San Diego Undersea Film Festival 2006 Final Call Photo

San Diego Undersea Film Festival 2006 Final Call

Steve Douglas reminds us that the San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition’s entry deadline is August 15, 2006!  Here’s a quick reminder of what to submit:

* We are accepting only mini-DV NTSC tapes.
* No film should be longer than five minutes max and at least 50% of the footage must be underwater.
* Please ensure that you have all rights, to any media that is used in your film(s) (music, visual footage, personal, copyright, or any other legal right.

See the SDUFEX website for full details.

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X-Ray Magazine #12 is available for download Photo

X-Ray Magazine #12 is available for download

X-Ray, a fantastic, free, online magazine, has just announced the availability of issue #12:

From cool blue wilderness of the Canadian high Arctic to the red hot deserts of Jordan - from Beluga whales close to magnificent wrecks. Also in this issue lots of Ocean Art including Chihulys Seaforms. Vi have a talk with photographer Kurt Amsler and AP Valves Martin Parker. Dives: 200m on CCR in Thailand and explore caves in Bosnia. Technique: Leigh Cunningham tells why we should watch our partial pressure and Jason Heller and Dan Beecham explains how we can rig your photogear.
Lots of other news and new gear too - as always.

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Canon announces HV10 HDV camcorder Photo

Canon announces HV10 HDV camcorder

Canon has announced the HV10, its first consumer-oriented HDV camcorder.  It features optical image stabilization, a 10x optical zoom, a CMOS sensor, manual exposure, custom white balance, simultaneous stills (2MP) and video, and a vertical grip orientation.  It looks *very* small, and should compete will with the Sony HC3.  MSRP is estimated to be USD $1299.

All of Canon’s newly-announced HDV camcorders use “Instant AF,” which incorporates external sensors as a first step toward fast autofocus.  It remains to be seen whether these sensors will even work underwater, and whether manufacturers will take them into account when designing underwater housings.

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10th International Underwater Film Festival in Belgrade Photo

10th International Underwater Film Festival in Belgrade

The 10th International Underwater Film Festival in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro will be held at the end of this year from December 8-11, 2006.  The festival is accepting film submissions, which must have been produced sometime during 2005 or 2006 with at least 30% of the footage underwater.  Acceptable formats are BETA SP, DV Cam or MiniDV (PAL).  Competition admission is free.

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LA Times, Altered Oceans Photo

LA Times, Altered Oceans

The Los Angeles Times is on day 2 of publishing Altered Oceans, a five-part series on the crisis in the seas, by Kenneth R. Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling, with photography and video by Rick Loomis.  It features some fantastic (and effective) conservation photography, and is definitely worth taking a look at.  Unfortunately, the site is 100% Flash, and those of you on slow connections will have to wait for long load times.

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Canon announces XH G1 and XH A1 HDV Camcorders Photo

Canon announces XH G1 and XH A1 HDV Camcorders

Canon has announced its XH G1 ($6800) and XH A1 ($4700) HDV Camcorders, both equipped with fixed, image-stabilized, 20x optical zoom lenses, 2.8-inch LCD viewscreens, and three 1/3-inch CCD imagers. Shipping date is October 2.  Our video guy Drew Wong writes:

... they look very good, although actual specs (lux rating etc) are skimpy. I checked the japanese website and found a lot more specs than the US one (which is usually the case).

Canon historically have had a slightly different look to their, more saturated and less sharpened/contrasty compared to Sony. These cameras look like direct competitors to the FX/Z1 from Sony. With direct HD SDI out, slightly higher res VF and LCD plus even more picture adjustments, Canon is taking aim at the FX1. The Z1 still has dual NTSC/PAL advantage. But 20X zoom, HD SDI, Genlock etc are going to be big sells for many shooters.

HOWEVER, the problem for the u/w shooter is the availability of housings. Even with Lanc controls, housings for Canon have been a very short list, esp on the electronic housing segment. Canons tend to have a lot more buttons on the outside for controls which may make housing manufacturers cringe but helluva more useable to the shooter. I guess we’ll see in Oct.

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