Nauticam is pleased to unveil an all aluminum underwater camera housing for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II mirrorless camera, the latest in it's award winning and industry leading line of underwater imaging gear. Nauticam was the first underwater camera housing manufacturer to release a housing for the original OM-D E-M5 camera, and it's innovative designs and meticulous engineering have lead the way in the mirrorless category.
Olympus made waves with the original E-M5, and the story continues with this new version. The camera has refinements large and small, from an additional stop of performance of the 5 axis stabilization to a fully articulated LCD; the "II" is an impressive update. Little touches include a lockable mode dial and two additional programmable buttons. Olympus clearly listened to users when it made the Super Control Panel on by default (no more hunting in the menu to try to enable this). The camera also now allows the info screens to be customized, such as the histogram, level and highlight/shadow warnings that can be shown together. Long exposure fans will like the LiveTime feature - real-time long exposure shooting - very cool.
For underwater photographers, the biggest improvement is a serious upgrade to the electronic viewfinder, which now sports a 2.36m dot LCD (same dot count as the revered E-M1). It is hard to shoot what you can't see, and the upgraded EVF goes a long way towards improving vision, especially when paired with a Nauticam enhanced viewfinder.
For the videographer, the E-M5 II significantly upgrades the frame rate (60 fps) and bitrate (77 Mbps), with both ALL-I and IBP recording modes. It is the first Olympus to offer focus peaking while shooting video, and gains a microphone socket. The video here can take advantage of the in-camera image stabilization, allowing for smoother handheld video clips.
The headline feature of the "II" is the new Multi-Shot Hi Res Photo Mode. This new feature allows the camera to capture a 40 Megapixel image using the 16 Megapixel sensor. Black magic? Sorcery? No, but it is a pretty cool use of technology. What Olympus has done here is take advantage of the in camera stabilization mechanism to move the sensor while the camera records the image 8 times. These 8 exposure and melded together into a single 40 Megapixel image, producing a higher resolution result with less noise. These multiple exposures take time, so this trick does not work for moving subjects or for handheld shots. This feature is unlikely to appeal to the underwater photographer, but it is certainly interesting.
The new housing from Nauticam is an evolutionary marvel. This housing is true to it's NA-EM5 predecessor: highly configurable with the separate handle design (see CFWA Monster, below). This design allows the user to configure handles independently. One very desirable mode is to outfit the housing with a single left handle (Flexitray or Easitray), accompanied by a hand strap on the right. This helps to make rig as small as possible, with the comfort and security of the hand strap. Two handle options are available, as well as going as small as possible, with no handles or trays, ideal for the free diver shooting ambient light, for example.
More than just good-looking, this is a rugged housing, ready to tackle thousands of hours of underwater abuse. Crafted from solid aircraft aluminum, the housing can reach depths of 100m with ease. The effortless (but secure) single rotating housing latch opens the housing back. The camera drops in easily, with no controls needing to be preset. The rear mounted housing O-ring makes maintenance simple. Dual fiber optic synch ports are standard and take advantage of the supplied Olympus accessory flash. To make the most of the E-M5s excellent electronic view finder (EVF), Nauticam has crafted an optional rear acrylic display window that includes a mount for installation of Nauticams acclaimed 45º and 180º magnified view finders, providing the ultimate in composition and focus ability.
Like all Nauticam housings, particular attention is paid to ergonomics. Buttons and dials are easy to access, with minimal reach required. The Olympus Main and Sub dials are easily accessed by thumb or forefinger with no need to release grip on the housing while adjusting aperture and shutter speed. The important Fn1 and Fn2 buttons are just as easy to reach and can be programmed for a multitude of functions. A few of the useful settings are AF Lock, One-touch White Balance, Manual Focus, ISO and Exposure Compensation. Switching between LV and the EVF is a snap and a quick press of the Info button can show or hide Olympus new LV Super Control Panel on the OLED screen for quick access to many critical settings. The mode dial can easily be turned through the typical P, A, S, M, Movie mode and some easy shooting modes. Controls need to offer a proper feel and Nauticams patented two-stage lever shutter release allows for natural, precise focus and shutter release activation. Every one of the features on the new NA-EM5 is engineered to the same exacting tolerances of Nauticams now famous line of DSLR housings. That quality will surely be reflected in every picture taken with this remarkably powerful imaging system.
One of the hallmarks of Nauticam housings has always been the secure Locking Port Release system, unique in that it utilizes an internal bayonet system. Nauticam's SLR housings have always featured a red locking lever that has become the symbol of Nauticam innovation. This iconic control has come to the mirrorless world, making port changes easy, faster and just as secure. No wrestling, no twisting, no misalignment - just seat and lock.
The NA-EM5II is designed by photographers, for photographers. Look no further for state of the art.
Circuitry included as standard equipment provides constant monitoring of watertight integrity when combined with an optional Nauticam M16 Vacuum Valve (PN 25612).
The range of Nauticam accessories are unmatched, with multiple accessories available to customize the system to individual needs. A variety of lens ports support all popular lenses. Accessory macro lenses, like the revolutionary Compact Macro Converter (PN 81301), attached with an easy to use flip holder are available for super macro photography.
A new cam lever system securely locks the camera in place, providing strength and precise positioning even when a heavy lens is mounted.
The camera, with lens and zoom gear mounted, drops into the housing. No controls need to be preset!
Stiffening handle brackets are included with the housing, providing a solid "wobble free" attachment when using Nauticam Flexitray (PN 71207) and Easitray (PN 71206) with heavy lighting systems. Multiple lanyard attachment points are included in the brackets.
The housing is sculpted to fit the E-M5 II camera like a glove, and extensive camera control ergonomic enhancements are made to ensure that the housing is as easy to use in water as the camera is on land.
A large, rubberized zoom and focus control knob provides easy lens control with excellent tactile feel.
The knob disengages, providing more working space for quick lens changes.
It's all about the glass, and lenses are the key to terrific photography. The m4/3 system supports a large range of high quality lenses produced by Olympus and Panasonic (partnering with Leica), and third party lenses from Sigma are starting to appear. Several lenses that perform extremely well underwater are available (and reasonably priced!). Some examples:
There are many more options for the underwater photographer, including any of the several 14-42mm options, the Panasonic Lumix G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH. POWER O.I.S., Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH, Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH, and the Leica DG Macro Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH.
A clear view for fine focus and composition is critical for successful underwater photography, and nothing beats a magnifying viewfinder. These viewfinders use distance, not close-up vision, and provide a large, clear view of the high resolution Olympus electronic viewfinder. Available in Angled 45º and Straight formats, both viewfinders have external dioptric adjustments for dialing in perfect correction matched to the photographer's eyesight.
A replacement LCD Window for Enhanced Viewfinders (PN 17851) provides a secure mounting point, and the viewfinder can be easily removed for travel.
45º and 180º Magnifying Viewfinders provide a large, clear, corner-corner view of the Olympus 2.36 mdot LCD Electronic Viewfinder.
The Nauticam vacuum check and leak detection system is available with NA-EM5II as standard equipment. Combined with an optional vacuum valve (PN 25612), this monitoring system provides constant updates on the water tight and safe-to-dive 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, an audible and visual indication will occur.
Reliable automatic flash exposure is available with the NA-EM10 and a variety of optically fired flashes. The Inon Z-240, D-2000, S-2000 strobes provide automated lighting, precisely reproducing the cameras onboard flash at a proportionally greater intensity. This system yields accurate automatic TTL flash performance even in manual mode - with no electrical sync cables to flood! The NA-EM10 comes fiber optic ready and accepts standard Sea & Sea style bushing connections. Nauticam Fiber Optic cables, available for both Inon and Sea & Sea strobes, provide the best light transmission and therefore more accurate TTL of any fiber optic cable on the market.
Strobes can be attached to the housing via optional strobe mounting balls secured to the handles of the Nauticam accessory tray systems or a single strobe mounting ball location on the housing. The housing also features a cold-shoe mount for a focus light or other accessory mounting options