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FISHEYE / SEATOOL #2849
October 23, 2008 - 10:07 AM
Kenji Ohmura of Fisheye and Seatool was stationed at the Reef Photo & Video booth. Both he and Ryan Canon took me on a tour of their new products, including a the new FIX LED1000DX modeling/focus light, the FIX VMT-3W, a 3” widescreen LCD monitor, various Seatool video and still-camera housings, and a Fisheye underwater housing for the Sony EX1.
The FIX LED1000DX is a fantastic upgrade from their older halogen and LED-based lights. It produces 1000 lumens, has a 120-meter depth rating, easy-to-open cap, an inner cap to block water from entering when opening the light, an optional wired remote control, and a higher-capacity battery (although it takes the older batteries as well). Although older FIX lights were plagued by battery-charging issues, I was assured that newer chargers (which are silver—not black) are totally reliable. I love my older FIX lights, and am excited to give the new ones a try.
The FIX VMT-3W is a 3” widescreen, 0.23-megapixel LCD monitor. It is the same OEM monitor that the Sony HC3 uses, so we can be assured that it will produce an image that is probably even good enough for focusing. The monitor lasts for 7 hours on 4 AA batteries, and has a 100m depth rating.
The Seatool SR11 and SR12 is a housing for Sony SVH-SR11/SR12 camcorders. It features an optional monitor back and one-touch access to white-balance and other controls on the LCD via buttons on the clear acrylic that covers the LCD on the side of the camera. I much prefer this to controls that require you to look at the LCD to manipulate the screen. The panel that allows LCD touch-screen access is available as an upgrade to Seatool HC7/HC9 underwater housings. It is a $300 upgrade that must be performed by an authorized dealer, and also includes upgraded circuitry.
Other video housings on display were a Seatool underwater housing for the Sony SVH-CX12, and a Fisheye housing for the Sony EX1 camera (see video review below for more details on this housing).
FIX also offers new wide-angle lenses, including on that gives a 80-90° field of view, and another that is 130-135° (neither are full zoom through).
Shawn Heinrichs interviews Kenji Ohmura about video products
Also on display were Seatool underwater housings for the following still cameras:
- Canon 50D:the only housing with access to Live View on the print button (with other cameras, you have to program the SET button to start and stop live view)
- Olympus E-3: shown with the ReefNet flip +10 diopter attached
- Canon Rebel XSi
- Nikon D300 SLR
Seatool’s underwater housing for the Nikon D300 warrants further discussion. It is ergonomic without a right handle, meaning that you can reach pretty much all of the relevant controls with your right hand around the side of the housing itself (no handle). Seatool added a ball mount to the top of the housing so that a handle is no longer necessary to mount strobes on the right hand side.
The D300 housing comes standard with optical bulkheads, and also has bulkhead locations for wired bulkheads (Nik5, S6 or Olympus-compatible).
It can accommodate a standard, reducing viewfinder, and is also compatible with INON 45° and 180° viewfinders.
An 8” glass dome is available (curvature diameter 9.7”), with adapters for Sea & Sea, Seatool, Subal (v3 and v4), Aquatica, and Nexus housings. The inside of the dome has an optical coating, and the outside, a silicon dioxide coating (similar to what Fathom lenses use).