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Nokia Lumia 1020 — six months with the best smartphone camera


Take your Lumia 1020 underwater like Cousteau with this $299 Watershot case

Wathershot Housing

Over the weekend we reported on Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31 (, where the famed underwater explorer will spend 31 days under the sea (cue the music). While super science stuff is super cool, we were more interested in the custom underwater housing for Cousteau’s Nokia Lumia 1020. The housing will allow Cousteau to take photos 100 meters / 330 feet below the ocean and to Tweet them later, marking a first for Nokia and Windows Phone.

Although we were quite jealous of the housing, Nokia in conjunction with the company Watershot Inc. have a limited supply of those casings for your Lumia 1020. Priced at $299, this is probably the most expensive case you’ll ever buy. On the other hand, if you’re a SCUBA diver, the case and opportunity it presents is hard to resist. 

Wathershot housing


So what do you get for $300?

“This is no basic case, the Watershot for Nokia Lumia 1020 is a multi-feature solution specially made to optimize the advanced photo and video capabilities of the Nokia Lumia 1020. The housing is custom machined from marine grade Aluminum with a black hard anodize finish.

The unit comes complete with the Watershot® removable flat lens port. This port includes a black rubberized baffle for optical image clarity, external threaded lens bezel for accessory lenses and filters.”

In addition, you also get a “…integrated, robust tripod mount and an additional accessory mount on the top of the housing (for lights, etc.)” and as previously mentioned, you’re good to over 300 feet. If you’re not a SCUBA diver, 300 feet is well beyond most recreation dives, which usually don’t go below 130 feet.

Overall, this is a niche product for a specialty phone, so we can’t imagine too many folks buying these. However, for the pros in the world who want the best camera phone on the planet to go underwater, you can’t beat this Watershot case at all.

For more information, head to Watershot’s website when you can throw down your money for one of these limited edition Cousteau cases.

via: Nokia



There are 81 comments. Sign in to comment

Yes, I ordered one :)

nitsuk says:

LOL, Still waiting for Microsoft bring out an dust/shock/water proof handset however may have to invest in this for now :-/

lippidp says:

I'll wait until they go down to $5 at the ATT store...

tkadrum says:

Hopefully you are still living then. :)

MadSci2 says:

Don't bother. ATT cancelled my order for Fatboys, days after scoring the order

mister2d says:

You'll have to post pics to prove it.

Oh I will! Can't let it go to waste.

schlubadub says:

Do you SCUBA dive or are we talking about shots at the local swimming pool? Haha :) Where have you dived?

Aashish13 says:

How creative is the 1020!!!

anirban130 says:

Wow, freaking awesome

Prakhar989 says:

This will turn the innocent 1020 into Dark Lord Sauron...!!!

darthhen says:

Need to know how to swim first. Hahaha

I want this so badly, just can't afford it :(

cesar ruiz1 says:

I need one for my 1520.

NIST says:

I like that the time on the phone is 10:20

isi mcf says:

Checking Facebook while 100ft under water lol

tkadrum says:

FB? more like Instagram....oh wait, Instagram is still in beta. Nevermind.:p

z33dev33l says:

Instagram? What's that? We use 6tag.

towres says:

Wow! Que versátil...

I'm guessing it only works with high sensitivity enabled?

Munkeyphyst says:

Actually, it looks like it doesn't allow full access to the touch screen. In the picture of the back, on the website, there are two touch points. One to access the last shot, and one to rotate through the shoot modes.

Cleavitt76 says:

That is correct.  I own a few high end underwater cameras and housings and only the physical buttons can be used.  I'm not aware of a camera housing that allows interaction with a touch screen.

markokat15 says:

Touchscreens don't work under water- high sensitivity won't help there

sporosarcina says:

I have a waterproof Sony point and shoot that has a touchscreen that works underwater

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

Blacklac says:

If I had the money, I would totally buy one of those, even if id only use it once. Lol. The ability to add lenses it a really nice touch.

John20212 says:

Unless you are a hardcore diver and a massive fan of the Lumia 1020, its not worth it at all.

At $300 I would rather buy a GoPro instead and would get more use out of it outside the water too.


Th3 I3LooD says:

Good point, but for a couple of people like Daniel, it must be owned, no matter the price #braggingrights LoL, others take their hobbies seriously and can afford it. Anyway, it is a badass piece of kit and my black 1020 will love that exoskeleton lol... But I, like you and most people will only put it on and have fun in the tub LMAO, so for us its ridiculous!

You're in a good mood.

astroXP says:

I was going to say that! Nevertheless, I wonder how the two compare under water; Nokia Lumia 1020 vs. GoPro Hero3+

sManowar says:

Man, camera accessories are quite expensive.

Cleavitt76 says:

Anything that allows an electronics device to be used and to survive 11 atmospheres of pressure isn't going to be cheap.

Sp12er says:


MagusShadow says:

I literally would buy this just so I could use it for paintball photography. Actually, I would have purchased it just now if I hadn't bought a GoPro. When it comes to high quality shots in a small, maneuverable package that can switch to video on the fly and take a few hits, especially since I have the phone for free on contract ANYWAYS, I would be hard pressed to find a better deal for $300.

John20212 says:

For paintball I think you are better off with the GoPro, you don't want to be messing around with a camera phone when you are in the middle of a shootout.

The Lumia 1020 is only better for still photography anyway, for video, it can't beat the GoPro.


Th3 I3LooD says:

True! It is awesome...

DJCBS says:

Cool. Now excuse me while I go away to find things to distract me enough to prevent me from buying this "just because".

Sadly the 1020 hasn't made much of an impact on the mobile phone world so Nokia have tried their best with gimmicks such as this to attract some attention. There was that other article about the 1020 being used to take pictures of cells in a microscopic level for medical purposes. Obviously because the world of medicine can't already do this with the equipment they already have. And I'm fed up with those who say that the 1020 is better than a DSLR. Of course it isn't and never will be.
Can't we just enjoy the fact that this phone is the best camera phone on the market and nothing else? Please? I love my 1020 but would never think that it can replace a professional piece of kit, no matter how good it is.

mister2d says:

Why the rant? No one is talking about 1020 market share.

Xaphoon148 says:

Search #Lumia1020 on instathing, there's quite a lot of us :)

Munkeyphyst says:

But it can replace a "professional piece of kit" depending on the scenario. It's ironic, or maybe hypocritical, that you lambast Nokia for inventing "gimmicks" to attract attention, when you are inventing scenarios to detract from what is an amazing technical innovation worthy on note and praise

Cleavitt76 says:

When the full power of a DSLR isn't needed, then yes, a L1020 could replace it in that situation.  However, that is like saying that a BB gun could replace a sniper rifle if you are only hunting lizards.  It's true, but that doesn't make the BB gun equal to the sniper rifle.


Anyway, even though the 1020 is awesome for what it is, he is right that it can't match a DSLR.  I think most people know that already though. 

DJCBS says:

The 1020 CAN replace a DSLR. It just depends on WHICH DSLR you're talking about. It can't replace one of the expensive Sony DSLRs. But it can replace one of those crappy little Canons. And the people the 1020 is aimed at are the buyers of those little Canons, not the buyers of expensive Sony DSLRs.

Cleavitt76 says:

No, it really can't compete with any DSLR in terms of quality or versatility.  The 1020 is an amazing bit of technology, but the laws of physics constrains it.  Photography is about capturing light and the much smaller sensor and much smaller lenses will never allow a device that size to record as many light photons as a DSLR size device.  Regaurdless of resolution or other factors, less photons = more noise = less quality.  Even those "crappy little Canon" DSLRs have relatively massive sensors and lenses, they just lack the high end features like speed, advanced manual controls.


Having said that, the 1020 packs impressive quality for it's size.  The 1020 can kick the crap out of many consumer point and shoot cameras.  That is amazing when you consider that it is a smart phone and not a dedicated camera.

Again, it depends on the situation. On a tripod, I'd agree with you. But the cheap DSLRs don't have a floating lens. So while they can capture more light when stationary, there are cases where the 1020 can leave the shutter open longer and capture more light. This is to say nothing of the size and portability which would allow certain shots not possible on any DSLR.

Cleavitt76 says:

Well DSLR cameras have interchangable lenses and many of those lenses are optically stabilized like the L1020.  It's actually very common in DSLR lenses these days.  Even the really cheap lenses that come packaged with the low end DSLRs usually have OIS (at least the Canon's do).


Reguardless, optical image stabilization is good for 1 or 2 stops of exposure in most cases which equates to 2 to 4 times as much light.  The sensor in a low end DSLR is several times larger in surface area than the Lumia 1020's sensor.  Therefore, even in a best case scenario where the 1020 has the full advantage of 2 extra stops of exposure (4 times as much light) due to use of OIS against a DSLR without an OIS lens, the DSLR will still be collecting at least twice as many light photons on it's imaging sensor. 

NH3MAN says:

Not to be rude but what are you talking about and do you live on Sony World? As far as I know Canon and Nikon are the top two camera manufacturer's of DSLR cameras and glass for professionals. Sony DSLR's are made for the masses and are generally more simplified and cheaper. My 1020 is awesome and will definitely replace some of those cheap Sony cameras that I know of but it certainly can't replace my Canon 60D which is one of those cheaper Canons ($800-1,000) plus the glass which mine ranges from $300-1,500

DJCBS says:

I mentioned Sony because it was the first one that came to mind alongside Canon.

Also the "cheaper Canons" are defenitely NOT the ones you are talking about. 800-1000 is not cheap. I'm thinking in the cheap ones that sell for 99€.

Cleavitt76 says:

I am not aware of any DSLR that is that cheap.  I think you are talking about "point and shoot" cameras.  DSLR cameras, even the cheap consumer models, are quite a bit more advanced and expensive compared to your average camera.


Yeah my Canon DSLR was around 700 hundo, lenses obviously much more. The pictures I take with that BLOW my 920 out of the water and any other camera phone I've seen. my Nokia 920 is my point and shoot now and it gets the job done amazingly well.

nutnithin says:

no gimmicks here my friend. having taken the 920 underwater using pouches(and risking flooding) the things you can do with a mobile phone underwater is simply amazing. i can just imagine how photos are going to turn out on this specially when using lenses along with the 1020.

ScubaDog says:

Oh, MAN!!!!!  If I only had $300 to spare and hadn't already bought the SeaLife DC1400 Pro Duo last year!  I hope they will see enough demand that they'll continue making them long enough that I can afford to get one.  Darn.

ScubaDog says:

And, actually, that's not an unusual price for a good underwater housing.  Visit Ikelite and you'll see some hefty housing prices.

Cleavitt76 says:

Agreed.  It's actually quite cheap for a quality underwater housing.  100 meters is an impressive depth rating.  It's clearly a good housing if it can deal with those pressures.

Toink says:

Wow! I want one of these - although that custom underwater housing for Cousteau’s 1020 looks more functional. This will be very useful for my next dive in Malapascua Island. Thresher sharks, click! Click! Click! :D

Munkeyphyst says:

I thought this was the same as Cousteau's

Toink says:

You're right! My bad! :P

Only problem is.....the case is designed just for the 1020. What happens when you upgrade? The case is useless as it wont fit the other phones.

Flagz says:

Keep your 1020 as a Point and Shoot! Its really a good camera.

Reflexx says:

Is there an optical zoom on the case?

Denegar says:

I'm thinking of getting back into SCUBA diving just so I can use this case.

schlubadub says:

For the rest (most) of the World 300 feet is approximately 91 metres, and 130 feet is almost 40m.

wpvader72 says:

Uhm bro, I think something's wrong with your computation. 130ft is only 40 meters

schlubadub says:

Oops I meant 300 feet. The case can go down to 300 feet (91 metres) but most divers don't go below 130 feet, which is almost 40 metres (39.6 m). Even that's beyond most recreational diver depths... I have my PADI Open Water and I'm only certified to go down to 18 metres (60 ft).

That doesn't mean you can't dive deeper. Lived in the Keys for years...if we had tanks we went...I am SSI Open Water certified...60ft never kept us back! We went deep...wish I still had the time to dive. $300 for this housing and that phone is amazing!

schlubadub says:

Well yeah, I've "accidentally" gone down to 30m (100 feet) to swim through a wreck :) I typically stay above 20m though. I prefer longer dives than deeper dives, unless there's something especially awesome to see :)

Cleavitt76 says:

No.  130 feet is about 40 meters.

schlubadub says:

Sorry, I meant 300 ft

Joe920 says:

Looks like you can soft reset while it's in the case. Good news for those of us on WP8.1. :)

nutnithin says:

Was hoping for something like this when i used to take my 920 underwater. People are going to be surprised with what they can do once they take there phones underwater ;) and the lens thread for lenses and accessories is an amazing feature, macros would be simply amazing using its 41mp.

How did you get your 920 under water?

schlubadub says:

Just put it in a plastic bag and cut a hole for the camera lens ;) ;) ;)

nutnithin says:

dandycase underwater pouch..rated for 30 metres and survived till 38 :D its a wonder the pouch lasted but the risk was worth it ;)

stroodl says:

I made a waterproof case for my N8 from a block of acrylic for like $5. It went down to 40m without any problem. Check my vid (snorkeling in Egypt)

This summer I'm going to make another case for my L928. Cant wait to take her underwater:)

spinzeroWL says:

Have you got any photos of your case?

stroodl says:

Unfortunately not - its burried somewhere in my weekend house - I havent seen that thing for a year or two because I dont have N8 anymore..

Anyway, it is a huge block of acrylic about 1-2cm bigger than N8 in each dimension with milled "slot" on the longer side. Two screws going through the whole block hold a piece of stainless steel as a door, O-ring milled in the acrylic. It's awful because its all handmade, but works extremely well. Now I have access to CNC mill so my next case for 928 will be the same simple construction but of better quality:)

h3ndr4cd says:

Will the touch screen works underwater with this case ?

ali27677 says:

Does Lumia 1020 survives titanic then

Adree Prz says:

Wow! Impressiv! I'm interesting about it for my 1020 but the price is quite expansive... Anyone had a discount code at ??? :)