We held a one day underwater photo seminar in Grand Cayman recently, graciously hosted by Cobalt Coast Resort and DiveTech. Our first dive was on the excellent house reef at Cobalt and then we headed out to dive the reefs on DiveTech's boat. It was great day of learning and diving and of course we had plenty of Nauticam demo gear available for the particpants to try. Here are some of the beautiful shots they grabbed:
Entries in Panasonic LX5 (5)
Coverage of the Digital Shootout
Nauticam USA is proud to be a premier sponsor of the Digital Shootout 2011 in Bonaire. This is the fourth installment of our daily coverage of the shootout.
Day four, and back on the boats to head out to Klein Bonaire. These dive guides are doing a great job with this large group, sharing their special spots for things like frogfish and seahorses. I'm shooting wide today, the 10-22 behind the Zen 230mm dome again as I am just so pleased with the sharpness I am getting out of this combination. I want to get some shots of people with their gear, heads down in their quest to get that perfect shot.
Despite the fact that some of these folks are very focused on getting close to their subjects, they are doing a good job of staying off of live reef. The Digital Shootout staff and the Divi Dive staff have been stressing the importance of not damaging the reef, and made it clear right at the beginning that anyone sacrificing living reef to get their shot will be removed from the competition, and depending on the severity, may be banned from diving here. They are serious about it and well they should be. As u/w photographers, we are truly ambassadors for the sea. Many people will get their experience of the ocean through our eyes and that charges us with a huge responsibility to set a good example for our fellow divers and do as little damage as possible to an ecosystem that is not only fragile but under attack from many different sources. However, it should not stop at merely this, because the fact is that divers actually are not even close to the biggest threat that reefs face. Water quality issues, temperature increase, over-fishing, invasive species - these issues are what is killing our reefs, not a kicked sea fan. So we need to start by not kicking that sea fan, absolutely, but we as ambassadors for the ocean need to carry that message back to life on land and make a difference.
I'm finally getting a bit more organized at getting these cameras ready to go out, which is a good thing as I'm sending out every one of our housings pretty much every day. Everything has been working well and I'm very pleased not to be having a lot of gear issues. Our LX-5 housing and camera is proving to be very popular with the demo gear uses. Panasonic is not as big of a name in the US in the consumer camera world but they are making some excellent cameras and definitely seem to be on the upswing. LX-5 is the most capable, best imaging compact camera I have used. It's ideally suited for underwater shooting, with features like RAW mode, manual exposure, excellent TTL, TTL in manual mode, and AVCHD video.
Coverage of the Digital Shootout
Nauticam USA is proud to be a premier sponsor of the Digital Shootout 2011 in Bonaire. This is the third installment of our daily coverage of the shootout.
Demo gear use started in earnest today, and we handed out a nice assortment of Nauticam gear for people to try. The LX5 is probably the most popular so far and deservedly so - it's a really capable little camera. Jim Decker took one out along with an Inon UWL-H100 M67 Type2 wet lens, and got some excellent shots; shots that really were not even possible with compact cameras from just two years ago. Of course, he was helped greatly by using a great model underwater - yours truly. Ha! Kidding! I told him it wasn't the camera nor his skill that accounted for the excellent sunball in that shot - it was me eclipsing the sun for him.
We had another great group on the boat today, including two shooters who have brand new Nauticam gear. Sako is sporting a Nauticam NA-D7000 with 180º viewfinder. She's got some Inon Z-240 strobes and a never ending string of questions - which I am more than happy to try to answer - being here to answer questions is my excuse for being here, and I am sticking with that story. Mike is rocking a Canon Rebel T2i in a Nauticam NA-550D housing. He's also got the 180º viewfinder and the Z-240's. Mike was going to town with his rig today - shooting it in manual for the first time. After about an hour and twenty minutes into our second dive, Mike was still banging away. Everyone else was out of the water, so I had to go back in and rap him over the head to get him to surface. Don't get between me and lunch!
We also got to see the as yet unreleased Light&Motion Sola 4000's in use. Dan from L&M was shooting some video with some prototype 4000's, and was kind enough to model for me above a great little yellow frogfish.
The Nauticam LX5 housing (NA-LX5) is now shipping. The first compact camera housing from Nauticam, this camera and housing are a potent combination. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 camera, or LX5 for short, may be the best underwater compact camera system to date.
The LX5 packs a lot of power into a small camera, including these features that benefit underwater shooters:
- RAW image format
- Manual exposure with full control
- A very usable manual focus with DOF indicator
- TTL in manual mode
- AVCHD video
For Leica fans, the housing can also accomodate the Leica D-Lux5 camera. An optional insert is required for the D-Lux5.
I happened to have a Leica D-Lux5 in the housing this morning when I took the housing to a fishing dock to snap the product shots you see here. While walking down the pier, I noticed a cool little filefish right next to the dock. Well, having an underwater camera in my hands, I could not resist, so I laid down on the dock and dipped the D-Lux5 in and took a few snaps. So here's my first ever Leica photograph:
The Nauticam LX5 housing is available now from your friendly Nauticam dealer. Check out this blog post from April 15 for more info about the camera and housing.
Nauticam proudly announces the NA-LX5 Housing for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5. This camera and housing package offers functionality and image quality traditionally only available from much larger SLR systems plus ease of use previously found only in compact systems.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and Leica D-Lux 5
Panasonic's LX5 camera is at the top of the compact camera world, with features rivaling much larger cameras. Featuring a 10 megapixel CCD sensor with an ISO range of 80-3200 (and up to 12,800 with reduced resolution), this camera produces very high quality images and video. The camera also features a bright 3.8x 24-90mm equivalent zoom lens with built in stabilization with effective maximum apertures ranging from f/2 ? f/3.3. A switch on the front of the camera controls the image aspect ratio, including 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1 (square), offering the shooters more creativity in framing images.
Two of the most important features in any camera for underwater are the ability to shoot in RAW mode and the ability to shoot manual exposure. The LX5 accomplishes both with ease. RAW mode is set via menu option - similarly to most DSLRs. Manual exposure is one of the modes available (along with Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and two user Custom modes) on the dial on top of the camera. Unlike most other compact cameras, LX5 provides automatic flash exposure (TTL) in manual mode.
Controls are simple but well though out, with familiar push buttons for quick access function, a zoom switch on a ring around the shutter release, and single click-turn command dial for exposure settings. Switching between aperture and shutter speed in manual mode is done by simply clicking the dial.
Another feature favored by underwater photographers is control over focus; the LX5 offers complete control, via a programmable AF/AE-L (autofocus and/or auto exposure lock button), and a separate switch to select between normal, macro and manual focus.
For video shooters, the LX5 offers automatic or full manual control while shooting 720p AVCHD video and has a dedicated video start/stop button. Continuous AF is available while shooting video, as is zoom control.
For Leica fans, Leica offers their own version of this camera, called the Leica D-Lux 5. The Nauticam NA-LX5 housing will support this camera too, so now this Leica compact can explore the underwater world too.
Nauticam NA-LX5 Housing
A compact camera with this much functionality demands a rugged yet compact housing, and the Nauticam engineers have delivered with an aluminum housing offering all of that functionality to the underwater shooter. The Nauticam NA-LX5 housing (part number #17701) puts the power of the LX5 camera into the palm of your hand, and your BCD pocket.
Taking a cue from the NA-NEX5 housing, this is a very compact housing, with all of the LX-5 camera controls available from the ergonomic grip sculpted into the side of the housing. The camera slides easily into the housing with no need to preset any controls, and the housing is securely closed with a clasp featuring double safety releases. The compact form factor, ease of use, excellent image quality and P&S functionality make this a perfect system for everyone from new u/w shooters to pros that want a camera that will fit into their BCD pocket.
Ergonomics is one of the areas that all Nauticam housings excel and the Nauticam NA-LX5 housing is no exception. This housing puts all of the important controls on the camera within easy reach, and even makes some of the controls on the housing easier to manipulate than on the camera itself. Case in point ? as mentioned, the LX5 command dial can be both turn and clicked. While this may be easy to do on land, underwater it could prove difficult, and housing manufacturers up until now have struggled with this sort of control. The Nauticam engineers very cleverly separated the dial function into two separate controls on the housing, making using both functions a breeze.
Double Safety Housing Clasp
The housing back is sealed with an easy to operate safety clasp. A safety release button must be pressed in order to begin rotating the clasp, eliminating the chance of accidental opening.
Nauticam Build Quality
This isn't your typical plastic point and shoot housing! Only the finest materials and cutting edge manufacturing processes are used to make Nauticam housings. The housing body is machined from solid aircraft grade aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water. The flat port is optically coated glass. The large acrylic LCD window is treated with an anti-reflective, scratch resistant coating.
Optional Rubberized Ergonomic Handles
Nauticam uses a sophisticated over-mold process to produce extremely comfortable rubberized ergonomic handgrips. The soft feel and ergonomic design make the housing easy to grip and minimize hand fatigue on long dives. Both single and double handle configurations are available for complete customization, and each handle can be adjusted laterally allowing the user to dial in perfect fit. A hand strap is also available for those wishing an even smaller profile.
Optical Flash Connectors for Inon S-TTL, and Sea & Sea DS-TTL
Reliable automatic flash exposure is available with Nauticam housings and a variety of optically fired flashes.ˇ Inon Z-240, D-2000, S-2000, Sea & Sea YS-110 Alpha, and YS-01 strobes provide automated lighting, precisely reproducing the camera?s onboard flash at a proportionally greater intensity. ˇThis system yields accurate TTL flash performance with no electrical sync cables to flood! With LX5, optical TTL is enhanced even more since LX5 can perform TTL in manual exposure mode.
The NA-LX5 features a removable optical mount, allowing the user to easily switch between shooting with a strobe or shooting with built-in flash. Flash control is made easy by the combination of a flash popup button, and another lever to close the flash to make silhouette shots a breeze.
Strobes can be attached to the housing via optional strobe mounting balls on the handles or a single strobe mounting ball point on the housing. The housing also features a cold-shoe mount for even more mounting options.
External Wet Lens Support
The LX5 features a 24mm equivalent lens when zoomed to maximum width, which is considerably wider than competitive cameras and an important consideration for underwater shooting. The NA-LX5 front port is a standard 67mm thread which can accept wide angle or close up accessory wet lenses.
* Depth Rating: 75 meters
* Dimensions: 156mm x 104mm x 105mm
* Signature Housing Lock
* Flash on/Flash off levers
* Super Sensitive Shutter Release
* Removable Optical Strobe Connectors
* M10 Threaded Hole for Strobe Attachment
* Cold Shoe for Accessory Mounting
* Embossed Control Function Labels
* Complete Access to All Camera Controls
* Diffuser for NA-LX5
* Wet-mate dome port
* Hand Strap
* Spacer for Leica D-lux 5 camera
* Single handle tray, left handle
* Right handle
* Strobe mounting ball, housing
* Strobe mounting ball, handle
USA Retail Price: $950
Estimated Shipping Date: April 22, 2011
Contact Nauticam USA:
3320 NE 32nd Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
International Dealer Information:
About Nauticam USA:
Nauticam USA is the exclusive wholesale distributor of Nauticam products in the North American Market. Nauticam USA?s warehouse and service center is located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Our staff of underwater photography experts strives to provide the best customer support and after sale service available. Dealer inquiries are welcome!