Olympus E-330 Underwater Housing Comparisons
Wetpixel member Helge Suess had the opportunity to compare two housings for for the Olympus E-330 dSLR.
A remote valley, deep in the Alps. A small group of divers meets for a special event. Dive, where no one has before, in lakes at an altitude above 2400m (about 8000ft). Amongst their equipment are two Olympus E-330 cameras, one housed in an Olympus PT-E02 housing, the other in an Aquamir / UK-GERMANY housing. They will have to face hard conditions.
Our targets are above 2500m (8300ft) and therefore above the timberline. Expected water temperatures are below 10°C (50°F), few traces of life, lots of landscape. The ideal place for wide angle and fisheye lenses. The surrounding mountains are calling for half-half shots. Depending on the weather, visibility may change from zero to marvelous. The testers have quite some experience shooting SLRs and DSLRs but this will be the first dive with a housed E-330.
Continue reading for Helge’s impressions of the experience…
Sony Releases HDR-FX7 and HVR-V1E 3-CMOS camcorders
Today, Sony officially announced the new HDR-FX7 camcorder and the professional version HVR-V1E (PAL only for now). The new FX7 is significantly smaller than the FX1, similar in size to the outgoing VX2100. More importantly, the specifications are closer to the Canon XH-A1 which was announced last month. With a 20X Zeiss Optical zoom, a 3 x 1/4” CMOS sensors design and smaller form factor, Sony has filled out the missing component in its lineup between the big performance gap of the HVR-H3 and the FX1. The HVR-FX7 MSRP is $3500 and the HVR-V1E is €4800 (US$5600).
Exotic Lionfish spreading through US coast
Exotic Lionfish have been a problem in Florida and the Bahamas for some time, but today the New York Times reports that hundreds of Lionfish were observed by divers at Long Island this summer, as opposed to only a few over the last years:
“For us to be finding that many, there must be thousands and thousands more out there,” said Todd R. Gardner, a biologist at Atlantis Marine World aquarium in Riverhead. “It’s a population explosion.” Apart from the novelty of lionfish and the mystery of how they wound up so far from home, the sudden proliferation also raises questions about effects on the ecosystem, including potential threats to indigenous fish and hazards to swimmers.
Photobeat’s trip report from Wetpixel Guadalupe trip
Steve (photobeat) has posted an in-depth trip report from this year’s great white shark expedition in Guadalupe, Mexico. Steve writes, ”[we were] in Guadalupe in great conditions with decent shark action ... We didn’t have pole cams out and not that many baits were taken but we had sharks every day. When AC/DC went on through the UW speaker the sharks seemed to arrive as if on cue. They were really cautious and did not make many tight passes on the cage…”
Sharks threatened more than ever
A very nice article at the San Diego Union Tribune last week discusses the problem of shark overfishing. The new numbers are staggering:
More than 100 million sharks killed each year. One billion pounds of shark fins imported annually into China alone – for soup. Of the 390 known species of shark, 110 classified as endangered, threatened or vulnerable.
The full article is available at the San Diego Union Tribune website.
Korean Air bans Dell and Apple laptops from flights
A few days ago Korean Airlines started asking passengers to remove batteries from their Dell laptops (any model, any battery) and from some models of Apple portables (PowerBook and iBook). Qantas is doing the same with Dell laptops. This is bad news for owners as you cannot use these laptops onboard the flights anymore, and the measures seem to be spreading. Here is the original text from the Korean Air website:
As a precautionary measure to ensure safe air travel, Korean Air kindly requests all passengers carrying any kind of Dell laptops (including those unaffected by recall), Apple’s iBook and Powerbook models first remove batteries from the unit before bringing them to the cabin. Until further advisory is issued, these laptops cannot be carried into the cabin if batteries are not removed.
Aquatica’s new viewfinder: prototype renderings
Jean Bruneau, Wetpixel’s unofficial Aquatica representative, has posted three prototype renderings of Aquatica’s upcoming underwater viewfinder. He reports that “it rates with the best on the market,” and we are excited to see it in the wild when it comes out. Prospective users are pushing for a removable design to simplify packing and transport. ETA is still pending; hopefully we’ll get a glimpse at this year’s DEMA Show.
UWP magazine issue 32 available
Issue 32 of Underwater Photography Magazine (UWP) has just been published. As usual there is a lot of input from Wetpixel members, including a tutorial about composite photos by Alex Mustard (Alex_Mustard), a review of the Subal ND20 and Nikon D200 by Mark Webster (Photec), and an article about Bikini Atoll by Tim Priest (Tim_Priest). UWP Magazine is a free PDF magazine, published every two months.
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