Adam - perhaps the News announcement of Alex's testing of the D4 in Iceland included the picture of the camera that your link shows. But I just did a quick look of Alex's full story entitled "Nikon D4 Underwater Testing, Live updates from Iceland" as it appears in the digital Slrs/Housings forum. There is no picture of the D4 itself anywhere in that story-forum topic. But there are more than half a dozen pictures of the Nauticam housing or parts of it on the four pages of the field test. So to me, this looks like more of a D4 housing review/promotion than a camera review.
Loftus - I would be happy to do a review of the Seacam D800 housing. And any other D800 housing. I own the D800 and am getting to know what functions and controls I would really want on a housing. But its highly unlikely that Harald would want me to do it. I do NOT just say "Rah, Rah, Rah, Its Great!" about things. I try to look at them critically. If you have seen some of my posts concerning my D700 housing you would have seen that I was not happy that Seacam did NOT have a control for changing the ambient light metering pattern (from spot to matrix to centerweight). And that Paul Kay, a Seacam distributor-dealer immediately countered with the comment that HE used only spot metering with his Canon camera underwater. I also commented that I thought that a brightly colored housing can sometimes cause visually acute marine life to "back off" sooner than a darker housing and had even painted one of my older white F4 Aquatica housings camou and did tests with shrimp gobies. Again Paul rushed to Seacam silver's defense saying that it was probably seeing their reflection in the front of the port that had caused the gobies to dive. I have repeatedly made suggestions to Harald about improving things on first my F5 housings and then my D700 housings. To no avail. This is why I spend time and money making the improvements I want to my own housings.
I feel that controls, and their ease of use, is what really make a quality housing. I have spent about three thousand dollars on each of my two D700 Seacam housings to make the controls more complete and more accessible when your hands are on the handgrips and the camera at your eye in shooting position. The changes I have made would cost far less per housing if they were added to a whole production run of a housing. Or several housings. My cost is so high because I am paying for R&D time and one-off machining of custom parts for just two housings. It is all about having a fine tool that is a joy to use rather than one you have to fight with every time to do things you want to do frequently. Previously, I mentioned my triple control for preview and function buttons and port lock. I also can access flash compensation from the handgrip with one finger - the forefinger of my left hand. When I change from manual focus to an auto-focus mode (S or C), my housings automatically disengage the manual focus gear. The result is a housing that works far more conveniently and faster, allowing me to get the shot on many more of those "one-shot" opportunities than I would otherwise.
As a convenience, I have also incorporated a "remote" camera battery in my D700 housing which allows me to change the camera battery by simply taking off the housing back. In the standard "off the shelf" Seacam D700 housing you must remove the camera completely from the housing to change the battery, which is something that needs to be done every day or two. Now its almost as easy as getting the compact flash card to download the images. I also made adapters so I can use the Nauticam viewfinders on my housing because I value their "in the water" diopter adjustment.
All these advantages are the reason I will first explore the possibility of modifying my D700 housings to accept the D800 before I buy a new D800 housing.
Loftus, you live fairly close to where I live (Sarasota). Why don't we get together sometime and you can see and handle one the housings. And perhaps take it on a dive. And I can explain the logic behind the control changes. I'm currently in South Australia and should get back to Sarasota about August first.
In the meantime, I can take some pictures of one of my housings and post them on WetPixel if there is sufficient interest. And if Adam isn't too concerned that SeaCam will complain or stop advertising on WetPixel. I seem to remember that Adam had at one time said that some of the housing makers didn't want comparisons made between their housing and those of other makes for the same camera. And said they wouldn't advertise if this was done. I would ask, for whose benefit is a housing-camera review - the manufacturer or the reader.
Edited by divegypsy, 17 May 2012 - 07:13 PM.