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First Look – Aquatica AD600 Housing

The engineering team at Aquatica have introduce an all new housing for Nikon’s D600 full frame digital SLR camera with 24 MP.  Visit DPReview for their Nikon D600 In-Depth Review

The Aquatica AD600 housing features many of the same design functions and ergonomics of their already successful D800 housing, but with a few refinements.

Aquatica AD600_2

Aquatica AD600_3Among them, direct access to the Fn button, via an easy to reach and unique design push button array, which includes two buttons to toggle the camera’s Live View button all conveniently located on the rear of the housing. With it, the D600’s multi-controller pad, made accessible with a simple and proven design four button configured around an oversize SET button in the center still remains in the same easy reach location.

All push buttons are of high quality Type 304 stainless steel and operate smoothly for a natural feel and intuitive operation. 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.

The AF-L/AE-L button access is provided with a lever right under the users thumb. Menus buttons are angled to provide better access for your left hand. The AD600 also uses the new 4th generation lens gears system with a smaller housing pinion gear and a larger lens gear, the results is a smoother action while zooming in a video sequence.  Primary knobs for focus and zoom are oversized and knurled for easy operation no matter what the situation is.

The housing features an internal flash up/flash down capability, a quick access ISO lever that is thumb actuated and a total of three access holes are provided to accept various accessories such as our remote trigger (# 19306), Hydrophone and/or external monitors.

Aquatica AD600_5

Since the AD600 is equipped for broadcast quality 1080p HD video functions, all video controls are designed for easy reach and smooth operation. On the right side of the housing, the record lever has been relocated closer to where your index would rest.

A newly designed camera tray first introduced in the AD4 housing 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. Control knobs are knurled and oversized for easy operation in all conditions.

Over the years, UWJ has had numerous opportunities to observe and admire the impressive durability of Aquatica’s housings. To be expected, the lightweight (for its size) AD600 benefits from the finest material available in the metallurgic industry and is carefully crafted from a selected alloy of aircraft-grade aluminum.

Aquatica AD600_4

The housing is machined on the latest five-axis (CNC) computer assisted milling 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, with some housing’s with more than 1,500 dives on them that still looking as fresh as the day they came out of the box.

The AD600 has a depth rating of 90m/300ft, but can be upgraded to have an operational depth rating of 130m/425ft.

Of course, the integral part to the AD600 housing is that it can utilize nearly all the same ports and accessories made available to other housings in Aquatica’s DSLR lineup.

The AD600 comes supplied with Aquatica’s own Galileo type eyepiece standard, but can be up graded any time to either the straight 180 or 45-degree model Aqua View Finders.

Aquatica’s trademark molded grips—the industry standard of comfort for the last 25 years, are both lightweight and nearly unbreakable. Made of composite plastic that never comes unglued or corrodes they feature mounting holes in the top for mounting hardware like TLC system arms and brackets. 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.

Aquatica has the most comprehensive selection of easily interchangeable strobe connectors in the industry. The 20072-NK has two of the classic 5 pins Nikonos connectors and the 20072-KT is supplied with a time proven 5 pins Ikelite connector. Both version are ready to accept currently available TTL converter, S-TTL is also available with the 20072-OPT through optical connectivity with either of the supplied Sea & Sea and Inon type adapters. Lastly the 20072-HYB offers both a classic Nikonos and an optical connector giving the housing the ultimate choice in strobes selection. Bulkheads are now replaceable in the field without the need for specialized tools.

Anyone familiar with the fact that Aquatica housings are built in Canada, and engineered to perform in one of the world most rugged diving environments.

The announced retail price for the AD600 is at just 3,199.00 USD.

D600 features at a glance:

-           Image area (FX to DX and vice versa)

-           Convert to depth of field Preview

-           FV Lock (lock the flash value)

-           AE/AF Lock

-           AE Lock only

-           AE Lock (Reset on release)

-           AE Lock (Hold)

-           AF Lock only

-           AF-ON

-           Flash Off

-           Bracketing burst

-           Active Lighting

-           Metering pattern

-           Framing Grid

-           Personalized Menu

-           Playback

-           1 Step Speed/aperture shift

For more information and availability, please contact your dealer or Aquatica at info@aquatica.ca

About the author  ⁄ Walt Stearns

Walt Stearns started as a freelance photojournalist in 1985. Over the span of his career, Walt Stearns has become known as one of the most prolific and frequently published photojournalists in boating, fishing and diving media, with more than 8,000 articles and 20,00 images published, as well as video work for broadcast outlets such as the Discovery Channel and the BBC to producers like Wild Horizon’s Ltd. Connect with me on Google+