Nauticam has finally officially released their housing for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3. The NA-GH3 was first spotted on the Nauticam China website, and was exhibited at the NAB show. Since then there have queries about the launch date on the forum. Nauticam USA has now confirmed that it will be shipping from 27 May at a US retail price of $2250.
Housing for Panasonic GH3.
Nauticam is pleased to announce the latest release in its line of precision crafted camera housings, the NA-GH3 for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 (GH3 for short). The GH3 is not only the flagship Micro Four Thirds (m4/3) format camera from Panasonic, but it is one of the most capable video cameras ever in it’s class, with certain features rivaling or even exceeding some high end video cameras that can cost an order of magnitude more.
Nauticam is the undisputed leader in the m4/3 and other mirrorless interchangeable lens camera underwater housing market, with more camera models and more lens models supported than any other manufacturer. With the NA-GH3, Nauticam demonstrates it’s continuing commitment to the mirrorless market.
The NA-GH3 Housing.
The NA-GH3 was designed by underwater photographers to maximize control of the camera to facilitate the creative process for both still shooting and video, all in a rugged housing machined from solid aluminum and depth rated to 100 meters. All Nauticam housings are designed for ease of use and maintenance and the NA-GH3 builds on this solid foundation. The groundbreaking features of previous housings are present such as the effortless (but secure) single rotating housing latch and the patented port latching system. A rear mounted housing o-ring makes maintenance easier than ever, while a threaded bulkhead port allows for an HDMI or electrical strobe synch bulkhead installation – advanced features often omitted by other housing manufacturers. Dual fiber optic synch ports are standard and take advantage of the GH3 popup flash. To make the most of the GH3’s excellent EVF, Nauticam has crafted an optional rear acrylic display window (p/n 17751) that encompasses a mount for installation of Nauticam’s acclaimed 45º and 180º magnified view finders for the ultimate in composition and focus ability.
Port changes are easy using the Patented Nauticam Locking Port Release. No wrestling, no twisting, no misalignment - just seat and lock. Lens changes are also easily accomplished without removing the camera from the housing using the lens release button logically accessed on the housing front. Optional handles on the Nauticam Flexitray are generously contoured with a durable over-mold process of comfortable non-slip rubber.
The Panasonic GH3 has a very large number of external controls/buttons, so designing a housing that manages all of these controls in a way that is logical, easy to use and adds to the user experience is quite a challenge. As has become the norm, the Nauticam design team has not only taken on the challenge but has succeeded in producing an ergonomic housing that bring all of that control to the users fingertips. The GH3 has a touchscreen interface that is not supported underwater; however, Nauticam has carefully evaluated the functionality of the external controls to ensure that all functions needed underwater can be accessed by the well placed housing controls.
The Panasonic GH3 Camera.
Some cameras are great, and some have greatness thrust upon them. The Panasonic GH2 was more of a case of the latter; it was a very good camera, but it gained much in terms of performance and notoriety when a group of enthusiasts developed a “hack” or modified firmware for the camera that greatly increased it’s video bitrate. The result was a camera that became a cult-like favorite for independent filmmakers who wanted high image quality on a budget. To their credit, Panasonic recognized this and made sure to incorporate a high data rate as well as other new video features into the camera. The result is the excellent Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, or GH3 for short.
For video shooters, there is a long list of important features that the GH3 provides, starting with a data rate of up to 70mbps. Of current SLR and consumer cameras, only the Canon 5D Mark III and 1D series produce a higher bit rate. The GH3 can shoot in full 1080p at 60fps, something the 5DIII cannot do, even with the latest firmware upgrade. The size of the m4/3 sensor is a distinct advantage for underwater shooting as well - it is large enough to capture high image quality with relatively little noise, yet small enough to get more depth of field than an APS-C or full frame sensor. More depth of field is useful for underwater shooting where focus is often difficult. Macro shooters will find it much easier to get life-size reproductions or beyond using the m4/3 sensor, and the deeper depth of field means more of the subject will be in focus. The m4/3 sensor also means that lenses are typically smaller than their full frame counterparts.
“At the time of writing no other camera at a similar price point offers so much for video shooters and filmmakers. Whilst the Nikon D5200 / D7100 and Canon 5D Mark III perform better in low light, neither have the range of video features and frame rates the GH3 offers for $1299 - nor quite the crispness of detail at 1080p. The mirrorless mount is also an advantage for video on the GH3 as it allows a wider range of lenses to be used and an active electronic viewfinder whilst recording.” Andrew Red - EOSHD
Panasonic GH3 Key Features:
- 16MP Live MOS sensor with three-core Venus 7 FHD engine.
- Magnesium alloy body with weather sealing (dust and splash proof).
- ISO 200-12800 (extended range of ISO 125-25600).
- 6 fps continuous shooting.
- AF speed of 0.07 seconds.
- 1.7 million dot equiv. 16:9 ratio OLED viewfinder (873 x 500 pixels).
- 614k dot 3” OLED rear screen (640 x 480 pixels).
- Full HD 60p/50p video with 30p/25p option.
- MOV (h.264), MP4 and AVCHD formats.
- Video bit rates of 50Mbps in IPB and 72Mbps in All-I compression modes.
- Timecode support in MOV(H.264) and AVCHD formats.
The quality of an image is only as good as the glass it was captured with, and Nauticam firmly believes that every lens that makes sense to be used underwater should be supported. Nauticam’s lineup of ports, together with Zen Underwater dome ports is the most complete and extensive in the industry. Nauticam carefully evaluates new lenses, and is often first to market with support when a new lens is offered. Nauticam is the only manufacturer to fully support the Olympus 12-50mm lens to take advantage of it’s macro mode. The new Panasonic 12-35mm lens is supported as well as reliable choices like the Panasonic 8mm, the Panasonic 7-14mm, the Olympus 9-18, Panasonic 45mm macro, Olympus 60mm macro, and all of the 14-42mm lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus.
A high resolution camera like the Panasonic GH3 demands perfect focus for optimal results. Fortunately, Nauticam has developed the most user-friendly interchangeable precision viewfinders in the world. The standard optical glass viewfinder is very good and travel friendly, but many photographers prefer the ease of a magnified viewfinder with adjustable diopter. Nauticam produces a “straight” 180º enlarging viewfinder and a 45º angled enlarging viewfinder to enhance the ease of close quarters work often associated with macro shooting. Both viewfinders have high quality optics allow viewing of the entire image. A patented external dioptric adjustment allows personal adjustment to a sharp-as-a-tack standard underwater and viewfinder changes can be executed in less than 30 seconds without using tools. Exceptional composition and focus accuracy have never been more accessible.
Nauticam’s NA-DP4 housing for the Small HD DP4 Monitor can take video performance to another level by rendering the video image in a position more amenable to the shooter. The monitor housing easily mounts to the top of the NA-GH3 and utilizes the optional HDMI Bulkhead for true HDMI connectivity. Utilizing DP4 features like Focus Peaking, Focus Assist, False Color, 1:1 Mapping and more, this larger monitor vastly improves composition, focus capability and exposure.
Optional accessories available for the NA-GH3:
* 180º Enhancing Viewfinder.
* 45º Enhanching Viewfinder.
* Complete line of ports for all major lenses.
* Locking port extension rings, 20mm and 30mm.
* Monitor Housing for SmallHD DP4 Monitor.
* Fiber optic cables for Inon and Sea & Sea.
* Flexitray with left handle, right handle.
* Flexitray W - wider version of Flexitray with tripod attachment holes.
* Hand strap (2 sizes).
* Full line of mounting accessories for lighting, including mount balls, strobe adapters, arms, clamps, and specialty items.
* Multiple styles of lanyards.
* Lens holders, including flip-up.
* Focus and Zoom gears for many Panasonic and Olympus lenses.
The Bottom Line.
The Panasonic GH3 is a video enthusiasts dream camera, offering unmatched video features and quality, while still offering excellent still camera functionality. The GH3 with the NA-GH3 is the perfect partnership for the independent filmmaker to document the world underwater.
* Depth Rating: 100m.
* Weight: 1.4kg.
* Dimensions (with handles mounted): 207mm x 152mm x 121mm.
Model Number: 17707.
USA Retail Price: $2250.
Estimated Shipping Date: May 27, 2013.
More information is available from Nauticam USA.
USA Dealer List.
Contact Nauticam USA:
2303 N. Andrews Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311
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!
Please email for dealer enquiries Outside of North & South America.
International Dealer Listing is available on the Nauticam International website.