Amazing macro sea star images
Alexander Semonov, marine biologist and head of scientific diving team at the White Sea Biological Station, Russia, has published a series of unique and beautiful high magnification images of sea stars. He writes:
“This is just small collection of sea stars skin surface with high magnification ratio from 1:2 to 2,5:1 made recently in three different seas: the White Sea, the Red Sea and the Sea of Japan. All those unusual structures at the skin surface is very common for echinoderms, it’s just gills, skeleton elements and pedicellariae. But look at it! I never cease surprised that nature shows amazing things. Variety of forms and colours among starfishes are very huge and you can hardly find two identical stars.”
DivePhotoGuide publishes Nikon D600 review
Wetpixel’s sister site, DivePhotoGuide, has published a review of the Nikon D600 and Nauticam NA-D600 housing. Written by Keri Wilk and shot in the Cayman Islands, the review has some great images of “Stinky” the troublesome loner dolphin that has been a feature of diving in the islands recently.
Keri found the housing and camera’s performance to be very good however, slow initial sales of the camera seem to suggest that many people have decided to choose the D800.
PEW on the enforcement of shark sanctuaries
PEW Environment has published a video highlighting the initiatives that are in place to enforce the laws in the world’s shark sanctuaries. Unfortunately, many of the countries with the strongest legal protections for sharks have the least capacity to enforce their laws. However, during 2012 there have been a number of high-profile seizures of illegal shark fins in Palau and Honduras whilst authorities in the Marshall Islands have successfully prosecuted five shark sanctuary violations in recent months, resulting in total fines of $235,000.
Sigma publishes a preview of its 17-70mm lens
On its blog Sigma has published a preview of its revised 17-70mm f2.8-4.0 DC Macro OS HSM lens. Previous versions of the lens have been popular with APS-C shooters for underwater use as a “scouting” lens. New features which should increase this versatility include macro capabilities with a maximum 1:2.9 magnification (at 70mm) and faster maximum apertures at all focal lengths. Not a new feature, but this version also has Optical Stabilization. However, its minimum focusing distance of 22cm may mean that it will be best used with a diopter.
Nauticam announces a housing for the Sony NEX-6
Nauticam has released their housing for the Sony NEX-6 EVIL camera. The NA-NEX6 gives access to both the Sony control wheel and control dial via the thumb to give control of aperture and shutter settings in manual mode. The new mode dial is also accessible on the top of the housing. The housing has a re-engineered camera saddle, dual fiber optic strobe triggering ports and a dedicated ISO button. Nauticam has also produced a 7” dome port for the Sony 10-18mm f/4 WA zoom and the Macro/Zoom Control Port 45 to support the Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 retractable zoom.
The NA-NEX6 will be available from 15 February at a US retail price of $1,650.
Panasonic develops new sensor technology
Panasonic has announced new technology that will increase the sensitivity and color fidelity in its sensors. The new designs will feature “micro color splitters” that aim to “separate the light that falls on image sensors by exploiting light’s wavelike properties.” This will remove the need for color filters, and so will allow for better color reproduction even in low-light conditions. The technology can be used with any existing sensor type, making it potentially suitable for video and still cameras.
DpReview notes that “it may be the first serious alternative to colour filter array-based sensors since the Foveon X3 appeared over 10 years ago.”
Thom Hogan on the state of the photography industry
Thom Hogan has published a personal synopsis and evaluation of the state of the camera market on his Nikon F mount and Sans Mirror blogs. The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has published its report into sales and trends within the industry and it presents a somewhat depressing picture. In 2012, total shipments of all cameras for the year was 98.1 million units, which is a 15% drop on the 2011 figure. However, interchangeable lens camera shipments grew to 20.2 million units, a 28.4% gain. Within the interchangeable lens sector, mirrorless cameras accounted for around 20% of the total shipped. Although Nikon’s figures have not yet been released, Hogan notes that their stated aim of exceeding Canon’s sales have not materialized.
Mike Rutzen injured in car accident
“Shark Man” Mike Rutzen of Cape Town has been seriously injured in a car accident whilst on holiday in Mozambique reports iol news. The cause of the accident is currently unknown, but it is known that the vehicle he and his partner were travelling in rolled. Tragically, his girlfriend Elisabetta Castella, died at the scene.
Mike is in a serious condition after being airlifted to a hospital in Johannesburg. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Mike at this awful time.
- A New Video from the Herparazzi! (via )
- In Pictures: Monitoring manta rays (via BBC)
- Durban Protest Against Marine Mammal Captivity (via African Diver)
- Bioluminescence: nature lights up (via BBC)
- Chernobyl mammals tracked in snow (via BBC)
- Audio slideshow: Exploring Africa (via BBC)
- The amazing wildlife of Africa (via BBC)
- The secret lives of giants (via BBC)
- In pictures: midwinter magic (via BBC)
- Jack W. Lavanchy awarded EUF Honorary Vice President title (via African Diver)