The best waterproof camera housing system for professional photography work in any environment
When Nikon, Atomos, and Apple partnered up to launch the first-ever camera solution for uncompressed RAW video output for the consumer market, they wanted to make a statement. So, they asked renowned adventure photographer and Nikon ambassador Lucas Gilman, to create a showcase piece that highlights the milestone in memorable ways.
Unparalleled video capability from an affordable mirrorless camera
The Nikon Z6 camera was the first to include the required hardware and software to support the RAW video capture and output. This RAW video signal would be fed directly to the Atomos Ninja V recorder for processing, using Apple’s coding & decoding software to maximize content creator’s capacities to manipulate the video signal at its most basic level. Until then this kind of power and flexibility was only available in cameras exceeding $10,000 dollars, which were much bulkier, heavier, and more cumbersome to use. For the first time, Nikon mirrorless camera users would be able to rely on the camera’s superior optics for image capture, while able to offload the uncompressed, RAW video footage to similarly powerful processors outside the camera for processing and adjustments that meet the creator’s imaging vision.
Lucas Gilman’s vision for the project was to use California’s diverse outdoor environments as the backdrop to highlight the revolutionary benefits this technological breakthroughs provide. Lucas would use the brightness of the sand dunes, shadows of the lush redwood forests, colorful contrasts of super-blooming flowers, and the darkness of cool coastal beaches to push the technology and highlight its benefits visually. The outcome would visually illustrate the stunning lossless advantages of RAW video manipulation over compressed still and video files for imaging. These include greater dynamic range, range of color, contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, highlights control, etc.
Choosing the right waterproof solution for new cameras and lenses (cases and housings)
The challenge, therefore, to subject two priceless prototype cameras, carrying all of this new technology to the inclement conditions of the sandy dunes, dusty flower fields, and even underwater. No hard-case solution would be available, as these cameras had not commercially launched, and engineering had not yet permanently configured functionality to all the hard-wired buttons on the ‘buggy’ camera. And to make it more complex, Lucas needed to simultaneously tether (connect) the mirrorless camera to the accompanying Atomos Ninja V recorder with corresponding software.
Another Nikon Ambassador Corey Rich, and longtime Outex user suggested Outex to Lucas as a potential solution given the size, flexibility, universal design, and optical qualities of the product for Lucas’ challenging project.
After a couple of calls, Lucas was thrilled with the possibilities. The Outex underwater housing system offered the optical glass ports he wanted for uncompromised imaging results, including glass dome ports for some of the split-level and underwater footage he envisioned. The Pro Cover size large case that envelops the camera is big enough to house both the Nikon Z mirrorless camera, as well as the Ninja V Atomos recorder inside, while providing enough tactile control to operate all of the camera & recorder’s functionality via buttons, LCD screens, dials, and knobs. And the system’s lightweight and compact design would be well suited for use in all of the unpredictable environments, mud, dirt, sand, rain, and underwater.
Short film "Passages; Seeing the Unseen" by Lucas Gilman
The result was Passages: Seeing the Unseen, the short film you can watch in the above video. The film follows the adventures of Television host Kinga Philipps, as she dives in kelp forests around Catalina Island, travels thru the redwoods in Northern California, and strolls thru the super bloom and sand dunes of the central coast. The film does a great job of displaying how the technologies can capture the range of colors and light, from the deep underwater darks of the ocean footage to the bright lights and colors in the brightest environments.
Lucas used the Nikon Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras, 14-30mm f/4, 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses, combined with an Atomos Ninja V recorder, outputting ProRes RAW video. This powerful combination delivers cinematic quality results and unbound creativity in the post-editing process—and is a real breakthrough in the camera and video markets.
When it comes to underwater photography and cinematography Lucas quickly realized Outex may be not only the best solution, but the only solution available in the market. These videos show behind the scenes in the making of the film and the result of Luca's exploration, and particularly the underwater cinematography work using the Outex Pro Kit (large) and the dome and flat glass ports for image capture.
NAB 2019 Show Announcement
About professional photographer Lucas Gilman
Lucas Gilman is one of the leading adventure photographers and filmmakers in the industry for the last 20 years. He currently resides in Pismo Beach, CA. His powerful and incisive images run in top publications & advertisements worldwide. A love of adventure and an addiction to color creates his distinct style of photography and filmmaking. Lucas documents subjects ranging from expedition kayaking in India and Costa Rica, Surfing in Brazil to backcountry skiing in Wyoming, Alaska and South America. He has covered international events such as the Tour De France, Kentucky Derby, ESPN X-GAMES, IRONMAN® and NFL Playoffs. Lucas regularly works with advertising and editorial clients that span the globe including: Land Rover, Nikon, SanDisk®, Red Bull, G-Technology, Garmin™, GORE-TEX® National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, ESPN.com and Outside Magazine. Lucas was featured on the NBC TODAY Show and MSNBC for documenting the 2nd largest waterfall ever successfully descended in a kayak. He also appeared as a guest on Good Morning America sharing his story and short film on documenting the first successful descent of Abiqua Falls in central Oregon. CNN profiled Lucas during primetime and highlighted his Abiqua Falls video footage and behind the scenes work. Lucas was a finalist in the 2014 Red Bull Illume worldwide photography competition which saw more than 32,000 images submitted. Lucas was featured by Apple in their Keynote launching the new Mac Pro. He recently documented the largest waterfall ever run - The 189 foot tall Palouse Falls in Washington State.
Interview with the cinematographer
You can also watch the full interview about the experience between Outex co-found JR deSouza and cinematographer Lucas Gilman in this Outdoor Photo Series episode. Enjoy.