Aquatica AGH4 Underwater Housing for Panasonic GH4
Aquatica has announced the AGH4 housing for the Panasonic GH4 4K Ultra HD Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera. This housing offers ergonomic controls for the video and photo shooter in the same rugged style of housing that Aquatica is known for. With port options utilizing both the Micro 4/3 ports and DSLR ports, you can be sure you get the sharpest video or image possible with the GH4.
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Overview / Product Description
Recording video in Ultra HD at resolution of 3840 x 2160 in 30p/24p or 4096 x 2160 in 24p, compared to standard HD which is 1920 x 1080p, the 4k quadruples the standard HD resolution. It is also the only one in its league to record 4K 30p directly to a SD card. This is big news since there will be no need for a bulky external drive!
If current postproduction and viewing technology has not yet caught up with the 4K, you need not worry. Even scaled down to a 1080p, the footage still looks noticeably sharper. The added resolution offer a generous margin in post processing cropping and stabilization. The GH4 offer some nifty features in 1080P as well, silky smooth slow motion, less compression and wider latitudes for post processing and editing.
Files sizes are surprisingly small, similar to what pro DSLR will offer in 1080P, so managing your footage is and will definitely be easier. In order to extract the maximum out of the GH4, only the best and fastest memory card, such as Delkin Best SD Memory Card 633X should be used. Sower cards will do fine for still images and lower resolution footage.
The Panasonic GH4 would be an impressive camera, even if meant for shooting only stills! It sure shines in this department with its 16mp sensor, very desirable flash sync speed of 1/250, increased ISO/dynamic range and burst rate of up to 12 frames a seconds even in RAW!
About The Aquatica AGH4
The Aquatica AGH4 housing is built with quality materials and craftsmanship. It is designed and machined with the Panasonic LUMIX DMC GH4 in mind from the onset. Taking full advantage of this camera extraordinary video capability was a top priority for our design team. All of the vital controls that require to be operated while shooting have been conveniently located so as not to restrict your creative flow. This housing is manufactured and carefully studied to insure that the controls are not only accessible, but also comfortable to use in all kinds of diving conditions.
Aquatica fully understands the requirements involved for shooting high quality video. With the acquisition of Amphibico, the legendary video housing manufacturer, came a wealth of expertise in the field of video capture, it is this knowledge and coupled with over 30 years of manufacturing housings ourselves, that is now distilled into this AGH4 housing. By natural necessity a housing needs a sound, practical and ergonomic design for video. Fiddling around to access controls can easily ruin your important sequence. You need intuitive and precise access these controls so you can keep your eyes on the monitor and, importantly, the housing needs to be a well balance and stable setup. The Aquatica AGH4 delivers on all aspects.
On previous camera models, some forms of video mode were offered. While it was genuinely considered an interesting feature to be had, it definitely lacked the awesome performance that the Panasonic DMC-GH4 now brings forth. This level of excellence in video needed to be taken into account in our housing design.
Even though the latch used on the GH4 is small and compact, we located it on the left hand side of the housing, allowing more room on the right hand side, and allowing us to position all the controls. Right where you want and need them. The vital front dial and aperture control knob, which is located just below the extended shutter release lever, is in perfect reach of your right hand.
This view of the right hand side clearly demonstrate that, while being a compact housing, the controls do remain accessible, even when wearing thick cold water gloves. The shutter release, video record lever, aperture and shutter knobs, programmable AE/AF LOCK lever are reachable with your right hand resting on the grip.
ISO is a key control for video exposure and our engineering team has put its access lever exactly at the right location. Essentially putting it under your right thumb, this lever being at right place means you have quick access to this control, without removing your hand from the grip.
On the left side, directly above and forward of this non-obstructive latch, you can find the zoom/focus control knob. The knobs position allows it to be rotated with the tips of your fingers. It is setup with a silky smooth gearing ratio that will ensure a smooth transition when zooming or manually focusing a lens.
In order to contribute to the fluidity and stability required for shooting such high quality video as 4K Ultra HD, we put all of our knowledge, experience and creativity in this AGH4 housing.
Comprehensive port system:
The AGH4 housing uses the already established 4/3 Micro series of ports and accessories. Aquatica is renowned for the quality of its optics and this is no exception to the rule. Every lens supported by Aquatica is evaluated on an optical bench, and from the data gathered, we can determine the best port to use, and if required, the extension ring length that will match the optical center of the dome to that of the lens. This all-important step is necessary if one wants to extract the maximum optical performance possible from a lens and port combination.
The 4/3 Micro series ports includes the dedicated 4/100mm Fisheye dome port, the SW8 super wide angle dome port and two flat ports for macro lenses. Along with port extensions, the port system will support all desirable Micro 4/3 lenses for underwater photography.
The system is further expanded with the addition of the upcoming 4/3 Micro series to DSLR port adapter. In essence, a step up adapter that will allow our regular DSLR ports to be mounted on the Aquatica 4/3 Micro series housings. Thus offering the Aquatica AGH4 the largest and finest selection of underwater ports in the industry. This port adapter also helps integrate the 4/3 Micro series housing to existing DSLR system by sharing the existing ports
The AGH4 housing comes with our state of the art Galileo optic viewfinder. Our Aqua View 180 and Aqua View 45 finders can be installed, without any specialized tools in a matter of minutes. Both of these are recognized as the best in the industry. These finders enhance your viewing experience, providing you with a clear sharp image of your camera finder that will be easier to critically focus and compose.
Given the harsh environment associated with underwater photography, impeccable protection of your sophisticated camera equipment is paramount. Aquatica has taken multiple steps to address these issues. Every AGH4 housing is assembled and adjusted by hand, and undergoes a series of functional testing. The final step being the hydrostatic test, perform in a pressure tank filled with water and compressed to a 300ft/90m equivalent. Only after going through this exhaustive series of test will the housing be signed off to be delivered.
Fully aware that real life is not a controlled environment, we recently introduced the SURVEYOR moisture and vacuum sensor alarm, which comes as standard equipment on the AGH4 housing. The moisture detection feature remain on constant duty to inform you, by way of audible an visual signals, of any possible water entry no matter how minute leak.
The SURVEYOR circuit integrates a vacuum sensor with the leak alarm. If one wish to take full advantage of this vacuum pressure option, then the simple addition of the accessory vacuum pump and pressure valve (19228) to the housing is all that is needed. This option is also available as a preinstalled kit, which would tested at the factory by our own technicians prior to shipping or it can be purchased later and installed easily by the user.
The Amphibico latch:
This straightforward push, rotate and locking latch has been used on over 10,000 Amphibico and Aquatica housing for decades now. It is simply the best in the industry.
The Aquatica handgrips:
Handling the housing is done with a pair of the most comfortable handgrips in the industry. They are sturdy, yet very lightweight. The Aquatica handles offer mounting points that will handle the lighting system of your choice without the need for obstructive reinforcement brackets or supports. These grips are removable in less than a minutes with the supplied hexagonal wrench, making for minimal storage space.
Like all current Aquatica housing currently made, the shell is milled from a solid block of 6061 T6 aeronautical grade aluminum, black anodized to a military specification. For further protection, a resistant polyester electrostatic powder coating is applied and baked on. This process ensures that your investment will last you a lifetime.
Push buttons pins and control shafts are machined out of the finest grade of stainless steel. Every component used in an Aquatica housing undergoes a series of stringent quality controls insuring that they respect our strict tolerance.
- Depth Rating: 90m/300ft (upgradeable to 130m/425ft)
- Height: 6 in.
- Depth: 3.75 in.
- Width: 7.140 in. (without grip attached)
- With grips: 11.2 in. (with grips attached)
- Weight (with grips attached): TBD
- Standard features
- Quick removal camera tray
- Ergonomically optimized for diving conditions
- Oversized knurled controls knobs
- Sturdy comfortable grips
- Extended shutter release
- Port lock mechanism
- Lens release mechanism
- Standard high quality Galileo optical eyepiece
- Dual sacrificial anodes (front and rear mounted)
- Construction of shell
- 6061 T6 Marine Grade aluminum
- Anodized to MIL-A-8625 (type 2, Class 2 specification)
- Powder coated with certified A.A.M.A. 2603-98 Polyester coating
- Baked at 177c/350F (specification ASTM D2794
- Control shafts and push pins
- Type 304 marine grade Stainless steel
- All shaft double sealed with double O-rings
- All push pins sealed with Quad Rings
- Mounting points for strobes arms, lighting fixtures and/or tripod
- 5 x -20 in threaded holes on the top
- 3 x -20 in. threaded holes on the bottom