The new Aquatica AD500 housing is designed specifically for the long awaited Nikon D500 camera. With 21mp still image, 4K video possibilities, and an impressive level of low light performance, the Nikon D500 is a worthy addition to the DX format, a much appreciated sensor size for underwater photography.
What’s in the Nikon D500 camera?
The Nikon D500 camera finally joins the rank of the popular DX format Nikon DSLRs. It brings interesting features:
- UHD 4K from a 1.5x crop sensor
- Flat picture profile for added post processing
- On screen highlight warning
- Power aperture control
- Impressive AF performance
- 153 point AF module
- 55 selectable AF points
- 100% viewfinder, with 1.0x magnification
- The largest in cropped sensor DSLR
- 10 frames per second rates
- 200 Raw files buffer using XQD
- Rugged construction of Magnesium Alloy and Carbon fiber composite
THE CONTROL LAYOUT
Aquatica designed the AD500 housing by carefully selecting the features that will improve performance for underwater imaging. They then ergonomically placed the vital controls where they were most needed, right at your fingers tips.
HOW TO QUICKLY GET TO THE CONTROLS
ISO is one of the key controls in managing the exposure in video, so particular attention was made in bringing this control at your thumb fingertip. Exposure compensation is crucial, so a dedicated lever has been implemented for engaging it quickly when needed. The control pad can also be accessed quickly via a set of extended controls that brings it close to your right hand for easy access; same goes for the AF-ON lever with its wide range of options available through the CSM menu of the camera. The Fn1 lever located in front and Fn2 button on the rear also gives you access to a range of CSM features. Two oversized and conveniently placed buttons give speedy access to the info and Live View activating features on the camera, and recording is as easy as pressing on the dedicated lever placed strategically close to your thumb.
HANDLING THE HOUSING, THE BEST GRIPS IN THE INDUSTRY
Handling is made with a pair of grips that have become the benchmark in comfort since their introduction over a quarter of a century ago. These grips are a perfect example of Aquatica’s philosophy, change should be implemented to improve a product, and not for the sake of novelty; when grips are as perfect as these are, leave them alone! Aquatica’s grips are light, sturdy and form fitting. They contribute to making your underwater photography experience more pleasing and comfortable. Mounting points on top of them allows strobes arms, such as those from Aquatica’s Delta 3 line, to be mounted securely, freeing the top of the housing from unnecessary clutter.
The Nikon D500 is already boasting the largest and best view finder of its category. Viewing can further be improved underwater with a choice of two enhanced view finders. Two Aqua View finders are available to improve underwater viewing through the camera finder. The Aqua View 180o finder offers straight through line of sight viewing with a generous viewing area, while the Aqua View 45o offers definitive comfort in viewing while shooting upward or for those down in sandy macro situations. Both accessory viewfinders are designed in such way as to minimize the blockage of the rear LCD when shooting using the rear LCD screen.
As a standard feature, the housing comes equipped with a quality multiple elements Galileo type eyepiece, and the rear LCD has been angled to give the viewer a more comfortable viewing angle when using it.
The Aquatica AD500 offers the best available options on the market for connecting strobes with no less than four options to choose from.
This AD500 housing version features our optional integrated TTL converter circuit board which is compatible with a wide range of underwater strobes. This converter offers both automatic strobe exposure, either through optical relay using optical fiber, or via standard and readily available electrical sync cords from your strobe manufacturers. Alternating between types of triggering is an easy affair, even in the field, with Aquatica’s easily replaceable bulkhead strobe connector design.
Included with this optically set up housing version is the LED flash trigger. This LED trigger is powered by two popular “off the shelf” CR 2450 batteries and averaging 4,000 to 5,000 bursts of light. This LED trigger slides into the hot shoe of the camera like any other hot shoe accessory would. The 20080-OPT version of this housing is ready to accept standard optical fiber sync cable commonly found on the market – there is no need for a special proprietary or custom type cord, the optical fiber cord supplied by the strobes manufacturers are ready to use as is.
This version is set up with a pair of time proven Nikonos bulkheads connectors, the same available on all of Aquatica’s current DSLR housings. It is a well-established standard, which has been the back bone of strobe technology for decades and is still by far the most distributed type of strobe connectors in the whole underwater photography industry. This 20080-NK housing comes with not one, but two of these connectors installed. These, as well as the optical ones, are easy to replace in the field should one decide to alternate between ways of triggering your strobes, no special tools are required and the operation is done in minutes.
This version is equipped with a trusted Ikelite strobe connector. Since many hard working underwater professional photographers prefer using Ikelite strobes and connectors for their ruggedness and reliability, Aquatica has made a point to have this housing version available to its users.
The Aquatica AD500 uses Aquatica’s excellent line up of existing ports for the DSLR line of housings. A lot of effort has gone into giving you access to the most appealing lenses for this camera with the best port combination for them.
Since ports are such a vital part of the optical formula in any underwater photographic system, Aquatica have built one of the most comprehensive selections available for underwater imaging. Aquatica’s flexible modular system of extension rings, dome and flat ports is ready to face the challenge of constantly evolving lenses coming out on the market.
Wide angle imaging requirement can be addressed with domes of 4”/100mm, 6”/150mm, 8”/200mm and 9.25”/230mm, from ultra wide angle close up situations to top quality over/under images.
Macro imaging needs can be fulfilled using Aquatica’s recently introduced Mini Macro port. A vital part of the Aquatica ACU System, this port has a narrow frontal signature making lighting in tight corners easier. A bayonet mount is located on its front end for attaching Aquatica’s ACU system flip holder with the potential of attaching up to two ACU wet diopter close-up lenses.
Tying the port system together are a set of fourteen locking extension rings, ranging in length from .65”/16.5mm to 3.82”/97.5mm. Port extensions are strategic partners in the optical chain. They serves two purposes: in the case of wide angle lenses, it helps optimize the performance of a wide angle lens by properly placing the optical center with that of the dome port; and for macro lenses, it gives added length for accommodating longer focal length lenses such as the 105mm, or when using internal accessories such as a tele converter which may contribute to the added magnification of a given lens.
The AD500 comes standard with Aquatica’s own Surveyor moisture and vacuum monitoring sensor circuit installed at the factory. The housing can also be ordered with the optional pressure extracting valve and pump installed at the factory. The visual and audio signal will attract your attention should any of the O-rings become damaged or hindered by sand, hair or any foreign objects that would compromise the sealing integrity of the housing. All that is required are a few simple steps for your peace of mind and knowing that your equipment is safely protected from the environment.
Securing of the housing is done with time proven stainless steel latches equipped with safety tabs. These are non-gimmicky – their solid track record has demonstrated that what they lack in fashion style, they more than make up in resistance to failure, jamming up or corroding over time. Chosen as a standard means of securing highly valuable assets and equipment by scores of sensitive scientific and military equipment manufacturers, this method of securing is beyond reproach when it comes to reliability. Their simple and efficient design makes them reliable and they are a reflection of Aquatica’s commitment to rely on time and field proven technology.
HOW IT’S MADE
At the core of the design is the shell, designed on cutting edge software by dedicated individuals, machined on state of the art 5 axis CNC machine from a solid block of 6061 T6 aluminum alloy, the same routinely used in aerospace technology. This alloy is acclaimed for its high resistance to corrosion. The shell is then anodized to a MIL-A-8625 Type 2, Class 2 specification, and finally covered with a tough as nails, black polyester powder coating baked at a high temperature in order to be certified to the A.A.M.A 2603-98 specification. This kind of protection is not superfluous, as evidently shown on Aquatica housings having logged over 3,000 immersion and which are still on active duty day after day.
Control shafts and push buttons are made from a Type 304 stainless steel, another metal commonly used by the aerospace industry. It is controlled to be free of the iron contaminants that degrade quality and integrity of the metal, such as the ones often found on the less stringent type 316, which unfortunately, is too often used in this industry.
The housing shell has two entry points for connecting strobes plus two others for adapting various accessories. There is a large 16mm diameter access point on the left hand side, ideal for connecting a monitor. Also located on the left hand side is a standard 1/2” diameter access point for the optional Surveyor pressure valve.
MAIN FEATURES OF THE AQUATICA AD500 HOUSING
- Well established and proven system of ports, extensions and accessories to attend to your personal lens preferences.
- Quick and simple installation of enhanced viewfinders; no special tool required.
- The best selection of strobe connectors on the market.
- Dual Nikonos bulkheads
- Optical fiber with flash trigger included
- Ikelite single bulkhead
- Built in TTL converter for optical or electrical triggering.
- Exceptionally good and ergonomic control placement.
- All controls remain accessible in all dive conditions, either cold or warm, gloves or no gloves.
- Secure port locking system and easy access lens release button.
- The most comfortable and sturdy hand grips of the industry, also extendable for larger or gloved hands.
- Precise camera mounting via a quick release camera tray with angled rear LCD positioning.
- Two (2) entry points for accessories such as HDMI monitors, remote control or vacuum monitoring systems.
- Eight (8) threaded standard ¼”-20 holes, one located on top, three on the bottom and four on the grips, to mount a strobe arm, brackets, tripods and a wide range of other accessories.
- Depth rating options of 90m or 130m depth at no extra charge.
Retail price starting at $3,195 USD
For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 514-737-9481.