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First Look: Ikelite’s New D500 Housings
By Joseph Tepper, August 15, 2016 @ 02:20 PM (EST)

Ikelite has formally introduced their housings for Nikon’s hot new D500 DSLR. Constructed from the new-look, white ABS-PC material and featuring improved ergonomics, the three housings are designed to accommodate a variety of users.

Two of the models are both depth-rated to 200 feet and are differentiated by the port mount locking system. The model with the “Four Lock Port Mount” (#6812.5) supports Ikelite’s older ports for legacy users—an effort to make the transition to the company’s new housings more seamless.

The other full-depth model (#71005) features the company’s new “Dry Lock Port Mount” system, which was first introduced in the mirrorless series of housings. However, it has been refined to perform for this top-of-the-line cropped sensor DSLR. The new system has a unique exterior O-ring that prevents water from dripping into the housing. Mounting a port requires no threading, turning, or twisting—these actions can increase the chances of pinching an O-ring.
 


Additionally, the new port system accepts larger diameter lenses and is compatible with Ikelite’s new compact 8-inch dome, which provides the optical quality of much larger domes.

The third version of the housing (#73005) is 0.5 lbs lighter and depth-rated to 50 feet, making it the choice for use in pool fashion shoots, surf imaging, and freediving. As part of making this housing lighter and more maneuverable, Ikelite has provided access to only the essential controls. Additional controls only seen on the 200ft housings include the i-button, Trash button, Key button, and the Fn2 button.

There are other improvements shared by all three models. Access to the zoom/focus gears is made smoother with a brand-new, soft touch 5-lobed knob. A large lever that controls the AF-ON encourages shooters to take advantage of the D500’s impressive autofocus (rather than half-pressed shutter). Finally, the housings feature a groove-less O-ring on the back plate, which helps avoid debris getting trapped.

The 50ft and 200ft Dry Port Lock Models are available for pre-order for delivery in October with price tags of $1,395 and $1,595, respectively. The legacy 200ft model will be available in early September for $1,395. More information can be found in the press release below or on the Ikelite product page.
 


 



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PRESS RELEASE

The "Best Enthusiast DX Offering"

Nikon has finally given us a successor to the D300s camera with fantastic speed and processing power in a relatively compact and durable body. Some highlights include:

  • Same 153-point Autofocus system and EXPEED 5 processor as the Nikon D5
  • 4K/UHD video recording
  • 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Excellent low light performance with an ISO range of 100-51,200
  • Same rugged weather sealing as the Nikon D810

The D500 is up to almost any photographic challenge—so it's fitting to offer a housing system that can be built to suit almost any need. Three base housing versions are available to suit the Nikon D500 DSLR camera. Skip to the side-by-side comparison...

All three versions start with a fully functional, white ABS-PC housing front which is depth rated to 200' (60m).
 

Form + Function

The D500 slides into the form fitting housing using a simple tripod-style attachment. Controls are provided for all important camera functions and positioned intuitively to take advantage of the muscle memory you develop when using the camera on the surface. A unique universal gearing system puts zoom or focus at the tip of your finger with a brand new soft-touch, 5-lobed knob.
 

 

The AF-ON Trick

Take full advantage of the camera's superb autofocus system and fast continuous frame rate by using AF-ON to lock focus. A convenient lever on the side of the housing feels so natural that we promise you'll never think about half-pressing the shutter again.
 

 

Groovy Groove-less O-ring

O-ring channels trap dirt and debris, and cause the O-ring to twist and deform in various ways. Our unique groove-less design is the most user friendly and reliable sealing method currently available. For added assurance, the all-clear back allows you to see the O-ring form a solid, black line once the housing is sealed.
 

 

Very Flashy

Optical slaves have come a long way, but electrical sync cords are still the fastest and most precise way to trigger a strobe under water. Each housing comes equipped with a manual flash hot shoe and Ikelite ICS-5 bulkhead. The hot shoe and bulkhead are user changeable for in-field modifications and serviceability.

An optional TTL hot shoe and Nikon TTL Converter provide industry leading accuracy in exposure when combined with a compatible Ikelite DS strobe.

The flash system is almost endlessly expandable with lots of options for remote units triggered by extension cords, optical slaves, Pocket Wizards, and more. It's time to get creative with your lighting and think way beyond the classic two-strobe set-up.
 

 

Lens Port Authority

And now... the main event. Introducing the NEW Dry Lock (DL) Port Mount. Building off of our popular port system for compact mirrorless cameras, we have re-designed and refined the concept and it's ready for the big leagues. Key features include:

  • A unique exterior O-ring which prevents water from dripping onto your camera when the port is removed;
  • Solid, sure-stop press fit with no threading, turning, or twisting of the ports or extensions;
  • Built for reliability in remote locations with standard locking thumbscrews and no complex moving parts;
  • Accommodates large diameter lenses with ease;
  • A new compact 8" dome port provides the optical quality of a large dome with the size of a much smaller dome—perfect for close-focus wide angle work;
  • Plus the new featherweight full 8" dome is less than half the weight of its predecessor and several pounds lighter than the glass alternatives with nearly identical optical quality!

Not quite ready to let go of your legacy ports? The Four Lock (FL) version can be sent in at a later date for upgrade to the DL mount. However, our original standard flat, 6" dome, and modular port components are not adaptable to the new system. We promise that once you switch over, you won't miss them anyway...
 


Our new white ABS-PC blend is specially formulated for added strength and durability. Compared to black, colored, or clear alternatives, the white shell keeps the camera running cooler, longer in hot, sunny climates.

 

Two Faced... and Two Backed?

The new 50ft (15m) Water Housing version features a slimmed down acrylic back and paired down control set which is over 1/2 pound lighter and streamlined for use at the surface of the water, in surf and pool work. The two backs are interchangeable and can be purchased separately so you can pack lighter when shooting the whale sharks in Isle Mujeres or dolphins in the Red Sea.

Side-by-Side Comparison

Three housing versions are available to suit the Nikon D500 DSLR camera. All versions feature:

  • Controls for Shutter-release button, Power switch, Movie-record button, Sub-command dial, Exposure compensation (+/-) button, ISO button, MODE button, WB button, Metering button, BKT button, Lens release button, AF-ON button, Main command dial, Multi selector, Info button, Live view selector, Lv button, i button, Playback button, Trash button, MENU button, Key/? button, Magnify + button, Magnify - button, OK button, Fn2 button
  • Ikelite ICS-5 bulkhead and manual flash hot shoe
  • Aluminum base with Left-Hand Quick Release Handle
  • A completely clear back for an unobstructed view of the camera and O-ring seal
  • Control symbols laser etched into the back for easy to read labeling that will never fade or rub off
  • A quick install camera mount plate which does not need to be removed for battery or memory card access
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

All versions are available for pre-order now through your local Authorized Ikelite Dealer. Product numbers and pricing will be made available before the end of August for the new DL port chart components; optional TTL flash hot shoe; optional vacuum system components; and much more! Keep visiting the website for the latest details.

 

Why Ikelite?

Like the other manufacturers, we were born out of a passion for photography in and under water. It's our extra 50 years of experience, 100% USA-based production team, and our dedicated customer support staff that set us apart. This exciting new line of housings offer an unparalleled versatility and functionality for truly professional performance. Your Nikon D500 camera... anywhere there's water.

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