Wetpixel DEMA 2012 show coverage. Booth visits: Subal, Aquapazza, Sea & Sea, XIT 404 and Gates.
Adam was joined today by Wetpixel moderators Abi Smigel Mullens and Dave Burroughs. We spent the day visiting booths and chatting to people around the show.
First stop of the day was with Rolf and Arnold of Subal. They showed us the CD-series prototype housing for the 5D MKIII.
As with all recent Subal housing models, the main controls are all reachable with the right hand (or basically the right thumb). Another feature of note is that the ISO and light are tied into the same button.
When you press for ISO, the backlight automatically turns on. As with all new Subal housings there is also a port lock. We felt that the housing seemed a bit more compact, in a good way, while there was still plenty of space left for access to the HDMI port or for use of a remote. The new housing supports all of Subal’s viewfinder options.
The 5D MKIII housing estimated ship date is January or February 2013 at a price point of approximately 3,200 Euros.
Rolf also showed us the new housings for the Nikon D800 and Nikon D4 cameras.
These feature similar attention to detail as that on the 5D Mark III housing.
Arnold is now working on a housing for the Nikon D600 after which, he plans to design one for the Canon 1 DX.
While we were on the way to our next appointment, Dave bumped into a friend of his, Richard Salas.
Richard is compiling a three volume series of photographic books about the oceans of the US’s West Coast. Edition one was published in October 2009 and was called “Sea of Life”. The second edition is available now and is called “Blue Visions” and the third will feature images taken from Washington to Alaska.
We met with Toshiki Yamamoto and his translator Miki Bultman to chat about his Acquapazza housings. He has expanded his range to include a housing for the Sony RDX100.
This features a screw fitting port that can be equipped with an Inon bayonet fitting for adding Inon wide-angle and macro wet lenses. It will ship in early December.
Acquapazza also offers housings for the Sony NEX-5N and NEX-7.
Acquapazza offers a wide range of port options for the cameras, with 8 lenses being supported.
For e mount lenses, these include a dome for the 16mm wide-angle, together with wide-angle and fisheye converters, a macro port for the 30mm macro lens, a dome for the 18-55mm zoom and the 55-201 zoom with optional magnetic MRS zoom rings available for the latter two. There is also a new dome port for the new 10-18mm.
Acquapazza also support a mount lenses for the NEX cameras including 16mm fisheye and 50mm and 100mm macro lenses.
Toshiki has a pre-production mock-up of a new housing for the Sigma DP2 Merrill. This compact camera features a Foveon sensor, which the manufacturer claims offers advantages in image clarity.
The new housing will have an M67 thread for the attachment of Wet wide-angle and macro conversion lenses. In addition, the housing will leave room to allow the use of a strobe triggering device and hence for fiber optic TTL strobe triggering.
When asked about future plans, Toshiki says, “The next housing is a secret”.
Sea & Sea.
Andy Sallmon showed us the new housings from the company. The MDX-D800 features the standard Sea & Sea dual action closures, with a hook on the top similar to that see on the D7000 housing.
It is supplied a standard with finer optic ports only, but has two ports to which electronic bulkheads can be fitted. These can be either TTL for use with a TTL converter or manual and Sea & Sea supply specific user installable components. Alternatively, the bulkheads could be used for an extent monitor, or USB connection.
The MDX-D800 weighs in at 2.8 kg (98.7 oz), and feels light and responsive. It retails at $3199.95
All new Sea and Sea MDX models feature a port lock, and a water dam around the sealing o ring, which also helps to ensure that the door is correctly aligned.
The MDX-5D Mark III for the Canon 5D Mark III has ports, but the Japanese manufacturers did not supply it as standard with any wiring either.
Sea & Sea USA quickly rectified this by packaging the accessory wiring with housings, but it is important to note that this is not necessarily the case in all international markets. If the wiring harness is available, it is a self-install operation to add it.
The housing also has an additional port, either for a second electronic bulkhead, or to add an external monitor. Backscatter has been involved in the design of this housing, ensuring that it is compatible with their Wahoo monitor. Andy pointed out that compatibility will vary from monitor to monitor. The MDX-5D Mark III retails at $3299.00
Although neither housing is currently supplied with a leak detector, it is planned to incorporate one in the future.
By popular request, here are more images of the new Nauticam D600 housing:
For many underwater shooters, it is often difficult to decide where to attach their GoPro POV cams. One solution is to use a monopod attached to the diver’s tank, with the camera over the head or shoulder.
Quikpod offer two monopods that seem designed for the purpose and are contracted of marine grade aluminium so should deal with prolonged sea water immersions.
We then visited with Jody and Mike Elliot of XIT404. They kindly showed us through their new products. They have produced a nifty pistol grip handle for the SOLA lights.
This can be used with both 1” ball and locline equipped torches and can also be added or removed underwater. It will be available From January at $65.
The company is also releasing a Diopter double mount. This attaches to Aquatica, Subal or Nauticam ports and offer two option for attaching diopters.
The first is in a fixed position, while the second can be rotated in order to avoid interfering with strobes, focus lights or the position of the housing vis a vis the bottom. It utilises M67 metal stop down rings to hold the diopters, in order to avoid them stripping or cross threading a nylon thread. They are available now at a retail price of $225.
For some time, XIT404 has offered a range of zoom gears. These are unique in that they are modular, with each lens having a unique gear, each supported housing type also having a unique gear but to which can be added “extensions” for tele convertors or other purposes. These can be interchanged between different lenses or housings, giving maximum flexibility.
New in their range for 2012 are gears for Nikon 105mm and 60mm macro lenses and the Tokina 10-17mm on Nikon. They have labelled this range the Turtle line. In addition, they now also offer gears for Nauticam Housings and Nauticam housings. XIT already support Canon lenses via their Manta line, as well as a variety of unique gears. For 2012, they have added support for the Canon 8-15mm ,16-35mm,and 24-70mm lenses when housed in Aquatica housings.
Lastly, they now offer one of their zoom control knobs for Nauticam housings.
Gates Underwater Products.
The last stop of our day was with John Ellerbrock of Gates. First he walked us through the prototype housing for the PMW 200. The footage from this camera can be used as is for broadcast media and is the successor for the veritable Sony EX1. It now features integrated storage, rather than needing to be used with the nanoflash recorder. The estimated ship date for this housing is no later than March 2013, and the form factor will be very similar to that of the existing EX1 housing.
He showed us the new housing for the Canon C300/C500 cameras. The housing has space for a convergent designs Gemini RAW recorder.
This has two BNC outputs, which are necessary to record at the higher 4k data rates, HDMI only supporting 1080.
John feels that this is the video shooters answer to SLR video as it is a large sensor camera with a more stable form factor, as well as a price difference.
The Gates C300/C500 is compatible with PL, EF and F mount lenses, as per the RED cameras. Zoom rungs are hence interchangeable between both models
All of Gates higher end housings come with an updated version of their Seal Check, a digitised vacuum seal to be certain there is a watertight seal prior to submersion. This actually measures and displays the vacuum in the housing. It can be fitted to other housings and retails for $1,125.
Gates also now support the Sony Handycam CX760 and continue to support the Canon XA-10.
Page 1: Pre-show set up.
Page 2: Booth visits: Aquatica, Nauticam, GoPro, Polar Pro, Solmar V/DivEncounters Alliance, Dive and See, Reefnet, Fisheye.
Page 3: Booth visits: Subal, Blue Vision, Acquapazza, Sea & Sea, Nauticam, Quikpod, XIT404 and Gates Underwater Products.
Page 4: The Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide Party.
Page 5: Booth Visits: Ikelite, Watershot, i-Divesite, Ultralite Control Systems, Dive and See, BS Kinetics, Light and Motion, Keldan, Nocturnal Lights, Snake River Prototyping.
Page 6: Booth visits: Equinox, Inon, Backscatter, Mangrove, Seacam and around the show.