The Nikonos was the underwater camera for decades. I owned a Nikonos II that was well known for being able to survive a flooding or two. I the days of film, more advanced divers and watersport photographers would invest in a housing for their SLRs, while the vacationer usually had a waterproof disposable camera or a basic waterproof underwater camera to choose from. But the mid range was dominated by Nikonos, and the sales of these cameras dwarfed the high- and low-end underwater/waterproof markets. Judging by the plethora of Nikonoses still in circulation on eBay, there is still a viable market to be addressed.
Fast-forward to our magically fantastic digital age:
- Definitely no $10 underwater digital disposable option
- Waterproof point & shoot cameras cost 2x-3x their film counterparts
- Underwater housings for regular point & shoot cameras cost as much as the camera itself
- SLR housings are widely available with prices starting at around $1,000 USD
Notice something missing? The list is kind of lacking in the mid-range. For this type of photography, you either have to choose a P&S camera with its mediocre optics or invest in a SLR, lens, dome, housing, and insurance! With all of this MFT hoopla as of late reinvigorating the weekend warrior photographic market, can we bring back one of the most popular and successful tools for the real photo warriors?