DEMA 2008: Olympus Photo

DEMA 2008: Olympus

I had a 2pm appointment with Jeff Hluchyi and Andrew Bausk of Olympus, who represent PR and marketing for underwater products, respectively. Andrew is a diver himself, which gives him good insight into what photographers want out of an underwater housing.

Olympus was showing a few new products. First, was the FE-360 compact camera, which is 8 megapixels and has digital image stabilization, a 3x optical zoom, and three underwater scene modes (UW WIDE1 for flash, UW WIDE2 for ambient action, and MACRO). It fits inside the PT-044 underwater housing, which has full access to the FE-360’s buttons. The combination runs for $279 retail, which is impressive because it is within reach of a great number of divers. We applaud Olympus for coming out with a quality, mass-market underwater camera for casual divers…

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DEMA 2008: Art Innovation Center Photo

DEMA 2008: Art Innovation Center

The Art Innovation Center features works by Wyland and by the Ocean Artists Society. When I arrived to check out the exhibit, Wyland was there painting a shot of a breaching whale, which he told me was the very last frame in a series 50 breaches (!).

As you have already read, the Ocean Artists Society currently includes 71 members; the Art Innovation Center features a sampling of OAS’ permanent collection. I met tattoo artist and photographer Deano Cook over at the display, and we each posed in front of our own contributions to the collection.

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DEMA 2008: Aquatica Photo

DEMA 2008: Aquatica

Aquatica has always listened to its users, and have moved from a casting their housings to milling housings from a solid block of aluminum, which results in a lighter, prettier housing. They had on display brand-new underwater housings for the Nikon D700 and D3, and for the Canon 1D/1Ds Mk III. Older, cast housings (like the Nikon D300 housing) were on display as well.

I picked up the D700 housing, which had good ergonomics, down to angled buttons on the left-hand side of the LCD display on the back for easier access while gripping the handles.

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DEMA 2008: Imaging Resource Center Photo

DEMA 2008: Imaging Resource Center

For the first time ever, DEMA has an imaging resource pavilion! Underwater photography and videography equipment manufacturers have banded together around a seminar presentation area to provide attendees with a one-stop shop to find underwater imaging equipment.

The seminar area features six seminars per day, given by representatives from the companies whose booths line the imaging center.

Special thanks to Berkley White of Backscatter for working with DEMA and all of the photography and videography companies to make this happen!

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DEMA 2008: Ocean Artists Society Photo

DEMA 2008: Ocean Artists Society

The Ocean Artists Society was started by Wyland a few years ago and includes (so far) 71 ocean artists from all over the world. Wyland hosted a breakfast at the Riviera Hotel this morning to give us a chance to get to know each other and to chat about the future of the organization. OAS plans to use its collective power to produce exhibitions, books, DVDs, and other media, and to champion environmental and social causes.

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DEMA 2008: Get a free Wetpixel t-shirt! Photo

DEMA 2008: Get a free Wetpixel t-shirt!

Good news! We have t-shirts. They are made of organic cotton and are really soft. The first 3 people who bring a printed copy of this picture to our booth at DEMA (#3049) during standard exhibit hours get a free Wetpixel t-shirt. Click through for the full image.

Bonus points if you talk to the people in the booth. Ready? GO!
WARNING: Feed the intern at your own risk!

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DEMA 2008: Day 0, Exhibitor set-up Photo

DEMA 2008: Day 0, Exhibitor set-up

Wetpixel Quarterly staff members Michaela Brockstedt, Adam Lau and I arrived in Las Vegas this afternoon and headed directly to the convention center to set up the Wetpixel booth. DEMA is always a whirlwind of activity; this year, the schmoozing started before we had even gotten our luggage. Stephen Frink and Liz Johnson of Seacam USA and Jenny Collister and Meghan of Reef & Rainforest hung out with us while we waited for our baggage to come out of the magic baggage dispenser…

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