The BOOT show, held in Düsseldorf, Germany is the world’s largest water sports show. Housed in 14 great halls, the show covers the entire water sports industry, from super yachts to surfboards. The section devoted to scuba occupies one full hall with a growing imaging section now housed in an additional section of an adjoining hall.
The imaging area is located around the Water Pixel World Stage, which has a series of talks and lectures.
Although comparatively small, the imaging section contains the booths of most of the major manufacturers and suppliers. It has grown considerably over the past few years.
Wetpixel were able to attend the show, and to visit some of the many booths that were present.
Big news for the show is the return of the Lembeh vs Gulen Shootout in June 2018.
Wetpixel has come on board to run the actual contest and to focus the marketing of the event. The 2016 contest was hotly fought, with team Lembeh narrowly defeating team Gulen right at the last moment.
The resorts are now calling for team members, so if you are considering being a part of this amazing event, please get in touch with Lembeh Resort or Gulen Dive Resort soon.
Daniel Keller has used the show to release his latest version of the Luna 4 and Luna 8 video lights.
The Video 4X now boasts an output of 8,000 lumen and the Video 8X, 13,000 lumen. Both have a CRI of 82, a beam angle underwater of 90° and a burn time of 45 minutes at full power.
Keldan were also displaying their range of filters.
These are, broadly speaking, in 2 varieties. One variant can be attached to the lights and corrects their output to complement the color of light at depth. The other version attaches to the camera and allows it to white balance correctly, given the increased levels of blue or green and reduced amounts of red light at depth.
Nauticam had a large booth and Ryan Canon and Edward Lai showed me their new models.
The two principle new housings were those for the Sony a6500 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
Both new cameras feature much better focusing systems than have previously been available in mirrorless cameras, particularly for focus tracking and acquisition.
Ryan feels that the bottom line will be that people will achieve more in focus images than they have been able to do previously with mirrorless cameras.
Both he and Edward do still feel that SLR cameras have the edge over mirrorless, but this is in situations where their extra bulk and weight is not detrimental.
Nauticam’s housings for the new mirrorless cameras above reflects their improved performance by the incorporation of “SLR like” controls. Rather than a separate tray, they have built in handles, which although still removable for situations that require minimum bulk, are more stable and stronger. The controls are more SLR like with shutter release and AF levers. In the case of the NA-EM1II the rear control buttons are also very “SLR like” and there is a lever that gives access to the 2+2 control. Both housings can be equipped with magnified viewfinders.
Nauticam are also offering a mini flash trigger for the camera, which allows 10 frames/second shooting if required. It works in manual mode only. If the standard Olympus FLM3 flash is used TTL metering is possible, this the frame rate is reduced to 3 frames per second.
Edward then showed me the lengths that the company goes to in order to try and eliminate the potential corrosion caused by dissimilar metals.
The bolts used are specially made, with captive washers that are isolated from the bolts themselves and the stainless handle brackets rest on a special non conductive washer.
Also on their stand was their LT housings for RED cameras and a RED Weapon Helium camera. The housing was equipped with a door that has a RED TOUCH 4.7” monitor integrated into it, and there was also the company’s housing with the RED TOUCH 7” monitor.
Both of these have 4 assignable control buttons, and allow the use of Edge Focus mode. This uses actual sensor data to define edges, as opposed to monitor feed data that is used for peaking for example. Ryan was saying that it provided an effective focusing tool even with fisheye lenses.
Fabio Benvenuti and team were on his stand with his innovative products.
As announced at BOOT 2016, the Leo3 Wi housings use an internal wifi network to control camera functions electronically.
The housing is compatible with most Sony and Panasonic mirrorless cameras (including the GH5) as well as smaller Nikon and Canon SLRs.
Bigger SLRs are catered for with the Leo3 and Leo3 Plus housings which use electronic control of camera functions via USB. This allows the housing’s control systems to be upgraded for new camera models and means that there is no need to create holes in the housings for controls. All Easydive camera housings are waterproof to 150m (450 feet)
A new product for the show is the Easydive Leo3 Smart. This is a universal smart phone housings that, in conjunction with an Android or iOS app to control the phone’s camera via Bluetooth. The app allows adjustments of ISO, shutter speed, white balance, HDR mode and switching between about and manual focusing. It also features a “selfie” mode! It is rated to 150m (450 feet) and has a built in 9000mAh battery pack.
The company can also supply a smartphone lens that allows for focusing down to 1cm. The Leo3 Smart is a universal housings that can accept smartphones from Apple, Huawei, Samsung and Sony. There are specific mounting saddle for each type of phone which retails at around €89 each. The housing retails for €1290.
Fabio then showed me his range of video lights. The Revolution 1300 and 400m offer 13,000 and 4,000 lumen outputs respectively at a really nice warm color temperature of 3300°K.
Both feature internal LiFe batteries with a burn time of 50 minutes at full power and a 2 hour recharge time. Charging is via a port and the light are sealed with a magnetic control switch. Easydive offers an upgrade path for owners of the lights with new lighting modules available for around €150.
Fabio then showed me a prototype of a new control and monitoring system for video cameras. A smartphone is permanently housed with a wired wifi antenna that is then inserted into the camera housing.
This then communicates with the camera via the camera’s app. The smartphone is controlled via a wired connection to push buttons on a housing handle and there is an integrated additional battery. It is currently being worked don with the Panasonic HC VX980 and VX680 4K camcorders.
Easydive has a large range of arms and accessories via its Carbonarm range. They also offer a housing for the GoPro HERO 5 which is rated to 250m (750feet). It has a large rear window to allow the camera’s screen to be viewed.
Nikon Germany had a stand within the show and along with their range of SLR and compact cameras, featured their 3 KeyMission POV cameras.
The KeyMission 360 offers full 360° FOV and is waterproof to 30m.
The KeyMission 170 is waterproof to 10m as standard, but Nikon offers the optional Waterproof Case WP-AA1 which extends its waterproofing down to 40m.
It also features a battery compartment that allows a second battery to be installed to extend the camera’s battery life. It will be available shortly.
The staff on the stand felt that its as likely that there will be a D810 announcement this year and were hopeful that Nikon might consider a new fisheye lens. They were at pains to stress that they actually have no more knowledge about forthcoming designs than the general public!
Day 1: Lembeh vs Gulen, Keldan, Nauticam, Easydive, Nikon.
Day 2: Subal, Isotta, Seacam, Hugyfot, BS Kinetics, Orca Light.