Canon 5D Mark II underwater video review
Our good friends over at Backscatter have just published an incredibly comprehensive review of the Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR’s performance as an underwater video rig. The article opens with a sample video presented in 720p, followed by comparisons of the 5D Mark II to other professional / prosumer video cameras, a discussion of pros and cons, underwater housings, use when mounted on a scooter, color correction filters, tripods, and more. If you are even remotely interested in using any SLR to shoot video underwater, you should click over there and read it now.
2010 Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Design Contest
Wetpixel is proud to again host the annual Raja Ampat marine park tag design contest. If you have the perfect photo that captures the excitement and beauty of scuba diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, enter this contest for a chance to have your image printed on the 4,000 park tags that will be attached to BCDs of visiting divers! Three winners will be chosen to receive complimentary books on Raja Ampat (Raja Ampat Through the Lens of… and The Dive Guide to Raja Ampat). The grand prize winner will have his/her design printed on the 2010 park tag and will receive an all-inclusive 7-day dive trip to Raja Ampat!
The deadline for submission is midnight (PST) August 28, 2009. Public voting will commence on August 30 and end on September 25, 2009. Submit now!
Sea & Sea performance with Canon 40D and 17-40mm lens
Steve Williams had some time recently and tested his Canon 40D / Sea & Sea underwater housing setup with a 17-40mm lens and various Sea & Sea dome extenders:
In preparing for a JASA wild dolphin trip next week I’ve been trying to determine the best port configuration for my 40D using the 17-40L. The Sea & Sea chart recommends the NX Fisheye dome with no extension. My early simple checks in the pool showed some very soft corners with this setup… I shot a sequence of apertures; 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22 at 17mm, 29mm, and 40mm for each of four configurations with my NX fisheye dome… The Sea & Sea recommended configuration provided the worst corners in all cases.
Tony Wu writes about the Tonga ferry sinking
Photographer Tony Wu was in Vava’u, Tonga when the ferry sank two nights ago. Tony has just posted a short article about how it has affected the small island of Vava’u.
A ferry sank in Tonga a couple of nights ago…the night I arrived in Vava’u…claiming around 26 lives, mostly women and children… Tonga is a small nation, with a population of 110,000 people or so. Everyone seems to know one another, or at least know someone else who knows someone you’re talking about. There are perhaps only three or four degrees of separation among people here, rather than the more standard six.
As such, just about everyone here, me included, knows someone who’s been affected by this misfortune.
How to stop your housing from fogging
Everyone who has taken a camera under (especially in the tropics) has at some point or another run into the problem of the lens port fogging up. One of my favourite discussions brings up a lot of the reasons why your housing would fog up. Unsurprisingly it is all to do with humidity and temperatures. If you open your housing in a warm humid environment and take it in to relatively cooler temperature water you are likely to get condensation on in your housing. We tend to only notice this when it is on the port blocking our cameras view to the underwater world.
There are things we can do to counteract this…
1 spot open on Papua New Guinea Eastern Fields expedition
A spot for a single male is now available on our Papua New Guinea Eastern Fields expediton this coming November 26 - December 6, 2009. Photographer Tony Wu and Wetpixel editor Eric Cheng will be leading 9 guests aboard the M/V Golden Dawn to the remote Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea, a very special and rarely-visited location. There are some fantastic shooters in the current group who have already booked—come join us for an exciting, educational, productive photography and diving expedition! Full information can be found on our expeditions page.
Nikon announces D300s and D3000 digital SLRs
Nikon has updated the D300 with the D300s. Adding 720/24p video and dual card slots (1 CF, 1 SD), a quiet shutter release and an updated processor and AF, the D300s retains the 12.3mp sensor and 3” LCD monitor. The most important factor for underwater shooters and manufacturers is that the back layout has changed. It will not fit in a D300 seamlessly. There will surely be ways to modify the housing so join the discussion in our forums as our resourceful members figure out a way with the manufacturer’s help.
On the low end, Nikon also announced the D3000, a 10.2mp $599 basic DSLR with a 18-55mmVR lens.
Howard Hall reviews the Gates DEEP RED underwater housing
On July 19, 2009 I disembarked the Nautilus Explorer after spending two weeks diving in Southeast Alaska. This was my first experience using my RED ONE camera in the new DEEP RED underwater housing. A couple years ago, John Ellerbrock (owner of Gates Underwater) approached me with the idea of collaborating on the design for DEEP RED. He asked what specifications I thought would make the best possible professional system.
My coming up with these specifications, although derived from a lengthy career of designing and using professional underwater motion picture housings, was the easy part. Implementing the design would require a bit of genius. John and the Gates Engineering Team were more than up to the task…
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