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Sigma’s new MC-21 Mount Converter and ART lenses open a new world of lenses to the Panasonic S1 and S1R
By Nirupam Nigam

More Lens Options for the Panasonic S Series

Nirupam Nigam
Sigma’s new MC-21 Mount Converter and ART lenses open a new world of lenses to the Panasonic S1 and S1R

It would seem that the L Mount lens alliance between Sigma, Leica, and Panasonic has already made bigger strides than competing manufactures, less than a year after their initial announcement. For anyone eyeing Panasonic’s flagship full-frame mirrorless S series – the S1 and the S1R – it might just be time to take the leap. Sigma’s introduction of the MC-21 converters for Sigma SA mount and Canon EF mount lenses to L mount bodies introduces dozens of additional lenses that can be used with L-mount cameras. In addition to the converter, Sigma has recently introduced 11 enticing L-mount DG ART prime lenses. What does this mean for underwater photographers? For now, we can only sit and wonder until all these cool new gadgets are shipped for the first time in April 19, 2019.

 

 

MC-21 Converters

Retail Price: $249

The Sigma MC-21 converters come in two forms – a converter for Sigma SA-mount lenses to be mounted to L-mount camera bodies, and a converter for Sigma EF-mount lenses to be mounted to L-mount camera bodies. Although this opens up dozens of new options to use Sigma lenses with the Panasonic S Series, the converters are slightly limited in ability. The converters have been lauded to allow for “full lens performance,” this isn’t entirely true. With the converters autofocus works in AF-S mode, and autoexposure, in-camera correction, and image stabilization work in-full. However, autofocus in AF-C (autofocus continuous) mode does not work. This can be a major issue for quick action shooters and videographers. One interesting goodie that comes with the adapter is pre-uploaded data that supports chromatic aberration correction, peripheral illumination correction, and distortion correction. 

 

Implications for Underwater Photography

Initially, the MC-21 converter might seem like a godsend to Canon EF mount users. But it’s not. It only has full compatibility with Sigma EF-mount lenses. However, there might be limited compatibility (if any) with Canon EF-mount lenses. So it’s not an encouraging converter for anyone looking to switch from Canon to Panasonic. Initial reports also suggest slow AF and a few other issues with some lenses. 

Continuous Autofocus

A lack of continuous autofocus with the MC-21 is not good news for underwater videographers that frequently rely on continuous autofocus. In fact, for underwater videography, I would recommend using native lenses with the Panasonic S1 and S1R. It will also be an issue for photographers that need continuous AF to shoot quick pelagic animals. However, for traditional macro and reefscape photographers, this may not be an issue. I, for one, stick to AF-S for the most part, as do many underwater photographers I know. 

Verdict?

The MC-21 converter is a great purchase if you want to use Sigma EF and SA mount glass on your Panasonic S1 and S1R camera. Is it perfect? Probably not. But it does open up a wide range of existing opportunity for underwater photographers to shoot with the Panasonic S1 and S1R. 

 

Sigma’s 11 New DG ART Prime Lenses

In conjunction with the MC-21 converter, Sigma announced eleven additional DG ART prime L-mount lenses. These are high-quality native lenses that can all be used with the Panasonic S1 and S1R. Here is a list of the eleven: 

  • 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art ($1,599): The first full-frame F/1.8 Ultra-Wide-Angle
  • 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art ($899)
  • 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art ($849
  • 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art ($1,399)
  • 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art ($899
  • 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art ($1,399)
  • 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art ($949)
  • 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art ($569): First Macro L-Mount ART lens
  • 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art ($1,199)
  • 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art ($1,599)
  • 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art ($1,399)

 

 

Implications

Two of these lenses stand out to me for underwater photography – the 14mm f/1.8 DS HSM Art and the 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art. Yup, that’s right – wide angle and macro! Native wide-angle and native macro. For the Panasonic S1 and S1R this is a really exciting development. 

The 14mm f/1.8 lens is the first of its kind for full-frame cameras. It promises excellent low-light performance and bokeh. And though bokeh is unusually in wide angle imagery, it could prove quite interesting in close-focus wide-angle underwater photography. Though it’s not a fisheye, it’s an ultra-wide lens, yielding excellent potential for wide angle underwater photography. There is one issue: the lens hood appears to be non-removable, and thus likely will not be compatible with most ports.

The 70 mm f/2.8 lens sounds like an excellent choice for macro photographers. At f/2.8, it’s a fast lens, and sounds like it will have a lot of capability. Promising slightly more working distance than a 60mm macro, it could be a great choice for middle ground macro photography of subjects that are somewhat spooked, but not as bad as something like a mandarin fish. 

Verdict? 

I think the introduction of these ART L-mount prime lenses is actually more exciting than the MC-21 converters. There are some real contenders for underwater photography here. However, there is no telling which lenses will be useful until port compatibility comes out for these lenses and housings that house the Panasonic S1 and S1R. 

 

Conclusion

If you thought the Panasonic S Series looked like a good choice because of the L-mount alliance – this is a first demonstration of the partnership. Although the MC-21 converter has its limitations, it already makes the Panasonic S1 and S1R competitive in the full-frame mirrorless playing field. The Sigma Art prime lenses could be even more exciting for underwater photographers depending on compatibility with future housings and ports. Time will tell if the Panasonic S-Series is ready for underwater use, but for now, it seems like it just might be.

 

Additional Reading

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. Now he works as a fisheries observer on boats in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his fiancee and taking photos. Check out more of his photography at www.photosfromthesea.com!

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

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

 


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Nikon responds to user feedback with firmware updates for the Z6/Z7 scheduled for May 2019
By Nirupam Nigam

Nikon Z Series Autofocus Firmware Updates

Nirupam Nigam
Nikon responds to user feedback with firmware updates for the Z6/Z7 scheduled for May 2019

The Nikon Z6/Z7 is Nikon’s flagship camera of the decade. It’s their first set of full-frame mirrorless systems, and the first systems compatible with the new Z-mount. So Nikon was understandably consciences when it came to complaints about the Z6/Z7 – especially concerning the autofocus. Though we felt the autofocus was top of the line when we took the Nikon Z7 underwater, some took to the internet to complain about AF performance – claiming it wasn’t as good as the Sony A7R III. Indeed, we were disappointed that Nikon left out its 3D AF tracking, but still the Z7’s underwater lowlight AF capability was quick, snappy, and highly functional. Well it’s about to get even better with Nikon’s May 2019 firmware updates for the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7.

 

Click here for the full Nikon Z6/Z7 Underwater Camera Review

 

The Updates

Nikon is focusing on five key updates: 

1. New Eye Autofocus function 

2. Improved low light autofocus 

3. Auto exposure tracking in continuous high-speed mode

4. CFexpress card can now be used in the XQD slots

5. Raw video output over HDMI 

 

Implications for Underwater Photography

Overall, the Nikon firmware update is a direct response to concerns raised by consumers, and they did a good job addressing them. For underwater photographers, a few of these updates will not be too useful, whereas others will be very welcome. 

The Eye-Detection Autofocus function will likely work only with human subjects. This makes it useful for portrait and street photography but not so much for wildlife photography. It’s important to note that Eye AF will be available in both AF-S (single AF) and AF-C (continuous AF). Though it won’t function as well as tracking, it will be sufficient for photographing people in most circumstances. 

Improved low light autofocus is the big one for underwater photographers. As most underwater photography is in low light situations, improved low light autofocus could mean the difference of capturing the perfect shot and missing it entirely. It could also be the update that pushes a photographer on the edge about purchasing the system to choosing it over the Sony A7R III, Canon EOSR, or maybe even the Nikon D850. I certainly hope the update closes the gap. 

Auto exposure tracking in the continuous high-speed mode, could be an interesting update for underwater photography. It depends on how well it works with strobes that have high sync speeds, or if it performs well in the ambient lighting conditions frequented by pelagic shooters. Overall, I think it’s something to think about and experiment with if you’re into shooting sharks, dolphins, whales, and other big creatures.

The update for compatibility with CFexpress cards in the XQD slot is a welcome update for people wishing to use that standard of card. The durability and storage ability (up to 1TB!) of this kind of card is certainly exciting.

 

Implications for Underwater Videography

Nikon certainly didn’t leave out underwater videographers when announcing their updates. Support for 4K and full HD RAW video output through HDMI to an external recorder is awesome. It will give underwater videographers the freedom to work with 12-bit colors for powerful color grading capability. Improvements to low light autofocus will, of course, be appreciated. Especially by underwater photographers already happy with the full time autofocus movie mode. 

 

Conclusions

Nikon’s May 2019 firmware updates for the Z6 and Z7 might just be what the flagship system needs to win over skeptics. Directly addressing input from the consumer, Nikon has updated the autofocus, added Eye AF, increased card slot compatibility, introduces AE tracking, and allows for RAW video output over HDMI. The direct implications for underwater photo and video are exciting and make the Z6 and Z7 an even more competitive camera. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. Now he works as a fisheries observer on boats in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his fiancee and taking photos. Check out more of his photography at www.photosfromthesea.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.

 


Exciting new features for underwater photographers shooting the Sony A7R III/A7 III or Sony A9
By Nirupam Nigam

Sony A7R III and A9 Firmware Updates for 2019

Nirupam Nigam
Exciting new features for underwater photographers shooting the Sony A7R III/A7 III or Sony A9

There is no doubt that the Sony A7R III and the Sony A9 are two of the world’s most popular cameras for underwater photography. Likewise, many underwater photographers are bound to be excited by the news of multiple firmware updates in 2019. These updates will introduce new capability to both systems. It seems the updates to the Sony A9 will have significant benefits for underwater photographer whereas the updates to the Sony A7R III introduce more goods for topside shooting and some for underwater. 

One thing is for sure – there are huge perks to living in the digital age. Who would have thought you could have a new and improved camera from a simple click of the “download” button!

 

Firmware Updates for the Sony A9

 

Ver. 5.0 – Available March 2019

In the upcoming firmware version 5.0 we can expect:

Real-time Autofocus Tracking mode for object tracking (AI-based object recognition)

Touch Pad Autofocus

Touch Autofocus Tracking

Extended phase-detection AF aperture range (from f/11 to f/16)

Fast Hybrid Autofocus for video shooting (i.e., automated focusing)

Better Color Reproduction

Camera compatibility with Sony’s Edge Mobile application

Ver. 6.0. – Available Summer 2019

In the firmware version 6.0 we can expect:

Eye AF for animal eyes – enables accurate autofocus for interval shooting (time-lapse)

 

Implications for Underwater Photography

Even before the firmware updates, the Sony A9 is already known for it’s ultrafast shooting speeds of up to 20 fps (5fps w/ mechanical shutter), 241 RAW image buffer, and high performing autofocus tracking. It’s the perfect camera for wildlife photographers looking to capture quick action (e.g., underwater photographers capturing waves, sharks, bait balls, dolphins, etc.). An updated real-time autofocus tracking mode based on artificial intelligent algorithms means an even higher performing camera. These AI algorithms will consider color, subject depth, pattern, and spatial distance. The subject’s eye will also be tracked in real time with the AI-AF technology. If it works well than this is a huge benefit for underwater photographers looking to capture quick action underwater. Essentially, the camera should be able to lock on to an animal’s eye and track it in real time while take burst shots of up to 20fps (without strobes)… every wildlife photographer’s dream!

Beyond the improvements in tracking, an extended phase-detection AF range for smaller apertures will be much appreciated by macro underwater photographers. Better color reproduction is, of course, welcomed by everyone.

Initial reception of the Sony A9 was mixed for underwater photographers, as many preferred the Sony A7R III. These updates could be what pushes the A9 deeper into the underwater realm.

 

 

The Sony A9 is available now at Bluewater Photo!

Firmware Updates for the Sony A7R III/A7 III

 

Ver. 3.0 – Available April 2019

In the upcoming firmware version 3.0 we can expect: 

Enhanced Real-time Eye Autofocus. This includes functionality with AF-C mode (e.g., press the shutter button halfway to activate)

Real-Time Eye Autofocus for animals

Interval recording functionality for time-lapse with AE tracking sensitivity

 

Implications for Underwater Photography

The firmware updates for the Sony A7R III/A7 III are exciting, but not as much as with the Sony A9. However, real-time eye autofocus should work with animals! If it works properly with underwater creatures, this could be a huge deal for underwater photographers. Traditionally, the Sony A7R III’s autofocus has not been as good as DSLRs like the Nikon D850. If eye AF works for animals, this would put the A7R III in the range of competing with the AF capability of the D850. However, I don’t know if this new eye AF would be enough to compete with the D850’s 3D AF tracking mode. It probably wouldn’t push me to pick the A7R III over the D850. It does give the A7R III an edge over the Nikon Z6/Z7 that was recently released and does not have 3D AF. Easy time-lapse with more sensitive exposure changes will be appreciated by many topside photographers. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. Now he works as a fisheries observer on boats in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his fiancee and taking photos. Check out more of his photography at www.photosfromthesea.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.

 


By UWPG News

IG Contest: Win a Trip on the Solomons PNG Master!

UWPG News

One lucky diver will win a 7 night trip aboard the Solomons PNG Master!

Trip valued at $3,995!

Compete in our Instagram competition for a chance to win! 

All you need to do is:

- Follow @bluewaterphototravel and @uwphotographyguide

- Post a scuba related photo

- #bwscubadeals in the post

- tag your dive buddies

 

About the Prize:

Solomons PNG Master (previously known as MV Taka) is a custom designed diving vessel with 12 cabins accommodating up to 20 guests and a crew of 12 including your dive team, skipper, boat crew, and chefs. See more details on the Solomons PNG Master liveaboard.

Solomon Islands is THE destination for the real diving fan looking for a change of scenery, completely off the beaten track. You will also find: wrecks, caverns, wide-angle reefs and large sea fans. PNG dive sites are so pristine and remote that new marine species are still being discovered. Pretty much anything can be spotted here: hammerheads, whale sharks, mantas, dolphins, and pilot whales.

 

Terms & Conditions:

Drawing will be held June 1st, 2019

The winner must be a certified diver, 18 years of age or older

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.

 


The best new underwater photography gear from the DEMA tradeshow 2018
By UWPG News

What's in Store for 2019: DEMA Highlights

UWPG News
The best new underwater photography gear from the DEMA tradeshow 2018

This year the DEMA tradeshow came back to Las Vegas, NV, and featured dive industry (and underwater imaging companies) presenting their latest and greatest products. 

We covered the DEMA news along with Bluewater Photo to give you an inside look at new lights, housing, and other awesome underwater gear coming out this next year!

 

The Essentials from DEMA 2018

Nikon Z7 Housings

Nikon entered the mirrorless market with their announcement of the new Z-series in Autumn, 2018. It was certainly a long time coming, but it looks like Nikon has delivered with a full-frame sensor, built in 5-axis image stabilization, and a new lens mount supporting apertures as wide as f/0.95! The Nikon Z7 features 45.7 MP and the Nikon Z6 features 25.4 MP and a significantly lower price tag. Although lens options seem a little limited in the early development stages of Z mount lenses, underwater housing manufacturers were especially quick to introduce their products! So far, all housings seem to be compatible with both the Z7 and Z6.

 

Sea & Sea Nikon Z7 Housing - $3599.95

Known for high-quality housings that can spend a little time in the development stages before release, Sea & Sea was particularly quick to come out with their Z7 housing! The housing features trim colors, luminescent buttons, a smaller size than other Nikon full-fram housings, and a dual lens gear system – one for Nikon Z lenses and another for Nikon F mount lenses with an FTZ adapter. This opens up a wide range of lens options at a time where Z-series lenses are still developing! 

 

 

The Sea & Sea Z7 Housing is available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

Nauticam Nikon Z7 Housing - $3,450

Nauticam, the Ferrari of the Underwater Housing business, has also released its Nikon Z7 housing. The The Nauticam NA-Z7 housing offers full control of the camera and full support with both native Z lenses and F lenses with the FTZ adapter. As with all Nauticam housings, all the camera’s essential controls are within easy reach of the rubberized handles. 

 

The Nauticam Z7 Housing is available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

Ikelite Nikon Z7 Housing - $1,695

Ikelite is the king of budget housings. As usual, Ikelite’s Z7 housing is polycarbonate, easy to use, and offers full control of the camera. Two cool features on the Z7 housing include an M16 port for external monitors, and a trim rail to help with buoyancy. 

 

The Ikelite Z7 Housing is available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

Aquatica Nikon Z7 Underwater Housing

Aquatica is known for their quality housings machined from a block of aluminum, then anodized and powder coated. Although they have not yet announced their Aquatica Z7 housing, their Sony A7R III and Nikon D850 housings looked excellent! 

The Aquatica A7R III Housing and Aquatica Nikon D850 Housing are available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

Everything Else Cool, New, and Quirky at DEMA

 

Paralenz

Although GoPro put on the biggest presence at DEMA of almost any other business, save PADI, Paralenz seems to be the next new thing in portable underwater videography. Paralenz, a small company based in Denmark, has perfected the Parlanez Dive Camera through multiple trial runs with groups of divers to feel for their interests. With a small cylindrical shape, the camera is made to be used almost like a flashlight. A snap record mode allows you to take photos with the press of a button or push and hold to record video – no need to switch between modes and worry that you’ve stopped recording. But perhaps the coolest thing about the Paralenz is that it will correct for white balance in-camera based on the depth that it senses. No more filters!

 

The Parlanez Dive Camera is available now at Bluewater Photo!

Sea & Sea – Sony A7R III Housing Buoyancy Pocket

Sea & Sea added space for a buoyancy pocket which increases underwater buoyancy, making the housing lighter and easy to use. It can also be used as space for an additional battery pack! This is welcome for the Sony A7R III – a camera with limited battery life.

 

The Sea & Sea A7R III Housing is available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

Sealife

DC2000 firmware update – Sealife introduced a free new firmware update for the DC2000 available on their website! Click here

Sea Dragon 3000F video light ($499.95) – Sealife announced its Sea Dragon 3000F photo-video light! We can expect 3000 lumens throughout its 1 hour burn life, 120 degrees of illumination, flash detect, auto brightness, two red LEDs, and a flex connect system.

 

Kraken

New Kraken Wide Angle Dome for Smart Housing – Kraken is announcing an amazing new wide-angle dome port for its universal smart phone housing! It will be officially announced February 2019 and should be available for under $300. 

 

Snoot Light – Kraken announced a new snoot light with multiple filters. It can be used as a focus light when the tip is removed!

The Kraken Snoot Light is available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

Light & Motion

This year at DEMA, Light & Motion announced their new push to transition their lights to hybrid underwater/above water usage. This is certainly an exciting development in underwater lighting, especially to underwater photographers who also like to take the occasional photo above water. They’re also offering a new guarantee that lights will not flood for the first 2 years.

Light & Motion are offering two new hybrid lights – the Stella 1000 and the Sola Video Pro 9600. 

Stella 1000 – The Stella 1000 features 1000 lumens of illumination above water with 2-3 minutes burst of 2500 lumens. Underwater the Stella 1000 can perform at 2500 lumens for an hour. 

Sola Video Pro 9600 – Above water, the Video Pro 9600 can produce 5000-8000 lumens and 9600 lumens underwater. 

SolaDome Port Optic – Light & Motion is also introducing a dome port accessory that screws on to the front of your Sola light to increase your degree of illumination from 90 degrees to 110 degrees! 

 

 

The SolaDome Port Optic is available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

Fantasea 

Sony RX100 VI Housing – Fantasea is featuring their new Sony RX100 VI housing. 

The Fantasea Sony RX100 VI Housing is available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

And the coolest, newest, and quirkiest award goes to….Natuicam!

Nauticam introduced their new bugeye macro lens this year at DEMA. It’s a behemoth as you can see in the photo below. However, the lens’s sheer size is necessary to produce amazing macro, fisheye photos that resemble how an image might look to a bug. Basically, close-focus wide angle can now be done on a macro scale! 

 

Nauticam MWL-1 – Another exciting development was the release of the macro to wide angle wet conversion lens. This lens is designed to allow DSLR and other interchangeable lens shooters the freedom to shoot both macro and wide-angle photos in the same dives. It converts a full frame 60mm macro lens into an ultra-wide 150-degree wide-angle lens! 

The Nauticam MWL-1 is available now at Bluewater Photo!

 

See You Again Next Year!

We'd like to thank all of our partners for coming out to Las Vegas and speaking with our editors at UWPG. We had a great time and look forward to seeing everyone next year at DEMA 2019! 

 

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.

 


David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes headline the Underwater Tour Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth: 9-14 May 2019
By UWPG News

David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes Headline Underwater Tour 2019

UWPG News
David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes headline the Underwater Tour Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth: 9-14 May 2019

 

Australia, 13 February 2019 -  Get ready for an evening of inspiration, adventure and discovery.  Joint founders of the annual Underwater Tour, Juliette Myers and Tim Hochgrebe have curated a stellar international line-up of underwater photographers for this year’s nationwide touring speaker event series across Australia. 

 

LIVE on stage 9-14 May, David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes and William Tan will showcase extraordinary images and share stories of discovery from behind the lens.

Doubilet and Hayes, National Geographic legends and undoubtedly the world’s most recognisable and inspirational ambassadors of the oceans, are on their way from upstate New York to Australia to keynote the Underwater Tour 2019.  Logging 26,000 and 11,000 hours beneath the surface respectively, it’s no wonder they have earned their place as revered underwater photographers and international treasures.  

Doubilet’s 75 plus feature publications with National Geographic document the diversity of marine environments - from equatorial coral reefs to life beneath the polar ice.  Feature presenter of National Geographic Live, a columnist, contributing editor and author of 12 books, he is the recipient of many international prestigious awards including The Academy of Achievement Award, The Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award and The Lennart Nilsson Award in Scientific Photography.  Doubilet is a member of both the Royal Photographic Society, International Diving Hall of Fame and founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Hayes’ photography and journalism is underpinned by her marine science background and focus on science communication and conservation of endangered species.  Her current work includes documenting the global status of UNESCO World Heritage Site coral reef ecosystems at risk of climate change, exploring the science and solutions to restore North American sturgeon populations and documenting harp seals as a Face of Climate Change in the Gulf of St Lawrence as their birth ice disintegrates beneath them.  Who knew Hayes is a pilot with a passion for vintage planes?   She is the recipient of the Presidents Medal for natural history, a trustee of the Shark Research Institute and Explorer Club National Fellow.

A pioneer of the blackwater macro underwater photography niche, William Tan is truly the Master of 'blackro'.  Tan captures images of the phototaxic movement of plankton and wonderfully bizarre marine critters in their nightly vertical migration from the deep or mid-water column to the shallows.    A violinist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, between concert seasons, he leaves his prized antique Italian violin at home while diving throughout the Pacific region.   A world previously exclusive to scientific academia, if you've seen everything and dived everywhere, William’s blackro images are guaranteed to pique your curiosity and have you wanting to set out on new adventures.

Underwater Tour 2019 event dates:

Brisbane 9 May

Sydney 11 May

Melbourne 12 May

Adelaide 13 May NEW

Perth 14 May

Tickets are on sale now from $75.   For more information: www.underwatertour.com.au

 

 

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.

 


Ocean Art 2018 winning photos are some of the world's best underwater photography
By UWPG News

Ocean Art 2018 Winners Announced!

UWPG News
Ocean Art 2018 winning photos are some of the world's best underwater photography

7th Annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest Winners Announced

Ocean Art Contest Announces the Best Underwater Photos of the Year 

Culver City, CA – January 15, 2019 – The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced its 2018 winners. The 7th annual competition attracted a very high caliber of photos from waters around the world and showcases the best underwater photographs of the year. 2018 was the most competitive year to date. 

Winning photos can be seen on the Underwater Photography Guide at:

 http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/2018-ocean-art-contest-winners 

The Best of Show is a graceful photo of three Giant Devil Rays performing a “ballet”, which uses soft, ambient light to accentuate the movements of elegant giants, shot by Duncan Murrell. Other exceptional images include some astonishing fish and marine life shots, rarely seen animal behavior, innovative shooting techniques, stunning portraits, seals, ocean adventure, whales and some dramatic moments between humans and marine life. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 70 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners. 

Ocean Art 2018 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Martin Edge, and Marty Snyderman, accompanied by Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Gietler. 

Over $80,000 in prizes will be awarded, making the Ocean Art prize value among the highest in the world. 

The most lucrative prizes included a luxury liveaboard trip on the Socorro Vortex, Indonesia liveaboard trips (and 50% off a companion) on the S.M.Y. Ondina and M.Y. Oceanic, a 7 night Palau liveaboard trip with Solitude Liveaboards, a 7 nights Solomon Islands liveaboard trip on the Solomon PNG Master, a 7 nights Solomon Islands liveaboard trip with Bilikiki Cruises, a 7 night dive package at Villa Markisa Resort in Bali, Indonesia, a 9 night Passport to Paradise dive package at three Indonesian destinations with Critters@Lembeh and Murex Dive Resorts, and a variety of gift certificates from Bluewater Photo. Premium travel prizes are provided by VoliVoli Beach Resort (Fiji), Siladen Resort & Spa (Indonesia), two packages with Solitude Liveaboards (Komodo, Indonesia, and Lembeh Straits, Indonesia), Atlantis Dive Resort (Philippines), Manta Ray Bay (Micronesia), Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard (Australia), Atmosphere Resort & Spa (Philippines), Aiyanar Dive Resort (Philippines), Crystal Blue Resort (Philippines), Blackbeard’s Cruises (Bahamas), El Galleon Beach Resort (Philippines), Aquamarine Diving and the Watergarden Hotel (Bali, Indonesia), Eco Divers Lembeh (Indonesia), Scuba Club Cozumel (Mexico), and premier scuba travel agency Bluewater Travel. Premium gear prizes are provided by Bluewater Photo, SEA&SEA, Ikelite, and ThinkTANK Photo. 

See our list of full prize descriptions for more details.

Sixteen different categories ensure a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography, including compact, mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. There is also a new category called “Underwater Art.”

The quality of image submissions was incredible this year, making judging very difficult but also proving that these photos are the best in the world. Bluewater Photo and Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler comments, “This year’s outstanding underwater images in the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition continue to raise the bar for underwater photographers. Myself and the other 3 judges were honored to be viewing such amazing results of the dedication and drive of the human spirit.” 

 

Media Contact 

Nirupam Nigam

Managing Editor, UWPG

info@uwphotographyguide.com 

 

Complete list of winners: 

 


Best of Show 

“Courting Devil Ray Ballet” by Duncan Murrell

 

Wide-Angle

1st François Baelen 

2nd Grant Thomas

3rd Celia Kujala

4th Geo Cloete

5th Edwar Herreno

6th Daniel Flormann

HM Steve Kopp

HM Wu Yung Sen

 

Macro 

1st Jeff Milisen

2nd Chun Zhou

3rd Fabio Iardino

4th Jinggong Zhang

5th Tianhong Wang

6th Stefano Proakis

HM Shane Gross

HM Dennis Corpuz

 

Marine Life Behavior

1st Duncan Murrell

2nd Anders Nyberg

3rd François Baelen 

4th Richard Barnden

5th Flavio Vailati

6th Liang Fu

7th Mei Hing Sin

HM Doris Vierkötter

HM Richard Barnden

HM Els Van Den Borre

 

Portrait 

1st Claudio Zori

2nd Christina Barringer

3rd Doris Vierkötter

4th Shane Keena

5th Mirko Zanni

HM Jinggong Zhang

HM Matteo Visconti

HM Kyler Badten

 

Coldwater

 1st Greg Lecoeur

2nd Tyler Schiffman

3rd Claudio Zori

4th Rémi Masson

5th Eiko Jones

HM Henley Spiers

HM Simon Lorenz

HM Adam Martin

 

Nudibranchs 

1st Flavio Vailati

2nd Fredrik Ehrenström

3rd Bettina Balnis

4th Giacomo Giovannini

HM Chun Ho Tam

 

Supermacro 

1st Edison So

2nd Wayne Jones

3rd Ludovic Galko-Rundgren

4th Leon Zhao

5th Gaetano Gargiulo

HM Iyad Suleyman

 

Reefscapes

1st Yen-Yi Lee

2nd Tobias Friedrich

3rd Alex Lindbloom

4th Renee Capozzola

HM Fred Bavendam

HM Brett M Garner

 

Novice dSLR 

1st Alvin Cheung

2nd Antonio Pastrana

3rd Marie Charlotte

4th Steven Walsh

5th Alvin Cheung

 

Mirrorless Wide-Angle 

1st Eugene Kitsios

2nd Pier Mane

3rd Pier Mane

4th Max Holba

HM Fabrice Dudenhofer

HM Pier Mane

 

Mirrorless Macro 

1st Steven Walsh

2nd Owen Yen

3rd Younghun Kan

4th Enrico Somogyi

HM Rafi Amar

 

Mirrorless Behavior

1st Fabrice Dudenhofer

2nd Debbie Wallace

3rd Yeh Hung Wei

4th Lorenzo Terraneo

5th Tiffany Poon

HM Pier Mane

 

Compact Wide-Angle 

1st Melody Chuang

2nd Andrea Falcomatà

3rd Alessandro Raho

4th Andreas Schmid

HM Jon Anderson

HM Miguel Ramirez

 

Compact Macro

1st Sejung Jang

2nd Kate Tinson

3rd Matteo Pighi

4th Sunbong Jung

HM Jim Chen

 

Compact Marine Life Behavior 

1st PT Hirschfield

2nd Miguel Ramirez

3rd Jin Woo Lee

4th Danny Van Belle

HM Dennis Corpuz

HM Jack Berthomier

 

Underwater Art 

1st Bruno Van Saen

2nd Jordan Robins

3rd Guillaume Néry

4th Dennis Vandermeersch

HM Alexandre St-Jean

HM Thomas Heckmann

 

The Underwater Photography Guide is the #1 destination for all things underwater photography. Featuring highly-regarded tutorials, technique tips, in-depth gear reviews, amazing international workshops and breaking u/w photo news, UWPG is here to help divers around the world achieve their photo and video goals. For more information, please visit http://www.uwphotographyguide.com 

 

Media Contact 

Nirupam Nigam

Managing Editor, UWPG

info@uwphotographyguide.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.

 


The best underwater photography holiday deals for 2018
By UWPG News

An Underwater Photographer's Holiday Gift Guide 2018

UWPG News
The best underwater photography holiday deals for 2018

The holidays can be the toughest season to be an Underwater Photographer - especially if you're in the market for a new camera system. With underwater photography equipment being a niche market built for very precise needs, it can be hard to find the right holiday deals. In partnership with our sister company, Bluewater Photo, we have created a holiday gift guide to help you navigate this holiday season's specials for underwater photography. If you're looking for holiday gifts for an underwater photographer or some great deals for yourself, this guide is definitely worth checking out.

 

Check out a full list of holiday specials at Bluewater Photo!

 

Newest Gear

  • Sony RX100VI - Premium compact camera with improved image quality, auto-focus and image stabilization for high quality underwater photos, and a new 200mm full frame equivalent zoom for great topside versatility. 
  • Nikon Z7 - Nikon's first mirrorless camera, with a full-frame 45 MP sensor packed into a mirrorless-sized body. Check out the UWPG pre-review for more info.
  • Canon EOS R - Canon's first full-frame mirrorless camera, with a 30 MP sensor. Priced a bit above the Nikon Z6, but below the Z7 and the Sony A7RIII, it's another interesting option with a claimed ability to autofocus down to -6 eV. Check out Bluewater Photo's announcement for more info.
  • Nauticam macro to wide angle lens - Interchangeable lens shooters take note! Nauticam just released an extremely innovative wet lens which converts a 60mm full frame equivalent macro lens into a wide angle lens with 150 degree angle of view. Now you can switch between macro and wide angle underwater, within only a few seconds!

 

Bundles & Packages

  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Bundle - The perfect option to enter the world of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras without breaking the bank, and save $700 when buying the package. Just add the renowned Olympus 60mm macro lens or an 8 mm fisheye lens and port, and you will be all set to take very high quality underwater photos.
  • Olympus TG-5 Packages - The Olympus TG-5 is the little compact camera that could. Along with providing solid image quality and 4K video, at a very affordable price, it excels at taking macro photos with its phenomenal microscope mode. Check out our detailed UWPG review here. We even have a great article from a seasoned DSLR macro shooter who brings a TG-5 along with his DSLR to take photos of extremely small, hard-to-reach subjects.

 

Gifts Under $1000

  • iTorch Symbiosis Pro Strobe with Video Light - A great strobe with a built-in video light on top, simplifying your rig, adding versatility, saving you space and reducing your mount requirements. Plus it's $200 off!
  • Sea & Sea YS-D2J Strobe - the latest version of the classic standby. Comes with a free 4-pack of Eneloop Pro rechargeable batteries.
  • Olympus 8mm f/1.8 fisheye Pro lens - the best fisheye lens for micro-four-thirds, allowing for dramatic wide angle photography, in a compact and weatherproof package. With a maximum aperture of f/1.8, it is also great for star photography. $150 off.

 

Gifts Under $500

  • Kraken Universal Smartphone Housing with Depth Sensor - Works for both android phones and iPhones, and includes a vacuum leak detection system to protect your phone from flooding. The perfect option for the person who loves taking photos with their phone but doesn't want the bulk or expense of a larger camera system.
  • Kraken Sports KRL-02 Wet Wide Angle Lens - Shooting a compact camera like the TG-5 or Sony RX-100? Take stunning wide angle photos with the 150 degree field of view provided by this excellent lens. $150 off.
  • GoPro Hero 7 Black - The latest GoPro model, with improvements over the already excellent 6. The ratio of video/image quality to size/cost beats any other underwater camera, hands down. There is a reason so many people use GoPros underwater - they are tiny, super easy to use, and capture great videos with no hassle.

 

Gifts Under $300

  • Light & Motion 2500F Video Light - Small and compact video light which produces a wide, powerful and even beam for great video color. Factory sealed so you don't have to worry about flooding. $134 off.
  • Bluewater Photo 1000 Lumen Focus Light - Bright and wide white light in a compact body, along with a red mode for skittish subjects. Also comes with a "snoot" attachment allowing for creative lighting options.
  • Thinktank Camera Bags - Roller bags and backpacks designed for underwater photographers. They provide padding and protection for all of your gear and fit most carry-on requirements.

Stocking Stuffers

  • AO Cooler Bag - An affordable and very convenient padded bag for your camera rig, which fits as carry-on, protects your gear on the dive boat and doubles as a convenient dunk-tank for cleaning your gear after diving. 
  • Bluewater Camera Care Kit - Useful accessories to keep your camera kit in great shape.

 

Check out a full list of holiday specials at Bluewater Photo!

 

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.

 


Big savings on some of the best and most popular gear for underwater photo and video
By UWPG News

Bluewater Photo Black Friday Preview 2018

UWPG News
Big savings on some of the best and most popular gear for underwater photo and video

Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel have released a secret preview of their upcoming Black Friday sales and discounts. If you're an underwater photographer or videographer, then this is a sale you cannot miss.

Below are some of the highlights we're seeing on their sale page:

 

Bluewater Photo:

 

Check out the full list of specials at Bluewater Photo!

 

2018's Best Deal! 

Purchase from Bluewater and receive up to $1,000 travel credit, a macro lens, or a new focus light!*

 

  • Free Domestic Shipping
  • Strobes - up to $200 off
  • Bundles - up to $1,144.93 off!
  • Video Lights & Focus Lights - up to $150 off
  • Free Eneloop Batteries
  • Wet lens specials
  • 25% off any rental booked this year
  • Clearance Items

 

Be sure to check out all the discounts when they are announced on Thanksgiving, 2018! More information can be found on the Bluewater Black Friday Sales page.

 

Bluewater Travel:

  • 5% Off Any Liveaboard!
  • Socorro Spring '19 - $750 off
  • Sea of Cortez '19 - 10% off
  • Anilao December '18 - up to $800 off
  • Cocos '20 - $1400 off

Be sure to check out all the discounts when they are announced on Thanksgiving, 2018! More information can be found on the Bluewater Dive Travel Black Friday Sales page.

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.

 


Fantasea Line Introduces FRX100 VI Limited Edition Housing for Sony RX100 VI
By UWPG News

Fantasea Line FRX100 VI Housing for the Sony RX100 VI Introduced!

UWPG News
Fantasea Line Introduces FRX100 VI Limited Edition Housing for Sony RX100 VI

Photo by Elisabeth Lauwreys/Oceans Below

 

Fantasea Line is proud to announce the world's toughest, lightweight housing for the Sony RX100 VI.  The housing is now available for order! 

 

About the FRX100 VI Limited Edition Housing

The FRX100 VI Limited Edition Housing features a stylish and ergonomic design, specifically created for the Sony RX100 VI digital camera. 

The housing's flat port features a 67mm thread, allowing the use of "wet" wide angle and macro conversion lenses, thus capturing both macro and wide angle images during the same dive.

The housing allows operating the camera lens within an ideal focal range of 24-66mm*.This focal range enables utilizing the most powerful capabilities of the camera for underwater photography. 

The housing is manufactured to the highest professional standards of function, style and durability. It is depth rated to 60m/200 feet and features ergonomically designed and labeled controls. The Fantasea FRX100 VI Limited Edition is the ultimate waterproof home for the Sony RX100 VI. 

The FRX100 VI Limited Edition Housing is ideal for outdoor and underwater photography. Underwater photographers can dive or snorkel and capture all the excitement of this fascinating world, while outdoor photographers also have the option of capturing the action of activities such as white water paddle sports, sailing, boating, surfing, fishing, hunting, backpacking and camping. 

The FRX100 VI Limited Edition Housing is shock resistant and protects the camera from water, sand, dust, frost and other damaging elements.

The FRX100 VI Limited Edition Housing was designed to be compatible with a complete accessory system, enabling photographers to enhance the quality of their images.

Check out the Fantasea Line FRX100 VI Limited EditiionCamera Housing at our sister company, BlueWater Photo!

Features Highlights:

Allows operating the lens zoom within 24-66mm*, the ideal range for UW photography 

Depth rated to 60m/200 feet 

Ergonomic design

Made from durable injection molded Polycarbonate

Full access to all essential camera controls and functions with clearly labeled controls 

Dedicated video control button for easy video filming in any shooting mode

Shock resistant 

Double O-ring main seal 

Special cold-shoe mount for lighting accessories 

Removable double fiber optic cable connection 

Removable flash diffuser

Removable anti-glare hood for the LCD screen 

Easy and secure installation of camera 

Moisture Detector and Alarm 

Lens Port Cover 

Hand Strap 

67mm thread on flat port allows for mounting conversion lenses 

Compatible with a wide range of underwater photo accessories

Weight (with camera on land): 900g

Weight (without camera on land): 600g 

Dimensions (without accessories): 15.5 x 14.5 x 12 cm \ 6.25 x 5.75 x 4.75 inch (WxDxH) 

Manufacturer’s warranty 

* In depths greater than 40 meters, maximum focal length is limited to 60mm

Check out the RX100 VI Camera at our sister company, BlueWater Photo!

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

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

 


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

 

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

 


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