Olympus and Panasonic announce Micro Four Thirds
Today, Olympus and Panasonic announced a new mirrorless format based on Four Thirds. Sensors in the new system are the same size as they were in the original Four Thirds specification (18 x 13.5 mm), but Micro Four Thirds cameras will be considerably smaller due to the removal of the mirror. In addition, lenses for the new lens mount will also be smaller. The drawback is that without a mirror, optical viewfinders are not possible, and framing will have to done via Live View or electronic viewfinder. Micro Four Thirds is compatible with Four Thirds lenses through the use of an adapter.
This is particularly exciting for underwater shooters. A large sensor in a small package will allow us to maintain low noise in images while minimizing the size of a housed camera!
Underwater mode on compact digital cameras
Alex Mustard leads a discussion about the underwater mode featured on some compact digital cameras.
On my last compact, a Fuji F40, it was a very useful feature down to 5-6m or more (say 15-20ft). But on my latest compact, a Fuji F50, it is useless - even at much shallower depths. Quite to my surprise.
...this leaves me confused as Underwater Mode is a software image processing feature, so you’d think it would be pretty consistent between two consecutive models from the same manufacturer.
Do you have any experiences with underwater mode on your compact digital camera?
Exploring portable hard drives for photo and video editing
Underwater video guru Drew Wong explores powerful options for portable hard drives and the increasing popularity of eSata connectors. In particular, I was interested to know that there is a 2-drive RAID enclosure that supports data over eSata while pulling power from Firewire.
While FW800 is adequate for backing up, it is limited to 66MB/s, whereas eSATA is at 134MB/s. The eSATA interface isn’t bus powered but the extra speed helps smooth out the workflow of backing up and clearing the flash cards for further shooting. The most important thing is these drives are fast enough to edit with multiple streams of HQ codecs like Pro Res 422HQ.
Of course, FireWire 3200 (S3200) is supposedly just around the corner and tops out at 400 MB/sec. Until eSata gets power, it seems to be rather unwieldy for mobile use.
San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition 2008
The 9th Annual San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition, scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings, August 22 and 23, 2008 at the Qualcomm Hall in San Diego, has begun selling tickets to attend the event. Each evening will feature fifteen digital films of no more than five minutes length, from locations all over the world, to be judged by John Moore, Hans Bertsch, and Natasha Stenbock. Among the entrants are Wetpixel’s own Shawn Heinrichs and Paul and Kelly Wags!
Nikon D700, underwater in a Nexus D200 housing
Wetpixel member Sam Chae has taken his Nikon D700 underwater by putting it into his Nexus D200 housing. Sam posted sample shots (both wide-angle and macro) taken during his trip to Anilao in the Philippines.
Sam took his wide-angle shots with a 16mm lens, and the samples he posted look impressively sharp in the corners.
Wetpixel Quarterly, perfect for babies and toddlers
A few weeks ago, I went over to see a friend and his baby girl, Ella. Ella has decided that the first issue of Wetpixel Quarterly is her favorite book, and every day, she goes through the issue page by page and studies the full-page photos. I was amazed to find that at 20-months of age, she can name *every* animal in WPQ1!
Check out this video of Ella identifying critters (including a photo of me).
Wetpixel Joins LiquidAssets.tv in Turks & Caicos, Sep 20-27, 2008
Join Wetpixel’s Shawn Heinrichs and the Liquid Assets team on a chartered adventure to Turks & Caicos this coming September. The Liquid Assets crew will be filming their new dive television pilots and are offering guests the opportunity to witness how their favorite dive programs are filmed and even be part of the next generation of dive television. Every diver that joins will receive free copy of the pilot. This week also offers a non-standard itinerary with visits to rarely explored walls and pinnacles. Wetpixel will be sponsoring a photo competition for guests aboard the Explorer II with winners receiving a cash prize and promotion through Wetpixel and LiquidAssets.
Jeremy Payne on underwater color correction
Wetpixel member Jeremy Payne posts a link to his technique for color correcting underwater images exposed with too little strobe light.
Here’s a method that can often return significant natural-looking color to your underwater images that have that blue/green cast. This technique works best with images without a lot of water column and lots of colorful stuff. I’m using Photoshop CS3 for this tutorial, but most of the effects are easy to replicate in other editors.
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