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DEMA Coverage- Day 1
By Joseph Tepper, November 2, 2011 @ 10:35 PM (EST)

After getting settled in Orlando for DEMA on Tuesday, the exhibition floor opened Wednesday morning and DPG was there to cover it all.

We were out in full force with Matt Weiss, Joe Tepper, Jason Heller,  Cal Mero. Like prevoious years, much of the underwater imaging world is centered around the Image Resourcing Center, complete with seminars, equipment demonstrations, and celebrity photographers.

It is our pleasure to present the DPG DEMA coverage for 2011. 

 

Sea and Sea

Sea and Sea tried to sneak in a hot new product, the YS-D1 strobe, but the DPG crew caught a sneak peak of the strobe with U.S. rep. Andy Sallmon.

The YS-D1 strobe features the output power of the large YS-250 strobes into a compact form more similar to the prosumer YS110. The D1 boasts guide numbers of 32-20 (ISO 100/land) depending on which diffuser is attached. Because the strobe is so powerful, the beam on its own is limited to 80 degrees. To compensate for the narrow beam, Sea and Sea released 100-degree and 120-degree diffusers, which only reduce the light output by one stop and 1.25 stops, respectively.

Equally as impressive as the YS-D1’s specs is its $699 price point, nearly $400 less expensive than the YS-250.  The D1 also improves on the YS-110a by introducing improved control knobs that are easier to operate with gloves. Andy tells us the D1s are expected to ship this coming January. This is sure to be a staple among strobes for years to come.

 

Backsatter

In a DEMA show that features scores of exciting new photo and video equipment, Backscatter had lots of new items to catch our attention. Their premier product for the show is the recently introduced WahooHD video housing for the Sony CLM-V55 monitor.

“It’s like you’re squeezing a big HD screen onto a small monitor,” says Backscatter’s Jim Decker about the 5-inch HD monitor’s 1.1 million dots. 

The monitor is connected to the SLR via an HDMI cable that is hardwired through the housing’s bulkhead. Making the attachment of the HDMI cable through the bulkhead possible for the consumer, Backscatter included a disconnectable aluminum sheath to allow the cable through the hole. 

The custom HDMI hookup is currently available only for Aquatica and Nauticam housings, which provide enough room on the side of the camera in the housing to plug in the cable- Subal housings will not work. The Wahoo –named for the excellent eyesight ability of the fish- has three buttons for simple, effective control. The “info” button controls the display output, while the “on-off button” has deep groves for easy use even with gloves.

Focus peaking mode is accessed by the middle nob and switches the display to black and white for ultimate contrast, and even flashes the area of the photo that are in focus in red. Accessories include an aluminum shade that can be attached by hand with Allen keys, and a travel pouch to keep the housing safe and snug.

The monitor and housing are only 1 lb. negative in water and can be customized to a variety of extra ball mounting options on both the sides and the top. Backscatter says the housings are now in production and are expected to ship next week. Both the housing and monitor will be available from Backscatter for $1299 and $499, respectively. 

Wahoo Basics

  • Construction: Anodized aluminum housing
  • Depth Rating: 450 ft./137 m.
  • Screen Size: 5 inches
  • Format: 1080/720 resolutions
  • Controls: power, focus peaking, pixel magnification, brightness, contrast, color-tone, backlight. 

Backscatter had more than the Wahoo monitor. At DEMA, they announced their exclusive partnership with Nightsea, manufacturer of florescent underwater photography equipment. 

Nightsea and Backscatter are planning to release a whole slew of products dedicated to underwater fluorescent photography. At the front of the line is the custom Sola 1200, which features blue LEDs and a specially made interference filter to trim the visible light spectrum even more. 

“If you wanna make a choice, blue’s the way to go,” said the Nightsea founder about the options in underwater fluorescent photography. 

For underwater fluorescent lovers, Nightsea is also planning to release the Bluestar, a blue LED flashlight dedicated to finding the hidden colors on the reef. In order to see the florescent colors with your own eyes, Nightsea will be releasing a special mask filter that can easily slip on and off.

For underwater photographers, Nightsea and Backscatter have teamed up to produce a blue adapter for strobes, which will work in tandem with a yellow filter placed over the camera’s lens. No availability or pricing has been released for the filter, but the blue florescence adapters will be priced at $139.

FIX also unveiled a series of new pro and consumer dive/video lights at the Backscatter booth, beginning with the FIX Aquavolt 5000, which burns a 5000 lumens 120-degree beam for 75 minutes. 

The new Aquavolt 3500 was also on show, featuring a backlit electronic display with battery power and burn time.

 

Subal

Subal was showing off its first and only EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) housings for Panasonic’s GF2 and GF3. The housing, which Subal’s Rolf Sempert calls “small and handsome,” features a port system that allows the photographer to change the lens through the front of the housing.

Sempert says the company’s decision to produce housings for Panasonic’s EVIL cameras was based off the selection of lenses available for underwater use like the 7-14mm zoom, macro, and 8mm fisheye for which the company makes a 4-inch mini dome. The GF2 and GF3 housings and accompanying ports are now available, and Sempert says the company will be looking to house the soon-to-arrive Sony NEX-7. 

Subal also previewed their prism viewfinder for the D7000, which magnifies the live-view screen at a 45-degree angle. 

 

Amphibico 

Following the merge with Aquatica, Amphibico announced the beginning of their Genesis housings, starting with the FS100U for Sony’s FS100US HXCAM HD video camera. 

“It is the next generation in terms of prosumer cameras,” said Amphibico’s Joe Bendahem.

The Genesis housing was on display at Amphibico’s booth paired with an Atomos recording and playback monitor, which Bendahem says will record higher quality RAW footage than the camera’s internal processor. Amphibico is now working on a housing for the Atomos recording deck and monitor. 

 

Ikelite

The Ikelite booth was showing off their new Pro 2800 light at DEMA this week. Serving both as a flashlight and LED video light, the 2800 features three levels of video intensity and can reach 2800 lumens for a burn time of one hour.

The Pro 2800 can be customized in one battery or two battery forms for videographers who are looking to run more than one light.

 

Aquatica

Always making time for DPG, Aquatica’s Jean Breneau gave us a tour of the company’s latest products on display at DEMA, beginning with an overview of their housing for Sony’s NEX-5n, which is still being manufactured.

Aquatica removed the clear flash port on the front of the NEX-5 housing and replaced it with a dual fiber optic port. The biggest change to the NEX-5n housing is the introduction of the side seal locking system used for years by Amphibico. Jean even says Aquatica is looking to incorporate the side latch system into future DSLR housings. 

Looking to get into the super macro game, Aquatica also introduced their own external macro diopters and mounting system. The system, which will cost $539 for the mount diopters, comes in +5 and +10 variations and is expected to ship in the near future. 

Also on display was Aquatica’s 4-point mounting system and Ikelite TTL converting bracket (release and cost info coming soon).

 

Equinox

Our friends at the very snazzy Equinox, had their latest housing on display- the Recon Splash housing, which is designed to fit any consumer camera.

As a splash housing, the Recon is depth rated to only 30 feet and costs just $200. The guys at Equinox think the housing is perfect for any shooter looking to use more than one consumer camcorder in the pool, on the beach or even diving.

We also got the first chance to check out Equinox’s 3D TD1 housing for the JVC GS-TD1 3D camera priced at $1,049.

 

Light and Motion

Light and Motion unveiled their brand-new Sola 4000 video light this morning. The 4000-lumen light has a 50-minute burn time and adjustable 60-80 degree wide-angle beam.

New to the Sola 4000 light is the custom cyan filter, which rotates into place to allow easy use of custom white balance and artificial light even when shooting in shallow, well-light water. 

  • Price: $1599
  • Lumen: 1200 flood, 500 spot
  • Burn Time: 50-200 min.
  • Dimensions: 85mm x 143mm

 

 

 

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