Underwater Photography News

Video: Octopus Life, Death & Birth

UWPG News
A Beautiful Film Documenting a Giant Pacific Octopus and her Eggs

 

Video: Octopus Life, Death & Birth at Three Tree Point


A Beautiful Film Documenting a Giant Pacific Octopus and her Eggs

March 6, 2014

 

 

 
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Drew Collins and Myra Wisotzky made a great discovery while diving Three Tree Point in the Puget Sound this past November. They were searching the tire reefs at the site after a friend mentioned seeing a Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) in a den lined with eggs - a sight that many underwater photographers dream about. Over the next 6 weeks, Drew and Myra made as many dives as possible to watch and document the maturation of the eggs and behavior of the soon-to-be "Octo Mom." 

The video below is the product of their efforts; it is beautifully made and very informative, especially for those who don't often get to dive with enormous octopuses.

 

"I learned more about the Giant Pacific Octopus during the six-week real life laboratory that was diving to Octo-Mom's den than I have in the last three years. I dive regularly and often in Puget Sound, I do 'Life Science' work each week, I've read multiple books and web blogs about Octopuses and have discussed all of the developments weekly with the world's leading authorities on GPOs. This entire experience was truly amazing, inspiring and rewarding beyond my expectations."   - Drew Collins

 

"I was always thrilled at the unique privilege of witnessing the unfolding life cycle of an animal that lives in such a different environment than the one we know above the water. Although an octopus is about as different from a human being as you can get, there was something about seeing her eye and seeing the developing eyes in the eggs that made me feel a strong connection."  - Myra Wisotzky

 

For those interested in reading the full story and learning even more about the Giant Pacific Octopus (GPO), you can read Drew and Myra's writeup linked below. Enjoy!

- Brent Durand, UWPG Editor

 

Read the Article:  Octopus Life, Death & Birth at Three Tree Point

 

 

VIDEO:  Octopus Life, Death & Birth at Three Tree Point

A Made in Puget Sound Production in association with MW Consulting.

 

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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New Aquatica Dome Port for Micro 4/3

UWPG News
Aquatica Announces the SW8 Dome Port - 8" Optical Benefits in a Smaller Dome

 

New Aquatica Dome for Micro 4/3


Aquatica Announces the SW8 Dome Port - 8" Optical Benefits in a Smaller Dome

By Brent Durand, February 26, 2014

 

 

 
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Aquatica has just announced a dome port to complement their new line of housings for Micro 4/3 cameras. Dubbed the SW8, the new dome port has been specifically designed for the super wide-angle lenses used on Micro 4/3 cameras, including the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 (see the Aquatica AE-M1 housing).

So what's the big deal? The new port uses only a portion of the 8" dome lens (and curvature) required to cover the extreme field of view of these lenses. These are the benefits:

 

Smaller, lighter dome port (1/3 the cubic volume of 8" dome)

  • Easy to pack and less "front float" on housing

 

By using the curvature of the 8" dome to create a smaller dome, the minimum focus distance on the dome's virtual image is maintained.

  • Normal 6" dome ports require a shorter focusing distance (than 8" dome), increasing depth of field and forcing photographers to stop down when shooting scenes like close focus wide-angle.

 

Modular Port System

  • Use different extension rings for perfect fit with a wide variety of lenses

 

 

 

Press Release:

 

MONTREAL, QC. - Along with its new line of housings for the Micro 4/3 series of Camera, Aquatica is proud to introduce the SW8 Port, specially designed to cover Super Wide Angle lenses such as the 114o FOV Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F/4 and the 100o FOV Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6. With these ultra wide angle rectilinear lenses, to get the best optical results, the use of a large radius dome port is required. 

To achieve the optimum quality over the whole image area, Aquatica uses its legendary 8’’ diameter dome port with an added twist. The SW8 port only uses the portion of the dome lens required to cover the field of view of these extreme lenses. Consequently, the resulting dome port is substantially smaller and lighter, while retaining the optical performance associated with these large hemispherical dome ports. 

Whenever a dome port is immersed in a liquid, it creates a Plano-Concave lens element of its own. This additional lens element has the property of retaining the original field of view of the lens (as opposed to a flat port which will considerably reduce the field of view of a lens). One of the side effects of this optical phenomenon is that it creates a virtual image of the scene being photographed. This image is projected at 4x the radius from the optical center of the dome used. In other words, that scene is now projected at a much closer distance than it is in reality, and a lens will usually need to be focused close to its minimum operating distance.

Using an 8’’ dome wraps the projected virtual image at +/- 12’’ (30cm) from the external surface of the dome lens, while a smaller dome port, such as one with a 6’’ diameter, will force this virtual image to be wrapped a mere +/- 9” (23cm) away. This might be a relatively innocuous difference of distance in normal situations, but it is also common knowledge that the closer the focusing distance, the harder it will be to get adequate depth of field. At these close distances, such small difference does have a huge impact on the success of the images taken.

 

 

The Modular System:

Once underwater, a dome port will force the light to radiate towards a central point. To obtain the best performance, this optical center should be located, as close as possible, where the optical center of the lens used is when set at its widest field of view. With the Aquatica system, a modular port extension system allows the SW8 port to be optically optimized to this position so that it can be used successfully with wide variety of lenses. 

To complement the SW8 port, Aquatica also offers its well established and renowned 4’’ BK-7 coated glass dome for the Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm f/3.5 lens, and for Macro work, two dedicated flat port for the Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 ED and the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8. 

In keeping with the spirit of the housings it was designed for, the Aquatica SW8 port is compact, and because of its modular nature, its footprint in your luggage will be 1/3 the space than a regular 8’’ dome port would require. This should be a welcome relief for the travelling photographers. 

The SW8 Port is priced competitively at retail USD $579 and will be available in March 2014. 

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Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Nikon Releases RAW Image Processing Software

UWPG News
Capture NX-D (beta) is Non-Destructive to RAW Files & Free to Download

 

Nikon Releases RAW Image Processing Software


Capture NX-D (beta) is Non-Destructive to RAW Files & Free to Download

By Brent Durand, February 25, 2014

 

 

 
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Nikon announced today that the beta version of their new photo processing and adjustment software, Capture NX-D, is available for download. The new software is much more robust and includes more features than Nikon's current editing software (Capture NX 2) and will replace it upon official launch.

 

Two things immediately jump out at me when reading the release:

  • The software allows users to apply changes to RAW files in a non-destructive sidecar format. This means that changes are "overlaid" on the RAW file and can be reversed at any point in time. It's one of the features that makes Adobe Lightroom so popular.
  • The software is free to download. Free is a great price for those who want to process their RAW images but don't feel the need to purchase expensive software.

 

Read Nikon's official Capture NX-D press release for full details.

 

Press Release:

 

Nikon releases the new RAW image processing and adjustment software, Capture NX-D, today

February 25, 2014

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that Capture NX-D (beta version), software for processing and adjusting RAW images captured with Nikon digital cameras, will be available free of charge beginning February 25, 2014.

Capture NX-D is a free software application that will replace the current Capture NX 2 application. RAW images (with the NEF or NRW file extension) captured with Nikon digital SLR cameras, Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, and Nikon COOLPIX compact digital cameras can be loaded into the application for high-quality photofinishing through the processing and adjustment of images. In addition to RAW images, the application can also be used to adjust JPEG and TIFF files. "D" comes from the word, "Development" for software that offers adjustment functions specializing in RAW development.

During the period that Capture NX-D (beta version) is available, we will collect requests and ideas regarding the application from those using it on our website. We will then use those requests and ideas to improve the application prior to its official release scheduled for this summer.

We will continue to update and provide support for the current Capture NX 2 application while the beta version of Capture NX-D is available. However, once the official version of Capture NX-D is released, we will no longer support Capture NX 2 with updates.

 

Overview

Product name: Capture NX-D (beta version)
Release date: February 25, 2014
URL: http://beta.nikonimglib.com/

 

Development Background

To date, Nikon has supported the processing and adjustment of RAW images captured with Nikon digital cameras, for high-quality photofinishing, with its Capture NX series of software applications (sold separately).
Though the ViewNX series of image browsing and editing software bundled with Nikon cameras also offers some functions for adjusting RAW images, many users have demanded more advanced RAW image adjustment functions.
Therefore, we have developed a new software application that allows users to enjoy the same RAW image processing and adjustment capabilities available with the Capture NX series, and will be available free of charge*.
Capture NX-D is a software application developed with Nikon's particular imaging concept, enabling high-quality photofinishing through the adjustment of images after they are captured.

  • *Can be downloaded from our website.

 

Primary Features

  1. Adjustment functions specialized for RAW processing, just as they were with the Capture NX series

    The application includes functions for adjusting aspects of RAW images captured with a Nikon digital camera (NEF or NRW file extension) that can be adjusted even after images are captured, including white balance and exposure compensation. Smooth adjustment of images is possible immediately after they are transferred to computers.
    Picture Control, Nikon's exclusive function for specifying imaging characteristics, is also supported.

  2. Support for simple adjustment of JPEG and TIFF images

    In addition to processing and adjustment of RAW images, the application offers the same functions available with Capture NX 2 for adjustment aspects such as tone curves, brightness, and contrast, as well as functions for correcting lateral color aberration caused by lenses, in JPEG and TIFF images.

  3. Floating palettes that are easy to use with multiple screens

    When two or more monitors are used, the image display area can be expanded by moving individual floating palettes for each adjustment function. Convenience has been increased with the ability to combine two or more floating palettes, which can then be moved together.

  4. A variety of displays, including comparisons of multiple images and adjustment before-and-after images

    Display of the application window can be adjusted for greater convenience. Thumbnail display, filmstrip display, single-image display, and full-screen display are possible. When filmstrip display is selected, thumbnails can be positioned at the top, bottom, left, or right of the image area. In addition, displays for comparing images, whether multiple image files, or a comparison of a single image before and after adjustments are applied, are available. When comparing images, enlargement of a portion of one image automatically enlarges the same portion of the other image, making the application of adjustments with simultaneous viewing of the primary subject simpler.

  5. Adoption of a sidecar format that saves original data as non-destructive files

    Unlike the format previously used to save images to which adjustments have been applied, a sidecar format, which saves adjustment data as a separate file, has been adopted.
    Saving original data as non-destructive files allows users to start over with the adjustment of RAW images in their original, post-capture state, without undoing previous adjustments.

  6. Other functions

    Filtering functions have been built into the application, allowing users to easily find the images they are looking for by filtering them according to criteria such as camera name or lens focal length based on tag data. In addition, batch processing can be used to simplify the troublesome process of applying adjustments to multiple images, and images can be transferred to another application in 16-bit TIFF format after RAW processing.

 

Read the Press Release on the Nikon website: Capture NX-D Press Release

Download Capture NX-D here: http://beta.nikonimglib.com/

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Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Nauticam Housing for Panasonic GX7

UWPG News
High-Quality Aluminum Housing for Panasonic GX7 Mirrorless Camera

 

Nauticam Housing for Panasonic GX7


High-Quality Aluminum Housing for Panasonic GX7 Mirrorless Camera

By Brent Durand, February 20, 2014

 

 

 
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Nauticam has announced their new housing for the Panasonic GX7. The GX7 has proven to be a popular camera option in the Panasonic Lumix lineup and boasts several new features (outlined below). Nauticam has a reputation for building excellent housings for mirrorless cameras and the NA-GX7 will be no exception. Underwater photographers will quickly notice Nauticam's intelligent engineering, quality and ease of use.

 

Panasonic GX7 Camera Highlights

  • Hybrid capture as 16MP Photo or Full HD Video 1080/60p
  • In-body stabilitzation for non-stabilized lenses (important when using 3rd party lenses)
  • 3-level foccus peeking to ensure sharp focus
  • Improved low-light performance
  • Biult-in WiFi

 

Nauticam NA-GX7 Housing Hightlights

  • Prgressive Shutter Release - easy to focus and shoot
  • Redesigned Port Latch - easily switch ports with DSLR-like system
  • Excellent ergonomics and access to all important camera functions
  • Supports wide range of lenses
  • Many accessories available

 

Official Press Release:

 

Nauticam is pleased to introduce the NA-GX7 aluminum camera housing for the Panasonic GX7 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Nauticam is the dominant manufacturer of professional grade aluminum underwater housings for mirrorless cameras and the NA-GX7 will be the clear choice for shooters of this versatile new Panasonic. Both camera and housing are bristling with technology packaged in a lightweight, rugged and easy to operate system.

 

The Panasonic DMC-GX7

The GX7 proves to be a sophisticated evolution of what has been great about the previous Panasonic Mirrorless cameras and a notable response to the features found on competitor’s models in this hotly contested enthusiast’s market segment.

 

 

Like previous Panasonics, this camera offers impressive video specs including 1080 60P in MPEG-4 or AVCHD format. But the biggest changes are served up to still photo shooters. Perhaps the most striking new feature is an articulated electronic viewfinder with 2.76 million dot resolution that provides striking detail. Panasonic has even achieved near 100% AdobeRGB color accuracy on the EVF – another first. A new in-body image stabilization system helps improve slow shutter and low light capabilities – even when shooting Olympus or third party lenses. The new 16 MP CMOS sensor has improved image quality and better low-light characteristics (a claimed 25% S/N improvement). Underwater shooters will embrace the 1/320 of a second shutter sync speed, 1/8000 top shutter speed, and close to five frames a second High Continuous mode when shooting RAW. The GX7 also offers true two command dial operation that allows for the type of instant manual or semi-manual control that underwater photographers need.

The GX7 is easily Panasonic’s most well rounded offering yet and should readily appeal to fans of the popular Micro 4/3 lens format.

 

 

 

The NA-GX7

The Nauticam philosophy for engineering and building the finest underwater housings in the world is simple. Think beyond what has been done before, work with the most demanding photographers on the planet, deliver beyond expectations, and never rest on past accomplishments – no matter how excellent. The results can be seen in everything from the smallest accessory to the most elaborate cinema based housing.

This philosophy is in full evidence on the compact, but impressive new NA-GX7. The pioneering features of the earlier Nauticam housings are apparent with the simple but secure rotating housing latch and superb progressive shutter release providing optimal “feel”. The NA-GX7 also sports some of Nauticam’s latest technology with the re-designed port locking latch that replicates the famous Nauticam DSLR port latch – making housing port changes easier than ever. Nauticam’s ground breaking integrated vacuum check and leak detector circuitry now comes standard. The new housing takes full advantage of the Panasonic’s many features and allows easy one handed operation of both command dials, video recording and EV control. The ability to activate or lower the GX7’s built in flash is immediately accessed by the left thumb to rapidly switch from optically triggered strobes to ambient light photography. The tilting LCD display is canted in housing for ideal in-water observation.

The extreme programmability of the GX7 is embraced with Fn1-4 all available in the housing. The superior video function that Panasonic is famous for is instantly accessible on the NA-GX7. Camera and housing provide an ergonomic powerhouse that will please the most critical Micro 4/3 shooter.

 

With the GX-7, Panasonic has introduced a camera that will challenge the best the mirrorless camera market has to offer. Nauticam has created the only underwater housing that is equal to that challenge.

 

 

Lens Support

Nauticam believes that every lens that makes sense to be used underwater should be supported, and the existing lineup of ports for m4/3 lenses is extensive. Nauticam carefully evaluates new lenses, and is often first to market with support when a new lens is offered. One of the advantages of the m4/3 system is that lenses from both Olympus and Panasonic can be used, and between the two, an excellent selection of lenses for underwater use is available, from the Panasonic 8mm fisheye to the Olympus 60mm macro. 

 

Examples of supported lenses for GX7

  • Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.5
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS
  • Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power OIS
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH
  • Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power OIS
  • Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.
  • Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6

 

 

Accessories

Nauticam supplies a wide range of optional accessories that make the rig very customizable. For example, Nauticam’s NA-DP4 housing for the Small HD DP4 Monitor can take video performance to another level by rendering the video image in a position more amenable to the shooter. The monitor housing easily mounts to the top of the NA-GX7 and utilizes the optional HDMI Bulkhead for true HDMI connectivity. Utilizing DP4 features like Focus Peaking, Focus Assist, False Color, 1:1 Mapping and more, this larger monitor vastly improves composition, focus capability and exposure. Nauticam produces a “straight” 180º enlarging viewfinder and a 45º angled enlarging viewfinder to enhance the ease of close quarters work often associated with macro shooting. Both viewfinders have high quality optics that allow viewing of the entire image. A patented external dioptric adjustment allows personal adjustment to a sharp-as-a-tack standard underwater and viewfinder changes can be executed in less than 30 seconds without using tools. Exceptional composition and focus accuracy have never been more accessible. 

 

Optional accessories available for the NA-GX7:

 

  • Interchangeable back window (#17752) to allow 180º Enhanced Viewfinder or 45º Enhanced Viewfinder use
  • Complete line of ports and gears for all major lenses
  • Locking port extension rings
  • Monitor Housing for SmallHD DP4 Monitor and Atomos Ninja-2 Recorder/Monitor
  • Fiber optic cables for Inon and Sea & Sea
  • Full line of mounting accessories for lighting, including mount balls, strobe adapters, arms, clamps, and specialty items
  • Multiple styles of lanyards
  • Lens holders, including flip-up
  • Vacuum Check Valves
  • Nauticam Super Macro Converter

 

 

Specifications

  • Depth Rating:  100m
  • Weight: 1.08 kg
  • Dimensions (with handles mounted): 193mm x 128mm x 99mm

 

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Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Ikelite Introduces Line of GoPro Accessories

UWPG News
New Trays & Mounts to Prepare your GoPro for any Video Setup

 

Ikelite Introduces Line of GoPro Accessories

New Trays & Mounts to Prepare your GoPro for any Video Setup

By Brent Durand, January 20, 2014

 

Ikelite accessories for the GoPro Hero 3+

 

 
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Ikelite has just announced a new line of products for GoPro video cameras. The GoPro Hero 3+ is a versatile camera for underwater video and can be configured in a number of different ways. Ikelite has built the new product line to help photographers in any situation: mounting a GoPro on top of another housing, stabilizing shaky video or using quick release handles for easy accessory changing. Full details below.

 

 

 

Press Release:

 

Ikelite Introduces line of GoPro Accessories

Shooting with GoPro just got better. Whether you want to correct shaky video, improve comfort, add lighting, or capture video while shooting stills, Ikelite has designed a GoPro accessory to meet your needs.

 

Steady Tray for GoPro

Part No. 2601.03
MSRP $45

Ikelite accessories for the GoPro Hero 3+

Is your GoPro footage inducing motion sickness? Let's be honest, there's only so much post-editing work you can do to correct the unavoidable outcome of shaky video. Share your underwater footage with confidence by simply adding this lightweight, precision-machined aluminum tray to your GoPro camera. Steady Tray for GoPro encompasses two mounting points, designed to meet both your comfort and lighting needs.

 

Pistol Grip for Steady Tray

Part No. 2601.11
MSRP: $15

Ikelite accessories for the GoPro Hero 3+

Add a Pistol Grip to your Steady Tray for GoPro for increased comfort and stability. Durable ABS handle with soft-touch rubberized over-mold. Slightly angled for improved ergonomics. Attaches with a single screw for easy removal when backing or in between dives. Steady Tray sold separately.

 

Quick Release Handles for Steady Tray

Part No. 9531.3 - Left Handle; 9531.4 - Right Handle
MSRP: $35/ea.

Ikelite accessories for the GoPro Hero 3+

The Ikelite Quick Release Handle allows for easy attachment and removal of arm components at the touch of a button for added convenience above and below water. Durable aluminum and ABS construction with soft-touch rubber over-molding for a comfortable grip suited for large or small hands. Placement of release handle does not interfere with opening and closing the housing. Left and right handles sold separately.

 

DSLR Top Mount Kit for GoPRo

Part No. 2602.2
MSRP: $40

Ikelite accessories for the GoPro Hero 3+

Capture video while shooting stills! This mount kit is super lightweight, flexible, and includes everything you need to attach your GoPro to an Ikelite DSLR top mount.

 

Quick Release Kit for GoPro

Part No. 2602.3
MSRP: $45

Ikelite accessories for the GoPro Hero 3+

Capture video while shooting stills. Super lightweight and flexible, this mount kits includes everything you need to attach your GoPro to an Ikelite Quick Release Handle. Attach to the handle of any Ikelite DSLR housing or digital still housing. Tray and handle(s) not included.

 

Tray Mount Kit for Gamma 

Part No. 2602.3
MSRP: $55

Ikelite accessories for the GoPro Hero 3+

This kit has everything you'll need to use Gamma as a focus assist or macro video light. It's also super lightweight and flexible, so your Gamma can shine where it's needed most. 3/4 inch Flex Components act as a lightweight and comfortable handle for your compact system. Gamma flashlight not included.

 

About Ikelite

Ikelite has manufactured and designed underwater lighting and photography equipment since 1962, and continues to pave the way with innovations in the lighting and housing markets.  Like every Ikelite product, GoPro accessories are built and tested in the USA.

For more information on all Ikelite GoPro and underwater camera housings and accessories, visit www.ikelite.com.

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Aquatica Enters Micro 4/3 Housing Category

UWPG News
Announces the AE-M1 Housing for the new Olympus OM-D E-M1

Aquatica Enters Micro 4/3 Housing Category

Announces the AE-M1 Housing for the new Olympus OM-D E-M1

By Brent Durand, January 10, 2014

 

Aquatica AE-M1 Housing

 

 
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Aquatica has announced a housing for the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera - their first product for the micro four thirds category. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is sure to become one of the most popular micro four thirds cameras for underwater photography. It's the new flagship model in Olympus' line of great OM-D cameras.

Previous Olympus OM-D models have housing choices from Olympus and Nauticam, so Aquatica's housing (and rumored Recsea housing for the E-M1) signal the importance of the category.

Aquatica has a long history of making dependable, high-quality housings, and the AE-M1 is no different. A relatively new feature is Aquatica's pressure "check" circuity and leak alarm, which allows divers to feel confident when taking their housing into the water.

 

PRESS RELEASE:

 

Montreal, QC. - Aquatica Digital is pleased to announce the release of their AE-M1 housing, the latest in its fine line of precision crafted aluminum housings. This housing will incorporate all of the great features of our current DSLR line of housings, but in a much smaller and compact size. Our designers and engineers have taken full advantage of our 5-Axis machines and have come up with what we feel is the best engineered and best looking aluminum housing on the market, and with its long tradition of making underwater housings, it also has a depth rating of 300 feet.

The housing is priced competitively at USD $1,699 and will be available in March 2014. 

Aquatica AE-M1 Housing

 

ABOUT THE AQUATICA AE-M1 HOUSING

Housings built with quality

This new Aquatica housing, like all housings we make, is milled from a solid block of 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum, it is black anodized and then for further protection, a resistant polyester electrostatic powder coat paint is added. This ensures that your investment will last a lifetime. The AE-M1 housing takes advantage of the best and lightest grips in the industry. These form fitting grips are not only light weight but also very strong and will allow you to mount large strobes or video lights hassle free and without the need for any reinforced brackets. 

 

PRESSURE ‘‘CHECK’’ CIRCUITRY AND LEAK ALARM: ALL IN ONE

The AE-M1 will ship with our new atmospheric pressure sensitive circuitry and leak alarm. This advanced Aquatica circuit has a temperature compensation included, so any change in ambient temperature or changes in the internal temperature will not cause an incorrect reading. The onboard start actuating button is for the vacuum only; your alarm is always on. The AE-M1 housing will ship with a bulkhead opening for future and easy installation of the optional vacuum valves.

 

THE RESULTS

This new Aquatica vacuum/alarm system is the most advanced on the market today:

  • Easy user installation
  • Intelligent use of LED technology
  • Onboard start actuation button

In one simple glance, the underwater photographer can be assured that the housing has water-tight integrity before, during and after the dive. 

Aquatica AE-M1 Housing

 

MORE ABOUT THE HOUSING’S UNIQUE FEATURES

 

LENS SUPPORT

The AE-M1 housing will support all the popular lenses that the shooter would want to use underwater, this will include lenses from both Olympus and Panasonic, ranging from the Panasonic 8mm fisheye to the Olympus 60mm macro and many other lenses in between. The AE-M1 housing will also have available an extensive line up of ports, including a 4 inch glass port, 6 inch acrylic port, macro port and various extension ring options.

 

VIEWFINDER OPTIONS

The AE-M1 housing comes with our standard state of the art Galileo optic viewfinder. Our engineers have made it very easy for the user to remove the back window allowing the use of our Aquaview or Aquaview 45 finder. Both of these are recognized as the best in the industry. 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

 

About AQUATICA

Since being founded in 1982, Aquatica designs and manufactures products of fine Canadian quality aluminum housings for underwater photography. 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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SeaLife's Sea Dragon Underwater Lighting System

UWPG News
Three Powerful LED Photo/Video/Dive Lights and a Compact Strobe!

SeaLife's New Sea Dragon Underwater Lighting System


Three Powerful LED Photo/Video/Dive Lights and a Compact Strobe!

By UWPG News, December 12, 2013

 

 

 
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SeaLife announced their brand new Sea Dragon lighting system at DEMA and the untis are already becomming a hot item to pair with cameras like the DC-1400. The video lights produce either 1200 or 2000 lumens - on par with many lights of similar lumens for a much lower price. The strobe is compact, yet powerful and the dive light is a great option for smaller size or those dives when you leave the camera behind.

The new lights are compact in size, high-powered and have long burn times at full power.

 

SeaLife Sea Dragon Line:

  • Sea Dragon 2000 Underwater Photo/Video/Dive Light
  • Sea Dragon 1200 Underwater Photo/Video/Dive Light
  • Sea Dragon Digital Underwater Flash
  • Sea Dragon Mini 600 Underwater Photo/Video/Dive Light

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE:

 

SeaLife® Introduces New Sea Dragon™ Underwater Lighting System

 

Moorestown, NJ - SeaLife Underwater Cameras is introducing its innovative new Sea Dragon lighting, including three powerful LED photo/video/dive lights and a compact flash, at the annual DEMA (Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association) trade show. Besides their ultra-compact size, higher power, and longer battery duration, all Sea Dragon lights feature Flex-Connect™ grips, arms, and trays that allow assembly and disassembly in seconds. Sea Dragon lights can easily be packed for travel as part of the smallest and lightest camera gear case ever seen in underwater photography.

With a growing trend toward underwater video, SeaLife has not only improved its cameras for videos, but also developed new powerful video, photo, and dive lights. What appears as a colorless underwater rock literally “explodes” in bright colors when lit up by the new powerful Sea Dragon lights. This is a totally new experience of the magical underwater world for any diver, with or without a camera.

Recent advances in LED light technology have made it possible for SeaLife to develop a new 2000-lumen light, about four times the power and one half the size of its predecessor. The Sea Dragon 2000 is powered by a rechargeable and replaceable lithium-ion battery that allows a burn time of 60 minutes at 100% power and constant brightness, 2 hours at 50 % power, and 4 hours at 25 % power. The increased power allows a wide beam angle of 100 degrees without hotspots. 

The Sea Dragon 2000 with Flex-Connect grip.

 

The light can be hand held with its Flex-Connect grip or mounted to one or more extendable flexible arms and trays that attach to the tripod mount of any SeaLife or other camera. A Dual Tray holds two lights, and a third light can be mounted on top of the camera’s cold-shoe creating a video or photo system with up to 6000 Lumens.

Not only the light, but also its battery compartment, is permanently waterproof rated to 200 feet/60 meters - so in the event of improper closure of the compartment, the light unit and electronics are not compromised.

The rugged flexible arms, trays, and grips do not use nuts or bolts, but easily click together and can also be quickly taken apart with the push of a button. This means that a complete system of a camera, flash, two lights, tray with dual arms and grips, batteries and charger fit in a compact lightweight case which can easily be packed in carry-on luggage - a great advantage with today’s airline baggage policies.

In close-up macro photography, the flexible arms allow bending of the lights or flash 100 degrees and within inches of the subject for creative light effects. Alternatively, the Flex Arms allow spreading the lights far away from the camera to avoid backscatter in low visibility waters.

The Sea Dragon is also available in a 1200 lumen model that includes a grip, Micro Tray, and adapter for GoPro® cameras packed inside a tiny travel case.  

The Sea Dragon 1200 with SeaLife's popular DC-1400 camera.

 

The Sea Dragon Mini 600 is an even smaller and slimmer light, providing 600 lumens of brightness. This versatile dive light can be hand held, mounted on top of a camera’s cold shoe, mounted to a GoPro® camera, or mounted to the SeaLife AquaPod, a 53” (132 cm) extendable monopod that can get a camera and light close to a shy or aggressive sea creature or reach into wrecks and crevices. The Sea Dragon Mini 600 has a burn time of 60 minutes with the included CR123 batteries or 100 minutes with an optional rechargeable Tenergy® Li-ion battery.  It is supplied with a variety of adapters to cameras and other devices and will be a favorite for users of small cameras like the GoPro® for which a mount is also included.

The Sea Dragon Mini shown with GoPro mount.

 

The new Sea Dragon Flash also supplies ample power in a more compact body and fits into the cold shoe of any camera housing or clicks to arms and grips of the Flex-Connect system. Adjusting the flash to just the right brightness can easily be done with the large controls or the flash can simply be set to Auto Mode. The auto-sync feature reads and memorizes the pre-flash of any camera. The 2014 version of the SeaLife DC1400 features an easy-setup mode for the Sea Dragon flash or lights in any combination.

The Sea Dragon flash, Flex-Connect grip and DC-1400 - compact camera rig.

 

The new ultra-compact system will appeal to the beginner, who in the past has been intimidated by bulky, complex systems, as well as the pro due to its expandability. Whether the flash is mounted on top of the camera or on its side, handling and control is made easier than ever before.

 

About SeaLife Cameras:

SeaLife Underwater Cameras are made by Pioneer Research in Moorestown, NJ and 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 and Lighting Systems are sold and serviced in 64 countries around the world. For more information visit www.SeaLife-Cameras.com.

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Be sure to check out our detailed review of the Sea Dragon Lighting System.

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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4K Video - Nauticam Housing for Blackmagic Cinema Camera

UWPG News
Blackmagic Cinema and Production 4k Underwater Housing Announced

Nauticam Housing for Blackmagic Cinema Camera


Blackmagic Cinema and Production 4k Underwater Housing Announced

By UWPG News, December 3, 2013

 

 

 
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Nauticam has announced the release of their new housing for the Blackmagic Cinema and Production 4k cameras. Both cameras deliver stunning raw video capture for serious videographers at very affordable pricepoints. Now these cameras can be used underwater, supported by Nauticam's ergonomic housing design, port options and more.

 

Press Release:

 

NA-BMCC Housing for Blackmagic Cinema and Production 4K Cameras

 

Nauticam is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of NA-BMCC, the latest in its acclaimed line of precision crafted underwater camera housings.  NA-BMCC is the second release in the Nauticam Digital Cinema System, providing innovative ergonomic and reliable tools for video professionals worldwide.  The Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5K Raw video recorder is aggressively priced at $1995, and the upcoming Blackmagic Production 4K Camera is priced at $3995. Both deliver high resolution raw video capture at unprecedented price points.

Nauticam is the international leader in innovative housing technology, and the new housing for the Blackmagic Cinema and Production 4K Cameras capitalizes on that experience. Features include ergonomically placed touch screen controls, internal accessory power pack, a quick release camera mount that can be used with Wooden Camera (TM) and ARRI (TM) style dovetails for easy topside shot setup, and a new integrated electronic vacuum check system.

Supporting the 2.5K Blackmagic Cinema Camera and upcoming Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, NA-BMCC provides the underwater videographer with two excellent image capture options that pop into the same housing.  Blackmagic Cinema Camera is the tool of choice for high dynamic range and low light work, and Production Camera for high resolution.

 

The NA-BMCC provides the most affordable "better than HD" 2.5K raw video capture, and the most affordable 4K Ultra HD video available at this time.  The system is 1/4 the size of competing professional video rigs, and can provide extended run and record times required for documenting the ocean's unexplored frontiers.  NA-BMCC is the most innovative, best engineered, and most ergonomic camera housing available for the Blackmagic underwater cinematographer.

 

NA-BMCC Video on Vimeo

 

The NA-BMCC Housing

Nauticam pioneered numerous engineering breakthroughs in previous housings that now come standard on the NA-BMCC.   The ergonomic, soft touch, over molded rubber grips that Nauticam has become famous for, provide a firm base for steady shooting, and they are angled forward 15 degrees providing a more natural grip for video shooting.  Controls for record, iris open (skip forward), iris close (skip back), playback, and stop are brought out to the grips with easy to access levers.  Oversized control dials for mechanical zoom and focus are placed underneath the left handle for fingertip control.  The "focus" and "iris" commands are conveniently placed for thumb access at each handle. 

Touch screen controls provide menu access to key camera and exposure settings, and retract out of the way to avoid obscuring the camera's large 5" LCD.  All exposure related settings are available with this touch screen system, and the mechanical controls don't interfere with viewing the large 5" LCD monitor.

Nauticam's Digital Cinema Gear System provides access to manual zoom and focus with several popular Canon EF Mount zoom lenses. The complete line of Nauticam DSLR gears is also supported by this housing. A lever to disengage the gear drive is included to ease camera installation in the housing.

 

An optional accessory power pack mounts on top of the camera and accepts four protected 18650 lithium ion batteries.  The power pack provides up to 3 1/2 hours total run time.  Mounting to the camera, not the housing, allows this accessory to be used for extended topside shooting as well as underwater!  HDMI monitoring is supported via a bracket for the Atomos Connect HD-SDI to HDMI converter feeding either SmallHD DP4 or Atomos Ninja monitors in external Nauticam housings.  An accessory LCD Shade allows the camera's 5" LCD monitor to be used in bright light.

 

New! Integrated Electronic Vacuum Check and Leak Detection System

Peace of mind before, during, and after the dive.  Nauticam's new integrated electronic vacuum and leak detection monitoring system is included with NA-BMCC as standard equipment. When used with an accessory or third party vacuum valve, the operator can instantly see the vacuum/watertight status of the housing. A simple green led confirms that a vacuum is present, and the housing is water tight.  Leak detection is built into the same circuit, so if there is water intrusion, an audible and visual indication will occur.

 

Accessory Expansion

Two 16mm threaded accessory holes are available for customizing the system's capability for professional needs.  Applications include HD-SDI out for director monitoring, HDMI out to external operator monitors, audio in from communications gear or hydrophone, and external LANC controls.

The patented Locking Latch System is used to close and securely lock the housing. These recessed latches are equipped with safety locks, reduce bulk and require minimal physical effort to engage and release. Port changes have never been simpler than utilizing the Patented Nauticam Locking Port Release. No wrestling, no twisting, no misalignment - just seat and lock.  Lens changes are also easily accomplished without removing the camera from the housing using the lens release button logically accessed on the housing front.

 

Multiple accessory mounting positions.  Two handle mounts, two threaded mounts on the top corners of the housings, an accessory cold shoe, and an integrated top cheese plate provide multiple mounting locations for accessories.

 

Key NA-BMCC Features:

  • Rugged housing body milled from solid aluminum
    • 100m depth rating and built to last
  • Patented port locking lever
    • Easy and safe port mounting, solidly locks port in place
  • Knobby command dials
    • Can be operated even with thick gloves on
  • Patented housing locking latches
    • Secure but easy to use
  • Rubberized handle grips
    • Comfortable and placed for optimum access to controls
  • Lens release button
    • Easy changeout of lenses without removing camera from housing
  • Drop in camera tray
    • No need to preset controls, just drop in and it is ready to go
  • 2 accessory ports
    • For optional HDMI, HD SDI, and remote control
  • Laser cut stainless steel handle brackets
    • For extra stability when using heavy lighting. Now even lighter weight!
  • Light mounting balls
    • 2 handle mounted balls standard, mounting balls for housing optional
  • Tripod mounting points
    • Important for macro video shooters
  • Control labeling
    • Easy to find and understand control functions
  • Integrated Electronic Vacuum/Leak Detection System
    • Status of the watertight security of the housing at a glance


 

Lens Support

The quality of an image is only as good as the glass it was captured with, and Nauticam firmly believes that every lens that makes sense to be used underwater should be supported.  Lenses like the Tokina 10-17mm and the Canon EF-S 60mm are true workhorses in the Canon mount underwater domain. Nauticam's lineup of ports, together with Zen Underwater dome ports is the most complete and extensive in the industry. Nauticam provides the industry’s only locking extension rings in every size potentially required, thus preventing port slippage when using extension rings. Nauticam additionally offers a full range of port adapters allowing existing housing owners to use their current ports, reducing the cost of switching to a Nauticam housing. Port Adapters are available for Aquatica, Ikelite, Inon, Nexus M5 & M6, Sea & Sea NX, Seacam, Subal Version 3 & 4, and Zillion lens ports.

High end video production requires precise focus control, even with zoom lenses.  The Digital Cinema Gear Series provides control of both focus and zoom with a select series of lenses that are useful to the underwater cinematographer, and accessed conveniently at the left handle.

 

Examples of Lenses with Focus/Zoom Support:

  • Canon EF 8-15mm /4L
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm /3.5-4.5
  • Canon EF 16-35mm /2.8LII
  • Canon EF 24-105mm /4L
  • Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM
  • Tokina AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 DX
  • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X  Pro DX II
  • Examples of Lenses with Focus Support:
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
  • Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
  • Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
  • Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye
  • and more....

 

Accessories

Nauticam’s NA-DP4 housing for the Small HD DP4 Monitor can take video performance to another level by rendering the video image in a position more amenable to the shooter. The monitor housing easily mounts to the top of the NA-BMCC and utilizes the optional HDMI Bulkhead for true HDMI connectivity. Utilizing DP4 features like Focus Peaking, Focus Assist, False Color, 1:1 Mapping and more, this larger monitor vastly improves composition, focus capability and exposure.

 

Optional accessories available for the NA-BMCC:

  • Accessory Power Pack
  • HD-SDI to HDMI Converter Bracket
  • Monitor Shade
  • Complete line of ports for all major lenses
  • Locking port extension rings from 10mm to 70mm
  • Monitor Housing for SmallHD DP4 Monitor and Atomos Ninja-2 Recorder/Monitor
  • Multiple styles of lanyards
  • Macro Lens holders, including flip-up
  • Focus and Zoom gears for many Canon, Tokina, and Sigma lenses
  • Port Adapters for Aquatica, Ikelite, Inon, Nexus M5 & M6, Sea & Sea NX, Seacam, Subal Version 3 & 4, and Zillion
  • Handle accessories including smaller handles, handle extensions for cold water diving
  • Vacuum Check Valves
  • The Bottom Line
  • NA-BMCC, combined with a Blackmagic Cinema or Production Camera, delivers high resolution, high dynamic range, raw video capture at a price point that every film maker can afford.


Compatibility

Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF
Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT (camera support for MFT lenses is limited)
Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

 

Specifications

Depth Rating:  100m
Weight: 4.15kg
Dimensions (with handles mounted): 390mm x 190mm x180mm
 

 

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Visit Bluewater Photo for pricing and other info on the Nauticam Blackmagic Housing

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Fantasea FG16 Housing Released

UWPG News
New Underwater Housing for the Canon Powershot G16 Camera

Fantasea FG16 Housing is Released


New Underwater Housing for the Canon Powershot G16 Camera

By UWPG News, December 3, 2013

 

 

 
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Fantasea has just released their new housing for the Canon Powershot G16. Shock resistant, depth rated to 60m and a wide range of accessories make this housing a great option for those interested in taking the FG16 into the ocean.

Fantasea's housings are versatile and perform well as a basic camera or complete underwater camera rig. Beginners will find that the snap-on flash diffuser delivers great macro results without strobes. As a photographer grows then can add a macro or wide-angle wet lens, video lights, correction filters and strobes. The housing has two fiber optic ports making one or two strobe combos easy to set up and maintain.

 

Press Release:

 

Product Release: FG16 Housing for the Canon Powershot G16 Camera

The FG16 Housing, specially designed for the Canon G16, meets the same high and professional standards of function, style and durability as previously found in popular and successful Fantasea F series Housings (FG15, FP7100 and FP7000). It is ergonomically designed, fully functional and features easy-to-use, clearly labeled controls. This shock resistant housing protects your G16 camera from damaging elements including water, sand, dust, snow, ice and pollutants.

The FG16 has been successfully depth tested to 80 meters (240 ft.) and is certified to a maximum depth of 60 meters (200 ft.), which is well beyond the 40 meter (130 ft.) dive limit of most compact housings.

The FG16 Housing is supported by a complete accessory line, including wide angle and macro lenses. Additional accessories include a variety of color correction filters and lighting sets, which enable photographers to further enhance the quality of their images and videos.

 

FG16 Housing Feature Highlights

  • Depth rated to 60m/200 feet
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Full access to all camera controls and functions with clearly marked controls
  • Shock resistant
  • Double O-ring seal
  • Special mount for lighting accessories
  • Removable double fiber optic cable connection
  • Removable flash diffuser
  • Built-in moisture detector for increased confidence
  • Dedicated video control button for easy video filming in any shooting mode
  • Compatible with a wide range of underwater photo accessories
  • Manufacturer's warranty included

 

 

With performance and creative expression approaching that of an SLR camera, the new PowerShot G16delivers amazing image and video quality. A new DIGIC 5 image processor delivers 45% faster auto focus, shorter shutter lag, increased continuous shooting speed and better performance in low light conditions. New built-in Wi-Fi allows to wirelessly transfer those most impressive files to social networking sites, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

 

Click on the banner below to see a comparison with the Canon WP-DC52 housing, or visit Bluewater Photo for pricing and more info on the Fantasea G16 Housing.

 

 

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Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Sea & Sea MDX-70D Housing Announced

UWPG News
Industry's First Optical YS Converter and other New Features

Sea & Sea MDX-70D Housing


Industry's First Optical YS Converter and other New Features

By Brent Durand, November 22, 2013

 

 

 
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SEA&SEA has announced their housing for the Canon 70D, complete with brand new optical YS converter. What is this? In short, it's a converter that attaches to the camera hot-shoe and creates an optical signal for triggering strobes. This means that cameras without a pop-up flash (70D, 5D Mark 3, etc) can use fiber optic cables instead of sync cords. The latter require more maintenance and are more prone to floods and malfunctions. The converter also allows for use of TTL.

Cameras with pop-up flashes (Nikon DSLRs, Canon T4i, etc) can easily use fiber optic cables, however rapid shooting is limited by the recycle time of the pop-up flash. SEA&SEA's optical YS converter is the best of both worlds!

 

Here are some highlights:

  • Converts camera's hot-shoe TTL signal to a light signal
  • Using Fiber-Optic Cable II, eliminates the chance of flooding Sync Ports
  • Ability to shoot high-speed photos by rapid-firing the strobe
  • Higher accuracy than external TTL Converter
  • Eliminates in-housing reflections and lens flare by ports

 

 

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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