January 2009

Pana enters the waterpropf/shockproof camera market
Panasonic has joined the increasingly popular market for waterproof, shockproof and dustproof cameras with the 12.1-megapixel TS1. The very compact camera has a 4.6x optical zoom that starts wide at 28mm, can be taken to a depth of ten feet, and handle a 5-foot drop. It has a 2.7-inch display and can also record 720P video. The TS1 comes in silver, green or orange and costs US$399, which means it'll compete with the even tougher Olympus Stylus 1030 SW and Tough-8000. No word on the availability of an underwater housing. -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

Full review: Bonica Snapper HDDV high-def underwater video system
Bonica offers a modular underwater high-definition video camera system that can record 1280 x 720 pixel video at up to 30 frames per second for very good 720p playback on a HDTV. A soft inner housing can be used for snorkeling and guards against flooding if the camera is used in its hard acrylic deepwater (180 feet) housing. Optional single or dual video lights have 30, 40 and 60 watt settings and can be easily adjusted via ball joints. The setup is very easy to use and can yield amazingly good video as well as decent still shots from its 5-megapixel CMOS imager. The inexpensive camera records on standard SD cards and needs about 2GB for each hour of video. [See full review with video of the Bonica Snapper HDDV high-definition underwater camcorder system] -- Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 by chb

Review: Fluro Hood reflective Day-Glo hoods
Hopefully you never find yourself lost at sea. But if you do, anything that makes you more visible can safe your life. Designed by a Kiwi diver, the purpose of these Day-Glo orange, fluorescent and reflective hoods is to be seen. The hoods come as classic wetsuit hoods (US$59.95), 5mm dry/semi-dry hoods (US$59.95), and 2mm beanies (US$29.95). Highly recommended. [See Fluro Hood review and pictures] -- Posted Wednesday, January 7, 2009 by chb

Two new book reviews
Two new book reviews: No Safe Harbor describes the fatal turn of events that brought the live aboard dive ship Wave Dancer into a small harbor in Belize where it sought safety from Hurricane Iris in October of 2001. In Fatally Flawed -- The Quest to be Deepest, South African diver, dive instructor and prolific tech diving blogger Verna van Schaik describes how she set a new world record for deep diving by a woman (725 feet), what led up to it, and how she views the whole drive and obsession to set ever more extreme records [Read reviews of No Safe Harbor and Fatally Flawed.] -- Posted Sunday, January 4, 2009 by chb

Diving the Mr. Bud -- sample HD video

While diving at Roatan in early December we shot some video with the inexpensive Bonica Snapper HDDV underwater video camera. You can watch some sample video of the wreck of the Mr. Bud here or see it in high definition a vimeo.com.
-- Posted Thursday, January 1, 2009 by chb