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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.
27
September

Sealife DC1400 Underwater Camera Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Sealife DC1400 Underwater Camera Review Posted in: Over $500, Underwater Cameras

The Sealife DC1400 builds on the success of its predecessor, the DC1200, with both the camera and the underwater housing each receiving one major improvement. The camera has been upgraded to 14 megapixels, as implied by the name (Sealife’s DC series code has always been keyed to the megapixel capability of the camera). This also steps up the camera’s video recording power to 720p. This is a modest progression in the Sealife line, as the company keeps its principal dive camera in line or slightly ahead of the general standard for digital cameras. The more minor camera improvements in the DC1200 includes the expansion of screen modes to six.

The DC1400’s underwater housing, on the other hand, has received a major improvement. In the DC1200, the controller for the zoom and the menu selection was a rotating lever mounted underneath the camera shutter button. Many normal digital cameras have exactly the same set-up, and in theory the zoom controller’s placement allowed a diver to manipulate all the camera’s controls with one hand. In practice, manipulating the zoom control in neoprene gloves was moderately awkward, and fine control was impossible to achieve. Sealife has changed this arrangement for the DC1400, placing this control on the top-front of the underwater housing’s contoured grip. Early consumer commentary indicates that this change has made manipulating the zoom much easier, and improved the ability to use the camera’s menu-based features in mid-dive as well.

Sealife camera control comparisonOther changes include a slightly lower focal length and a reduced on-board memory. The DC1200 could store 29MB, enough for several high-resolution pictures, while the DC1400 has a 20MB memory. This is supplemented by a disk, of course, but that extra memory was handy as either a reserve or as a hedge against a broken disk.

Otherwise, the features of the DC1400 should be familiar to anyone who knows the DC-1200. The camera is depth-rated to 200 feet (60 m), rubber-coated for improved grip and shock protection, has a no-lubricant o-ring, and is positively buoyant. The camera has a x5 optical zoom and x5 digital zoom, and unlike many point-and-shoot underwater cameras of this type, the underwater housing has the space to accommodate the use of the optical zoom. The battery is the same, and field experience with the DC1200 indicates that it is enough for about 1 1/2 dives of continuous use, or longer with a more power-conservative approach.

Average Price: $530 for the basic camera.