Gates Sony HVR-Z1U HD Housing Review Photo

Gates Sony HVR-Z1U HD Housing Review

Wetpixel member Mark Thorpe (CamDiver) has written an excellent comprehensive review of the Gates Underwater Housing for the Sony HVR-Z1U 3CCD High Definition Video Camcorder. Based in Palau, Mark had the opportunity to put the housing and its accessories through a number of dives to fully understand and evaluate the capabilities of the system. Mark writes:

For professional everyday use it is a compliment to any serious shooter. It’s relatively straightforward to use and is a means to an end. It allows the user full access to the required controls for all applications of underwater shooting ... This system certainly allows you to shoot exactly to your style.

The 14-page PDF review is full of photos of the housing in various stages of assembly, of the system in use, and from videos of the dives. A must-read for anyone in the market for a new video housing.

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Apple Spotlights DiveFilm Podcast Video! Photo

Apple Spotlights DiveFilm Podcast Video!

DiveFilm Podcast Video, produced in association with Wetpixel.com, has been chosen by Apple as one of its “Featured Video Podcasts, TV & Film,”  along with other video podcasts including National Geographic Video Shorts and HBO Documentary Films. DiveFilm Podcast Video is the first diving-related podcast to achieve this level of recognition at iTunes.

Prior to the announcement, Apple released an updated version of iTunes to handle its new feature film download service, and revamped the iTunes interface in the process placing more emphasis on its video podcast selections.

The move comes as DiveFilm Podcasts released its latest episode, “Video Lives” by Paul and Kelly Wags. The two are videographers and dive professionals based in Western Australia, and they created “Video Lives” about their region and its diving.

“‘Video Lives’ is a wonderful introduction for a general audience to the ocean, diving and underwater imaging. It’s a great film to have up as the episode that will be seen first by new subscribers who learn about the podcasts through Apple’s promotion,” said DiveFilm producer, Mary Lynn Price.

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Pentax K10D Photo

Pentax K10D

Today Pentax announced it’s newest dSLR.  The 10.2 megapixel K10D, designed for “advanced photo enthusiasts.”  It has a number of very interesting features that are dSLR firsts.  It has a 22bit analog to digital converter which Pentax claims improves colour graduations.  Most importantly for underwater photographers, it has a TAv mode where you choose the shutter speed and aperature, and the camera picks the ISO automatically for proper exposure.  In other modes, when in auto ISO, you can input upper and lower limits for the ISO.  (Why has it taken so long for camera makers to realize how useful these two very easy to implement features would be?)  The K10D body will ship by November 2006 for US $899.95, and as a kit with the DA 18-55mm lens for US $999.95.  Continue reading for the full press release from Pentax.

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CaliDivers.org Underwater Photo Competition 2006 Photo

CaliDivers.org Underwater Photo Competition 2006

CaliDivers.org, an online networking site for divers based in Northern California, has announced their 2006 Underwater Photo Competition. The contest is open to everyone, with the only condition that images be related to scuba diving. The winner of the grand prize will have his or her image featured on the CaliDivers.org membership card, will receive a free lunch in Monterey, a two-year membership to CaliDivers.org, and a website link featured on the club’s website.

The deadline for entries is October 30th, 2006. Continue reading for more information, including details about submitting an entry…

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Adobe announces Photoshop Elements 5.0 Photo

Adobe announces Photoshop Elements 5.0

Whenever I’m out on dive expeditions, I see groups of underwater photographers struggling to master the intricacies of Adobe Photoshop CS2 (I sometimes carry trial versions around with me and share them with people).  I often sit down and try to help out a bit, but sometimes I forget that the best thing to do might be to suggest that they give Photoshop Elements a try. 

Picassa-style, auto-everything programs pretty much nuke underwater images because the programs are designed for making topside photography look good,  but with a $90 program like Photoshop Elements, photographers can get 90% of the way to a well-processed image with 10% of the hassle.  Using Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0, photographers can wield levels, curves, healing brush, and a subjective image-variation selection tool to produce excellent-looking processed images.  If and when you finally outgrow Elements, you can upgrade to CS2.  Continue reading for full press release.

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Darek Sepiolo featured in exhibition! Photo

Darek Sepiolo featured in exhibition!

Wetpixel member Darek Sepiolo is currently being featured in an exhibition from August 11th to September 30th of this year. The display consists of 38 underwater photographs located on the fence of Royal Park Lazienki in Warsaw, Poland (Chinski Sq. - Agrykola Street).

Darek is the chief editor of Polish dive magazine Wielki Blekit (Big Blue), and has won various European underwater competitions. Check out the coverage in Wielki Blekit, or keep reading for the entire press release. Congratulations Derek!

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New Nudibranch ID Books Photo

New Nudibranch ID Books

Slug lovers of the Americas, rejoice! Two more excellent and complementary field guides have been published for the Pacific and Atlantic coasts; Caribbean Sea Slugs: A field guide to the opisthobranch mollusks from the tropical northwestern Atlantic by Angel Valdes, Jeff Hamann, Dave Behrens, and Anne DuPont, and Opistobranquios de Mexico: Guia de babosas marinas del Pacifico, Golfo de California y las islas ocean by Ali Hermosillo, Dave Behrens, and Eduardo Jara.

Both are by very well known and respected opisthobranch researchers with nearly 100 years of experience between them, and both have over 500 color images to delight the eye. The books are available from Sea Challengers - in my opinion the very best source of underwater natural history and guide books.

Read on for more details…

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BBFS PIT 2006 Report Photo

BBFS PIT 2006 Report

Wetpixel member Matt Potenski (shark8matt) spent the summer tagging juvenile lemon sharks with the Bimini Biological Field Station as a part of the PIT 2006 project. The project, named after the type of passive integrated transponder used, is an effort to track the resident population of young sharks and to determine how many additional individuals have been born each year in Bimini Lagoon.

Wetpixel’s Eric Cheng was a participant in the program in 2003, and Matt took the time to write up a full report, with pictures and commentary, of this year’s efforts: PIT 2006.

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