Review of underwater housings

Fantasea Announces Sony RX100 IV Housing

UWPG News
Inside look at Fantasea's compact, sturdy and ergonomic housing for the incredible Sony RX100 IV

 

Fantasea Announces Sony RX100 IV Housing


Inside look at Fantasea's compact, sturdy and ergonomic housing for the incredible Sony RX100 IV

By UWPG News, July 29, 2015

 

 

 
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Fantasea has announced a new housing specifcally designed for the Sony RX100 IV, which will be released in September 2015.

The Sony RX100 IV has taken yet another major step in the world of compact cameras. Highlights include 20MP still images, ability to shoot 4K video, 5x faster processor than the RX100 III and super slow motion video at up to 960fps (40x slow motion). Check out the Sony RX100IV specs.

The new Fantasea FRX100 IV housing brings simple, functional and ergonomic control to the RX100 IV. Fantasea housings are known for their clearly labeled, easy-to-use buttons designed into compact camera housings, and the FRX100 IV is no exception. Shock resistant construction, depth rating to 200ft, access to all camera controls, wet lens compatibility and free moisure detector put this housing at an incredible dollar to value ratio.

 


Pre-Order the Fantasea Sony RX100 IV Housing from Bluewater Photo

Shipping in September 2015!


 

PRESS RELEASE

 

 

 

Fantasea proudly announces an underwater housing for the brand new Sony RX100 IV, that was released only a few weeks ago.

The FRX100 IV Housing is specifically designed for the Sony RX100 IV, thereby providing the most compact, sturdy and ergonomic waterproof housing for this camera. The FRX100 IV is also fully compatible with the RX100 III camera.

Estimated release date of the FRX100 IV Housing is September, 2015 and estimated price in the USA is$500.

  • Pro's consider the Sony RX100 IV to be 2015's World's Best Compact Camera (Kenrockwell.com)
  • Camera offers a handful of upgraded features, all so important to underwater photographers. Enhanced features include:
    • New 20.1 megapixel 1”-type CMOS sensor , considered to be years ahead of the competition
    • 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 Zeiss lens
    • Slow motion video recording up to 1000 fps
    • 4K (UHD) video recording with full sensor readout and bit rates up to 100Mbps
    • Dual recording captures 17MP stills while recording up to 1080/30p video
    • Incredibly fast (16 fps!) continuous shooting
    • Anti-distortion shutter
    • NEW picture profile modes including SLog2 gamma settings
    • 3-stop neutral density filter
    • 3" LCD with 1.3m dots
  • The FRX100 IV Housing introduces the highest and most professional standards of function, style and durability
  • Full access to all essential camera controls & functions with clearly marked buttons
  • Depth rated to 60 meters / 200 feet
  • Lens port adaptor included, allowing the use of M67 (67mm) macro and wide angle conversion lenses
  • Shock resistant construction
  • Ergonomic design
  • Double O-ring protection for a perfect watertight seal
  • BONUS - Moisture Detector installed in every FRX100 IV Housing at no additional cost!
  • FREE Hand Strap and Port Cover
  • Best value-for-money deal
  • A complete accessory system available, including wide angle and macro lenses, color correction filters, flashes, video lights and all necessary adaptors and connectors
  • Manufacturer's warranty

 

 

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Further Reading

 

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Nauticam Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Housing

UWPG News
Meticulous Engineering Meets the Olympus E-M5 II in Nauticam's Newest Housing

 

Nauticam Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Housing


Meticulous Engineering Meets the Olympus E-M5 II in Nauticam's Newest Housing

By UWPG News, April 13, 2015

 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

 

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Nauticam has announced their housing for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The Olympus E-M5 II mirrorless camera follows on the heals of the popular E-M5 but with some more robust features that are sure to be popular with underwater photographers and video shooters. Capable of shooting full HD 1080p video at 60 frames per second, digital video fans can now create smooth slow motion scenes with with E-M5 II. The camera body is also tougher and more rubust, with more buttons that can be customized for best use (and personal configuration) with your housing.

Be sure to read our Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Camera Review.

 

The Nauticam E-M5 II housing pulls out all the stops, incorporating Nauticam's most innovative design ideas in a compact and lightweight housing. The handles and tray are configurable, meaning you can choose the distance from handle to housing based on hands and finger size, or even skip the right handle entirely for handstrap use, resulting in a very compact setup.

The housing also works with a number of Nauticam accessories, as outlined in the release below.

 


Purchase the Nauticam Olympus OM-D E-M5 II housing from Bluewater Photo

Available now!


 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

The Enthusiast Mirrorless

Nauticam is pleased to unveil an all aluminum underwater camera housing for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II mirrorless camera, the latest in it's award winning and industry leading line of underwater imaging gear. Nauticam was the first underwater camera housing manufacturer to release a housing for the original OM-D E-M5 camera, and it's innovative designs and meticulous engineering have lead the way in the mirrorless category. 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

 

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Camera

Olympus made waves with the original E-M5, and the story continues with this new version. The camera has refinements large and small, from an additional stop of performance of the 5 axis stabilization to a fully articulated LCD; the "II" is an impressive update. Little touches include a lockable mode dial and two additional programmable buttons. Olympus clearly listened to users when it made the  Super Control Panel on by default (no more hunting in the menu to try to enable this). The camera also now allows the info screens to be customized, such as the histogram, level and highlight/shadow warnings that can be shown together. Long exposure fans will like the LiveTime feature - realtime long exposure shooting - very cool. 

For underwater photographers, the biggest improvement is a serious upgrade to the electronic viewfinder, which now sports a 2.36m dot LCD (same dot count as the revered E-M1). It is hard to shoot what you can't see, and the upgraded EVF goes a long way towards improving vision, especially when paired with a Nauticam enhanced viewfinder. 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

For the videographer, the  E-M5 II significantly upgrades the frame rate (60 fps) and bitrate (77 Mbps), with both ALL-I and IBP recording modes. It is the first Olympus to offer focus peaking while shooting video, and gains a microphone socket.  The video here can take advantage of the in-camera image stabilization, allowing for smoother handheld video clips. 



The headline feature of the "II" is the new Multi-Shot Hi Res Photo Mode. This new feature allows the camera to capture a 40 Megapixel image using the 16 Megapixel sensor. Black magic? Sorcery? No, but it is a pretty cool use of technology. What Olympus has done here is take advantage of the in camera stabilization mechanism to move the sensor while the camera records the image 8 times. These 8 exposure and melded together into a single 40 Megapixel image, producing a higher resolution result with less noise. These multiple exposures take time, so this trick does not work for moving subjects or for handheld shots. This feature is unlikely to appeal to the underwater photographer, but it is certainly interesting.

 

The NA-EM5II Housing

The new housing from Nauticam is an evolutionary marvel. This housing is true to it's NA-EM5 predecessor: highly configurable with the separate handle design (see CFWA Monster, below). This design allows the user to configure handles independently. One very desirable mode is to outfit the housing with a single left handle (Flexitray or Easitray), accompanied by a handstrap on the right. This helps to make rig as small as possible, with the comfort and security of the handstrap. Two handle options are available, as well as going as small as possible, with no handles or trays, ideal for the freediver shooting ambient light, for example. 

More than just good looking, this is a rugged housing, ready to tackle thousands of hours of underwater abuse. Crafted from solid aircraft aluminum, the housing can reach depths of 100m with ease. The effortless (but secure) single rotating housing latch opens the housing back. The camera drops in easily, with no controls needing to be preset. The rear mounted housing o-ring makes maintenance simple. Dual fiber optic synch ports are standard and take advantage of the supplied Olympus accessory flash. To make the most of the E-M5’s excellent electronic view finder (EVF), Nauticam has crafted an optional rear acrylic display window that includes a mount for installation of Nauticam’s acclaimed 45º and 180º magnified view finders, providing the ultimate in composition and focus ability.

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

Like all Nauticam housings, particular attention is paid to ergonomics. Buttons and dials are easy to access, with minimal reach required.  The Olympus Main and Sub dials are easily accessed by thumb or forefinger with no need to release grip on the housing while adjusting aperture and shutter speed. The important Fn1 and Fn2 buttons are just as easy to reach and can be programmed for a multitude of functions. A few of the useful settings are AF Lock, One-touch White Balance, Manual Focus, ISO and Exposure Compensation. Switching between LV and the EVF is a snap and a quick press of the Info button can show or hide Olympus’ new LV Super Control Panel on the OLED screen for quick access to many critical settings. The mode dial can easily be turned through the typical P, A, S, M, Movie mode and some “easy shooting modes”. Controls need to offer a proper “feel” and Nauticam’s patented two-stage lever shutter release allows for natural, precise focus and shutter release activation. Every one of the features on the new NA-EM5 is engineered to the same exacting tolerances of Nauticam’s now famous line of DSLR housings. That quality will surely be reflected in every picture taken with this remarkably powerful imaging system.



One of the hallmarks of Nauticam housings has always been the secure Locking Port Release system, unique in that it utilizes an internal bayonet system. Nauticam's SLR housings have always featured a red locking lever that has become the symbol of Nauticam innovation. This iconic control has come to the mirrorless world, making port changes easy, faster and just as secure. No wrestling, no twisting, no misalignment - just seat and lock.



The NA-EM5II is designed by photographers for photographers. Look no further for state of the art. 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

 

 

Integrated Vacuum Monitoring and Leak Detection

Circuitry included as standard equipment provides constant monitoring of water tight integrity when combined with an optional Nauticam M16 Vacuum Valve (PN 25612).

 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

Extensive Accessory Lineup

The range of Nauticam accessories is unmatched, with multiple accessories available to customize the system to individual needs.  A variety of  lens ports support all popular lenses.  Accessory macro lenses, like the revolutionary Compact Macro Converter (PN 81301), attached with an easy to use flip holder are available for super macro photography.

 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

Locking Mounting Tray

A new cam lever system securely locks the camera in place, providing strength and precise positioning even when a heavy lens is mounted.
The camera, with lens and zoom gear mounted, drops into the housing.  No controls need to be preset!

 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

 

Stainless Steel Handle Brackets

Stiffening handle brakets are included with the housing, providing a solid "wobble free" attachment when using Nauticam Flexitray (PN 71207) and Easitray (PN 71206) with heavy lighting systems.  Multiple lanyard attachment points are included in the brackets.

 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

Compact Design, Advanced Features

The housing is sculpted to fit the E-M5 II camera like a glove, and extensive camera control ergonomic enhancements are made to ensure that the housing is as easy to use in water as the camera is on land.

 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

 

Rubberized Zoom/Focus Knob

A large, rubberized zoom and focus control knob provides easy lens control with excellent tactile feel.
The knob disengages, providing more working space for quick lens changes.

 

 

Lens Bonanza!

It's all about the glass, and lenses are the key to terrific photography. The m4/3 system supports a large range of high quality lenses produced by Olympus and Panasonic (partnering with Leica), and third party lenses from Sigma are starting to appear. Several lenses that perform extremely well underwater are available (and reasonably priced!). Some examples: 

  • Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ: The ultimate jack of all trades tool, this lens covers a very usable mid range, and features a unique macro mode. Shoot dolphins and nudibranchs on the same dive! 
  • Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm/F3.5: This 180º fisheye lens focuses close and is razor sharp. Combines with a small port, there is no better CFWA (close focus wide angle) option on the planet. 
  • Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro: This is an ideal macro lens for m4/3, and by adding the Nauticam CMC, it becomes a super macro monster. Imagine filling the entire width of the frame with something only 8mm wide!
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4.0 ASPH: The 7-14mm is a rectilinear lens, ideal for shooting people or sharks or wrecks... subjects where the fisheye distortion is not welcome. On the wide end, this lens 114º wide, ideal for getting close to subjects to reduce the amount of water shot through. But a zoom gets to 75º - ideal for reaching out to that subject that is a little more skittish. The very similar Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 can serve the same basic role at a lower cost.

There are many more options for the underwater photographer, including any of the several 14-42mm options, the Panasonic Lumix G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH. POWER O.I.S., Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH, Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH, and the Leica DG Macro Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH.

 

Viewfinder Options

A clear view for fine focus and composition is critical for successful underwater photography, and nothing beats a magnifying viewfinder.  These viewfinders use distance, not closeup vision, and provide a large, clear view of the high resolution Olympus electronic viewfinder.  Available in Angled 45º and Straight formats, both viewfinders have external dioptric adjustments for dialing in perfect correction matched to the photographer's eyesight.

A replacement LCD Window for Enhanced Viewfinders (PN 17851) provides a secure mounting point, and the viewfinder can be easily removed for travel.

 

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

Nauticam Olympus E-M5 II Housing Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Integrated Vacuum Check and Leak Detection System

The Nauticam vacuum check and leak detection system is available with NA-EM5II as standard equipment.  Combined with an optional vacuum valve (PN 25612), this monitoring system provides constant updates on the water tight and safe-to-dive status of the housing.  A simple coded LED lighting system lets the user know that the vacuum is solid, or that the housing is losing vacuum. Leak detection is built into the same circuit, so if there is water intrusion, an audible and visual indication will occur. 

Flash Connectors for Inon S-TTL

Reliable automatic flash exposure is available with the NA-EM10 and a variety of optically fired flashes. The Inon Z-240, D-2000, S-2000 strobes provide automated lighting, precisely reproducing the camera’s onboard flash at a proportionally greater intensity.  This system yields accurate automatic TTL flash performance – even in manual mode - with no electrical sync cables to flood! The NA-EM10 comes fiber optic ready and accepts standard Sea & Sea style bushing connections. Nauticam Fiber Optic cables, available for both Inon and Sea & Sea strobes, provide the best light transmission and therefore more accurate TTL of any fiber optic cable on the market. 



Strobes can be attached to the housing via optional strobe mounting balls secured to the handles of the Nauticam accessory tray systems or a single strobe mounting ball location on the housing. The housing also features a cold-shoe mount for a focus light or other accessory mounting options

Recommended Accessories

  • 180º Enhancing Viewfinder (32201)
  • 45º Enhancing Viewfinder (32203)
  • Window for Enhanced Viewfinders (17851)
  • Patent Pending Super Macro Converter (81201)
  • M16 Vacuum Valve (25612)
  • Complete line of flat/dome ports for all major lenses, available in acrylic and glass
  • Monitor Housing for SmallHD DP4 Monitor (17901)
  • Fiber optic cables for Inon (26211) and Sea&Sea (26212)
  • Full line of mounting accessories for lighting, including mount balls, strobe adapters, arms, clamps, and specialty items
  • Multiple styles of lanyards
  • Lens holders, including flip-up 
 
 
 

Details and Specifications

  • Depth Rating:  100m
  • Weight: 1.30 kg
  • Dimensions: 191mm x 166mm x 102mm (W x H x D)

Model Number: 17809
USA Retail Price: $1450

Nauticam E-M5 II available at Bluewater Photo

 

 

Further Reading

 

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Nauticam NA-7DMKII Housing Review

Brent Durand
See how this highly engineered housing helps you deliver the best images possible from the 7D Mark II

 

Nauticam NA-7DMKII Housing Review


See how this highly engineered housing helps you deliver the best images possible from the 7D Mark II

By Brent Durand

 

nauticam 7d mk II housing review

 

 
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The Nauticam Canon 7D Mark II housing is sure to be popular with underwater photographers, as the housing’s very intricate engineering meets stylish design and function underwater. I was able to make three boat dives at Catalina Island in order to test the controls, ergonomics and overall performance of the housing.

The Canon 7D Mark II is the most advanced crop sensor in Canon's lineup, boasting more features and better specs than the Canon 70D or the new Canon T6s / T6i. Key features for underwater photography include the 61-point autofocus system and 20MP Dual-Pixel AF CMOS sensor. This sensor provides Servo AF in Live View mode, which (along with the 70D) is the first DSLR to use both contrast and phase detection in Live View (used in movie mode), delivering incredibly fast autofocus - even on moving subjects.

To learn more, read our:

Canon 7D Mark II Review for Underwater Photography

Canon 7D Mark II Best Settings Guide

 

In this review, we discuss the key features of the Nauticam 7D Mark II housing.

 

Purchase Info & Best Accessories

Bluewater Photo

Nauticam Canon 7D Mark II housing

 

Nauticam 7D Mark II Quick Links

 

nauticam 7d mk II housing

Nauticam Canon 7D Mark II Housing Overview

The NA-7DMKII housing is a big step up from the NA-7D housing, incorporating Nauticam’s latest technology and features worthy of the major upgrades to the 7D Mark II. At time of publishing, it is Nauticam’s most refined housing.

New in this housing is a dual function lever under the right handle that brings ISO and M Fn (used for changing AF area) to the user’s thumbtip. The multi selector pad is a very nice feature that allows for diagonal movement of AF points and zoom preview during image review.

Another new feature in this housing is the ability to release or lower the Canon 7D Mark II pop-up flash, saving time when the photographer desires to turn flash on and off.

The Nauticam Canon 7D Mark II housing also features many other great features, including a simple port mount system for quick and easy switching of ports, a vacuum check and leak detect system, ability to use 45 and 180 degree viewfinders and more. The housing uses fiber optic cables to trigger the strobe(s).

 

nauticam 7d mk II housing

 

Nauticam 7D Mark II Key Features

  • Ergonomically re-located controls with size, shape and color differentiation
  • Access to all key camera controls
  • Two stage shutter release that can be adjusted to personal preference
  • Easy-to-use port locking system
  • Multi Controller Pad instead of 4 directional buttons (used on the 7D’s multi controller button)
  • Dual M16 accessory holes (HDMI, vacuum valve, etc)
  • 100m Depth Rating

 

 

nauticam 7d mk II housing

 

In the Lab

The Nauticam Canon 7D Mark II housing is a pleasure to use right out of the box. The precision machining feels fantastic as you rotate the knobs, push the buttons and press the levers. The control notches feel tight against the 7D Mark II’s controls, which is important for fast, precise settings changes in the heat of the action.

Opening the back of the housing is simple – just push the red buttons and turn the levers. I prefer old school latches that can handle sand, salt buildup, etc, but these latches felt great out of the box. The main housing o-ring sits in a groove on the housing side of the back.

Moving inside the housing, you notice the precise engineering that Nauticam is known for. Careful thought has gone into positioning each camera control in a place that is convenient for the photographer. If inspected carefully, you can even geek out on features like the playback/zoom lever control – the outer metal tube has been drilled for (I presume) weight savings. The camera body is attached to a tray and then easily slides into position in the housing.

 

nauticam 7d mk II housing internal

 

I didn’t use the leak detect system, but you can simply insert a battery and then flip the switch to activate the electronics and you’re good to go.

Nauticam’s port system is very easy to use as well. Simply push in the release and lower the lever to unlock the port and pop it off. You can change lenses with the camera in the housing and then put the port back on. And as with all housings, each o-ring and contact surface needs to be cleaned and inspected any time a port is removed or added. The zoom knob has a lever to push the cog off the zoom gear, making it easy to add and remove a lens with zoom gear attached.

One minor downside to the zoom gear (at least with my Tokina 10-17mm) is that you must remove the rubber grip on the zoom ring in order to install the zoom gear. If you’re someone who is constantly using lenses topside and underwater, this adds to your setup / breakdown time.

Nauticam fiber optic cables are used to trigger the strobes, and dual 1” (25mm) ball mounts allow you to use a variety of arms and clamps, including Nauticam, Ultralight and Beneath the Surface.  

 

nauticam 7d mk II housing

 

In the Water

Most underwater photographers will love the feel and ergonomics of the Nauticam Canon 7D Mark II housing the moment they splash into the water, but if you also use your camera topside it will take a little time to find the housing location of the control you are looking for. Luckily, everything is clearly labeled and you’ll be shooting “eyes-free” in a matter of minutes.

The NA-7DMKII provides access to all the essential camera functions for shooting and reviewing images. It is also easy to switch between photo and movie modes and to start/stop movie recording.

The housing controls felt great in my 5.4mil gloves, and I would imagine they feel nice in dry gloves or bare fingers.

For buoyancy with a 4” glass dome, I would suggest starting with 2.5 jumbo Stix floats on each side and possibly 3 on each side. I was using 3.5 on each side, which was slightly too much float until I added two I-Torch Venom 38 video lights on triple clamps (in addition to two strobes).

 

Nauticam Canon 7D Mark II Photos and Videos

 

nauticam 7d mark ii underwater photo

Purple hydrocoral and gorgonian at Farnsworth Bank, Catalina Island.

 

nauticam 7d mark ii underwater photo

Purple hydrocoral and gorgonian at Farnsworth Bank, Catalina Island.

 

nauticam 7d mark ii underwater photo

A diver passes over gorgonians at Farnsworth Bank, Catalina Island.

 

nauticam 7d mark ii underwater photo

A garibaldi greets the camera at Eagle's Nest, Catalina Island.

 

nauticam 7d mark ii underwater photo

A female sheephead joins the blacksmith at Eagle's Nest, Catalina Island.

 

 

Underwater Video filmed with Nauticam 7D Mark II housing, testing AI Servo and Auto White Balance.

 

Overall Housing Performance

The Nauticam 7D Mark II housing is a top choice for underwater photographers of all skill levels. It not only offers access to all important camera controls, but it does so ergonomically and with style. It also has a wide selection of dome ports to support all major lenses used underwater.

 

Pros

  • Great housing ergonomics
  • Secure and easy-to-use port lock system

Cons

  • While not the most expensive, it is more expensive than other housing options

 

Recommended Ports and Accessories

Bluewater Photo recommends different ports and accessories depending on the subjects you plan to shoot and the lenses needed for that subject. Some of the most popular accessories are below.

 

Zen Fisheye Dome for Tokina 10-17mm Lens

 

 

 

 

Nauticam 8-inch Fisheye Dome Port

 

 

 

Nauticam Macro Port 41 for Canon 60mm

 

 

 

Nauticam Vacuum Check and Leak Detection System

 

 

 

 

Further Reading

 

About the Author

Brent Durand is a weekend wanderer, story teller and professional image-maker from California. Brent is editor of UWPG. Follow UWPG on Facebook for daily photos, tips & everything underwater photography. View more of Brent's work or follow him through www.BrentDimagery.com.

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Nauticam Sony A7 II Housing Announced

UWPG News
The Sony A7 II finds a home in the robust NA-A7II housing, shipping now

 

Nauticam Sony A7 II Housing Announced


The Sony A7 II finds a home in the robust NA-A7II housing, shipping now

By UWPG News, March 9, 2015

 

 

 
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Nauticam has released the NA-A7II housing for the Sony A7 full frame mirrorless camera. The Sony A7II boasts 24 megapixel CMOS sensor and a hybrid autofocus system that is said to be 30% faster that that of the previous model (the Alpha 7). This compact camera is a great option for underwater photo and video and has a quickly-growing collection of compatible lenses.

 

Sony Alpha 7 II Highlights for Underwater

 

  • 24 Megapixel full frame CMOS sensor
  • Processor: Bionz X
  • ISO Range:  100 - 25,600
  • Hybrid autofocus (phase detection and contrast detection)
  • Lens Mount:  Sony E (NEX)
  • Screen Size:  3"
  • No Built-In Flash (can use Nauticam converter for fiber optic cables)
  • 1080 x 60p video recording
  • Storage:  SD, SDXC, SDXC
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Dimensions:  127 x 96 x 60 mm
  • Weight:  599 g

 

 

Buy the Nauticam Sony A7 II Housing

Nauticam Sony A7 II Housing on Bluewater Photo

 

 

The information below is from Nauticam's NA-A7II announcement.

 

About the Sony Alpha 7 II Camera

The new Sony A7II (officially called Sony Alpha 7 II) follows hot on the heals of the amazing A7, adding some significant improvments, including a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization. The A7II, with it’s 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor, is the ultimate all-around full frame mirrorless camera to date. Focus is improved with a Hybrid AF system utilizing on-sensor phase-detect points. From a design perspective, other improvements in this model include more rugged build quality, a beefier grip, more and better laid out custom buttons, and a more ergonomically placed shutter release button. Other features include a 3-inch tilting LCD, XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, Multi-interface (hot) shoe, Wi-Fi with NFC, and 1080/60p video recording - now with XAVC S and a flat 'S-Log2' picture profile.

The A7II features the same highly regarded full-frame 24MP CMOS sensor that was found on the original A7 and it continues to impress. The A7II uses a hybrid autofocus system, which has 25 contrast detect and 117 phase detect points spread across its sensor. Sony engineers claim that autofocus performance has improved by 30% and tracking by 50% compared to the A7. Autofocus and now auto exposure can be used while tracking a moving subject during burst shooting (at 5 fps).

 

Shot with Sony A7II using FE 16-35mm lens. 1/125 at f/7.1 ISO 200. Zen DP-200 port.

 

Ergonomically, the A7II is improved over the A7, and the difference is obvious when picking up the camera. It feels more substantial in the hand, and the shutter button in particular is more comfortable. The grip is larger and significantly more substantial which keeps the hand in a more relaxed position when gripping the camera. The A7II uses more magnesium alloy and less plastic than the A7; allowing the overall build quality to seem more solid with only a minor increase in weight.

Like previous models, the A7II supports WiFi, NFC, and a number of apps making sharing very easy, while opening up the camera's capabilities.

 

 

Sony A7 II Best Lenses

The original A7 and A7R cameras from Sony sparked a huge interest in going full frame for mirrorless. For the underwater photographer, this enthusiasm was quickly diminished by the fairly limited lens selection. Underwater image makers rely on very wide angle lenses and macro lenses, and they were nowhere to be found.

 

 

However, the recently released 16-35mm is a game changer. This is a lens from the Sony Zeiss partnership, quaintly dubbed the Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS. It's a terrific rectilinear wide angle zoom that focuses close and demonstrates very good sharpness all around with medium to large sized dome ports. The Nauticam 180mm dome is an ideal choice for this lens. 

For macro lovers, Sony two days ago announced a 90mm macro beauty (Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS), and this lens will be supported as soon as possible after it is shipped (slated for July). Also just announced is a new 28mm f/2 lens with a fisheye adapter, similar to what Sony did with the fisheye and wide angle adapter on the 16mm lens for the NEX series. This is an appealing way to get fisheye, as it allows multiple configurations with a single lens. Look for more info about Nauticam support for this lens when it ships (slated for May). 

Owners of Canon full frame lenses like the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, or the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lenses will apreciate the ability to use these fine optics with the A7 series. This is made possible with a Metabones adapter (Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter (Mark III or Mark IV)). These lenses work well on the A7 series, providing both aperture and autofocus control from the camera.

 

 

 

 

The Nauticam Sony A7 II Housing

The NA-A7II looks quite similar to the NA-A7, and the housings are approximately the same dimensions. As those photographers who have experienced the NA-A7 housing have discovered, that housing is a stunning blend of aesthetics, ergonomics and functionality and the A7II housing only reinforces this mission.

The NA-A7II ships with built-in, yet adjustable handles, featuring Nauticam’s famous contoured rubberized grip. The “AF/MF/AEL” button is given special treatment on the right side of the housing with a direct access lever immediately reachable by the right thumb. This allows the button to be programmed for AF-ON meaning “thumb focus” fans can easily have perfect functionality. The shutter release can be accessed at the same time, offering extremely quick focus-to-shoot finger action. Like many Nauticam housings, the play button is brought up to the left thumb, and the three command dials (think shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation) can be adjusted quickly with minimal reach. The ISO button is within short reach of the right thumb, important for video shooters. Speaking of video, the record button is on the top right, thus eliminating camera shake during video start/stop.

 

 

The Function Menu button opens up common camera settings to a quick menu, and this button is a short reach with the right thumb. The programmable C3 button is a very easy reach and can be programmed for any of several functions. The housing features a switch to change between the EVF and the LCD providing rapid and secure transition between viewing modes, and supports Nauticam's well renowned viewfinders.

Installing a lens with a gear attached is made easy by the new pull-out zoom/focus dial.

A Nauticam Mini Flash Trigger made specifically for Sony is an available option, allowing the camera to shoot rapid fire with flood free optical cables. The housing includes an M16 bulkhead port for optional HDMI out, Nikonos style sync cable or other external accessory.

The NA-A7II accommodates for the larger than expected grip of the camera. Rather than compromise on image quality, the Nauticam designers chose to create ports than take into account this difference, hence a separate entry in the port chart for this housing.

 

 

 

Viewfinder Options

The NA-A7II ships with a standard 0.66x viewfinder. This standard optical glass viewfinder is travel friendly and suitable for image makers that care to use the LCD for most framing. Many photographers prefer the ease of a magnified viewfinder with adjustable diopter to take advantage of the excellent EVF in this camera.

 

Nauticam 45º Enhanced Viewfinder Installed on NA-A7II. 

 

Nauticam produces a “straight” 180º enlarging viewfinder and a 45º angled enlarging viewfinder to enhance the ease of close quarters work often associated with macro shooting. Both viewfinders have high quality optics, and allow bright viewing of the entire image. A patented external dioptric adjustment allows personal adjustment to a sharp-as-a-tack standard underwater and viewfinder changes can be executed in less than 30 seconds without using tools. Exceptional composition and focus accuracy have never been more accessible. 

 

Nauticam NA-A7II Feature Checklist

  • Unsurpassed build quality, designed by an award winning engineering team, and produced utilizing the most modern manufacturing technology available
  • Ergonomically placed controls with size, shape, and color differentiation
  • Access to all key camera controls
  • All controls clearly labeled
  • Patented two stage shutter release system, allowing precise feel over half press and full press
  • Patented Port Locking System
  • Patent pending Multi Controller pad
  • Lens release button
  • Easy to operate locking housing latches
  • Rubberized ergonomic grips on adjustable handles
  • Laser-cut steel handle brackets
  • Quick release camera mounting plate
  • Optical strobe connectors for fiber optic flash triggering
  • Mini Flash Trigger
  • M16 accessory hole for electrical bulkhead, HDMI or hydrophone installation
  • M14 accessory hole for vacuum valve installation
  • Integrated vacuum monitoring and leak detection circuit (valve optional)
  • Dual 1" (25mm) strobe mounting balls included as standard equipment
  • 1/4-20 tripod mounting holes
  • Dual M5/M10 threaded accessory mounting points
  • 100m Depth Rating

 

Integrated Vacuum Check and Leak Detect System

The Nauticam vacuum check and leak detection system is available with NA-A7II as standard equipment.  Combined with an optional vacuum valve, this monitoring system provides constant updates on the water tight and safe to dive status of the housing.  A simple coded LED lighting system lets the user know that the vacuum is solid, or that the housing is losing vacuum. Leak detection is built into the same circuit, so if there is water intrusion, an audible and visual indication will occur. The housing ships with a rear bulkhead port specifically for installing optional vacuum valves, leaving the other bulkhead port available for HDMI, sync cables and other accessories.

 

 

Recommended NA-A7II Accessories

 

Also available from Bluewater Photo

  • Nauticam M14 Vacuum Valve (25611)
  • Complete line of flat/dome ports for all major lenses, available in acrylic and glass
  • Monitor/Recorder Housing for Atomos Ninja2 (17902)
  • Monitor Housing for SmallHD DP4 Monitor (17901)
  • Fiber optic cables for Inon (26211) and Sea&Sea (26212)
  • Full line of mounting accessories for lighting, including mount balls, strobe adapters, arms, clamps, and specialty items
  • Multiple styles of lanyards
  • Lens holders, including flip-up

 

 

Nauticam Sony A7 II Housing Details & Specs

  • Depth Rating:  100m
  • Weight: 2.35 kg (with handles & 1" ball adaptors mounted)
  • Dimensions (with handles mounted):  335 (W) x 165 (H) x 110 (D)

Model Number (w/ Nikonos Bulkhead): 17414 
USA Retail Price: $2850

Model Number (no Bulkhead): 17414NB 
USA Retail Price: $2750

 

###

 

 

More info and Purchase the Nauticam Sony A7 2 housing

 

 

Further Reading

 

 

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Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing Announced

UWPG News
Specs and Features of the Sea & Sea Canon 7D Mark II Underwater Housing

 

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing Announced


Specs and Features of the Sea & Sea Canon 7D Mark II Underwater Housing

By UWPG News, March 2, 2015

 

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing

 

 
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Sea & Sea has announced their Canon 7D Mark II housing for underwater photo and video, available from Bluewater Photo beginning in early March.

The 7D Mark II is Canon's premier (non-pro) APS-C sensor DSLR and an excellent choice for underwater shooters. The 7D MkII includes more features and better specs than the Canon 70D or the new T6s / T6i. Key features for underwater photography include the 61-point autofocus system and 20MP Dual-Pixel AF CMOS sensor. This sensor provides Servo AF in Live View mode, which (along with the 70D) is the first DSLR to use both contrast and phase detection in Live View (i.e. movie mode), delivering incredibly fast autofocus.

To learn more, read our Canon 7D Mark II Review for Underwater Photography.

Please read on for Sea & Sea's MDX-7DMKII housing press release.

 

 

Visit Bluewater Photo for more info on the Sea & Sea 7D Mark 2 housing, including the best macro ports and wide-angle domes.

 

 

Sea & Sea 7D Mark II Underwater Housing

Sea & Sea 7D Mark II housing macro setup.

 

Sea & Sea 7D Mark II Housing

Sea & Sea 7D Mark II housing wide-angle setup.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 2, 2015

 

SEA&SEA Announces MDX-7DMKII Housing

For underwater photographers, the best just got better with the release of the MDX-7DMKII underwater housing for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera.

The precision engineered housing is fully-featured and allows for operation of the 7D Mark II camera's essential controls. The MDX-7DMKII is compatible with SEA&SEA's signature Internal Optical YS Converter which offers a host of advantages for the photographers who want to capture the perfect image.

 

Housing Features:

  • Optical YS Converter compatible
  • Ergonomically re-designed levers
  • Diopter adjustment dial
  • Luminescent buttons
  • Movable Focus and Zoom gear
  • Two (2) fiber-optic cable sockets
  • One (1) N-Type (2-pin) connector and one (1) HDMI accessory port
  • Two (2) sacrificial zinc diodes (front and rear)
  • Compatible with optional VF45 and VF180 view finders
  • Built-in leak detector sensor
  • Body: Corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy (machined)
  • Grip: Corrosion-resistant die-cast aluminum alloy
  • Depth rating: 100m / 330ft
  • Dimension (WxHxD): 341x198x142mm / 13.4x7.8x5.6inch
  • Weight: Approx. 3,000g / 105.8oz (housing only)
  • Compatible with SEA&SEA Strobes, Sea Arm 8, and Fiber-Optic Cable II

Available Early March 2015

MSRP:  $3,599.95

###

 

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing close up

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII housing lever detail.

 
 

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing close up 2

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII housing detail.

 

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing buttons

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII housing glowing buttons.

 

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing Optical YS Converter

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII housing Optical YS converter detail.

 

Sea & Sea Canon 7D Mark II Housing

Sea & Sea Canon 7D Mark II housing top view.

 

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing 45 viewfinder

Sea & Sea MDX-7DMKII Housing 180 viewfinder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea & Sea 45 and 180 degree viewfinders on 7D Mk II housing.

 

 

Further Reading

 

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Ikelite Canon 7D Mark II Housing Review

Brent Durand
See why this housing offers the best performance to dollar ratio for the 7D MkII, plus built-in TTL

 

Ikelite Canon 7D Mark II Housing Review


See why this housing offers the best performance to dollar ratio for the 7D MkII, plus built-in TTL

By Brent Durand

 

 

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Ikelite's housing for the Canon 7D Mark II is the first on the market, and I was able to get it into the water on three dives off the beach here in Southern California to test the controls, ergonomics and overall performance of the housing.

The Canon 7D Mark II is the most advanced crop sensor in Canon's lineup, boasting more features and better specs than the Canon 70D or the new T6s / T6i. Key features for underwater photography include the 61-point autofocus system and 20MP Dual-Pixel AF CMOS sensor. This sensor provides Servo AF in Live View mode, which (along with the 70D) is the first DSLR to use both contrast and phase detection in Live View (i.e. movie mode), delivering incredibly fast autofocus.

To learn more, read our:

Canon 7D Mark II Review for Underwater Photography

Canon 7D Mark II Best Settings Guide

 

 

In this review, we discuss the key features of the Ikelite 7D Mark II housing.

 

Purchase Info & Best Accessories

Bluewater Photo

Ikelite Canon 7D Mark II housing

 

Quick Links

 

 

 

Ikelite 7D Mark II Housing Overview

The Ikelite 7D Mark II housing is contructed with Ikelite's signature clear polycarbonate. One of the key benefits is that you can see through the housing to the camera controls, making it easy to adjust settings if you are not familiar with the 7D Mark II's ergonomics.

Ikelite housings are known to offer the best performance to dollar ratio in the underwater housing market. The Ikelite 7D Mark II lives up to this rep and offers scuba divers access to all important camera controls for half the price of any other popular housing.

Ikelite's port selection for the 7D Mark II allows divers to shoot with all the lenses popular for underwater photography, including the 60mm macro, 100mm macro and Tokina 10-17mm fisheye.

One of the really nice features in the Ikelite 7D Mark II housing is the built-in TTL capability. Ikelite's TTL circuitry is extremely accurate, relaying signals via sync cord. TTL flash exposure compensation is also easy to adjust. If you'd like to bump the flash exposure up or down, simply use the dedicated controls at the bottom of the housing to make the changes. Note that you need to use Ikelite strobes for this to work, however since they're some of the best strobes out there, this is a great thing.

 

Ikelite makes it very easy to adjust TTL flash exposure with your right thumb.

 

The Ikelite 7D Mark II set up for macro.

 

Ikelite 7D Mark II Key Features

  • Buiilt-in TTL circuitry and external exposure compensation controls
  • Easy to use and maintain (cleaning o-rings, etc)
  • Compatible with Ikelite's Enhanced Viewfinders
    • Ikelite 180 degree enhanced viewfinder
    • Ikelite 45 degree enhanced viewfinder
  • Oversized zoom knob with zoom rings compatible on all the popular lenses for underwater use - no need to buy zoom rings for each lens
  • Quick release handle attachments

 

In the Lab

The Ikelite 7D Mark II housing feels nice in your hands right out of the box. The housing back is locked/unlocked by three buckles, which I love because of their toughness, especially when it comes to sand. They wont jam and will work like day one no matter how much you abuse them. Just keep your fingers away as you unlock them, as they can "pop" back.

Like all Ikelite DSLR housings, the camera mount plate is attached to the housing back, so you need to hold the 7D Mark II in place while attaching it to the tray. Make sure to have a fully charged battery, as you do need to remove the camera from the tray to replace batteries.

The Ikelite 7D Mark II o-ring grooves are very easy to clean and then add the sighly lubricated o-ring. Simply fit the housing backplate into the housing groove and lock the latches to secure. Simple.

 

The o-ring and o-ring grooves are very easy to inspect and clean.

 

The Ikelite housing controls line up right with the 7D Mark II housing controls - so if you know where the button is on the camera, you'll easily find it when using the housing. The only exception is start/stop recording for video, which is conveniently moved to a right-thumb lever.

The 7D Mk II housing provides access to all important camera controls except for the multi-controller, which serves a few functions. Most of these functions are redunant (i.e. you can move focus points via multi-controller or via top and rear control knobs), however the one area without a workaround is during image review. When zoomed in during image review the only way to scroll around the screen is with the multi-controller, which is conventient to checking precise focus, backscatter, depth of field, etc.

The Ikelite 7D Mark II uses sync cords instead of fiber optic cables, which has its own set of pros and cons. On the pro side, there is no recycle time for the camera's onboard flash, allowing you to shoot as fast as your strobes can handle. Sync cords also deliver very reliable TTL. On the down side, sync cords require much more maintenance than fiber optic cables.

I've owned several Ikelite housings, and upon inspection, this 7D Mark II housing is another great product from Ikelite.

 

Rear view of the Ikelite 7D Mark II housing.

 

In the Water

The Ikelite 7D Mark II housing is fun to use underwater. Buoyancy was great with the Ikelite and 8" dome port for the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens, with two strobes and two video lights attached to the arms and clamps. For the two macro dives with the Canon 100mm lens, I removed the video lights, added a focus light and also added 3.5 jumbo Stix floats to the arms on each side. 

The housing push buttons performed nice and smoothly while the knobs were easy to turn, even with my 5.4mm gloves. Ikelite's housing tray is spaced nicely from the housing sides, making it easy to hold and also to access the knobs and controls. Those with smaller hands/fingers can slide the hand slightly to reach controls, or the reverse for those with large hands/fingers.

Ikelite's port system and lens release makes it easy to change ports and lenses between dives without needing to open the back of the housing or remove the camera. The less you have to open the housing during the dive day - the better.

 

Ikelite 7D Mark II Sample Photos

 

A spanish shawl nudibranch lays eggs.

 

A horn shark poses for a photo on a typical Malibu reef.

 

A passing sheephead was easy to track and photograph with the Ikelite 7D Mark II housing.

 
 

Overall Performance

The Ikelite 7D Mark II housing performs very well and is an asset for underwater photographers of all skill levels. It is the only housing in its price class, offering access to all important camera controls. Accessories like ports, domes and even Ikelite's enhanced viewfinders are very affordable and deliver the image quality you would expect from the Canon 7D Mk II.

 

Pros

  • Best value for housing your Canon 7D Mark II
  • Built-in TTL with external flash exposure compensation
  • Easy to use, maintain and change ports

 

Cons

  • No access to multi-control wheel
  • Need to remove camera from backplate/mount to change batteries

 

Recommended Accessories

As with all housings, you will need a few accessories to get your Ikelite 7D Mark II housing in the water. Here is our list of the essentials.

 

Ultralight Base Adapter for Ikelite Handles - These ball mounts allow you to mount your strobe arms and clamps.

Ultralight Universal Ball Mount - Use this to mount a macro focus light, GoPro or other accessories.

Ikelite Macro Port - Use this port with your 60mm macro lens, while the Ikelite SLR 100mm Flat Port is used for the 100mm lens.

Ikelite 8" Dome Port - This is a great dome port for your fisheye or wide-agle lens. Note that you will also need the appropriate extension ring.

 

Aside from these basics, you will also want to start researching strobes, video lights, arms and clamps and a focus light.

 

The team at Bluewater Photo can help make the best recommendations for your style of diving and photography, as well as compare simiilar products or addtional accessories like the Ikelite Enhanced Viewfinder.

 

 

Further Reading

 

About the Author

Brent Durand is a weekend wanderer, story teller and professional image-maker from California. Brent is editor of UWPG. Follow UWPG on Facebook for daily photos, tips & everything underwater photography. View more of Brent's work or follow him through www.BrentDimagery.com.

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


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Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Taking the Fantasea RX100 III Housing Underwater

Underwater Photography Guide
Review and Sample Photos from Fantasea's new RX100 III Housing

 

Taking the Fantasea RX100 III Housing Underwater


Review and Sample Photos from Fantasea's new RX100 III Housing

By The Underwater Photography Guide

 

 

 
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The Fantasea RX100 III housing is a great option for taking the Sony RX100 III digital compact camera underwater.

Bluewater Photo's Kelli Dickinson recently took the housing out on some local dives in Southern California to test the ergonomics, controls and quality of the housing with some great feedback. In short, the housing lived up to Fantasea's reputation for lightweight functional housings that allow underwater photographers to get the most from their camera.

The housing review is published on Bluewater Photo's In Focus blog, along with some great photos from the dives.

 

Read the Fantasea RX100 III Review:  Fantasea RX100 III Underwater

 

 

Looking up inside the kelp canopy with the Fantasea RX100 III housing.

 

 

Further Reading

 

 

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Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Recsea RX-100 III Housing Review

Scott Gietler
Detailed review and specs for the Recsea RX-100 III housing with sample underwater photos.

 

Recsea RX-100 III Housing Review


Detailed Review and Specs for the Recsea RX-100 III Housing

By Scott Gietler

 

 

 
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Recsea housings are made of high quality machined aluminum with excellent controls and full camera functionality. The Recsea housings fit the camera like a glove, offering the smallest housing on the market without losing any functionality. Easy to use, adaptable with many different wet wide-angle and macro lenses, and including strobe connections, the Recsea housing is the perfect tool for taking your Sony RX-100 III underwater.

 

Recsea RX-100 III Housing Key Features

  • Compact and durable, CNC precision machined corrosion-resistant aluminum housing
  • Lightweight, ergonomically designed
  • Maximum Operating Depth (MOD) of 100 meters (328ft)
  • Half-Press Shutter Trigger for precise camera shutter control
  • Fixed lens port
  • Original Secure-Latch locking mechanism for easy opening and closing
  • Front Port Control Ring
  • Read Control Dial with push button function
  • Quality silicone O-ring with wider back cover contact surface for added protection at greater depths
  • Complete camera function control
  • Supports a variety of wet lens accessories
  • Includes 67mm adapter

 

Wet Lens Options

Wet lenses are used on compact camera housings to exand creative options by for macro and wide-angle shooting. If you're new to underwater photography with the Sony RX-100 III, check out our comprehensive article 'Wet Lenses for Underwater Photography'.

Below are our recommended wet lenses for the Recsea RX100 III housing:

 

 

Recsea RX-100 III Video Review

 

 

 

sony rx-100 III underwater photos
 

In the pool with a water gun. Sony RX-100 III, Recsea RX-100 III housing, ambient light. F8, 1/400th, ISO 400.

 

 

More info & Purchase:  Recsea RX100 III Housing

 

 

Further Reading

 

 

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The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Nauticam RX-100 III Housing Specs & Review

UWPG News
Nauticam Accounces RX-100 III Housing - 1st with Vacuum Valve & other Big Upgrades

 

Nauticam Housing for Sony RX100 III


Nauticam Announces RX100III Housing - 1st with Vacuum Value & other Big Upgrades

By UWPG News, July 17, 2014

 

Nauticam RX-100 III Housing

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Nauticam has announced their housing for the Sony RX100 III. This housing inherits much from Nauticam's compact camera housing line, but with a few important additions. The Sony RX100III is sure to be a hit with underwater photographers, building on the great success of the RX100 andRX100 II. If you haven't yet, check out Scott Gietler's Initial Thoughts on the RX100 III for underwater photography.

 

New for the NA-Rx100 III

  • Updated fiber optic block
  • Built-in vacuum check system
  • 2 accesory bulkhead ports
  • Support for routing HDMI cables for an external monitor

 

Ship Date:  August 1, 2014

MSRP:  $995 USD

 

Order your Nauticam NA-RX100III on Bluewater Photo

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Announcing NA-RX100III

The New Housing for the Sony RX100 III

Nauticam is pleased to announce the release of it's newest aluminum underwater camera housing for the Sony RX100 III. The NA-RX100III inherits much from its hugely popular predecessors, but manages to add the innovative touch with new features not previously seen in a compact camera housing. 

Nauticam RX-100 III Housing

 

The Sony RX100 III

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III, as it is officially known, is the third in the series of advanced, large sensor compact cameras from Sony. The RX100 line is hugely popular with underwater enthusiasts, and has proven itself as an excellent performer in terms of both image quality and usability. RX100III is a more professional model with a much improved lens, popup electronic viewfinder, a built-in neutral density filter, and more. 

The RX100III is built around a 20 megapixel 1” CMOS imaging sensor, and gets an updated image processor called Bionz X. Image quality is exceptional. 

The big news is the lens. It is a 24-70mm equivalent with aperture ranging from f/1.8 to f/2.8, considerably faster than the RX100II. Not only will this enable more shallow depth of field shots, but it will make focusing easier. The lens also focuses more closely than its predecessors, meaning shooting small subjects is more achievable without a close-up lens.

The display panel is a 3” TFT-LCD, with something Sony calls “WhiteMagic”, which is a technology that adds a white sub-pixel to the normal RGB array, allowing for a brighter screen in bright daylight with reduced energy consumption. The display panel is articulated, and can tilt a full 180 degrees, allowing for the inevitable “selfie” shot. 

The electronic viewfinder is a small popup on the left side of camera. The resolution is 1.4Mdot, though the screen itself is quite small. While useful topside, especially in bright sunlight, the small size and low magnification (0.59x) would make it less beneficial underwater.  A better choice is the large 3" LCD screen, combined with a Nauticam LCD Magnifier (p/n 25106) and rails (p/n 25131).  This combo provides a shaded, magnified image allowing easy confirmation of fine focus.

Nauticam RX-100 III Housing

 

Nauticam NA-RX100III

The NA-RX100III sets a new standard for compact camera housings. While it builds on the success of the NA-RX100 and NA-RX100II, it is clear that Nauticam did not just copy and paste this housing into existence. The features you'd expect are certainly present, like ergonomic design, the clearly labelled controls, sculpted shutter release and more. A closer look reveals features like an updated fiber optic connection block, built-in vacuum check system, 2 accessory bulkhead ports and support for routing HDMI cables for an external monitor. 

 

Whale Shark

Shot with Sony RX100II in the NA-RX000III housing, with Inon UWL-H100



The NA-RX1000III is milled from a block of solid aluminum, then hard anodized. The result is a rugged and reliable piece of gear that will stand up to saltwater and the daily rigors of diving. Since the housing accesses all of the camera controls, including the front control ring, the user can take advantage of the enhanced programmability in the RX00III. 

Nauticam RX-100 III Housing

 

NA-RX100III Feature Checklist

  • Secure, easy to use locking latch
  • Ergonomic controls with size, shape and color differentiation
  • All camera controls accessible
  • All controls clearly labeled
  • Popup/push down flash lever
  • Fiber optic bulkhead
  • Integrated leak detector and optional vacuum check
  • M10 mounting ball
  • Cold shoe mount
  • 67mm threaded port mount
  • 1/4-20 tripod or tray mounting holes
  • Sculpted, sensitive shutter release
  • M16 bulkhead port for HDMI output
  • M14 bulkhead port for vacuum valve
 

Nauticam RX-100 III Housing

 

Going Wide or Going Small

The RX100 housings feature an industry standard 67mm threaded port mount, meaning it is easy to attach a number of different wet mount lenses. 

While the new 24-70mm lens Sony installed in this camera is terrific, and reasonably wide, going wider allows the underwater photographer to get closer to their subject. Getting close means less water, and less particulate, between subject and camera, and results in more colorful images.

 

Whale Shark

Shot with Sony RX100II in the NA-RX000III housing, with Inon UWL-H100

 

Testing indicates that the Inon UWL-H100 (either in the m67 mount or the LD mount) is an ideal wide angle lens for the RX100III. This combination will result in a diagonal FOV of approximately one hundred and ten degrees (110º). 

On the macro end, the Nauticam Super Macro Converter 1 (SMC) is the ideal choice and enables about a 1" vertical subject to fill the frame.  This is over 4x magnification provided by the stock lens (stock lens images 160mm wide, SMC 38mm wide).

Whale Shark

 

Nauticam Vacuum Check System

In a feat worthy of Houdini, the engineers at Nauticam managed to squeeze in the Nauticam vacuum monitoring and leak detection electronics. By default, it serves as an audible and visual leak detector, but add a Nauticam M14 Vacuum Valve, (p/n 25611) and it becomes a vacuum check system.  The vacuum monitoring system provides early warning for any problem with watertight integrity - which means peace of mind when shooting underwater. 

Nauticam RX100III Underwater Housing

 

The 2 bulkheads and the indicator light for the vacuum/leak system

 

 

Nauticam RX100III Underwater Housing

 

 

 

M14 vacuum valve installed, and green light indicating solid vacuum

 

 

Video

Video gets an update in the “III” as well. The camera now supports XAVC S, at up to 50Mbps, shooting HD at 60p. More importantly, the RX100III eschews “line skipping”, sampling the entire sensor before downsizing to the recorded resolution. The results are very impressive. In the comparisons posted on DPReview.com, the video frame grab from the RX100III clearly out resolves and displays less moiré than cameras like the Nikon D610 and even the Sony A7.

Nauticam RX-100 III Housing

The standard NA-RX100III housing supports HDMI out, via an optional HDMI bulkhead connected to the M16 accessory hole in the front of the housing. This means that the underwater videographer can use either excellent SmallHD DP4 Monitor (in the NA-DP4 housing, p/n 17901) or the Atomos Ninja 2 Recorder (NA-NINJA2 housing, p/n 17902). The Ninja can record high quality ProRes HD video at around 220 Mbps, which is made possible by the "clean" HDMI output option in the camera. 

 

Recommended Accessories


Nauticam 




p/n

Item

Description

25611 M14 Vacuum Valve Enables vacuum check system, allowing for check of watertight integrity
81201 SMC Super Macro Converter; add on lens that provides close focus macro with minimal distortion
25101 M67 Flip Diopter Holder Enables quick installation and removal of the SMC underwater by flipping lens in place or out of the way
71201 Easitray Simple tray with comfortable rubberized hand grips
71207 Flexitray Adjustable tray with comfortable rubberized hand grips
71209 Flexitray W Wider Flexitray, also allows for tripod use
71208 Right Handle Right handle for Easitray or Flexitray
71311 Ball for Easi/Flexitray 1" Mounting ball for either tray, allows mounting strobes/lights using Nauticam arms/clamps
36316 Compact Handstrap Comfortable handstrap for right side of housing
36323 Long Handstrap Longer version of handstrap for larger hands
25106 LCD Magnifier Enlarge the view of the LCD; easy to see in bright sun, and can adjust diopter
25131 LCD Magnifier Rails Allows installation of LCD Magnifier
25221 M10 ball Mount point for lighting hardware
25514 Ball adapter (Inon) Allows mounting of Inon strobe
various Arms/Clamps Nauticam mounting hardware
various Carbon fiber buoyancy arms Arm that provides extra buoyancy to offset heavy lights or strobes
26214 Fiber optic cable for Inon Strobe Allows fast, accurate automatic flash exposure (TTL) over fiber, with no sync cables to flood or corrode
26215 Fiber optic cable for Sea&Sea strobe Allows fast, accurate automatic flash exposure (TTL) over fiber, with no sync cables to flood or corrode

 

Recommended Third Party Accessories from Inon, Keldan, FIX NEO



Item

Description

Inon UWL-H100 28m67 type 2 Recommended wide angle wet mount lens
Inon Z-240 Powerful, reliable strobe with excellent coverage
Inon S-2000 Smallest strobe, ideal for travel
FIX NEO 2000 SWR Focus light with Wide, Spot and Red light options
Keldan LUNA 4 Compact 5000 lumen video light
 

 

Nauticam RX-100 III Housing

 

Details and Specifications

  • Depth Rating:  100m
  • Weight: 0.83kg
  • Dimensions: 150mm (w) x 101mm (h) x 107mm (d)

 

###

 

 

Video Review:  Nauticam RX100 III Housing

 

Contact Bluewater Photo for expert advice on the Nauticam RX-100 III housing and accessories.

 

 

More info & Purchase:  Nauticam RX100 III Housing

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Olympus E-M1 Housing Guide

UWPG
Overview of 4 Underwater Housing Choices for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Camera

 

Olympus E-M1 Housing Guide

Overview of 4 Underwater Housing Choices for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Camera

by the Underwater Photography Guide

 

 

 
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The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has quickly become one of the best Micro 4/3 cameras for underwater photography. Compact in size, the E-M1 contains a 16MP MOS 4/3 format sensor and an advanced autofocus that uses both contrast and phase detection across 81 points. The fast autofocus, HD video recording, improved low light capabilities, wifi and burst mode capturing up to 12 fps are strong selling points.

The OM-D E-M1 has a strong selection of lenses to help underwater photographers capture incredible macro and wide-angle shots. These include the:

Panasonic 8mm Fisheye:  Sharp, wide fisheye lens that is a favorite for wide-angle and close-focus wide-angle underwater photography.

Olympus 9-18mm:  Great rectilinear wide-angle lens for shooting wide-angle subjects you can't get very close to, including sharks, whales, sea lions, etc.

Olympus 12-50mm:  The ultimate lens in terms of ultimate flexibility underwater. This is for those who only want to purchase one lens and port.

Olympus 60mm Macro:  Our top pick for macro photography. Fast focus and great magnification make this a must-have lens for macro and super-macro.

The housing manufacturers match these lenses with a variety of great port options. Macro ports will be flat while ports for the 8mm fisheye and some of the wider Olympus lenses will be domes of various sizes, both acrylic and glass.

 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Resources

The team at Bluewater Photo has put together some great resources for those interested in purchasing the E-M1 and those already shooting the E-M1. Check out the camera review for detailed specs on the camera, pros and cons vs compacts and DSLRs and a wealth of other info to help you decide if this is the camera for you.

Detailed Olympus E-M1 Camera Review

Check out the shooting guide for best recommended settings for macro and wide-angle, lens choices and other great info.

Underwater Shooting Guide for Olympus E-M1

Learn the best underwater settings for Olympus PEN and OM-D cameras - updated for the E-M1.

Olympus PEN and OM-D Underwater Settings

 

This article will compare the four housings available for the E-M1, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Aquatica
  • Nauticam
  • Olympus
  • Recsea

 

 

Aquatica AE-M1 Housing

Aquatica has re-entered the mirrorless game with the AE-M1 housing for the Olympus OM-D E-M1. Years of experience manufacturing housings has led Aquatica to create yet another simple, reliable and ergonomic housing. A variety of ports and extensions allows use of the popular micro 4/3 lenses while an optional vacuum leak detect system provides divers confidence when submerging their housing.

 

 

Weight:  Approx. 2.09kg (no handles, vacuum valve installed)

Size:  Approx. Width: 233mm (without handles), Height: 163mm, Depth: 114mm

Opening Housing:  Plastic twist latch - secure and easy to use. Housing back is hinged on one side.

Adding/Removing Camera:  Tripod mount attaches to camera (coin or screwdriver required) then slides into housing. LCD screen must be lifted slightly. This means that the screen sits at an upward angle in the housing, creating a better viewing angle when the camera is low to the ground (i.e. for macro). Must lift on/off switch lever before inserting camera.

Control Access:  Access to all primary camera controls except LCD touchscreen.

Ergonomics:  Buttons are spaced out and well labeled for easy use with fingers or gloves. Solid, fluid feel when pushing. Horizontal shutter lever is very ergonomic. Dials easy to twist with one finger and oversized zoom knob allows for very smooth zooming during video. Video record button moved into thumb lever position right behind trigger for ergonomic on/off with hand on handle. Focus lock (AEL/AFL) lever ergonomically placed at right thumb.

Build:  Annodized aluminum with military grade powder coat with stainless steel buttons and easy-to-grip powder coated knobs. Screw mount for ball (instead of cold shoe mount).

Depth Rating:  90 meters (300 feet). Upgradeable to 130m (425ft).

Ease of Port Change:  Twist bayonet mount for adding/removing the port. Most ports feature a built-in port lock to eliminate any possibility of unintentional twisting. The external lens release button allows ports and lenses to be changed from the front of the housing, meaning your main housing o-ring remains safely sealed between dives.

Port Selection:  Excellent, providing options for the popular Panasonic 8mm fisheye and Olympus lenses for wide-angle and macro shooting. Aquatica offers the 8" acryllic SW8 dome port, which has been specifically designed for micro 4/3 camera lenses. The SW8 is the only 8" dome available for mirrorless cameras, making over-under split shots a breeze.

O-Ring Maintenance:  Easy to see and remove o-ring on housing back and port. Port o-ring should be greased at every close to ensure smooth twisting of the bayonet mount.

Price:  $1,699

In the Box:  Housing, handles, leak detect alarm installed, o-rings & grease

Extras:  Vaccum leak detect system (requires preorder of vacuum electronics, bulkhead and vaccum valve/pump). Bulkhead available for shooting with sync cords.

Purchase:  Aquatica AE-M1 Housing on Bluewater Photo

Photos:

 

 

 

Nauticam NA-EM1 Housing

Nauticam has made waves in recent years with aluminum housings engineered for maximum ergonomics. Their housings are a top choice for mirrorless shooters and the NA-EM1 is no different. A variety of ports and extensions allow use of the popular micro 4/3 lenses while an optional vacuum leak detect system provides divers confidence when submerging their housing.

 

 

Weight:  Approx. 1.39kg (no handles)

Size:  Approx. Width: 201mm (without handles), Height: 163mm, Depth: 115mm

Opening Housing:  Plastic twist latch- secure and easy to use. Housing back is hinged on one side.

Adding/Removing Camera:  Tripod mount attaches to camera (finger screw) then easily slides into housing. LCD screen must be lifted slightly. This means that the screen sits at an upward angle in the housing, creating a better viewing angle when the camera is low to the ground (i.e. for macro). Must lift on/off switch lever before inserting camera.

Control Access:  Access to all primary camera controls except LCD touchscreen.

Ergonomics:  Buttons are easy to press (minimal action), positioned closely together and well-marked. Horizontal shutter lever is very ergonomic. Plastic dials have big ridges, making them easy to twist with one finger. Video record button moved to thumb button position on back right of housing for more ergonomic on/off with hand on handle. Focus lock (AEL/AFL) lever ergonomically placed at right thumb.

Build:  Anodized aluminum, plastic buttons, rubber zoom knob, galvanized steel rods. Cold shoe mount.

Depth Rating:  100m (328 feet)

Ease of Port Change:  Nauticam's signature Port Locking Lever allows quick and easy changes without having to twist or turn the port on the housing. The external lens release button allows ports and lenses to be changed from the front of the housing, meaning your main housing o-ring remains safely sealed between dives.

Port Selection:   Excellent, providing options for the popular Panasonic 8mm fisheye and Olympus lenses for wide-angle and macro shooting. Lenses from previous Olympus four-thirds DSLR cameras are now supported with the optional extension ring. In addition to the wide-range of Nauticam ports, Zen makes a 7" glass dome for this housing - perfect for those interested in improved optics and over-under split shots.

O-Ring Maintenance:  Easy to see and remove o-ring on housing back and port.

Price:  $1,850

In the Box:  Housing, handles, port cover, leak detect sensor installed, o-rings & grease

Extras:  Vaccum leak detect system (electronics come in housing, need to purchase vacuum valve/pump. Easy installation). Compatible with Nauticam 180 and 45 degree external viewfinders. Bulkhead available for shooting with sync cord.

Product Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmSaSQ1URoo

Purchase:  Nauticam NA-EM1 Housing on Bluewater Photo

Photos:

 

 

Olympus PT-EP11 Housing

Olympus developed the PT-EP11 housing to complement its flagship OM-D E-M1 camera. The polycarbonate housing is lightweight with well-labeled buttons and a great port release system. It is depth rated to well below the recreational limit and has ports that accomodate all popular underwater lenses for the E-M1. 
 
Their housings for the E-PL3, E-PM1 and E-PL5 are very popular due to their great price point, although photographers tend to go with the aluminum housings for higher end cameras like the OM-D E-M5 and E-M1 since the price increase is small.

Weight:  Approx. 1.28kg (no handles)

Size:  Approx. Width: 208mm, Height: 163mm, Depth: 129mm

Opening Housing:  Plastic twist latch that's secure and easy to use. Housing back is hinged on one side.

Adding/Removing Camera:  Camera slides directly into housing without tripod mount. Fits snugly and housing controls meet up nicely with camera controls. Must lift on/off switch lever before inserting camera.

Control Access:  Access to all primary camera controls except LCD touchscreen.

Ergonomics:  Large, well-labeled plastic buttons have a small amount of play. Vertical shutter lever activation. Great rear and zoom knobs. Front dial may requires two fingers to twist. Video record button on top right of housing, matching camera body placement. Focus lock (AEL/AFL) button matches camera body placement and can't be reached while finger is on shutter release lever (if using a handle). Many photographers program that button to focus, which is very useful in certain macro & wide-angle situations.

Build:  Polycarbonate with plastic buttons and steel rods. Cold shoe mount.

Depth Rating:  45 meters (147 feet)

Ease of Port Change:  Olympus port system featuring small plastic port lock allows quick and easy changes without having to twist or turn the port on the housing. The external lens release button allows ports and lenses to be changed from the front of the housing, meaning your main housing o-ring remains safely sealed between dives.

Port Selection:   Dome and flat ports are available to support a wide range of Olympus lenses, as well as the popular Panasonic 8mm Fisheye. Adapter available to use Zen 4" acryllic dome with the Olympus 9-18mm lens.

O-Ring Maintenance:  Easy to see and remove o-ring on housing back and port.

Price:  $1,434 (including $175 for handles)

In the Box:  Housing, port cover, o-rings & grease

Extras:  Detachable eye magnifier allows 100% visibility of the extra large E-M1 electronic viewfinder while wearing a diving mask.

Purchase:  Olympus PT-EP11 Housing on Bluewater Photo

Photos:

 

 

 

Recsea RDH-OMEM1 Housing

Recsea housings, made in Japan, are very popular on compact cameras. This experience building quality housings for small cameras is apparent in the RDH-OMEM1 housing - it's the smallest available. The machined aluminum body is stylish and compatible with Recsea ports that accomodate all popular underwater lenses for the E-M1. 
 

 

Weight:  Approx. 1.45kg (no handles)

Size:  Approx. Width: 185mm, Height: 154mm, Depth: 99mm

Opening Housing:  Two plastic housing latches are easy to open, allowing housing back to be completely removed. 

Adding/Removing Camera:  Camera is screwed directly into housing via tripod mount finger screw. Left camera strap ring and eyepiece must be removed for proper fit. Must lift on/off switch lever before inserting camera and ensure it is aligned properly.

Control Access:  Access to all primary camera controls except LCD touchscreen.

Ergonomics:  Smallest housing available for E-M1. Buttons easy to press. While not individually labled, there is a button diagram on back right of housing. On/off switch, AF mode button and shooting mode buttons on top left of housing are not labeled. Small dial knobs complement compact size. Video record button on top right of housing, matching camera body placement. Focus lock (AEL/AFL) button matches camera body placement and can't be reached while finger is on shutter release lever (if using a handle). Many photographers program that button to focus, which is very useful in certain macro & wide-angle situations.

Build:  Anodized aluminum alloy, plastic buttons and knobs with galvanized stainless steel shafts. Cold shoe mount.

Depth Rating:  100 meters (328 feet)

Ease of Port Change:  Twist bayonet mount for adding/removing the port. Recsea's port lock button doubles as a lens release, allowing ports and lenses to be changed from the front of the housing, meaning your main housing o-ring remains safely sealed between dives. 

Port Selection:  Dome and flat ports are available to accomodate Olympus lenses and the popular Panasonic 8mm Fisheye.

O-Ring Maintenance:  Easy to see and remove o-ring on housing back. Port o-ring is more difficult to access.

Price:  $1,935 (including $175 for handles)

In the Box:  Housing, o-rings & grease

Purchase:  Recsea OM-D E-M1 Housing on Bluewater Photo

Photos:

 

 

 

Comparison Chart

 
 
 

Summary - Which Housing for You?

 
Aquatica
 
The Aquatica AE-M1 housing feels solid and tough, with fluid action of all controls placed in ergonomic positions. The control dials are the largest of all the housings and easy to use. Build quality is outstanding. The price is on the lower side however the weight is more than other housing options. The vacuum leak detector system is highly recommended as an add-on, not because there are any concerns with the housing, but because you will feel more relaxed knowing the housing is secure when entering the water. The option of an 8-inch dome port for the 9-18mm lens make this an excellent choice for over-under shots.
 
 
Nauticam
 
The Nauticam NA-EM1 housing is a pleasure to use, both with ergonomics and in the ease of changing ports. Nauticam's unique port lock eliminates the need for any twisting. We dived with this housing extensively in Anilao, Philippines and the performace underwater was flawless with excellent shutter control. The price is higher compared to the competition but the quality is high. Divers who have tried the vacuum leak detector system now swear by it, and we recommend it as an add-on.
 
Olympus
 
The Olympus PT-EP11 housing is the most economical housing available, however it doesn't have the same craftsmanship as its competitors. The polycarbonate body makes it a lightweight choice and easy to use for newer divers and underwater photographers.
 
Recsea
 
The Recsea RDH-OMEM1 is the most compact and also the most expensive housing option for the E-M1. Small button configuration and compact dials make the housing most suitable for glove-free diving. Advanced shooters will appreciate the discrete nature of the controls while newer shooters may not know where to find certain camera controls. Recsea's glass 4-inch fisheye dome port will be appreciated by divers who have scratched their softer acrylic ports.
 
 
 

Olympus E-M1 Sample Photos

 
Underwater macro photo with Olympus E-M1
 
Sawblade shrimp shot with the 60mm macro lens in Anilao, Philippines.
Photo: Scott Gietler
 

Underwater shark photo with Olympus E-M1

Blue shark shot with Panasonic 8mm Fisheye lens during a Bluewater Photo dive trip.
Photo: Scott Gietler

 

Underwater wide-angle photo with Olympus E-M1

Reefscape shot with Panasonic 8mm Fisheye lens during the Bluewater Photo Anilao workshop. Photo: Scott Gietler

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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