Show report: DEMA 2017

Jim Decker of Backscatter


Last day of the show and the first meeting we had was with Backscatter on their large booth. Jim Decker took us through all of the many products Backscatter carries.

First we looked at the GoPro Hero6 and the Flip6 system. While the Hero6 has the same body, it has a brand new sensor and new processor. The Flip6 is compatible with the GoPro 3, 4, 5, and 6.

The Flip mounting bracket ships with two spacers that allow it to be used with different sized GoPro lens ports. 3 filters, 3 different depths, same price.

The next thing we looked at was the Olypmus Tough TG-5. The first feature we looked at was the microscope mode, which is optical rather than digital zooming.

Microscope mode image of a section of a $100 bill

The camera has the Pro Capture feature, which starts capturing images when the shutter is half pressed. This ensures that it is possible to capture subjects that are moving quickly. Recommended lighting set-up is a video light as the camera’s auto exposure is fantastic.

The camera shoots video at 4k 30p and 1080 120p and is waterproof to 50 feet.

The camera is priced at $449 and the Olypmus PT-058 housing for it is priced at $299.

Next up we looked at the iTorch e004 dome with an angle of 165° and retail price of $424.

We also looked at the screen magnifier with adjustable diopter that retails for $160.

The next camera we looked at was the OM-D EM-1 MkII. The camera shoots 18 frames/second in raw, has a 20 MP sensor with new a processor, the Pro Capture feature and shoots video at 4k 30p.

Olympus offer limited port compatibility for micro 4/3 lenses that are not of their own manufacture.

Jim showed us a series of new dome ports that come in glass or acrylic and are manufactured by AOi. A new wet lens by AOi, the UWL-09 PRO Wide Angle Lens has a 130° angle of view and is outperforming SLR lenses. It retails for $999. One notable detail is the button to burp air out of the lens space for removing it with ease.

Then we looked at the Retra strobe, which is shipping at the end of the year with a second batch coming in February and March.

The strobe has a single flash tube, with a quartz flash and aluminum body. It also has a thermal protection circuit, which means it will never overheat. The guide number is 30 and a beam of 110°, which can be expanded to 130° with diffusers.

Triggering is via fiber optic in manual and sTTL, and electrical in manual only. The fiber port is user switchable between Nauticam and Sea&Sea fittings. Retra can fit Sea&Sea, Nikonos, S6 and Ikelite type bulkheads by request, with Sea&Sea being fitted as standard.

There is a learning mode for pre flashes on camera and an additional battery compartment that doubles the 450 flashes and 2 second recycle time to 900 flashes and a 1 second recycle time.

The Retra Flash retails for $819 and the LSD snoot retails for $450.

There are 3 diffusers and adjustable snoot shape cutouts. These all attach via a front bayonet.

Retra offers a 2 year guarantee that will be honoured in the event of water entering the front of the strobe. The battery compartment is sealed.

In the event of a battery compartment flood, the contacts are significantly more robust than most existing strobes.

Throughout the show, Backscatter have hosted over 50 short talks about all sorts of subjects on their booth.

Shark Suit!

Javier Salas and Melodi Treviño of XTC Dive Center, Mexico


We stopped briefly by XIT404’s stand as their Spike mounting tool had arrived. Designed to be pushed into a soft substrate, it has a 1/4 20 thread that allows accessories like ball arms, lights or action cams too be attached. The fluke like shape helps it to resist spinning.

Blake Stoughton, Carolina Amaya and Sean Havas on their Aquatica booth


Our next meeting was with Lee Burghard of Fisheye. We first checked out the Fix NEO mini 1000SWR.

The light offers 1000 lumens with a 95° beam angle or more narrow 25° beam angle. The color temperature is 6000°K with a 90 minute burn time.

Then we looked at the Fix NEO Premium 40/30 DXII. It can be connected to a fine optic cable linked to the camera and if so, offers brief burst of light at 4000 lumen.

In video mode, it offers a continuous 3000 lumen. It will ship at the beginning of the year.

We also saw the Fix NEO 1500 SWR DX II. It offers stepped output of white light in wide and spot beam modes along with red mode.

Fisheye is also offering a dome adaptor that makes the light’s beam slightly wider and smooths the edges of the beam. It is compatible with all existing and legacy Fix NEO lights.

Ultralight’s Terry Schüler, Dave Reid and UWP’s Peter Rowlands


Then we walked over to Ikelite and met with John Brigham.

He showed us Ikelite’s housing for the d850.

The retail price is $1695. It comes standard with one handle, another can be purchased.

Thee are new shaped levers for trigger and AF ON and these can be extended for access from the tray’s grips

Moving forward all ports will be the Drylock (DL) version as well as mounting the camera internally on a plate that slides into place instead of via attachment to the back. Also, the grey polycarbonate ABS blended material is half the weight of what aluminum would be.

John demonstrating how light his housings are!

All new DL SLR housings will ship with a vacuum bulkhead as standard. The pump is supplied as an optional accessory.

Accessories include viewfinders and TTL strobe triggering circuitry. DL housings will ship with a manual electrical hotshoe as standard.

All Ikelite housings have controls marked with laser etching.

In DL mount, Ikelite offers an 8” dome and a compact 8” version. The former is 2 lbs lighter with the new mount than the previous version.

Next we looked at Ikelite’s housings for Canon SL1 and SL2 compact SLRs.

The Ikelite package retails at $1500 and comes with the camera and 6” dome port.

John showed us Ikelite’s housing for the Sony RX100 Mk V compact.

Lastly, Ikelite had set up two strobes with optical triggers to act as modelling lights. Once we discovered this, everyone was dragged on for a picture!

Ellen Cuylaerts

Abi Mullens

Ikelite’s John Brigham with Ken and Kimber Kiefer

Abi Mullens, Gutsy Tuason, Emily Irving, Douglas Seifert, Alison Sallmon, Andy Sallmon

Kin and Anthony of Keen M and Gutsy Tuason


Our next meeting was with Howard Rosenstein of Fantasea. He showed us their mirrorless camera housings.

First was the A6500 which fits the Sony a6300 and the a6500. It is made from injection molded polycarbonate.

We also looked at the FA6000, the Fantasea housing for the Sony a6000.

Accessories include an LCD magnifier with diopter, which fits on all housings.

Fantasea’s housing ship with an M67 thread on the port, and Howard explained that they have built a QRS bayonet system that will attach to this for quick and easy addition and removal of ports and diopters.

There are two TTL flash triggers available, along with an external battery pack for video use.

Fantasea are also offering an adaptor ring that allows their housings to be used with Sea&Sea ports.

Next was the new Fantasea light 3000F which retails for $499. It is a multifunction light that has video and spot and 3 steps of power.

As well as red and ultraviolet light. Additionally it has strobe and SOS mode. Burn time is 50 minutes at full power

Erin Quigley’s talks and mini seminars on post production have been very well received through the show


Our last meeting of the day was with Takuya Tori of Inon. And the answer to the question on everyone’s mind is: A new Inon strobe is in the working prototype stage and will be announced very soon. Wetpixel will be reviewing the strobe as soon as it is available.

First we looked at the X2 housing for the Canon EOS 80D.

The version we looked at featured a macro port the utilises magnetic connection to act on the focus gear on the inside. It is called the MR system (magnetic rotary system).

The UCL-90 close-up lens is approximately +11, will ship next month, and retails for $320.

The next thing we looked at was the Inon underwater tripod.

There are 3 different arm positions and users can attach different arms as legs as it is modular. Inon’s new arms have threaded holes in the ends to allow for them to be attached to the tripod head to allow for the feet to be fitted.

The head ships with three feet.

The tripod head can also be swapped out for a ¼-20 attachment.

There are two new varieties of shoe base.

The first has a 1/4 20 threaded attachment point, while the second is an M6.

The actual base can be removed and swapped between options as the user desires, with the different attachment ports being available separately.

Then we looked at the LF1300-EWf focus light with a shutter linked auto function.

This 1300 lumen focus light has a small sensor on the front of the strobe to detect a flash. When it does, it turns off for 0.2 seconds, which is long enough not to interfere in exposure, but shorter than the camera’s blackout time.

It takes x3 AA batteries and retails for $270.

The cancel function can be switched off if the user wishes to use it as a video light.

The last light we looked at was the LF3100-EW. It has a 100-degree view. It goes from 50 lumens all the way up to 3100 lumens. Supplied accessories include a half shade and a red filter.

It has a pressure relief valve and a locking collar to prevent inadvertent activation. The light takes 6 AA batteries and retails for $320.

Takuya also showed us the UW Variable Red Filter M67. This uses two polarised lenses that clasp together using magnets.

They can be rotated which allows for an increased/decreased amount of red. He was at pains to stress that the filters and mount need to be purged of trapped air bubbles upon entry into the water.

Lastly, he reminded us that front mask for the GoPro HERO 5 is also compatible with the HERO6.

So that’s it for DEMA 2017! It has been another great show. Our heartfelt thanks to all the booths who put up with us taking up their valuable time. It was great to meet up with everyone too. See you all in Las Vegas in 2018.

Abi, Lureen, Drew and Adam are signing off….

Page 1: Ultralight, Nauticam, XIT404, Gates, Keldan, Acquapazza.
Page 2: Seacam, Subal, Isotta, Easydive, Aquatica, Sea&Sea.
Page 3: Wetpixel/DPG Underwater Imaging Party.
Page 4: iDive, VRTUL, Pelagic Fleet, Cinebags, SAGA.
Page 5: Backscatter, XIT404, Fisheye, Ikelite, Fantasea, Inon.