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View Full Version : Anyone have the SeaLife Reefmaster Mini?



NeurosurgeryNP
03-10-2008, 09:08
How do you like it? I currently have a decent Kodak camera, and unfortunately, they do not make an underwater housing for their cameras. I definitely do not want to purchase another camera and the underwater housing for it when I can just get a camera that can go right into the water with no worries.

I am thinking of purchasing either the eco shot(rated to 75 ft) (I currently do not dive greater than 60 ft) or the regualar camera rated up to 130 ft.

Is it too distracting - i.e. - will a novice diver be able to use it easily and still concentrate on the diving aspect?

How is the ease of use? What type of memory card?


Thanks for any input.

rainmaker
03-10-2008, 09:41
I just bought a ReefMaster Mini. I have used it around the house, but have not had it underwater yet. So far, I'd rate it "okay". However, it does not have a manual viewfinder (have to keep the monitor screen on all the time, which eats up batteries), nor does it have an A/V port (can't connect the camera to your TV to look at your photos). Presently, it won't work with Windows Vista, but you can bypass the USB cable downloads by using an inexpensive card reader (available at Wal-Mart for less than $20).

There is another discussion thread here about this camera, along with some photos that appear to be of very good quality (http://forum.scubatoys.com/underwater-photo/4046-reefmaster-mini-wide-angle-lens-greatness.html). I did a lot of research on this camera before I purchased it, and most folks who have bought one seem to be happy with its performance both under and above water.

One thing that surprised me is that it uses the .AVI format for videos. This is one of the few formats that is recognized by Windows Movie Maker (it just means that you can easily work with video clips with Windows Movie Maker without first having to convert the format).

It seems to take decent still shots, but (so far), I haven't been able to shoot any video that is not grainy. However, it is very easy to use and seems to be very solid and well built. It uses an SD (SanDisk) memory card (up to 2GB, even though the instruction book says the max size card is 1GB). I'll be doing a full review of this camera after my next dive trip this spring, and the results will be posted here.

I'd suggest waiting a while before you start using an underwater camera. In my opinion, it IS distracting. If you are busy taking photos, you may not monitor your depth, air, breathing, ascent rate or your dive partner adequately. Also, you need to have excellent buoyancy control.

However, when you do get a camera, I'd suggest getting one that is rated to 130 feet. When I got into diving, I never expected to go below 60 feet, but now I go below 100 feet on a regular basis.

Also, to get decent shots, you'll need the wide-angle lens. And for most conditions, you'll need an external flash (strobe).

You would probably get more responses if you had posted this in the Underwater Photography forum. You may wish to email one of the moderators and ask them to move it there.

Osprey
03-10-2008, 09:58
1739

Without wide-angle

1740

With wide-angle, much better

There is apparently an "underwater" setting you can use, which I forgot to set when poking around the ray tank. I think the issue with the blur in the second is because the rays kept swiftly swimming over to the camera to mouth it, and got too close too fast to be properly focused on. I do like the camera, I think it has good potential, I just need to learn more about it first

does that help you?

NeurosurgeryNP
03-10-2008, 10:47
Thanks for the replies. I am only a once or twice a year cruise ship diver currently - so I really want to get some great pics on our next trip in April since I dive so infrequently.

Scubastud16
03-10-2008, 10:51
Don't worry about the camera for a new diver. Yes, it is task loading, but I've handed the camera to my mom and my brother who are both novice divers, and they did just fine (as did I when I started diving).

NeurosurgeryNP
03-10-2008, 10:59
If I can only get a few great underwater shots, I will be so happy! I am so into photography (using my digital Kodak camera - not a SLR) and nature shots.

I did see that review on the photography thread. Thanks for the info.

georoc01
03-11-2008, 14:56
I have one. I agree..it takes ok shots. Slow shutter speed is a bummer.

But I love the fact that it fits in the pocket of my BCD. The only downside of that setup is the I don't have an external strobe which I am sure would improve the quality of the photos quite a bit.

The 2nd thing is that it burns through batteries. I Assume 2 lithium AA batteries for each day of diving.