Olympus E-PL5 - Nauticam NA-RX100
Olympus E-PL5 Camera with 14-42mm lens and Olympus PT-EP10 Underwater Case
›› Micro Four-Thirds sensor size similar to that of SLRs
›› Interchangeable lenses allow for more-flexible compositions and dive planning
›› Olympus housing has two fiber-optic connectors for adding strobes
Like other mirrorless cameras, the Olympus E-PL5 offers the image quality and lens flexibility of an SLR but in a body the size of a compact camera. The large Micro Four-Thirds sensor means superior image quality, and the E-PL5 has an amazingly fast autofocus. The PT-EP10 from Olympus is designed specifically for the camera, keeping the entire system to a luggage-friendly size. Contact: backscatter.com MSRP: $747, housing; $699, camera plus lens kit
Nauticam NA-RX100 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC -RX100
›› Camera has a class-leading 20.2 megapixel sensor
›› You can shoot 1080p full HD video at 60 fps for slow-motion footage
›› Aluminum housing doesn’t add much extra bulk
This system gives new meaning to the term “luxury compact.” Sony stretched the limits of a pocket- size compact camera with the RX100. Built around a mind-boggling 20-megapixel 1-inch CMOS sensor, and impressive f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss 28-100mm lens, this camera is for divers who want the highest resolution and lens quality in a compact. Nauticam matches Sony’s innovation with its professional- grade aluminum housing, with a dedicated video button for shooting video. Contact: nauticamusa.com MSRP: $950, housing; $650, camera
There’s never been a better time to jump into the world of underwater photography. Here are eight compact systems and six cool accessories to help you get started.
The race among manufacturers to create smaller cameras with more features — while keeping prices low — has led to a range of do-it-all compacts suitable for beginners or savvy semi-pros. It’s tough to keep up with the ever-changing technology, but manufacturers are doing just that — creating innovative, high-quality housings that enable photographers to access a camera’s cool features. We’ve selected eight new systems — all starting at less than $2,000 — along with six must-have accessories, perfect for those looking to get started in underwater photography.