Show report: Dive 2015

The Dive Show is the UK’s largest and busiest consumer dive show and attracts a wide audience of participants and exhibitors from the UK and beyond. It was held at the National Exhibition Center, Birmingham over the weekend of 24 and 25 October. The show has “themed” areas and the Imagezone is dedicated to all things to do with underwater imaging. It features a central stage that hosts speakers and presentations surrounded by retailers selling and exhibiting imaging related equipment.

Perhaps the “best” thing about shows is catching up and chatting with the many people who come from far and wide.

Saeed Rashid and Steve Jones get photo bombed by Paul from Oonas Divers!

Jim Standing, Amanda Cotton and Steve Jones

As a consumer show, and as it is so close to the DEMA trade show (which Wetpixel will be reporting “live” from), there was not a huge amount of new products on display however, I was pleased to find Hugyfot’s stand with Pascal Eekhoudt and Luc Leys in attendance.

The company has been developing a range of housings and accessories for GoPro 3, 3+ and 4 cameras. These aluminum housings are rated to 200m and start from €499 for the Base model that uses the GoPro Battery BacPac.

The Base+ housing has its own internal battery pack, giving 6 hours of power and has a S6 video out bulkhead. This can be attached to a monitor, or to a 100m coax cable that can be sent up to s surface feed. In terms of monitors, Hugyfot offer two packaged options:

The Pro features the Base+ housing with a fixed video out , flip red filter, “double decker” tray and a housing for the GoPro LCD Backpack. It retails at €1250.

The Pro + is similar, but features a 4.3” LCD screen in a housing and retails at €1495.

Luc and Pascal were showing an innovative radio buoy that could be attached to the Base+ via its S6 bulkhead and a coax cable of up to 100m in length. The buoy will send the signal from the GoPro up to 2 miles to a receiver station. This could be a fascinating tool as a drop cam for research purposes. Luc pointed out that Hugyfot were capable of producing bespoke solutions if required.

Hugyfot also offer a large range of accessories for their GoPro system, including filters, lens holders, trays and external monitors.

Perhaps more conventionally, the company also had their new housings for the Nikon D7200 and Canon 7D Mark II cameras.

Steve Jones and Simon Rogerson

Alex Tattersall and Pash Baker on the Underwater Visions/Nauticam UK stand.

Alex Tattersall of Underwater Visions/Nauticam UK always has a range of products on his stand, the centerpiece of which was the new Nauticam Housing for Arri Alexa Mini.

The internal control system of the housing is designed to be attached semi-permanently to the camera and assembled outside of the housing for ease of set up.

It can also optionally use servo motors that drive the housing lens controls, meaning that they can be used with any supported lens. It features cinema style focus, zoom and iris knobs, allowing for focus pulling if required.

The housing has a 250mm dome port that will work with both SLR and cinema lenses.

They were also displaying their Epic LT housing for the RED Epic.

In terms of video, Alex also had the Nauticam housings for the Atomos Shogun monitor/recorder on display:

More prosaically, Alex had their new WWL-1 wide-angle conversion lens for compact cameras.

It offers very sharp corner-corner sharpness and reduces chromatic aberration. I was able to use one during the Wetpixel Whale Sharks trip, and was really impressed with the quality of image that it produces. It has a standard M67 fitting.

Underwater shooters Nick More and Sean Chinn

Major UK camera retailer, Cameras Underwater had a busy weekend with staff reporting that they had sold out of many items by midday on Sunday. Among the items on display as the Gates housing for the RED epic.

Another big player in UK underwater imaging retails, Ocean Leisure cameras, had a busy stand perhaps because (in spite of) the sales stand attending!

John Bantin assists a customer!

H20 Photo Tools are a perennial exhibitor at shows and exhibitions worldwide. Herbie Schmitz (right) has been a presence at shows for many years and it is sad to hear that he is planning to retire from the “show circuit” after the BOOT show in Dusseldorf in January

Stefan Horvath has designed a “cold water” extender for the controls on the Inon S2000 strobe! He will be showing them to me at DEMA.

It was great to catch up with Ellen Cuylaerts.

The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP) had a stand and a display of the shortlisted images in the BSoUP/Diver Pring competition.

Judges Martin Edge, Nigel Eaton and Alex Mustard discussing the contest entries.

Maria Munn was speaking at the show about shooting with compact cameras, as well as manning her stand in prepartion for the publication of her new book of tips and tricks for compact shooters.

Over on the Photozone stage, Jane Morgan and Gill MacDonald contrasted the underwater photographic opportunities of the UK to those of Indonesia.

Saeed Rashid and Nigel Wade (willingly) had their talk gate-crashed John Bantin. They hosted a question and answer session about improving their imagery. At one point Nigel felt compelled to climb on the furniture!

Amanda Cotton shared her amazing imagery and spoke about her commitment to show marine animals that are generally perceived to be dangerous in a non-threatening way.

Jim Standing and Andy Torbet felt that they had to sit on a Land Rover in order to discuss ideas….

Alex Mustard and Martin Edge’s double act was about “Settings in the Sea”, giving listeners an overview of what camera settings work and are important underwater.

David Pilosof of the World Shootout

Dive 2015 felt like a busy show, especially around the Photozone. Congratulations to the organisers and I look forward to Dive 2016! Many thanks to Alex Khachadourian of Diver magazine for organizing entry tickets.

All the images in this report are available to download via Wetpixel’s Photoshelter site using the password “dive2015”.