Wetpixel DEMA 2012 show coverage.
Booth visits: Equinox, Inon, Backscatter, Mangrove/Aditech, Canon, Seacam.
The final day of DEMA 2012 was a final mad dash to see the final people that we had appointments with. (My apologies for the delay in getting this posted. United Airlines have brought me home via what can be best described as a curious route which has somewhat lessened the time I have had to get it writen up. I hope the report does not reflect my mood or state of exhaustion.)
Our first appointment was with Ed Richards and Joe van Brugger of housing manufacturer Equinox. Equinox now offer a range of housings for video SLRs. There are two sizes to accommodate larger and smaller bodied cameras.
Both come complete with a dome port, and zoom is via a rubber “caterpillar” band that simply loops around the lens. Joe and Ed say that they can set up the housing for just about any camera/lens combination, and if customers have special requirements for any housing, they will attempt to fulfil them. Custom paint jobs are also available!
Equinox also offer a housing for the RED Epic. Control is via REDMOTE. This is very much a blank canvas and can be customised to suit individuals requirements.
Equinox had an interesting polecam set up. This consists of a Canon HFM500 camera, housing (with minimal controls), a 16’ pole, 25’ video cable and a surface monitor. A clue at its intended audience lies in its name, which is the “Fishing Buddy”. It would make a great polecam in other situations, particularly as its price is $1999.
The Sony TD20 3D camera is also supported by the company.
Lastly, Equinox offer fluorescence filters and mask plates for fluorescence diving, and Dive and See external monitors.
Inon did not have a booth, but Abi and Adam spent some time with Takuya and Fukashi Torii at a meeting table in the show. The major new products that the company has launched are the wide-angle lenses for compact zoom cameras that have a wide-angle function larger than 28mm or super zoom cameras like the Canon Powershot SX260HS which have a 20 x optical zoom.
The UWL-S100 ZM80 attaches via a long threaded collar with a a locking ring, meaning that it can be adjusted to achieve the best effect. Once installed, the camera needs to be zoomed in to remove the vignette. The lens can be used topside and offers a 179° view, and has a field of view of 100° underwater.
In addition, Inon will be releasing a semi-fisheye conversion kit named the Dome Lens Unit II for the UWL-S100 ZM80. This increases the lens’s underwater view angle to 149.8°.
In order to attach the lens, Inon has developed two lens adaptor bases that allow the lenses convert the lens’s 52mm thread to a 67mm one or to a bayonet fitting.
Takuya and Fukashi had a Canon S110 lens on the stand. Canon has now joined Panasonic in working with Inon and including a fiber optic port and accessory shoe built-in to their housing as standard.
Fiber optic cables can be attached directly via a rubber bush.
Inon offers three torches, two 750 lumen versions offering 75° and 30° beams respectively and a 350 lumen version.
Not a new product to the Wetpixel readership, but Inon are also offering color temperature correction diffusers for their Z series strobes. These are available in 4600°K and 4900°K half and full stop versions for both Z series and S-2000 strobes. The warmer color temperature enhances the blue in a blue water image.
When I arrived on the Backscatter stand, they were having a group portrait taken. I took the opportunity to get a rare picture of the whole team together too.
Jim Decker of Backscatter took us through the company’s new products. Backscatter has been in forefront of developing filter solutions for GoPro POV cameras. They have filters for both HERO1 and HERO2 ($39) cameras as well as polarising ($20) and ND grad filters ($20).
They also have a flip filter version for the HERO2 ($49) and their Backscatter flat port housings are $119.
They are going to provide a solution for the HER03, with a “flip” filter design. This will have an additional attachment point to allow the addition of a vertical flip on top of the horizontal one. The company plan to offer magic, green water, deep water, and ND grad filters as well as a macro lens. The macro lens will have a positioning/distance rod similar to that used with Nikonos cameras. The basic flip filter will retail at $49 and expects to be shipping in January 2013.
Backscatter launched their Wahoo housing for the Sony CLM-V55 Monitor at DEMA 2011. They have now refined the bulkhead system, with the cable passing through the bulkhead via a removable HDMI connector.
This means that the monitor can be added to Nauticam, Subal, Aquatica, Sea & Sea and other housings including custom options.
Lastly, Backscatter are going to offer a vacuum seal check system which will be shipping from January.
This will initially be a manual version with a pump and pressure gauge to check seal integrity. It utilises the same bulkhead as the Wahoo monitor.
For fluorescence photography, the company offer three Nightsea filters. There are specific versions for the Inon Z series, Sea & Sea YS 250 strobes and also a universal mounting plate for all other strobes.
Stix has modified their arms to incorporate a double o ring system.
Backscatter are the distributer for Olympus Products into the underwater market. Andrew Bausk of Olympus was on they stand, and he showed me the PT-EP10 housing for the EPL-5 EVIL camera.
This will accommodate the recently released 60mm macro lens. It will ship in mid-December at $749.
He also showed me the new housing for the XZ-2 compact camera, which all be released in Mid November at $309.99.
In addition Olympus produce a wide-angle wet conversion lens for their TG-1 water proof camera. This gives a 115° field of view and costs $119.99.
Canon had a presence at the show. Apart from the 5D Mark III, they also had the EOS 1DX and EOS 1DC. The latter is a version of the 1D that outputs 4K video footage. Incidentally, it also produces still images at the same quality and specification as the 1DX. The difference between the models was described as the 1DC having some extra “plumbing” for the 4K pipeline.
Canon were also exhibiting their EOS C500 digital cinema camera.
Juan Sentis was on his Mangrove booth. He is now supporting the Sony CX760 and has further refined his housings by adding a new Li-ion battery pack. This gives a 10 hour battery life and is rechargeable via an internal port. Battery packs can also be easily swapped if necessary.
The company now offers a new optional monitor. This AUO version offers a 5 x higher resolution than OLED in a 2400x580 format. Camera controls now offer full manual control override via pushbutton, and four buttons that allows full menu navigation.
Harald Hordosch and Stephen Frink met me on their Seacam stand. For 2012, Seacam has returned to its roots, with models in its Silver Line for the Nikon D4 and D800.
The former was pressed into service early in the summer for use in the London Olympic swimming pool. For this purpose, the photographers used remote control of the cameras via LAN and power via an external source. The Seacam Silver housing for the D4 has also been designed to allow the use of these functions.
Both new housings are elegantly designed with clean ergonomics and controls. Neither support fiber optic triggering, relying on electronic strobe connections, primarily to Seacam’s range of Seaflash strobes. Harald emphasised that the Silver range is designed to be an integrated system that works best when combined with other products from within the line.
A lovely use of engineering has allowed the video record on/off functions to be combined with the shutter release.
The shutter release is triggered by pulling the lever towards the user as normal, but pushing it forward with the thumb activates the video record function (assuming Liveview etc. is set up). This keeps all the controls in the same place.
Similarly, Stephen had emphasised earlier how the AF function and AF pattern controls were activated by dual controls. The AF/M lever is operated by a lever on the right hand side, but by pushing the “lens release lever” this activates a pusher similar to that which was found on cable releases to control AF mode selection.
Within the housings, all the control dial controls sit on short travel soft springs that allow the dials to align with those on the camera. On the back of the housing, the pusher controls with arms have allan key adjustment to achieve the same goal. The “straight” push buttons have interchangeable sized tips. Harald has found that Nikon camera bodies seem to have a wide size tolerance and this degree of adjustment is necessary to guarantee control function.
Classic Seacam Silver design also means that both zoom and manual focus knobs are on the left hand side of the housing body, rather than on a manual focus port. Another common feature is the retention of the LCD info display window on the right hand side.
Harald has also redesigned the S45 viewfinder. The previous version was essentially a housed land 45° viewfinder, and the new one mounts the optics into the casing. It still gives an 100% view of the camera’s viewfinder, is simpler and the loss of two lens elements also makes it brighter and easier to view. It also is now half the weight of its predecessor.
Seacam are expecting to start shipping a Silver housing for the 5D Mark III. The control layout on this is expected to be familiar to existing Seacam 5D Mark II owners, although they have introduced a refinements including a dual control for ISO and AF ON, the right hand rear buttons have been moved further out toward the right hand, and the housing features a window for viewing the mode selection on the left.
Around the show.
Page 1: Pre-show set up.
Page 2: Booth visits: Aquatica, Nauticam, GoPro, Polar Pro, Solmar V/DivEncounters Alliance, Dive and See, Reefnet, Fisheye.
Page 3: Booth visits: Subal, Blue Vision, Acquapazza, Sea & Sea, Nauticam, Quikpod, XIT404 and Gates Underwater Products.
Page 4: The Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide Party.
Page 5: Booth Visits: Ikelite, Watershot, i-Divesite, Ultralite Control Systems, Dive and See, BS Kinetics, Light and Motion, Keldan, Nocturnal Lights, Snake River Prototyping.
Page 6: Booth visits: Equinox, Inon, Backscatter, Mangrove, Seacam and around the show.