Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Nauticam NA-EM5 housing in use

Olympus OM D EM5 NA-EM5 housing

  • Please log in to reply
60 replies to this topic

#1 adamhanlon

adamhanlon

    Harbor Seal

  • Admin
  • 1768 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, UK

Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:25 PM

I was lucky enough to have been able to use the new Nauticam NA-EM5 housing for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 yesterday. I didn't have the time to do a full review, but managed to have a long dive with it.

Posted Image

I was also somewhat hampered by never having handled the camera above water! The housing and camera's owner Brett Thorpe of UK retailer Divelife and I literally swapped cameras underwater. I should also state at the outset that I have not used any other housings for this camera, so cannot compare it to anything else on the market. So some brief thoughts are appropriate.

The housing is very small and compact, and despite Brett's somewhat "interesting" lighting that was attached to it, seems well balanced in the water. On the left hand was the zoom control, a nice easily found knob. It features two ribbed control dials that allow for separate shutter speed and aperture settings. I find that this is much more user friendly than sharing these controls via a menu or control pad function.

Posted Image

I found the camera's EVF to be quite useful, even with the standard viewfinder. Given that I am used to magnifying and 45° viewfinders, the standard version felt somewhat awkward to use. It is just a question of getting used to it though. I can certainly see how the use of magnifying viewfinders with EVFs opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

The LCD screen can be tilted within the housing (prior to sealing it). This is very convenient for shooting video. The housing's window gives a full view of the entire LCD. The camera's on-screen display (and that of the EVF) gives a great deal of information.

Posted Image

Brett described how he finds accessing the camera's controls easier in the housing than on the camera body itself. Certainly, the controls seem well spread out on the housing. I was not using gloves, and had no issues using any of the housing controls at all. The shutter release is large and sensitive, and the housing has a "thumb groove" that provides a grip on the reverse. When using the tray grips, the shutter falls easily to hand. The video activation lever is quite small, but the lever is designed to stand proud of the housing body, so can be used easily. In fact, all the levers seemed to use this design, which makes them very functional despite their size.

Posted Image

This camera and housing combination would be incredibly well suited to any fast moving action (whale sharks, whales, dolphins, sailfish etc). Swimming with this housing is incredibly easy! Depending on the subject, combining it with small strobes will make a really useful tool. I do not think it replaces an SLR system for most underwater situations however. The camera and housing size is a compromise, and the controls, whilst very good, are not as easy to use as those on a larger housing.

One last though that is not relevant to the housing or camera's performance, and is entirely subjective, but the OM-D E-M5 is one good looking camera! I always felt that Olympus SLRs were iconic, and I think that the designers of this camera have managed to faithfully replicate this in a EVIL camera.

I would welcome any further questions about the housing or camera and will do my best to answer them if I can. Thanks to Brett for his images.

Adam.

Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
Editor-wetpixel
web | Flickr | twitter | Linkedin | Facebook


#2 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:28 AM

Hi Adam,

Just packed one to take on the Wetpixel Whalesharks expedition in the morning. Although not in such an unusual configuration.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#3 John Bantin

John Bantin

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1857 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Teddington/Twickenham UK
  • Interests:former Technical Editor of
    Diver Magazine (UK) and www.divernet.com
    occasional contributor
    SportDiver (Aus)
    Undercurrent
    Author of Amazing Diving Stories (Wiley Nautical)

Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:24 AM

Saw a few big ones (whalesharks) in Malpelo in June. This one was about 50ft long.

Attached Images

  • _FFF0666.jpg

Edited by John Bantin, 27 July 2012 - 11:24 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#4 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

Posted 27 July 2012 - 06:40 PM

Congratulations on your 8,000th post Alex! and looking forward to Nr. 8001, especially if it is about your first experiences with the OM-D EM-5 and its housing.

Bart

Edited by Glasseye Snapper, 27 July 2012 - 06:46 PM.

Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#5 Phil Rudin

Phil Rudin

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1064 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:05 AM

Some macro/closeup images with the E-M5, Nauticam NA-EM5 housing and Panasonic 45 macro can be found here.

Phil Rudin

http://www.nauticamusa.com/

#6 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:40 AM

Hi Phil,

That first shot is truly an aw(e)fish, or did you leave out the J unintentionally. Very promising for macro and some of the wide-angle shots I have seen are great too. In terms of being a low-compromise SLR replacement the two remaining items on my checklist are viewfinder clarity and ability to autofocus on fast moving small fish, yellow/bluehead/rainbow wrasse ... Have you used the camera/housing long enough to have an opinion on that?

Bart
Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#7 Phil Rudin

Phil Rudin

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1064 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:00 AM

You need to contact Nauticam about that, I did not do the posting.

AF with wide angle lenses is fast with lenses like the 12mm F/2 and 7-14 F/4, 9-18 or 8 fisheye you will not be disappointed.

Macro with the Panasonic 45mm or any macro lens for that matter is as much about technique as AF speed to me. Olympus has announced a 60mm macro coming later this year which should be excellent because it has a switch to limit the lens to a very short range of focus, like 1:1 to 1:1.1, 1:1 to 0.4 meters and so on.

How well the viewfinder will work for you is the same issue as it would be with any DSLR. Some housings like the Olympus E-M5 have no piclup finder (bad for viewfinder), the Nauticam NA-EM5 housing comes with a pickup finder which I am using now (much better) I have on order the replacement LCD window for the NA-EM5 housing which will allow me to use my Nauticam 45 degree viewfinder (excellent). The down sides are EVF's use battery power, I have done over 225 images with the 45 macro and a +10 C/U lens which involves some hunting as it would with any DSLR macro setup. Image quality in the viewfinder to me is as good or better than an APS-C size viewfinder image. If you go to a 35mm size sensor you will have a bigger image in the viewfinder.

Have you read the review by Alex Mustard posted on Wetpixel, if not you should it may help you further in making a choice, http://wetpixel.com/...mpus-om-d-e-m5/

The upsides become even more compeling when you add the Nauticam housing at its $1350.00 price point and the excellent lens choices offered by Olympus and Panasonic.

Phil Rudin

#8 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:50 PM

Thanks Phil, I read Alex's review but he used it in the Olympus housing and he was not happy about the clarity of the viewfinder in that housing. Good to hear the standard Nauticam finder is already much better with the option to add an external viewfinder, something I will definitely consider. I like to hunt for small fish including some like wrasse, anthias and damsels that are hard to keep in focus even on DSLR, well at least on my old Canon 20D. But I can live with it if that is the only area where the m43 lags noticeably behind its bigger brethren. Maybe the greater DOF of the smaller sensor will be of some benefit to get a higher percentage of keepers.

We should have a lot more details very soon from Alex's current trip.

Bart
Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#9 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 29 July 2012 - 05:47 PM

@ Bart - I took it today, but didn't take it in. Will definitely make sure I dive it tomorrow.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#10 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 31 July 2012 - 01:45 PM

Here are a few shots from the OM-D E-M5 here in Mexico. All available light - investigating dynamic range. Using the Nauticam housing, Panasonic fisheye.

Cenotes:

Eleo in Lightbeams:
MEX12_am-11944.jpg

Mario in beam:
MEX12_am-12003.jpg

Shark (or is it a tadpole):
MEX12_am-12078.jpg

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#11 girelle

girelle

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 251 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:France

Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:53 PM

Woooowww !! The whale shark !!! Please Alex could you give us the exif of your pictures especially the last one Posted Image

#12 loftus

loftus

    Blue Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Winter Park, Fl

Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:50 AM

Hey Alex,
So what do you think about the dynamic range; hard to see from the images, but they do not seem even close to what you got with your D4
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#13 girelle

girelle

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 251 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:France

Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:00 AM

Hey Alex,
So what do you think about the dynamic range; hard to see from the images, but they do not seem even close to what you got with your D4


It's a bit hard for the poor small OMD to be compared to such a powerfull camera than the D4 ):

Edited by girelle, 01 August 2012 - 03:05 AM.


#14 fotosub70

fotosub70

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 15 posts

Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:25 AM

Olympus OMD, Nauticam housing, Panasonic 8mm and two D1

Attached Images

  • 323954_4470165835214_941463502_o.jpg

Edited by fotosub70, 01 August 2012 - 03:29 AM.

Nikon D7000, Nauticam Housing

Olympus OMD EM5, Nauticam Housing

Sea&Sea D1 strobes
http://www.flickr.co.../marccasanovas/


#15 Phil Rudin

Phil Rudin

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1064 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:02 AM

Great use of the 8mm fisheye on an wounderful subject.

Phil Rudin

#16 footlessfish

footlessfish

    Sea Wasp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:20 AM

Can anyone that has used the Olympus E-M5 underwater tell me if they noticed any ttl lag when using this with a strobe. I have read in some other reviews that users have experienced ttl lag with the combination of the official Olympus housing and non-olympus strobes.

Shaun

#17 jlyle

jlyle

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 415 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hermosa Beach, CA

Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:14 AM

I did not notice any lag with my rig when shooting ttl. I have the Nauticam housing and Sea and Sea D1 strobes using fiber optic cables.
Olmpus OM-D EM-5 in a Nauticam housing with dual Sea and Sea YS D1 strobes
8mm, 12-50mm, 45mm lenses
My web page.

#18 jplaurel

jplaurel

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:41 AM

Yes, there is a little lag when using the OMD with TTL optical with the YS-D1s. I'd rather not have any shutter lag, but in most cases, it's not so much as to be a problem and the perfect flash exposures every time more than make up for it. When I really can't afford the shutter lag or wait for the internal strobe to recycle, I use the 1/64th power setting on the OMD's internal strobe, and go completely manual. In this case, there is no shutter delay.

#19 footlessfish

footlessfish

    Sea Wasp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:03 PM

Thanx heaps - I don't see the ttl lag as being a major issue as most of my subjects are fairly stationary - was just looking for confirmation on how to deal with this. Any ideas on how the E-M5 handles video under water with focusing?

#20 jplaurel

jplaurel

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:07 PM

You will wan to use manual focus with video. Continuous auto focus will hunt continuously, just like almost any other camera. If you are using the 8mm fisheye, just set it at around f8, prefocus on say, your fin, and the depth of field is so huge that you're good to go for most subjects.

Thanx heaps - I don't see the ttl lag as being a major issue as most of my subjects are fairly stationary - was just looking for confirmation on how to deal with this. Any ideas on how the E-M5 handles video under water with focusing?







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Olympus, OM D EM5, NA-EM5, housing