DEMA Coverage: Accessories and Lighting
In the first three days of DEMA, we’ve looked at compact and consumer cameras, DSLRs cameras, and all the video news. But on DEMA’s final day, we’ve moved away from the housings and cameras to explore the latest lighting and accessories.
From new strobes and video lights to pole cam arms and everything in between, DEMA 2012 was full of cool new accessories—and we’re bringing you them first, right here on DPG.
Nauticam LED Flash Trigger:
Put simply, this is perhaps the coolest accessory at DEMA this year. Nauticam has a prototype “LED Flash Trigger,” which allows the photographer to shoot fiber optically, without a pop-up flash. How, you might ask? Well, the device plugs into the hotshoe of the camera, and much like an electrical strobe connection, receives the signal to fire directly form the camera.
This signal tells the device to fire small flashes through its LED lights, which in turn are transmitted through your standard fiber optic cables and into the strobes. Basically, it’s all the benefits of shooting electronic sync cables (super quick recycling) with the benefits of fiber optic (easy to remove and no water damage to electrical equipment).
The device currently fits into Nauticam’s housings for the D4, D800, D600, 1DX, and 5D Mark III. Pricing is yet to be determined, but this exciting new device will be released early next year.
Nightsea Lights at Backscatter Booth:
“It’s a pretty compelling product,” say’s Backscatter’s Sterling Zumbrunn matter-of-factly about the Night Sea line. This modified Sola emits blue light, which when combined with a yellow filter over the camera’s port can help explore the world of underwater florescent photography. “It gives much better separation,” added Sterling.
The Nightsea light is 1200-lumen, and can be switched back and forth between spot and flood, giving the photographer more flexibility when finding and shooting subjects. It retails with a hand strap for $750.
The guys at Backscatter also told us about their new bulkhead connection for their HD Wahoo monitor. While the first HDMI bulkhead was fixed, making it difficult to change cables, then new one is easy to pass through. It will be included standard for all future versions.
XIT 404 Accessories:
As always, XIT 404 had a handful of accessory goodies. Their big news was the announcement of a macro mount, which fits Aquatica, Subsees, and Macromates on its 67mm. The advantage to this mount is that it can hold 2-3 different adaptors for stacking and different combinations. It features a sliding mechanism that allows the photographer to position the extra diopter at any angle on the port.
The adaptor is currently available for $225, and company officials say that a mount for video lights is currently in the works.
There’s also the XIT 404 light handle, which can snap on a Sola or similar-sized video light with either a ball or lockline connection. They also had on display their full line of focus rings, including Nauticam systems and the new Canon 8-15mm lens.
Gates Seal Check:
Gates had on display their new and improved seal check, compatible with their upper-line housings. It is “more beautiful and streamlined” and features a lighted gauge. It will come included with all newly purchased housings.
They also are selling a “Gates Tripod” for $575. Which can be easily attached jut by removing the camera’s tray. The tripod can extend from 7-16 inches.
Aquatica Water Wizard:
Aquatica’s big accessory announcement is the housing for the Pocket Wizard. The Water Wizard is a remote flash trigger that works up to 330 feet away from the strobe, when held at the surface using buoyancy arms or a tripod. Although the one on display is only a prototype, the final version will feature an on and off switch, and can also be used to remotely fire the camera.
Over at the ReefNet Booth, snootmaster Keri Wilk was displaying his full line of fiber optic snoots. These flexible, fiber optic devices allow a photographer to perform a variety of creative lighting effects.
Keri told us that he has greatly expanded the snoot support for various strobes: Inon Z240, Z220, D-2000 and S-2000, Sea & Sea YS-01, YS-D1 and YS-250 and Ikelite DS-125, DS160 and DS-161 strobes. But he can customize the snoot to virtually any strobe if given specifications.
We also caught another look at ReefNet’s Light Cannon—a device that uses a ReefNet subsee to focus light from a strobe into a variety of diameters.
Keri has also suggested that the company is also working on a new wide-angle macro lens. More details surely down the road….
There were several manufactures out with tray systems for the GoPro. Fantasea will begin offer their tray system with LED lights in a month, for just $89. Owner Howard Rosenstein describes the setup as “smaller, more compact, and very affordable.”
Beneath the Surface highlighted their complete line of trays and arms for the GoPro system. Ranging from $69-$139, these setups feature quick disconnects and an easy clip in system found on any GoPro. The arms accommodate Solas and UK Aqualights and are billed as being neutrally buoyant in the water.
BTS also has a metal pole cam system for the GoPro, which extends from a compact 16 inches all the way to almost 50 inches. It is collapsible, features a ball adaptor, and retails for an affordable $89. Additionally, the company is now selling a metal tripod for the GoPro, in both 12 and 8 inch versions—they sell for around $75.
Ultralite is also offering a variety of GoPro tray systems, from just an arm and handle, to a full double-arm tray setup. The prices for these are around $150, and photographers can easily snap in their GoPro sturdily using Ultralite’s cage system. They will even have a new cage system for the HERO 3 within a month.
Ultralite also showed us a new version of their hotshoe-ball adaptor. Perhaps the smallest accessory in the show, this adaptor doesn’t come loose on the housing, unlike many previous models from most manufacturers.
New Seacam Viewfinders:
Seacam has released updated versions of their viewfinders for DSLR housings. They are described as being much brighter than the old ones, the result of removing unnecessary glass. Currently, the 45 degree viewfinder is the only re-tooled version, but a 180 degree is also in the works.
Dive and Sea Video Monitors:
The folks over at the Dive and Sea booth had on display their prototype housing for the HD Ninja 2 recorder. It is depth rated to nearly 300 feet, but can also be customized to go deeper if needed. The Ninja housing allows underwater videographers to record uncompressed 10-bit footage for up to 16 hours. The housing accommodates two batteries, which can last up to 9 hours.
They also make custom HDMI cables and bulkheads for any photo or video housing of your choosing.
Ikelite New Lights and Strobes:
The big news over at Ikelite’s booth this DEMA was their completely new lineup of strobes and lights. The headliner is the Manta strobe, a fiber optic strobe with Ikelite’s TTLS capability. It features a technology whereby the strobe will actually adjust to your camera’s preflash/flash settings after only one or two incorrect fires.
Designed for entry-level photographers or those looking to keep things compact on a long dive trip, the Manta will retail for $500 when it starts shipping in January.
Ikelite also featured two new continuous lights. The Vega is a 2000-lumen video/dive light with a 70-degree beam angle. It features a simple, compact design with a burn time at full power of 80 minutes. It is expected to retail for around $450.
The final light at Ikelite is the Gamma flashlight. This 220-lumen light can be used for photography or video, and can even be accessorized with filters/diffusers thanks to a threaded front.
Keldan Video Lights:
Keldan’s modular Luna 8 system allows users to interchange different LED styles with the battery and housing. At this show, they unveiled a new LED front: a cyan bulb that allows videographers to use powerful video lights even when white balancing.
The idea is that, rather than using a blue filter, which cuts down the light output, the blue LEDs maintain the same power. This selection is now available for $660.
I-Divesite Lights and Accessories:
Our friends over at the I-Divesite booth had a whole squadron of new focus, photo, and video lights. Their Venusian II really caught our attention: It outputs 750 lumens at an impressive 80-degree beam angle. It has a nearly full-power burn time of just over an hour and is now available for just $325.
Their Focus II is also an impressive focus light. With 600 lumens and the abilility to shoot in white light or red light at a 100-degree beam angle. The company is especially proud of this beam angle and super-soft edge on the beam. It’s retail price is $399.
The Carbonic is a more higher end focus light—with a higher output of 750-lumens and a full burn time of one hour before switching to 70 percent. Video shooters will want to take note of the Video Pro 5, a 1600-lumen video light, which can be switched to just 800-lumens with a simple twist of the light.
Perhaps the coolest display at DEMA was a completely unsealed front of the Torch Gen 1.3 submerged in a tank. This 2,000-lumen video light features a completely water sealed battery compartment and comes in white/red and white/ultraviolet light versions.
They also were showing off their I-Pix housing for the iPhone. It is actually the same housing as Watershot’s, but will be distributed outside of the US.
In the arms game, we caught a glimpse at the I-Das extendable arms: which can slide from 6 to 10 inches and range in price from 44-50.
Hope you got your fill of cool new accessories, lights and strobes. It certainly was an eventful DEMA as far as new equipment. But the world’s biggest dive expo isn’t just about the gear, it’s also about the people. Check out or show recap…