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Nauticam Canon 70D Underwater Housing Review

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Nauticam Canon 70D Underwater Housing Review


The Nauticam NA-70D Housing for the Canon 70D

Nauticam announces the release of the NA-70D, the latest in its acclaimed line of precision crafted underwater camera housings. Features include a new, totally integrated electronic vacuum check system - and a host of refinements such as very clever weight reduction techniques and advanced galvanic corrosion prevention.

The Canon 70D is blazing new territory with a spectacular new imaging sensor that turns 80% of the sensor area into thousands of phase detection autofocus sites, meaning the 70D has the most advanced video focus capability of any current capable SLR. The 70D has taken over for the 7D as Canon's leading prosumer camera, and has all the key ingredients needed to be Canon's flagship APS-C SLR.
The NA-70D takes advantage of the 70D's extensive new features and brings them into the underwater realm in the most innovative, best engineered, and most ergonomic camera housing available.

The NA-70D Housing

Nauticam pioneered numerous engineering breakthroughs in previous housings that now come standard on the NA-70D. Like the NA-6D, this new housing borrows a control from it's Nikon brethren - the patent pending Multi Controller Pad that is located within easy reach of the right thumb. The Multi Controller Pad allows full multidirectional use of the 8-way controller, while still allowing for the rear command dial to be brought out to the right side of the housing. This control is especially interesting with the 70D using the video autofocus... with a light touch, the user can change the focus during a video clip, allowing for "focus pull" and other advanced shots. No other housing manufacturer has this, and none come close to achieving this kind of ergonomic access to the 8-way controller.

New! Integrated Electronic Vacuum Check and Leak Detection System

Nauticam is pleased to announce that the NA-70D is the first housing to ship with Nauticam's new vacuum system with integrated electronic vacuum and leak detection monitoring system. Now the operator can, at a glance, instantly see the vacuum/watertight status of the housing. A simple coded LED lighting system lets the user know that the vacuum is solid, or that the housing is losing vacuum. Leak detection is built into the same circuit, so if there is water intrusion, a audible and visual indication will occur. The NA-70D ships with a 3rd bulkhead port specifically for installing optional vacuum valves, leaving the user two other bulkhead ports for HDMI, sync cables and other accessories. More information about the vacuum monitoring system and availability for other Nauticam housings will be forthcoming.
The patented Locking Latch System, used to close and securely lock the housing, has received acclaim worldwide for its ease and functionality. These recessed latches are equipped with safety locks, reduce bulk and require minimal physical effort to engage and release. Port changes have never been simpler than utilizing the Patented Nauticam Locking Port Release. No wrestling, no twisting, no misalignment - just seat and lock.
Lens changes are also easily accomplished without removing the camera from the housing using the lens release button logically accessed on the housing front. The lightweight, rugged Nauticam handles are generously contoured with a durable over-mold process of comfortable non-slip rubber.

Key NA-70D Features:


FeatureAdvantage
Rugged housing body milled from solid aluminum 100m depth rating and built to last
Patented port locking lever Easy and safe port mounting, solidly locks port in place
Knobby command dials Can be operated even with thick gloves on
Patented housing locking latches Secure but easy to use
Rubberized handle grips Comfortable and placed for optimum access to controls
Lens release button Easy changeout of lenses without removing camera from housing
Drop in camera tray No need to preset controls, just drop in and it is ready to go
Fiber optic ports Optical TTL with Inon and Sea&Sea strobes
3 Bulkhead ports For optional HDMI or sync cable bulkheads
Viewfinder, 0.66x Enhanced 180º and 45º viewfinders optional
Laser cut stainless steel handle brackets For extra stability when using heavy lighting. Now even lighter weight!
Light mounting balls 2 handle mounted balls standard, mounting balls for housing optional
Tripod mounting points Important for macro video shooters
Control labeling Easy to find and understand control functions
Integrated Electronic Vacuum/Leak Detection System  Status of the watertight security of the housing at a glance
The Nauticam brand has quickly become synonymous with superior ergonomics in all their underwater camera housings. The NA-70D will only enhance that reputation. Every control is well thought out. Every button, lever and switch is considered not in terms of what is easier for the designer, but what is best for the shooter. A careful look at the engineering and design of the right hand side of this housing reveals this philosophy in practice. The key shooting controls are all easily accessed with the right hand with very little finger movement required. While the controls may look daunting to those new to Nauticam, after a few shots the controls become second nature. Shoot, change aperture, shoot, change shutter speed, flip to video, change shutter speed, start recording, change ISO - all with the thumb and forefinger, and all done quickly and easily.

NA-70D Controls (advantages/usage underwater):

* Sensitive two stage shutter release (easy to gauge half press; gives fine control over the shutter release)
* AF-ON Lever (strategically placed for easy thumb focus or thumb focus lock)
* Front Command Dial directly under shutter release (change aperture effortlessly)
* Rear Command Dial at left side next to thumb (change shutter speed without removing hand from grips)
* Multi Controller Pad controls the 8 way selector (easily change focus area, even diagonally)
* Manual Zoom/Focus Knob (zoom/focus the lens without a reach)
* ISO Paddle at right thumb (very quick ISO changes; ISO has become a key control, especially for video)
* Info Button brought out to left thumb (calls up the important info screen, in playback mode toggles histogram)
* Playback button paddle at left thumb (makes reviewing images easy)
* Q button paddle at left thumb (zoom, check critical focus, pan without removing hand from grip)
* Mode dial (switch from P to Av to M modes easily)
* AF Mode, Drive Mode and Metering Mode push buttons (easy to change with Canon's push-turn style)
* Focus Expansion Button (change focus area style quickly)
* *, and Focus Points button accessible with right thumb (change focus points, lock exposure, plus zoom during live view)
* Depth of Field Preview accessible with right thumb (programmable to several different functions)
* Menu button near left thumb (access to all camera options)
* Movie/Still mode lever (effortless switch from still to movie shooting)
* Start/stop video on right thumb paddle (start video without inducing camera shake)
* On/off  switch automatically aligns (no need to preset camera)

The Canon 70D Camera

The Canon 70D camera is the 9th camera is the Canon prosumer XX series, dating back to the EOS-D30 and EOS-D60, and through the hugely popular 10D, 20D and on up to the 60D of 2010. This line of cameras was historically the breeding ground for the best of CMOS sensor technology, dating back to the early days of digital SLRs. The 70D is an exceptional camera just based on those credentials. However, this camera has a new trick up it's sleeve as well. Cameras by several manufacturers have taken to embedding a few phase detection sensors into the imaging sensor to help improve autofocus during video recording. Canon has, however, trumped that significantly by integrating phase detection sensors onto every pixel. In effect, the entire sensor becomes a field of phase detectors. Canon claims it is able to use 80% of pixels for this purpose, and the result is an accuracy of autofocus never before seen in SLR video.
The 70D sports 7 frames per second continuous shooting, 1/250 sync speed, built-in WiFi and access to some of the best lenses available. The 70D inherits the exceptionally good white balance system, and Canon SLR video is already known for appearances in movies and television.
Using the 70D's WiFi, it is possible to review images on a smartphone or tablet, without removing the camera from the housing. Connect to a WiFi hotspot or directly to the cameras own built-in hotspot, and enjoy viewing your images on an iPhone/iPad or Android device without opening the housing. Even more amazing, use the EOS Remote on an iPhone to remotely control your camera while it is in the housing. Leave your camera out in the rain while you control it from inside with your smartphone. [Note: WiFi signal strength is infrastructure dependent; these claims have been tested but results may vary depending on conditions. WiFi signals do not propagate in water.]
The year 2012 might have been the year of the full frame camera, but the 70D heralds the revenge of APS-C in 2013. The new Nauticam NA-70D allows the camera to explore the underwater world in style and with all of the elegant engineering, sophisticated ergonomics, clever innovation and shear ruggedness that Nauticam delivers every single day.

Canon 70D Key Features (and notes for underwater shooters):

* 20 Megapixel APS-C CMOS Dual Pixel Sensor (APS-C sensor size means easier macro and more lens choices)
* ISO 50-25,600 (excellent high ISO, low light performance)
* Canon EF/EF-S-Mount (support for lenses like the Tokina 10-17mm and Canon 8-15mm)
* 3" 1.0mdot articulated TFT-LCD (wide viewing angle, easy to see in bright sun)
* 6 white balance presets (best custom white balance in SLR)
* 19 focus points, -3EV focus sensitivity (focus system from highly regarded 7D)
* Video with 1080p at 30fps, ALL-I or IPB compression (excellent video quality with headroom for post processing)

Lens Support

The quality of an image is only as good as the glass it was captured with, and Nauticam firmly believes that every lens that makes sense to be used underwater should be supported. The APS-C sensor on the 70D allows use of a wide range of lenses that are widely known for their underwater capabilities. Lenses like the Tokina 10-17mm and the Canon EF-S 60mm are true workhorses in the Canon underwater domain. Nauticam's lineup of ports, together with Zen Underwater dome ports is the most complete and extensive in the industry. Nauticam carefully evaluates new lenses, and is often first to market with support when a new lens is offered. Nauticam also provides the industry's only locking extension rings in every size potentially required, thus preventing port slippage when using extension rings. Nauticam additionally offers a full range of port adapters allowing existing housing owners to use their current ports, reducing the cost of switching to a Nauticam housing. Port Adapters are available for Aquatica, Ikelite, Inon, Nexus M5 & M6, Sea & Sea NX, Seacam, Subal Version 3 & 4, and Zillion lens ports.

Examples of supported lenses for 70D:

* Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
* Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C
* Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
* Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
* and more....

Viewfinders

A high resolution camera like the Canon 70D demands perfect focus for optimal results. Fortunately, Nauticam has developed the most user-friendly interchangeable precision viewfinders in the world. 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 allow 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.

Accessories

Nauticam's NA-DP4 housing for the Small HD DP4 Monitor can take video performance to another level by rendering the video image in a position more amenable to the shooter. The monitor housing easily mounts to the top of the NA-70D and utilizes the optional HDMI Bulkhead for true HDMI connectivity. Utilizing DP4 features like Focus Peaking, Focus Assist, False Color, 1:1 Mapping and more, this larger monitor vastly improves composition, focus capability and exposure.

Optional accessories available for the NA-70D:

* Complete line of ports for all major lenses
* Locking port extension rings from 10mm to 70mm
* Monitor Housing for SmallHD DP4 Monitor and Atomos Ninja-2 Recorder/Monitor
* Fiber optic cables for Inon and Sea & Sea
* Flash Trigger for Canon
* Full line of mounting accessories for lighting, including mount balls, strobe adapters, arms, clamps, and specialty items
* Multiple styles of lanyards
* Lens holders, including flip-up
* Focus and Zoom gears for many Canon, Tokina, and Sigma lenses
* Port Adapters for Aquatica, Ikelite, Inon, Nexus M5 & M6, Sea & Sea NX, Seacam, Subal Version 3 & 4, and Zillion
* Handle accessories including smaller handles, handle extensions for cold water diving
* Vacuum Check Valves

The Bottom Line

The Canon 70D represents Canon's commitment to researching and developing the best performing imaging sensors in the SLR world. The APS-C has many advantages in shooting underwater, and is an ideal balance between image quality and ease of use. The pricing of this camera makes is appealing for those wishing to carry a spare body on a long trip. The ability to use somewhat smaller and less expensive lenses like the 10-22mm and the Tokina 10-17mm is a strong virtue, and the 70D is an extremely refined and capable camera. However, the most excitement about this camera is saved for the new sensor. Video shooters get the best of both - SLR video quality with it's capacity for shallow depth of field, combined with focus performance that rivals traditional handicams.  The year 2012 might have been the year of the full frame camera, but the 70D heralds the revenge of the APS-C in 2013. The new Nauticam NA-70D allows the camera to explore the underwater world in style and with all of the elegant engineering, sophisticated ergonomics, clever innovation and shear ruggedness that Nauticam delivers every single day.

Specifications

* Depth Rating:  100m
* Weight: 3.17kg
* Dimensions (with handles mounted): 348mm x 185mm x 135mm









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