The new Nauticam NA-IP4/5 is a great compact housing allowing you to turn your iPhone into an underwater camera. I was lucky enough to have Chris Parsons from Nauticam deliver the housing during our season with oceanic whitetip sharks on Cat Island, in the Bahamas. The housing performed great and I was really happy with its versatility and the quality of photos I was able to get.
Loading and unloading the iPhone is a breeze and Nauticam’s locking system makes closing the housing easy and reliable, helping to get over some of the anxiety of brining my iPhone underwater. The housing is negatively buoyant, so the included wrist lanyard is appreciated. It can accommodate any of the iPhone 4 or 5 models with a simple adjustment of a few small rubber tabs inside the housing. The lens face may need to be turned around 180 degrees depending on which phone you’re using to align the camera properly so there is no vignetting. This lens face also has a 32mm thread so that you may add a variety of filters and adapters, such as color correction and wide angle, two things I’m really excited to try.
Nauticam came up with an ingenious shutter button which makes taking photos very intuitive, and allows for one handed operation. The joystick style main button takes a bit of getting used to, but gives you access to other features such as changing the mode (single shot, continuous, video, and playback), as well a picture review, zoom, and power saver mode. The power saving mode is important to conserve battery life and pressing any button will wake the camera up without any delay.
Nauticam’s app is very easy to use and has a few neat features to improve your experience. The app is capable of tagging the photos with date, time, and location, and can display this information as an overlay on the main screen. It also comes with dive log that has a really nice user interface to keep track of your experiences. It’s important to place the Nauticam app in your dock. In the event that the app crashes, you can only restart it if it is in the dock.
I must say, I was excited have the housing for this week. It was a convenient way to capture some great images and be able to engage in social media with a few taps on my phone. I would normally leave my iPhone at home but this housing kept it safe on the boat in between dives. It performs great as both a still and video camera to take away and share great memories, and leaving the big SLR rig on the boat gave me a chance to enjoy my time in the water with much more freedom. I’m sure there is even more potential for this idea, like lens filters and adapters that are already available, to potential app upgrades to integrate photo effects and social media connectivity. I’m excited to dive with it again and will be trying it soon at Tiger Beach!
Check out this video captured with the iPhone while diving with Great Hammerheads in Bimini this year!
Interested in getting a Nauticam iPhone housing of your own? Check out Reef Photo & Video to get yours!