Nauticam announces housing for OM-D E-M1

Nauticam has announced that they are now shipping their housing for the Olympus OM-D EM1 mirrorless camera. The NA-EM1 features a vacuum leak detection system as standard, an externally accessed port lock, built-in handles and fiber optic bulkheads for strobe triggering. In addition, there is support for a large number of micro 4/3s lenses.

Limited quantities of the housing are available now at a U.S.A. retail price of $1850.

Press release.

Housing for Olympus OM-D E-M1

Nauticam announces the release of the NA-EM1, the latest in its acclaimed line of precision crafted underwater camera housings. Nauticam has trail-blazed the path in mirrorless housings and is pleased to announce an exceptional housing for the best mirrorless camera to date, the Olympus OM-D E-M1. While this housing incorporates some of the best features of the Nauticam housing for the E-M5, the NA-EM1 is a new design, pushing the boundary further towards the ideal human-machine interface.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the most capable micro four-thirds (m4/3) camera available and aims squarely at the pro and high end enthusiast. With a slew of customizable controls and extensive menu options, the proud owner of the E-M1 can personalize this camera like perhaps no other. The NA-EM1 takes advantage of the E-M1’s extensive control set and huge lens selection and brings them into the underwater realm in the most innovative, best engineered, and most ergonomic camera housing available.

The NA-EM1 Housing

Nauticam is simply not content to rest on previous successes like the renowned NA-EM5. Given the large number of densely packed controls on the camera, the E-M1 housing presented a challenge in itself. The designers and engineers at Nauticam sought to not only meet this challenge, but take the human-machine interface a step further and keep the focus not on making it easier to make the housing, but to make the housing easier to use. An example is the new integrated handle system; with the pro shooter in mind, this housing is designed for use with the hand on the handle in a manner reminiscent of Nauticam SLR housings. The result is a housing that is easier to hold and is more stable, and is easier to shoot.

One of the hallmarks of Nauticam housings has always been the secure Locking Port Release system, unique in that it utilizes an internal bayonet system. Nauticam’s SLR housings have always featured a red locking lever that has become the symbol of Nauticam innovation. This iconic control has now come to the mirrorless world, making port changes faster, easy and just as secure. No wrestling, no twisting, no misalignment - just seat and lock.

Integrated Electronic Vacuum Check and Leak Detection System

The NA-EM1 ships with Nauticam’s new vacuum system with integrated electronic vacuum and leak detection monitoring system for extra piece of mind. A simple coded LED lighting system lets the user know that the watertight integrity is solid. The NA-EM1 ships with a bulkhead port for installing the optional vacuum valves.

Key NA-EM1 Features:

Lenses from previous Olympus four-thirds DSLR cameras are also now supported with the optional extension ring. The gearing in the focus/zoom knob mates with the original gears from Olympus.

Of course, the sort of quality and robustness that has become synonymous with the Nauticam name is present with this housing as well. Milled from solid aluminum, the housing is depth rated at 100m and built to last. Exceptional care is taken to reduce any possibility of galvanic corrosion, and the housing is hard anodized to stay looking great after years of use.

The Nauticam brand is known for superior ergonomics in all their underwater camera housings. The NA-EM1 will only enhance that reputation. Every control is well thought out. Every button, lever and switch is considered not in terms of what is easier for the designer, but what is best for the shooter.

The key shooting controls are all easily accessed with the right hand with very little finger movement required. What’s more, since virtually all of the controls on this camera are programmable, the shooter can customize exactly how the rig will respond to the touch. Shoot, change aperture, shoot, change shutter speed, flip to video, change shutter speed, start recording, change ISO - all easily accessible, and all without long reaches that can cause blurry images, mis-framing and shaky video.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Camera

The E-M1 can be thought of as two cameras in one. First, it is the successor to the very popular E-M5, building on the success of that m4/3 camera. Second, Olympus has positioned the E-M1 to replace its line of four thirds DSLR’s, opting to support the line of excellent Olympus 4/3 in addition to m4/3 lenses. Olympus has successfully joined these two objectives into a camera that is attracting professional shooters who want DLSR quality in a smaller package.

The E-M1 sports up to 10 frames per second continuous shooting with AF locked or 6.5 fps with autofocus. Notably, it allows for 1/320 flash sync speed - very useful for underwater shooters working on shooting towards the sun. It also features built-in WiFi and access to a broad range of Olympus M.Zuiko m4/3 lenses and the excellent Panasonic m4/3 lenses. Via an adapter the camera is also designed to accept classic four-thirds (Zuiko) DSLR lenses, and even features a special phase detection focus mode for these lenses. The camera shines in its retro styled, dustproof/splashproof (and even freeze proof) magnesium alloy construction body.

The camera offers so many features that it is difficult to list them all. Focus peaking, image stabilization, programmable dual control dials, pre-viewable HDR, 12 in-camera art filters, interval shooting and Time Lapse Video are just a few of the features available. In short, this is a lot of camera packed into a small body. DPReview.com sums it up like this:

Bottom line: if you want to feel like you’re shooting with a DSLR, but still want the size and agility of a mirrorless camera, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than the E-M1.”

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Key Features (and notes for underwater shooters):

  1. MOS Four Thirds format sensor with no low-pass filter (quality capture with smaller lenses).
  2. ISO 100-25,600 (very good high ISO, low light performance).
  3. Excellent Lens Range, including Olympus m.Zuiko, Zuiko, and Panasonic (Panasonic 8mm, Olympus 60mm, Olympus 12-50mm).
  4. 3” 1.0m dot tilting LCD (wide viewing angle, easy to see in bright sun).
  5. High resolution EVF (can use optional enhanced viewfinders).
  6. Fast Contrast Detection AF + Phase Detection for 4/3 lenses (fast reliable AF).
  7. Video with 1080p at 30fps (great video quality).
  8. In-Body 5-Axis Image Stabilization (slower shutter speed shots possible).

Lens Support

Nauticam believes that every lens that makes sense to be used underwater should be supported, and the existing lineup of ports for m4/3 lenses is extensive. Nauticam carefully evaluates new lenses, and is often first to market with support when a new lens is offered. One of the advantages of the m4/3 system is that lenses from both Olympus and Panasonic can be used, and between the two, an excellent selection of lenses for underwater use is available, from the Panasonic 8mm fisheye to the Olympus 60mm macro.

Examples of supported lenses for E-M1:

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6
Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.5
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power OIS
Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS
Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.
Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4


Nauticam supplies a wide range of optional accessories that make the rig very customizable. For example, Nauticam’s NA-DP4 housing for the Small HD DP4 Monitor can take video performance to another level by rendering the video image in a position more amenable to the shooter. The monitor housing easily mounts to the top of the NA-EM1 and utilizes the optional HDMI Bulkhead for true HDMI connectivity. Utilizing DP4 features like Focus Peaking, Focus Assist, False Color, 1:1 Mapping and more, this larger monitor vastly improves composition, focus capability and exposure. Nauticam produces a “straight” 180º enlarging viewfinder and a 45º angled enlarging viewfinder to enhance the ease of close quarters work often associated with macro shooting. Both viewfinders have high quality optics allow viewing of the entire image. 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.

Optional accessories available for the NA-EM1:

Interchangeable back window to allow 180º Enhanced Viewfinder or 45º Enhanced Viewfinder use.
Complete line of ports and gears for all major lenses.
Locking port extension rings.
Monitor Housing for SmallHD DP4 Monitor and Atomos Ninja-2 Recorder/Monitor.
Fiber optic cables for Inon and Sea & Sea.
Full line of mounting accessories for lighting, including mount balls, strobe adapters, arms, clamps, and specialty items.
Multiple styles of lanyards.
Lens holders, including flip-up.
Vacuum Check Valves.
Nauticam Super Macro Converter.

The Bottom Line

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the flagship Olympus m4/3 camera, and the most advanced mirrorless camera available. Nauticam is the preeminent designer and manufacturer of underwater camera gear for m4/3. No other vendor has Nauticam’s experience in mirrorless housings; in fact, most housing manufacturers missed the boat on the Olympus E-M5. Many are likely to try to play catch up with the E-M1, but Nauticam’s experience, combined with a relentless drive to continue innovation, means that the best housing for this excellent camera will be the Nauticam NA-EM1.


Depth Rating: 100m
Weight: TBA
Dimensions (with handles mounted): TBA

Model Number: 17806
U.S.A. Retail price: $1850
Available in Limited Quantities Dec 20, 2013

More information is available from Nauticam USA. A full USA dealer list is also available.

Contact Nauticam USA:

Chris Parsons
Nauticam USA
2303 N. Andrews Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale
FL 33311.
Phone: 954-489-8678. Web. Email.

About Nauticam USA:

Nauticam USA is the exclusive wholesale distributor of Nauticam products in the North American Market. Nauticam USA’s warehouse and service center is located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Our staff of underwater photography experts strives to provide the best customer support and after sale service available. Dealer enquiries are welcome!

Please email for dealer enquiries Outside of North & South America.

See here for an International Dealer Listing.