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DEMA Coverage: DSLRs and Housings
By Joseph Tepper, November 15, 2012 @ 10:48 PM (EST)

Yesterday, we gave you a look at the latest and greatest compact and consumer cameras on display at DEMA this year. Today, we took a bit of a step up (pricewise) and moved on to all the DSLRs.

From the top-of-the-line models to the entry-levels and everything in between, we covered it all at DEMA today:


Nauticam DSLR Housings:

The Nauticam booth had a big heap of new DSLR housings, beginning with the NA-1DX for Canon’s flagship 1DX. Although still a very “late stage” prototype, the NA-1DX features a custom design to make accessing controls easy even on one of the biggest DSLR bodies. 

“It’s an evolution of what we’ve been doing that culminates with this housing,” said Nauticam’s Christopher Parsons, pointing out the new “joystick control” as the prime example. The complex inner workings allows the user to move the scroll up, down, and even diagonally. “It’s like something NASA built,” he added. The housing fits both the 1DX still camera and the 1DC cinema video version. It will retail for $5100 and is expected to be available in two weeks. 

Nauticam also had on display their housing for the Nikon D4. The NA-D4 “has all the bells and whistles,” one example being the two way paddles on both sides of the housing allowing the user to control four separate functions with just two buttons. 

It also features a “multi-way” control for scrolling and setting focus points—impressively, the focus points can be set by moving diagonally as well. The housing is now available and will retail for $5100.

Perhaps the hottest new DSLR, Nikon’s D600, also had a housing over at Nauticam. This prototype NA-D600 is expected to go into production in a few weeks, and is similar in size to their D7000 housing. Like the D4, the housing inherits the impressive muti way control. Extra room in the housing also means that you can keep on your camera’s eyepiece and screen protector, a rare luxury in the underwater photography world.

Entry-level SLR users will take note of Nauticam’s housing for the new Canon T4i. Nauticam is really billing this camera as an impressive one for HDSLR vide shooting. Phase detection built into the chip allows the camera to change focus points while shooting video at the same time. The housing is retailing for $2400. 


BS Kinetics’ D800 Housing:

BS Kinetics gave us a look at their housing for the Nikon D800. Constructed from carbon fiber, the housing is depth rated to 240 feet, but can be upgraded to a depth limit of a whopping 480 feet. The housing is now available with port, handles, and zoom-gear included for a price tag of $2600. 


Aquatica DSLR Housings:

Over at the Aquatica booth, we got our hands on their housing fro the Nikon D800. The big button addition to this housing is the ability to access and change “function” and “DOP” buttons. Another cool feature is the ability to not only pop up the flash, but also close it if you wanted to shoot natural light only.

The exposure compensation and record start button are conveniently located right next toe the handles. The housing is depth rated to 300 feet and is now selling for $3359.


Subal Housing for D800:

Subal was also part of the list of other manufacturers sporting housings for the Nikon D800. The company bills the housing as one that gives “complete control” to the camera, with all important buttons within close reach of the grips. Additional features include the ability to open and close the flash. It is now available and retailing for $3999. 


Equinox DSLR Housings:

Although best known for their video housing, Equinox also has a line of DSLR housings that accommodate most modern models from Nikon and Canon. This “HDSLR Line” most notably can be custom fitted to accommodate the Canon 6D, 60D, 1DX and Nikon’s D7000 and D600. 

The controls on the housing offer “full camera functionality” for both stills and video. If you are looking to shoot stills with these housings, they are now offering bulkhead installation for Ikelite and Sea and Sea strobes. The housings are depth rated to 250 feet and feature a tripod mount. 

Housings for smaller, entry level DSLRs like the Canon T4i start at $949, while larger models like the 6D and D7000 begin at $1400.


Seacam DSLR housings:

The Seacam booth is promoting their housings for the Nikon D4 and D800 full frame DSLRs. Their housing for the D4 was actually made first to be used in the Olypmic Games. Engineers included a port for power and land control to last for the entire week stretch. 

For those of us not shooting the Olympics, there are several innovative features in the D4 housing of note. The main trigger button actually can be used for two functions—press it forward and it will begin recording, and down to snap a still photo. The D4 is now available for about $5800 USD.

Seacam's D800 housing had equally as impressive features. This camera can also be wired through a special port to be remotely controlled, but lacks the ability to be remotely powered. An awesome new feature is that Seacam has spring-loaded the important controls so that cameras – which can vary minimally in size from country to country – all have a snug fit. The D800 housing is now available for $4600 USD. 

A Seacam official has also confirmed that housings for the Canon 5D Mark III and 1DX are in the works and will be ready by the Boat Show in Germany this Spring. 


Ikelite Housing for the D600:

As always, the folks at Ikelite are first to the game: they had on display at DEMA the first housing for Nikon’s D600 full-frame camera. Nikon impressed us when they announced this full-frame DSLR at Photokina for a sweet price of just $2000. Equally as affordable, the Ikelite housing prices in at just $1600 and is depth rated to 200 feet. Just think, you can house a full frame camera for under $4000!

It is constructed from the company’s signature polycarbonate blend, provides access to all important camera controls, and comes standard with Ikelite TTL ability. Stay tuned in the next days for exciting news from Ikelite concerning strobes and lighting. 


Sea & Sea DSLR Housings:

Over at the Sea & Sea booth, we capped off our coverage of DSLR housings with two biggies: the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800. The MDX-5D features large video button for easy HD video shooting and access to all important features. As far as its construction, the housing features large “water dam” on the inside, which helps line up the back/front and also serves to keep any water out of the housing.

Unfortunately, Sea & Sea forgot to include bulkheads with their 5D Mk III, so there’s an “optional” upgrade for buyers to add electrical circuitry. The housing retails for $3199 without wires and $3299 with. 

Sea & Sea’s housing for the D800 is in many ways the bigger brother for their D7000 housing: it features a dual clamp system with guide clip at the top,  fiber optic ports for the camera’s pop up flash, and optional 5-pin bulkhead. Additionally, the housing is compatible with Sea & Sea’s line of 1.2x magnification viewfinders. The MDX-D800 is now retailing for $3199.  

Well, that about wraps up our coverage of all the DSLR news at DEMA this year. Tomorrow, video takes center stage as we preview all the housings and cameras: from the new GoPros to the RED housings. 


When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the product mentioned in this article, please support DPG by supporting our retail partner -- Backscatter.com.











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