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Randall Benton wins Wetpixel Picture of the Year 2009 Photo

Randall Benton wins Wetpixel Picture of the Year 2009

Congratulations to Randall Benton (bentoni) for winning Wetpixel’s Picture of the Year 2009 with his image of photographer Doug Perrine below a large manta ray at the famous Kona night manta dive. Benton’s image beat out 43 other fantastic images during 30 days of public voting.

For his winning image, Benton scores a one-week trip aboard the M/V Solmar V, a liveaboard dive vessel that runs dive trips to Socorro, the Sea of Cortez, and to Guadalupe for great white sharks. Jose Luis of Solmar V writes:

“Congratulations from the Solmar V on a fantastic image! We are especially partial to giant manta shots. We truly look forward to introducing you to the gianta mantas of socorro where you will have great photo ops - up close and personal - with these amazing creatures.”

Be sure to enter our Picture of the Week contest. At the end of 2010, you’ll all have a shot at winning the next picture of the year. Special thanks to our POTW sponsors, Ikelite and Solmar V.

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Seacam housing “claw” modification for Canon 1D Mark IV Photo

Seacam housing “claw” modification for Canon 1D Mark IV

Stephen Frink has posted photos of an official Seacam modification that allows for full control of Canon 1D Mark IV SLRs in Seacam 1D Mark III housings. Seacam are calling it the “claw” modification—a simple replacement part that allows for access to the FEL button, the button the 1D4 uses to immediately start recording a video. This particular modification removes access to the ISO button, but ISO access can easily be moved to another control via custom function.

Seacam will also retrofit existing housings for FEL / 1D Mark IV support, but this is probably the cheapest way to get FEL button access in a Seacam housing.

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Panasonic releases 10m waterproof camera Photo

Panasonic releases 10m waterproof camera

Panasonic have announced the new LUMIX DMC-TS2, an even more rugged version of its predecessor DMC-TS1 geared for active outdoor use.  The new tougher body is now rated to 10m, shockproof to 2m, freezeproof to -10 degrees C and dustproof.

Featuring AVCHD Lite HD movie recording capability, the new 14.1-megapixel TS2 has a high-quality LEICA DC VARIO ELMAR 28mm wide-angle lens with a 4.6x optical zoom, and is ready for extreme use.  Perfect for knocking around on a dive trip or while snorkeling, or when coupled with the optional housing (DMW-MCFT2), for diving to max depths of 40m.

I’ve personally shot with the TS1 on a number of snorkeling trips, and have seen them in action whilst in the Panasonic made housings, and have been more than impressed with what these little gems can achieve!

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Apple Releases Aperture 3 Photo

Apple Releases Aperture 3

Apple announced today that the long awaited update to Aperture, its professional image management software, is now available. Aperture 3, boasting over 200 new features is a major upgrade to Apple’s premiere asset management application. Topping the feature list, are Places and Faces (the Geotagging and Facial recognition features introduced in iPhoto ‘09), localized image corrections, and support for audio and video. Aperture 3 is available immediately for purchase at $199 for a new license, or $99 for users upgrading from a previous version. A free trial is available for download.

I’ve had a chance to download the trial version and test it for a few hours, and have posted some first impressions after the jump.

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Olympus introduces new waterproof cameras Photo

Olympus introduces new waterproof cameras

Good news for those looking for a small boat companion, Olympus has introduced two new point and shoot cameras waterproof to 5m and 10m depths.

The TOUGH-8010 comes with 2gb of internal memory and is shockproof to 2m, waterproof to 10m, and crushproof to 100kg.The TOUGH-6020 contains 1gb of internal memory, is shockproof to 1.5m and waterproof to 5m. Both new cameras have 14 megapixel sensors, are capable of HD movie recording, have an HDMI interface, and are compatible with SD cards. List prices for the TOUGH-8010 and TOUGH-6020 are $399 and $299 respectively.

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Nikon announces new 16-35mm f4 ED VR and 24mm f1.4 ED lenses Photo

Nikon announces new 16-35mm f4 ED VR and 24mm f1.4 ED lenses

Nikon has announced 2 new AF-S Nikkor lenses, the 16-35mm ED VR and the 24 f1.4 ED.

The 16-35mm f4 is the first 35mm wide angle lens to incorporate built-in VR technology. The latest VR system allows camera shake compensation equivalent to a shutter speed increase of up to approximately 4 stops. The lens should have a street price of US$1260 and will be available later this month. The new 24mm 1.4 will cost $2199 and will ship late March.

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Canon Announces New Rebel T2i Photo

Canon Announces New Rebel T2i

Canon has announced their most recent addition to the popular Rebel series of consumer SLRs, the EOS 550D/Rebel T2i. The T2i represents a significant update to the line, featuring 18 Megapixel stills at 3.7fps, and significantly improved video capability.

The physical changes to the camera body itself are not many, but there is an important one with respect to underwater housings: the addition of a Live View button on the right side of the back of the camera. It remains to be seen if the T2i will fit into existing housings, but it looks promising for those willing to compromise with not having full access to Live View and video functions.

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Reminder: vote for the Wetpixel Picture of the Year 2009 Photo

Reminder: vote for the Wetpixel Picture of the Year 2009

Just a quick reminder that February 11 is the deadline for public voting in the Wetpixel Picture of the Year 2009 contest! The images in the running are truly spectacular, and it’s worth a look even if you don’t want to vote.

The author of the winning photo will score a one-week liveaboard dive trip aboard the M/V Solmar V, a fantastic liveaboard dive vessel that runs trips to Socorro, the Sea of Cortez, and to Guadalupe for great white sharks.

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