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Firmware update v2.0 for Nikon D200, D2X and D2Hs Photo

Firmware update v2.0 for Nikon D200, D2X and D2Hs

Nikon has released firmware version 2.0 for its D200, D2X and D2Hs digital SLRs.  New for the D200 is support for the WT-3 wireless transmitter and image authentication (optional), while the D2X and D2Hs each get over a dozen new enhancements.  DPReview has a full list of changes.

Unfortunately, it’s not straightforward to find download pages for the new firmware updates, but Nikon Imaging Download is probably the best place to start.

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Review of Sony’s new HVR-V1U HDV Compact Camcorder Photo

Review of Sony’s new HVR-V1U HDV Compact Camcorder

Last month, Sony announced its new HVR-V1U HDV compact camcorder. Providing “film-look” footage via 24p/30p progressive scan capture and 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor chips, this HD dream captures images at up to 240 fields per second (faster capture is at reduced resolution), allowing very fast movements (shark tails flicking and divers freaking out) to be recorded in extreme detail.

The professional-quality unit also features two XLR microphone inputs for independent sound recording, a 3.5-inch Clear Photo LCD plus viewing screen and a 20x optical zoom lens with F2.8 at the telephoto end.

Douglas Spotted Eagle managed to get his hands on a pre-production model of the new, drool-worthy HD jewel and has posted his review on UWDV. In short, he loves the unit - especially the lens, the sensors, and the unit’s button placement.

Although he’s dissatisfied with the dearth of assignable buttons on the HVR-V1U, as well as the apparent thoughtlessness behind the Power button, he still managed to provide a few short clips so you can see the fantastic-ness that this $4800 camera provides.

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Fact Sheet on Papuan Bird’s Head Seascape Photo

Fact Sheet on Papuan Bird’s Head Seascape

Conservation International has recently released a fact sheet on the Papuan Bird’s Head Seascape, which, located in Papua, Indonesia, covers an area of more than 180,000 square kilometers and is thought to have the “highest coral reef biodiversity recorded for an area of this size anywhere in the world.

Previously, Wetpixel announced the discovery of dozens of new species in the same area, and this report by Conservation International provides a short summary of current progress and defines clear goals geared towards protecting the marine ecosystem.

Wetpixel moderator Drew Wong (scubadru) has started a topic discussing the report in the Conservation and Environment forum - what are your thoughts on protecting this underwater eden?

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33-foot prehistoric marine reptile skeleton found in Svalbard Islands Photo

33-foot prehistoric marine reptile skeleton found in Svalbard Islands

Researchers from the University of Oslo recently discovered what they believe to be the first complete skeleton of a short-necked plesiosaur, a prehistoric marine reptile the size of a bus:

Professor Jørn Harald Hurum said the voracious plesiosaurs were like the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the oceans, “except its head is much bigger. About 2 meters (6.5 feet) long, compared to about 1.6 meters (5.25 feet) for Tyrannosaurus Rex.”

The University’s Natural History Museum said the reptile was “as long as a bus, with teeth larger than cucumbers ... in a head that could swallow an adult human whole.”

The research team will return to Svalbard to continue their work next year. Keep reading for the full article from the Associated Press…
 

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Nikon D80 vs. D200 Comparison Photo

Nikon D80 vs. D200 Comparison

In August, Wetpixel told you that Nikon had announced its new D80 dSLR, the “little brother” to the year-old D200. Shortly thereafter, in the forums, Wetpixel member Jack Connick pointed us to DP Review‘s excellent, exhaustive overview of the new D80.

If you’re interested, Ken Rockwell has posted a review that’s just as excellent and almost as exhaustive. However, Rockwell also provides a pretty thoughtful overview contrasting the D80 and the D200.

If you’re struggling with which camera to get, his D80 vs. D200 head-to-head comparison might help set you straight.

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Visions In The Sea 10th Anniversary

The 10th Anniversary edition of the Visions In The Sea underwater photography conference takes place in London over the weekend of 4th & 5th November. An international cast of underwater photography’s elite are working alongside some of the UK’s best image makers to present two days of stunning portfolios and techniques talks. Speakers are flying in from Australia, the United States, Mauritius, Greece, Italy and Ireland especially for this event, the only one of it’s kind in the UK. Speakers include Amos Nachoum, Michael Aw, Martin Edge and Wetpixel’s own Alex Mustard. More than a dozen major presentations are scheduled.

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Divester/Wetpixel T-shirt Design Finalists Photo

Divester/Wetpixel T-shirt Design Finalists

As you recall, Wetpixel and Divester recently announced a joint t-shirt design contest with the theme “Exploring the Oceans.” We received several very creative submissions but narrowed the field to the Top 5.

To see the finalists - and to vote for your favorite - head over to Divester. Voting closes October 11. Shortly after announcing the winner, we’ll explain how you can order one of the winning t-shirts.

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How to choose a focus light Photo

How to choose a focus light

A focus light is a broad beam of light designed to help a photographer create a sharp image by adding contrast to a subject. However, a focus light can also help a photographer keep an eye on a small or camouflaged subject; it may serve as a primary source of illumination during a night dive; it might also serve as a prop during an underwater photo shoot.

On Backscatter, Brad Brown has written the mother of all focus light overviews, carefully covering what to look for if you’re in the market for a new focus light. Then, Brown puts 6 focus lights through the grinder, comparing their beam qualities, sizes, weights, battery lives, and painstakingly identifying their pros and cons.

If you thought your light was “good enough,” you’ll whistle a different tune after reading his report.

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