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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

SeaLife DC800 Underwater Camera Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on SeaLife DC800 Underwater Camera Review Posted in: Over $500, Underwater Cameras

SeaLife’s line of underwater cameras consist of mated pairs of pocket digital cameras and high-quality underwater housings, with the DC800 being the 8-megapixel version. Resolution is always moving upwards, of course, and the latest pocket cameras are now in the 10-14 megapixel range. However, on its highest setting the DC 800 delivers a picture dimension of 3264 x 2448 pixels, which is just enough for producing magazine-quality photos and more than enough for sharing snap shots of your dive adventures by e-mail. The DC 800 accepts SD Cards and has 32 MB of onboard memory to boot, and has a full 4X zoom lens, with normal focus range for zooming in on faraway objects and macro focus of closing in on the details of something nearby (perfect for fans of macro sea life). Among the camera’s other features are a timer, four modes for the flash (auto, on, off and red-eye reduced), nearly two dozen shooting modes, and the DC800 shoots video. The 2.7-inch screen is very bright, a big plus for underwater photography and an area where a purpose-built dive camera usually trumps a conventional camera with an underwater housing.

The underwater housing is opaque, rather than the clear plastic so common with aftermarket housings for conventional cameras, and comes with rubber grip fittings that give the package an overall feeling of sturdiness and practicality. The SeaLife DC800 is tough and can go down to depths of 200 feet, and consumers thought the battery was quite robust and reliable, delivering sufficient power for at least two and usually more than three dives without charging. The dive camera gurus at Scuba Diver Info had a generally favorable impression of the DC800, although they did warn that the O-ring had a tendency to pop-out. Although easy to fix, that is a fault that must be guarded against all the same. LeisurePro users gave the underwater camera a 4-Flag rating.

Accessories include external flash modules. SeaLife’s Pro package includes one such module, while the MAXX package includes two.

Overall, this is a tough, durable camera with all the point-and-shoot capability a diver who isn’t a devoted shutterbug could want. SeaLife is no longer making the DC800, but enough of these cameras are still in stock that divers should be able to find them with little trouble and prices should fall, making the DC800 a potential bargain. Parts such as batteries and O-rings are compatible with later model SeaLife cameras, so they should not become obsolete for years to come.

Average Price: $600