Editor’s Note: This is the third of four days of DPG’s DEMA coverage. Check out our DEMA 2018 Home Page for a comprehensive look at this year’s show.
With all of the glamor of the DEMA imaging area—presentations, brand new gear, and scuba celebs—it can be easy to spend the entire day running around without really focusing on one or two booths at a time. With that in mind, we honed in our coverage efforts for this section of DEMA coverage on just three equipment manufacturers.
Inon seems to be one of a handful of brands that still relies on DEMA as the event to unload all of their new product announcements—and this year was no different. In the housing category, we got the first look at Inon’s X-2 prototype model for the Panasonic Lumix GX9. It features a very compact-yet-durable design to complement the camera itself. As well, we were impressed by the tweaked locking mechanism, which provides a tactile positive response when latched.
Inon’s X-2 housing for the GX9 complements the camera’s compactness while also offering access to all controls and pro-level ergonomics
The labeled buttons will make getting used to this camera much easier
Take comfort in the simplicity and effectiveness of the locking latch system on the X-2 housing for the Panasonic GX9
Capitalizing on the trend of advanced shooters using mirrorless cameras, Inon is also producing a straight viewfinder that is compatible with both optical and electronic viewfinders. We got the chance to briefly test out this viewfinder and what stands out is the brightness it offers. This will prove useful when working in dark conditions or taking pictures of macro critters that blend in with the environment.
Another trend in the underwater imaging industry is the emphasis on vacuum systems and integrated vacuum/leak detector electronics. Having these safeguards was once an optional addition or reserved for ultra-high-end systems, but now manufacturers like Inon are making them more accessible for even entry-level shooters.
Inon’s new viewfinder is very bright, which is critical when shooting in low-light conditions or trying to focus on low-contrast subjects
Adding M16 bulkheads (even to compact and mirrorless camera housings) allows the user to customize options like a vacuum pump or external monitor for video
One of my personal pet peeves is keeping my focus light in place and removing it quickly when I want to do some off-camera lighting—or switch it out for another model in between dives. Inon is addressing both of these concerns with their new Quick Holder and Quick Base. The combination of the two provides stability in the cold shoe: You don’t have to worry about the focus/video light loosening. At the same time, you can attach the light with a single click—as opposed to the agony of winding/unwinding clamps—with the one-snap installment.
It’s a quick snap to attach a light or accessory to your cold shoe thanks to Inon’s new Quick Holder and Quick Base attachments
The Quick Bases come in a variety of options including a double mount for use with a GoPro
The D-200 strobe made its first show floor appearance after Inon unveiled the entry-level model a couple months back. Inon also gave a surprise look at the upcoming neutral density (4.0 stops) strobe filter, which the company will offer across its strobe line. It’s billed as an option for creative “low light” or high ISO shooting. But we can see using this filter on your strobes when shooting at extremely wide apertures for bokeh when little strobe power is required.
Our first hands-on look at Inon’s new entry-level D-200 strobe
The new neutral density filter comes in versions for several of Inon’s strobes and decreases the output by four stops
Inon’s new collapsible rubber snoot will save some space while packing and can be used to attach the company’s existing tube snoot system to further reduce the strobe beam
It wasn’t a long journey to the ReefNet booth. In fact, for the third year in a row, brothers Keri and Kris Wilk were our booth neighbors. ReefNet makes a wide variety of dive products, but underwater photographers are probably most familiar with their snoots and SubSee magnifiers.
While we can’t give away too many details, ReefNet is teasing some upgraded versions of their iconic SubSee accessories. This “Pro” line of SubSees produces sharper images even at extremely open apertures. More details on this product line will become available in the coming months…
Now that’s sharp! A sneak peek at ReefNet’s upcoming SubSee Pro series of wet lenses for super macro
Underwater photographer Tobias Friedrich demonstrates another use of SubSee lenses
Canada-based company Aquatica produces mid-to-high-end housings for DSLRs and full-frame mirrorless cameras. In fact, their newest housing is that for the Sony a7R III, which combines many of Aquatica’s recent technological advances: self-centering controls, spring-loaded buttons, joystick mobility to access any one of the 425 AF points, and a large back button AF control.
Aquatica’s housing for the Sony a7R III in a pretty cool “space gray” color
On the DSLR side, one of Aquatica’s more recent housings is that for the Canon 5D Mark IV. The housing tray has been redesigned to lock/unlock the camera body with the push of a tab. As well, you can remove the camera, lens, and lens gear all at once.
The Aquatica housing for Canon’s 5D Mark IV has become a staple seller for the company
Prefer something more exciting than black or space gray? Aquatica is producing a special yellow “Nikon 100 Anniversary” D850 housing
When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the products mentioned in this article, please support DPG by supporting our retail partner—Backscatter.com.
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