Nikon announces D300s and D3000 digital SLRs Photo

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.

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Howard Hall reviews the Gates DEEP RED underwater housing Photo

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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Oceans, a new Disney movie for Earth Day 2010 Photo

Oceans, a new Disney movie for Earth Day 2010

There’s a new trailer out. Disney’s new movie by Messieurs Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, Oceans, features spectacular flashes of imagery of whales breaching, sharks and dolphins feeding on a bait ball in South Africa, aerial shots of superpods of dolphins, and more. The trailer itself is really short and seems to be about Disney’s wildlife film legacy, but it’s worth streaming / downloading in full 1080p. Stunning!

See the trailer on YouTube or at full resolution on Apple’s trailer site (highly recommended). There’s also an interesting discussion going on in our forums about the movie and its production.

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Eric Cheng visits the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab Photo

Eric Cheng visits the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab

I went to visit the NASA NBL (Neutral Buoyancy Lab) today for an unscheduled, last-minute, behind-the-scenes tour, thanks to Joe Holley of Marine Visions, who worked there for nearly ten years. It was funny because everywhere we went, his old work buddies made “HEY, get that guy out of here!” gestures before then inviting us over for a closer look.

The NASA NBL has full-size mockups of the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle in its enormous pool. Wiki says that the pool “is 202 ft. (61 m) in length, 102 ft. (31 m) wide, and 40 ft. 6 in. (12 m) deep, and contains 6.2 million gallons (23.5 million litres) of water”—enormous!  Continue reading for photos…

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Apple announces Final Cut Studio 7 Photo

Apple announces Final Cut Studio 7

Apple has just announced the new Final Cut Studio 7, which includes too many new features to list here. New codecs and Improved / optimized support for old codecs means faster processing, and global transition settings save time while editing. In particular, Panasonic HVX-200 users will be happy with FCS 7’s native AVC-Intra support. FCS 7 also includes multi-touch support across the board, direct DVD and Blu-ray disc burning from Compressor, and much more.

Final Cut Studio 7 retails at $999. Upgrade price is $299.

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Wetpixel POTW is not dead yet Photo

Wetpixel POTW is not dead yet

I’ve charged up the Wetpixel Picture of the Week competition with another theme, so head on over there and submit your best shots! This week’s theme is Swimming.

The Wetpixel moderators are a running a little dry on creativity these days, which means that we need your help in coming up with some new themes for the POTW. If you have some ideas, leave them as a comment here in this post, or head on over to the forum discussion!

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Wetpixel summer Bahamas sharks and dolphins expedition returns home Photo

Wetpixel summer Bahamas sharks and dolphins expedition returns home

Our third Bahamas expedition of the year returned yesterday, and guests have started to post images in the Wetpixel forums. The July trip aboard the M/V Shear Water focused on both sharks and wild dolphins. Trip leader James Wiseman writes:

I have to say, the experience of floating in the Gulf Stream at night w/ nothing under you but a thousand feet of water, and speeding dolphins shooting past around like guided missiles was pretty intense. Mark Prior and I looked up at 11pm and noticed no one else was around - we’d been in the water for hours! :-)

See the images in the trip report thread!

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PangeaSeed kicks off summer activities, Tokyo, Japan Photo

PangeaSeed kicks off summer activities, Tokyo, Japan

PangeaSeed, a Japan-based nonprofit organization, is ramping up its inaugural activities in Tokyo this summer with events tailored to spotlight the organization’s dedication to increasing awareness of the plight of sharks.

Of the 400 shark species, more than 100 are endangered, with many species so over-exploited, it may be impossible for them to recover.  The events will showcase the issues surrounding shark finning in Asia and other parts of the world, where sharks are killed to satisfy culinary and medicinal demand. In finning, it is common to cut the fin from a still-living shark, then discard the rest, as the fin is worth many times over the shark as a whole.

PangeaSeed will host a booth at the 2009 Fuji Rock Festival’s NGO Village on July 24 -  26, 2009, and will host its own event called “No Fin, No Future” on July 30, 2009 at Super Deluxe in Nishi Azabu. Among the many highlights of the event, guests will enjoy a screening of the international award-winning documentary, “Sharkwater.”  Some of Wetpixel editor Eric Cheng’s shark photography will also be on display.

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