Introducing Nauticam NA-1DX
The Canon 1DX
Moving up to a full-frame sensor from APS-H, the 1DX is taking Canon's commitment to the professional body DSLR seriously. Combined with a stunning 12fps continuous shooting and amazing low-light capabilities make this an ideal platform for underwater still imaging. The drop in resolution from previous 1D models is compensated in larger pixel size meaning better color and lower noise. The autofocus system has been revamped, borrowing heavily from experience with the 7D and 5DMKII siblings.
Key 1DX Camera Specifications:
- 18MP Full Frame CMOS Sensor
- ISO Extended Range 50-204,800
- Dual DIGIC5 Processors
- New 61-point AF System
- 100,000 Pixel RGB Metering System
The Nauticam NA-1DX Underwater Housing
While pushing the design envelope, what was already the best is still retained. The universally recognized innovations of recent Nauticam housings are obvious with the easy and secure latching system, unrivalled port locking lever system and the superb interchangeable viewfinders. The ergonomic thought process of previous housings is evident, and the Nauticam design refinement moves ever forward, always improving.
The NA-1DX puts the controls that matter where they can readily be used – no awkward reaches are required for any key controls. Gripping the familiar rubberized handles is just the beginning of the connection that unfolds between photographer and housing. Without releasing the grip, the right forefinger simply activates Nauticam's patented two-stage shutter release. Both the top and rear command dials are uniquely located on the side of housing – easily reached without removing the hand from the grips. The right thumb can quickly activate a new double paddle lever assembly engaging the record function on top and the AF-ON feature on the bottom lever.
The ISO control borrows from the brilliant NA-5DMKIII housing with a lever easily reached by the thumb on the right hand – again without removing the hand from the grip. This critical development substantially enhances video capability, as ISO variation is essential to video exposure control.
Of course the key controls are covered – precisely placed two-stage shutter release: check. Command dials right at the fingertips: check. AF-ON located where it is easily activated without removing finger from the shutter: check. ISO available without moving the hand: check. But Nauticam doesn't just stop with the primary controls. Every control is given careful consideration. For example, AF Point Selection and the important programmable "*" button are moved up and to the right to make them easier to reach with the right thumb. The Quick Mode and Set buttons get Nauticam's legendary piano keys. Menu is made easy to reach with the left hand, with Info and Playback on a double paddle (similar to the paddles on the right side), making image review, including histogram, available without removing the left hand from the grip.
The camera features a joystick that some other manufacturers might choose to ignore given the difficulty to design a control for it. Not only did Nauticam's designers master this control, but were even able to move its complex functionality closer to the right hand to make it usable for the underwater shooter. This joystick is needed for panning while zoomed in during playback, and the NA-1DX's five-button solution for the control makes checking details with panning not only possible, but easy.
All of these ergonomic refinements are in pursuit of one goal: The most ergonomic underwater imaging system possible. Nauticam NA-1DX allows the camera operator to access all key camera controls with his or her hands on the handles and their eye on the viewfinder or external video monitor.
Nauticam has also put considerable effort into features that allow easier camera loading. No controls require pre-setting before installing a camera into the housing, eliminating the possibility of wasted dives due to incorrect camera installation. Professional grade means being ready when you are.
The standard optical glass viewfinder is very good and travel friendly, but many photographers prefer the ease of a magnified viewfinder with adjustable diopter. Nauticam produces a “straight” 180º enlarging viewfinder and a 45º angled enlarging viewfinder to enhance the ease of close quarters work often associated with macro shooting. Both viewfinders have high quality optics, and allow bright viewing of the entire image. A patented external dioptric adjustment allows personal adjustment to a sharp-as-a-tack standard underwater and viewfinder changes can be executed in less than 30 seconds without using tools. Exceptional composition and focus accuracy have never been more accessible.
Premium Professional Optics
Experienced shooters know a camera is only as good as the lens in front of it, and the same is true when choosing optics for an underwater camera system. Four optically coated glass dome ports (250mm, 230mm, 180mm, and 140mm diameters) and a series of acrylic ports support popular lenses from Canon, Sigma, and Tokina. Port configurations are extensively tested at Nauticam to determine the ideal extension ring length for best performance.