Jonah 10D Housing

*NOTE* This review covers a preproduction Jonah Canon 10D Housing. Please also check the current thread about Jonah housings in our forums.

I recently traveled throughout a very remote area of Indonesia with a Jonah Housing for the Canon 10D digital camera. I shot thousands of pictures during fifty-seven dives using this housing and am fairly confident that I have tested all of its capabilities.


Camera:   Canon 10D
Housing:   Jonah Housing C10D
Ports:   50mm flat port, extension ring for 100mm, 4 inch dome, and 8 inch dome
Strobes:   Two Sea&Sea YS90-DX Duos (connected with Nikonos 5-pinLenses Canon 100mm macro (F4); Canon 50mm macro (F2.5); Canon 35-80mm (F2.5); Canon 20-35mm wide angle (F5.6)
Modeling Light:   Single UK-40 (or, alternatively, a standard PC-A)
Hardware:   Compaq 2600 Laptop (P4 with 60 gig and 500 meg RAM)
1 gig Lexar 40x CF cards
Software :   Photoshop 7.0
Capture One DSLR Limited Edition (for RAW conversion)


The Jonah Housing provides the following positives:

moisture alarm and camera mount shown

button stickers


The Jonah Housing had the following drawbacks:

Set Up and Assembly

The housing came with a small guidebook, but you don’t really need it. The back-half of the housing contains standard latches that you lock and clip to the forward half of the housing. (Be sure you un-clip the latches simultaneously when separating the housing halves.) No further assembly required.

Menu Settings Used

These are the menu settings used during the evaluation:

Camera Settings Used

The following camera settings were used underwater (as seen on the top LED display)

Strobe Exposure

The two YS-90s I used were controlled manually and connected to the housing through the N-5 connector through a standard "Y" connector. Generally speaking, most images were perfectly exposed using the 50mm and 100mm macro while shooting at 1/60 at F11 with the strobes set at -1 stop. Overall, I shot at 1/60 or 1/90 and anywhere from F11-F22.

The lowest strobe setting I used was -2 full stops. Darker subjects occasionally required the strobes set -1/2 stop. I occasionally used both strobes set at full power.


I shot over 5000 images on this trip and was very impressed with the performance of this housing. I have hundreds of pictures suitable for framing and am looking forward to using this housing on future expeditions.

In recent months, a lot of people have discussed the E-TTL issue related to shooting DSLRs underwater. Although no housing currently enables your Canon camera to shoot E-TTL with your Ikelite or Sea&Sea strobes, you should have no problems quickly learning how to shoot your strobes manually.

The housing is weighted very well in my opinion and I got good results holding the camera by the handle as well as by placing my hand under the lens port for support. Be sure you specify which connectors you need for strobe arms -- I have different types to accommodate any strobe arms I choose to use.


While using the Jonah housing, I noted the following topics I would like to comment on:

Hot Shoe Issue

The Jonah Housing comes with a fairly standard hot-shoe mount that you attach to the camera body. Although you can leave the hot-shoe attached to the camera base tray while switching to fresh camera batteries, I quickly grew tired of the juggling act I had to perform while doing this and began dis-connecting the hot-shoe and removing the camera completely.

After disconnecting the hot-shoe and reconnecting it about 30 times, I began to have problems with my strobes firing inconsistently. Basically, sometimes the right strobe fired and the left didn’t or the left strobe fired and the right strobe didn’t -- and sometimes neither strobe fired at all.

I examined the hot-shoe closely and discovered the one of the small pins was occasionally getting stuck under the metal plate on the shoe.

The pictures below show what the hot shoe looks like from the side with the pin stuck and with the pin in the correct position.

The picture below show what the pin looks like when positioned correctly when the metal shoe plate is removed.

If this happens to you, you can dislodge the stuck pin with a toothpick or by unscrewing the metal plate and physically moving the pin back into position. Be careful if you take the metal plate off because the pin is seated on a very tight -- and very small -- spring. If you lose that spring, you’re toast.

Buttons Issue

The problem with the buttons was already being resolved while I was testing the unit -- basically, I had problems getting some of the buttons to allow me to access the camera. A few of the rubber nipples on the back of the housing fell off, which prevented the buttons on the top of the housing from working. Additionally, I had problems accessing the Menu, Info, and Jump buttons on a few dives, but fortunately I was always able to control the shutter speed, aperture, and shutter release, which was what really mattered to me.

Missing nipples on 3 buttons at top left (I hate it when that happens... )

One of the buttons -- I have no idea which one -- must have been making slight contact with the camera because while I was diving the camera would never go into sleep mode. This was only a minor irritation really because the camera battery lasted about two hours with heavy shooting - by the time the battery was dead or dying it was time for me to come up from the dive.

From what I understand, the buttons issue has been resolved. I will send my housing in after my December trip to the Honduras and report a follow-up.


The housing handles remarkably well underwater and I think the hand-grips would be comfortable for people with a wide variety of hand sizes.

The shutter release is smooth and you can reach the shutter release while holding on to the hand-grip with no problem. You can hold the focus lock (*) button and the shutter release at the same time as well.


I would like to see a rubber lens cover designed for the 8 inch dome port, similar to the one designed for the 4 inch. A cover for the flat port would be nice too, but isn’t "mission critical." If the power switch is re-designed, it should include a "block" attached to the inside of the housing that ensures the lever is properly positioned. (If the camera goes into sleep mode, you probably won’t really need the on-off switch.)

A magnifier in the eyepiece for the view-finder would be AWESOME! I don’t know why none of the housing manufacturers ever think of that... just a personal wish I guess.


Overall, the Jonah Housing performed remarkably well. I logged around 100 hours underwater using this housing and had very few problems, which is especially impressive considering it was only the second housing ever made by Jonah for the Canon 10D.

The owner of the company has rapidly responded to some of the issues related to the housing, such as replacing the button springs and the rubber nipples and I am extremely happy with its performance.

Bottom line... would I buy a Jonah housing again? The answer is Yes.

[Editor's note: We cannot post this review without noting that some early users of Jonah housings have had some support problems after getting defective housings. We hope that these issues will be ironed out once the housings are no longer pre-production. There is currently an active thread in the forums about Jonah housing support.]