DEMA Show 2014
It was great to see perennial show attendee Stefan Horvath and his daughter Selina on their stand. Stefan has just moved his business into new custom built premises, and he has just taken ownership of a photography business in his home town. As a result, he did not have many new products to show.
The company is now offering yellow filters for fluorescence photography in all their sizes and types.
In addition, they are now offering the option of having clamps and ball ends anodized to a required color. This process has a lead time of 4-5 weeks.
I then went on over to see the folks at 10 Bar who had some interesting new buoyancy floats available.
They are made of expanded high density polystyrene and are available in 4 sizes, offering 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.6kg of lift respectively. they can be fitted onto conventional arms, as well as a specific round arm that 10 Bar offers.
Aiming snoots can be a challenge, and 10 Bar are offering a miniature laser pointer with a flash cut-out that can be attached to the snoot and used to aim it.
They then showed me a cage type camera tray with a stout handle attached.
For those that want to remove their strobes, without disconnecting the clamps, 10 Bar offer tow options for “splitting” the arm. The first is for Locline, and the second a conventional solid arm.
Lastly, Zou Yuan Li showed me their new poles for mounting GoPro or other small cameras. These are available in 2.8, 1.2 and 0.9m lengths and can be fitted with either a GoPro mount or a tripod adaptor
Harald Hordosch and Stephen Frink of Seacam spent some time with me talking through developments at the company.
Seacam plans to manufacture Silver housing for Sony A7 series and Fuji XT-1 mirrorless cameras. Among the features that will be incorporated are manual lens focusing, electrical and optical strobe triggering and compatibility with all existing macro ports. This latter feature will make them ideal for use as a second camera set up. They will ship with one handle and a hand strap.
The company is also developing a new dome port specifically for the Panasonic 8mm fisheye.
Other major news is that they are developing a new strobe. The Seaflash 50 will deliver 50W/sec and will have the ability to be used in TTL mode. It is designed to be small and light and is powered by 4 x AA batteries. It is seen as being an ideal back-up or second set, or for macro photography.
They are not ignoring the demand for vacuum leak check systems and are working on their own design. Theirs will not feature constant monitoring, but will allow the user to pull a vacuum and see if it holds for a specified period. This will prove that the seals are holding.
All the new products are likely to be available from the BOOT Show next year.
Seacam has redesigned their 45° viewfinder, which is now simpler and lighter. It is also sealed at both ends, ensuring that in the event of a flood, no water can get into it.
They had their housing for the Nikon D810 on the stand and it is shipping now, as well as their housing for the Canon 5D Mark III and their Prelude housing for the Nikon D7100.
In terms of SLR housings, Seacam will be offering support for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and the Nikon D750. The latter may be as a part of the Prelude range, rather than the Seacam Silver.
Seacam is also developing its line of Digital Cinema Housings under the Seacam Cinema banner. They will be offering housings for the Cannon C300 and C500 cameras, as well as a housing for the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q raw OLED monitor and recorder together 2 x 500GB hard drives. The latter will be powered via a battery located in the camera housing, removing the need to open the housings to recharge or replace them.
Lastly, Harald mentioned that to date they have converted around 65 Nikonos RS 13mm lenses for customers for use with modern Nikon SLRs and Seacam housings. He is also now able to convert the 20-35mm RS lens, which can be “zooomed”. This may well present a great option for rectilinear wide-angle of full frame cameras.
PolarPro offers filters and accessories for GoPro cameras. Their most popular product is the SwitchBlade, which features a macro lens and red filter that can be added or removed separately.
It is available for HERO3, 3+ and 4. The macro lens allows focusing down to 4”-8”. They offer a variety of filters , including a snorkelling version or for different water colors at $29.95 each or as a pack of three at $59.95.
Lastly, PolarPro’s Austen Butler showed me an innovative GoPro pole that features a 5200 mAh battery pack and two USB ports for recharging GoPros or cell phones. It is not designed for underwater use however and retails at $129.95.
Canadian manufacturer Aquatica has a large booth right next to the Image Resource Center. Jean Bruneau and Blake Stoughton showed me thorough their new models and accessories.
First up was their housing for the Panasonic GH4. This features the now trademark Amphibico latches and has the Surveyor vacuum system electronics installed as standard. The user is simply required to add a bulkhead to pump the housing down. The housing features 2 ports for bulkheads, which are M16 but are supplied with a bushing that reduces them to 1/2”. The aperture control dial is driven via a belt internally, which has allowed Aquatica to drop the control into a more natural and ergonomic position low on the right hand side.
The ISO control button is accessed via a lever, again on the left hand side. All the controls seem to be very well positioned for use. The Aquaview magnifying viewfinder can be installed if required, and the housing has Aquatica’s standard sculpted grips. It is shipping now at a US retail price of $1995.
Aquatica were showing their housing for the Nikon D810. This features a gear driven control for aperture and built in Surveyor vacuum monitoring electronics. All the control knobs features Aquatica’s deeply ribbed design for easy grip when wearing thick gloves, and a nice feature is the knurled and oversized control for the Focus Mode lever.
The housing has a dual control for the AE/AF lock and the AF-ON button and features three ports for adding leak detection or Nikonos, Ikelite or S6 bulkheads. One of these is on the bottom of the housing.
Aquatica offer a 425’ deep rated version with upgraded springs at no extra charge if it is specified at point of order.
In terms of accessories, Aquatica was showing a new range for action cameras.
These include a Unigrip single handled handle ($49.95):
Or a dual handled tray that became known as the boomerang tray($109.95)!
Lastly, they are selling a neat tripod ($149.95).
Not shown, is a metal plate that allows the camera to be mounted onto dome ports or other convenient locations.
Aquatica’s Technical Lighting Control system has been revamped and has new clamps featuring some funky branding and a fine thread pitch (1/4 28) that means that the amount of force being applied to the balls can be precisely controlled.
TLC’s new standard arms have been slimmed down and lightened and now have o rings on the ball ends. They are available is 6”, 8” and 11” lengths.
Lastly, they have released some aluminum buoyancy arms in 8” and 11” lengths. These offer 1/2 and 1lbs of buoyancy respectively. Aquatica will be releasing a new longer clamp for these in due course. All the new arm products will be available in early 2015.
Kenji Ohmura was on his stand with the new Fix Neo Mini focus light. This features white and red light controllable via 4 steps. It also features a cut off when the strobe is triggered.
Power is supplied by a rechargeable LiOn battery which is charged via a USB port.
Chris Parsons of Nauticam USA took me through the new models in the range (with a brief break for a visit from Dr. Sylvia Earle!)
The first new housing was the the 5D Mark III Deep. This is rated to 150m and has structural reinforcing internally and stronger springs. Phil Short and Gemma Smith have tested the housing to the 150m depth using an acrylic 41/2” dome port. Acrylic has the ability to flex and cope with any movement compared to glass that would tend to break.
Nauticam’s SMC was released last year, and gives 2.3X magnification. Nauticam has also released the Multiplier, which adds a further 3.5 x.
The company’s new housing for the Nikon D750 features enlarger Fn and Preview controls, and the Info button lever on the right hand side. Like all current Nauticam housings, it has the electronics for their vacuum system integrated.
Another new housing is the NA-7DMKII, which sports Nauticam’s new labels. Chris pointed out that the original 7D was a seminal housing for Nauticam and that he feels that this camera and housing will update and improve both significantly.
Nauticam were showing their housing for the Nikon D4s
Two new compact housing models feature interesting adaptions due to the way that their lenses zoom and the vignetting that occurs if standard wet lenses are used.
The NA-LX100 and NA G7X both feature a port system that can have a conventional rectangular port, a small dome port or a wide-angle conversion lens.
The latter is an interesting development as it is actually an optic and hence corrects the converts the light path more effectively. As a “water contact lens” it is perhaps apposite to think of it in terms of a Nikonos type lens…..The ones at the show were prototypes, but they need an adapter ring to attach to the NA-LX100 and NA-G7X and have M67 threads.
The Nauticam housing for the Olympus TG3 was on display
Another lens adapter showing was the CMC. Like the SMC, this is a macro conversion lens designed for compact zoom lenses, although Chris did mention that it could also be used with the Nikkor 60mm on SLR cameras. Full compatibility details will be announced soon.
Video shooters will be interested in a new design that links the NA-GH4 housing to the Nauticam Shogun housing. The link is provided by a big “cheese plate”.
Atomos are not actually shipping the Shogun yet, so the housing has, in this case, actually preceded delivery of the the unit it is designed to protect!
Nauticam are now supplying glass dome ports. These are also available in 140 and 180mm sizes for mirrorless cameras. they will continue to ship acrylic if requested too.
An example of this was displayed on the NA-A7. Sony has released the 16-35mm zoom, and Nauticam offer the option of a focus gear on this, allowing the user to “pull focus” if required.
Staying with video-centric products, Nauticam are offering a a new housing for the TV Logic VFM-058W, which is a 5.5” full HD viewfinder. It has HDMI in and SDI out, and the monitor has dual bulkheads. This allows for a signal to be simultaneously viewed on the monitor and a surface feed (for example). There is a range of extension cables and waterproof joints available.
Moving back to camera housing, Chris and Ryan Canon showed me the NA-Z100 housing for the the Sony AX100/Z100 4K cameras. These have attached lenses, so Nauticam has developed an optic that is a 120° full zoom through wide angle conversion lens with a built in white balance iris that attaches to the housings’s port. It is sharp throughout.
Nauticam offers two housings for RED digital cinema cameras. The first of these is optimized for using with SLR style lenses and hence has a smaller port opening. There are now two rear option which depend on the battery configuration and monitor that is being used. Ryan feels that the RED monitors are important as they allow for a status check even if the camera operator is using an external monitor. The different length back are user interchangeable.
The second version has a much larger port opening capable of taking even the Arri LWZ 9.5-18mm lens. Unlike most housing capable of accepting cameras with cinema lenses, this allows the lens and camera to be inserted complete via the rear of the housing, rather than de mounting the lens in order to get it into the housing.
My last visit of the day was to see Toshiki Yamamoto and his translator Miki Bultman. Acquapazza are offering the APSO RX100M3 housing for the Sony RX100 Mk III that is specifically designed to be used one-handed.
To this end, it has a grip for the right hand, and eyelets to allow for a strap to be attached for security. The rear opening latch is made entirely of aluminum and the design means that it must be opened by squeezing both sides, decreasing the risk of accidental release.
The port is specially designed to not vignette with the Inon UWL-H100 wide angle lens and has 67mm of Inon bayonet fitting as standard.
The controls feature both flash on and off.
The entry is double o ring sealed, as are all the control shafts.
It is supplied with fiber optic ports for Sea & Sea cables, but the port block can be removed, allowing the use of the internal flash if required. Acquapazza offer an optional direction diffuser for this if required. The housing has two M10 ball arm attachment points and 3 tripod holes.
It is available in 15 colors (to order).
Toshiki also showed me his new housing for the Sony A7. He has chosen to make this compatible with Sigma lenses via a mount adapter (LA-EA4). The lens port for this camera offer manual focus and zoom and the housing has two versions of its back door: One with a slanting angle for viewing the LCD, and one with a flat door which can accept a 45° Inon or Nauticam magnified viewfinder.
It will accept the Sony VL F20M flash, which can be used to trigger strobes via fiber optic.
The housing has angled controls to allow for improved ergonomics and has double o ring seals on both the rear door and all the buttons and control shafts. In addition, the shafts have been polished to ensure smooth operation.
Booth visits day 1: Backscatter, GoPro, Keldan, Ikelite, Subal.
Booth visits day 2: H20 Tools, 10 Bar, Seacam, PolarPro, Aquatica, Nauticam, Acquapazza.
Day 2: Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide Underwater Imaging Party.
Booth visits day 3: New World Publications, Sea& Sea, Gates, Light & Motion, Watershot, Inon.
Booth visits day 4: Saga, ULCS, Aquatica, BS Kinetics, Fantasea, Orcalight, XIT404, iDive
Mark Goyen: A newbie’s impression of DEMA.
Steve Williams: Final thoughts on DEMA 2014.
Adam Hanlon: Finishing thoughts and round up.