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Aquatica AD4 underwater housing for the Nikon D4

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Aquatica announced the AD4 underwater housing for the Nikon D4 with 90m/300ft depth rating that can be upgraded to a 130m/425ft. The retail price is $4,590 USD. More details and the press release after the break:

AD4 Housing puts Nikon D4’s Best Features At Your Fingertips

Nikon’s flagship D4 camera is a professional imaging tool with equally impressive still and video capabilities. With customized controls, next-generation lens gear system and uncompromised viewing, Aquatica’s new AD4 housing puts the D4’s power into the hands of photographers shooting in the world’s most demanding underwater environments.

AD4 Highlights
-Toggle access to Fn and Pv buttons
-Smooth operation of all video controls
-New lens gear system for improved video zooming
-New camera tray works with a simple push tab
-New left-hand quick lever for ISO access
-Strobe connectors easily replaced in the field
-Unparalleled durability and corrosion protection

Built Just for the D4
Aquatica has designed the ultimate housing for the D4, combining highly evolved ergonomics with features customized for Nikon’s most advanced SLR.

Aquatica was the first to offer access to the Fn and Pv controls. This is done via a unique toggle lever that accesses the two buttons and gives the photographer control over such things as the power aperture (Close + Open), index marking in video mode and also allows easy viewing of photo shooting information.

The AD4 is also optimized for video shooting, to take advantage of the D4’s broadcast quality 1080p HD video functions. All video controls are designed for easy reach and smooth operation through the housing. This includes a next-generation lens gear system with a smaller housing pinion gear and a larger lens gear for smoother action while zooming in a video sequence.

A newly designed camera tray delivers smooth and precise positioning of the camera in the housing and allows the user to insert and remove the camera using a simple push tab. The zoom actuating pinion gear and the lens release lever also pull out so the camera can be removed from the back while keeping a lens and zoom gear attached.

Left-hand control buttons are angled and positioned for faster access to the various functions and a quick lever was added for the important ISO access. On the right hand the Live View lever has been relocated closer to your thumb. The multi-controller pad found on the Nikon D4 is made accessible with a simple and proven design and its SET button has been oversized. All push buttons are of high quality Type 304 stainless steel and operate smoothly for a natural feel and intuitive operation.

Three bulkhead access holes are provided to accept multiple external accessories such as our remote trigger (# 19304), Water Wizard external radio transceiver housing, external monitors and/or other accessories. Aquatica also boasts the most comprehensive selection of easily interchangeable strobe connectors in the industry. The 20069-NK includes two of the classic 5-pin Nikonos connectors and the 20069-KT is supplied with a time proven 5-pin Ikelite connector. Both versions are ready to accept currently available TTL converters. Aquatica standard strobe connectors are also now replaceable in the field without the need for specialized tools.

Aquatica-AD4-underwater-housing-for-the-Nikon-D4-(3)

Proven Aquatica Performance
Aquatica’s more than 30 years of expertise have helped craft the AD4’s ergonomic design. It’s a design strongly influenced by professional image makers from around the world who work and consult with us. The result is an unparalleled attention to detail and expertly crafted solutions.

Aquatica housings include our own exceptional Galileo-type eye piece. This high quality and coated optical finder gives a bright and full view of the viewfinder. For those who need the ultimate in still image viewing, the optional Aqua View delivers second-to-none clarity; it provides the photographer with tack sharp corner to corner viewing for composing and critical focusing

The AD4 also retains our trademark molded grips—the industry standard of comfort for the last 25 years. They are lightweight, and made of one piece so they never come unglued or corrode. Both grips have mounting holes ready to accept the popular mounting bracket of our TLC system and are compatible with most current strobes and lighting arms on the market. An extra mounting point for a focus/video light or other accessories is included on top of the housing and three additional mounting points are provided under the housing for various brackets, supports or tripods.

Of course, the AD4 housing is an integral part of one of the most established and comprehensive port and accessories system of the industry. Aquatica’s port system has been a stable platform for more than 20 years and remains one of the most reliable and popular designs on the market.

The durability of Aquatica housings is legendary. The lightweight AD4 benefits from the finest material available in the metallurgic industry and is carefully crafted from a selected alloy of aircraft-grade aluminum. This housing still has the same standard 90m/300ft depth rating and can be upgraded to a 130m/425ft depth rating. Its knurled knobs and oversized controls mean easy operation in all conditions.

Every Aquatica housing is machined on the latest five-axis computer assisted machines. It then undergoes a protective anodizing process to the stringent North American Military Specifications. A baked on powder coating paint is then applied for a tough-as-nails exterior. Additional protection comes from corrosion inhibiting zinc anodes, provided standard with every housing. This additional level of protection is highly effective, as can be seen on some housings with more than 1,500 dives on them that still look as fresh as the day they came out of the box.

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  • neversink

    I am always amazed about how much these underwater housings go for. I find it ridiculous. Molded plastic (yes to military standards,) aluminum (man, that is such a rare commodity,) some rubber seals and they throw in a tube of silicon. Okay, they use a few bucks worth of some fancy paint. And then you have to pay even more for more options. Like a better viewfinder and more $ for a little extra depth. Am I missing something? I have a sister-in-law who is an underwater photographer (she uses Canon) and she hates the underwater housing industry.

    • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

      You have to pay for part of the engineering. And that’s not insignificant when you consider that this is a very low production run item.

      • Allen_Wentz

        Exactly. Very low production volume makes per unit design/engineer/build cost very high. And top housings provide pro features utility, just like the reason a D4 costs six times what a D5200 costs.

        It is what it is, no one is ripping anyone off.

        • neversink

          I stand corrected. But it is awful expensive for what you get, but of course you couldn’t immerse your cameras safely without these housings. I am not in the underwater photography business…. But I do admire the photos my sister-in-law takes. It’s just amazing to me that given all the diving equipment that she has, this housing unit is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment. I understand there isn’t a big market for these things. Perhaps price is one of the reasons. Perhaps the lack of diving skills by most landlubber professional photographers. Perhaps it is the fear of the Great White Shark….

          • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

            Still I have to agree that price is painful.

      • Kao

        Although I agree with the low production run, but I couldn’t say the same with how much thought they put on each housing. some of their designs were back in decade ago the different was just buttons layout

    • chubbs

      If they just went 10-20 feet underwater, it wouldn’t cost so much. But these are rated for much, much deeper and longer dives.

      • Allen_Wentz

        Depth variation is not so much the issue because building such a D4 housing for 2 atmospheres of pressure (33 feet depth) versus 3 atmospheres of pressure (66 feet depth) or more is not that terribly different design/engineer/build as regards cost.

        A top $6k pro camera deserves a housing that fully facilitates top pro usage. Building such a fully competent housing rated to just 30 feet would still be hella costly.

        • Divemaster

          Costly?

          You can buy housings for compact cameras that will take you competently to 30 feet for less than 150$. Many of them made by the manufacturers of the cameras themselves.

          There is a SIGNIFICANT cost difference between 30ft and 300ft.

          • Gif

            Those are made for much, much cheaper cameras, but yeah, even going from 200 to 300 feet is a CONSIDERABLE jump in price. 30 to 60 isn’t significant, but this case as you pointed out is rated for 300, upgradeable to 425!!!

            That’s not even the same ballpark of cost to produce.

          • Allen_Wentz

            You guys are not reading my words. The cost of building 100 units of a housing to have full D4 capability at 30 feet of depth instead building 100 units of a housing to have full D4 capability at 300 feet of depth would _not_ be $5k versus $150.

            The $100 camera is tiny with few housing penetrations while a D4 is huge with many housing penetrations. BIG difference in design engineering as well as necessary construction.

            Only a few D4 housings will be sold while a $150 cheapie has huge production runs.

            The $100 camera has few controls a D4 has many.

            The D4 is a $6k risk, not a $100 risk, so housings must be engineered and built accordingly.

            A D4 housing provides multiple full iTTL strobe connectivity.

            That is not say added depth is irrelevant, just that bigger issues are the cost of full D4 operability and very low production volumes.

  • Poony

    Nice and cheap hay…

  • Spy Black

    An underwater housing that’s cheaper than the camera it’s designed for? It’s gotta totally suck…

  • Martijn

    everyone keeps saying that the “low production volumes” cause this. the D7000 housing costs about 1500$. if it was morge like 400 to 500 i would buy it in a heartbeat, and i think many others with me. The low volumes are actually a result of the high price.

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