In 2008, I’d heard of a company called Nauticam that made a white balance dome port. This Hong Kong based company began shipping housings the next year. By 2011, the brand has become a popular housing amongst retailers and photographers, with a wide range of housings for cameras like the Phase One 645 to the Panasonic LX5.
Known for their innovative engineering, each new generation of Nauticam product evolved with features designed in response to user feedback. Alex Mustard reviewed the Nauticam for the D7000 and gave it high ratings. I know a few people who love their Nauticams. They were one of the first manufacturers to include optical ports for fiberoptic flash sync and an impressive port locking system. The meteoric rise of Nauticam has been rather impressive.
Predictably, it hasn’t been all smooth. Nauticam has had 2 recalls over its products. The first was the 550D/T2i housing issue with loctite. Another issue was the rusting of certain components due to low grade manufacturing materials, but there was no recall for that. The second recall I was directly involved with since I had 2 9” domes pop off the assembly within a month, and notified Edward Lai of Nauticam that the first incident mentioned in the forums was not a solitary one (and also posted on Wetpixel). In fact it was this incident that led to my field testing the newly redesigned 9” dome along.
I must add that Nauticam has publicly acknowledged the known issues and worked hard on the fixes. Furthermore, Edward was so confident of his product that he sent the NA-60D housing for the Canon EOS 60D along with the new 9” dome for me to test. So with a bit of help from Scubacam Singapore, I picked up the following gear for the test in Bali:
4.33” Acrylic Dome Port
9” optical glass port (the new redesigned one)
Macro Port 87
Compact port extension 30
Since I’ve covered quite a bit of the camera in my Seacam Prelude review, I won’t be rehashing the different camera modes. I’ll just be concentrating on the NA-60D housing as it is quite different from the Prelude 60D housing. The field test will be divided into 2 parts, wideangle with the 4.33”/9” domes and macro. At the end, I’ll also post my subjective comparison of the Seacam and Nauticam housings.
All housing equipment tested were either on loan or owned by me. The loaned equipment have been returned.
Special acknowledgement and thanks to:
Matthew Koh of CPS, Canon Singapore for the Canon EOS 60D loan
Edward and Jacqueline Lai of Nauticam for the loan of Nauticam equipment
David Cheung and Sanah Z for helping with logistics and supplying clamps