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Fantasea FP7000: underwater housing for Nikon Coolpix P7000

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Today Fantasea announced the FP7000 - the first water housing for the Nikon Coolpix P7000 camera (not listed on Fantasea's website yet). Available in early 2011, price is not yet released.

What is interesting here is that Fantasea came up with this solution just few days after the Nikon Coolpix P7000 camera was announced. This confirms that Nikon does share information about upcoming products with selected manufacturers. Good to know.

Full press release after the break:

Quality, Durability & Design in Watersports and Underwater Photography

Fantasea Line proudly announces a new housing design, specifically created for the new Nikon Coolpix P7000 digital camera.

The FP7000 Housing is manufactured to the highest professional standards of function, style and durability. It is depth rated to 60m/200 feet and is fully functional with ergonomically designed and labeled controls. The Fantasea FP7000 is the ultimate waterproof home for the Nikon Coolpix P7000.

The FP7000 Housing is ideal for outdoor and underwater photography. Underwater photographers can dive or snorkel and capture all the excitement of this fascinating world, while outdoor photographers also have the option of capturing the action of activities such as white water paddle sports, sailing, boating, surfing, fishing, hunting, backpacking and camping. The FP7000 Housing is shock resistant and protects the camera from water, sand, dust, frost and other damaging elements.

The FP7000 Housing was designed to be compatible with a complete Accessory System, enabling photographers to enhance the quality of their images.

Estimated Release: the beginning of 2011.

FP7000 Housing Feature Highlights

* Depth rated to 60m/200 feet
* Access to all camera controls and functions
* Shock resistant
* Double O-ring seal
* Special mount for lighting accessories
* Removable double fiber optic cable connection
* Removable flash diffuser
* Easy and secure installation of camera
* Labeled controls for comfortable operation
* Compatible with a wide range of underwater photo accessories

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  • dave

    Of course, an UW housing may only be of interest to me. I kind of had hopes up that Nikon was working on a digital version of the Nikonos V after some comments by one of there VPs a while back, but maybe this is an indication that they expect the UW crowd to head in the P&S direction. To be honest a lot of them are. Housings for DSLRs are more expensive than the DSLRs themselves.

    • JorPet

      Good point. I am looking at this combination and thinking that it might be a good way to go.

    • PHB

      Given the constraints, designing a housing for a specific point and shoot with a specific fixed lens makes more sense to me. It is not as if you can change lenses while underwater.

      In the longer term, I think that much more interesting things will come. Like putting a head mounted display in the dive mask. The actual sensor part could be permanently sealed into a separate housing with the lens and the two connected by a small control pod that contains batteries and flash storage.

      • dave

        It depends on how you design your lenses. Sea & Sea Motormarine (I think that’s the one) allowed you to change lenses underwater. The camera had a built in lens and the other lenses could be screwed in place on top of it for tele, wide or macro, just like some of the cheapo ebay fisheye lenses that screw into a 52mm thread. You could change them underwater. It was a big selling point.

  • Eirik Hektoen

    My experience with an underwater camera housing (I don’t remember the brand, but it was for a Coolpix S1) five years ago was quite bad. I wanted to use it on a holiday in Yucatan, Mexico, but the warm humid air which was trapped in the housing when I closed it up around the camera condensed on the front glass in the colder water, ruining all the pictures.

    After that I got a dedicated waterproof camera (Olympus mju Tough-8000), which worked fine for a while but which was also disappointing in the end, with water leaking into the battery/memory card compartment after only a few outings.

    • dave

      This is why you should close the housing in your air conditioned hotel room or condo ;-) Or apply an anti-fogging agent on the inside of the front glass.

      As for the dedicated “waterproof” cameras, most are only good to 10-20 feet. The decent ones use an O-ring seal around the battery door (and any other accessory door) which really needs to be lubricated correctly to provide a good seal each time you open the door. And if you are in salt water, you really need to thoroughly rinse in fresh water as soon as you get out of the salt water.

      The P&S can give good results if you use them properly. I suspect the “double fiber optic connection” is used to run a fiber optic cable to the slave sensor of up to two external flashes. The biggest mistake people use with a P&S in an UW housing is to use the internal flash to light the subject. This usually results in lighting up the particles between the lens and the subject (called back-scatter). That’s why you see guys like me with strobe arms that get our two or more flashes two to four feet away from the camera.

      • foo

        You’re supposed to put a fresh silica gel packet in the housing just before you close it up. B&H sells these.

  • Discontinued

    looks cool and tough.

    “This confirms that Nikon does share information about upcoming products with selected manufacturers. Good to know.”

    Yes, and it once again confirms, that Nikon’s security is as tight as … well as a pair of undersized tights.

    • f/2.8

      Nikon only needs to provide the engineering specs of the housing of the camera to the Fantasea. The internal gut does not need to be disclosed.

      • dave

        True. All FantaSea needs to know is the external dimensions and where the lens, flash and buttons are, not what the buttons actually do or the sensor size or resolution.

        • jaja

          why? i can render such image in two hours given two leaked photos on the web

    • Gerry

      I would argue the opposite. I do not think that Nikon gave them the specs. The picture is obviously computer generated. With this item not being able until the beg of 2011 (or later), this leads me to believe that they just started designing this product. For an item that will probably have a very small production run, I would think that they will not need a huge amount of production lead time.

      • Victor Hassleblood

        @Gerry, dave and f/2.8,

        all true, BUT keep in mind the very short life expectancy of cameras such as the P7000. If you are Nikon and sell an advanced P&S that will only be available and sold as new for 2 to 2.5 years max, you are probably going to support any serious manufacturer, who will add something to the camera – be it for the use of it in a broadened field or just for the cameras reputation as something, that is taken really seriously by others as well.

        Success becomes more and more a question of timing and Nikon probably wants to have as much support for products as possible within their life cycle = as soon as possible. They must have given FantaSea something before the camera was officially released/announced.

  • Banned

    Looks expensive. Too bad the new P7000 is nothing more than a glorified mini-sensor P&S. I want a P&S with APS-C sensor but a body the size of this P7000. I think the EVIL will be too big to be classified as compact.

  • preston

    Am I the only one that thinks this image of the housing looks like a computer rendering, not an actual photograph?

    • WoutK89

      I agree, maybe Nikon didn’t share this camera yet to them, is there a disclaimer about actual product can differ from this picture?
      Release of early 2011 points at the fact that this Body is currently being designed or even already produced, but not that it has been designed a long time before already.

    • http://blimpbouldering.blogspot.com sd

      Which one? Are you saying Nikons not really coming out with a P7000?

      • WoutK89

        this image of the housing

  • AG

    official D7000 specs? anybody??? :-( yeah… i’m really desperate….

    • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

      Wait one more day and it’ll probably be official :)

  • DaveyJ

    I use underwater housing a lot. This housing answers almost nothing to any serious UW photographer. The sensor on the P7000 is so tiny anyone contemplating buying one is not an enthusiast. Maybe a D3100 housing makes sense. Problem on the D3100 housing would be an unacceptable price.

  • DaveyJ

    Actually when you are really shooting UW you quickly find that you need specific ports sized to the various lens. Obviously you never switch lens underwater……Usually up close to your subject with wide angle is the best. Our current ViO POV cameras are the productive UW and race systems. We can equip a motorcycle with both front and rear video. and on boats run the POV camera along with echo sounding transducer. The best though for UW with fish involved is a remote POV with a lead or pole to be in the water with King Salmon, Hammerhead Shark etc. Using a p7000 would give you some flavor, I’d have to try one to see any real UW applicability. We have used D90 this way but the addition of true HD video on the D7000 will be worth looking at. Usually the housing costs more than the camera. I usually get one safe only to 33 feet deep as below that colors fade to little more than blues, shades of grey and black. I prefer UW in water shallower than 8ft. as I like reds and one specialty is Red Salmon in spawning color UW. Those are generally at 3 ft. deep. (approx.)

  • Merv

    Why wouldn’t the underwater housing be expensive?

    This is for the D700, in some cases it costs more than the D700
    http://www.backscatter.com/hostedstore/products/NikonD700Housing.html

    But if you must get the underwater shot no matter what the price, you’ll get the underwater housing

  • FakeKenRockwell

    Just put a D40 in ziploc bag (double bagged!) and you’d be good to go.

    • jay

      What about using a plastic wrap, vacuum “shrink wrap” a D3000, then put into ziploc double bags … i bet it would be water tide and easier to operate

  • Phillip

    Where is the hot shoe?

  • eric

    I’d rather have a Nikonos RS.

  • Phil

    When I first saw that I thought Nikon was releasing a digital Nikonos. I thought “Whoa! Nikon’s getting their balls back!”

    Oh well…

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