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Misool Eco Resort  and Seven Seas Auction Photo

Misool Eco Resort and Seven Seas Auction

Misool Eco Resort has announced plans to expand their existing 425 sq km No-Take Zone in Raja Ampat, Indonesia to over 1200 sq km.  This will safeguard some of the world richest reefs against fishing, shark finning, blast fishing, and turtle poaching in an area twice the size of Singapore.

To help fund the expansion, Misool Eco Resort and The Seven Seas are auctioning off a 14-night combination trip in February 2011.  A charter of 14 guests will be joined by  renowned Conservation International marine scientists Dr Mark Erdmann and Dr Gerry Allen.  The opening bid is 96,500 USD, and all the profits benefit the Daram Project.  Auction closes 31 May 2010.  Please visit Daram Project for more information

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Canon 5D Mark II Firmware 2.0.3 Release Imminent Photo

Canon 5D Mark II Firmware 2.0.3 Release Imminent

Canon’s long awaited firmware update for the 5D Mark II full frame SLR is due for release sometime later this month. The update adds frame rates of 24p and 25p and updates the 30p frame rate to 29.97 fps to match television production standards. In addition, audio capability has been increased, with the audio sampling increased to 48KHz, and a new manual levels control. A histogram display now facilitates exposure control during video capture. Aperture and Shutter Priority modes are now available when shooting video.

Sadly, this update does not bring the 5D Mark II parity with the manufacturer’s 7D and 1D Mark IV bodies, as the 720/60p frame rate is conspicuously absent. This is no doubt due to a limitation in the original hardware.The 5D Mark II helped spark a revolution in video acquisition using SLRs, and this firmware update represents an important step forward in harnessing that capability.

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Underwater Photography Magazine #53 now available for download Photo

Underwater Photography Magazine #53 now available for download

The latest issue of Underwater Photography Magazine (UwP) is now available for download. Its a bumper 67-page issue full of news and helpful articles.

This issue has reviews of the Canon 7D and Aquatica housing, Olympus E620 as well as the Memory Kick storage device. There’s a big feature on Shooting Great White Sharks, a visit to the Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Seasons of marine life and a dive on a Sunken Goose! UwP Magazine is free to download and keep on your computer to read whenever you like.

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Backscatter’s best point and shoot systems for 2010 Photo

Backscatter’s best point and shoot systems for 2010

Our friends Berkley White and Jim Decker over at Backscatter have again come up with an excellent article on their recommendations for the best underwater point and shoot systems for 2010.

This evaluation is a terrific resource if you’re deciding on your very first underwater camera system, upgrading to the latest and greatest, or searching for a back-up. Evaluation criteria in the list includes wide-angle lens compatibility, manual exposure control, highlight warnings and histograms, as well as slave TTL strobe capability. Read the full article at the Backscatter website here.

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Barry Guimbellot designs DIY small dome port for CFWA Photo

Barry Guimbellot designs DIY small dome port for CFWA

Close-focus wide angle photography and the limitations of large dome ports has been a hot topic of late. Wetpixel member Barry Guimbellot (Dupsbear) explores what it takes to build a small dome port for his Nexus housing:

After reading on Wetpixel about the luck Alex Mustard and some others were having with the Tokina lens and a 1.4X teleconverter, I decided to give the combination a try as well.

Frustration quickly set in as I found my large dome port would not let me get as close as I wanted for shooting close focus wide angle.  Even more frustrating was the price of a small dome port for my lens, so I decided to build a small port for my Nexus housing…

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Sea & Sea MDX-D300s housing is now available at dealers. Photo

Sea & Sea MDX-D300s housing is now available at dealers.

Sea & Sea’s MDX-D300s housing is now available. The new housing has many improvements including 2 fiber optic ports for using the built-in strobe on the camera. The housing is bigger than the older D300 due to the accommodation of the extended built-in strobe. However this will enable the user to use Nikon’s iTTL without a converter. The specifications for weight is about the same as the D300 housing.

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Sea & Sea announces MDX-7D housing  for the Canon EOS 7D Photo

Sea & Sea announces MDX-7D housing for the Canon EOS 7D

Sea & Sea announces their latest housing on Facebook, the MDX-7D for the Canon EOS 7D. The new housing has a depth rating of 100m/330ft and includes 2 optical strobe ports for fiber optic compatible strobes. It is estimated to be available in March. They also announced their Spring promotion, where discounts of up to $800 are available for housing and ports purchased together. More details are available from their dealers.

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Ocean Views Photography Awards 2010 final call for entries Photo

Ocean Views Photography Awards 2010 final call for entries

Nature’s Best Photography and Divers Alert Network (DAN) are proud to announce a new alliance to host the third annual Ocean Views Photography Awards, open to all levels of photographers from around the world. Share your passion for the ocean to help inspire a global audience to learn about and protect this fragile realm. A selection of winning images will appear in upcoming editions of Nature’s Best Photography and Alert Divers magazines, and will be featured as Internet presentations on Pixcetera, MSNBC, Discovery Network International, and other online galleries. Cash, trips, and equipment are also being awarded to contest winners.

Deadline for entry is this coming Monday, March 1, 2010.

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