Field Review: Nauticam NA-D500 housing

U/W Technics/Nauticam NN-2/IS electro optical converter

The D500 is not equipped with a built in flash, so it has forced housing manufacturers to innovate to create a new solutions. Nauticam has adopted a built in electro optical converter that is manufactured for them by U/W Technics. This works by receiving the flash triggering signal from the cameras hot shoe and converting this to an optical signal by using LED’s on a circuit board mounted on the housing. Of course, the conversion process is not “quite” that simple, but I am pleased to report it works flawlessly.

The converter that the review housing was fitted with was a manual mode version only (which is my preferred option anyway). It was tested with both Inon Z240 and Sea&Sea YS-D2 strobes and performed flawlessly, providing fast and accurate triggering.

Having used it, this must be the future of strobe triggering. As it is not relying on an internal strobe recycling, it will shoot as fast as the external strobe can keep up. At the same time, it does away with complicated and potentially problematic electrical sync cables and bulkheads. It seem to offer the simplicity of fiber optic triggering with the speed of electrical.

The unit is powered by two C2403 batteries. During the review, the housing has produced nearly 10,000 images and there is no discernible reduction in performance yet.

Boo Windows, Raja Ampat. Nikon D500, Tokina 10-17mm, 1/100@f8, ISO800

Alex Mustard on the NA-D500:

I really liked the Nauticam D500 housing, which has a lovely solid feel and working perfectly throughout my three dives with it.

I really love the sculptured primary control dials on Nauticam housings – which are so easy to use.

My only gripe, which I know Adam shared, is that the right had side of the housing is packed, to the point of being cluttered with controls. This isn’t really Nauticam’s fault, in fact, the blame should be placed on Nikon for moving the ISO button up close to the shutter release. This means that all housings now have to provide access to this important control from the right, where there is already a plethora of dials, knobs and levers.

Lembeh Straits . Nikon D500, Nikon 60mm f2.8, Nauticam SMC, 1/160@f16, ISO160


As mentioned in the introduction, this is not a comparative review but a review of a single housing’s performance. The NA-D500 is a solid, reliable housing which will allow the user to get the best from the D500.

The new electro optical strobe triggering system is, in my opinion, the best way to trigger compatible strobes and I look forward to it being an option on all housings.

I would like to see a less cluttered right hand side control surface, but this is perhaps not possible given the relocation of the camera’s ISO control.

The NA-D500 is shipping now and available from your local Nauticam dealer.

Raja Ampat. Nikon D500, Tokina 10-17mm, 1/250@f8, ISO125

FTC Disclosure

The NA-D500 housing and 45° viewfinder that were used in this review were loaned to the reviewer for the review. The D500 camera was purchased by the reviewer.

  1. Introduction and underwater handling.
  2. Camera controls and Nauticam Vacuum system.
  3. Nauticam electro optical converter, Alex Mustard’s comments and conclusion.