Aquatica have been going since 1987, when the company started out as Aquavision Systems, but It was re-vamped and rebranded as Aquatica/Amphibico in 2000. Aquatica cover the underwater photography side of things, while Amphibico is the videography arm of the company. They are based in Montreal so we met up with Blake Stoughton, who heads up the company, at DEMA to see what was new.
The Aquatica housings look great, with their final coating of powder-coat paint, designed to make them really tough and scratch resistant, and making them very desirable. New at DEMA was their housing for the Canon 5D MKIV. There are plenty of new features to shout about on this housing, with the ability to put in the unique Ikelite TTL feature during the factory build. They also have a circuit board that will fire LEDs for fibre optic strobe connections. The team have worked on ergonomics, including a new function where ISO can be easily operated by your right thumb, without having to move your hands away from the comfortable grip position. The housings have a leak alarm, and the ability to add vacuum system too. What has not changed is the bayonette port system, meaning that all models from the 90s onwards can use the same ports, and you do not have to buy adapters or new ports when upgrading an Aquatica system. If you have a MKIII version of this housing – and want to upgrade to the MKIV – no problem, you can get an upgrade rather than buying a whole new housing. Also on show was the housing for the Nikon D500, again with all these new features being integrated into this new housing. Aquatica housings come in around $1000 less expensive than many rivals.
Also new on the market are Aquatica’s re-designed arms and clamps. The arms are hard anodized and Teflon coated. They are light and look great. The clamps have a finer thread, making them easier to adjust to get the best grip, but what really makes them stand out is their shape and design. These will certainly be the clamps we will be looking for when we need some new ones. They are much easier to grip and adjust than the others on the market.
At the pro end of the market, the Canon 1DX MK11 and the Nikon D5 housings were on show; however, it was the Sony A6300 that really caught our eye. This is brand new and first shipping will start just after DEMA. It has a magnetic tray, a “power cradle” that provides an additional 2 batteries worth of power and has an LED board on its way. It comes with a tray and handles as well as a soft hand strap for those that prefer this setup. It is also very well priced.
The most impressive housing on the stand had to be the Amphibico video housing for Red cameras. This will also soon be able to take the Sony FS7 II. It is an amazing piece of kit (although I would not want to have to travel with it!)
Distributed in the UK by www.camerasunderwater.co.uk.