Be prepared for problems – Carry an emergency toolkit!

If I go on a dive-trip I always carry an emergency kit with me.

It includes:

O-ring grease
Super glue
Duct tape
Cable ties
Needle nose pliers
Wire cutter
Screwdriver set
Adjustable wrench
Small steel brush
Air gun for connecting to the LP hose adapter
Battery tester
Knife (Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool)
cotton swabs
coin
That all fits in an empty mask box or other small plastic container. If you don’t have space for bringing all that, make sure you have grease, super glue, duct tape and cable ties. You can fix almost everything with that!

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 10/2014

In our latest episode you can see a T-Bar nudibranch (Ceratosoma tenue) with 3 rhinophores, a frogfish hunting and catching a little shrimp and there is also some footage of a very rare and most likely undescribed species of shrimp. Enjoy!

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 09/2014

Did you know the flamboyant cuttlefish sometimes turns the tips of its arms into enticing worm-like lures to attract prey? Watch the video carefully to witness the bizarre tricks of this intelligent and fearsome hunter. A baby painted frogfish racing across grains of sand that are like boulders to him, a sinuous free-swimming ribbon eel and a crimson-red tozeuma shrimp full of eggs also make appearances on the underwater stage this week!

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Review: i-Torch Video Pro7 Light

The new i-Torch Video Pro7 light packs serious functionality into a very compact double O-ring sealed aluminum body. At the time of writing, it is the smallest and lightest 5,000-lumen LED underwater light on the market. There are five power settings for white light (100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, and 20%) as well as two power settings for red light (100% and 50%)—ideal for shooting shy subjects. There’s also an SOS mode.

A single mode button caters to the light’s various functions. Holding the button down for one second powers the light on at the default 100% white light. By pressing the button again, you can cycle through the following modes: 80% white, 60% white, 40% white, 20% white, 100% red, 50% red, and back to 100% white. Pressing the button for two seconds turns the light off. Holding the button down for three seconds (when the light is turned off) activates the SOS mode. Press it again and you’re back to 100% white. At 5,000 lumens, the Video Pro7’s maximum output rating is impressive, and it boasts a very even 120-degree beam angle (with no hotspots at all), which is excellent for shooting video.

Power comes from a supplied 50Whr rechargeable lithium battery. To charge the Video Pro7, you simply open the unit and connect the charger. The green light on the charger switches to red, indicating that charging is in progress; the indicator light switches back to green once the battery is fully charged. A completely empty battery takes about two-and-a-half hours to charge. Obviously, it’s a good idea to buy a spare battery (MSRP $270), so that you’re able to switch batteries between dives.

You can get a good idea of the amount of juice left in your battery from the indicator light ring that surrounds the mode button. This indicator glows green when the battery level is between 70% and 100%, yellow from 40% to 70%, red between 15% and 40%, and flashing red when the level is 15% and below.
Specifications

  • LED: 8x XML2, 2x XPG red
  • Brightness: 5,000 lumens
  • Beam angle: 120 degrees
  • Modes: Eight (5 levels of white, 2 levels of red, SOS)
  • Switch: Push button with battery indicator
  • Construction: Aluminum body and head 
  • Burn time: 60 minutes at highest setting
  • Size: 60mm diameter x 127mm length 
  • Weight: 506g (including battery) 
  • What’s included: 50Whr battery, battery charger, YS mount
  • MSRP: $1050

Preparing the Video Pro7

Getting the Video Pro7 ready for action is very easy. Firstly, charge the battery before using it for the first time by unscrewing the back of the aluminum body and plugging in the charger cable. When it’s fully charged (charger light goes green), check the O-rings for dirt and hairs and screw the light back together. For my test dives, I used two lights, adding ball mounts to each of the YS mounts and attaching the lights to my camera.

The Video Pro7 in Use

Switching on for the first time underwater, I found that the Video Pro7 gave a very even light well-suited for shooting video as well as still images. The color of the light is a little cooler than that from a Sola, but it’s not too cold. The impressive output of the light was immediately noticeable. In fact, when shooting macro I sometimes found myself using a smaller aperture because it was brighter than I needed!

Great for shooting video, the light also proved to be very good for shooting still images. Below are a few of the stills I took while diving with the Video Pro7.

Flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) male (about 3cm). Canon 7D, Canon 60mm Macro USM, SubSee+10, 2x i-Torch Video Pro7. f/5.6, 1/640s, ISO160

Flamboyant cuttlefish just hatched (about 7mm). Canon 7D, Canon 60mm Macro USM, SubSee+10, 2x i-Torch Video Pro7. f/11, 1/160s, ISO160

Ornate ghost pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus) (about 12cm). Canon 7D, Canon 60mm Macro USM, 2x i-Torch Video Pro7. f/5.6, 1/800s, ISO160

Phyllodesmium magnum (about 7cm). Canon 7D, Canon 60mm Macro USM, 2x i-Torch Video Pro7. f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO160

Mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) (mantle length about 10cm). Canon 7D, Canon 60mm Macro USM, 2x i-Torch Video Pro7. f/11, 1/125s, ISO160
As well as testing the Video Pro7’s prowess in capturing macro video, I also put the light through its paces with a fisheye lens and shooting wide-angle—and even here I was very pleased with the results.

The video below contains some sample footage shot with a Canon 7D with a Canon 60mm macro lens and 1x SubSee+10, and with a Tokina 10–17mm zoom fisheye and a 1.4x teleconverter, in a Subal housing and dual i-Torch Pro7.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/95641103

Final Thoughts

The Video Pro7 is an exceptionally small and powerful video light that performs very well for a light in this price range. If you’re in the market for a compact and affordable photo/video light equipped with a hefty output, I would highly recommend the i-Torch Video Pro7.

 

For more information about the i-Torch Video Pro7 and related products, visit www.i-divesite.com.

This review was originally posted on DivePhotoGuide

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 08/2014

A blue-ringed octopus carrying its eggs, a skeleton shrimp covered in its babies, a rare tiger seahorse hunting for a meal (do they eat tiny hermit crabs?) and a dramatic squabble between three pygmy squids are some highlights from our Photo Pro’s most recent video. Check it out!

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 07/2014

Here’s our newest video, Episode 7. Watch a Hispid frogfish resting on a sea star, a blue-ring octopus and a peacock mantis shrimp both guarding their little babies. Enjoy.

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 06/2014

In Episode 6 we feature sped-up footage of critters to give you insight into just how busy and industrious citizens of the underwater world really are. A tiny partner-shrimp, Sisyphus-like, pushes endless boulders to improve the burrow it shares with a goby, a snake eel does a graceful dance in the sand, and a sea-star, normally slothful to the human eye, positively races across the sea floor. Enjoy!

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 05 / 2014

In the newest episode of fresh critters from Lembeh you can see lots of different octopuses, some very rare nudibranchs and one of Lembeh’s most bizarre stars, the hairy frogfish. There’s also some incredible footage of a hatching flamboyant cuttlefish, you will feel like you’re right there. Lean back and enjoy!

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait – Episode 04 / 2014

We were lucky enough to witness a female flamboyant cuttlefish laying eggs under a coconut shell, and then on the same dive also saw babies hatching from their eggs, possibly laid by the same female at an earlier date, giving us a rare glimpse into the reproductive cycle of this mesmerizing animal. Keep an eye out as well for some seldom-seen, bizarre and beautiful nudibranchs in various shapes and forms and an elegant porcelain crab with eggs.

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait – Episode 03 / 2014

Many of your favourite stars of the muck-diving world are in this latest video such as flamboyant cuttlefish, outrageous nudibranchs and hairy frogfish on the hunt, but keep an eye out as well for the amazing crustaceans featured here; the decorator crabs in particular seem to have a contest going for who can win the ‘best camouflage’ pageant and the ultimate winning prize is survival. Enjoy!

 

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