Sony A6500 Underwater housing by Nauticam
Sony a6500 is the latest high performance mirrorless interchangeable lens camera placed in the Sony E Mount lineup. Similar in size to many compact cameras, the a6500 body surrounds a large APS-C image sensor with fast and accurate autofocus performance. The a6500 is an incredible camera for underwater imaging (both stills and motion) when paired with the ergonomic, rugged, and down right good looking Nauticam housing. The combo excels at fast action still photo shooting, 4K video, and everything in between.
THE SONY A6500
The a6500 predecessor, a6300, unveiled incredible enhancements in all aspects of performance. All of those features remain in the a6500, alongside some significant upgrades.
The most notable new feature is 5 axis in-body image stabilization. This means that every lens – even retro manual glass from previous rangefinder systems, benefits from image stabilization. Modern Sony OS lenses work in conjunction with the in-body system for even greater stabilization. Underwater photographers can use this feature to allow slower shutter speeds in low light or available light situations, brighten backgrounds, and as a “steady shot” function when shooting video.
The focus system is astounding, with the fastest auto focus acquisition of any interchangeable lens digital camera available, and the highest number of phase detect focus points. These 425 focus points spread across almost the entire frame help the camera accurately track subject motion in all directions. This phase detect AF system has an uncanny ability to track moving subjects, dramatically improving the accuracy of continuous focus.
A high resolution, low-lag electronic viewfinder provides an experience remarkably like an optical viewfinder, with minimal delay. Uninterrupted live view while shooting at up to 8fps is possible, reducing the “blackout” that previous mirrorless cameras have when shooting bursts of photos. The a6500 live view display is much like a digital SLR, with minimal blackout between shots. The a6500 is capable of 4K video capture. The camera records a 20 megapixel (6K!) portion of its sensor, then resamples in body to produce an extremely sharp low noise image.
A more extensive buffer with a newly developed front-end chip that provides more processing power increases the burst shooting capacity to 300 JPEG or 107 Raw images at 11 fps with full autofocus and autoexposure. Instant image review is possible, even while images are being written to the card. This expanded buffer means you can shoot continuously at 11 fps for 14 seconds!
Operationally, the camera is extremely intuitive. A new touch screen can be used for focus point selection. New C1 and C2 buttons provide even more extensive customizability (with 10 total customizable buttons). The extensive menu system has been reorganized, and is much easier to navigate.
24MP CMOS APS-C sensor
425-point on-sensor phase-detection AF system
11 fps continuous shooting for up to 300 JPEGs / 100 Raws (8 fps continuous live view without blackout)
5-axis in-body image stabilization
2.4m dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder with 120 fps refresh rate
Tilting Rear Touch Screen
Silent shooting in continuous drive (3 fps with AF/AE)
Max ISO of 51200
4K video capture up to 100 Mbps
Phase-detect AF compatible with A-mount lenses via LA-EA3 adapter
Magnesium alloy design with upgraded dust and moisture resistance
Improved hand grip
THE NAUTICAM NA-A6500 UNDERWATER HOUSING
Nauticam is the industry leader in mirrorless interchangeable lens underwater camera support. Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E (NEX) Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.
Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality wet mount wide angle lens (the WWL-1) combine with the NA-A6500 housing to form a complete imaging system.
Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.
NA-A6500 features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style is well proven on the full frame NA-A7 and NA-A7II housings for Sony Full Frame (FE) cameras. Exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, and ideal placement of the shutter release and AE-L / AF-L buttons at the right handle.
Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.
WWL-1, CMC-1 AND CMC-2
Three in-house Nauticam optical designs, designed by founder and Managing Director Edward Lai, are the perfect lenses to complete an a6500 underwater system. The magic of the wet lenses is their tremendous versatility, paired with outstanding in-water performance. Both macro and super wide angle optics are available to the underwater photographer on the same dive. These lenses are completely engineered for use in water, providing the highest image quality available today in a wet mount optic.
WWL-1 is a wide angle conversion lens, compatible with several lenses in the Sony system. The field of view is widest when paired with the Sigma 19mm f2.8 DN Lens, providing 130 degree diagonal field of view. WWL-1 is also an ideal match for the Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS lens providing over 100 degree diagonal field of view with full zoom through! With either lens on camera, class leading center sharpness, corner sharpness, and contrast result in the clearest wide angle images possible underwater.
CMC-1 and CMC-2 provide the best macro performance available, with two different magnification strengths, suitable for a wide variety of macro subjects. With the popular Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS lens, CMC-1 is capable of capturing a macro frame 26mm wide, while CMC-2 captures a area 33mm wide. CMC-2 is less strong, making it easier to use with more accurate autofocus. CMC-1 is best suited for the smallest of macro subjects. Macro enthusiasts will surely want both!
FLASH CONNECTORS FOR INON S-TTL, SEA & SEA DS-TTL
Reliable automatic flash exposure is available with the NA-A6500 and a variety of optically fired flashes. The Inon Z-240, D-2000, S-2000, and Sea & Sea YS-D1/YS-D2 strobes provide automated lighting, precisely reproducing the camera’s onboard flash at a proportionally greater intensity. This system yields accurate automatic TTL flash performance – even in manual mode – with no electrical sync cables to flood! The NA-A6500 comes fiber optic ready and accepts standard Sea & Sea style bushing connections. Nauticam Fiber Optic cables, available for both Inon and Sea & Sea strobes, provide the best light transmission and therefore more accurate TTL of any fiber optic cable on the market.
Strobes and light arms can be attached to the housing via included 1? accessory mounting balls. The housing also features a cold-shoe and M10 threaded mount for a focus light or other accessories.
Electrical strobe triggering (with power set manually on the flash head) is still an option for those with an investment in legacy lighting gear, requiring the purchase of an accessory electrical bulkhead.
INTEGRATED VACUUM CHECK AND LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM
The Nauticam vacuum check and leak detection system is available with NA-A6500 as standard equipment. Combined with an optional vacuum valve (PN 25624), this monitoring system provides constant updates on the water tight and safe-to-dive status of the housing. A simple coded LED lighting system lets the user know that the vacuum is solid, or that the housing is losing vacuum. Leak detection is built into the same circuit, so if there is water intrusion, an audible and visual indication will occu