There was so much to cover at the Dive Show, that it is time for us to do a round up of the remaining equipment stands and also include BSoUP in our ramblings. BSoUP are an ever present stand at the show and the volunteer members manning the stand are always ready to give advice to budding underwater photographers and experts alike. This year the BSoUP stand had been updated, with new images and an audio-visual display. The images showed off as many underwater photograph techniques as possible and also tried to show off the work of as many of their members as they could. BSoUP is going strong, with “buoyant membership figures” of close to 300 members and counting. Also on display at the BSoUP stand were examples of the underwater photography books by members, and this alone is a great testament to how talented and knowledgeable the group is.
Along with the BSoUP stand, the members also run the underwater photography competition that is held at the Birmingham Dive Show each year. From over 100 entries, the best 80 are mounted and displayed in four categories: British & Irish, Overseas, Advanced British & Irish and Advanced Overseas. Everyone that attends the show is invited to vote for their favourite images and this is always a popular feature of the show. Once the votes have been counted up, the winners will be announced, probably sometime in early November. In addition, an expert judging panel will also select their winning shots and their favourite will be crowned overall champion. As soon as we have the results we will get them up onto Scubaverse.com so that you can see if your favourite shot won.
Cameras Underwater are regulars at the Dive Show and it is always hard to grab an interview with the team, as they are always very busy. We grabbed a rare quiet moment to ask the team what they thought of the show. With exciting new cameras at both ends of the spectrum, the Canon G7X MkII and the Canon 5D Mk IV were creating a great deal of interest. In the lighting arena, the team really loved the Exposure Action 100 and on the wet lens front they also showed-off the Epoque ESL-TG4 Soratama lens, made for the TG4 camera. This creates a “bubble” effect on the image and will be a popular and fun lens for those looking to create something a little bit different in their images. The team “love coming to Birmingham and seeing lots of customers, old and new”.
Blue Orb are newcomers to the show, and were showing off the popular Fantasea range of housings. With the Fantasea G7X MkII, recently returned from our latest review session, on display, there was certainly lots of interest. But Blue Orb had even more recent goodies, with the dual branded Fantasea / AOI Super Wide Angle Lens which “works wonderfully with all the Fantasea housings”. Another new lens, which had just arrived before the show opened, is the Fantasea / AOI Super Close Up lens which is a +12.5 diopter for those who love their super macro photography. When we met up with Brett, owner of Blue Orb, he said the show was “going really well. Lots of people, and very busy”. With Blue Orb also offering plenty of dive equipment, including the new XDeep Zen travel Wing, the stand was packed every time we went by.
Sea & Sea also have a photography equipment section amongst their dive gear. They were showing off new housings for the Nikon D500, Canon 80D and the Sony A6300. Sea & Sea was one of the first stands we visited and Geoff Sharples told us that it had been a “good start to the show” and that it was “busier than expected”. We hope to get some Sea & Sea equipment to review for Scubaverse in the near future, and with a new buoyancy arm system that can also be used as a handle coming out, perhaps we can get our hands on this soon!
That is it from us from DIVE 2016. There was certainly plenty for all the underwater photographers that visited the show. Our next stop is Las Vegas for DEMA, so we hope to have lots of new photo-related gear to talk about!