DEMA Show 2015 Day 2
Our first meeting of the day on DEMA day 2 was with Paul Barnett of Fisheye.
He showed us the Fix Aquavolt 5000Mini, their new compact hight output video light. The light is a little larger than a can of Redbull and has a maximum output of 5000 lumens. The light is depth rated to 150m and has a light angle of 100 degrees. The retail is $1199.
The Li-ion battery has color coordinated indicator lights and a burn time of 55 minutes at maximum power. A spare battery runs $229.
The second item we checked out was the Remote Control FR 1 E and FR 1. The remote controller is meant to sit on the back of the housing and allows the operator control of one or two strobes without moving camera position to reach the lights.
The retail is $99 and $199. The FR 1 model allows the user to control each light’s output independently.
Next we had a look at the Mini 1000WR focus light. The light has both white and red output and 4 power settings. The Li-ion battery is micro USB rechargeable. Retail is $299. It also has “quench” function that cuts the light out when a strobe is released.
The NEO Premium 2200 DX was the next light we checked out. With a CRI of 96, the color output of this light has been adjusted to create truer reds underwater.
Additionally the color temperature is 4000K. The 2200 lumen light has a burn time of 55 minutes and a light beam angle 100 degrees wide. Retail is $799.
The last light we looked at was the NEO 1500 DX SWR. The light can be wide, a spotlight or red with a maximum output of 1500 lumens. Also, the head of the light can be swapped out with a blue head for fluorescence diving at a price of $299. The light itself retails for $599.
Our next stop was with Jean Brigham of Ikelite, who walked us through some of the big changes that are happening with their housings.
The first big change is the clear polycarbonate blend that is so characteristic of Ikelite housings has now been relegated to the back of the housings while the front of the housings are now an attractive opaque grey.
Jean told us that they are now using a different type of polycarbonate and the new color keeps cameras cooler as well as providing a contrasting background when inspecting the O ring placement.
The next big change to note are the locking port systems have been revamped and simplified. There are three screws and two brightly colored O-Rings for a more robust seal.
For users that wish to use the older port system, the option is still available on the newer housings. Ikelite’s focus and zoom rings have been slightly redesigned to accommodate the change (although they remain universal). The “throat” of the port opening will accommodate even large lenses like the Canon 11-24mm.
Ikelite’s dome ports are very light, and Jean showed us their new compact modular port
Additionally, the housings will be a bit more modular to cater to the many needs of individuals taking cameras into the water. There are two backs, one that is thinner and rated for shallower water and one that is thicker and rated to 200 feet. Also, there are two housing front options for control buttons, one style that covers all controls and one that supplies access to just the essentials.
Ikelite is also working on trays and handles for a variety of users, including pistol grip control for surf photographers as well as HDMI out bulkheads and other accessories.
Ikelite now supports over 100 camera models with recent additions of housings for the Sony α7r II, Samsung NX1 and Canon M3 cameras.
We met with Andy Sallmon on the Sea&Sea booth and he showed us through the new YS-D2 strobes. These feature a guide number of 32 in air, and a recycle time of 1.5 seconds.
They feature a redesigned control interface that actually has color coded LED backlighting that denotes the mode that it the strobe is in.
The actual controls are now both rotary dials and are less likely to be inadvertently bumped. The strobes have a beam angle of 80° which can be modified with the supplied diffusers to 100° or 120°. The diffusers reduce output by 1 and 1 and a third stops respectively. Andy has been shooting the new strobes and remarked that he couldn’t tell the output difference between the two in practice.
The new strobes also feature a redesigned YS mount that enables users to get a tighter fit and they ship with a 1” ball mount option.
Andy then showed us the new housings from the company.
These include a housing for the Sony α7 II, from the MDX range:
And the company’s new housing for the Olympus OM-D M-M5 Mark II:
Andy also showed us two prototype new video lights. These will have outputs of 2000 and 4000 lumen respectively.
An interesting new accessory launched by Sea&Sea are internal correction lens filters for use with rectilinear wide-angle lenses.The 77mm version is designed for use Canon EF17-40mm F4L USM, Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM, Nikon AF-S 16-35mm F4G ED VR and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm F3.5-4.5G ED, while the 82mm version is for the Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L ll USM. We discussed these at some length and they are not diopters (as they do not magnify) but are “convex meniscus lenses”. The official guidance is that: “Internal Correction Lenses have been designed to improve the resolving power at the edges and corners of images (to suppress field curvature and distortion) by a value of 2 f-stops”.”
The center piece of the Backscatter booth is a 20’ high black tower crawling with octopus arms and hard to miss.
We met with Sean Boone, Jim Decker and Berkeley White who told us how the increased production of their Flip 4 product line for GoPro has brought the prices down. The actual bracket has been re-tooled and now is easier and more secure to mount on both the GoPro standard and dive housings. The Macromate Mini has also been redesigned and now features custom made glass that is a much higher quality than before.
The filter fittings remain the same and the filter colors are unchanged, bar the deep version that has been slightly tweaked. Jim showed us some GoPro video footage shot using (counter intuitively) lights and the shallow filter. It was interesting how the limited white balance in the GoPro “forces” the camera to provide pleasing colors.
The new filter sets ship in redesigned packaging and are supplied with a neoprene pouch to hold them. The prices are $49 for one filter, a 3 filter kit is $99, the +15 macro kit is $99 and the Pro Package which includes 3 filters and the macro kit is $179.
The Olympus booth shares space with Backscatter and we met with Andrew Bausk who showed us the impressive macro capabilities of the Olympus TG-4. The difference from the TG-3 to the TG-4 is the ability to shoot uncompressed in RAW.
The macro mode is called microscope mode for a reason. We simply rested the camera on the counter and tilted it until it was almost touching the paper it was resting on, to which it quickly focused on a small portion of a printed letter. This is also a tough series housing and is waterproof to 50 feet without a housing. Retail is $799.
We also looked at the E-M10 Mark II which is additional to the E-M10, not replacing. The wifi capability is improved and there is 5-axis image stabilization. Another capability that is standard in all new Olympus models is the live composite, which greatly improves long exposure captures.
We also checked out the E-M5 Mark II which has similar ergonomics to the E-M1, but is much smaller. The 16 MP sensor has an improved sensor for noise, 5-axis stabilization and full HD video frame rates.
Video light manufacturer Keldan was displaying two new big video lights.
The Video 24x outputs 26,000 lumen and has a burn time of between 45 mins to 15 hours depending on the output level. Output is adjustable over 9 levels.
The Video 18x outputs 21,000 lumen and has the same burn time as its big brother. Both lights have an 110° beam angle and a CRI of 80Ra.
The Li-ion batteries feature the option of being dismantled into individual packs that are not over the 100 Wh limit that is now set by the airlines.
The batteries have an LCD display that gives burn time or remaining charge time, as well as Keldan’s traditional display using LED’s to denote battery status. Both lights have clear end caps to allow this information to be viewed.
Daniel Keller has been busy designing color correction filters too. He has been able to take his spectrophotometer underwater and accurately measure the spectrum of light at various depths. On the back of the his results, he is in the process of designing a series of correction filters. The filters are designed to set the color temperature to daylight (5500°K), so the camera’s white balance needs to be set to this value too.
Daniel will be offering subtractive filters for use on video lights that correct the light’s output to the spectrum that is present and filters that attach to the camera’s lens. Filters will be designed for specific depth ranges.
The latter will be available in 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm fittings and will cost somewhere in the region of €100 to €150.
Like the torch filters, there will be several types for differing depths. Daniel expects to be shipping the filters by the BOOT show in early January.
Day 1: Booth visits - ULCS, XIT404, Aquatica, i-Torch, GoPro, New World Publications, Subal and Nauticam.
Day 1: Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide Imaging party.
Day 2: Booth visits - Fisheye, Ikelite, Sea&Sea, Backscatter, Olympus and Keldan.
Day 3: Booth visits - Orcalight, Seacam, Acquapazza, Light and Motion, Inon, Fantasea.
Day 4: Booth visits - BS Kinetics, H20 Photo Tools, Saga, Gates, 10 Bar.