Underwater Photography News

SEA&SEA Announces the Next Generation YS-D2 Strobe

UWPG News
New Control Dials, Rear Glowing Panel and Audible Confirmation are Built in to the New YS-D2

 

SEA&SEA Announces the Next Generation YS-D2 Strobe


New Control Dials, Rear Glowing Panel and Audible Confirmation are Built in to the New YS-D2

By Brent Durand, July 2, 2015

 

sea&sea YS-D2 Strobe

 

 
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SEA&SEA has announced a new strobe that will replace the extremely popular YS-D1: the YS-D2 strobe. The new Sea and Sea YS-D2 strobe will look very similar to the YS-D1, at least until you take a closer look at the new features. If you're not familiar with these strobes, be sure to check out our YS-D1 strobe review.

 

YS-D2 New Features

 

  • Faster recycle time
  • Redesigned control knobs
  • Dual powered target light with red filters
  • Lighted / glowing rear panel
  • Audible confirmation
  • Newly designed battery compartment
  • Price:  $719.95 (available July 15, 2015)

 


Purchase the new SEA&SEA YS-D2 Strobe from Bluewater Photo

 


 

sea&sea YS-D2 Strobe

sea&sea YS-D2 Strobe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEA&SEA YS-D2 Initial Thoughts

 

Recycle Time

The new SEA&SEA YS-D2 strobe has really upped the ante. The most obvious improvement is the faster recycle time: .4 seconds faster than the YS-D1. When using Ni-MH batteries (like Sanyo Eneloops) the new YS-D2 will recycle in 1.4 seconds, while the YS-D1 recycles in 1.9 seconds.

This faster recycle time enables you to shoot more exposures during fast action and provides a nice reason for divers with the YS-D1 to look towards an upgrade to the new strobes.

 

Redesigned Control Knobs

Almost everyone who uses the YS-D1 will nod their head in understanding when you mention that you accidentally bumped the strobe setting knob when repositioning the strobe. The YS-D2 addresses this with new knobs that require two fingers to turn - they won't be moved by an errant finger when you grab the strobe head to position it.

The power dial also has new markings, showing strobe power as stops of light. The graphic is easier to see and read for both TTL and manual shooting. The photo below shows the new dials as seen on a demo strobe that arrived at Bluewater Photo today.

 

sea&sea YS-D2 Strobe

sea&sea YS-D2 Strobe

 

Dual Powered Target Light with Red Filters

The target (aka modeling) light on the YS-D2 is a nice feature. I use the target lights on my D1s as backup lights on night dives - double redundancy without carrying anything extra.

Divers using two strobes will generally not use the target light (and new red filter) to aid focus, since the strobes are generally not pointed directly at the subject. The target light will be useful, however, for divers shooting macro with a single strobe, when the strobe head will be pointed directly at the subject.

Learn more about underwater strobe positioning.

 

Lighted / Glowing Back Panel

Like the YS-D1, the YS-D2 has an LED indicator light on the back panel that let's you know once the strobe has recycled, the shooting mode and when power is low.

The YS-D2 strobe also includes this light, however the labels for shooting mode and power level now glow from this light so that you can see them at night. This is a very cool idea for those who don't know how to operate the strobe by feel alone. Plus, it looks pretty futuristic!

 

sea&sea YS-D2 Strobe light

 

Audible Confirmation

This feature will beep when the YS-D2 has recycled, so that you know when you can shoot again. Another great feature for shooting on high strobe power, but please, turn this off if we're diving together :- )

 

Newly Designed Battery Compartment

The largest weakness with underwater photography gear is a flood. The YS-D2 battery compartment is redesigned and should be able to withstand an accidental flood. Simply clean it out and replace the back battery cap (with a new one) and you're ready to keep shooting. Make sure to carry a spare battery cap on your next trip.

 

 

SEA&SEA YS-D2 Strobe Pricing & Availability

The YS-D2 will be availably starting July 15, 2015.

Retail price is $719.95.

Purchase the YS-D2 Strobe at Bluewater Photo.

 

sea&sea YS-D2 Strobe

 

Further Reading

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Illegal Salvage Ship Ruins Iconic Singapore Wreck Dive

UWPG News
Dive Charter Catches Illegal Salvage Ship Destroying the Iconic Seven Skies Wreck with Crane

 

Illegal Salvage Ship Ruins Iconic Singapore Wreck Dive


Dive Charter Catches Illegal Salvage Ship Destroying the Iconic Seven Skies Wreck with Crane

By UWPG News, June 30, 2015

 

Photo: Screengrab from DiveRACE video

 
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On May 30 this year, divers on the MV DiveRACE Class E (dive charter) came across an unusal sight as they pulled the boat up to a favorite shipwreck - the 7 Skies. As they approached, it became clear that the ship floating above the wreck was using a massive crane and claw, pulling up scrap metal from the wreck. As the MV DiveRACE Class E got closer and launched tenders to confirm the illegal salvage, the ship pulled anchors and took off in retreat.

The DiveRACE team immediately contacted the Nongsa Point Marina (Indonesia), and learned later that the salvage operators were soon detained by the Indonesian Navy. According to the below DiveRACE video, the llegal salvage ship (the Puteri 99) had been flying a Malaysian flag, crewed by Chinese nationals.

Unfortunately, the damage was already done to the iconic Seven Skies shipwreck. What was once a very popular wreck dive, visited by several liveaboard boats based in Singapore, is destroyed, now suitable only for technical divers.

 

Assessing the Damage of the Illegal Salvage

DiveRACE dived the wreck after the incident, describing what they saw when approaching the illegal salvage, then filming the video of the destroyed wreck below.

 

Local divers Flip Domans and David Trimble dived the wreck on May 31, 2015, the date after the illegal salvage. Below is an excerpt from David's dive report:

Basically only the starboard bridge wing at 33m is left as the shallowest part of Seven Skies.  It is supported by the starboard side of the accommodation block with a few broken decks.  For recreational divers this is the only option to use as a dive.  The fwd accommodation transverse bulkhead is tanked down to approx. A Deck.  On the Port side there is the aft part of the port accommodation side bulkhead with some part of the deck open, but at around 35m it is just the bulkhead left.

All the funnel, top of the engine room, swimming pool and off course the best part for recreational divers, the wheelhouse, is gone.  

There are still the hatches on the aft deck. The starboard lifeboat davits are still there, which would make a good tie off point. Didn’t have bottom time to check the port davits.

The bottom line is as long as they do not do more salvage work (big if!), although Seven Skies will obviously never be as good as we remember, it is still an interesting wreck – FOR TECHNICAL DIVERS.  Square profile to bridge wing at 33m cannot be considered a recreational dive.

From the numerous dives I have done on her, I would have consider the dive we did in the video as a great dive, big fish big wreck."

 

The following unedited video was filmed by Flip Dolmans during the dive described above.

 

 

One of the Most Popular Sites for Singapore Divers

The Seven Skies was one of the most popular wreck sites for divers living in Singapore and holds a special place in many divers' careers. 

 

Lionel Lim (DiveRACE) has made many dives on the wreck and provided the following words:

We are really saddened by the loss of 7 skies wreck. It was majestic and brought a lot of wonderful memories to divers around the region. Whalesharks and mantas could be sighted occasionally depending on the season and it always gave divers something to look forward to. 

However, due to the irresponsible actions of these salvagers, 7 skies wreck is not coming back anymore. Others wrecks in the surrounding waters, such as the HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales, have been salvaged too. The 7 skies is a precious historical wreck and now cannot grow, neither can it be replaced. Now all that is left are the memories of it.

 

Below are some words from Dominic Cleary, a diver living in Singapore who has fond memories of the wreck.

As a recreational diver I appreciated both the challenge and reward of the Seven Skies wreck.  Like so many others, I am angry at what has happened and am concerned about what the outcome and impact will be.

I've always looked forward to the Seven Skies.  The visibility and current were always variable factors, but no matter the challenge presented, the wreck always rewarded - either by the structure itself (when good conditions prevailed) or by the marine life around the funnel and superstructure (when current and visibility were less ... friendly).

I was on board the White Manta for a recent long weekend ‘Anambas Islands’ trip.  The itinerary included Kataoka, Malangbiru and amongst other sites, the Seven Skies.  A dive on the Seven Skies wasn’t to be, as there were reports of a commercial ship with crane anchored at the site. We learned that the wreck had been salvaged, likely illegally.

I'm angry at the blind stupid greed of those involved in this theft and destruction. I'm concerned for the community and business who felt the same way of the Seven Skies as I did.  I've heard the crew was arrested, perhaps the boats concerned impounded.  But what will become of them?  Will all be released after paying perhaps only a fine and after checking their balance sheets, continue on? 

I hope the respective authorities follow Palau's recent example - place those in charge in gaol, and publicly destroy the boats used in these illegal acts! 

 

 

 

Photos of the Illegal Salvage Barge

 

Silhouette of the Puteri 99 illegal salvage barge. Photo: Bob Griffin

 

The Puteri 99 illegal salvage barge. Photo: Bob Griffin

 

 

 

Special thanks to Dominic Cleary, Chris Hutton and Lionel Lim for their help with this article.

 

Book Your Trip to Dive on the White Manta

Bluewater Travel can help you plan and book the perfect dive trip for you. Visit the MV White Manta page on BluewaterTravel.com for more info.
 

 

Further Reading

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Vimeo Redesigns Cameo Video Editing App

Brent Durand
Easily edit and share cinematic videos with Cameo, using themes, soundtracks and more

 

Vimeo Redesigns Cameo Video Editing App


Easily edit and share cinematic videos with Cameo, using themes, soundtracks and more

By Brent Durand, June 23, 2015

 

 

 
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Video platform Vimeo has announced a full redesign of their video editing app, Cameo, available for download today (iOS only). This is another huge step in support of the trend of content on the go, which has been starting to enter the underwater photography and video world.

The redesigned app allows users to edit video clips, adding popular music provided by Vimeo, filter effects, text fonts and colors and of course, easy sharing on social media platforms, including Vimeo. Navigation and workflow inside of the app is elegant and easy, steamlined from left to right like we see with Adobe workflow, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.

 

Cameo for Underwater Video

The Vimeo Cameo app is designed to edit and share videos on your cell phone, meaning underwater video shooters have an extra step before using the app (unless you're using a Watershot Cell Phone Housing).

So how would you use Cameo for underwater video? There are a few ways. First, you could shoot clips on a WiFi-enabled camera like the Canon 70DOlympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II or GoPro Hero4. Once you're back on the surface you can simply transfer the clip(s) to your mobile phone for editing and either saving on your device (for sharing on social sites like Facebook or Instagram) or direct upload to your Vimeo account... before your dive boat even reaches the dock.

The second method would be to transfer video shot on any compact, mirrorless or DSLR camera underwater to your computer, and then transfer from your computer to your mobile phone. Obviously this isn't ideal because it defeats the spirit of "editing and sharing on the go."

 

Cameo is currently only availble for iOS but will be available for Android users in the near future.

 

 

Further Reading

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Snorkeler Bit by Mako Shark off Southern California

UWPG News
Mako shark bites snorkeler during baited shark dive 8 miles off Southern California coast

 

Snorkeler Bit by Mako Shark off Southern California


Mako shark bites snorkeler during baited shark dive 8 miles off Southern California coast

By UWPG News, June 17, 2015

 

 

 
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On June 13, 2015 a snorkeler was bit by a mako shark during a baited shark dive 8 miles off the coast of Southern California. These open water shark trips have been growing in popularity with underwater photographers during recent years, with summer proving to be a reliable time for mako shark encounters.

The snorkeler, Elke Specker, was diving off the coast of San Diego with the shark dive charter, Mako Shark Diving, which was using bait and chum to lure in the sharks. Details are still not clear, however one shark bit Elke on the leg, leaving a severe gash. Luckily, no major arteries were damaged. She has posted photos of her leg stitched up and appears to be on the road to recovery.

According to Elke's Facebook page, "The freakiest part was looking down at the tears in my wetsuit, not knowing how much damage was done. Luckily there were no arteries cut or I would have bled to death being 8 miles out from shore."

Two photos from the incident have also been posted on Elke's page. Please note that one photo graphically shows the wound.

Mako Shark bite wound

Mark Shark eating bait

 

Blue and Mako sharks can be seen off the California coast, with Mako sharks having a reputation for being more aggressive and dangerous. Some shark operators will immediately take snorkelers out of the water if a Mako shark appears that is too big or starts acting too aggressively. Some operators even advocate using a cage with Mako sharks due to their aggressive nature.

Chris Wade, owner of SharkBoat.org, has run several trips in Southern California where people dive or snorkel with sharks such as blue sharks and mako sharks. According to Chris, "Diving with sharks is potentially hazardous, but adverse interactions only happen very rarely. Mako sharks are extremely fast moving and occasionally can show signs of aggression. Additional care and high levels of situational awareness need to be in effect while diving with Mako sharks."

We will be updating this story with more details as we learn them.

 

 

 

Further Reading

 

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Sony a7R II, RX100 IV and RX10 II Roundup

UWPG News
Specs, Comparisons and Best Features for Underwater Photography

 

Sony a7R II, RX100 IV and RX10 II Roundup


Specs, Comparisons and Best Features for Underwater Photography

By UWPG News, June 12, 2015

Sony Camera Review

 

 
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This week Sony announced three brand new cameras that impressively add to their current full frame mirrorless and compact camera lineup: the Sony a7R II, Sony RX100m4, and Sony RX10m2. All three cameras are upgrades from existing models. The RX100 has been extremely popular with underwater photographers since it was released, and most video shooters have been keeping their eye on the a7R.

In this underwater photo and video review we will go over the specs of each camera and what is new from the previous model. We'll be doing in-water tests as soon as housing become available.

 

Jump to Camera:

a7R II     -     RX100 IV     -     RX10 II

 

 

Sony a7R II Camera Review

Sony A7rII Specs

  • 42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • 399 Phase-Detect AF Points & 5 fps Burst
  • Internal 4K XAVC S Video at 30 or 24 fps
  • S-Log2 Gamma provides great dynamic range
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • ISO 102,400 max

 

Sony a7R II Comparison with A7r

 

From the Sony press release:

 

The new α7R II interchangeable lens camera features the world’s first back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor1, which realizes high resolution (42.4 MP approx. effective megapixels), high sensitivity (expandable up to ISO 102400)2 and high speed AF response up to 40% faster than the original α7R thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points."

The Sony a7R II will ship in August 2015.

 


 

Sony RX100 IV Camera Review

Sony RX100 IV Specs

  • 20.1MP 1.0-type Exmor RS CMOS Sensor
  • ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens (f/1.8 - f/2.8) with focal length 8.8 - 25.7mm
  • Lens minimum focus distance: 0.17ft
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Super Slow Motion Video (maximum of 40x)
  • 4K Video Recording
  • 16 frames per second burst shooting
  • Front control ring (great for underwater settings adjustments
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • 180 degree tiltable LCD screen

 

Sony RX100 IV Comparison with RX100 III

 

The major highlight (and upgrade from the RX100 III) of the new RX100 IV is the brand new Exmore RS CMOS sensor. This sensor is stacked with a lightning-fast DRAM memory chip, which reads image data 5 times faster than the older Exmor R sensor. The result is extremely fast electronic shutter capability, which allows for some of the new levels of performance we see above:  16 fps burst, 4K video, slow motion at up to 960 fps (40x super slow mo) and more.

 

The Sony RX100 IV will be available in July 2015.

 

 


 

 

Sony RX10 II Camera Review

Sony RX10 II Specs

While not as popular for underwater photography as the cameras above, the Sony RX10m2 is impressive for those wanting a nice all-in-one compact camera for their next dive trip. The long zoom range on the built-in lens is perfect for those topside opportunities, offering more versatility in shooting above water than the RX100 IV. Below are the RX10m2 specs:

 

  • 20.2MP 1.0-type Exmor RS CMOS Sensor
  • ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens (f/2.8) with focal length 8.8 - 73.3mm
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Super Slow Motion Video (maximum of 40x)
  • 4K Video Recording
  • 14 frames per second burst shooting
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC

 

Sony RX10 II Comparison with RX10

 

The major highlight (and upgrade from the RX10) of the new RX10 II is the brand new Exmore RS CMOS sensor. This sensor is stacked with a lightning-fast DRAM memory chip, which reads image data 5 times faster than the older Exmor R sensor. The result is extremely fast electronic shutter capability, which allows for some of the new levels of performance we see above:  14 fps burst, 4K video, slow motion at up to 960 fps (40x super slow mo) and more.

 

The Sony RX10 II will be available in July 2015.

 

 

 


Find the best housing for your Sony camera at Bluewater Photo. Let us help you build the perfect kit.


 

 

Further Reading

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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SeaLife Releases New Screen Shield

UWPG News
Waterproof Screen Protector for Small Cameras and Housings

 

SeaLife Releases New Screen Shield


Waterproof Screen Protector for Small Cameras and Housings

By UWPG News, June 10, 2015

 

SeaLife Screen Shield

 

 
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SeaLife has announced a very useful accessory for small underwater cameras and housings: The Screen Shield.

Every veteran to underwater photo and video can tell you how quickly their gear gets beat up. Housings get scuffed by BC buckles, tap other housings on boats, bake in the sun and take other abuse. The LCD screen is the one place you cannot afford to have any scratches, since you have to see through it to shoot and review your images. Enter the new SeaLife Screen Shield.

 


Purchase the SeaLife Screen Shield from Bluewater Photo

 


 

 

PRESS RELEASE

SeaLife has announced the Screen Shield, a waterproof screen protector for underwater cameras and housings with a 2.4” or smaller LCD, such as the Micro HD or GoPro. The high-transparency, ultra-thin film goes completely unnoticed while guarding the display against scratches, dirt and fingerprints.

The Screen Shield is compatible with all GoPro models with LCD display or LCD BacPac accessory, and can be applied to the underwater housing or directly to the LCD screen when using the camera outside the housing. The touch screen will maintain full capability with the Screen Shield in place.

The protector is easy to install and leaves no residue behind when removed. Its hydrophobic coating repels water, and the protector will have no problem staying in place on the camera down to 330 feet/100 meters below the surface.

Each package includes two screen protectors, dust removal tape, cleaning cloth and easy to follow instructions. The low retail price of $12.95 makes the Screen Shield (Item SL5012) a perfect add-on to an underwater camera purchase.

For dealer pricing, more information or to place an order, contact your SeaLife rep or the SeaLife sales team.

 

About SeaLife:

SeaLife underwater cameras, lights and accessories are made and distributed by Pioneer Research in Moorestown, NJ. SeaLife cameras were first introduced in 1993. In 2000 SeaLife made the first digital underwater camera. In 2007 SeaLife developed the first non-housed digital underwater camera, and in 2013 SeaLife introduced the powerful Sea Dragon Lighting system and its innovative Flex-Connect tray, grip, arm and accessory system. SeaLife Cameras, Lighting and Flex-Connect Accessories are sold and serviced in 64 countries around the world.

 

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Further Reading

 

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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New GoPro Features & Touch Screen added to Hero +

UWPG News
New HERO+ LCD Features Touch Display, In-Camera Video Trimming & WiFi

 

New GoPro Features & Touch Screen added to HERO+


New HERO+ LCD Features Touch Display, In-Camera Video Trimming & WiFi

By UWPG News, June 1, 2015

GoPro Hero LCD Review

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The GoPro Hero cameras are a great choice for easy underwater video. Today, GoPro announced a new camera, adding touch screen convenience to their entry level camera lineup.

The new GoPro HERO+ LCD is now easier to use than ever, with a new touch screen and several features that help share your adventures at the fast speed of social media.

 

GoPro HERO+ LCD Key Features

  • New LCD touch screen
  • 1080p, 60fps video
  • In-Camera Video Trimming
  • Integrated WiFi 

 


Purchase your GoPro and GoPro Accessories from Bluewater Photo

Available now!


 

GoPro Tutorials on the Underwater Photography Guide

There are many different aspects to using a GoPro to film underwater video. At the Underwater Photography Guide, we have been building a series of GoPro tutorials to help you create the best video possible. 
 
 
 

 

 

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

SAN MATEO, CALIF. (June 1, 2015) – GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO), enabler of some of today's most immersive and engaging content, has announced the availability of its new HERO+ LCD camera. Capturing life-like high definition 1080p60 video and 8MP photos, the HERO+ LCD features a convenient touch display for easy shot framing, settings control and access to an all-new in-camera video trimming feature. Like the entry-level HERO, the HERO+ LCD is built directly into its waterproof housing. The simplicity of this all-in-one design now combines with expanded features to make capturing life’s memorable moments easier than ever.

Rugged and waterproof to 131’ (40m), HERO+ LCD also includes advanced features like HiLight Tagging and in-camera video trimming to make it easier to identify and share your favorite moments. HiLight Tagging lets you mark key moments while recording and during playback so you can easily find them later, and the all-new video trimming feature allows you to create short clips in-camera for easier sharing without a computer. 

Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® connect the HERO+ LCD to your GoPro App-enabled smartphone or tablet for easy camera control and shot preview when your camera is mounted or out of reach. The GoPro App also allows for easy content sharing to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more and combines with the new in-camera video trimming feature to form a convenient content sharing solution.

 “HERO+ LCD illustrates that even as we push the limits of life capture with bleeding-edge devices like the HERO4 Black, we’re also focused on delivering accessible, high-quality capture solutions to anyone wanting to GoPro,” said Nick Woodman, founder and CEO of GoPro.

Whether you are a first-time user or a GoPro veteran, the HERO+ LCD is an impressive capture solution. It combines GoPro’s famed image quality, versatility and durability with WiFi connectivity, long battery life and touch display convenience in an all-in-one design. 

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Further Reading

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Aquatica A5Dsr Housing Announced

UWPG News
Aquatica Housings for New Canon 5Ds, 5Dsr & 5D Mk III Begin Shipping in July

 

Aquatica A5Dsr Housing Announced


Aquatica Housings for New Canon 5Ds, 5Dsr & 5D Mk III Begin Shipping in July

By UWPG News, May 26, 2015

 

Aquatica A5Dsr Housing Review

 

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Canon recently announced two new 5D bodies with some mega megapixels, aimed at besting the beastly Nikon D810. Announced as 'bringing medium format to digital cameras,' Canon's 5Ds and 5DS R pack 50.6 megapixel sensors and dual DIGIC 6 processors.

If you're not familiar with these new cameras, you can check out the specs and our thoughts on the cameras for underwater photography in our Canon 5DS and 5DS R DSLR Review.

The Aquatica A5Dsr has been designed by Aquatica as an upgrade to the current A5D MkIII housing, making it lighter and more compact, refreshing the ergonomics, building in TTL control (for Ikelite strobes) and Aquatica's Surveyor monitoring sensor for moisture detection (and adding optional vacuum monitoring). 

 

Aquatica A5Dsr Housing Highlights

  • Housing fits the Canon 5DS, Canon 5DS R and the original Canon 5D Mark III
  • Refreshed & Improved Ergonomics
  • New internal TTL circuitry for Ikelite strobes, with fingertip exposure control
  • Surveyor moisture monitoring system & optional vacuum detect
  • 90m / 300ft depth rating with optional upgrade to 130m / 425ft
  • MSRP:  $3,399 USD (dual Nikonos bulkhead ports included)

 


Purchase the Aquatica A5Dsr Housing from Bluewater Photo

Shipping July 1st 2015! - Preorder Now!


 

PRESS RELEASE

 

 

May 25, 2015

 

Press release: Aquatica housing for the Canon 5Ds, 5Dsr & 5D Mk III is being introduced!

The Aquatica Team is proud to introduce to you the new Aquatica A5Dsr housing for the upcoming Canon 5Ds, 5Dsr and the existing 5D Mk III. Scheduled for shipping around July 1st.

THE DESIGN

Our Design team has refreshed the housing design for the 5D line of cameras with new improved operational ergonomics. This precision housing follows in the steps of a very time proven lineage of underwater camera housings for the constantly evolving 5D camera line up. Aquatica has been on top of the 5D program since they introduced the original one a decade ago, much like the 5D camera did, our housing has evolved into a fine imaging tool that mirrors the constant evolution of technology and the input of highly respected professional’s image makers from around the world.

Aquatica A5Dsr Housing Review

 

IKELITE TTL OPTION & EXPOSURE CONTROL

 

Aquatica A5Dsr Housing ReviewAquatica A5Dsr Housing Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now offering original internal TTL circuitry from Ikelite as an option, this 5Dsr housing edition brings creativity to a new level, strobe exposure control is right there, were it is supposed to be, you can now tweak your lighting exposure or even go fully manual right at your fingertips. Controlling the amount of light entering your camera is paramount to the success of any image maker, and the A5Dsr housing controls for aperture, shutter, ISO and strobes exposures are all a “hands on the grips” approach. Every one of these is positioned to be intuitive, eliminating confusion and making the housing a natural extension of the photographer.

 

THE CONSTRUCTION

The Canon 5Ds and 5Dsr cameras brings stunning and previously unheard of levels of resolution to the realms of DSLR’s cameras, our job at Aquatica is to provide you with the right tools for capturing your vision of the underwater world.

All Aquatica housings are constructed from the finest material available in the industry. They are carefully crafted from a selected alloy of aircraft grade aluminum and a premium grade of stainless steel, the housing shell is machined using the latest 5 axis computer assisted machines. After undergoing a series of quality control operations, the main body and its controls knobs will get protection by anodizing them to North American military specifications, furthermore, a coating of “tough as nail” powder coating is baked on at a high temperature. Corrosion inhibiting zinc anodes are standard equipment on all of our housings. These extra levels of protection are apparent, as can be seen on some Aquatica housings that, even with over 1,500 dives on them, still look as fresh as the day they came out of the box. 

The A5Dsr housing was designed to be as small and lightweight as it could be, nevertheless its lightness in weight should not be taken for a weakness. This housing still has the same standard 90m/300ft depth rating and can still be upgraded to 130m/425ft.

Aquatica housings are made for the hard working photographer in mind, one who truly understands reliability in the field. Being built in Canada means that every Aquatica housing is born and bred in one of the world most rugged diving environment. Bottom line, if it works in our local conditions, it will work everywhere else!

 

SURVEYOR MONITORING SYSTEM

The Aquatica A5Dsr housing comes standard with a Surveyor monitoring sensor. This sensor acts as a moisture alarm and can with the addition of a vacuum extracting valve an pump, be used for constantly monitoring the sealing integrity of the housing, adding another level of safety and peace of mind.

 

THE ERGONOMICS

Given the immense impact its predecessors had on the underwater imaging, it was deemed absolutely important that this new housing be optimized so that all its controls would be easy to reach and operate smoothly. AF-ON & star button access is provided with a rotating collar that prevents ambient pressure from pushing it back toward the housing. Menus buttons are angled to provide an easier reach for your left hand. The 4xxxx gear system with a smaller housing pinion gear and larger lens gear results in smoother action while zooming in a video sequence. Knurled knobs and oversized controls translate into positive and easy operation no matter what the situation is.

A control extender arm for the ISO button is now a standard feature on the Aquatica A5Dsr Pro Housing. ISO is an important, and in our opinion a vital feature, especially when shooting video, in normal circumstances this can be done by pushing on the ISO button located on the right hand top of the housing. This lever gives a quick and comfortable access to the ISO control of the camera.

Battery and card replacement are a simple affair with a camera tray that precisely positions the camera in the housing and easily disengage by a simple push on a tab. The zoom actuating pinion gear and the lens release lever pull out to allow the user to remove the camera from the back while still keeping a lens and zoom gear attached.

Handling the housing is via our acclaimed molded grips, these have been the industry reference in comfort for the last 25 years. These lightweight yet sturdy grip handles are made of one piece and cannot come unglued, fall apart or corrode. Grips are provided with standard sized mounting holes ready to accept the most current strobes and their supporting arms. On top of the housing is an extra mounting point for attaching a focus/video light or other accessories, three additional standard sized mounting points are provided under for various brackets, support or tripods.

On the right is a view of the business end on the Aquatica A5Dsr, clearly showing the serious nature of this housing. The record button is located close to your thumb and not only is it oversized but with a bright red coating, it is visually easy to pin point. The Live View toggle is within easy reach and the SET button is also oversized. The multi controller pad is accessible. All push buttons are of high quality Type 304 stainless steel, the same used in the aerospace industry; these will not break or rust. Their smooth operation and position gives the photographer a very intuitive and normal feel to the housing.

 

Aquatica A5Dsr Housing Review

 

CONNECTIVITY

The Aquatica A5Dsr housing offers a choice of connectors to take advantages of the current technology advancement made in underwater strobes.  They are user serviceable and replacing them is done quickly without requiring the need for any special tool. Again, these improvements were implemented with the travelling photographer in mind, reliability and user’s friendly field maintenance being the key word here.

Additional bulkheads access holes (16mm & ½” sized) are available for adapting accessories such an external monitor, triggering device, Surveyor vacuum monitoring system and/or sound recording accessories.

VIEWFINDERs

The Aquatica A5Dsr is supplied with our Galileo type eye piece. This high quality and coated optical finder gives a bright and full view of the view finder. For those seeking the ultimate in viewing for still image, the optional Aqua View Finder, available in straight and 45 degrees version, are among the best of the industry, they can easily be installed in a matter of a few minutes by the user. The enlarged and enhanced image provided by the Aqua View Finder is second to none in clarity, it provides the photographer with tack sharp corner to corner viewing of the camera view finder for composing and critical focusing

OPTICS

These new Canon 5D models, with their 50 megapixels, will be brutally demanding on optics, both the ones mounted on the camera and the ones attached to the housings. The Aquatica housing are supported by one of the most established and comprehensive port and accessories system of the industry. Our ports are manufactured with the finest optical material available, with four different sizes dome ports and three flat macro port, that selection is intended to let you optimize your system according to the situation at hand.

Dome ports are as follows: starting by our state-of-the-art 9.25”/230mm Megadome made of BK-7 coated mineral glass, to our classic workhorses, the 8” and 6” dome ports with removable shade, and going down all the way to the diminutive 4”/100mm Minidome, also made of coated BK7 glass. A selection of port extension rings, some including our unique manual focus capability, these extension are available for both the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM Type II and the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, Two serious candidates for the video shooter and for which manual focus access is vital, prime lens focusing can be done using the controls knob on the upper left side of the housing.

Aquatica A5Dsr Housing Review

 

The Aquatica 5Dsr is destined, much like its predecessor, the A5D Mk III, for a life of multi-tasking role. This previous A5D version is still a reference to date, and is used by many of the major television underwater documentary production; it has been embraced by scores of top image makers in the world whose work can be seen weekly on network television, advertising work and movie productions.

This philosophy that made the Canon 5D Mk III and its Aquatica housing so popular has not been lost on this newer version! Every effort was made to give you an underwater imaging system that can be tailored to your needs.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

The Aquatica A5Dsr is a very compact and lightweight housing tipping the scale at just: 

Dimension: (with grip attached) W 35cm x H 19.5cm x D14.5cm / W 13.78” x H 7.65” x D 5.72”

Dimension (without grip) 23cm x H 19.5cm x D14.5cm / W 9.06” x H 7.65” x D 5.72”

Priced starting at just $ 3,399 USD retail, with dual Nikonos included) it is one of the most economical and best designed of its category. 

 

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Purchase the Aquatica A5Dsr Housing from Bluewater Photo

Shipping July 1st 2015 - Preorder Now!


 

 

 

Further Reading

 

 

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SeaLife Advances Sea Dragon Line with 4 New Lights

UWPG News
New dive and video lights include two 650 lumen models, a 2100 dual beam light and a powerful 2500 lumen light with 120 degree beam.

 

SeaLife Advances Sea Dragon Line with 4 New Lights


New dive and video lights include two 650 lumen models, a 2100 dual beam light and a powerful 2500 lumen light with 120 degree beam.

 

By UWPG News, April 17, 2015

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SeaLife expands the Sea Dragon line today with the announcement of four new lights ranging from 650 lumens to 2500 lumens. These lights really boost the lumen power of Sea Dragon and expand on the versatility of the setup, from mounting on the Flex-Connect system to a variety of other light mounts. Wider beam angles will be much appreciated by those shooting underwater video.

 

New Sea Dragon Lights

Sea Dragon 2500

  • 2,500 lumens from flat panel LED
  • 120 degree beam angle
  • Burn time one hour at full power with constant brightness

 

Sea Dragon 2100 Dual Beam

  • 2 Beams
    • 2,100 lumen, 100 degree flood beam (great for video)
    • 800 lumen, 15 degree spot beam (great for diving/night)
  • 3 power settings for flood beam
  • Burn time one hour full power flood mode and 3 hours 800 lumen spot mode

 

Sea Dragon Mini 650

  • Available in two models
    • 120 degree beam (great for video)
    • 15 degree spot beam (great for diving/night)
  • Great handheld lights that can also be mounted to an Aquapod, GoPro and many other setups.

 


Purchase SeaLife Sea Dragon components from Bluewater Photo

Available now!


 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Moorestown, NJ – SeaLife has announced their most powerful and advanced underwater lights to date. Featuring compact light heads, high power with long burn time, and unmatched versatility, the four latest Sea Dragon lights also offer superior brightness, wide beam angles, and cutting edge LED technology. The revolutionary new lighting caters to underwater adventurers of all kinds. Underwater photographers and videographers using a wide camera lens (like those on the SeaLife Micro HD or GoPro) will be able to illuminate an entire frame. Divers exploring wrecks and reefs can reveal their surroundings in stunning full color and vibrant detail, day or night.

Nearby divers will take notice when 2500 lumens are unleashed from the flat panel LED of the new Sea Dragon 2500. This light not only shines across an ultra-wide 120-degree beam, but uses flat panel COB LED array technology to mimic natural sunlight. With a Color Rendering Index of 90 (sunlight is 100), the light brings out true color in underwater photos and video that would be impossible to capture with a standard LED light. The Sea Dragon 2500 effectively solves the issue of blue underwater photos and video by giving divers the ability to add light at any depth with portable sunlight. While the lumen output is a true 2500, the burn time at full power is one hour at constant brightness throughout the battery life, making it efficient as well as incredibly bright. With an MSRP of $499.95 the user also receives a Flex-Connect Tray, Grip and fitted case that holds a camera.

Divers looking for a true all-in-one lighting solution can now rejoice. The most adaptable light available from SeaLife, the new Sea Dragon 2100 Dual Beam, includes a 2100 lumen, 100-degree flood beam and a concentrated 800 lumen, 15-degree spot beam – all in the same compact light head. The variable power flood beam will greatly brighten underwater surroundings, photos and videos, while the powerful spot beam is ideal for illuminating greater distances and pointing out distant sea creatures. The included 25Wh lithium ion battery delivers a one hour burn time in full power flood mode, and three hours in the 800 lumen spot mode. The one-button operation of the Sea Dragon 2100 Dual Beam allows for quick and easy cycling of desired output and beam angle with three flood beam strength settings and a full power, 800 lumen spot. Both the Sea Dragon 2500 and 2100 lights include emergency signal modes (1 flash per second and SOS).

A pair of 650 lumen, ergonomic handheld underwater lights round out the release. The Sea Dragon Mini 650 is available in two models. The wide 120-degree flood model is ideal for photos and videos, as well as wide area illumination, and the long reaching 15-degree spot model is perfect for pointing out objects to other divers, penetrating into crevices, or cutting through murky water. While both lights make excellent, high quality handheld dive lights that stand up to the field’s best competitors, the real value in these lights is their incredible versatility. Each light is packed with a lanyard, Y-S Mount, Cold Shoe Mount, GoPro Mount and SeaLife AquaPod Pole Mount. These easy-to-connect mounts allow divers to add light to any underwater adventure in any situation. Mount the sleek light to the end of an AquaPod to illuminate close up video of hidden creatures in dark caverns. Attach it directly to a GoPro camera to create the most compact lighting solution for GoPro available. The Sea Dragon Mini 650 features one-button operation and illuminated three-color battery status indicator. An incredible 100-minute, full power burn time is achieved with an optional 18650 2600mAh 3.7v battery, and the included pair of single-use CR123 batteries yield 60 minutes of burn time at full power. Once a diver places this perfectly weighted and beautifully constructed light in his or her hand, it will become a permanent fixture in their dive kit.

As with all Sea Dragon lights, the actual lumen rating meets or exceeds SeaLife’s claims. Unlike many underwater lighting brands whose lumen readings have been verified to fall short of their claim by a baffling 40% or more, SeaLife makes sure each Sea Dragon Light delivers on its promise. The same attention is given to performance throughout the battery runtime. Sea Dragon Lights provide constant brightness up to depletion of battery. In fact, a fully charged lithium ion battery for the Sea Dragon 2500 and 2100 lights provides over a full hour of uninterrupted usage at 100% power.

The ruggedness and thoughtful design that Sea Dragon Lighting users have come to expect can be seen in the new lighting as well. The Sea Dragon 2500 and 2100 keep the battery compartment completely sealed off from the electronics – meaning an accidental flooding will only damage a battery and not the light itself. The Sea Dragon Mini 650 lights feature a double O-ring seal and single button control, virtually eliminating the possibility of water damage.

SeaLife’s full line of Sea Dragon Lights are available now at SeaLife dealers at the following suggested retail prices:

 

SL670      Sea Dragon 2100 Dual Beam (with grip/tray)                     MSRP $499.95

SL6702    Sea Dragon 2100 Dual Beam (light head only)                   MSRP $429.95

 

SL671      Sea Dragon 2500 (with grip/tray)                                           MSRP $499.95

SL6712    Sea Dragon 2500 (light head only)                                         MSRP $429.95

SL989      Sea Dragon Duo 5000 Set (incl. 2x 2500 lights)                  MSRP $899.95

 

SL650      Sea Dragon Mini 650 Flood                                                       MSRP $159.95

SL651      Sea Dragon Mini 650 Spot                                                         MSRP $159.95

 

Available at Bluewater Photo

 

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Further Reading

 

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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Rare Deep Water Encounter with Sperm Whale

UWPG News
Nautilus Live expedition submersible ROV has Unique Sperm Whale Encounter

 

Rare Deep Water Encounter with Sperm Whale


Nautilus Live expedition submersible ROV has Unique Sperm Whale Encounter

By UWPG News, April 16, 2015

 

 

 
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Many photographers and videographers have been capturing sperm whale images in recent years, but all of those are near the surface. Nautilus Live recently stirred it up with a rare and very surprising sperm whale encounter caught on video 598 meters below the surface (1,962ft).

The encounter took place in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, where ROV Hercules was circled several times by the sperm whale. Encounters like this are extremely rare, and good video even more rare.

 

 

Rare Sperm Whale Encounter Video:

 

Be sure to check out the Nautilus Live website, where they are exploring the ocean, studying biology, geology, archeology, and streaming LIVE video from deep below the ocean surface.

 

 

 

Further Reading

 

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
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