Nauticam NA-GH4 housing for Panasonic Lumix GH4 camera
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Relentless innovation demands that a new housing be designed for the GH4 and is able to incorporate new features that have debuted on more recent Nauticam housings, not to mention a couple of new features that are first seen in the new NA-GH4. One first is the unique placement of the ISO control. ISO is key for video exposure (think “gain” if you come from the video or cinema worlds), and this new control makes changing ISO very quick and easy, essentially re-routing this control back to the right thumb. The button is just in the right place, ideal for quick access but not easily bumped accidentally.
Another key concern for video – white balance – is achieved with another control that is re-routed for maximum ease of use. A push lever, accessible by the right thumb with no reach, engages the white balance button. From there, any of the white balance settings can be accessed, including any of the four custom white balance banks. To perform a custom white balance, the shooter would press the up arrow, point the camera to the white balance target, and press the OK button, all easily accomplished with an absolute minimum of reach.
Nauticam has always featured the only over-molded rubberized handles in the industry… the NA-GH4 now not only includes the handles, but they are angled forward at just the right angle for shooting steady video. The handle placements are adjustable horizontally, and include a stabilizing bracket that steadies the rig with heavy lighting attached.
The two command dials (Aperture and Shutter Speed) are at the fingertips, and can be reversed to put aperture on the forward dial if that is the shooters preference. The GH4 features 5 programmable custom functions, and they are all placed for easy reach. The combination lever and button of the GH4’s AFS/AFC/Manual + AF/AE Lock is separated to two separate controls, making the AF On function available for “Thumb Focus.” The GH4 allows autofocus via this button even with the lever set to Manual Focus, meaning switching between thumb focus and half press focus style can be done instantly. The Video Record button is engaged via a button placed at the right thumb, and easily is distinguished from other pushbutton functions.
One of the programmable functions (typically Fn5) is used to switch between the EVF and OLED panels. For shooters who decide they do not need to switch, Fn5 could be re-programmed for other functions, such as Photo Style, Video Recording Quality, VFR, Peaking, or any of dozens of other functions.
The housing gains a new-style port locking mechanism, which will be familiar to people who have seen Nauticam SLR housings. This locking lever made it’s mirrorless debut with the Nauticam NA-EM1 housing, and is an iconic symbol of Nauticam innovation. The new locking lever makes port changes effortless, quick, and just as secure.
Tripod users will find 3 1/4-20 tripod holes, with extra space allotted for the width of standard tripod plates, meaning the housing can easily be opened with tripod plate attached.
The NA-GH4 comes standard with the Nauticam vacuum system electronics built in. By default, this serves as a audible and visual leak detector, but add a Nauticam M14 Vacuum Valve, (p/n# 25611) and it becomes a vacuum check system – confirming watertight integrity before, during and after the dive – which means peace of mind.
Milled from solid aluminum, the housing is rated to 100m/330ft depth, and is rugged and ready for use!
MAGNIFYING OPTICAL VIEWFINDERS
Nauticam produces a “straight” 180º magnifying viewfinder (p/n#32201) and a 45º angled viewfinder (p/n#32202) that provide a bright, corner to corner view of the GH4’s excellent EVF. A patented external dioptric adjustment allows personal adjustment to a sharp-as-a-tack standard underwater and viewfinder changes can be executed in less than 30 seconds without using tools. Exceptional composition and focus accuracy have never been more accessible. An optional LCD window (p/n # 17751), containing the viewfinder mounting ring, is required to attach these finders. For owners of NA-GH3, this is the same window used for that housing.
MONITORING OR RECORDING
Video shooters will want to consider an external monitor or recorder. The monitor makes shooting considerably easier in some scenarios, allowing the user to position the monitor for better viewing when the housing is in a tight spot or at a difficult viewing angle.
Nauticam produces a housing for the SmallHD DP4, a high contrast, easy to use HDMI monitor. This camera + monitor combinations offers several options for how shooting data is displayed on the monitor, LCD or viewfinder, including an option to show enlarged shooting data only on the LCD, or dim the LCD and display everything on the monitor. The camera is also noticeably faster than typical SLR’s in syncing with the DP4.
For recording, Nauticam produces a housing for the Atomos Ninja 2, allowing for 220 Mb/sec HD ProRes recording and monitoring. The GH4 is also capable of producing 4K 4:2:2 10bit output via HDMI 1.4. Future plans include a possible housing for additional Atomos products, including the upcoming Atomos Shogun, which will allow for 4K 4:2:2 10bit capture.
|Camera model||Panasonic Lumix GH4|