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View Full Version : olympus vs. SEA-LIfe



mpd525
01-16-2008, 19:20
Well i'm planning on getting a u/w camera for our upcoming trip. I've been looking at them for 2 days, and i've come down to a olympus set-up, or the Reefmaster MINI by sealife. I really don't know what the main differences that are gonna be there. So help me out. I'm by no means gonna be a professional photographer, i just want something that works good, and can expand somehwhat down the road, like adding macro, strobes, wide angle.

I'm looking to spend around 250 or less if possible, i've been looking and oly sells refurbed stuff fairly cheap. So now it's down to which is better performance. The oly i'm looking at is a 7.1mp by the way.

FE-230 (http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1283)


OLYMPUS NEW PT-038 Underwater Housing FE 230 / FE 280 - eBay (item 250205361665 end time Jan-19-08 13:10:33 PST) (http://cgi.ebay.com/OLYMPUS-NEW-PT-038-Underwater-Housing-FE-230-FE-280_W0QQitemZ250205361665QQihZ015QQcategoryZ50506Q QtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem)

This is what i'm kinda looking at buying in the oly, not dead set but similar.

mpd525
01-16-2008, 19:24
or somebody can give me some other options, i'm not brand depended, i don't care if it's canon, nikon, ikelite, fantasea. Whatever, just want something decent that will take good shots, and work well on the surface, so i don't have to buy 2 cameras.

DiveSooner
01-16-2008, 20:11
MDP, my wife uses an Oly 720 SW & Oly PT 33 housing. It takes great pictures right of the box and is easy to use. She liked it so much that I bought her a strobe for Christmas. The strobe & kit was more expensive than the camera & housing. We got the Inon D-2000, which was strongly suggested for this set up.

DiveSooner
01-16-2008, 20:12
MDP, my wife uses an Oly 720 SW & Oly PT 33 housing. It takes great pictures right of the box and is easy to use. She liked it so much that I bought her a strobe for Christmas. The strobe & kit was more expensive than the camera & housing. We got the Inon D-2000, which was strongly suggested for this set up.

DiveSooner
01-16-2008, 20:16
oh yea, it takes great surface pics...

mpd525
01-16-2008, 21:18
thanks sooner, i think that was one of the other cameras i was looking at.

dannybot
01-17-2008, 16:21
I have an FE-230, love it. In fact I bought it to dive with, have the PT-038 housing. I think it had about hte best cost/benefit/size/convenience/ease of operation when I bought last spring. Now they have come out with a newer model, the FE-280, it is an 8 mp, has face detection and a little more basic storeage, with all the same features of the old model, at the same price. I saw it for $179 at several stores before Christmas. Leisurepro has the housing for $139, less 10%.

If you buy this camera, make sure you get a spare battery, they take five hours to charge, and will last two dives using the flash.

If you want to see some photos I have taken: http://forum.scubatoys.com/caribbean-central-america/8660-fantasy-island.html

jwdizney
01-17-2008, 19:21
MPD, i bought the SeaLife DC600 back in the fall and dove with it a few times in tenkiller, and also in the crystal river florida. i've got a few pics posted i took with it, but by no means am i a professional photographer. i really like it. most pics are with no flash and I don't use the zoom, i just get close enough to frame the pic. it seems to work better underwater than above! it has built in "sea-mode" that compensates for the loss of red and really makes a difference. one of the features I like most about it is that it is also a video camera! i've taken multiple videos of 5 min. or so using a 1Gig mem card and still had room for plenty of stills. i would recommend a second battery. i've used it on 2 consecutive dives, but needed fresh battery afterwards. plus, it's a more compact housing, and clips off easily without being big and awkward.. it's also very easy to navigate the controls underwater. I think i got a pretty fair camera for the $$. Disneymom has the reefmaster mini (from the photo contest) but so far hasn't taken any underwater pics. I would think it's going to be similar pic quality! i suspect we'll be buying a strobe (or two) before our next trip to florida.....

hope this helps!:smiley20:

by the way, sorry to hear the wife got called up! tell here we said hi! hope you guys have a great time in the keys! we're talking about taking a trip down there ourselves someday soon, so give us a good report!

RoyN
01-17-2008, 20:18
I also have an Olympus and it is giving me good pictures. I've used to own the Reefmini but eventually sold it. I think you'll be happy with the Olympus more, however thats my humble opinion.

mpd525
01-17-2008, 21:56
thanks everybody, the reason i really don't like the reefmaster mini now, is because it doesn't come out of the housing. I think that's the biggest deal. And i like the fact that the OLY will be a great surface camera. I did some checking and i can get the camera for about 130, and the housing for 125, so i think that's a pretty good deal. Thanks everybody.


JW, thanks for kind words, and tell DM, i really appreciate everything she did for me, I owe you guys lunch when we start diving this spring. And i'll sure let you know how the keys adventure goes.

mpd525
01-18-2008, 21:29
Well I just ordered an Olympus FE-280, and i'm gonna order the housing in a few days, hopefully i can hit the lake at least once before we had Southeast. i'm kind of excited.

DiveSooner
01-18-2008, 22:09
Well I just ordered an Olympus FE-280, and i'm gonna order the housing in a few days, hopefully i can hit the lake at least once before we had Southeast. i'm kind of excited.


I up loaded some pics from our Oly to the ST phota gallery, from our Bonaire trip in October. Bare in mind that these are prior to the addition of the strobe, hopefully, next month we'll have better ones. :smiley20:

junzhang
06-10-2008, 08:19
I had only tried Sealife's lowend model SL321 which I returned after first use. The image quality s far below acceptable level. Tiny lens, no focus function..The only good thing about it is that without a housing it's really easy to operate.

I will much prefer a better brand such as Olympus with housing after this experience now.