Introducing Nauticam NA-650D
The Canon EOS 650D Camera
Known also as the Rebel T4i, the Canon 650D is an 18MP APS-C sensor compact body DSLR. The 650D features Canon's new Hybrid AF system that has dedicated pixels for phase-detection autofocus that are used as the first wave of autofocus to set the distance. Focus is then refined using contrast detection. This allows for quicker focus with less hunting while in video/live view modes.
Although less crucial to underwater shooters, the 650D is the first DSLR to feature a capacitive as opposed to resistive touch screen LCD making it behave more like a smartphone.
The new DIGIC5 processor allows for additional performance enhancements over the 600D like a 25,600 ISO extension.
Canon 650D/T4i Key Specifications
- 18MP APS-C 'Hybrid CMOS' sensor
- Phase detection AF from imaging sensor for Live View and Video
- Continuous autofocus in movie mode with subject tracking
- 14-bit DIGIC 5 processor
- ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expanded
- 5 fps continuous shooting
- 9 point AF system, all sensors cross type, central sensor F2.8 (from 60D)
- 63 zone iFCL metering
- 1080p30 video recording with built-in stereo mics
- 1.04m dot 3:2 touch-sensitive vari-angle ClearView II LCD (capacitive type, multi-touch support)
The Nauticam NA-650D Underwater Housing
Every housing control is conceived to make shooting the T4i easy. The most obvious case in point is the Av button control and the single command dial. The T4i, like the T2i/T3i before it, requires the shooter to hold down the Av button and turn the command dial to change the aperture while in Manual Mode, or to change the exposure compensation in Aperture Priority mode. This is easy enough to accomplish on land, but underwater could prove challenging. Not so for the NA-650D shooter – on this housing, the Av button is assigned to a switch – just flip the switch and the housing holds the button down, making it easy to change settings.
New in the NA-650D, the size and shape of the command dial has been changed to make the housing easier to use when diving with thick gloves. The command dial profile has been raised, and the dial itself has a "knobbier" shape, with larger grooves to facilitate the use of gloves. The T4i now incorporates the movie mode switch into the on-off switch of the camera. This is a welcome improvement in the camera; on previous cameras, the user had to wind the mode dial all the way around to get into movie mode. The housing fully supports this by offering a concentric dial control with a pickup for the on-off-movie switch. To make things even easier, the housing features a small window to help align the switch pickup. The net result is that it is easier than ever to shoot 1080p 30fps HD video – just turn the dial to go to movie mode and press the start button.
Rubberized handles put the user's hands in just the right position for comfortable shooting, such that all key controls are within easy reach. While never releasing grip, the right forefinger activates Nauticam's patented two-stage shutter. The right thumb can quickly activate a double paddle lever assembly engaging the record function on top and the "star" (*) button on the bottom lever. The * button is familiar to Canon shooters – it can be programmed for different combinations of auto focus activation (AF), auto focus lock (AF Lock), exposure activation (AE), and exposure lock (AE Lock). For many underwater shooters, the * button is used for "thumb focus", meaning that focus is only performed when the * button is pressed. The Nauticam designers placed the * button lever so that it can easily be reached with the thumb, without removing the index finger from the shutter release. The camera controls such as Set, Quick, Playback, White Balance, Drive Mode, AF Mode, and Picture Styles are all brought to within easy reach of the right hand. The focus point selection button is an easy reach for most hands, making selection of focus points fast and efficient. A lever accessing ISO is located for fingertip control at the right thumb. ISO is important when shooting movie clips with a digital SLR as the primary exposure control, and this lever means easy access to allow for quick exposure changes.