Nauticam Housing for Sony RX100 III

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

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)

 

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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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Santa Monica, CA is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious underwater camera stores, serving many thousands of customers each year, where nothing is more important than customer service. The Underwater Photography Guide is the world’s first website to feature free tutorials on underwater photography, and has become the most trafficked resource on underwater photography worldwide. Bluewater Travel is a full-service dive travel wholesaler sending groups and individuals on the world’s best dive vacations. 

Scott is also an avid diver, underwater photographer, and budding marine biologist, having created the online guide to the underwater flora and fauna of Southern California. He is the past vice-president of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society, has volunteered extensively at the Santa Monica aquarium, and is the creator of the Ocean Art underwater photo competition, one of the largest underwater international photo competitions ever held in terms of value of prizes. He lives in California with his wife, newborn girl and scuba-diving, photo taking 4 year old son.

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