Sony Alpha 700 DSLR announced Photo

Sony Alpha 700 DSLR announced

Sony has today released information about their new 12 megapixel DSLR, the A700.  This camera is aimed at what Sony calls advanced amateurs and serious photo enthusiasts and sports a CMOS sensor with built-in hardware noise reduction and sensor-based image stabilization.  The Sony Alpha line is based on the Minolta lens mount so some legacy Minolta lenses will work with this camera.  It remains to be seen how this camera will stack up to the Nikon D300 which uses a similar sensor, but has a very different body and design.

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Distinctions between mimic octopus and wonderpus Photo

Distinctions between mimic octopus and wonderpus

Two species of octopi have attracted much attention as more underwater photographers have visited Indonesia and the surrounding areas - the Wonderpus (Wunderpus photogenicus) and the Mimic Octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus). Whether videotaped rolling along the sea floor like a coconut or photographed disc-like similar to a stingray, the octopi captivate our curiosity.

Leslie Harris, one of Wetpixel’s Critter ID and Conservation forums moderators, has provided links to published literature on the formal descriptions and characteristics of each of the species, and to the observations of an aquarist with mimic octopi in captivity, who noted that on some occasions it played dead or even swam like a jellyfish. Continue to the forum discussion to learn more…

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Mike Veitch, cover of National Geographic Traveler Photo

Mike Veitch, cover of National Geographic Traveler

A photograph by Wetpixel video moderator Mike Veitch has been featured on the cover of this month’s National Geographic Traveler, “the world’s most widely read travel magazine.” On shelves now, the cover is of a traditionally-dressed Yapese girl in the jungle, to accompany the issue’s article on Micronesian and Polynesian destinations.

Julie Edwards, a recent addition to the Wetpixel moderating team, also has an image of a young Indonesian ‘free-diver’ featured on the cover of Scuba Diver Australasia. Talk about the images in the Members in Media forum, and check out each of the magazines if you have a chance…

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Canon Rebel XTi/400D and Heinrichs-Weikamp eTTL problem Photo

Canon Rebel XTi/400D and Heinrichs-Weikamp eTTL problem

A news item at our partner site Digideep states that underwater photographers who work with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi/400D and the eTTL-Converter developed by Heinrichs-Weikamp should NOT yet update the firmware of their camera.  Furthermore, the problem also affects Amphibic eTTL flash guns offered by Subtronic, a manufacturer who installs the converter as an OEM-version in their strobes.  Be sure to see the Digideep article for details, if you have a Rebel XTi/400D.

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See great white sharks with Ron and Valerie Taylor Photo

See great white sharks with Ron and Valerie Taylor

Our friends at San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions are running a Guadalupe great white shark expedition with Ron & Valerie Taylor, stars of the first of the shark diving feature films, Blue Water White Death.  Two years ago, I accompanied Ron and Val on an extended trip to French Polynesia, which was a lot of fun. You’d be silly to miss this opportunity!

The trip runs from October 29 - November 5, 2007 and costs $3195 USD. As of writing this, there are still 9 spots open.

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First 25 RED cameras delivered Photo

First 25 RED cameras delivered

Yesterday, the first 25 RED cameras were delivered to new owners at the RED headquarters in Orange County, California.  The guys at fxguide have written up an informative article detailing their unboxing and first impressions of the formidable new camera, which at the moment, only shoots in a reduced feature set.

“What is working? The camera shoots beautiful 4K images in 24/25/30 fps… There is software to convert the files - but no full workflow yet (see below). The signal to noise ratio seems amazing. The cameras are producing very low noise images from the Standard 320 ASA to 1000 ASA, in full 4K.”

Particularly illuminating is the discussion about how the new camera handles timecode and ASA.  Several underwater folks I know have this camera on order, and Wetpixel-sponsor Gates Underwater Products is reported to be planning a signature underwater housing for the unit.

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Light & Motion Bluefin Pole Cam Mounting Kit field test and review Photo

Light & Motion Bluefin Pole Cam Mounting Kit field test and review

Wetpixel conservation moderator Shawn Heinrichs (shawnh) recently spent a week filming tiger, hammerhead, lemon, bull, and reef sharks on Jim Abernethy’s Shear Water. During the trip, he tested a pre-production version of the Light & Motion Bluefin Pole Cam Mounting kit with his Sony HDR-FX1 camcorder:

The pole cam provided a great means to extend my shooting time and capture shots either not possible or not safe if filmed on scuba…it was simple to assemble, light weight (until you attach the housing of course), and easy to operate.

Shawn’s full review includes photos of assembly and the pole cam in use, a discussion of areas for improvement, and sample footage from Tiger Beach…

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