The Nauticam NA-D7500 Underwater Housing
Nauticam housings are evolutionary marvels, with advancements from previous Nauticam for Nikon systems providing the foundation that this new model was built on. Customer feedback is integrated at every possible opportunity. The cumulative experience of the Nauticam user base provides constant inspiration for innovation and is a key strength of the brand.
The new NA-D7500 housing further enhances the market leading Nauticam ergonomic experience with improved control placement in a compact, light weight housing produced with cutting-edge manufacturing processes.
The right grip is mission control for the D7500 camera, accessing many of the frequently used camera functions. Oversized levers are identifiable by feel, allowing tactile operation while framing with the optical viewfinder. The most frequently accessed fingertip controls (Shutter Release, Main Command Dial, and Sub Command Dial, Video Record, and AE-L/AF-L) are located here. ISO, the primary exposure control used by DSLR video shooters, is accessed by a convenient thumb lever under the right grip. INFO, useful for calling up the camera settings on the 3.2" rear color LCD, is placed at the left thumb.
A "pinky lever", placed just under the front sub-command dial, accesses the Fn1 button. This can be linked to a number of assignable functions.
The new AF-Mode Lever is a significant improvement and one based on feedback from Nauticam customers in the field. Nikon AF Area modes have become so powerful that shooters are regularly switching between 3D Tracking, Auto Area AF, and Single Area modes. The AF-Mode lever is now easily located by feel from the left handle! A separate AF-M lever is positioned above this lever, and identifiable by feel.
A double thumb lever accesses playback and the INFO Button.
Extensive Customization for a Tailored Ergonomic Experience
The Nikon D7500 camera in a Nauticam NA-D7500 housing offers two assignable pushbuttons (AE-L/AF-L, and FN1) that can all be accessed from the housing handles.
These custom functions can be overwhelming at first, but the creative options they unlock can be incredibly valuable in the field. In short, these assignable buttons mean less time digging through camera menus to change camera functions, and more time capturing the scene as it unfolds. There isn't a right way configure these systems. Every photographer and shooting scenario has unique demands. Some ideas are listed below:
My Menu, a customized panel with frequently accessed menus settings
Access Top Item in MY MENU, actually jumps into a frequently accessed sub-menu structure for the top level My Menu selection, saving at least two button presses. (ie min shutter speed in auto iso mode, or quickly define a preset white balance)
Quickly access another metering mode, toggling between the selected metering pattern and an alternate that more appropriately evaluates the current scene.
Flash disable / enable, this is a big one! Toggles external flashes on and off, allowing a switch between artificial light shooting (continuous shooting speed limited by flash recycle, and shutter speed limited by the strobe max sync speed at 1/250) to silhouette mode using only ambient light (full 8 fps continuous shooting speed, unrestricted flash sync speed).
External Flash Triggering
The D7500 camera's pop-up flash fires inside of the NA-D7500 housing, and optical TTL compatible strobes connected by fiber optic cables allow manual and TTL flash exposure. Optical systems, with fiber optic cables linking the external flashes to the housing, are far more reliable than any electrical sync cable system. There are no connections to flood, or fragile wires to break, and nearly every popular underwater strobe supports optical triggering.
The optional Flash Trigger for Nikon (compatible with NA-D7100, D7200, D7500), PN 26304 can fire at the full 8 fps of the camera, making it the ideal solution for the rapid-fire fast action shooting that the D7500 now allows for. Using this trigger instead of the pop up flash allows rapid-fire shooting, with the added bonus of increased camera battery life.
Nikon DX Underwater Advantages
Smaller rig, lenses, smaller domes, and more money for dive trips. Full frame systems have been all the rage in recent years, but it is hard to ignore the benefits of the APS-C sized sensor in Nikon DX bodies for underwater photography. DX lenses tend to be less expensive than their full-frame counterparts, as do the smaller domes that they work well with. This savings adds up, and the available lens selection is an extremely versatile one.
A fisheye that zooms! The Tokina 10-17 is the ultimate super wide field of view range, and full frame systems don't have it. The 10mm end, with 180 degree diagonal field of view, is the perfect angle for close focus wide angle subjects or big animals that are approachable. The 17mm end covers more skittish subjects that won't come close, or more portraits styles shots of medium and large subjects.
Super Wide Zooms. The full frame rigs require really big dome ports and expensive lenses, to cover this 110° range without fisheye distortion. DX cameras, paired with the Nikon AF-S DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom provide amazingly good overall sharpness and corner performance even in smaller 180mm dome ports. This is a tremendous benefit for travel, as the smaller dome is much easier to pack, and significantly lower in weight.
Extra Macro Reach. Take the most macro magnification possible with a full frame system and a Nikon 60 or 105mm lens, then crop the center 2/3 of the frame. That is the image framing that a DX camera grabs in camera! Adding a Nauticam Super Macro Converter to the 105, or Compact Macro Converter to the AF-S 60 allows for incredible magnification.
Handy Mid-range Zooms. Several mid-range zoom lenses, most notably the Sigma 17-70 series, provide coverage for a wide variety of almost wide angle to closeup shooting scenarios. These lenses handle a range very similar to that covered by the built-in zooms in the compact cameras that many underwater photographers cut their teeth on.
Patented Port Locking System
Unveiled on the very first Nauticam DSLR housing in 2009, this locking lever has become a signature of the Nauticam brand. No twisting or threading action is required to mount a port,and it locks securely in place with this lever. Nauticam also offers locking extension rings, meaning a dome will never twist, even when used with a long extension ring.
Housing Locking Latches
The industry's easiest to use housing closure system, requiring very little hand strength to close, secures the housing back in place. The latches are safely locked, but easy to open for a quick battery or memory card change.
Multi Controller Pad
Located within easy reach of the right thumb, virtually recreates the Nikon D500 multi selector allowing full multidirectional use of this powerful too. No other manufacturer has it, and with 55 user selectable focus points to choose from, photographers need it.
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 II (PN 25625).
Vacuum Reset Button in Port Mount
A simple vacuum reset pushbutton placed in the port mount allows the vacuum system to be calibrated and initialized from the housing front. Ideal for quick lens swaps!
Stainless Steel Handle Brackets
Stiffening handle brackets are included with the housing. These brackets eliminate any flex or wobble when using big strobes, and provide multiple attachment points for lanyards, a hand strap, and other accessories.
Ergonomic Rubberized Grips
Another legendary Nauticam feature, these rubberized grips have been used every Nauticam DSLR housing release, and are some of the most comfortable in the business.
Clear Control Labeling
All camera controls are clearly labeled, allowing easy identification.
Integrated Vacuum Check and Leak Detection System
The Nauticam vacuum check and leak detection system is shipped with NA-D7500 as standard equipment. Combined with an accessory vacuum valve (PN 25625), this monitoring system provides constant updates on the water tight and safe-to-dive status of the housing. A simple color 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 Nauticam system is temperature compensated, eliminating false alarms caused by a change in outside temperature, or from a camera heating up on an action-packed dive.
Ease of Use
No system is easier to assemble or break down. The camera drops into the housing with a quick release camera tray. The camera tray has an extending bracket that allows the AF-M selector to be easily positioned to match the camera. No controls need to be preset, as housing functions for dials and switches align automatically (on/off, af-m, still photo/video). The large 120mm housing port opening allows even the largest popular pro Nikon wide angle lens (14-24 /2.8G) to be used, and the camera can even be mounted in the housing with this large lens attached.
The standard optical glass viewfinder is very good and travel friendly, but many photographers prefer the ease of a magnified viewfinder with adjustable diopter. 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.
Premium Professional Optics
Experienced shooters know a camera is only as good as the lens in front of it, and the same is true when choosing optics for an underwater camera system. Four optically coated glass dome ports (250mm, 230mm, 180mm, and 140mm diameters) and a series of acrylic ports support popular lenses from Nikon, Sigma, and Tokina. Port configurations are extensively tested at Nauticam to determine the ideal extension ring length for best performance.
For macro and super macro shooting, the Nauticam Super Macro Converter is a revolutionary accessory. This is an entirely in house design, optimized for use in water. The water contact correction offers the highest overall sharpness, free from chromatic aberration and purple fringing, with reproduction ratios exceeding 2:1 when used with a Nikon AF-S 105mm /2.8 VR Lens.
Nauticam build quality is simply unmatched, using cutting edge product design and modern, innovative manufacturing techniques that result in service-free reliability. A bit like a fine Swiss time piece, the complexity under the hood results in a trouble free user experience that just works, and keeps working for years to come.