Day 1 booth visits.
Day 2 booth visits. More visits with suppliers and discussions about new products.
Day 2 Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide Cocktail Party. Let’s get this party started.
Day 2 Special Report on the KISS GEM Rebreather
Day 3 booth visits and anti-shark finning protest
Day 4 booth visits
Slideshow of people and places at DEMA
DEMA 2010 Wrap-up
We visited with AJ Saito from RecSea. RecSea are a brand launched by the well-known Japanese manufacturer Seatool. They are offering a number of interesting products including the housing WHF-3DW3, for the Fujifilm Finepix 3D W3. Equipped with an accessory shoe and a fibre optic cable port, the recommended depth rating is 40m.
Staying with 3D, they also offer the RVH-TM700 housing for the Panasonic TM750/700 3D camera. It has a 60m depth rating and a monitor that displays each of the “eyes” separately to check for composition and sharpness.
RecSea are also offering an external HD video monitor, but in common with many others, are struggling to find an appropriate connection that can fit into the tight spaces in housings.
Lastly, they are offering a housing for the Sony NEX-5 and Sony G12 cameras, together with appropriate ports or adaptors to allow for the use of third party ports.
John Ellerbrock President of Gates Underwater Products showed us the company’s new LED video lights. Designated the VL8 and VL24, the 8 has 8 LEDs and the 24, 24! The 8 is designed for prosumer use with an estimated 2000 lumens whilst the 24 is deigned for professional use supplying 6000-7000 lumens. John anticipates that the VL24 will replace the surface supplied lights currently in use. Both lights are completely self contained with Lithium Ion batteries in the units. The VL24 has three independent LED driver circuits, ensuring that even if one fails, the show will go on!
Both lights have magnetic collar to control their outputs and these will have a tactile feedback to allow them to be adjusted without needing to look at them. Gates expect to be shipping the lights early in 2011.
Also on the Gates stand is their completed housing for the Panasonic AG-3DA1 3D camera. The 3DA1 has access to all controls including white balance and convergence, nano3D support, HD-SDI surface feed, and adjustable trim weights.
Not a new product as such, but still a notable one, is the HMR10/HCK10 housings for the Panasonic HMR10/HCK10 point of view (POV) cameras. Gates has designed and built an elegant solution to sealing the entry points for the cable, allowing them to avoid the use of cable splicing or connectors. This will ensure better signal quality. John showed us some video shot with the POV system, and it is an ideal solution for dealing with shy, skittish subjects.
Backscatter had a large booth in the heart of the Image Resource Center, featuring all of the many product lines that they carry, including housings from Subal, Aquatica, Nauticam, Fisheye and Sea & Sea, as well as a variety of strobes and lights. Berkley White and Jim Decker met with us to share some of the new products that they brought for DEMA.
Backscatter presented the third generation of the XIT 404 tripod for DSLRs. The tripod base plate is available in three configurations - a generic DSLR version to mount on any housing (but requires custom drilling), a version that is pre-drilled for all major DSLR housing brands and includes mounting hardware for all of them, and a new option that works with Gates and Light & Motion compact video housings. These tripod base plates are now offered at a reduced price of $199, including three ball mounts. But the most interesting development is that XIT 404 is now offering three section legs that are compatible with these tripod systems, that offer approximately 20 inches of extension with a new clamping system. The tripod system is designed so that it doesn’t need to be removed from the housing, and that the legs can be easily folded out of the way. Berkley also mentioned that he has been using the tripod legs to hold the housing out at arm’s length like a steadicam, and that it effectively dampens the shakiness that tends to be a problem when shooting video in a small housing.
XIT 404 also revised focus gears for the Canon 100mm and 100mm IS macro lenses. The purpose of these custom gears is to allow the user to focus with the zoom knob rather than a knob on the lens port, a critical feature for shooting macro video. The gears feature a new locking mechanism that is easier to use, as well as a new back mechanism to allow for different sections to be added for the 1.4 and 2x teleconverters. A version of this focus gear is currently in development for the Nikon 105mm VR lens.
Also new from XIT 404 is a new mount for T-groove type adapters (standard on Subal housings) called “The Bullet.” The Bullet mounts to the T-groove adapter using an allen screw, and is very solid once attached. It offers four slots for ball mounts to attach, including angled and upright versions, and the potential to attach a lanyard as well.
Backscatter featured new products from Fisheye, including the brand new G12 housing just off the assembly line. The housing has been completely redesigned from the G11 version, and features a similar latch to the Nauticam NEX-5 and Fisheye S95 housing. It has a new interface for the multi-controller, and has a dial on the front of the housing to support the G12’s command ring, a feature not found on other G12 housings. Existing Fisheye lenses, including the super-wide port with 160 degrees of coverage, are all supported. The included flat port has the option to add on a flip-down dioptre set. The style of the buttons is also new, and designed to be friendlier on the fingers. The Fisheye G12 housing is due to start shipping next month.
Fisheye also has a new housing for the Panasonic AG-HMC45 3 chip CMOS camera which is popular in Japan and Europe. The housing has electronic buttons via infrared, mechanical manual focus and zoom knobs, and a focus assist button. Panasonic makes an optional wide angle converter, and Fisheye has made a dome port to match this optic.
Backscatter showed a variety of camera mounts for the Dive-X line of scooters that they sell, including a new one for the Gates POV camera system, giving another example of that system’s versatility. The POV camera head mounts near the front of the scooter, and the control pod mounts directly above the drive controls, giving the diver easy access to camera functions.
Backscatter has developed their own adapters for the INON Insect Eye lens, including versions that will work on Aquatica and Subal housings with the Canon 60mm EF-S lens. Unique to Backscatter’s solution is a system of lens registration within the port, to ensure perfect alignment of the lens with the INON rear element. This is especially critical, as even a slight variance can cause a major loss of focus in part of the frame. Backscatter is also offering a thread on glass element to convert the adapter into a standard flat port for the 60mm.
John Zeiss of Stix was also in Backscatter’s booth, and showed off some new accessories, including double-ball mounts with o-rings for Subal, Aquatica, Sea & Sea and Nauticam housings. A mount for Seacam is also in development. Stix has a series of new clamps, including one that has a ring for attaching a lanyard directly.
New products from Dyron include a range of green water filters available in a variety of fittings and shapes to suit Canon, Panasonic and Sony compact housings. They also offer a range of carbon fiber arms, including a large diameter buoyancy one.
Dyron also have a wide range of accessory lenses for Seatool G10/G11,G12, S90 and S95 housings, as well as one for Ikelite housings.
Lastly, Dyron offers a variety of adaptors to accommodate different accessory ports on several different housings. the one pictures below is an M77 adaptor that fits onto any Ikelite 3.9” port.
BS Kinetics released their distinctive carbon fiber Duo Dive 3D housing some time ago, but have now managed to access the cameras menu functions and white balance via a 10 pin cable, rather than the less reliable infra red (IR) method. As the 3D housing relies on two cameras side by side, the IR controls can become confused, and with a software fix, the engineers at BS Kinetics have managed to access the cameras functions. In addition, they have written a script that allows for quick and easy white balance.
They also offer a range of carbon fiber housings. The Negev and Gobi are both universal video housings, excepting most cameras, and they were displaying a prototype housing for the Red One. All the housing are considerable lighter than comparable metal ones.
BS Kinetics has a range of 5 still camera housings, with each housing being suitable for several different camera models. These include the usual models from Canon and Nikon, but also provide options for the Sony A100/A350/A550.
Lastly the company offers a wide range of carbon fiber arms, metal fixings and brackets.
Special Feature: Anti shark fin soup protest.
After the show, Jim Abernethy, Shawn Heinrichs and a group of about 25 people decided to voice their opposition to the fact that one of the restaurants in the Las Vegas Hilton where many DEMA delegates are staying is serving shark fin soup.
After entering the restaurant and being seated, Jim came in and made a speech to the effect that he would not eat in a premises that served shark fins. We then all exited, making protests to the staff of the restaurant. Several other DEMA delegates that were eating, but hadn’t realised that shark fin was on the menu accompanied us on our exit. Once outside, Jim gave an interview to Scuba Radio, and other diners were deterred from entering the restaurant by our presence. It seems ironic that the Rolex and NOGI awards have taken place in a complex that serves shark fin.