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RED Scarlet repositions in the market Photo

RED Scarlet repositions in the market

In a discussion, it seems that Jim Jannard of RED has decided not to bring a prosumer camera model to market and that RED will focus on the high-end professional market:

“We recently came to the conclusion that, indeed, we cater to the professional market. That’s it. A pro camera company. We want to build the best tools possible for those that want to “man up”. There are plenty of companies dedicated to selling prosumer (short for “almost right”) cameras. We aren’t going to be one of them.”

The price of Scarlet is to go up $1000 as new sensors are introduced. These HDRx models will give 18 stops of dynamic range as well as other new features, and will inevitably result in a further delayed release. In the forum, the suggestion seems to be that that RED’s change in direction is exactly that, not a failure and that if RED manage to release a sub-$10000 camera with the features they want to, it will still be a great product especially of interest to underwater filmmakers.

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Underwater Festival 2011 details released Photo

Underwater Festival 2011 details released

Details and a promotional video has been released about the Underwater Festival 2011. Taking place between 2-11 September 2011, the Festival plans to incorporate 100 events during the 10 days, as well as a still and video shootout that will happen over all of Australasia during the Festival dates.

The top 100 images will be showcased at the new Australian Dive & Travel Expo ODEX in Brisbane on the first weekend in October 2011 and there are many prizes available.

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Petition to update Nikon D7000 firmware Photo

Petition to update Nikon D7000 firmware

Nikon’s new mid-range model, the D7000, is already the subject of a petition asking for upgraded video firmware. The camera was released at Photokina last month and is not yet shipping. The petition asks for Nikon to consider the addition of more frame rate options, a 720 60p/50p option for slow-motion and a higher bit rate option. This, the petition sponsors feel, will even the D7000’s performance with that of its Canon rivals.

This is somewhat ironic as the majority of US customers will only receive their cameras between 17-22 October!

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Ig Nobel Award for whale sample collection Photo

Ig Nobel Award for whale sample collection

The BBC has reported that Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse’s technique for collecting samples from whale blowholes has earned her an Ig Nobel award. Dr Acevedo-Whitehouse, of the Zoological Society of London, uses a remote-control helicopter with a petri dish hanging below it to catch samples as the whales evacuate their blowholes. The exhaled gases and mucus blast the dishes which are then taken back to the lab to study the disease-causing micro-organisms carried by the animals. Dr Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse says:

“We certainly have had fun doing our whale-snot research”.

The tongue-in-cheek Ig Nobel awards are given annually for “improbable research”.

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New DiveFilm HD podcast: Shark Bite GoPro Photo

New DiveFilm HD podcast: Shark Bite GoPro

Eric Cheng’s experimental film using a GoPro HD camera “Shark Bite Go Pro” is now available as an HD or iPod podcast via DiveFilm HD on iTunes. The film has additional footage from Sterling Zumbrunn and Jim Abernethy, and shows plenty of shark teeth!

DiveFilm HD is currently the number 1 Sports & Recreation Video Podcast at iTunes and showcases some of the best high-definition underwater short films being produced today from all over the world. Featuring beautiful images of the underwater world, marine life large and small, interviews with interesting people, and updates on underwater imaging. Produced in association with Wetpixel and available via iTunes.

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2011 Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Contest Photo

2011 Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Contest

The Raja Ampat Entrance Tag competition is now entering it’s final stage with only 11 days left to get your votes in. The shortlisted entries are now available to view, and for you to cast your votes for your top three designs. These tags will be attached to the BCDs of all divers visiting Raja Ampat, Indonesia and the winner will be able to chose an all-inclusive 10 day dive trip to the area.

All votes must be in by 11 October 2010, so please head on over now and vote!

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Easydive Leo II: A housing for all cameras Photo

Easydive Leo II: A housing for all cameras

As reported in the forum, Italian company Easydive has released the Leo II, a housing that fits the majority of DSLR cameras. They have achieved this by controlling camera functions via USB, rather than traditional push buttons, devising a customizable camera saddle to accommodate different models and offering three different rear panels. These rear panels can allow access to video functions, or can be supplied with dual five-pin Nikonos strobe connections. Easydive offers a range of dome and flat ports to complement the housings, an optical viewfinder and lens gears for most lens combinations.

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New study uses non-lethal whale research methods Photo

New study uses non-lethal whale research methods

A pioneering study by Australian and New Zealand scientists has disproved the traditional position; that in order to study whales it was necessary to kill them. Conducted under the banner of the Southern Oceans Research Partnership (SORP), seventeen researchers gathered information about whales using skin biopsy, photography, satellite tagging and acoustics to study population structure, distribution, movement, feeding and ecological role of Southern Ocean whales.

During the expedition, the team attached 30 satellite tracking tags, collected 64 skin biopsy samples and 61 individual tail fluke photographs from humpback whales. They also deployed 110 sonobuoys which recorded the sounds of blue, humpback, minke, fin and sperm whales, as well as an unidentified beaked whale. Lastly, they were able to track the movements of blue whales for 36 hours.

The findings of their research will be presented to the International Whaling Commission meeting next year.

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