DEMA Show 2011 featured new gear from both new and established manufacturers. While there was no single category that saw a major advance from multiple companies, like dive computers last year, DEMA 2011 showcased many new products that came in smaller sizes and/or higher quality than the versions before them.
Sony’s innovative NEX-5 mirrorless digital camera becomes submersible with Aquatica’s AN-5 underwater housing. A powerful combination for the aspiring underwater photographer or the pro looking for a backup solution. This compact system foreshadows the lightweight, cutting-egde technology of the future, while offering the flexibility of a classic interchangeable lens camera.
Technical & Commercial Diver, Chris Borgen, puts his gear through hell on a regular basis. The Santi Enduro, true to its name, is the suit of choice for the dirtiest of jobs and the most frigid waters. Don’t let the rugged materials fool you though, the Enduro is as comfortable as it is tough. Where other suits fall short, Santi delivers.
Though not the sexiest part of the dive equipment ensemble, gas analyzers are an indispensable tool in the dive industry. Whether you’re a dive shop or a tech diver, you’ll want to know what you’re putting into those scuba cylinders. For recreational divers looking to extend bottom times or depths, you’ll have to advance past breathing air eventually.
Switzerland-based Uemis makes smart dive computers that feature solar panel technology as well as an integrated “social dive log” on the desktop software side of things. The “Zurich” dive computers, if fully utilized out of the water by a critical mass of users, could end up providing a new type of online community for divers around the world.
Light & Motion has been known for producing high-end underwater housings and lighting systems for over a decade. Recently, the company has brought their lights to the center stage of the dive industry by launching a new series of hands-free dive lights, their revolutionary SOLA line of submersible lights.
Highlights of the DEMA Show 2010 – The dive industry makes a rebound after shrinking due to the economic recession. Many new dive computer models are announced and color OLED displays are becoming more common across brands. Rebreathers continue their push toward the mainstream by taking form in recreational configurations. Dive lights are making quantum leaps forward in terms of burntime and reliability as LED technology has finally arrived.
A key to producing beautiful underwater photos is to mount strobes far away from the lens to avoid “backscatter” (light bouncing off of particulate matter between you and the subject). Underwater photographers depend on strobe arms to do this. This set from Ultralight also helps with the camera’s buoyancy.
Fins are where the rubber meets the water. Given that human-powered propulsion gets most of us around underwater (scooters are fun too), fins are an integral part of a diver’s gear kit. A few years ago I offered up a comparative review of a number of good performing fins, including the Mares Plana Avanti Quattro, ScubaPro Jet fin, ScubaPro Twin Speed, ScubaPro Twin Jet, Atomic Aquatics SplitFin, and finally, the Apollo Bio-Fin and Bio-Fin XT. The winner in that review (for best cold water fin) was the Apollo Bio-Fin XT – which had just enough thrust, ergonomics and maneuverability to[...]