Editor's Note: This is the fourth and final day of DPG’s DEMA coverage. Check out our DEMA 2017 Home Page for a comprehensive look at this year’s show.
It all comes down to this. With DEMA left to nothing but a few fleeting hours, DPG ran around the show floor on Saturday making sure not to miss any new gear—be it as big as a RED housing or as small as a ball clamp.
i-Divesite always spices up the underwater lighting scene at DEMA with some new gadget or feature, and this year is no different. The most colorful product (literally) is the prototyped Venom 40 RGB. The light is able to vary the color output, which is ideal for light painting and altering the background tone.
There are also standard white and red modes, but the “color pallete” mode is what makes the RGB stand out. The mini version of the light—the V color—also offers the spectrum of colors and comes standard with a snoot that creates a psychedelic multitonal pattern for truly creative lighting.
Demonstrating the unique light effect made with the mini RGB light and snoot
i-Divesite continues to refine the ergonomics and improve specs with their video lights
i-Divesite’s buoyancy arm allows users to fine-tune exact buoyancy
We also got a hands-on look at i-Divesite’s innovative buoyancy arm. By adding air or water to the sealed compartment you can fine-tune the exact buoyancy of the arm up to 2 lb of lift. The arms can also accommodate a battery to extend the life of your i-Divesite light.
i-Divesite continues to emphasize ease of use with their products, which includes the new remote control system. This allows the user to adjust both lights’ outputs with the turn of a dial—no need to keep reaching back and forth from each light back to your housing’s handles. As well, with the large visual display, the shooter can just briefly look up from the camera’s viewfinder to see current light output settings.
Venom 50 prototype
There are also continued improvements to existing light systems. The Venom 50 gets a significantly improved CRI rating (color rendering index) along with a COB upgrade to 5,000 lumens—a solid choice for videographers looking to light up a medium scene with high quality light. The upgraded version of the Video Pro 6 is the new BS30—a 3,000-lumen video light for the prosumer. DPG is working on a review of this new light, so stay tuned.
i-Divesite offers miniature versions of many light models for the space-conscious diver
We always enjoy stopping by to learn what’s new over at Fantasea Line. We received the royal treatment from Fantasea owner, Howard Rosentstein, as we delved into the new gear on display. The company has just come out with a new LED slave trigger with a rechargeable battery so underwater photographers won’t have to worry about wasting the camera’s battery.
Howard Rosenstein, owner of Fantasea, showing off their new LCD magnifier
The new LCD magnifier fits all Fantasea housings
They also have a new extra battery compartment, which slides onto the hotshoe to provide photographers with double the output. We also learned about their newly designed quick release system for wet lenses as well as a converter which allows photographers to use Sea&Sea ports on Fantasea housings.
LED slave trigger
Extra battery compartment doubles the output
A new quick release system for wet lenses
A closer look at the wet lens
Fantasea housing system
Team Nauticam was out in full force showing off their housings large and small. Let’s start with the big stuff—specifically some updates to Nauticam’s line of pro and cinema-quality video housings. The Nauticam RED Weapon LT housing now can accommodate larger cinema lenses with a 200mm extension ring adaptor. Such lenses are primarily aimed at feature film productions rather than wildlife because of the reliance on manual focus.
Massive knobs are key for precise control of focus
You can now accessorize the RED LT housing with the RED 7-inch touch monitor
We really liked the new trim weight system displayed on this and other Nauticam pro video housings. With these sliding weights you can customize the perfect buoyancy of your system regardless of port/lens combinations.
Sticking with video housings, Nauticam will soon be shipping a housing for the new Canon C200. This cinema camera shoots 4K/60p and records Canon Light RAW internally to CFast cards, which is a more affordable media. Additionally, the C200 has ND filters for shooting in shallow conditions—a great option for freediving and snorkeling when combined with the camera’s electronic viewfinder (rather than a monitor).
Nauticam’s housing for the C200 matches the cinema camera’s relative compactness, making it a good choice for freediving and surface-level underwater videography
Just by removing the back you can access the SDI connection, media and battery compartments
The trim weights allow for exact control over how the system floats in the water
Switching over to still imaging, Nauticam has introduced two innovative wet lenses. The first is a Wide Angle Correcting Port (WACP), which is a wet lens designed to work with “cheaper” zoom lenses and full-frame DSLRs.
Nauticam continues to be one of the leading housing manufacturers for mirrorless cameras, such as this Sony a6500
Corner sharpness and overall image quality when shooting with rectilinear zoom lenses and traditional ports are often lessened. By combining this WACP with a zoom lens (Canon 28–80mm or Nikon 28–70mm), you increase the focal versatility and image quality. The accessory lens increases the field of view up to 130 degrees at the widest focal length.
Currently, this wet lens is in prototype form and will ship in the next few months with a price tag around $3,000
The second prototype wet lens was displayed on the new Nikon D7500 housing and converts the popular 60mm lens to a 150-degree field of view, which is ideal for going from traditional macro imagery to close-focus wide-angle. You can also rotate in the SMC-2 for super-macro images.
An inside look at the Nauticam housing for the Nikon D850
The other new DSLR housings at the Nauticam booth include the NA-D850. Of note, this new housing ships standard with the Nauticam optical trigger built in. It also includes control over the “Function” and “Depth of Field” buttons.
Many photographers are opting to use Nauticam’s built-in optical trigger
Nauticam is now shipping their housing for the brand new Sony a9 mirrorless camera. Significant improvements to the camera include a beefed up battery (also seen in the forthcoming a7 Mk III series). This is key for demanding videographers. The housing has a bigger back wheel for easier settings adjustments.
Nauticam Sony a9 housing
Nauticam’s housing for the Sony a9 is one of the first to market
Seacam shooter and Alert Diver publisher Stephen Frink was on hand to give us a look at the manufacturer’s new products. Now shipping, the Seacam 60D strobe is a mid-range option ideal for the company’s mirrorless camera users.
The 60D strobe has a beam angle of 130 degrees
The 60D strobe, as is common with mid-range lighting options, is powered by AA batteries. Its output measures at 60W/s at a beam angle of 130 degrees (without diffuser). The color temperature is slightly lower than most strobes at 4400K.
Powered by AA batteries, the 60D strobes sit in the middle range of Seacam’s strobe line
Speaking of Seacam’s mirrorless line: We got our first look at the housing for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. It’s unique in that it emphasizes the use of the electronic viewfinder rather than the LCD screen. This is probably due to the fact that the camera is the flagship of Olympus’ mirrorless line and will most likely be used by more advanced underwater shooters.
Carbon Arm displayed their new Dive Shot housing—a universal solution for smartphone underwater photography. It uses a specially designed app and optical sensors to allow for significant control, including manual shutter speed.
The housing currently retails for around $800 and is depth-rated to 200 feet
Carbon Arm also sells a variety of arms and lighting accesories
Last but certainly not least, we got to play with the new and prototype products from Inon. One of our favorite products is Inon’s upcoming underwater tripod, which actually uses newly designed arm segments that connect with threaded attachments.
The new Inon tripod accommodates mounting even large DSLR housings
The tripod can lock the legs in three different positions. A variety of bases (including a cold shoe ball adaptor for either M6, quarter-inch or ball) means you can mount anything from a large housing to off-camera strobes. The tripod will begin shipping by the end of this year or early 2018.
It doesn’t get more epic than this Inon-accessorized GoPro setup
Inon has two upcoming video lights as well. The LF3100EW is a 3,100-lumen video light that has 12 power settings, accepts six AA batteries and has a pressure valve for safety. The light comes with a hood (to limit beam angle in poor viz) and a red filter.
The LF1300EWF is more of a focus light or backup torch if needed. It has an auto-off triggered by your strobes when shooting stills. Notably, this feature can be deactivated if you want to use the light for shooting video.
Inon also introduced a 67mm variable red filter that adjusts the amount of red in the image or video by simply rotating the accessory
Another lens accessory is the UCL90, which is a +11 diopter for standard macro at a longer working distance
Inon is getting back into the housing market by targeting the entry-level DSLR user with the Canon 80D housing. Handle-less ergonomics are emphasized, with access to both the aperture and shutter dials with one hand holding the housing. The housing also features a magnetic focus ring, shutter lock, and focus point lever.
The Inon tripod is ideal for off-camera lighting
And as for that Inon strobe… Well, the company discontinued the very popular Z-240 strobe earlier this year in anticipation of releasing an updated version. We can’t say much about what that strobe will be in terms of specs; however, we’re told details on the new strobe will be made available in the near future.
Super-wide 12 Power setting light
Show Floor Sights
While the new imaging gear is certainly the emphasis of our show coverage, there are plenty of other things—and people!—to see at DEMA. Here are some of our favorite moments from DEMA 2017.
Keri Wilk of Reefnet and Ikelite’s John Brigham talk tech
It’s all smiles when you’re hanging around the underwater imaging’s best and brightest
Backscatter’s Jim Decker shared tips and techniques for successful wide-angle underwater photography
Blinded by Wetpixel’s Adam Hanlon. Shout-out to team Wetpixel for their great work on the DEMA floor
Joel Penner (aka guru of GoPro) gave several talks at the Backscatter booth
The ladies from Deepblu take a break from selling their chic Cosmiq dive computers
Keri Wilk modeling Inon accessories
Miguel and Ana from Siladen Resort & Spa
The folks from Worldwide Dive and Sail
Alex Rose of Blue Ring showing off her blue ring pendant
Don’t you just want to buy everything at the Backscatter booth?
Thanks for following along with DPG’s coverage of DEMA 2017. There’s obviously a lot to digest—and we look forward to working with our equipment retail partner, Backscatter, to bring you hands-on reviews of as many of these new products as possible.
Until next time…
Fantasea FG7X II
Ikelite Housing for Nikon D500
I-DiveSite Venom 35s
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