Underwater Photography News

Underwater photography news, including new gear, photo contests, marine life issues, dive destinations and more.
24.2 megapixel sensor, lightning-fast autofocus, 4K video recording, 11fps and more in this incredible mirrorless camera
By Brent Durand

Sony a6300 Mirrorless Camera Announced

Brent Durand
24.2 megapixel sensor, lightning-fast autofocus, 4K video recording, 11fps and more in this incredible mirrorless camera

Sony has announced their new flagship APS-C (crop sensor) camera: the Sony a6300. This impressive and powerful little camera uses Sony E-mount interchangeable lens, compatible with full-frame cameras like the a7R II.

The previous a6000 proved a very capable camera for underwater photographers, with neat tricks like rapid strobe fire with sync cords, and we expect the 6300 to prove just as nice an option, with support from most major housing manufacturers.

The headlining features of the new Sony a6300 camera are the incredibly fast 4D autofocus using an impressive 425 phase-detection AF points, a new image sensor producing the incredible image quality Sony is known for, and 4K video recording.

Retail Price (U.S.):  est $999 (body only)

Availability:  March 2016

 

Sony a6300 Key Features

  • New 24.2-megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor 

  • ISO 100 - 25,600 (expandable to 51,200)

  • BIONZ X™ image-processing engine delivers blazing speed and performance

  • 2.95" wide-angle LCD monitor with brightness control for sharp vivid color in any light

  • Electronic XGA OLED Tru-Finder™

  • 425-point phase detection autofocus

  • 4D Focus picks up both space and time to capture moving subjects with new clarity

  • 4K video recording with no pixel binning

  • 11 FPS burst

  • Built-in WiFi for easy sharing

  • Battery life approximately 350 shots using LCD screen

* View the full details for each of these highlights on the Sony a6300 website.

 

Thoughts for Underwater Photography

The new Sony a6300 will be a solid option for those who want professional image quality without the additional costs and size of full frame cameras (DSLR or mirrorless). With dedicated mirrorless housing ports and lenses compatible across Sony E-mount camera bodies, the a6300 could also be viewed as an advanced stepping stone for new photographers who think they will eventually upgrade to something like the Sony a7 II or a7R II.

The advanced autofocus system looks very promising for underwater photography, however we won't really know until we test it in dark conditions with the Sony 90mm macro lens. The new 4D focusing should prove very quick and reliable for tracking wide-angle subjects while shooting photo and video.

Video buffs will appreciate the 4K 30p recording with no pixel binning (to lessen compression) as well as 120p recording for ultra slow motion.

The built-in popup flash makes it easy to use fiber optic cables to trigger strobes, however we expect to see in-housing converters so that underwater photographers are not limited by that flash's recycle time and drain on battery.

Battery life, however, is the achilles heel of the Sony mirrorless cameras. The a6000 battery can last two dives, and we expect the a6300 to be the same. Changing the battery means opening the housing during surface intervals in less than ideal conditions. By contrast, DSLR users can keep their housing closed all day. This is a big consideration if you're not comfortable opening/closing your housing on rocking dingys or the beaches during intervals.

Overall, I'm pretty psyched about this camera and the possibilities for underwater photo and video.

 

Best Lenses

Macro:

  • Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro - this native lens is great and offers 1:1 magnification

  • Canon EF 100mm F2.8 Macro with Metabones adapter

Standard / Mid-Range:

  • Sony FE 28-70 F3.5-5.6 - standard kit lens

  • Sony FE 24-70mm F4 - higher end mid range lens

Wide Angle:

  • Sony FE 16-35mm F4

  • Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8 with Metabones adapter

Fisheye:

 

 

  • Sony FE 28mm F2 with Sony Fisheye Conversion Lens -while not a true fisheye, this lens and converter combination works excellently, offering the wide field of view in a native Sony lens.

  • Canon EF 8-15mm F4 Fisheye Lens with Metabones adapter

  • Nikonos 15mm Fisheye Lens with Nikonos Adapter (Nauticam) -a good option if you have one of these laying around or can find one, though not as wide as the 28mm + FE Conversion Lens.

 

Related Reviews and Articles

 

Underwater Housings

We expect underwater housings to become available for the Sony a6300 starting in the next few months, with entries from leading housing manufacturers like Nauticam, Sea&Sea, Ikelite, and Recsea, available at Bluewater Photo. As always, we'll publish news as soon as we hear it and reviews as soon as we get our hands on the gear.

 

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.

 


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:

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.

 


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

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.

 


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.

 


Fun underwater and nature video series explores Borneo's marine world
By UWPG News

Discover Borneo from Below

UWPG News
Fun underwater and nature video series explores Borneo's marine world

Have you been looking for more underwater videos to watch... and videos that educate and provide valuable environmental messages?  We found the Borneo from Below series and think it fits the bill perfectly.

To date, Borneo from Below (produced by Scubazoo) is comprised of 15 web episodes that are available for free on their website and YouTube page. Each episode dives into the marine world all around Borneo, featuring never before seen marine life footage, progressive photo techniques, local cultures and threats to the local animals and ecosystem.

Presented by Aaron "Bertie" Gekoski, Borneo from Below will keep you mesermized by Borneo's marine world... so check it out!

 

Visit the Borneo from Below website to watch all the episodes:  

->  Borneo from Below

->  Follow Borneo from Below on Facebook

 

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.

 


New and Improved with sharper images and video, a Sony CMOS sensor and SeaLife's iconic piano key controls
By UWPG News

SeaLife® Unveils New Micro 2.0™ Underwater Camera

UWPG News
New and Improved with sharper images and video, a Sony CMOS sensor and SeaLife's iconic piano key controls

November 4, 2015

 

SeaLife Micro 2.0 Review

 

SeaLife has announced the latest edition to their easy-to-use line of compact cameras - the Micro 2.0. This camera is a follow up to the SeaLife Micro HD fully sealed, compact camera. If you're not familiar, with the camera, check out our photo and video essay Sea Lions with the SeaLife Micro HD+ camera.

Below are some of the key features of the Micro HD as well as the significant upgrades for the SeaLife Micro 2.0.

 

SeaLife Micro 2.0 Highlights

  • New 16MP Sony CMOS image sensor

  • New 1080p video at 60fps - perfect for slow motion

  • Fully sealed and flood-proof to 200ft/60m - no o-rings to maintain

  • 3+ hr rechargeable battery and 32GB or 64GB internal memory

  • 4 underwater scene modes - no filters needed

  • 130 degree fisheye lens with 12" minimum focus distance

  • Small, compact size and light weight.

 

Availability:  Early-December through Bluewater Photo

MSRP:  $499.95

 


Purchase the SeaLife Micro HD+ from Bluewater Photo

 


 


PRESS RELEASE

 

SeaLife® Unveils New Micro 2.0™ Underwater Camera

 

Orlando, FL - SeaLife announced their latest addition to the Micro camera series, the Micro 2.0 underwater camera at the DEMA (Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association) trade show. The successor to the Micro HD, the compact Micro 2.0 is also fully sealed and flood-proof down to 200ft/60m. With no O-rings or doors to maintain the Micro 2.0 camera comes fully equipped with powerful 3+ hour internal rechargeable battery and 32GB or 64GB of internal memory.

The Micro 2.0 features a 16MP SONY® CMOS image sensor providing stunningly vibrant stills as well as sharp full HD videos with 1080p HD @ 60 frames per second or 1296 HD @ 30fps. The 130° wide angle fisheye lens allows you to get close and fit everything into the scene.  Color correction filters are not necessary.  Choose between four Land and Sea™ scene modes with three built-in underwater color corrections for diving or snorkeling, and by depth or lighting being used.  You’ll never miss the shot with the fast shutter response time and one-touch video recording.  The camera’s lens focuses as close as one foot (12 inches/30cm), that distance can be cut in half with an optional Macro close-up lens.

Ergonomic and compact at around 4 inches wide with a large 2.4” color LCD screen, the Micro 2.0 has three “Piano Key” controls that control all the cameras essential functions, the large keys make it easy to operate with or without dive gloves.

The Micro 2.0 includes two shooting modes: time lapse shooting and upside-down shooting. Time lapse shooting mode saves the footage as a video file or a series of still images based on the set time interval. The upside-down shooting mode corrects pictures and videos to an upright position when mounted upside down.

The SeaLife Micro 2.0 is available with 32 GB or 64GB of internal memory, the 64GB model is  capable of storing up to 25,000+ 16MP still images or 12+ hours full 1080P HD video while the Micro 2.0’s large internal 3.7V 2350 mAh battery will easily last for a full day of active use.

The Micro 2.0’s built-in WiFi feature wirelessly connects the camera to any iOS and Android smart phone or tablet using the free SeaLife Micro Cam app, eliminating the need to travel with a laptop computer.  You can preview and download pictures/videos from the camera to your smart device and instantly share your diving adventure with friends and family.  Additionally, the app allows for remote control of the Micro 2.0 camera, providing a live view of the display and the ability to capture and review photos and videos all on your smartphone or tablet.

Charging the battery or downloading images and video is an easy process simply done by attaching the USB cable into the camera’s waterproof USB port, the camera will trickle charge while connected to a computer and fast charge when plugged in directly to an AC power source with its included global charging kit.

The Micro 2.0 is expandable with SeaLife’s powerful Sea Dragon underwater LED lights and Flex-Connect™ arms, grips, trays and accessories. Flex-Connect trays, grips and accessories mount together in seconds for easy set-up and disassemble equally as fast for compact traveling. 

The new Micro 2.0 underwater camera will be available at SeaLife retailers in early December 2015.

 

Models:

Item SL510              Micro 2.0 (32GB)                                                                                             $499.95 (MSRP)

Item SL512              Micro 2.0 (64GB)                                                                                             $549.95 (MSRP)

 

Camera Sets with lights, grip, tray and case included:

Item SL514              Micro 2.0 (32GB Camera with Sea Dragon 1500 Lumen light)        $799.95 (MSRP)

Item SL516              Micro 2.0 (64GB Camera with Sea Dragon 2500 Lumen light)        $999.95 (MSRP)

 

About SeaLife Cameras:

SeaLife Underwater Cameras are made by Pioneer Research in Moorestown, NJ and were first introduced in 1993. In 2000, SeaLife developed the world’s 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. In 2014, SeaLife introduced the Micro HD, the world’s first permanently sealed underwater camera. SeaLife Cameras and Lighting Systems are sold and serviced in 64 countries around the world. For more information visit www.SeaLife-Cameras.com.

 

###

 

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.

 


Aquatica's new Sony a7r II and a7S II housing is specifically designed for the demanding diver to easily access controls shooting photo and video
By UWPG News

Aquatica a7r II Housing Announced

UWPG News
Aquatica's new Sony a7r II and a7S II housing is specifically designed for the demanding diver to easily access controls shooting photo and video

October 29, 2015

Aquatica has announced their housing for the much-discussed Sony a7r II and a7S II mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (yes, they use the same housing!). The a7r II sets the new standard for mirrorless cameras, producing 42MP images on a full frame sensor with excellent dynamic range, great high ISO performance (new backlit sensor technology) and 4K video resolution in-camera or to external monitor.

Bluewater Photo has published a detailed Sony a7r II Review for Underwater Photo & Video on their site.

The Sony a7S II camera is very similar to the a7r II, however instead of a huge megapixel count it is simply a beast of a camera for low light performance. The 12.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor has larger pixels for low noise at high ISOs. This is great news for underwater video shooters.

The new Aquatica housing is designed to let divers take full advantage of the a7r II and a7R II photo and video capabilities. One highlight is access to the rear rotary dial, which can be used to control ISO, white balance, shutter speed, aperture, etc). Another is the ability to use a magnifying viewfinder or attach a sunshade for LCD viewing, plus the usual HDMI bulkhead options for external monitors. Full details are in the press release below.

 

USA MSRP:  $2,699

Availability:  Please contact Bluewater Photo for details.

 


Purchase the Aquatica Sony a7r II Housing from Bluewater Photo

 



PRESS RELEASE

 

Press release: Montreal October 26, 2015

 

ANNOUNCING THE AQUATICA A7r II HOUSING

This new Aquatica A7r II housing is designed specifically for the Sony a7R II camera, with 42mp still image and 4K video possibilities, an unequalled level of low light performance and a newly release set of high performance optics, this camera is one, if not the best, cameras to bring underwater for imaging purpose.

 

WHAT’S IN THE SONY® a7R II CAMERA?

The a7R II is the first camera with a full frame sensor to benefit from the back illuminated technology. This incredible advance in electronic science leads directly to previously unheard of, level of performance in low light situation and high ISO setting.

Mirrorless design make do without the mechanical complexity and bulkiness of traditional DSLR cameras, instead relying on electronic viewfinder or LCD viewing, some of the perks of the Sony® Aa7R II are:

 

  • It can alternate from still to video record mode directly, without the need to switch, rotate or flip a lever to go from one shooting mode to the other.

  • Doing away with the mirror mechanism makes for a slimmer body design, yet, the camera maintain a solid quality of feel and handling and the body has a great layout of controls for the underwater photographer with a large choice of customizable buttons. Most functions can be reassigned, including focus operations of the camera to the rear AF-ON button. Shutter speed adjustment, aperture value (both have independent controls) and the ISO setting is quickly accessed using the rear control wheel.

  • The Sony® lens round-up has dramatically improved recently, and can be expanded by using a Sony® FE to Canon® EF lens mount converter to access a multitude of Canon® EF mount lenses.

  • The Sony® a7R II is premiering the recording of 4K 30p video footage straight on the internal memory card or stream uncompressed 4:2:2 8-bit signal via HDMI, or actually do both simultaneously, it also does in-camera recording of full frame 4K  video footage, using the full width of its sensor. It has the incredible 5 Axis sensor shift image stabilization of its predecessor, the A7 II, so be prepared for super high quality images coming out of the water with this camera.

 

THE AQUATICA A7r II HOUSING

The constant progression of digital technology is apparent in this Sony a7R II, and as they say, never say never, only a few years ago, it was thought that the DSLR as we know it, would reign has undisputed master of the underwater realm, then mirrorless camera started showing up, mostly relegated to the entry type of photographer, as of now, with this amazing camera, we can safely say that there is an heir to the throne.

 

THE CONTROLS LAYOUT

Aquatica patiently studied the Sony Alpha 7 camera line-up carefully selecting the features that set it apart from other system. We then ergonomically placed the vital controls where they were most needed, right at your fingers tips. At the core of this housing design, is over 30 years of expertise in this field, pushing us forward in incorporating new ideas, concept and technological advances to these constantly evolving imaging tools.

 

 

THE REAR ROTARY DIAL OR HOW TO QUICKLY GET TO THE ISO

Expert in the field have moaned the absence, on existing housings for this camera, of accessibility to the rear rotary dial. Given all the interesting functions (Shutter speed, aperture, and white balance and especially ISO) that can be assigned to this back wheel control, it was imperative that an easy and ergonomically located control be designed. Aquatica’s design department came up with a quick and logical way to reach it and this exclusive rear rotary dial is now accessible via a knurled control knob located within easy reach of the photographer thumb. 

The SET button is accessed via an extender, engaging the desired value is quickly and efficiently done without the need to remove your hand from the grip, or for that matter, your eye from the view finder.

The custom function buttons C1 and C2 locations are optimized, C1 being extended so has to be right at your fingers tips. Aquatica is well aware that no matter what amount of customizing a camera can offer, if these options are not easily accessed, they might as well not be available, success is often delimited by one reaction time in adapting to a specific situation, and we have invested many hours in designing this ultimate imaging tool that the Aquatica A7r II housing is.

 

HANDLING THE HOUSING THE BEST GRIPS IN THE INDUSTRY

Handling is made with a pair of grips that have become the bench mark in comfort since their introduction a quarter of a century ago, these grips are a perfect example of Aquatica philosophy, change should be implemented to improve a products, and not for the sake of novelty, when grips are as perfect as these are, leave them alone! Our grips are light, sturdy and form fitting, they contribute to making your underwater photography experience, more pleasing and comfortable. Mounting points on top of them allows strobes arms, such as those from our Delta 3 line, to be mounted securely, freeing the top of the housing from unnecessary clutter.

 

STROBE CONNECTIVITY

The Aquatica A7r II offers the best available options on the market for connecting strobes with dual optical ports which includes the LED strobe trigger relay, or a choice of either wired dual Nikonos or single Ikelite connectors. No matter which strobe option you select, you can be assured that there is no hidden cost or supplementary accessory required to be fully operational since all options retail at the same price and includes all components required to connect your strobe(s).

The LED Strobe trigger relay, which is included with the optical version of this housing, is powered by two popular “off the shelf” CR 2450 batteries, averaging 4,000 to 5,000 burst of light, the trigger slide into the hot shoe of the camera like any other hot shoe accessory would. The 20079-OPT version of the housing is ready to accept standard optical fiber sync cable commonly found on the market, there is no need for special proprietary or custom type cord, the optical fiber cord supplied by the strobes manufacturers are ready to use as is.

The 20079-NK versions is set up with time proven Nikonos bulkheads connectors, the same found on all our current Aquatica DSLR housings, it is a well-established standard, which has been the back bone of strobe technology for decades and still, by far, the most distributed type of strobe connectors in the whole underwater photography industry, every strobe manufacturer offering then as a mean of connection. The Aquatica A7r II housing comes, not with one, but two of these connectors installed. These connectors, as well as the optical ones are easy to replace in the field, should one decide to alternate between way of triggering their strobes, no special tools are required, and the operation is done in minutes.

Also available is the 20079-KM version. Since many hard working underwater professional photographers prefer using Ikelite strobes and connectors for their ruggedness and reliability. Aquatica has made a point to have this housing version available equipped with an Ikelite strobe connector.

 

VIEWING OPTIONS

Viewing is done with either our standard Galileo type eye piece or through the rear LCD screen. Shooting close up at sea floor level is much easier when viewing with the rear LCD screen, while viewing through the view finder is ideal for bright sunny condition that may affect viewing the rear LCD screen.

Additionally our two optional finders, the Aqua View 45o and 180o finders can be attached in less than a minute, they provide enhanced viewing of the camera view finder and when coupled with the Sony excellent focus peak option, will be sure to results in razor sharp focusing performances.

An optional LCD sunshade is also available to improve viewing when using the rear LCD screen for shooting.

 

 

 

PORT SELECTION

While the Sony® a7R II camera itself is diminutive in size, it is nevertheless a full frame sensor and the choices of optics are accordingly sized for the task. Rather than introducing yet another line of ports and extension, Aquatica opted to use its excellent line up of existing port for the DSLR line of housings, simply put, there is no need for special dedicated ports or adapter to benefit from the most appealing lenses mentioned earlier for this camera, it also means owners of any current Aquatica DSLR system can migrate their ports, extension and view finders straight to the Aquatica A7r II housing.

Ports are a vital part of the optical formula of any underwater photographic system, we, at Aquatica, have one of the most comprehensive selection available. Our flexible modular system of extension rings, dome and flat ports is ready to face the challenge of constantly evolving lenses coming out on the market. The irreproachable optical quality of these ports have long made them the choice of demanding professionals from around the world.

Wide angle imaging requirement can be addressed with dome of 4”/100mm, 6”/150mm, 8”/200mm and 9.25”/230mm, from ultra wide angle close up situation to top quality over/under images, our dome ports have you covered

Macro imaging needs can be fulfilled using one of three flat ports available, two are designed for AF operation, one being a slimmer version and the third one, and one, the AF/MF version, is equipped with a knob on its side so critically focusing in manual becomes possible, and if big is not big enough! Then all three of these ports are ready to accept our acclaimed close up wet diopter lenses.

 Tying the port system together are a set of ten extension rings, ranging in length from .65”/16.5mm to 3.82”/97.5mm. Port extension are important, as they help optimizing the performance of wide angle lens when properly placed and offer added flexibility in the range of lenses usable behind a specific dome port. When used behind a flat port, they add the necessarily length when using longer focal length, tele converter, dry diopter, extension tube  or other accessories that may contribute to added magnification.

 

SAFETY FEATURES

The Aquatica A7r II comes standard with our own Surveyor moisture and vacuum monitoring sensor circuit installed at the factory, the housing can be ordered with the optional pressure extracting valve and pump installed at the factory. The visual and audio signal will attract your attention should any of the O-ring becomes damaged or hindered by sand, hair or any foreign objects that would compromise the sealing integrity of the housing. All that is required are a few simple steps for your peace of mind and knowledge that your equipment is safely protected from the environment.

Securing of the housing is done with time proven stainless steel latches with safety tab, these are non-gimmicky, their solid track record shows that they are not failure prone, will not jam up or corrode over time. A large variety of scientific and military departments use theses for securing their valuables assets and equipment for a good reason. Their simple and efficient design makes them reliable, they are a reflection of Aquatica’s commitment to rely on time proven technology.

 

HOW IT’S MADE

At the core of the design is the shell, made of 6061 T6 aluminum, the same routinely used in aerospace technology. Known for its high resistance to corrosion, this material is then anodized to a MIL-A-8625 Type 2, Class 2 speciation, then covered with a tough as nail, black Polyester powder coating, certified to A.A.M.A 2603-98 specification, which is then baked on at high temperature. This kind of protection is not superfluous, as evidently shown on Aquatica housings having logged over 3,000 immersion and which are still on active duty, day after days.

Controls shafts and push buttons are Type 304 stainless steel, another metal commonly used by the aerospace industry, it is controlled to be free of the iron contaminants that degrade quality and integrity of the metal, such as often found on the less stringent type 316, which, unfortunately, is too often used in this industry.

The housing shell, has two entry point for connecting strobes plus three others for adapting various accessories. There is a large size one on the left hand side that can be adapted for a 16mm or 1/2” diameter, ideal for connecting a monitor, behind it is a standard 1/2” diameter one and to its right, a standard 1/2” hole is provided for the optional Surveyor pressure valve.

 

MAIN FEATURES OF THE AQUATICA A7r II HOUSDING

  • Well established and proven system of port, extension and accessories to attend to your personal lenses preferences.

  • Quick and simple installation of enhanced viewfinders, no special tool required

  • The best selection of strobes connectors on the market. No additional cost involved, no matter the options selected.

o   Dual Nikonos bulkheads

o   Optical fiber with flash trigger included

o   Ikelite single bulkhead

  • The best ergonomic, hands on the grip controls placement, including access to the all-important rear control rotary dial.

  • All controls accessible in all dive conditions, cold or warm, gloves or not.

  • Secure port locking system and easy access lens release button.

  • The most comfortable and sturdy hand grips of the industry.

  • Precise camera mounting via a quick release camera tray.

  • Three (3) entry point for accessories such as HDMI monitors, Hydrophone, remote control or vacuum monitoring system.

  • Eight (8) threaded standard ¼”-20 holes on top, bottom and grips for mounting brackets, arm, tripods or other accessories.

  • Depth rating options of 90m or 130m depth at no extra charges.

  • Time proven manufacturing process using state of the art tooling, and the best material available for years of enjoyable service. 

###

 

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.

 


Syndicate content