DEMA Show 2009: Day 2 - Booth coverage insanity!

DEMA 2009, Day 2: Page 1 of 5 (page controls at bottom of this post)

As we have done in previous years, a team from Wetpixel is roaming around the DEMA 2009 show floor covering the products we think might be interesting to our website’s readers. We spent most of the day on the floor talking to friends and acquaintances in various underwater imaging booths. It has become incredibly difficult to cover DEMA because we are constantly running into people we know. Next year, I think I might wear a mask while en transit between booths…

The coverage team this year includes Eric Cheng (me), Matt Segal, and Richard Remski, and the Wetpixel Quarterly booth (#1068) team includes Michaela Brockstedt, Adam Lau, and Richard (doing double duty).

DEMA coverage posts:

Booths covered in day 2 of Wetpixel’s DEMA 2009 online coverage:

Let the coverage begin!

Wetpixel #1068

Michaela writes:

The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association Show opened in Orlando, Florida, on November 4th, 2009, opening to a projected 10,000 dive and travel industry professionals ready to present — and peruse — goods from over 700 companies. Although some of the people who visited us at the Wetpixel booth over the course of the first two days claim it has been as much as twice the size in the past, traffic has been steady (at our booth) in spite of the reduction in scale. Hosting 185,000 square feet of exhibition space, there was plenty to see as Adam and Richard and I took turns manning the booth. Richard was working hard visiting neighboring exhibitors and covering product, while Adam and I walked retailers and resort owners through our latest issue and the new advertising section we have added to the back of the magazine, a quick-reference website directory focused on travel and gear. Among Wednesday and Thursday’s visitors we met dive shop owners and their staff, resort operators, divemasters, photographers, travel agents and a number of Wetpixel fans from countries around the world including Australia, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Turkey and Switzerland. Needless to say it has been anything but dull, and so much fun reconnecting with folks from past shows who stopped by to chat. We’ve also had a great time with the reaction we’re getting on the new T-shirt, designed by Wetpixel member Nicholas Samaras. People just love it. And of course if you find yourself running low on energy after walking the floor for a few hours be sure to stop by — we brought tons of candy as usual (and you’re welcome to take seconds.) We’re looking forward to another day at the show, gearing up for the DEMA awards dinner and the Wetpixel party to follow.

Here are photos of friends in the Wetpixel booth and in other areas around the show floor:

Imaging Resource Center

For the second year running, nearly all of the underwater photography and videography products are clustered around a central stage where interested DEMA attendees can attend hourly presentations on various topics. Berkley White of Backscatter was the original instigator of the Imaging Resource Center — THANK YOU, Berkley. It makes so much sense to have everyone band together to provide a place where people can check out the latest and greatest products. It also makes our lives a lot easier because we no longer have to hike up and down the halls of DEMA looking for orphaned booths!

Aquatica #1077

Aquatica’s booth was broken out into video and still sections, with Blake, Norma and Jean manning the still housings and accessories, and Joe Bendahan on video.

Aquatica had on display their new underwater housing for the Nikon D300s, which is their first housing to feature fiber optic bulkheads. The new bulkheads are compatible with both INON and Sea & Sea fiber optic sync cords via removable retaining tip. Supporting optical sync is a great move because so many strobe manufactures not have optical sync capabilities in their strobes. Aside from supporting various forms of emulated flash TTL exposure, using optical sync also eliminates the possibility of flooding a housing through a bulkhead. Fiber optic cables are also much cheaper than are sync cords.

Don’t worry — the D300s also has the option for wired bulkheads for those of us who are still shooting wired strobes.

On the video front, Aquatica was showing their existing mechanical-only housing, the Sony HDR-XR500V, and also a prototype of a new housing for the Canon HF-S11/S11/100, which features hybrid mechanical / electronic control of the camera. Through infrared remote control, all of the features of the camera can now be accessed through a bank of buttons near the housing’s left handle. The housing features a standard 68° wide-angle lens (zoom through), flip filter, and hydrophone, and is scheduled for release by the end of the year at $2995. In its standard configuration, the new Aquatica is 300 grams negative in the water.

Backscatter #768

Since last year, Backscatter has merged with Underwater Photo Tech, which is now simply known as “Backscatter East.” Backscatter’s expansive booth featured all sorts of lust-worthy goodies, including their new line of scooter / dropcams called Bluewater.

Bluewater includes a Scootercam, Dropcam (similar to the scooter, but with no blades or cowling), a monitor remote, and a 3-button remote called the Remora. Bluewater is innovative because a variety of SLRs and camcorders actually fit inside the scooter, which has an Aquatica-compatible port mount at its front. This means that you can drop in a Canon 5d Mark II behind an Aquatica dome port, mount lights, and go zooming off while shooting video. Internal circuitry also allows for focus, fire, and time lapse control with almost any camera. The internal circuitry is software controlled and can be programmed for custom configurations. All controls are powered by either a monitor remote (with buttons) or the 3-button Remora remote. The Dropcam is priced at $5500 including Remora remote, and the Scootercam is $6500. An upgrade to the monitor remote is $1499, and timelapse / custom control upgrade is $399.

Backscatter is also a dealer for too many product lines to list, but they had on display INON, Fishseye, STIX floats, XIT 404 accessories (exclusive dealer), and more. Backscatter is also now a Seacam dealer.

INON 45 and 180 degree viewfinders are available for Sea & Sea, Subal, Aquatica and Ikelite housings; if you shoot an SLR and are not yet using a large viewfinder, I highly recommend looking into one. In my opinion, it is absolutely essential for proper framing and critical focus.

A Fisheye G11 prototype housing was on display ($1099, when it ships). The Fisheye G10 housing was Backscatter’s most popular housing last year, and G11 looks like a great upgrade. The rear control dial and the housing latch have both been improved. A Fisheye housing for the Canon S90 is coming soon ($600-700 retail).