Underwater Photography News

Underwater photography news, including new gear, photo contests, marine life issues, dive destinations and more.
ScubaShooters has announced the winners of Deep Visions, showcasing some amazing underwater photos
By Brent Durand

Deep Visions Photo Contest Winners

Brent Durand
ScubaShooters has announced the winners of Deep Visions, showcasing some amazing underwater photos

Our friends at ScubaShooters have announced the winners of the 1st Deep Visions UWP Awards. The contest complements the active ScubaShooters website community and eMagazine, and attracted some of the most talented underwater photographers shooting today. The rich prize list included a rich assortment offering from dive resorts, gear manufacturers and lots of photo equipment.

The Deep Visions contest categories were Black and White, Behavior, Macro, Macro-Compact, Wide-Angle, Wide-Angle Compact, and Snooted.

View all the winning photos at ScubaShooters Deep Visions Winners.

 

 

Black & White Winners

1. Marco Gargiulo

2. Marco Gargiulo

3. Christian Schlamann

4. Tanya Houppermans

5. Geo Cloete

6. Marco Gargiulo

 

 

Behavior Winners

1. Massimo Zannini

2. Marco Chang

3. Liang Fu

4. Claudia Peyer

5. Christian Schlamann

6. Lynn Wu

 

 

Macro Winners

1. Stefano Scortegagna

2. Tony Cherbas

3. Yatwai So

4. Yatwai So

5. Claudio Zori

6. Stefano Scortegagna

 

 

Macro - Compact Winners

1. Abimael Marquez

2. Jennifer Weber

3. Amy Hung

4. Don Bouchard

5. Alex Barth

6. Comenico Tripodi

 

 

Wide-Angle Winners

1. Cedric Peneau

2. Massimo Zannini

3. Alex Rush

4. Plamena Mileva

5. Alex Rush

6. Gang Song

 

 

Wide-Angle - Compact Winners

1. Virginia Salzedo

2. Abimael Marquez

3. Virginia Salzedo

4. Domenico Tripodi

5. Stephane Primatesta

 

 

Snooted Winners

1. Franco De Lorenzi

2. Rafael Cosme

3. Violet Ting

4. Adriano Morettin

5. Marco Chang

6. Adriano Morettin

 

The judges of the ScubaShooters Deep Visions UWPG Awards were Henry Jager, Isabella Maffei, Davide Lopresti, Ivana Orlovic, Roland Bach, Fabio Lardino and Beth Watson.

 

View all the winning photos at ScubaShooters Deep Visions Winners.

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First camera to feature Canon's new DIGIC 7 processor, increased noise performance, better RAW capture and more
By Brent Durand

Canon G7X Mark II Compact Camera Announced

Brent Durand
First camera to feature Canon's new DIGIC 7 processor, increased noise performance, better RAW capture and more

Canon has announced the new G7X Mark II, bringing new features to the already popular G7X. The new G7X Mark II uses the same sensor and lens as the previous model, but is the first camera to use Canon's new DIGIC 7 image processor to support new performance improvements.

The Canon G7X Mark II has a faster startup, less noise when shooting at higher ISOs, better autofocus tracking, enhanced image stabilization, longer battery life and faster continuous shooting. The G7X Mark 2 also records 14-bit RAW files instead of 12-bit like the G7X. In simplest terms, this means more data, which means more room during post processing, which is nice in some cases when you don't get the shot just right in-camera.

Availability:  Shipping May 2016

Retail Price:  Estimated $699.99 USD

 

Canon G7X Mark II Key Features

  • Bright f/1.8 (w) - f/2.8 (t), 4.2x (24-100mm equivalent) optical zoom lens with IS and 9-blade iris diaphram

  • 1-inch 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor

  • New DIGIC 7 image processor

  • Multi-angle 3.o-inch capacitive touch panel display

  • 1080p Full HD video recording

  • One-touch white-balance for underwater video

  • In-camera RAW conversion (customize and view edits prior to sharing from camera)

  • WiFi and NFC built-in

 

Thoughts for Underwater Photography

The Canon G7X Mark II will be one of the best choices for underwater photo and video with a compact camera. The Canon G7X has been very popular, although it faces stiff competition from the Sony RX100 IV, which also has a 1-inch sensor and more robust video capabilities. The one-touch white balance on the G7X Mark II is extremely convenient for video shooters, while manual white balance on the RX100 IV requires some menu navigation.

The G7X Mark II will be supported by a number of housing manufacturers, which means that accessories like wet diopters for macro and wide-angle wet lenses will all be available for capturing any underwater scene. The more powerful processor will improve light performance, from autofocus to a clearer image when shooting at higher ISOs (i.e. for underwater video).

Be sure to check out our Sony RX100 IV Review and Canon G7X Camera Review for underwater tests and more hands-on information.

 

From Bluewater Photo owner Scott Gietler:

With stunning image quality, TTL in manual mode, and great video & white balance features, the Canon G7X has quickly become one of the top two choices for compact camera underwater shooters, and we expect the Canon G7X II to continue in the same vein. Although it is not a "major" upgrade, we recommend the G7X II over the G7X due to its claim of 25% better battery life and improved low-contrast focusing, which will of course need to be tested.

 

Canon G7X Mark II Underwater Housings

We expect underwater housings to become available for the Canon G7X starting a couple months after release in May 2016, with entries from several leading housing manufacturers available at Bluewater Photo.

Size dimensions of the new G7X Mark 2 suggest that the body will be slightly larger than that of the G7X, so we are assuming that those who own G7X housings will not be able to use the new camera in their existing housing.

Canon G7X Mk II (approx: 105.5 x 60.9 x 42.0 mm).  Canon G7X (approx: 103.0 x 60.4 x 40.4 mm).

Full details are coming, but in the meantime we've put together some housing previews and accessories below.

 

 


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24.2 megapixel dual-pixel CMOS sensor, 45-point AF system, DIGIC 6 processor and other great features for underwater photo and video
By Brent Durand

Canon 80D DSLR Announced

Brent Durand
24.2 megapixel dual-pixel CMOS sensor, 45-point AF system, DIGIC 6 processor and other great features for underwater photo and video

Canon has announced its latest intermediate DSLR: the EOS 80D. The new camera follows up on the success of the Canon 70D, which the first to use dual-pixel sensor technology for lighting-fast autofocus.

The Canon 80D will be sold as a body only, or as a kit with either the 18-55mm lens or new 18-135mm lens. The highlight on this camera is the incredible autofocus for photo and video combined a very nice pricepoint. The Canon 80D features a new 45-point all cross-type AF system with enhanced low light performance when shooting through the viewfinder (for still photos), plus dual-pixel CMOS AF technology for shooting using live view (for video). The previous 70D uses 19 AF points, so the jump to 45 opens up many new composition and focus tracking possibilities. Video shooters mostly rely on manual focus with DSLRs, however the dual pixel AF in the Canon 80D performs exceptionally well, making autofocus during video a very real option (the 70D, 7D Mark II and 1DX Mark II use dual pixel AF as well).

Additionally, the Canon 80D has an expanded ISO range, which is very useful for underwater video shooters. Divers can also now shoot 60 frames per second at full HD (1080p), instead of 30fps as on the 70D, in order to create some slow motion effect during post processing.

Availability:  Shipping end of March 2016

Retail Price:  Estimated $1,199 USD (body only)

 

Canon 80D Updated Features

  • New 45-point all cross-type AF system

  • Intelligent viewfinder with approximately 100% viewfinder coverage

  • Newly Developed 24.2 Megapixel (APS-C) CMOS sensor

  • DIGIC 6 image processor for enhanced image quality

  • Improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF for smooth, fast and accurate autofocus with video and stills using live view

  • 1080/60p Full HD video that can be saved in MP4 format for quick and easy sharing

  • Improved ISO range of 100 - 16000 for photo and 100 - 12800 for video, both expandable to 25600.

  • Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LcD II monitor

  • Built-in WiFi and NFC

 

Thoughts for Underwater Photography

The Canon 80D is an excellent option for those interested in an intermediate-level DSLR. The 80D excels at both photo and video and performs very well in the low light conditions we experience underwater. 

More advanced DSLR shooters will look towards the Canon 7D Mark II or the new Nikon D500, but these cameras come with larger price tags. The 80D sits in the price tier below these other cameras. It's easy to be distracted by features like 4K video in the D500, but can your computer even process or display 4K resolution? The Canon 80D packs all the essential features for underwater photography - like excellent autofocus and image quality.

 

From Bluewater Photo owner Scott Gietler:

The Canon 70D was a popular camera with amateur and serious photographers on a budget who wanted great results but didn't feel like they needed the additional features of the 7D Mark II, often putting the cost savings to another lens. We expect the Canon 80D to continue to fill this niche, although I suspect many photographers will also keep their eye out for deals on lightly used 70D and 7D Mark II bodies as the upgrades to the 80D do not seem groundbreaking.

 

Canon 80D Best Lenses

The camera utilizes all Canon EF-S and third party APS-C lenses, so shooters have ultimate flexibility for shooting wide-angle, macro and topside.

 

MACRO

Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro Lens Review

  • This is the best macro lens for smaller subjects. Lighting fast.

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

  • This is a great lens for learning macro, larger subjects or creating less "flat" images than with the 100.

WIDE-ANGLE

Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fisheye Lens

  • The hands-down best choice for wide-angle on APS-C (crop) sensor DSLRs.

Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Wide-Angle Lens

  • An excellent choice for wide-angle subjects that don't always come close to the camera, like sharks.

 

Canon 80D Underwater Housings

We expect underwater housings to become available for the Canon EOS 80D starting in the next few months, with entries from the leading housing manufacturers available at Bluewater Photo.

Size dimensions of the new 80D suggest that the body will be slightly larger than that of the 70D, so we are assuming that those who own 70D housings will not be able to use the new camera in their existing housing.

Canon 80D (approx: 5.47 x 4.14 x 3.09 inches).  Canon 70D (approx: 5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches).

Full details are coming, but in the meantime we've put together some housing previews and accessories below.

 

 

 

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Join Cousteau and Mantello Brothers in an Indiegogo campaign to help fund this remarkable new 3D 4K film
By Brent Durand

Odyssea 3D - Experience the Macro World in 3D

Brent Durand
Join Cousteau and Mantello Brothers in an Indiegogo campaign to help fund this remarkable new 3D 4K film

Ocean lovers have a unique opportunity to combine many passions in support of Odyssea 3D. Co-directed by Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Mantello Brothers, and produced by 3D Entertainment Films, the film is slated for worldwide release in 3D (and 2D) this summer after being premiered during the Cannes Film Festival this May.

The producers have just launched an Indiegogo campaign to help complete the final stages of the film, including editing, music, sound effects, narration and final 3D rendering in 4K. You can become a vital part of the film by contributing to the campaign, which will help finish the film and contribute to the greater movement of protecting our ocean.

 

View the Odyssea 3D Indiegogo Campaign

 

The Indiegogo page has an entertaining video with the directors and also shows a sample of some of the critters we'll see in the video, including feeding crabs, nudis, lobsters, corals and pelagic inverts.

To quote Jean-Michel Cousteau:

“Odyssea 3D is a ground-breaking feature documentary which will allow audiences to discover the ocean as never seen before. We have collaborated with the most advanced 3D filmmakers to help capture and share with you the most beautiful small creatures that are keeping the ocean alive and that need protection as much as the large ones. I personally thank in advance all the backers of the campaign for this amazing project that I’m excited to share with audiences worldwide soon.” 

 

Below are a few stills from the film:

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

Los Angeles (CA), London (UK), Paris (France) – February 5, 2016 After three years in the making, Odyssea 3D, the first 3D feature documentary directed by Jean-Michel Cousteau, is currently in post-production. The producers are now launching an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to complete the final stages of the film including editing, music, sound effects, narration and final 3D rendering in 4K.

Co-directed by Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Mantello Brothers, and produced by 3D Entertainment Films (OCEANWORLD 3D), the film is slated for worldwide release in 3D and 2D in summer 2016.

“Since the 1950s, my father and I have dedicated our lives to the ocean. Our mission has been to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau. “Odyssea 3D is a ground-breaking feature documentary which will allow audiences to discover the ocean as never seen before. We have collaborated with the most advanced 3D filmmakers to help capture and share with you the most beautiful small creatures that are keeping the ocean alive and that need protection as much as the large ones. I personally thank in advance all the backers of the campaign for this amazing project that I’m excited to share with audiences worldwide soon.”

“As filmmakers and divers for over thirty-five years, working with Cousteau was our dream. And guess what? We are not only working with one Cousteau, but three! Fabien and Céline, Jean- Michel’s children, are also part of this adventure,” said Jean-Jacques Mantello, co-director of the film. “We have developed new filming techniques, in, macro 3D, slow motion, 4K that allowed Jean-Michel to capture incredible creatures. After seventy years of diving, he was blown away by the spectacular images as he discovered an entirely new world, sometimes too small to be seen by the naked eye.”

“We have been able to find partners and private investors to complete the filming expeditions and capture all the footage needed. However, as we enter the final steps of production, we need more funds to complete our film and be ready by May 2016 to show it at the Cannes Film Festival to worldwide distributors” said Francois Mantello, producer. “Moreover, as May 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the Golden Palm award that Jacques Cousteau received in Cannes for his underwater film The Silent World (Le Monde du silence), Jean-Michel will have the opportunity to present Odyssea 3D as a tribute to his father. Crowdfunding is a new experience for us, and a great way to involve our audience in the process and raise the independent funds. We found great support with the Indiegogo team and we are very happy to propose amazing perks that are all eco-friendly, supporting our quest to help save the ocean. There are also some exclusive perks autographed by the Cousteau family.”

The Indiegogo campaign will launch live on February 8, 2016 on the following link:  http://bit.ly/GogoOdyssea3D

For more information, visit www.odyssea3D-thefilm.com 

 

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

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

 


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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.

 


20.2MP dual-pixel full frame sensor, 4K 60P video, 14FPS burst - we take a first look review for underwater photo and video
By Brent Durand

Canon Announces EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR

Brent Durand
20.2MP dual-pixel full frame sensor, 4K 60P video, 14FPS burst - we take a first look review for underwater photo and video

Canon has announced the much anticipated EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR camera. The new flagship EOS camera matches many rumored specs, delivering a fast, sophisticated camera that will produce stunning images and video quality.

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II uses a new 20.2 megapixel full-frame sensor combined with dual DIGIC 6+ image processors, plus a 61-point AF system and up to 4K 60P (or Full HD 120P) video recording with dual pixel CMOS Autofocus (for fast video AF and tracking).

Retail price (body only):  $5999

Availability:  April 2016

 

EOS-1D X Mark II Highlights

  • Fastest shooting EOS-1D, capable of up to 14 fps* full-resolution RAW or JPEG, and up to 16 fps* in Live View mode with new Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors.

  • Achieves a maximum burst rate of up to 170 RAWs in continuous shooting at up to 16 fps, and 4K movies using CFast™ cards in the new CFast 2.0™** slot.

  • Experience less noise in higher ISO images via a new 20.2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, with an ISO range of 100-51200; expansion to ISO 409600.

  • Improved AF performance through 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system with 41 cross-type points, improved center point focusing sensitivity to -3 EV and compatibility down to f/8***.

  • Accurate subject tracking for stills and video with new EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF with 360,000-pixel metering sensor.

  • 4K video (4096 x 2160) up to 60 fps (59.94), with an 8.8-Megapixel still frame grab**** in camera. Full 1080p HD capture up to 120 fps for slow motion.

  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF & Movie Servo AF for high speed, high frame rate and continuous autofocus during video shooting.

  • View and control high quality stills and videos via the 3.2-inch touch panel LCD with 1.62 million dots.

  • Increased resolution and fine detail, with lens aberration correction and diffraction correction via new in-camera Digital Lens Optimizer technology.

  • Built-in GPS***** provides geotag information including auto time syncing with Universal Time Code via satellites.

  • The new optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A is compatible with IEEE 802.11ac/n/a/g/b, supporting both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi® bands.

  • Durable and rugged magnesium alloy body with dust- and-weather resistance for demanding shooting situations.

* View the full details for each of these highlights on the Canon 1DX MkII website.

Thoughts for Underwater Photographers

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II will be a nice option for those serious about underwater photography. The 1D X is a definitely step up from the Canon 5Ds and 5D Mark III, the latter having proved extrememly popular for professional and many 1st time underwater photographers alike.

The body of the 1D X is significantly larger than the 5D series, making the flagship EOS camera a true pro-level DSLR with a lot more bulk and weight to carry around on dive trips. This is a serious consideration as more photographers are turning eyes to the small full frame mirrorless Sony a7R II camera.

So what makes the EOS-1D X Mark 2 worth the extra size? It's a pro's workhorse camera. If you shoot action sports, you already know the benefit of 14FPS for 170 consecutive RAW images (some serious buffer memory!), as well as the fast and accurate autofocus. This is particularly important when shooting macro in dark conditions like the shade at the base of a reef, where the a7 II cameras and Sony 90mm macro lens struggle to focus. The Canon 100mm macro lens is lightning fast, and will be very quick with the new 1DX MkII. That said, you'll find this fast dual-pixel AF on the much more affordable Canon 7D Mark II and Canon 70D.

The 1DX MkII is also features more robust video recording capabilities than most DSLR and mirrorless alternatives. 4K resolution at 30 or 60fps provides the ability to edit slow motion footage, while 120FPS at 1080p will allow for ultra slow motion recording. Just add a monitor or use 3rd party software like Magic Lantern for uncompressed RAW video recording.

Overall, I would recommend the EOS-1D X Mark II per my usual camera shopping guideline: "If you can explain the features on the 1DX that are not included in lower models and how and when you would use them, then you can certainly take advantage of the 1DX's robust featureset to produce incredible underwater photo and video." In general, most u/w photographers looking towards full-frame will be very happy with the 5D Mark III instead of the new 1DX.

 

Best Lenses

Canon full-frame DSLRs benefit from high-quality pro-level "L" lenses. We've listed the most popular lenses for underwater photography below.

  • Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro Lens Review

    • This is the best macro lens for Canon full-frame shooters.

  • Canon 8-15mm Fisheye Lens Review

    • The fisheye lens of choise for Canon full-frame shooters, offering traditional wide-angle shots at 15mm and circular shots at 8mm.

  • Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II Wide-Angle Lens

    • Popular wide-angle lens for Canon full-frame shooters. Other excellent options include the 16-35mm f/4L and the 17-40mm f/4L wide-angle lenses.

  • Canon 11-24mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide-Angle Lens

    • An ultra wide-angle lens for Canon full-frame shooters recommended by UWPG publisher, Scott Gietler. The lens has excellent image quality, but comes with heavy weight and price tag. 

 

Related Reviews

 

Underwater Housings

We expect underwater housings to become available for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II starting in the next few months, with entries from several leading housing manufacturers, available at Bluewater Photo. As always, we'll publish news as soon as we hear it.

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

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

 


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Beautiful camera body with 20MP sensor, OLED viewfinder, customizable color control, powerful image stabilization and more.
By Brent Durand

Olympus Announces PEN-F Camera

Brent Durand
Beautiful camera body with 20MP sensor, OLED viewfinder, customizable color control, powerful image stabilization and more.

Olympus has announced the latest iteration of their popular PEN line of cameras - the PEN-F. Once you get past the layer of street photographer marketing, the camera has some specs that are very impressive for underwater photography.

Most importantly, Olympus has added a 20MP Live MOS Sensor to the PEN-F, which is the largest megapixel count in a mirrorless micro 4/3 camera body today, matching the Panasonic GX8. The new Olympus PEN-F is also compatible with Olympus' full line of micro 4/3 lenses, as well as popular 3rd party lenses for underwater photography, like the Panasonic 8mm fisheye lens.

The styling of the PEN-F is reminiscent of 1960s rangefinder cameras, with metal construction and leather accents. It even has some very customizeable color profiles, which while useful for those shooting .jpg files and uploading directly to social media via the Olympus Share App, is not applicable to shooing in RAW (.ORF) format.

The powerful image processor, electronic viewfinder and wide-array of customizable controls will make the PEN-F a great camera for underwater photographers who don't want to invest in the more expensive Olympus OM-D line of mirrorless cameras.

 

Olympus PEN-F Key Specs

  • 20MP Live MOS Sensor

  • TruePic™ VII Image Processor

  • 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization

  • Interactive OLED Electronic Viewfinder

  • Lens Mount:  Micro 4/3 Lens Mount

  • 50 Megapixel High Res Shot Mode

  • 10 fps Sequential Shooting

  • HD 1080p Video

  • Wi-Fi for Remote Shooting & Wireless Sharing

  • SD Memory (SD, SDXC)

 

Best Lenses

You can check out our complete guide to the Best Micro 4/3 Lenses for underwater photography, or check out info on the specific lenses below.

 

Best Wide-Angle Micro 4/3 Lenses

Best Macro Micro 4/3 Lenses

 

Underwater Housings

We expect underwater housings to become available for the Olympus PEN-F in the next 2-6 months, with entries from Ikelite, Nauticam, Recsea and several other brands. As always, we'll publish news as soon as we hear it. We will also be publishing an Olympus PEN-F review and PEN-F housing reviews as we have a chance to get our hands on the gear.

 

Looking Forward

I spoke with Bluewater Photo manager Kelli Dickinson about the Olympus PEN-F, and she's excited about the new 20MP micro 4/3 sensor.  Why?  Because Olympus is expected to announce the new version of their flagship OM-D camera later this year - the OM-D E-M1 Mark II - which is sure to include this bump in megapixels, cementing its place at the top of the micro 4/3 cameras for underwater photography.

Olympus PEN-F Review: Back viewOlympus PEN-F Review: Top view

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

 


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Siren Fleet creates special liveaboard trips in 2016-2017 for Palau's unique spawning aggregations
By Brent Durand

Palau Siren Refitted and Ready for Spawning Aggregations

Brent Durand
Siren Fleet creates special liveaboard trips in 2016-2017 for Palau's unique spawning aggregations

Worldwide Dive and Sail's Palau Siren is back in the water after a 4-month drydock refit. The boat has had a thorough overhaul and is ready for action with some exciting new trips for 2016 and 2017.

Palau is known for iconic dives sites like Blue Corner, the Ulong Channel and Jellyfish Lake, which are hot on many divers' lists, but the buzz is about special trips dedicated to diving during snapper and humphead parrotfish spawning aggregations.

Siren Fleet has partnered with Sam's Tours Unique Dive Expeditions, run by Paul Collins and Richard Barnden, who are the hands-down experts on these unique spawning events. Paul and Richard will be leading 5 trips in 2016 and 4 trips in 2017, timed for the full moon, when red snappers rise from the depths to engage in their color-changing mating ritual, and timed for the new moon, when humphead parrotfish gather for a noisy and climactic mating dance.

“Both Richard and I are excited to once again be running a number of Unique trips aboard the Palau Siren. Running the spawning trips on the Palau Siren allows us to really interact with the guests and to deliver a number of presentations on the Marine Fauna and Flora of Palau in the relaxed setting of the lounge after dinner. In addition, when not diving, we will be around all day to provide insights on photography and filming and the post production so that guests with cameras get the best chances to capture the very special underwater moments we are there to witness.”

- Paul Collins

 

These dive trips will also include some blackwater night dives. If you're not sure what sort of critters you'll see on these dives, check out the 2015 Ocean Art Competition Best of Show photo by Jeff Milisen. Needless to say, underwater photographers will be very excited to join these unique Palau Siren liveaboard trips.

 

Check out the ship & trip schedule:  Palau Siren Liveaboard

Book your trip on the Palau Siren with Bluewater Travel.

 

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.

 


Ikelite releases new Sony mirrorless camera housing with major feature updates. Also works for the A7 II and a7S II.
By Brent Durand

Ikelite a7R II Underwater Housing with TTL Released

Brent Durand
Ikelite releases new Sony mirrorless camera housing with major feature updates. Also works for the A7 II and a7S II.

 

Ikelite has announced a brand new underwater housing for Sony's latest mirrorless full frame A7 Mark II cameras. The housing incorporates Ikelite's latest design features and houses all three new Sony cameras, which are proving extemely popular among underwater photographers: the a7 II, a7R II and a7S II.

If you haven't yet, check out Bluewater Photo's Sony a7R II Review for Underwater Photography.

So what's new and cool with the housing?  Here's my impression from the annoucement:

 

Ikelite Sony a7R II Housing Key Features

  • The only housing that provides TTL support for Sony Alpha 7 cameras.  This is big news if you shoot TTL!

  • Secure and easy-to-change ports for all popular zoom, macro and wide-angle lenses.  Ikelite's port selection allows divers to use Sony, Canon, Sigma and other popular mirrorless lenses with the Ikelite a7R II housing. Just push the 4 clips back to unlock the port, pop on a new port, and push the 4 clips back to secure.

  • Uses existing DSLR port system.  If you if you already own an Ikelite dSLR system, the switch to Sony will involve buying just the housing - no additional ports or accessories.

  • New soft touch zoom knob.  This upgrade is easier to adjust, which is essential for smooth zoom while shooting video or recomposing while shooting stills of a fast-moving subject.

  • Housing comes with zoom sets to fit most lenses.  No need to rip apart the zoom grips on your lenses to install a zoom gear - a very nice feature for those that shoot topside as well. No need to buy expensive zoom gears for each lens.

  • New mounting tray slides in and out.  Thanks Ikelite! This makes it easy to insert and remove camera from housing, and even use it topside with the mounting tray attached.

  • Ergonomic control placment aids muscle memory.  No need to memorize location of controls on your camera and new locations on a housing.  The intuitive
    placement aids those that transition back and forth from topside to underwater with the same model camera body.

  • New white polycarbonate looks sharp, but keeps Ikelite's iconic clear backplate.  Two benefits to the clear backplate: 1) you can see the camera, controls and feel good you don't physically see any water in the housing, and 2) the open o-ring groove is very easy to clean, visually inspect and securely close.

 


Where to Buy the Ikelite Sony a7R II Housing

Purchase the Ikelite Sony a7R II housing at Bluewater Photo,
including recommended ports, lenses, accessories and excellent customer service.


 

Strobe Compatibility for TTL

Serial number requirements

  • Ikelite AF35: not compatible
  • Ikelite DS50: yes, above serial number 70000
  • Ikelite DS51: yes
  • Ikelite DS125: yes, above serial number 5000
  • Ikelite DS160, DS161: yes
  • Ikelite DS200: yes, above serial number 7163

Electrical sync cord compatibility

  • Ikelite-to-Ikelite TTL Sync Cord (TTL) Product 4103.51
  • Ikelite-to-Ikelite TTL Dual Sync Cord (TTL) Product 4103.52
  • SEA&SEA / INON Strobe-to-Ikelite Non-TTL Sync Cord (Manual) Product 4118.1
  • SEA&SEA / INON Strobe-to-Ikelite Non-TTL Dual Sync Cord (Manual) Product 4118.2
  • Nikonos SB Strobe-to-Ikelite Non-TTL Sync Cord (Manual) Product 4116.31
  • Nikonos SB Strobe-to-Ikelite Non-TTL Sync Cord (Manual) Product 4116.32

 

Ikelite a7R II Housing Specifications

  • 200 ft (60m) depth rating
  • All important camera functions are accessible
  • Controls are not provided for AF/MF/AEL switch lever, Control wheel, or Diopter Adjustment Dial
  • Ikelite bulkhead connector with integrated TTL circuitry
  • Near neutral buoyancy in fresh water
  • Actual buoyancy varies depending on choice of lens and port
  • Weight 5 lb (2.3 kg) not including tray + handles
  • Dimensions 9.1 x 7.1 x 6.1 inches (230 x 180 x 150 mm) including projections

 

Ikelite Sony Housing Details

U.S.A. MSRP:  $1,500

PRODUCT #:  6843.72

IKELITE WEBSITE:  Ikelite Sony Housing

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE AT:  www.BluewaterPhotoStore.com

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.

 


Save our Seas is accepting applications for the 2016 Marine Conservation Grant for emerging photographers
By UWPG News

Marine Conservation Grant Accepting Entries

UWPG News
Save our Seas is accepting applications for the 2016 Marine Conservation Grant for emerging photographers

The Save our Seas Foundation is accepting applications for their annual Marine Conservation Photography Grant. This grant awards the winner(s) with a true SOSF marine research assignment, plus the ability to earn an income and gain experience under the guidance of National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak.

 

‘We created the SOSF Marine Conservation Photography Grant to give emerging photographers a creative and financial boost during a critical and often challenging time in their careers. I truly hope that each grant will give two photographers a life-changing opportunity and lead them down a successful and rewarding path in the realm of conservation photography.’     - Thomas Peschak 

 

To quote the Save our Seas website:

"Applicants should be serious emerging photographers who may have become successful in their local region but have not been widely published in major magazines and have not earned numerous high-profile international awards. We prefer applicants to be under the age of 30, but older applicants who can still be regarded as ‘emerging’ may also be considered. Photographers with underwater photography skills in their repertoire are especially encouraged to apply."

 

 

What you Need to Know

Website & Entry:  www.saveourseas.photo

Entry Deadline:  31 January, 2016

Winners Announced:  March 2016

Judges:  Thomas P. Peschak, Kathy Moran, David Griffin, Michael Scholl

 

 

Good luck!

- Brent Durand

 

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.

 


Take an inside look at the upcoming Racing Extinction world premier on Discovery this week
By Brent Durand

Racing Extinction Prelude Video

Brent Durand
Take an inside look at the upcoming Racing Extinction world premier on Discovery this week

The dive community is buzzing to see Discovery's feature film Racing Extinction, which premiers on December 2 in more than 220 countries around the globe. Created by Academy Award winner Louie Psihoyos (most known for directing The Cove), Racing Extinction promises to expose the very real threat of animal extinction around the globe through vivid never-before-seen imagery.

GoPro has been a major supporter of Racing Extinction and has put together a special behind the scenes short film in preparation of the premier on Discovery this week. Follow Louie Psihoyos and the Oceanic Preservation Society as they capture mesmerizing images of a 90 foot blue whale next to a human being.

Enjoy!

 

 

Learn more about the film on RacingExtinction.com.

U.S. residents can tune in to Racing Extinction premiere on Discovery on December 2 and 8/9c.

Special thanks to GoPro for this inside look!

 

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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