try and put something together but the best way to get the right settings is trial and error, one of the great thnigs about the Meikon housing is that you can change any of the settings during a session, so next time you go out have a play around and see which settings look best for you.

            I’ll let you know if I do get around to posting something no the subject.

            Cheers.
            Ben.

          3. You can get a watch maker/jewellers to buff out the scratches as they do for acrylic watches.

  3. How is the plastic housing? I’ve looked into it but it really doesn’t seem all that sturdy , especially considering how much it costs.

    1. Hey Matt,

      The plastic Meikon housing is pretty tough, I’ve only had mine out in head high waves at the biggest, but I’ve never had any issues with it at all, and it feels sturdy.

      There’s actually two o-rings and a leak detector in mine, and with no interchangeable ports there’s not really too many places for water to get in, you just have to be careful when you’re sealing it up, like all housings.

      There’s plenty of people using this type of housing in serious waves, check out the #meikon hashtag on Instagram for some examples: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/meikon/

      If you’re not keen though it looksm like there’s going to be several surf housings available for the a6000 (and the a6100) pretty soon, I’ve collected some of the options here: https://www.learningsurfphotography.com/sony-a6000-surf-photography/

  4. Hey Ben, I just have a quick question. I’m thinking of getting the rokinon 8mm fisheye lens. Does it fit in the meikon housing? And if it does how much of the port gets in the way of the shot, enough that it ruins the shot or just a little to crop out? I know it should be used with a dome port but I gotta work with what I got lol. Thanks in advance

    1. Hey Stephen,

      The Rokinon 8mm doesn’t fit in the housing, it’s slightly too long with the protective lens hood.

      You can file off the lens hood and squeeze it in, but you’ll get a lot of vignetting from the flat port, I haven’t done it myself so I can’t show you exactly what it would look like.

      I expect there would be quite a lot of the frame lost because of the port, so I’d seriously consider getting one of the a6000 housings which have interchangeable ports and a dome available for shooting fisheye.

  5. Is this a concept design? The link on Amazon says they don’t know when it will be back in stock with no reviews or questions.

    1. Hi Chris,

      There were definitely some available through Amazon at one point, I’m not usre if it’s been discontinued now though. As far as I can tell Meikon haven’t released any more ports for the system though, so it doesn’t look too good for the future of this housing at the moment.

      I did see that they have a plastic housing with interchangeable ports for the Nikon J5 camera body, I can’t find a page for it on their site anymore, but they do list one of the ports on its own here: https://meikon.com.hk/collections/underwater-waterproof-camera-housing-case-for-nikon/products/10-30mm-port-for-1-j5

      Hopefully they’ll make some more interchangeable port housings soon.

  6. Hi,

    can you tell me which parts are made of plastic, and which are made of aluminum? Is the complete locking system made of aluminum?

    1. Hi Daniel,

      I don’t know for sure as I haven’t handled one myself,but looking at the images I can find it looks like the main latch is aluminium and the red buttons are plastic. I could be wrong and the whole latch could be plastic too though.

      The rest of the shell is aluminium, but most, or all of the buttons are plastic from the looks of it.

      1. don’t have yet a a6000.. but i’m thinking to take it… not an expensive camera.. and housing is not so expensive…. aluminium is a little bit more expensive….

        do you know the max lens size we can use with the plastic and aluminium one?

        interesting but surely support 40M

        two other housing i also found
        neewer
        and
        mcoplus (aluminium one is cheap… but very few button)

        1. There’s a list of compatible lenses for the plastic version on this page: https://www.learningsurfphotography.com/housing/meikon-a6000-housing/

          I think the aluminium one would be similar as the port is designed for the 16-50mm lens that also fits in the plastic one.

          I think Neewer are a brand that are manufactred by Meikon too.

          The mcoplus plastic housing looks the same as the Meikon, but the aluminium one is alot more basic, with hardly any buttons and a fixed lens port.

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