Gizmodo has an interesting piece up about a top-secret digital version of the now discontinued Nikon Nikonos waterproof camera that was developed for use by Navy SEALs.
This Nikonos was a total mystery. A secret that not many people knew about until recently. In fact, its existence was repeatedly denied by the manufacturer, even after the US Navy published this photo, showing a member of SEAL Team One equipped with one and the following caption:
980608-N-3236B-003 NAVAL AIR BASE CORONADO, California (June 8, 1998) — Navy SEALs attached to SEAL Team One, Naval Air Base Coronado, CA, conducts training using the Nikon/Kodak DCS 425 underwater digital camera which can send real time digital images to decision makers, and an LPI LPD tracking device uses brevity codes to send both mission status and precise longitude/latitude. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer Mate 2nd Class Ted Banks. (RELEASED)
Pretty interesting stuff and kind of odd to see the branding intact on the model used by the SEALs. The Gizmodo article makes a good point that it’s a shame the consumer version was discontinued; even if you don’t do underwater photography, it would make for an excellent no hassle all weather setup. More info and links can be found in the original article.
Apparently there’s a pretty good used market for these; all you aspiring SEALs can start planning your beach assaults with a nice rig like this. I’d like to see a digital model, but aesthetically I’m still partial to the original 35mm version: