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DEMA 2008: Hydroacoustics Inc. Photo

DEMA 2008: Hydroacoustics Inc.

Hydroacoustics Inc was one of a few companies at DEMA exhibiting the latest in underwater ROV and mini-ROV technology. The basic Proteus series is rated to 500 feet with up to 5000 feet of tether cable, and provides joystick control (of unit, camera, lights, etc) and return video feed over a light, thin fiber-optic cable.

The unit can be equipped with LED lights, a sonar scanner for immediate topography mapping, and grabber arm, among other accessories, and provides direct video to the controlling computer…

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DEMA 2008: Leashtec Photo

DEMA 2008: Leashtec

As the size of cameras and other devices has decreased, the chance of dropping these fragile electronics seems to have increased. To combat this, Leashtec has introduced the DiveLeash, an inexpensive neoprene strap with velcro attachment (similar to that on boogieboards and surfboards) and quick-release snap that securely holds your small camera or housing (less than 16oz in air) if one needs use of both hands…

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DEMA 2008: Ozeon Snorkeling Photo

DEMA 2008: Ozeon Snorkeling

Ozeon Snorkeling has introduced the head-mounted QV360, a new snorkel design in the spirit of the old double-hose regulators that allows for hands-free video or spotting light use while snorkeling.

Expected to be available in Spring 2009, the QV360 consists of a flexible mounting base worn on the back of the head, similar to styling to a flattened bicycle helmet, with a new ‘dry-top’ snorkel mounted on the back…

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DEMA 2008: Intova Photo

DEMA 2008: Intova

Intova is dedicated to providing underwater photography products to the consumer at low price points, perfect for the casual vacation photographer who wants a simple, no-fuss system to capture their experiences.

The company has continued to upgrade their cameras and housings, now offering the SP880 system, complete with an 8MP camera with 2.5” LCD that is waterproof to 10 feet out of the housing, or 130 feet with. The camera has a 38mm to 114mm equivalent focal length and three underwater modes, and both camera and housing are shock-resistant…

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DEMA 2008: NiteRider Dive Lights Photo

DEMA 2008: NiteRider Dive Lights

NiteRider Dive Lights is known for their full-facemask head-mounted lights and video HID lights. CEO Thomas Carroll walked me through a few of the new products, including the DeepStar Elite 3-LED light with 4W/8W/12W power settings and burn time of 3.5 hours to 9 hours from a Lithium-ion battery based on output choice.

On display was the redesigned 56w HID II Pro 40 4-HID bulb video light set with a low/high beam feature to switch between 10W and 14W settings to achieve power outputs of dual 10W (20W total), dual 14W (28W total), and quad 14W (56W total) for an output of 3200 lumen…

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DEMA 2008: Aditech Underwater Photo

DEMA 2008: Aditech Underwater

Aditech Underwater produces the Mangrove line of video housings for Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and JVC cameras. The overall shape of each housing is the same (as is the 200m depth rating), with slight variations in sizing and port placement based on the specific camera in use, and a range of dome ports to suit macro or wide-angle requirements.

Most Mangrove housings boast all electromagnetic controls (no penetration into the housing) and a 3.5” high-resolution TFT LCD monitor on the rear for convenient viewing…

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DEMA 2008: Bonica Precision (with interview) Photo

DEMA 2008: Bonica Precision (with interview)

Michael Chan talks about the Bonica Snapper HD video housing and 60W video lights. The Bonica Snapper is interesting because it comes in a silicone case that is already waterproof up to 12’ (when outside of the underwater housing). The housing captures the camera’s remote control and uses it instead of the buttons on the back of the housing. By default, they bundle a second remote control in the package, in case you lose one.

Also on display was a new MT09 80° beam halogen video light, with 30W/40W/60W power settings and a Lithium Polymer battery that allows from 1-2.5hrs of burn time depending on the power setting…

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DEMA 2008: TZKY Design Ltd (Ultima Digital) Photo

DEMA 2008: TZKY Design Ltd (Ultima Digital)

Just to the left of the Wetpixel booth was a new entrant into the underwater camera housing market, TZKY Design Ltd (Ultima Digital), with an ambitious design to support the 22MP medium format Hasselblad H3D camera.

Based in Hungary, TZKY Design has produced an aluminum housing rated to 80m with access to all primary camera controls on the H3D, and shipping with a dome port for the 28mm and 80mm lenses, and an absolutely gigantic flat port for the 120mm macro…

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DEMA 2008: 10Bar Underwater Housings Photo

DEMA 2008: 10Bar Underwater Housings

10Bar Underwater Housings had a variety of new housings for Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and Sony cameras and accessories. L C Ng directed me to an aluminum housing for none other than Canon’s flagship 1D/1Ds Mark III digital SLR.

The housing featured dual S6 bulkheads, and composite handles with a unique built-in fingertip shutter release (connected to the remote cable that plugs into the side of the camera) and ULCS strobe balls…

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BBC announces winners of 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Photo

BBC announces winners of 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The winners of the 2008 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards have been posted on the Natural History Museum’s website. In the Underwater World category, Brian Skerry took first, runner-up, and specially commended. Other commended images were taken by Jordi Chias, Thomas Peschak, Laurent Piechegut, Amos Nachoum, Noam Kortler, and David Hall.

I’d also like to plug my good friend, Andy Biggs, who won the Wild Places category with his incredible image of the Skeleton Coast in Namibia.

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