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San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, January 19-21, 2007 Photo

San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, January 19-21, 2007

The fourth annual San Francisco Ocean Film Festival runs from today, January 19, until Sunday, January 21, at Cowell Theater in Fort Mason.

The San Francisco Ocean Film Festival is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization dedicated to using film to improve public understanding of the environmental, social, and cultural importance of marine ecosystems. For the past three years we have produced an acclaimed festival of films about ocean science, industry, culture, sports, and adventure intended to entertain, provoke thought, and encourage active participation in protecting our ocean resources. The annual Festival provides the public with the opportunity to see beneath the surface of the waves, understand how closely we depend on the ocean for survival, realize the importance of preserving ocean biodiversity, and become better ocean stewards.

For more information about the festival, visit their website at oceanfilmfest.org.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium tags, releases captive great white shark Photo

Monterey Bay Aquarium tags, releases captive great white shark

It seems only a short time ago that news of the young great white shark in captivity was posted, but after 137 days in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Outer Bay exhibit, the 6-foot-5 inch, 171lb male shark was tagged and released into Monterey Bay, California. The juvenile great white was only the second to be held in captivity for more than sixteen days, with both successes occurring at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the last two years.

The aquarium plans to attempt to bring a third great white to Monterey in the fall - join in with your thoughts on whether the exhibition of the shark is a positive force towards educating the public and preserving the species in the discussion on the white shark’s release...

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Sea & Sea recalls DX-5D (Canon 5D) housing for retrofit Photo

Sea & Sea recalls DX-5D (Canon 5D) housing for retrofit

Sea & Sea has recalled their DX-5D underwater housing for the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR for replacement of the multi-selector assembly, which “might fixate or possibly allow minor flooding of the housing through the component o-ring seals.”  If your DX-5D is within serial number range 055000002 to 055000174, please continue reading for how to return your housing to Sea&Sea for service. 

Note that this information is for USA only. All other consumers outside the United States must contact their regional distributor or Sea&Sea Japan at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Sealux to announce new angled GV150 viewfinder at BOOT dive show Photo

Sealux to announce new angled GV150 viewfinder at BOOT dive show

Underwater housing and accessories manufacturer Sealux is planning to introduce a new magnified viewfinder for its housings, the GV150 “Grand View” finder. Angled at 150° from the lens, or more appropriately, 30° off the normal viewfinder axis, the GV150 can be rotated over six positions to a portrait orientation or as far as 180° to shoot down into the water from ground level.

The viewfinder allows full viewing of the LCD, can be removed for transport, and retails for approximately 900€ ($1150 USD), depending on the housing (and if a retrofit is required). If you have a Sealux housing, be sure to check out the photos of the GV150 viewfinder (text in German), or see it in person at the BOOT dive show.

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Wetpixel & Divester Readers adopt Cut-Tail, the great white shark Photo

Wetpixel & Divester Readers adopt Cut-Tail, the great white shark

Established in 1997, the Shark Trust promotes the study, management, and conservation of sharks, skates, and rays. Working through scientifically-supported campaigns, research, and education programs, the Trust strives to provide guidance, facilitate decisions, influence legislation, and raise public awareness of the plight of these animals on both national and international scales. Among its laudable goals are: the reduction of shark finning; the implementation of effective skate and ray fisheries; and the monitoring of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Considering that shark finning is a major global problem, we decided to help the Shark Trust do something about it. To that end, Wetpixel and Divester readers—through their t-shirt purchases—recently adopted Cut-Tail, a 16-foot-long male Great White…

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The Aqua Planet - a new website for underwater videographers Photo

The Aqua Planet - a new website for underwater videographers

A new website has been introduced that will be of interest to underwater videographers and anyone interested in watching short films of the underwater world. The Aqua Planet is the product of Keith Manning who works as a dive instructor in Thailand. The website aims to be the “YouTube” of marine-related themes by offering free hosting of web videos related to the marine environment.

The website interface is well laid out and easy to navigate around, the videos themselves open up in a good sized window for viewing simply by clicking on the thumbnail. With up to 100MB available for each video, sharing your videos is as easy as creating a free user account, adding a title and description, and uploading the file.

For anyone out there looking for a place to host their videos online, the Aqua Planet looks like a great place for all of us underwater enthusiasts.

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UK-Germany 45° Viewfinder Photo

UK-Germany 45° Viewfinder

Housing manufacturer UK-Germany has announced a new 45° viewfinder. Wetpixel member Helge Suess has posted several photos and details about it in our forums. According to Helge:

The finder has an angle of view of about 40° at a distance of approximately 45mm from the rear lens. This allows to view the whole viewfinder area with a mask at a scale of 1:1. It has a ball lock to snap in position at 90° steps when rotated. The finder is not restricted to UK-GERMANY housings. It is available to all housing manufactureres and DIY projects, and may be easily customized to fit housings on request.

No pricing information was made available yet.

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Amazon.com pulls shark fin products from inventory Photo

Amazon.com pulls shark fin products from inventory

Victory! Today, Amazon has pulled all shark fin related products from their offering. No official statement has yet been made by the company; however it appears that they have chosen the ecologically responsible path.

Wetpixel brought this issue to the public in a post dated Jan 1 (followed by a front-page post on Jan 4). Within hours, members caused this story to spread like wildfire to many major media outlets around the world. Members pressed on, and after only 10 days of protest,  a major corporation has pulled an objectionable product line from their offering. This is an impressive feat—a testament to the power of the internet to inform and drive action. In the uphill battle to save shark populations from extinction, there are some wins. Way to go, folks!

The next step is to impress upon Amazon the importance of taking a public stand against trade of endangered species (in this case sharks). Take a moment to send a communication to Amazon voicing your support for their immediate action and asking them to take this stand (customer service at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and investor relations at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

*UPDATE*: If you would like to voice your support for Amazon’s decision to remove shark fin products and press them to take a public stand on this issue, please feel free to you use the following text: (continue for full text)...

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Shawn Heinrichs joins moderating team for conservation Photo

Shawn Heinrichs joins moderating team for conservation

Please join me in welcoming Shawn Heinrichs to the Wetpixel moderating team! Shawn will help to promote and lead discussions related to conservation and environmental issues.

About Shawn: Shawn Heinrichs is an independent videographer and filmmaker who specializes in underwater and adventure travel.  His passion and work have taken him to the corners of the planet in pursuit of wild encounters with some of the oceans’ most impressive creatures. Shawn is dedicated to marine conservation and is active in a number of conservation initiatives. His video offers a perfect medium to capture the majesty of the underwater realm and communicate it to the world, in hopes of creating increased public appreciation, understanding, and action.  Shawn shoots in high-definition with a Sony HDV-FX1 in a Light and Motion housing.

Remember, we have other moderators, too!  If you’re interested in seeing the team behind Wetpixel.com, please check out the About Wetpixel page.

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CES brings new HD camcorders from Sony, JVC, and Sanyo Photo

CES brings new HD camcorders from Sony, JVC, and Sanyo

At CES, a few manufacturers announced new HD camcorders. Sony produced two new camcorders to replace the HDR-HC3, the HDR-HC5 and HDR-HC7. Both have a higher resolution CMOS sensor, Carl Zeiss Vario lens and rated at 2 lux minimum, recording in HDV.

JVC showcased their HDD Everio GZ-HD7. The 3CCD camcorder uses the AVCHD codec, writing to a 60GB hard disk for up to 5 hours of HD recording and more at lower resolutions. Fujinon supplies the 10X optical lens and also the mounting system for the 3 1/5” CCDs.

Sanyo presented the successor for the Xacti VPC-HD1, the Xacti VPC-HD2. Boasting to be the smallest HD camcorder, the little camcorder shoots 720P Mpeg4 onto SDHC memory cards. And it can shoot 7 megapixel still pictures as well.

Stay tuned on the Wetpixel Video Gear and Technique forum as 2007 promises to be the year of HD camcorders. Discussions on the new releases, by manufacturer: [Sony] [JVC] [Sanyo

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