SCUBA Show celebrated its 20th year in 2007. The dive industry was greeted by thousands of California dgjivers on June 2nd and 3rd at the Long Beach convention center, just steps from the Aquarium of the Pacific.
The UNDER THE BLUE International Underwater Photo & Video Competition, co-hosted by Divephotoguide, Wetpixel and SCUBA Show, was one of the centerpiece exhibits.
Show attendees "ooh-ed" and "aah-ed" over the beautiful winning images.
Over $20,000 in prizes were awarded from the generous sponsors, who included some of the best dive resorts and live aboards in the industry, Amphibico, Ultralight Control Systems and Ikelite.
The competition exhibit consisted of four small towers, one for each categiory - "California", "The Macro World", "Man and the Sea" and "Majesty of the Oceans".
Richard Perry and Ryan Cannon from REEF Photo & Video were showing off some new toys.
The Sea Tools line is picking up steam. The housings are very compact and sleek, and sport very ergonomic design and complete functionality.
Ultralight Control Systems has released the new 2-inch bouyancy arms. You can configure your rig to any specified bouyancy based on combining different sized arms
Sea Tools is really stepping it up with this D-200 prototype housing. The housing is compact and has some unique features that no other D-200 housings have, including a front diffuser for the internal flash, and a "slide and lock port system that makes changing lenses easy without removing the camera from the housing body.
Andy & Buck from Archipelago Fleet want to try out to be the next Divephotoguide turtle.
Bill Hiatt, Kelly Bracken and Suellen from the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Scoiety.
Steve from INON America talks to a few customers looking for housings.
Olympus has been in the lab cranking out an entire line of underwater photo equipment that should make Canon, Nikon and Sony shake in thier boots.
The PT-037 housing for the SP-550 has a flash diffuser box, which sits on top of the wide angle lens port, which is as unique as it gets for compact cameras. The unit ships in late June.
As most of you know, Olympus has released a couple of D-SLR's this year. The E-410 with live view makes for an SLR system with the added convenience of an LCD back that provides live viewing through the lens, similar to that of a compact camera. It is the best of both worlds (not sure what that does to the battery life though). The PT-E03 with the PT-E05 14-42 wide angle port looks like a solid system for a reasonable price. We'd love to test one guys - hint, hint! Olympus also has a E-510 SLR, but does not plan to make a housing for it at the current time.
This strobe sealed the deal for me on Olympuses commitment to underwater imagery. Reminiscent of a small Sea & Sea digital strobe, the UFL-1 will be available late this summer and runs on only 2 AA batteries! The only drawback I see so far is that it is a slave-only strobe and can not be hard cabled to the camera.
You can see the full line of Olympus underwater gear on thier website.
Marty from NOAA Fisheries signs up for his Divephotoguide membership with Wendy at the DPG booth. We like seeing happy, smiling DPG members!
The Amphibico Endeavor FXV1 (for Sony HDR-FX7 & HVR-V1) ships at the end of June. Beyond full electronic controls, internal flip filters, and a moisture sensor alarms, it incorporates the HD monitor into the back of the camera. Alternatively you can choose to configure the rig with the top mounted monitor.
Amphibico is the only housing company on the market that can offer the option of a top mounted or built in HD monitor on the back of the housing.
Here is the Endeavor configured with the top mounted 3.5" HD monitor.
H2O Photo Pros had a nice large booth full of goodies from Gates, Sea & Sea, Amphibico and more. One of my favorite new items is the G-Safe drive from G-technologies (I just bought one from them!). This is a 750mb RAID1 drive that offers a ton of storage space, reliability and redundancy.
Mike Luzansky from H2O is also organizing the Oceans Visions festival in the Sea of Cortez, along with Andy Sallmon and Annie Crawley.
Nicholas Icorn is a diving legend. He worked with US Divers in the 1960's and was one of the first PADI directors with John Cronin.
Nick, and now together with his grandson Cody, have been collecting vintage dive equipment for over 50 years. The collection is stunning.
Here Nick and Cody show us the 1955 "Aqua-Cam" (used 620 black & white film), and the Rollie Marine Housing, which was designed and used by Hans Haas in 1951. According to Nick, this was one of the most sophisticated housings ever designed.
Among the mind boggling step back in time was this "World's First Scuba Unit", developed in 1937 by Georges Commeinhes of France. He did so 6 1/2 years before Cousteau!
The twin 42 liter tanks weight 25 lbs and were used to set the Scuba record in 1942 of 175 feet.
Nick and Cody have plans to open a National Underwater Museum in the near future. They sure have the collection to do so!
The Ikleite booth is always busy. I wasn't able to even say hello the entire weekend
Lawrence of Shark Diving International brought an entire cage into the show. That cage looks like it's made only for really, really big sharks!
The cage, coupled with the HD flat screen monitor with videos of Great Whites inches from the cage, made this a must-see pit stop for pretty much everyone at the show.
Kim and Chris Scheckler (missing is Dale Scheckler, Kim's husband and Chris' dad). The Schecklers are the people behind Saint Brendan corp, organizers of SCUBA Show and publishers of California Diving Magazine.
Kudos for a great show! It must be a lot of thankless hard work, but you guys did a fantastic job!
Veteran underwater photographer and legend Eric Hanauer and his wife Karen stop by the DPG booth.
First place winner in the California category Rick Coleman, stands next to his winning shot "Shall We Dance". Congrats to Rick and all the winners of the UNDER THE BLUE competition.
Marine Artist Carlos Hiller painted the entire weeked and develoed a new masterpiece for the world to enjoy. This piece rightfully had a California theme to it. Carlos is from Costa Rica and is coming up the ranks now. His artwork is superb.
NetDoc introduces us to Howard, the newest member of the Scubaboard team.
Thanks for setting up the internet cafe guys!
Throughout the weekend, their were many underwater films screened on a large 20' screen. It was like an ongoing mini film festival during the entire weekend.
Thanks again to the Scheckler's for a great show, to all the competition sponsors and participants, and to all the 11,000+ show attendees!
See you next year!
Ikelite Housing for OM System OM-1
AOI Housing for Olympus OM-D E-M1 III
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