SeaLife MicroHD and MicroHD+:Flood-Proof and Fool-Proof?
If you don’t already have a proper underwater camera – step away from the GoPro before you embarrass yourself – SeaLife has announced item one on your wish list: the MicroHD (MSRP $399) or much cooler MicroHD+ (MSRP $499). Even hard-core underwater artists sometimes need a small, hassle-free camera for taking snapshots without splashing $8,000 and 30 pounds of DSLR rig. The MicroHD promises to deliver all that and a bag of chips when it hits shelves in September. At just ½ pound and 4 inches wide, you can toss it in your carry-on instead of paying another $50 to check the 50-pound Pelican case. Academy of Scuba is your source for underwater photo expertise and gear, so we’ll have a detailed evaluation soon after release to tell you if the images match the marketing. For now, grab a napkin to mop the drool from your reg hole.
The genius of this design is what it doesn’t have: O-rings to grease, doors to leak or a housing to flood. There’s nothing to assemble and disassemble ritualistically while the other divers on your live-aboard actually enjoy themselves. Charge the internal battery and SeaLife claims you are good for 3-hours of use. At the end of the day, just plug into the waterproof USB port and download your images to your laptop or tablet. Get the MicroHD+ and you can use its built-in WiFi and dedicated app to transfer images to your iOS or Android device so you can evaluate your results or just show off your shots between dives. The smart phone app also allows you to control the camera from a dry place.
Shoot 13-megapixel stills or 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second (60fps slow-motion at 720p). The MicroHD has 16GB storage, which is plenty for a day of shooting but the MicroHD+ doubles that for videographers or the trigger-happy shooters who will test the 10 frames-per-second claim; that’s insane, pro-DSLR speed. Both models sport a super-fast f/2.8, 20mm fisheye lens that covers 140 degrees of view and focuses at 12 inches. It’s not a macro lens, but you can make those dramatic close-up-wide-angle shots everyone loves. Similar DSLR lenses run more than the MicroHD+ with light! There are no lens options but we’ll see if that changes over time.
Big, piano-key buttons, large viewing screen and simple menu structures make all SeaLife cameras easy to operate, even wearing thick gloves. The MicroHD siblings are no exception. They feature diving-dedicated color-correction modes for lighting scenarios from bright snorkeling to the twilight of the camera’s 200’ max depth. Add a 2,000-lumen SeaDragon light to the MicroHD+ and still be under $900. Go nuts and add a strobe for better stills or a second light for a blistering 4,000 lumens and the required primary and secondary dive light for night diving.
Do you want more information on the new SeaLife MicroHD or MicroHD+ camera(s)?
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About the Author: Evan Coppola is Academy of Scuba’s Photo Pro. Certified as a PADI Junior Open Water Diver in 1988, Evan enjoyed more than 20 years of recreational diving before moving to the Phoenix area from New England. A former collegiate swimmer, lifeguard, swimming instructor and EMT, Evan joined Academy of Scuba in 2010 to advance his training as both a technical diver and dive professional. He holds the rating of Master Scuba Diver Trainer and is the Manager of Photography Programs and Photographer in Residence at Academy of Scuba. Evan teaches a wide array of specialties, including his passion – Digital Underwater Photography. To support his insatiable lust for world travel, diving and photography, he practices law and teaches scuba. Join Evan on the wonderful journey in becoming an Underwater Photographer.