Review: Light & Motion’s SOLA600 focus light
Light and Motion’s new SOLA600 focus and video light is put to the test by Alex Mustard. This new light packs 679 lumens of illumination into a small, lightweight and completely sealed package. It also features an interesting red light mode designed to minimise disturbance on marine life during photography.
Alex has been so impressed with the SOLA600 that he has stretched his review out over five countries to put off having to return it! Read on for his thoughts.
Canon releases compact HD pro camcorders
Canon has released a new series of compact HD professional camcorders: The XF105 and XF100. Both models are designed to record in MPEG-2 50Mbps with 4:2:2 color sampling direct to Compact Flash memory cards and are very compact, which may make them ideal for underwater use. The new models can also give multiple bit rates, resolutions and variable frame rates for over or under cranking. They also feature a built-in infra-red low light feature, and have specific features designed to allow two cameras to run in tandem for 3D footage.
Alex Mustard to speak at Scottish Nature Photography Fair
Wetpixel’s Alex Mustard is speaking at the twentieth edition of the popular Scottish Nature Photography Fair, which runs a identical program on both 4 and 5 September 2011. The event, organized by Scottish Natural Heritage in the Scottish highlands, costs £25 to attend. It is sold out on Saturday, but a few tickets remain for Sunday.
The other speakers are leading nature photographers: Niall Benvie, Ian Cameron, Fergus Gill and Danny Green. There are trade stands, a photography exhibition and results for the SNPF Photographic Competition will be announced.
UnderWater Camera Stuff releases the Housing Sentry
UnderWater Camera Stuff has announced the release of its Housing Sentry. The device monitors the status of a vacuum inside the housing, giving feedback via LED displays of the integrity of the seals and hence avoiding leaks. The vacuum is created using a pump and fittings that are attached though the housing. The Housing Sentry is designed to be compatible with most camera housings, and can be self installed, or fitted by the manufacturer.
Sea & Sea releases VF45 viewfinder
Sea & Sea has announced the release of the VF45 viewfinder compatible with its MDX housing series. The viewfinder appears to be similar to the well-proven Inon 45° viewfinder, giving 100% coverage of the whole viewing field at a magnification of 1.2x. The viewfinder can be rotated through 360° in 90° increments to allow for different camera orientations.
The VF45 is compatible with the MDX-7D, MDX-5DMKII, MDX-D300, MDX-D300s, MDX-40D, MDX-D700, MDX-PRO D3 housings (although some may require LCD window replacement) and will be available in September.
DVD Review: Sensational Seas 2
Sensational Seas 2 is subtitled “rare sights from under the sea”. It is the second anthology DVD of the series, and like its predecessor, consists of a series of video contributions from many leading underwater filmmakers and photographers. The “sights” are “rare”” not only in the actual footage, but also in the manner in which they are presented.
Blue Ocean Film Festival winners announced
At the “Blue Carpet Awards” on Saturday night, the winners for the second Blue Ocean Film Festival were announced. The award ceremony included performances by Grammy Award winning singer Paula Cole, and special recognitions for Jean Michel, Fabien and Celine Cousteau who won the “Making Waves” award as well as Dr. Carl Safina who received the Sylvia Earle Award.
“Bag It” by Susan Beraza won the Best of Festival, and “Under the Sea 3D” by Howard and Michelle Hall received a special jury award. The full list of winners and finalists are available on the Blue Ocean Film Festival website.
Patima 3D housing for Panasonic HDC-TM700 available
Patima has released a 3D housing that uses two Panasonic HDC-TM700 camcorders. The housing allows for the cameras to be mounted in either horizontal or vertical format and the system can be used for filming on land or underwater. The housing is made primarily of anodized aluminum and allows access to most of the controls for each camera. In addition Patima has developed a 3D external monitor to use with the system, as well as a 2D monitor that allows the user to switch view between the cameras. The housings are available now although the prices for the monitors are to be confirmed.
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