n just four short years, Nauticam has become the international leader in innovative underwater imaging technology, with the widest range of rugged aluminum camera housings in the world today. With each release, Nauticam builds on past successes and boldly innovates, continually pushing the envelope in ergonomics, design and functionality.
Nauticam is pleased to announce the latest release in its acclaimed line of precision crafted camera housings, the NA-650D for the Canon EOS Rebel T4i (EOS 650D).
Canon EOS Rebel T4i (EOS 650D)
While other cameras are grabbing headlines for megapixels or retro styling or being able to surf the web, the Canon T4i provides a simpler value proposition – provide true SLR performance and image quality in a small package, to allow the shooter to take amazing images and video at a price that is downright frugal. This camera (called EOS Rebel T4i in the US, and EOS 650D elsewhere) is an upgrade to the popular T3i/600D before it; adding just the right features (such as touchscreen interface, hybrid autofocus in live view, and a boost in ISO sensitivity) to make the camera that much more compelling. The T4i is aggressively priced to make it arguably the best value in cameras for the underwater world.
Despite the price, the T4i is no slouch in the specifications department. With a an 18 megapixels CMOS imaging sensor, 9-point autofocus, DIGIC 5 processor, 63 zone metering, 1 mega-dot touchscreen TFT LCD, and 1080p 30fps HD video with manual control, the T4i has what it takes to make beautiful images. With its 5 frames per second shooting rate and zippy autofocus, it has the performance rivaling cameras costing far more. T4i does all of this in one of the smallest and lightest SLR bodies available, important in these days of baggage fees and limited carry-ons.
The T4i sports a new capability for Live View or Video Mode focus tracking, thanks to it’s new “Hybrid CMOS” sensor that includes dedicated pixels for phase detection autofocus. Instead of having to rely contrast detection only, the T4i can use phase detection to initiate the autofocus. This results in less focus “hunting” and means that now Canon shooters can use autofocus tracking while shooting the kind of video that Canon SLRs are famous for. Canon has released two new lenses – the EF-S 18-135mm and the EF 40mm – that use linear stepper motors for autofocus, which means smoother autofocus for video shooting.
Speaking of video shooting, the T4i inherits its custom white balance algorithm from other Canon SLR’s, meaning that the T4i shooter will be able to accurately and reliably white balance at depths that competitors cannot even approach. There is simply no other camera near its price range that has the capability to white balance underwater like the T4i.
As a member of the Canon EOS SLR family, the T4i can take advantage of the wide selection of superior Canon and third party lenses, including lenses that are well known to be excellent for underwater shooting. The Canon 8-15mm is simply the best fisheye lens available in the world, and the exceptionally popular Tokina 10-17mm fisheye covers a similar focal range at a lower price. The Canon EF-S 10-22 is a superb rectilinear wide-angle zoom lens for those times when wide angle is needed but a fisheye won’t do. The Canon EF-S 60mm is an ideal lens for macro shooting underwater, and is complimented by the legendary Canon 100mm macro for those wanting more reach. For shooters who want to have it all on one dive, the 18-55mm EF-S IS II or the Sigma 17-70mm tackle everything from moderately wide angle to 1:2 macro. The 18-55mm in particular is a very cost effective way to start shooting an SLR underwater, available as a bundle with the T4i camera for under US$850.
This Canon DSLR delivers beautiful image quality, exceptional white balance control, and the best all around shooting performance of any camera close to its sub $800 price tag. The T4i may not be the trendiest camera released this year, but it definitely deserves the attention of discriminating shooters looking for awesome performance at a bargain price point.
The NA-650D housing benefits from being the third generation of Nauticam housings for the EOS Rebel lineup, and is the best Rebel housing to date. The industry leading innovations of recent Nauticam housings are obvious with the easy and secure latching system, unrivalled port locking lever system and the superb interchangeable viewfinders. The award winning ergonomics of previous housings have been retained with subtle refinements wherever appropriate.
Putting the Shooter in Control
Every housing control is conceived to make shooting the T4i easy. The most obvious case in point is the Av button control and the single command dial. The T4i, like the T2i/T3i before it, requires the shooter to hold down the Av button and turn the command dial to change the aperture while in Manual Mode, or to change the exposure compensation in Aperture Priority mode. This is easy enough to accomplish on land, but underwater could prove challenging. Not so for the NA-650D shooter – on this housing, the Av button is assigned to a switch – just flip the switch and the housing holds the button down, making it easy to change settings.
New in the NA-650D, the size and shape of the command dial has been changed to make the housing easier to use when diving with thick gloves. The command dial profile has been raised, and the dial itself has a “knobbier” shape, with larger grooves to facilitate the use of gloves.
The T4i now incorporates the movie mode switch into the on-off switch of the camera. This is a welcome improvement in the camera; on previous cameras, the user had to wind the mode dial all the way around to get into movie mode. The housing fully supports this by offering a concentric dial control with a pickup for the on-off-movie switch. To make things even easier, the housing features a small window to help align the switch pickup. The net result is that it is easier than ever to shoot 1080p 30fps HD video – just turn the dial to go to movie mode and press the start button.
Rubberized handles put the user’s hands in just the right position for comfortable shooting, such that all key controls are within easy reach. While never releasing grip, the right forefinger activates Nauticam’s patented two-stage shutter. The right thumb can quickly activate a double paddle lever assembly engaging the record function on top and the “star” (*) button on the bottom lever. The * button is familiar to Canon shooters – it can be programmed for different combinations of auto focus activation (AF), auto focus lock (AF Lock), exposure activation (AE), and exposure lock (AE Lock). For many underwater shooters, the * button is used for “thumb focus”, meaning that focus is only performed when the * button is pressed. The Nauticam designers placed the * button lever so that it can easily be reached with the thumb, without removing the index finger from the shutter release.
The camera controls such as Set, Quick, Playback, White Balance, Drive Mode, AF Mode, and Picture Styles are all brought to within easy reach of the right hand. The focus point selection button is an easy reach for most hands, making selection of focus points fast and efficient. A lever accessing ISO is located for fingertip control at the right thumb. ISO is important when shooting movie clips with a digital SLR as the primary exposure control, and this lever means easy access to allow for quick exposure changes.
The Best Standard Features in the Business
Nauticam pioneered numerous engineering breakthroughs in previous housings that now come standard on the NA-650D. The patented housing Locking Latch System has received acclaim worldwide for its ease and functionality. These recessed latches are equipped with safety locks, reduce bulk and require minimal physical effort to engage and release.
Port changes have never been simpler than utilizing the Patented Nauticam Locking Port Release. No wrestling, no twisting, no misalignment – just seat and lock. Lens changes are also easily accomplished without removing the camera from the housing with the lens release button logically accessed on the housing front.
The lightweight, rugged Nauticam handles are generously contoured with a durable over-mold process of comfortable non-slip rubber. Virtually any hand size can be accommodated with spacers available for cold-water glove use.
All Nauticam housings are machined from a solid block of seawater resistant aluminum alloy and then hard anodized making them impervious to corrosion. Hardware is marine grade stainless steel. Clear acrylic windows are protected with a scratch resistant coating.
Precision Takes Vision
Nauticam has developed the most user-friendly interchangeable precision viewfinders in the world. 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 allow 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.
Lighting control is key to any successful underwater photography system. The NA-650D housing is fiber optic ready with two secure threaded FO synch connectors. The Nauticam system fiber optic cables are compatible with Inon S-TTL and Sea & Sea DS-TTL and provide excellent results with a number of these manufacturer’s strobes with no electrical connections to flood. For those desiring an electrical Nikonos, S-6 or Ikelite style sync port, Nauticam bulkheads are available that can easily be installed or removed in the field.
Accessories to Achieve Imaging Excellence
Nauticam has the most extensive line of high quality optical ports available anywhere and any existing Nauticam DSLR ports will fit the NA-650D. Nauticam also provides the industry’s only locking extension rings in every size potentially required, thus preventing port slippage of any kind when using extension rings. Nauticam additionally offers a full range of port adapters allowing existing housing owners to use their current ports, reducing the cost of switching to a Nauticam housing. Port Adapters are available for Aquatica, Ikelite, Inon, Nexus M5 & M6, Sea & Sea NX, Seacam, Subal Version 3 & 4, and Zillion lens ports.
The Ultimate Video Package
If the video capabilities of the 650D are of primary importance, Nauticam’s NA-DP4 housing for the Small HD Monitor can take video performance to another level. The monitor housing easily mounts to the top of the NA-650D and utilizes the optional HDMI Bulkhead for true HDMI connectivity. Utilizing DP4 features like Focus Peaking, Focus Assist, False Color, 1:1 Mapping and DSLR Scale, this larger monitor vastly improves composition, focus capability and exposure.
* Depth Rating: 100m
* Dimensions (with handles mounted): 325mm x 170mm x 134mm
* Weight: 2.5kg (5.4 lbs.)
* Patented Locking Port Release Lever
* Sensitive Two Stage Shutter Release Lever
* Optical Strobe Connectors
* Rubberized Ergonomic Grips
* Customizable Accessory Port (allowing use of optional Nikonos, S6, or Ikelite Strobe Connectors, Hydrophone, HDMI Video Out, or Remote Control Connectors)
* Embossed Control Function Labels
* Quick Release Camera Mounting Shoe
* Lens Release Button
* Four Strobe & Accessory Base Mounting Locations
* Complete Access to All Key Camera Controls
* .66x Optical Pickup Finder (Enhanced 180º Viewfinder or 45º Viewfinder optional)