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5D Mark III Nauticam or Aquatica?


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#1 Scubanomad

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:04 AM

Does anyone house their 5D Mark III in a Aquatica housing? I see some ppl have opted for the Nauticam and are happy. Cost of the Aquatica is less would help with the dome buying.

The Nauticam has the optical flibre connection but seems not a production ready hotshoe ready LED to actually work with it. So if that is the extra $$$ I'm spending its not that worth to me.

Just curious if there are some that have gotten the Aquatica housing, a well known established brand long before Nauticam came to market. Ergonimics and layout of buttons is obviously different for each person's taste, I guess would have to get used to either one.

But I prefer my buttons to be where they are actually on the camera (as I know where they are then) not moved all "jammed" for thumb operation.

 



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#2 Rocha

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:22 PM

I faced a similar decision a few weeks ago trying to decide between Nauticam and Aquatica for my D800. After looking at a couple of Aquatica products (a Canon 7D housing here at work and two 5D MIII housings that my friends have) I decided to go with Aquatica. I am used to handling Subal (had a Subal D2x for almost 10 years) and the Aquatica is of similar quality. But if you are not in a hurry, I think you should wait to hear from people that handled both housings before you make a decision.


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#3 Mark K

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:51 PM

I have both cameras. A recent talk to a local instructor led me to Hugyfot...At similar prices, are all these housings similar?


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#4 famorim

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:06 PM

I made my decision three months ago to Aquatica for my 5mk3. I didn't dive with Nauticam, but had the opportunity to get both it in hands before decide. The Nauticam looks nice, had lot of engineering onboard, but I felt Aquatica more solid/strong and the simplicity of the commands inside made me believe it should be more reliable and easy to repair.

 

But it was my perception, I think you should locate a near reseller and taste both housings...

 

Cheers. Fabio.


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#5 famorim

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:25 PM

The last thing, I think the Nauticam back buttons to access the camera jostick very hard to press when you use gloves.


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#6 E_viking

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:45 PM

The last thing, I think the Nauticam back buttons to access the camera jostick very hard to press when you use gloves.

The Nauticam buttons are in my opinion easily controlled, even with drygloves! I so far haven't tried it with anything else!

Perception is a strange thing :-) That is one of the reasons for the Nauticam Housing for me :-)

 

I had almost the same decision to make a couple of months ago. However, for a Nikon D800. I was looking at Aquatica, Nauticam and Subal.

My decision ended up being Nauticam, since I found it had the best overall package for me.

 

I believe that regardless if you go for Nauticam or Aquatica ( or Subal), you will be happy with the Housing!

 

/Erik

Ps! Make up your mind well. Since, the cost of the Domeport will keep you with the Housing for a long time :-)


Nikon D800, Nikon 60, 105, 16-35, Sigma 15, Nauticam D800, Zen 230mm, Subsee +5 & +10, 2*INON Z240


#7 Drew

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:03 AM

I have used both housings quite a few times since last year.

The Nauticam NA5D3 housing is more cluttered in the "wheelhouse" area, with the AF-ON, START STOP and even the ISO lever being tossed into small area.  When I first tried it last year, I had difficulty getting my thumb between the levers.  I have since tried a modified version of the housing with shorter switch etc and it is a little better. However, I agree that the controls area is too cluttered with levers and not buttons.

What I do like is the port lock system, the Q panel button which I use constantly and the housing latches.  I do think the optical ports are a bit redundant since the only way to use them for now is a 3rd party system that doesn't support TTL.  Adds unnecessary height and bulk.

The Aquatica A5D3 has improved from the 5D2 with the tray mount. I like the release mechanism on the mount tray but still find the sliding rods still to be imprecise compared to the dovetail slide tray of the Nauti.  The "wheel house" area of controls is much cleaner. However, the slider lever for * and AF-ON can have issues when transporting since it protrudes out. The housing I used had a bent one on arrival but I didn't have time to fix it as I was on my way to the shoot. According to the dealer, it happens. If it did not protrude as much, I think it'd be much harder to bend and become useless.  The port lock system is fine but one cannot lock 2 extension rings together and must buy the port lock accessory to lock the port to the extension ring.  Port and extension locking is standard on the Nauticam.

I agree with Fabio about the joystick controls.  The Aquatica's buttons are better spaced out.

Both makes have plus and minuses for my needs.  The Nauticam has better port and locking mechanisms but the controls are a bit too close to each other, for the sake of keeping the hand on the grip while actuating controls.  It's pretty cluttered in design as well internally.  The Aquatica is more basic, requiring a few things to be pulled out of the way (MODE switch, lens release etc) for the camera to be put into the housing.  Nauticam zoom/focus gears require the removal of the rubber grips on the lens rings, something I don't like to do as I use my lenses topside all the time and have broken teeth from the zoom ring once.
Good luck in your decision.


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#8 Scubanomad

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:00 PM

thank you Drew for the detailed inside. Something else that just added to my concern besides the Nauticam controls being "cluttered" Nauticam USA is JUST an importer and the housing is actually made in China. Without offending anyone, but precision tools made in China, No but NO thanks.

FYI Nauticam Intl sits in a room 2203 in a Telekom Building. Guess what happens if you need a repair done?

Aquatica is CANADIAN made, the high price actaully being justified for a precision made tool.

So Aquatica it is for me, proofen reliability and simplicity plus Made in Canada with a REAL address.



-Scubanomad-


#9 Steve Williams

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:34 PM

Without offending anyone, 

 

 

Well it didn't work, you offended me.  Where do you think all those high quality Apple products are made?  I can appreciate your love of the Aquatica system, great choice but slamming a whole country doesn't make any sense. And is not acceptable here. Best I can tell from your site you own a Nauticam for your Olympus so something isn't adding up.  Are you the same person posting images on the flickr site referenced on your post?  Are those images representative of what a person could do who takes your classes?  Help us out here.  It would help if there was a name or location associated with the website or the Flickr account.  We can guide you to a local rep if we know where you are.  If in Germany for example you should checkout Subal if concerned about local repair capability.  

 

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#10 E_viking

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:19 PM

thank you Drew for the detailed inside. Something else that just added to my concern besides the Nauticam controls being "cluttered" Nauticam USA is JUST an importer and the housing is actually made in China. Without offending anyone, but precision tools made in China, No but NO thanks.

FYI Nauticam Intl sits in a room 2203 in a Telekom Building. Guess what happens if you need a repair done?

Aquatica is CANADIAN made, the high price actaully being justified for a precision made tool.

So Aquatica it is for me, proofen reliability and simplicity plus Made in Canada with a REAL address.

You can choose a new  Housing based on a lot of different issues! Personal view on ergonomics, price, availibility for service, build quality, weight etc etc etc That is fine and valid!

It is true that Nauticam is a company form Hong Kong, Aquatica from Canada, Subal from Austria, Ikelite from US etc etc. Does this make an automatic differentiator in terms of Quality? I don't think so!

It is much more down to how the Company works and the effeort that these persons put into the Quality. I thought that this was pretty clear in this day and age!

 

Nauticam has an excellent Service Center chain and are prompt in their answers. I have nothing to complain about, on the contrary!

 

That is a real adress, by the way! They look like that in Asia.

 

 

/Erik

 

Ps!  By the way I have nothing against Aquatica it is a fine UW Housing.


Nikon D800, Nikon 60, 105, 16-35, Sigma 15, Nauticam D800, Zen 230mm, Subsee +5 & +10, 2*INON Z240


#11 Drew

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:36 PM

I also have an issue with the Aquatica mode change dial being finicky most times.  

The world has shrunk in the last 10-15 years and I'd be very surprised if there isn't something in most everything that's sourced from China or anywhere else, directly or indirectly.

While it is the buyer's  prerogative to choose a product based on whatever criteria they have, I do think it is a bit frivolously to judge a company by its address.  So please let's just keep on topic about the 5D3 housings.


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#12 Scubanomad

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:41 AM

I can make my choice based on whatever reason I SEE FIT. Yes the photo site and Flickr acct are associated with me. And yes, I had an Olympus OM-D E-M5 for a good 6 months incl. the Nauticam housing. Had nothing really against that particular housing, just the camera, hence I sold it. As in my opinion the OM-D was overhyped and had various flaws (incl cracked screen bazel)  that nobody seemed to want to write about, it slowely all came to light. Whether you have a Apple product or not and like it, fact is some western companies choose to make their products now in China and with it goes the quality and cheap labor to rake in HUGE profits without regard to the laborers (aka Foxcomm comes to mind). I do not support such companies if I have a choice. And I can choose and make my decision how I see fit. I don't have local dealers to walk in and test housings out, hence I have to rely on information that is available, photos, videos, specs, reputation.

I like to see a company that has a REAL business address (the headquarters where they actually engineer and or make their product) and not a hidden office in a tower that when you go there you have just a name on a door bell. Shows me a lot. Ever looked up Canon? http://www.canon.com/corp/list.html

 

Mercedes: http://www.daimler.c...-0-0-0-0-0.html

 

AQUATICA
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3025 De Baene
Montréal, Québec, Canada
H4S 1K8

 

I will not engage in a political discussion here, I made up my mind based on mainly Drew's great review, information I had already gathered, reputation from the past, photos and videos (not dive videos but actual housing reviews and they are scarce). I had my hopes on Nauticam based on the optical trigger option but that is just prototype still 6 months + later. Extra cost is another thing I could not justify and having discovered the made in China for sure that broke the straw for good.

So long, Drew, Rocha and famorim thanks for the feedback and helping.  Moderator if you like close the thread.



-Scubanomad-


#13 Eddcar

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:44 AM

I own a 10bar for my LX3, XZ-1 with Olympus housing and a Nauticam for 5D3.  The Nauticam 5D3 housing is awesome, buttons are easy to press, dials and controls are ergonomically designed and I'm proud of it's from HK.  I've been reading dive magazines and research from Internet and forums to make sure Nauticam would be a good manufacturer and after service provider before I decided to paid handsomely for a housing and accessories and I don't regret at all to own a Nauticam housing.



#14 rsapple

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:41 AM

I have Nauticam housings for a Canon T2i and now Canon 5DMKIII and both perform exceptional well.  The service rep is very professional and repairs (when necessary) are easy and prompt.  I find the controls nicely placed with precision tolerances.  I have nothing against Aquatica - simply prefer what I believe to be a superior product with superior customer support.



#15 John Bantin

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:50 AM

Without getting into promoting or decrying any make of housing, I find this thread typical in that people energetically defend their own buying decision. Very few of us have had experience with ALL of the housings and can make an independent  and unprejudiced judgement. I have owned housings by (in chronological order) Subal, Seacam, Aquatica, Aquatica, Nexus, Sea & Sea, Subal, Sea & Sea, Hugyfot and Hugyfot. None of them were by any means perfect and each had a fault that I could itemise but I won't for fear of offending a fan. I chose the last two for one unique selling proposition only and if you don't know what that is you haven't been reading my other posts!

 

The fact is that I could take pictures with all of them except the one that had a tendency to let its large dome port rotate and fall off. (If you've got one, you'll know which it is!)


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?

 

#16 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:12 PM

I’d suggest a Nauticam factory visit Scubanomad, as your opinions are woefully ill-informed.


Edited by Alex_Tattersall, 01 May 2013 - 05:58 AM.

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#17 Drew

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:13 PM

<p>Yes John, often people like the equipment they buy. &nbsp;It's natural. &nbsp;I've tested 3 and seen 4 of the 5D3 housings for my own purposes. As for the twisting port, I'd like to know which one you are talking about since all the housings I tested, S&amp;S, Seacam, Nauticam and Aquatica, all have some sort of port lock. &nbsp;As does Subal. &nbsp;Sure Aquatica can't lock 2 extension rings together, nor can Subal if it's less than 40mm thick.</p>

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#18 John Bantin

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:02 PM

<p>Yes John, often people like the equipment they buy. &nbsp;It's natural. &nbsp;I've tested 3 and seen 4 of the 5D3 housings for my own purposes. As for the twisting port, I'd like to know which one you are talking about since all the housings I tested, S&amp;S, Seacam, Nauticam and Aquatica, all have some sort of port lock. &nbsp;As does Subal. &nbsp;Sure Aquatica can't lock 2 extension rings together, nor can Subal if it's less than 40mm thick.</p>

 

 

 

 

Tribalism is alive and well in industrialised countries! iPad v Andoid, Nikon v Canon, Nauticam v the rest. (I'm waiting for some old man to come down from a mountain and destroy all these false gods.) As for China, I heard just now on the BBC that China is planning to build a canal through Nicaragua to rival American hegemony with the canal in Panama. (I live in a country that lost its empire. You'll get used to it!)


Edited by John Bantin, 01 May 2013 - 02:24 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?

 

#19 Viz'art

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:18 AM

<p>Yes John, often people like the equipment they buy. &nbsp;It's natural. &nbsp;I've tested 3 and seen 4 of the 5D3 housings for my own purposes. As for the twisting port, I'd like to know which one you are talking about since all the housings I tested, S&amp;S, Seacam, Nauticam and Aquatica, all have some sort of port lock. &nbsp;As does Subal. &nbsp;Sure Aquatica can't lock 2 extension rings together, nor can Subal if it's less than 40mm thick.</p>

 

Drew, just want to let you know that Aquatica has  a locking collar that has been available for quite sometime (# 18469) http://www.aquatica....ings_18469.html it will lock the extension ring to the dome port (the extension being already locked on the housing) this is backward compatible for all our large dome ports apart from the very early one, (its not like we started just 5 years ago, we have been manufacturing ports for over 30 years now), so while the early dome port still fit on today's housing, they just can't be locked in place like the current ones.

 

@ Scubanomad, if ever you are in Montreal, I will be my pleasure to give you a tour of our manufacture, we are minutes from the airport and its aerospatial complex and my office is directly attached to the shop. (but come in the summer, winter can be a shocking experience up here  :o).


Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

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#20 Drew

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:43 PM

Jean, I know about that... I bought one for the safety of my cameras and lenses during tests. :) I was referring to 2 extension rings combined, which as far as I know, isn't possible with Aquatica.


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