Despite the excesses of the the Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide pool party the Wetpixel team were back on the show floor for 10 am sharp. The first viewing for the day was with Doug Taleski at iTorch.
We reviewed the Pro 3 torch here earlier this year and iTorch have listened to the concerns raised and have released the Pro 4. This has a 1200 lumen output, features 3 white and 3 red light levels and and a really nice soft wide beam with no apparent hard edges. It is supplied with two Li-ion batteries and a charger and will retail at $550. It will be available in the next 30 days.
In additions the company has produced the Pro mini. This has 750 lumens and has a red filter to avoid spooking sensitive subjects. It also is supplied with 2 Li-ion batteries and chargers and can be cycled through three light levels. It has a diffuser available as well. It will retails at $325 and is also available in 30 days.
As an in-line change the existing 555 torch will be upgraded to a 600 lumen output. iTorch will also release another video light called the video Pro 2 with an output of 850 lumens. This will retails at $485 and also is supplied with 2 batteries and a charger.
Doug’s colleague Kelvin of iDivesite then showed a prototype of a new prototype video light. This will come in 1800 and 2500 lumen. The new torch will have the ability for the user to vary the color temperature.
iDivesite have a series of new products for cameras including an innovative flip diopter bracket for compact camera housings. The have a 67mm thread to accommodate most popular diopters and filters.
They are also producing double element achromatic M46 threaded diopters labeled as +8 and +16. These magnification values are based on performance in air and will be less in water.
Other camera accessories include a wrap-around lighting bracket/strobe tray and two video housings.
One housing is designed for any Sony mini DV camcorder such as the CR-150E, whilst the other is suitable for medium sized Sony cams, including the XR series. The latter housing also has an external monitor that has push-button control of camera functions.
At high noon we walked over to Subal’s booth and met up with Rolf Sempert who took us through the new items they’re highlighting this year.
First up was the SGF2, the housing for the Panasonic GF2. At first glance this housing has all the finishes and smart design elements associated with Subal products. Upon closer inspection, with a built in leak alarm, a standard issue handle, lens release button on the front of the housing as well as access to the pop-up flash, this housing is right up there with what we’ve come to expect in a Subal dSLR housing, but made for a much smaller EVIL camera. With a port adapter, all existing type 3 Subal ports can be used with this housing. Lens compatibility includes the 7-14 mm, 8 mm, 45 mm macro, 14 mm, 12.5mm and 20 mm lenses. Priced at $1800 (€1290), this camera is available now.
Moving on to the dSLR housings, Subal has just introduced a 30 degree prism viewfinder, designed with the videographer in mind. This piece is bracket mounted on a glass plate that is user changeable and comes in at $1400 (€1000).
Subal has also built an external monitor package for their dSLR housings. With a shutter release, external charging and 6-pin connector, this monitor will be priced between $1300 and $1500 (€900 and €1,100).
The Subal V1/1 is a compatible video housing that can be configured for a variety of video cameras. Subal uses the infrared control from remote control equipped cameras to operate the camera within the housing through the handle.
With each V1/1 housing Subal will program the handle to sync up with the housed camera. Upgrade to a new camera? Just send Subal the housing and they will re-program the handle for the new camera. With a wide enough opening to accommodate the 3D cameras, the interchangeable port attachment accommodates all type 3 Subal ports.
Ultralite Control Systems.
Not mentioned in the previous reports, but very obvious at the show is the presence of the GoPro POV cams. The GoPro stand has, at times, had a long queue of people lining up to buy the HERO2 HD. UlCS has responded to this demand with a seres of products to cater for using these underwater. The GoPro is supplied with an underwater housing (although its optics don’t work well), but a weak point is the method of attachment of the cam to housing or arm. ULCS has produced a series of cages that allow the GoPro, GoPro 3D and GoPro LCD bacpac to be safely and securely attached via a 1” mounting ball. These retail at £74.95, $91.95 and $74.95 respectively.
In addition, they have produced three new camera trays specifically for the GoPro. The mini version can have a single handle ($26.95) added, and there are two handled versions for the GoPro 3D ($34.95) and GoPro ($28.95).
ULCS had an innovative pole cam arrangement for the GoPro. The standard pole can accommodate a variety of different ends, including a flexible one that allows for a remarkably smooth pan by rotating the pole. Other options include a fixed end and a ball mount. Prices are not yet available and lead time is expected to be in a few weeks.
When we wandered over to ReefNet, Keri Wilk was there to greet us, and showed us some of the many things he had up his sleeve. First off was the Fiber Optic Micro Snoot. You may have seen the images of the Locline encased fiberoptic bundle previously press released, well now it is ready to ship.
The snoot has brackets that will fit on many strobes including Ikelite’s DS-125, DS-160, DS-161, Inon’s Z210, Z240, S2000 as well as Sea & Sea’s YS-250, YS-110A and YS-01. One feature we really liked about this snoot was the custom ReefNet parts that keep the fibers concentric to make a consistent beam angle. The ends are polished and each snoot comes with a narrowing tip that threads onto the end. Base plates are $140 (with two attachment points) and the Fiber Optic Arms are $160 each.
The SubSee magnifier now has a new and improved clamping hinge that keeps the diopter flat against the port (avoiding compromising the magnification angle) as well as a new method for port attachment that won’t scratch the port itself. The price has also had a slight decrease of $50 and sells for $150-$250 (depending upon the port model).
One of the things we love about ReefNet are the prototypes and Keri definitely didn’t disappoint today. He has designed a SubSee Light Canon, which is a variable aperture lens with a focused light beam. Basically, this is an attachment that fits on the front of your strobe and controls the size and shape of the focused light.
To demonstrate the possibilities Keri laser cut a message onto one of the prototype plates and projected it onto Abi’s Wetpixel t-shirt. Cool!
The Light Canon works with SubSee magnifiers (+5 and +10 diopters), so if you already own one you can simply purchase the Light Canon and plates. The plates can also be cut into custom designs. The Canon itself will retail between $300 and $400.
Maria Munn of Ocean Visions was at the show promoting her unique underwater photography training for compact camera users. She had signed copies of her book on the stand and has a version of the book for iPad coming soon. She is also shortly releasing a DVD shot in Borneo aimed again at improving the skills and abilities of Compact camera owners.
Lastly, she will be launching an online version of her training courses soon.
Abi and Adam had a meeting with Jean and John Brigham on Ikelite’s stand. The company is a staunch supporter of Wetpixel, particularly as it provides the prizes for the Wetpixel Picture of the Week competition.
Ikelite are the only manufacturer with housings available for the new Sony SLRs, with ones for the A35 and A55 shipping now. The A77 is causing some design problems due to its controls and is not yet supported. These housings all offer TTL with Ikelite strobes via a hard wired connection. All Ikelite housings are now shipping with a smaller base and natty red colored handles.
Another unique product on offer are housings for the Pentax K5 and K7 SLRs. These do not offer TTL strobe triggering, only manual triggering via sync cord.
Ikelite has a housing for the new Canon S100 compact camera.
Jean and John told us that the 160 and 161 strobes will be upgraded to a Li-ion battery pack soon, which will make them lighter (nearly neutrally buoyant) and will increase battery life.
In addition, there are plans to offer a new wet wide-angle lens for compact cameras with a 24mm lens.
Alex and Adam called in to see photographer David Hall at his booth some distance away from the main image zone. He has just launched his new book “Beneath Cold Seas.”, which is described as a book about northern Waters.
In his foreword, Chris Newbert writes:
“In Beneath Cold Seas David Hall’s stunning pictures and eloquent words tell the story of life within the frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest, an ecosystem rich in variety, abundance and intrigue…an extraordinary work that stands alone in its achievement.”
The book retails at $45 and for those not based in the US, a version is to be published in the UK in January.
Our last appointment of the day was with Jonathan Lorenzen of Watershot. He walked through their new video kits with us. First were the video light heads. Starting at $249 the V900 is a 900 lumen light with a 75 degree angle and nice soft edges.
The V1800 has 1800 lumens, also with a 75 degree angle and sells for $429.
The most powerful is the V3000 with 3000 lumens and coming in at a price of $949.
Watershot has also come up with an interesting battery and arm combination. These arms start at $199 and go up to $599 and can have two light head connections on one arm.
We were impressed with the GoPro set-up they had on display and also that for about a mere $500 you can get into an entry level video kit.
Tuesday 1 November: Pre-show set-up.
Wednesday 2 November: Booth visits.
Thursday 3 November:Booth visits.
Special report: Shawn Heinrichs receives the Sea Hero of the Year Award.
Slideshow of images from the Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide Pool party.
Saturday 5 November: Booth visits
Slideshow about the “people of DEMA”
DEMA 2011:Final thoughts and conclusions.