DEMA 2009, Days 3-4: Page 2 of 4 (page controls at bottom of this post)
Wetpixel / DivePhotoGuide cocktail party
The 2009 Wetpixel / DivePhotoGuide cocktail party @ DEMA
(photo: Adam Lau)
The Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide cocktail night has become a DEMA tradition, drawing a good percentage of the underwater photography and videography crowd (including travel companies who cater mostly to underwater photographers). Every year in the past, Jason Heller and I have vastly underestimated the number of people who come to the party, but this year, we found the perfect venue: the 2nd-floor Terrace at the Rosen Centre. We put a bar up there and some candle-lit tables, and within 30 minutes or so, the terrace was crammed full of hundreds of people. A veritable Who’s Who of underwater image makers, film makers, publishers, artists, travel operators and others were in attendance, and I really enjoyed wandering around the crowd, seeing people relax after a hard couple of days on the DEMA show floor.
A HUGE thank you to our sponsors! The Wetpixel / DPG cocktail night would not be possible without their generous support. Please click through and check out their websites — and keep them successful so we can have another party next year. :)
Sponsors: Worldwide Dive and Sail, Diving Resort & Travel Expo 2010 in Hong Kong, July 16-18, 2010, Aquatica, DiverWire, Reef Photo & Video, Nauticam, Solmar V, BS Kinetics
The photo gallery contains images of people on the show floor, but is mostly about the party.
Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide!
About half a year ago, DivePhotoGuide put out an industry design challenge. The goal? To make a digital camera system compatible with existing Nikonos lenses.
David Lewinnek and Shana Lyons of PiratePro have come up with such a system, which features a housed Olympus E-P1 micro four thirds digital camera with FL14 flash attached. The PiratePro housing uses a series of adapters for various Nikonos lenses (extension tubes and reduction tubes), and allows access to all camera controls. The prototype was somewhat boxy, but PiratePro plans to do another round of ergonomics design before settling on something final. Most importantly, the optics have been tested, and the system works.
One major issue with using a micro four thirds camera is that micro four thirds has a 2x crop factor. This means that the venerable Nikonos 15mm lens will have the same field of view as a 30mm lens, which is not very wide in underwater use.The widest Nikonos lens is 12mm, which would be like a 24mm. However, it is very exciting that one small team has decided to try to tackle this problem. When a full-frame rangefinder appears that isn’t $8,000 (the Leica M9), perhaps there will finally be a tiny system that is capable of high-quality, wide-angle, digital imaging using Nikonos lenses.
Target release date is end of December 2009 / beginning of January 2010. We look forward to seeing sample images from the unit.
Underwater Kinetics #1911
Fred Fischer was at the booth of Underwater Kinetics, a maker of dive torches, flashlights, and plastic cases. This year they have a new accessory lens for their extremely small superQ eLED torch that provides a slightly broader, more even beam which might make it more suitable as an inexpensive focus light on smaller digital still rigs.
Earlier this year, Joe Holley of Marine Visions launched underwatervideography.com, an underwater videography portal. As it develops, the website will hopefully become a fantastic resource for underwater videographers and filmmakers.
Sea & Sea #1519
Our good friend Andy Sallmon took us on a tour of Sea & Sea products. Sea & Sea was showing compact cameras, SLR housings, and strobes. Released last year, the DX2G and 1200HD are the current compact camera models. The DX2G is apparently being compared favorably to the Canon G10, which is impressive.
The Sea & Sea SLR housings now exist solidly in two product lines. The RDX series is made of polycarbonate and sells for $1200-1300. Two models support the Canon Rebel T1i (500D) and Rebel XSi (450D), and the Nikon D60, D40 and D40x. Optical bulkheads allow for DSTTL with Sea & Sea’s strobes.
Sea & Sea was also showing a brand new strobe prototype, the YS-01. The YS-01 retails at $430 and has done away with wired sync, supporting fiber optic sync only. It is 1/3 stop less powerful than the YS-100a, is smaller, and (also) supports DSTTL for optical flash TTL. It should be released sometime in January. The YS-02 strobe is a manual-only, 8-power version of the strobe, and will be priced even lower. The YS-02 should be available in March.
BS Kinetics #1861
Bodo Sutterer was at the BS Kinetics booth showing their line of carbon fiber camera and flash housings.
A Sony SR30 video housing was on display ($890 MSRP), as well as a remote camera monitor at $970.
Other products included carbon fiber strobe arms, which are estimated to be 25-50% lighter than comparable aluminum arms, Heinrichs-based TTL flash converters (supporting Canon, Nikon and Olympus), and a flash housing for the Mets 58 AF-1 strobe (which is compatible with Sony, Canon, Pentax and Olympus TTL).
Future products include a Canon 7D and Sony 850 housing (in carbon fiber!)