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Upcoming dive shows & expos

Sydney, Australia
14 Mar 2015 - 15 Mar 2015

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Impressions from BOOT 2010

BOOT is the largest watersports expo in the world - Boot is German for Boat – and cover most aspects of having fun in the blue realm.
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Cressi and Mares' booth trying to outshine each other -
Source:     |     |   04-14-2012
The showgrounds cover some 17 expo halls covering an area of a small airport with exhibits of boats of all shapes and sizes, from dingys and waterskis to massive multi-deck yachts with heliopads, to angling, outdoor wear and gear and, of course, a diving section which in itself constitutes the largest dive expo in Europe.

The event lasts a whopping nine days, spanning over two weekends, a duration which makes a lot of sense if you have to put a yacht the size of a small Navy frigate on display but less so if you run an dive operation and have to take more than ten work days out of your busy schedule to exhibit. For exhibitors it is more about endurance than speed and it puts a mark on the ambiance. It is more sedate and there tend to be more casual small talk in the aisles.

It is a public show aimed at the German audience and a bit of a market place with bright neon-coloured signage everywhere with ‘sales’ and ‘Sonder angebote’ (special offers) or ‘BOOT specials’ from fiercely competing booth-holders trying to get rid of the stock or sales quota before the end of the show. The recession was being clearly felt as many exhibitors seem to push wares across the counter at near their own cost price in order to keep at least the turnover going. It didn’t look healthy what was going on, but consumers were walking away with some pretty bargains

As with so many dive expos there is a preponderance of operators, resorts and other dive travel related businesses with various equipment manufacturers as the secondary category of exhibitors. Not surprisingly it is dominated by Mediterranean and Red Sea operators, areas which are as close to Europe as the Caribbean is to the US. Malta, Spain (and the Canary Islands), Italy, Greece and of course the Red Sea are well represented but also France and Turkey. Maldives and Thailand also had a big island each whereas Philippines Tourism, a BOOT regular, pulled out in the last moment.

On the equipment side most major manufacturers were present; Aqualung (hosting Suunto), Mares, Scubapro, Cressi, SeacSub and AP Valves as well as DUI, Santi, Bare, Waterproof and Ursuk who all displayed impressive range of suits. And off course the usual underbrush of smaller brands and manufacturers. Since DEMA was held only 3 months ago it was however pretty scarce with additional news.

As regards to photo and video equipment on the other hand, you can often spot some interesting novelties here much sooner than they are presented in the English speaking world if the are ever presented at all. Germany and central Europe is home to an array of big and small enterprises some of which are the most renowned brands in underwater photo- and videography such as Subal, Seacam and Subtronic and light manufacturers such as Kowalski, Hartenberger and MB Sub.

In the news dept. we were able to grab a couple of shots of Subal’s new housing for the Canon D7 which was fresh on display. Subal’s Peter Stagl explained that one of the main challenges in developing this housing was to design the switch between still photos and video mode since the contact on the camera is somewhat tucked away. As can be seen from the photos the housing appears to be a quite tight fit around the camera and, as always, the finish and the build came across as top-notch and rock-solid.

We also had a talk with the father and son team behind Werner LED, who this year presented upgradeds version of their LED video and photolights. In particular their ring-light fixture which now has three rings of LEDs (rather than two) seemed quite powerful.

We also got a good close look at Subtronic’s new innovations one of which was a compact and lightweight macrostrobe with an impressive performance. Herr Moll demonstrated the 0.1 sec recycle time of their Pro160 flash unit. It fired like a disco stroboscope. We were also told that the accumulator which was hidden inside a strobe arm held enough power for 5000 discharges.

I was more even more impressed with their new ring flash. I have never been a great fan of ring flashes because IMHO they often flatten the image and remove shape with their uniform light. Not this one. The ring flash’s units can be individually controlled to create asymmetrical lighting which brings out the shapes and render three dimensional structures beautifully. The control unit sits on top of camera and gives the user exceptional control over highlights and shadows.

The control unit also allows the photographer to plug in a traditionally mounted set of strobes and switch to them instead. So you are not tied to using one or the other configuration, just mount them both and have the freedom of choice. Pretty nifty it was. “So einer ding muss I auch haben” (I want one of those too.)