Nikon D500 review underwater housings & photography

Nikon D500 - Should You Get One?

Nikon D500 - First Look!

nikon d500 underwater housings review

Update: We've taken the Nikon D500 underwater



When I upgraded from the Nikon D80 to the Nikon D300, I was very happy - I felt like I had moved into a more professional, responsive camera with better handling and better focusing. When I purchased the D7000 after that, in some ways it felt like a step backwards. The body and handling wasn't the same, and the auto-focus wasn't the same. Of course getting the Nikon D810 cured all of those concerns, but still I think that for many of us, we have been waiting for the Nikon D300 successor for a long time.

Well, the D500 is finally arriving. On paper, it looks great. You can read our complete Nikon D500 Pre-Review here on the Underwater Photography Guide. 

What do we expect from the Nikon D500? The following:

  • Ultra-fast 10fps high speed shooting for action, behavior, sports and wildlife shots
  • Exceptional auto-focus, including in low-light
  • Great 4K video

What don't we expect?

  • Dramatically better high ISO performance (although we may be surprised)
  • A photographer's photos to suddenly get way better
  • The camera to suddenly become waterproof
  • A big increase in dynamic range (although that would be nice!)

How much of an improvement the auto-focus is over the Nikon D7100 and D7200 remains to be seen. Also, it is unclear how well, if at all, the camera will be able to auto-focus in video mode. Still, for a semi-professional or professional shooter that enjoys the "reach" of a cropped sensor when using a telephoto lens, or the flexibility of using the entire range of the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens, or the smaller size of the Nikon 10-24mm len vs the Nikon 16-35mm lens, I think the Nikon D500 is going to be an exceptional choice above and below water.


Anemone fish under boat, taken with the Nikon D810, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens

Nikon D500 Recommended Lenses

  • Tokina 10-17mm fishyeye lens
  • Nikon 10-24mm wide-angle lens for pelagics, big animals
  • Nikon 35mm prime lens for portraits
  • Nikon 105mm macro lens or Nikon 60mm macro for small fish
  • Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 for sports
  • Nikon 100-400mm F4.5-F5.6, or the Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR for wildlife

Nikon D500 Underwater Housings

We expect housings from Sea & Sea, Nauticam, Aquatica and Ikelite coming out soon after the camera is available. Sea & Sea, Nauticam and Aquatica have all really upped their game in the last couple of years, and we expect all three of those housings to offer excellent ergonomics and a vacuum system options. The Nikon D500 does not have an internal flash, so we also expect flash trigger or optical TTL options from Sea & Sea, Aquatica, and Nauticam.

We expect that the Ikelite Housing will be a solid, reliable value choice, priced well below the other three housings - with excellent built-in TTL capability when using Ikelite brand strobes.

The Sea & Sea housings have recently been slightly smaller and lighter than other housings, with an easy to use competitive outer port lock system, well placed handles, and an optional combination TTL converter / flash trigger that makes fast shooting a breeze.

The Aquatica housing is expected to have a long lasting, rugged finish, great performance in extreme conditions & depths, and comfortable controls like their previous few housing models - usually at a good price point.

Nauticam has been the market leader in previous Nikon dSLR housings, and we expect great things from their housing like the easy to use port system, controls moved to whever they deem best, and various other bells and whistles.


Overall we are very excited for this new camera from Nikon, and expect it to be great for underwater shooters, bridging the gap between the popular D7200 series cropped sensors and the high end D810 camera, allowing those that prefer the cropped sensor size to gain the more professional body and controls they also desire. Keep an eye out for more information as the housings become available. The camera is due out in April, and typically the housings follow not too long after.

Questions? Shoot us an email or call us, we're happy to help!

Nikon D500
Taken with the Nikon D7000 in La Paz, Baja, Mexico


Nkon D80, 60mm macro lens



Nikon D500 - thoughts on upgrading, best underwater housings and best lenses