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.
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.
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.
45º and 180º Magnifying Viewfinders provide a large, clear, corner-corner view of the Olympus 2.36 mdot LCD Electronic Viewfinder.
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.
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