My time with the Nauticam housing left me in no doubt that this is a very important new line in the world of underwater photography. I’d like to see improvements to the shutter speed knob, but even taking this into consideration, this new housing brand has better ergonomics than many existing lines. Furthermore, Nauticam, the company, give me the clear impression that they will keep refining their designs with each new generation of housing until they are as good as they can be. The D700, for example, does not have their innovative “piano keys” solution for the push buttons seen on their newer designs.
In conclusion, the Nauticam outshines many existing housings in the critical areas of ergonomics and design innovations. And this is not just my opinion. Others, who I dived with in Australia could immediately see better solutions on the Nauticam than their own housings. And then there is the price. Much of the Nauticam line brings this quality for a significantly lower price of many other brands. Although not so their D700, which is undercut by the Aquatica, for instance.
One issue I cannot address in a short-term review (I returned the housing before flying on to Tasmania) is how these housings will age, how they will cope with the abuse underwater photographers general throw at things. Watch the Wetpixel forums for this. It is also not possible to discuss the owning experience. A few housing manufacturers have cropped up over the last few years, caused people to switch and then suddenly fallen from fashion. Nauticam gives the impression it is here for the long haul. They have lined up an impressive roll-call of dealers around the world. It sends the message that customer care is clearly a high priority. I would have no doubts about investing in Nauticam from an after-sales perspective, either.
Without a doubt, we can believe the Nauticam hype. Their housings deliver in both quality and ergonomics. The Nauticam D700 isn’t as much of a bargain as some of their other housings, although it is still at the cheaper end of the scale. Across its range Nauticam has set a new standard for high quality and innovations at an affordable price. It has thrown down the gauntlet to other manufacturers to match it. This can only be good news for all underwater photographers, whether we become a Nauticam users or not.
If you are considering a new housing, look very seriously at Nauticam. I will.
Alex Mustard. Sydney, Australia. March 2010. If you found this review useful or have a question please leave a comment.