Nauticam announces NA-V1 underwater housing for Nikon V1 camera

NA-V1 with 10-30mm and SB-N5 flash inside housing

Nauticam announced underwater housing for the Nikon 1 V1 camera that can incorporate the external SB-N5 flash unit. The price is $1650, shipping will start at the end of January, 2012. More sample images can be found here.

Nauticam proudly announces the NA-V1 housing for Nikon’s new and revolutionary line of mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras.

From the Nikon press release:

The new Nikon 1 system is a completely original concept, engineered specifically to strike the ultimate balance of performance, intuitive simplicity and portability to chronicle life like never before.

Nauticam is once again the leader in the mirror-less interchangeable world for underwater photographers by bringing the first V1 housing to market. With this housing, Nikon shooters will use the V1 to chronicle life under the sea.

Nikon V1

The eagerly awaited Nikon 1 System is in some ways Nikon’s answer to the mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras created by its rivals like the m4/3 and NEX. Nikon takes a slightly different path, focusing on ease of use and responsiveness. The system features a brand new and unique sensor format dubbed “CX” and a corresponding line of new NIKKOR lenses called Nikon 1 Mount. Nikon V1, along with lesser sibling J1, is Nikon’s first camera in this line.

V1 features a 10MP CMOS sensor, with choice of 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio, a 3” 921K dot LCD display, XSPEED 3TM dual core processor and a crisp 1440K dot electronic viewfinder (EVF). V1 takes advantage of both an electronic and mechanical shutter system. An optional external flash unit (SB-N5 Speedlight) provides legendary Nikon automatic flash exposure compensation (TTL). Importantly for underwater shooters, the V1 can record RAW mode and offers manual shooting, and manual focus.

The big news for this camera for underwater shooters is the focus system. The camera offers best of both worlds - contrast and phase detection autofocus. Phase detection is the same technique used by SLR cameras to achieve very fast autofocus. Using up to 73 AF points, the autofocus system offers multiple options to achieve impressive autofocus performance, including continuous autofocus tracking. This kind of autofocus performance, combined with the deep depth of field afforded by the CX sensor, mean the end of out of focus shots.

Edward Lai, Nauticam CEO, had this to say about the autofocus performance of the V1 after using it underwater: “What amazed me was the speed and accuracy of the AF system. Coupled with the small lenses the camera really focused lightning fast. And the 10 fps with AF between each shot can be extreme useful”.

The Nikon V1 is capable of extremely fast continuous shooting speed; 5fps in normal mode, 10fps or 30fps with electronic shutter and up to 60fps with fixed AF. V1 has an intriguing mode that takes advantage of this high speed shooting called “Smart Photo Selector” that take a burst of photos at an amazing 30fps and then keeps only the sharpest, best 5 shots of that group. Imagine using that for ambient light shooting of fast moving animals or people.

The new NIKKOR 1 System lenses include image stabilization and silent motor for quit autofocus and zoom during movie shooting.

The V1 also shoots 1080p 30fps HD video using the H.264/MPEG4 format. Motion snapshot mode means capturing photos at 60 frames per second. Other modes include slow motion video at up to 1200fps. V1 even allows you to capture a high quality still image while recording 1080p HD video.

Nauticam NA-V1 Housing

Nauticam delivers the new NA-V1 housing, incorporating some of the best features of earlier Nauticam offerings. The NA-V1 also features the type of innovations people have come to expect from Nauticam, including a clever patent pending switch to make using both the EVF and the LCD possible. V1 shooters not only can take their new camera along for underwater exploration, but they can do so with the rugged, ergonomic, and stylish NauticamNA-V1 housing.

This is a very compact and lightweight housing, with all of the key V1 camera controls available from the ergonomic grip sculpted into the side of the housing. A choice of hand strap and left/right handle means the shooter can customize the housing to meet their specific needs.

The same Nauticam patented mini locking port release system used with other Nauticam mid-range housings has been incorporated, allowing easy and secure port changes. Initially, two lenses, the Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/2.5-5.6 and the Nikkor 10mm f/2 are supported. Given the cameras deep depth of field and fast focus, macro shooting is ideal with this setup, and the 10-30mm is supported via the Macro Port 45 (part #36135). Nauticam is now shipping a flip macro close-up lens holder (part #25101) that attaches to the 67mm threads on the Macro Port 45, and is deal for shooting macro with the V1. Zoom is supported on the 10-30mm with an optional zoom gear.

For wide angle, the 10mm lens is supported with a choice of 2 ports, a 3.5” dome (part #36131) and a flat port called N10 Pancake Port (part #36151), which optionally supports use of the FIX UWL-04 Wet Conversion.

The housing body is raised to incorporate the optional external flash unit (SB-N5 Speedlight). By placing the strobe higher above the lens, it is possible to get good results without an external flash – ideal for shooters who want an all-in-one system. An optional snap on diffuser (part #36321) will be offered to facilitate this type of shooting.

The sculpted NA-V1 housing fits the V1 camera perfectly - the camera is quickly mounted in the housing via a snap in camera tray, and the housing is securely closed with a locking rotary latch.

Nauticam housings are designed with ergonomics in mind, and this housing puts all of the important controls on the camera within easy reach. The shutter release is sculpted into the housing itself, landing the right index perfectly on the button. A four-way controller with set button is easily reached from the right. Video record and set button are larger and have a concave face, making them easier to distinguish, further adding the ease of use. Zoom is easily accessed from the left side of the housing.

NA-V1 also features an audible and visual leak detector and cold shoe accessory mount.

Locking Rotary Latch

The housing back is sealed with an easy to operate safety clasp. A safety release button must be pressed in order to begin rotating the clasp, eliminating the chance of accidental opening.

Nauticam Build Quality

Only the finest materials and cutting edge manufacturing processes are used to make Nauticam housings. The housing body is machined from solid aircraft grade aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water. The large acrylic LCD window is treated with an anti-reflective, scratch resistant coating.

Optional Rubberized Ergonomic Handles

Nauticam uses a sophisticated over-mold process to produce extremely comfortable rubberized ergonomic handgrips. The soft feel and ergonomic design make the housing easy to grip and minimize hand fatigue on long dives. Both single and double handle configurations are available for complete customization, and each handle can be adjusted laterally allowing the user to dial in perfect fit. A hand strap is also available for those wishing an even smaller profile.

Optical Flash Connectors for Inon S-TTL, and Sea & Sea DS-TTL

Reliable automatic flash exposure is available with Nauticam housings and a variety of optically fired flashes. Inon Z-240, D-2000, S-2000, Sea & Sea YS-110 Alpha, and YS-01 strobes provide automated lighting, precisely reproducing the camera’s onboard flash at a proportionally greater intensity. This system yields accurate TTL flash performance with no electrical sync cables to flood!

Strobes can be attached to the housing via optional strobe mounting balls on the handles or a single strobe mounting ball point on the housing. The housing also features a cold-shoe mount for even more mounting options.


  • Depth Rating: 100m
  • 184mm x 167mm x 102mm
  • Weight: 1.3kg (2.9 lbs.)
  • Model Number: 17207
  • USA Retail Price: $1650
  • Estimated Shipping Date: Jan 31, 2012
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  • Spooky

    There are cheaper alternatives for the D7000 and you get better image quality with that setup.

    • I dive with a camera, and my first thought when buying a housing is not going with the cheapest model. Also, size matters. A D7000 will certainly give you more options and very likely better quality if used correctly but the housing is MUCH bigger. Taking an SLR housing underwater is not for rookies so something like this may work for some. I don’t think they will sell too many, but it’s nice to have smaller options.

      • Absolutely – size matters hugely. And I think they’re sell tons over the years to the traveling crowd, which I’d guess is a very high %age of us. I bought a D90 and Ikolite housing and 2 flashes, but found it enough of a pain with all my other gear that I sold and moved to a compact Canon (*Gasp!*) S90, but that was an extended trip for several months and a fair amount of flying. Next time, to improve quality, this is likely 1st on my list.

        Even the lucky (relative) few who live near an ocean will be enticed by the size, I’d guess.

    • Andrew

      And yes, the D4 will likely give you a better image quality than the D7000. But wait, these bigger cameras will turn you into a submarine – that is, if your whole objective is the sink and not swim! In that case, you better go scuba diving.

  • Calibrator

    How many will they sell at $1650? A cool hundred? Or more?

    • Yep. More.

    • Andrew

      How many people buy expensive cars? Millions.

      • Rolls, had record sales this year… 😀

      • Calibrator

        How many women get breast implants?
        And most of them even two at the same time?

  • That is way too much to invest in a housing for a camera that is not much bigger than a compact. I bet Ikelite will have something for 6 or 7 hundred dollars.

    Digital cameras have a limited useful life. A housing does not have to be built to last forever.

    • Andrew

      Who cares, if you are wealthy. The only issue is if you can get something for substantially less. But all of that aside, the sample images look stunning, considering they are captured underwater where the visibility is typically very poor.

      • First off, IQ has almost nothing to do with the housing used. Visibility underwater is managed by staying close to the subject, or finding someplace with good visibility.

        As for the wealth issue, the wealthy get and stay that way by spending less than they make. You would justify any lame purchase of an overpriced item that way.

        • Andrew

          If you read my comment carefully, you will see that the first part was talking about the housing and the second part starting with the statement – “But all of that aside… ” – was talking about the Nikon V1. But regardless, I agree with all of you points with the exception of your description of the wealthy and especially “justifying any lame purchase of an overpriced purchase that way”. I though this comment was a little overreaching in that it embodies too broad a generalization.

          I agree that some wealthy folks are pretty frugal and even stay that way for most of their life. But you have to agree that many automobiles costing upwards of $150,000 like the Rolls Royce, higher model Mercedes, Ferrari, and others are typically purchased by the wealthy (though one may disagree on what constitutes wealth). These people do not need to “justify” their purchase since one does not need to buy a $150,000 car to go from point A to point B.

          When you buy a $5 magazine or pay $15 to see a movie, you don’t need to justify the purchase because it is a marginal part of your income. There are millions of people in America and then many more millions around the world who are millionaires. Many of these people may treat a $1,650 purchase as something that fulfills a desire and not a need. That desire is sufficient for them, they therefore need no justification because $1,650 is not much money to them. Not that they do not value $1,650, it is simply that to them it is discretionary income. In addition, some of these rich people may spend that money on the camera housing not for themselves, but for their rich kids who would ask “Daddy or Mommy, can you buy me that!”

          We stray in our reasoning when we make the assumption that the way we view something or better yet – our value system, should form the framework by which reasonable people everywhere should view the same thing. The hardest thing for people to grasp is that they have personal biases that may be grounded in their experiences, circumstances, or personal survival instincts. Having said all this in order to clarify the issue, I am empathetic of many who need to justify the purchase of a critically needed item simply because their means are constrained.

          • I spend a lot of time on dive boats with underwater photographers. They have their quirks. I very much doubt that this product will ever make a dent in the market, based on what I know about those who shoot underwater.

            Your pricing of expensive cars is off. A Rolls starts at $400K.

            By the way, simply being a millionaire these days is not rich. It’s upper middle class. People have other obligations like children’s educational expenses and retirement planning. The guys who go out and spend every dime they can get their hands on after saving for months for some expensive piece of camera gear are going to be sorry one day when they are old and broke. They will have a bunch of shots with shallow DOF but they will not be able to eat them.

            Aside from that, diving is wickedly expensive and underwater photography is insanely difficult. I actually think most divers who spend their entire dive shooting are wasting the experience. Most of these guys do no serious photography above water and have no understanding of the artistic attributes of photography. It is simply a hunt to capture another lobster or eel on digital media.

            • Andrew

              “Your pricing of expensive cars is off. A Rolls starts at $400K” – you win!

              Interesting information. Thanks!

  • Matt

    thats actually VERY cool. It gives you a decent lightweight underwater camera. I think its a very good idea.

  • broxibear

    There was a patent published today for a universal underwater housing enclosure for dslrs

  • Camaman

    Man I sure would like to see how the version for D4 is gonna look!
    Even more, how much its gonna cost!! 🙂

  • You must really need to do a lot of water photography or have a lot of money to spend this kind of money… I hate the fact that camera’s get updated so quick that this will possibly not work with the next revision of the V1… It’s great that they need to recoup the cost from R&D, but why not sell it cheaper and make money on quantity… sell 1 at $1650 or 10 at $500… idiots!

    • Drunkcaballo

      And if the cost to manufacture is $800?
      …then who is the idiot?

  • Not that I know ANYTHING about underwater photography, beyond that its wet….It does seem like the on camera flash here produces fairly nice results,

    I know like any type of photography you can invest, and invest, and invest, and get whole lighting rigs for underwater photography etc, but it seems be a pretty good on camera flash…am I wrong?

  • Jason Brown

    Unless you choose to shoot nothing but macro, this set will be of very limited use underwater until someone brings out a decent fisheye lens for the V1 that gives a similiar coverage to the Nikon 10.5mm fe available for DX sensor cameras and a decent dome port for the housing. For wrecks, seascapes and larger marine animals like sharks, dolphins etc, a wide angl fisheye lens is a must…

  • Ren Kockwell

    Two words. Thank God.

  • Jason Brown

    Brian et all – on camera flash is next to useless unless you’re shooting very close and in very clear water. If th flash is too close to the lens, it will produce backscatter – ie sediment in the water between the subject an the camera is illuminated. Backscatter is the one thing that all underwater photographers go out of their way to avoid…

    • Ah I see, interesting, as I said, I know 0 about it, I think I’m going to Bali in a few months, so I might start paying attention a little.

  • OK.. but for the J1??

  • Looking at the Ikelite site, I found they are not supporting any of the current crop of mirrorless cameras. For the J1, this might be the only game in town. Too bad because it costs as much a DX DSLR and an Ikelite housing when you get done. It might be a bit more compact, but that hardly matters while diving.

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