Show report: ADEX 2015

Show report: ADEX 2015

By Drew Wong.

Asian Dive Expo in Singapore is the biggest dive show in Asia and has grown in size from last year’s show at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center. Unfortunately, for the underwater image maker, this year’s offerings have been very thin, with only 4 booths offering dedicated image making tools for the underwater user. While the number of booths were down, I still managed to find quite a few new things on offer for the enthusiast to the professional cameraman in video and photography.

As usual, our party co-sponsor, ScubaCam, had the latest housings housings for professional from various manufacturers like Nauticam, Inon and Gates for the professional and amateur user. They are always my first stop at ADEX because they usually have the best toys!

ScubaCam’s David Cheung with Nauticam’s Jacqueline and Edward Lai


This year, Nauticam featured heavily in the ScubaCam booth, including the newest Rossa , and the Z100 for the Sony PXW-Z100 4k camera. Even the Atomos Shogun housing was at the show with the new A7II housing. Unfortunately, the new Arri housing had to be at NAB.

The latest NA Rossa comes with improvements in the ergonomics like the indented grip handles, which replaced the old bar like handles.

The new adjustable knobs with a markable cover and tensioners are another improvement. While these functions have existed for decades in topside shooting and other housings, this is the first iteration for Nauticam. This allows the user or even camera assist to follow focus or mark aperture etc.

NA-A7II housing attached to the Atomos Shogun housing

Another newish setup is the NA A7II housing, seen attached to the Atomos Shogun housing, which is strange since the A7II doesn’t not have 4k in HDMI out. I wanted to see how the Atomos housing fit on a A7 housing and this was the only one available.

Inside the Nauticam Atomos Shogun housing.

The Atomos housing looks great, with simple push buttons and dials as controls. It’s attached to any housing via a top mount bracket with a hinge joint that’s lockable on both sides. While the joint is very strong (it could hold the Shogun up past 90° as shown), I did notice it would wobble when I accidentally touched it. Seeing how the Shogun is bigger than the A7 housings, I wonder if there’ll be stability issues when I’m using it at an angle, swimming hard after something big or in a current. Things to test!

The Shogun housing arm can take the weight. However, there is some wobble due to the length of the joint arm.

David Cheung demonstrates how he’d use the A7 rig

NA-Z100 housing

In continuing with the big video announcements, the AX1/Z100 housing (aka Jacqueline’s baby) is the latest housing to cater for the Sony PXW-Z100/FDR-AX1 4k camcorder. I first looked at the right side of the housing and thought, “Wow, what a clean looking housing!”

The controls on the NA Z100 are very complicated.

Then I saw the left side where most of the controls were and was a bit taken aback. The Z100 is a typical Handycam style camera, made for right hand grip and most major controls are on the left side for left arm actuation.

With the Z100 housing, Nauticam went with an intricate design that allows the majority of functions to have individual controls.

Inside the NA Z100 housing

The complicated design on the outside was reflected even more so on the internal actuators of the housing. The “block” of controls on the camera tray is the most complicated I’ve ever seen. It looks like a mini version of the cubic maze control block in the Rossa housing.

The control block on the camera tray inside the housing

This housing has most of the bells and whistles of Handycam housings, including a flip diopter and a trigger handle like the Rossa. The complicated design looks quite daunting and for myself, field servicing this on location will be an intricate and long process. I look forward to the field reports on this housing compared to the Z100 housing from Gates, which has been out already.

Speaking of Gates, ScubaCam had the 13mm Nikkor R-UW conversion lens made for cinema cameras like the Phantom Flex and Red cameras, made especially for Gates.

The converted Nikon Nikkor R-UW Fisheye 13mm f2.8, pictured here in a Gates Flex housing

The lens is basically the old Nikkor 13mm, converted to fit newer cameras, similar to Seacam’s version. On the stills side, the 13mm turned out to be a good performer comparable to any combination of 16mm Nikkor Fisheye with a dome port, with a lot less bulk. It will be interesting to see how the lens performs with motion with the distortion.

The distinctive red window frame of the Nikkor 13mm Fisheye

The converted 13mm Nikkor

The Inon GoPro SD mount cage with full lighting rig and interchangeable lens system.

Going from big to small video rigs, the Inon GoPro SD Mount Cage, which fits like a cage for a normal GoPro housing, allowing the SD range of lenses to be used by GoPro’s own flat port. At it’s widest underwater, the GoPro is about 93° wide. With UFL-G140SD wide angle adapter, it’s up to 140° wide and the minimal focus distance is down to 4cm from 60cm.

The Inon UFL-140G wide angle adapter lens

To light things up, Scubacam had on display the OrcaLight SeaWolf 2260 LED video light with a CRI 83 and 22000 lumens with an interchangeable lens system.

The Orcalight SeaWolf 2260 LED lamp head

The SeaWolf has 4 different lenses, 120°, 90°, 60° and 45° beam, which allows shooters to customize the look either for the subject or as a subject. It is the most powerful light I’ve ever used. However, there is another who claims more power! Enter the Big Blue Chubby!

  1. Show Report: Scuba Cam: Nauticam, Gates, Inon and Orcalight.
  2. Show Report: Big Blue, Fun-In, Aquako, Seacam and people around the show.
  3. Wetpixel/Scubacam Imaging party: Full report with pictures!