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Dive Photo Guide


DEMA 2016 Coverage: Day 3
By Joseph Tepper, November 20, 2016 @ 01:00 AM (EST)

Still a bit weary eyed from the awesome Underwater Imaging Party hosted by DPG and Wetpixel, we hit the show floor to continue our coverage. In case you’ve missed out on the party highlights or previous coverage, check out the DPG DEMA 2016 homepage.


And now for something completely different…

Before getting into Subal’s housings for the typical cameras on the market, we want to share with you something a bit different. Two words you don’t hear often together: Leica and underwater. For a few reasons—some reasonable and some not—Leica hasn’t taken hold in the underwater photography world. Subal’s new housings might change that.

Subal is making housings for the Leica M, Leica Q and Leica SL. The housings for the Q and M mimic in appearance the camera itself, which is quite “sexy.” These housing might be more for collectors than hard-core underwater photographers, but they are worth a look at: Here are some photos.

The Subal housing for the Leica M might be worth purchasing in its own right, without the camera—it’s so cool looking!

A close up of the housing for the Leica LT shows the new joystick which makes using the arrow keys more intuitive

Ok, back to the binary world of Canon and Nikon. Subal is offering a housing for the Canon 5D Mark IV. It can be paired with a 30-degree prism for videographers. Ergonomic improvements include an extension for the “set button.”

Subal is now shipping their housing for the Canon 5D Mark IV

The angled prism viewfinder is a great choice for videographers

Subal is also shipping their housing for the Nikon D500. It features the new push lock system, which is far easier to operate without compromising the security of the housing. Emphasis on ergonomics comes in the form of an ISO button within thumb’s reach—useful for videography—and there’s also the inclusion of the vacuum seal bulkhead. This will be on all major Subal housings going forward.

Here's a close up look at Subal's simplified lock system, which requires less effort to open the latches

An example of ergonomic-minded design: The ISO button on the D500 is located within finger’s reach on the Subal housing

We also got a hand’s-on look at the Subal housing for the Sony A7 II cameras. It features a new port design that accommodates Nikonos lenses with the use of an adaptor. This is especially popular with the Nikonos 15mm.

Want to mount the ol' Nikonos 15mm to a modern camera? You can do that with the Subal configuration


i-DiveSite’s SS2 system is really a two-in-one item: It is both a strobe and a video light rolled into one. The strobe part of the system features a guide number of 32, improved from 25 in the first version. It comes standard with a 2,000-lumen video light, but this can be increased to 4,000 lumens in an upcoming model. What’s also new with the SS2 strobe is the option to have the video light automatically turn off when the strobe fires.

In terms of a dedicated strobe light, i-DiveSite is rolling out a new line of compact, prosumer lights with the BS30. It’s a highly compact, 3,000-lumen light with a flattened battery that’s easier to replace.

We're calling them “Bunny Ears”

Finally, there’s something we are callin “Bunny Ears”—essentially a dual LED light system that looks like—well—bunny ears. You can use them as is or add dual snoots if you really want to get creative.  

With a COB arrangement, the new i-DiveSite BS30 provides an impressive 3,000-lumen output in a compact form

The i-DiveSite BS30 is now shipping

BS Kinetics

Continuing with the Leica trend, we got a look at the new BS Kinetics housing for the Leica SL. As with all the BS Kinetics housings, the emphasis is a lightweight, yet durable product. This is achieved through combining carbon fiber, epoxy and lightweight aluminum.

The BS housing for the Leica SL accommodates the versatile 24–90mm lens. The housing is indeed as light as you can imagine, and connects to strobes with a Nikonos V bulkhead.

BS Kinetics housing for the Leica LT accommodates the 24–90mm lens

They also showed us a new housing for the JVC HM170/200, one of the few consumer camcorders offering 4K (at 30fps) internal recording. Keldan will soon offer a 3.5-inch high-res monitor to be paired with this and other camcorder housings. It’s currently a prototype, but will be shipping within a few months.

The JVC HM170/200 is one of the few consumer camcorders on the market that shoots 4K footage at 30fps

An inside look at the BS Kinetics housing for the JVC HM170/200

The new monitor displays information that the camera’s built-in flip screen does not

XIT 404

XIT 404 is one of those accessory brands that always has something nifty. In this case, this is what is on the horizon: a rail system for underwater time-lapse. It’s still in the planning stage, but could definitely be something fun to play with.

At the booth, they did have on display some of their zoom gears for mirrorless cameras. XIT 404 specializes in producing rings and configurations that bigger housing companies don’t always accommodate.

XIT 404 offers zoom gears for a wide array of mirrorless lenses

Joe Platko being... Joe Platko

Light and Motion

Time to turn up the lumens at the Light and Motion booth. At the bright end of the spectrum, Sola is offering the Pro9600 (9,600 lumens) at the same price as the previous model. It runs for 50 minutes on full power and features a 90-degree beam angle.

The Pro9600 features an impressive 90-degree beam angle and can last 50 minutes at full power

A dual LCD screen displays both the output as well as the time remaining on the charge

A slightly smaller step down, for the more casual videographer, is the new Sola 3800. On one of the 3800s at the booth, we spied a different accessory: the dome port. This has the dual impact of increasing the beam angle 20 percent (90–105 degrees) and softening the light. It is currently available for the Sola 3800 and will soon be available for the Sola 9600.

The dome accessory not only increases the beam angle, but also softens the light

A complete look at the Light & Motion lineup, which includes the Photo 800 (a popular focus light for still shooters)


Easily the most colorful booth on the DEMA show floor, Acquapazza makes housings in a rainbow of colors. But beyond all of the housings in red and yellow and green and brown and blue, Acquapazza is dedicated to simple solutions to make things easier.

An example of this is including extra space above the camera body inside the Sony A7 Mark II housing. If you’re shooting stills, this can be used to insert the Sony flash onto the hot shoe. Alternatively, if you’re more of a video person, there’s enough space to connect an external battery pack for up to five charges.

The extra space in the A7 Mark II housing allows the addition of a battery pack

Acquapazza has added a second main O-ring as a security measure

Acquapazza is also providing housings for the Sony A6300, and apparently it’s one of their most popular. We learned the company intends to produce a housing for the recently released Sony A6500.

The Acquapazza housing for Sony’s A6300

Acquapazza is now offering trays to complement their housings




Seacam Housing for Nikon Z9
Canon EOS R6 Mark II
Backscatter Mini Flash MF-2
Ikelite Housing for OM System OM-1
Nauticam NA-R7
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