Carbon Fiber is the new material!
The Aqua-FotoTeam guys were again at ADEX showing off their carbon fiber housings and arms. Their H2O arms are made of carbon fiber with steel ball heads and are now the only arms I use. I wrote a mini-review here. If anyone is looking for a new arm system or additional buoyancy without added weight or bulk, these arms warrant a serious look.
The Aqua-Fototeam booth
Besides the carbon arms, H2O also makes other accessories like clamps, bases and locline products.
Stefan Horvath was also on hand to show the BS Kinetics carbon housings for the XF100, the Takla Makan. He mentioned plans to build housings for the higher end models like the Red and Canon cinema cameras. The carbon fiber housings are indeed very light and are a boon to travel with. Carbon fiber is as strong is not strong than Aluminum and there’s no need to worry about rust except for the screws. Without the different metals material reaction, rust is basically history. They just need to produce proper domes and extensions and market themselves better. I look forward to testing their housings in the future.
Stefan Horvath with the BS Kinetic line.
Dive equipment manufacturers had strong presence at ADEX. Technical diving, in particular, had a big showing. Underwater shooters need dive gear that makes shooting easier. And there were a few products the underwater shooter should consider.
Rebreathers and other dive equipment
There were 3 rebreathers on the floor. Rebreathers, of course, are a shooter’s best friend, giving extended bottom time and allows shooters to get closer to subjects without scaring them. The emphasis was on the recreational diver:
The REVO III Rebreather from Belgium shared the Hugyfot booth. The all manual rebreather has all redundancies covered and uses the Shearwater electronics, which is arguably the most favored in the market at the moment. Still it is a bulky unit and difficult to travel with.
The rEvo Rebreather III
The Ambient Pressure Diving Evolution is a 23kg 30% smaller version of the Inspiration. The most compact rebreathers in the APD range, it is still the market leader in rebreathers along with the Inspiration line. The electronically controlled unit is popular due to the very low work of breath and compactness.
The APD Evolution Plus
The latest rebreather to hit the market is based on the old Cis Lunar series, but fully automated for the recreational rebreather. With cartridge scrubbers and automated everything, the Poseidon Mark VI Discovery is ready to dive at 18kg. With a bottom limit of 40m (a deeper 68m version is coming), it allows shooters to just worry less about running the rebreather (which to many would be sacrilege) and more on shooting. If anything goes wrong, bail out!
One of the big drawbacks are that there’s no scrubber timer, but the rep says just swap it out when you refill the oxygen since it’ll outlast the oxygen supply. Makes sense! I’m eager to try this. Apparently PADI and TDI can certify a new diver as a rebreather diver with a 3 day add on with this rebreather!
The Poseidon MK VI Discovery
Another recent trend is the side mount tank harness. Helix sidemount is a Singapore based manufacturer of a side mount harness that’s slightly different than the Armadillo harness. It has 18lbs of lift and uses plastic clips as fasteners. All in all, the harness/bladder weighs less than 2kg with one tank gear. I’ve arranged to test the harness in a pool to see how it fares against the Armadillo, which was too bulky for my tastes, but that was designed as a deco/tech dive sling, while the Helix is more for the recreational twin tank diver.
The Helix Sidemount. See that mesh bad? That’s how much bulk the entire harness has!
Overall, this year’s ADEX was 3 quick days of marketing and socializing. With the dearth of cameras coming out in the last few months, housing manufacturers have been and will be very busy for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, there weren’t too many new items at this ADEX. By the time Long Beach and DEMA comes along, the housing manufacturers will have the popular housings on show and possibly new and exciting products mentioned at ADEX. Onward to DEMA!
Next up: The parties!