I was recently approached by Nauticam USA's Ryan Canon about reviewing the first prototype of the Nauticam NA-D800 for the Nikon D800 camera, and obviously I was down. I had three back to back to back trips planned at almost exactly the same time the housing was set to be ready, including a trip to the centotes of Mexico with DPG's Matt Weiss, a Wide Angle Workshop in Fiji for DPG Expeditions, and a Sport Diver assignment to Curacao.
The prototype arrived in the States the day I was set to leave for Mexico, so instead of shipping me the housing, Nauticam USA's Chris Parsons flew it over to hand delivery it.
The camera, as expected, is impressive, especially the amount of detail its 36MP sensor captures and the high ISO performance considering the mega high resolution and small pixel pitch.
Although having prototype status, the housing looks and performs like a finished product. The first overall impressions have been almost entirely positive -- a dedicated ISO lever, shutter and aperture dials that are easily accessed and operated without removing your hand from the grip, a directional pad that allows diagonal movement (no more "staircasing" to review the corner of an image!) and other new ergonomic improvements over past housings have stood out during the first few dives with the housing.
A full review of the camera and housing is coming soon, but until then here are a few of my first underwater photos taken with the housing in Mexico over the past 2 days.
Matt and I brought down 17 strobes (no, that's not a typo) with the goal of shooting the Yucatan's cenotes in a way that hadn't been done before. It's worth noting that many of these shots are taken with the much hyped new Sea & Sea YS-D1's (full review also coming soon). Another update will come soon after I've got a few more dives under my belt.
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