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January 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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DEMA: The Latest, But Not The Greatest

mostly upgrades and revisions, with GoPro as the buzzword

from the January, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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It's the halfway mark at the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association's annual trade show in Las Vegas, the week before Thanksgiving. It's 4 p.m., and the trade show floor is chock-full of booths, but some of them are unstaffed, and at many others, staffers look pretty bored. There are still some show attendees walking the aisles with interest, but most people have cleared out for drinks, dinner and the casinos. As I walk down a quiet aisle, I pass two guys standing by a deserted booth promoting neon camouflage wetsuits. One yawns. The other says, "Yeah, this industry is getting old and obsolete, and this show is, too."

Tom Ingram, DEMA's executive director, told the diving website Deeper Blue that 400 more people had signed up to attend compared to last year's show in Orlando. But more people didn't seem to add more hustle or bustle. And while every player in the dive industry had set up a booth there, there didn't seem to be a lot of new dive gear that was knocking anyone's socks off.

The Hot Product

Except for GoPro. You can tell who the big fish are by the size of their booths. GoPro had the biggest one, four times larger than the standard one, and the sign hanging over it could be seen from every corner of the show floor. Its booth was lined with around 30 50-inch Samsung HD TVs playing different GoPro videos. While GoPro wasn't initially aimed at the diving market, it is luring more divers to switch over from still to video cameras (read our dive gear expert John Bantin's comparison of the GoPro 3 to a traditional underwater camera in our October 2013 issue) . And with the recent rollout of its new Hero 4 lines, its booth was regularly packed. The Hero 4 line shoots 30 frames per second, compared to 15 frames per second by the Hero 3+, making 4k video easier to use by the masses. The Hero 4 Black, which has doubled the processor speeds and boasts a high frame rate resolution of 1080 pixels, is priced at $500. The Hero 4 Silver doesn't have 4K video, and its frame rate is only 720p, but it does have the new touch-screen LCD and the 12MP still image resolution; it's priced at $400. GoPro also released dive filters in red and magenta for blue and not-so-blue water, priced at $70 each....

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