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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.

Bonica Seashell Underwater Camera Housing Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Bonica Seashell Underwater Camera Housing Review Posted in: Between $101-$250, Underwater Cameras

Bonica’s Seashell 1 and 2 underwater camera housings make turning any pocket digital camera into a dive camera a simple matter of assembly. The Seashell 1 (depicted in the Amazon product banner to the left) is the basic model and illustrates the idea nicely. The Seashell housing was designed to be customizable with 70% of pocket camera designs through the use of shims. Inserted into the housing, these shims “fill” the interior to provide a stable, solid platform for the camera. Reports say customizing the camera takes anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour. Once complete, the camera is a ready to go and has a depth rating of 130 feet.

Compared to Intova CP-9, the Seashell 1 has some pros and cons. On the plus side, the housing fits around a camera you probably already own and are already using on land. Your existing pocket camera probably uses AA batteries or better, ensuring longer battery life than the underpowered Intova camera. Also, the Seashell 1 is compatible with most external zoom lenses. Despite the fact the CP-9’s camera has such a lens, the housing is flat and won’t accommodate its use. However, the Seashell 1 has only two spring-loaded buttons on the top of the housing, and for some camera types only one of these buttons will work. In many instances, the only working button for a camera using the Seashell 1 is the “shoot” button. If you want to use that zoom, for example, you must set it before you put it in the housing.

The Seashell II is based on the same basic idea, but designed for use with internal zoom cameras, such as Sony’s T-series.

If a purpose-built underwater housing for your camera exists, you might be better off buying that housing, even if it is more expensive. Enjoying the full use of your camera’s features is certainly worth the extra investment. However, many divers own a digital pocket camera for which no underwater housing exists, and that is where the Seashell comes in. Bonica’s customizable housing is a solid option for turning your existing pocket camera into a cheap dive camera.

Average Price: $150 for both models.