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View Full Version : Anyone use the SeaLife ReefMaster Mini?



Cichlid
07-29-2007, 23:03
Any good? What are your thoughts?

JipThePeople
08-04-2007, 21:26
I purchased the ReefMaster Mini about a month ago and I am very pleased. I have taken it on two dive trips to CSSP in Terrell with vis being ~15ft and I actually got some good pics of the plane and the boat. I can see value in purchasing the wide angle lens for $79 - the Reefmaster works especially well up close (where you can benefit from the flash). Send me a PM with an email address and I can send you some pics. I would highly recommend the camera, esp in the price range.

ScubaToys Larry
08-04-2007, 21:29
Hey Jip... if you can, why don't you click on the Photo Gallery above, then you can just upload some shots there, and drop a link over so others can check them out too!

They'll get an idea of what the camera is doing... and about the beautiful (:smiley11:) diving we have in Texas rock quarry's!

Cichlid
08-04-2007, 21:52
Thanks Jip...sent you a PM...good idea Larry!

Doghouse
08-07-2007, 09:33
Digital Sea and sea 6mp (under 130' camera)
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1322/852660688_016a9e02bd.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1112/962709382_ea7313d0fe.jpg

vs
Film sea and sea
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1431/962505699_49257839cd.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1274/962506705_bf8e877152.jpg

Problems with the digital vs film sea and sea. The flash is weak. (don't shoot long distances) Also, the camera will munch through batteries. We went through a pair of AA batteries for each dive.

Benifits with the digital vs film sea and sea. The digital did not fog as we went below the thermalcline which the housed film camera did. (my fault for not using moisture munchers) It can take short video shots. It can take many more shots than the film camera can. You can see what you took immediately, no "Did I get the shot" questions.


If you are looking to take some good shots to help remember what you did, I recommend getting what you can afford in a camera, and saving for a strobe as soon as you can afford to get one.

Divegirl
08-26-2007, 23:56
I purchased the reefmaster sea life mini at Scuba toys, and it is awesome, I think I posted on the wrong thread regarding this subject.

It is really easy to use underwater. The Menu can be read easily, and you can delete pictures while under water. It is light weight and you don't have the whole housing thing to deal with. The pictures turn out fantastic, but I want to get the strobe and this wil really enhance the pictures. Last check the wide angle lense was not available but I believe Scubatoys told me possibly September, haven't checked on an update of that.

I added an SD card 1g, as the owners does not recommend anything larger than that. (Does anyone know if it will harm the camera if i go with a 2g?)

The mini does do video's with sound and the sound is really incredible. you can hear each breath you take underwater. But video does take ALOT of memory, so if a 2g could be used, I would recommend that or limit your video taking.

when your not using the camera it fits inside of my BC pocket which is really nice as it is protected, no worries.

As far as batteries, i found if i use the lythum batteries they last far longer than any other battery. I have tried the recharables and regular. The lythum batteries are well worth the extra money you pay for them.

I found my camera at Scubatoys for the best deal!

georoc01
08-31-2007, 12:03
I bought a reefmaster mini. I think its a good value for the money, when compared to the cost of getting a housing for my Canon. And putting it in sea mode really helps!

ScubaToys Larry
08-31-2007, 12:14
Oh, and for anyone wanting to know about this guy... Here is a link:

Sealife Mini Digital Camera (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=SeaLifeMiniDigitial)

And here is a picture of it:

http://www.scubatoys.com/store/cameras/pics/sealife/MiniCamSL320.jpg

Divegirl
09-01-2007, 00:07
I have an awesome video and the sound is fantastic, waiting for a sale so I can get that strobe!!! If i can figure out how to post it

woody
09-01-2007, 03:47
I have an awesome video and the sound is fantastic, waiting for a sale so I can get that strobe!!! If i can figure out how to post it

217 more posts and you will save another $50 of the rock bottom prices that ST has.
;)

Divegirl
09-03-2007, 02:26
Yea this is true!! your getting there. Logged 103, I think it may take awhile... I like the guy who donated his, that was a fantastic idea.

Cheddarchick
09-03-2007, 06:56
Don't have the mini. But I do have the DC500. There are a great point and shoot camer for people who want to dive and take pictures of thier dives....

mdwestgrl
09-23-2007, 19:46
My husband and I are thinking about getting one of these. I am glad to see that you like your cameras. Hopefully we will get one before Christmas.

GDiver
12-07-2007, 09:59
I have this one on my Christmas list!

shad
12-25-2007, 20:03
got the mini for christmas cant wate to use it what memory chip sould i get for it

snagel
12-26-2007, 06:22
Got the mini several months ago and love it. I'm still learning how to shoot underwater pictures, but the mini works great. Check out my album. The shots in 2006 were from a fairly cheap camera in a housing that my brother in law made. The rest are from the mini. I got the wide angle lens for the trip to Mexico in 2007. Not sure if I like it yet.

S. Nagel

CaptainRon
12-27-2007, 08:27
Just got one for Christmas. I will be trying it out next week in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Will post some pictures when I get back.

Osprey
12-31-2007, 11:51
1155

This was my first underwater experience with this camera, I am happy with it so far! I have a lot to learn about underwater photo (and to remember that animals sensitive to electric waves, such as.. you know.. STINGRAYS.. will swarm the camera.. LOL)

I am most definitely investing in the wide-angle lens though, there were several rays that got cropped a bit funny and I think the lens could have stopped that

And before anyone gets too excited.. they sadly were not wild, I was at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL.

MxDiver
01-04-2008, 18:23
I also just got one for Christmas, I think telling my wife that I was getting a housing for her camera after flooding my videocam had something to do with it :smiley36:
I only used in the pool so far, taking pictures of my nephews, I can't wait to take it in a diving trip :smiley20:

RoyN
01-04-2008, 22:36
It was good, but somehow water got into the inner compartment and I had to return it to Sealife about 4 to 5 times...I stop counting after that. But it probably was my fault since alot of people had good sucess with it. But I'm happy with my Olympus and hopefully the SL961D digital strobe thats coming in on Wednesday. :D

Think
01-29-2008, 14:11
I'm debating this camera vs. the Ecoshot SL321. I realize the mini can go deeper, but other than that what's the difference? The $50 difference is significant since that's 25% of the cost of the SL321. I'm also new and having to buy all my other gear too so it's all going to add up. :)

DarinMartell
01-29-2008, 14:45
How does this work as a topside camera?

Doghouse
01-31-2008, 09:59
Topside, the camera works great. The only thing that you have to remember is to turn off the sea mode. If not you will have one heck of a time adjusting the color with software.

DarinMartell
01-31-2008, 10:44
There isn't any zoom is there? Thats the only concern I have.

RoyN
01-31-2008, 12:15
Yes there is Zoom. You have to hold the power button and it will zoom in for you.

DarinMartell
01-31-2008, 12:44
But it is a digital zoom not optical correct? How many X zoom is it?

RoyN
01-31-2008, 20:00
No sorry its not digital zoom, just optical pretty much. Thats the disadvantage to the Sealife mini. This is one of the reason why I dumped it and married the Canon.

icandy6298
01-31-2008, 22:04
I bought one today. I will let you know how it works out.

DarinMartell
01-31-2008, 23:53
Thanks, I am thinking of useing this as my primary camera topside also. I don't take many pictures but I want something decent. I look forward to hearing your results.

Dirk Pitt
03-14-2008, 07:48
Hi,

I'm new to the thread but I bought the Reefmaster Mini last year and used it extensively on a recent trip to Cuba and Mexico. It performed flawlessly, is compact and easy to carry, the controls are easy to work underwater and took great pictures both underwater and on land.
It does chew up batteries so be prepared. It will only accept a max 1gig card, larger simply won't work but I've got almost 500 photo's and a couple of videos on mine with no worries about space.
Cautions:
-be sure to disable the underwater feature as mentioned above before using on land
Misc:
-it sinks fairly slowly so is easy to chase down....
Wish List:
-external flash and lens upgrade

Good value for the price.

DarinMartell
03-17-2008, 11:59
Thanks for the report!

PhD4JC
03-17-2008, 13:29
Lithium batteries (they come in AA) last longer than regular batteries.
Turning off sound effects also helps preserve the life of your batteries.
(Do people still store batteries in the fridge?)



Digital Sea and sea 6mp (under 130' camera)

vs
Film sea and sea

Problems with the digital vs film sea and sea. The flash is weak. (don't shoot long distances) Also, the camera will munch through batteries. We went through a pair of AA batteries for each dive.

Benifits with the digital vs film sea and sea. The digital did not fog as we went below the thermalcline which the housed film camera did. (my fault for not using moisture munchers) It can take short video shots. It can take many more shots than the film camera can. You can see what you took immediately, no "Did I get the shot" questions.


If you are looking to take some good shots to help remember what you did, I recommend getting what you can afford in a camera, and saving for a strobe as soon as you can afford to get one.

rainmaker
03-17-2008, 14:27
I have a new Mini that I've used only topside so far. I emailed ReefMaster Tech Support concerning the notation in the instruction manual that the maximum size memory card is 1 gig. This was their response:

*********************************************
You can use a 2 gig at the time we designed the camera the 1gig card was the largest card available.



Karl Schuster
Pioneer Research
Sea Life Technician
97 Foster Road
Moorestown, NJ
08057

1-800-257-7742

www.pioneer-research.com

*******************************************

namabiru
04-13-2008, 05:37
The photo quality looks good, when I looked at some shots. Is this what the Mini does on its own, without strobe etc?

pwctec
04-22-2008, 09:58
In respect to SD card size. I put a 2 Gig card in my camera and it would not recognize the entire size of the card. It would take pictures and save to the media but if I remeber correctly it thought the card was closer to 512mb. I bought a bunch of 1 Gig cards and have plenty of storage. I would be more concerned with the camera chewing through batteries. I don't think you could fill a 1 Gig card before the batteries would go away on you. Oh, it's a great camera B.T.W.:smiley20:

Trey9123
04-22-2008, 10:25
I have a mini ,and it lived with me in Costa Rica for two months last summer. It was the perfect camera for that, It went white water rafting, and canopy ripcording, and bar hopping with me. But it was also there every time i dove. It is not the best camera in the world, but it is incredibly rugged and easy to use, and the pictures usually turn out pretty well.

bigjay
08-22-2008, 20:44
Does anyone have any photos taken with the Reefmaster & the wide angle lens they can post? Also how is the camera with available light - we are going to be diving in the cenotes in Mexico and may not want to use the flash?

BigJay

reactive
08-23-2008, 07:54
Don't use the zoom on it. It's a digital zoom and it pixelates the image horribly. otherwise a decent little camera for a beginner UW Photographer.

jaybob217
08-26-2008, 07:34
I just returned from Playa Del Carmen and used the Reefmaster Mini 320. Originally the one I ordered from ScubaToys wouldn't power on after entering pool so I returned it. Scubatoys was great and got me a new one returned before my trip.

It worked GREAT! Here are pictures I took with it:
Picasa Web Albums - Jared - SeaLife Reefm... (http://picasaweb.google.com/jared.akers/SeaLifeReefmasterMini)

I used the batch color correction process in Ulead Photo Express that came with the Reefmaster Mini CD to help enhance the UW photos. I also took quit a bit of video with it which turned out nice and the videos are raw .avi files which are easy to edit.

NOTE!! One thing I will point out though is I was shooting a video when the 1Gig Kingston SD card I was using ran out of space. I was unable to access any photos, kept getting a "card full" and "format error" when trying to read the card both in the camera and with an SD reader. I was able to use a Photo Recovery tool to access the content once I got back home. JUST FYI!

srhtech
08-26-2008, 11:12
That looks pretty good. I am thinking about buying the 800DC Kit with a strobe but was thinking about buying one of these as well to keep in my BC pocket and for other water activities where I wouldn't want my land cameras to get wet. Great pictures Jay.

heydn62
10-24-2008, 13:58
I took the SL321 with me on a recent cruise with dive stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Shallow shots in Caymans (8-10 ft) came out very clear. Went to 75 ft (max depth rating for sl321) in Cozumel and most shots were clear, but built in flash was weak and didn't help much at more than 2-3 ft., so mostly blues and greens. Good for remembering what you saw, but technically not good photos.

Does anyone know if the flash works with the wide angle lens attached? It looks like the lens itself may block the flash. Strobes are not in the budget at this point.

Bought Lithium Energizer Batteries in Caymans after going through rechargeables and made a huge difference. Still had most of battery power left after lots of shots and videos in Cozumel.

Pictures and video clips can be seen here: Shutterfly (http://heydn62scuba.shutterfly.com)

Links for videos are at bottom of page. Most pictures in the nonscuba area were not taken with the SL321.

rainmaker
12-13-2008, 11:11
I used my Reefmaster Mini (SL320) on a recent trip to Jamaica. This was its second dive trip, and I got better results than the previous trip to Costa Rica (it was the rainy season and viz was not good).

I also used a SeaLife Mini Wide Angle Lens and a model SL96010 strobe. This strobe was retrofitted by the folks at SeaLife to work with the Mini when I traded-in my old 3.2 MP camera (it had been sent in for repairs, and I was offered an upgrade).

The photos taken on land were made with a Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG6 movie camera.

The photos are located here:

Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket (http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff214/rainmakerat92/Jamaica%202008/?albumview=slideshow)

imasinker
12-13-2008, 14:04
heres some video i shot with a reef master mini, no strob just on plain settings.... I was just learning to use it but will give you an Idea. i can take an hour of video on a 2 gg card.

YouTube - Tobermory Niagara II (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br1NkcmAN7Y)

DMWiz
12-13-2008, 14:27
I have a Reefmaster that I bought for a trip to GC last year,
it does fairly well with available light as long as there's plenty of that to go around.
Most of my deep UW pictures are not very good w/o a strobe,
but in the shallows at Stingray City it worked great.

I recommend getting the Wide Angle Lens and or the Strobe if you want really good pictures.
None of my pictures were taken with either =)

Here's a shot that made it into the Sealife Gallery (http://www.sealife-cameras.com/gallery/digital_galleryechomini.html#) from that trip:
http://www.sealife-cameras.com/assets/images/fullsize/reefmaster/StingRay.JPG

Here's one I took at dawn that's also in the Sealife Gallery (http://www.sealife-cameras.com/gallery/digital_galleryechomini.html#):
http://www.sealife-cameras.com/assets/images/fullsize/reefmaster/ShoreLine.JPG


Sorry about the size, I couldn't figure out how to resize in the post.

blue37
12-13-2008, 16:32
DMWiz,

Looks like the cover shot on the new SD magazine...

DMWiz
12-13-2008, 19:08
DMWiz,

Looks like the cover shot on the new SD magazine...

I'll have to take a look at it, I want my royalties!:smiley36:

moosicman
12-13-2008, 19:10
I thought the same thing. I have this camera and have enjoyed it thoroughly but I agree with the other assessments about the zoom and the low light level. I would like to know how to take better photos with the flash I have but I'm not sure if i'm doing more harm than good with it. My photos are here: PICT0432 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21963236@N04/2743645379/)

I also have them at my facebook site and I've done some editing of them there and they are somewhat better. But I would LOVE some critiques and suggestions as to what to do better. THANKS!!!

DevilDiver
12-13-2008, 20:46
I thought the same thing. I have this camera and have enjoyed it thoroughly but I agree with the other assessments about the zoom and the low light level. I would like to know how to take better photos with the flash I have but I'm not sure if i'm doing more harm than good with it. My photos are here: PICT0432 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21963236@N04/2743645379/)

I also have them at my facebook site and I've done some editing of them there and they are somewhat better. But I would LOVE some critiques and suggestions as to what to do better. THANKS!!!


Here you go.. (I am by no means an expert or close to good as some of the other forum members but I happen to have my soap box right here and 20 mins to kill)

Fist, point and shoot digitals are small (and mostly inexpensive) this means the chip inside that records the data from the photographs is small.(compared to a DSLR) This means for the most part that this type of camera will not give you it's best results in a low light environment. It is not how many mega pixels in fact having to many mega pixels can actually effect the quality of the photos. Knowing your camera and what it's limitations are is key to getting the most out of it and hopefully some photos that will make you happy.

You are right about low light limitations, if you really expect to get the natural colors out of your photos you will need to have a strobe(s) or get very close to your subject. Also low light can make it difficult for your camera to focus on your subject. This increases the focus lag and can cause you to miss shots and not get the clear crisp photos you want. As with any point & shoot on the market increasing the ISO over 200-400 will do nothing but cause increased digital noise. Using the cameras digital zoom will also degrade your photos (never use digital zoom) if your camera give you the option in it's set-up menu turn it off. In fact try not to use your optical zoom (it is OK to use but you need to practice getting close) unless you have to.


Now after saying this, point & shoot cameras can and do take some amazing photos but you need to understand what your camera can and can't do, especially underwater.


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2305/2119694504_008f30aa87_m.jpg
Fish is swimming away and is way too far to capture details. If a strobe was used (does not look like it) the subject is too far for it to do any good, also picture was taken at a downward angle. With a little lighting and a upward angle giving you a blue water background this is a great fish to capture.

Fish are almost always moving. Practice above and below water will help tremendously in capturing fish portraits. Remember depending on the camera and the amount of light you are working with it will take time to get your shot in focus (focus lag). You need to anticipate the fish and set up the shots. Practicing with kids and animals topside helps a lot......

French Angle -Great subject, some what curious fish and often in pairs. This fish is getting out of the area fast, might come back but not with a diver sticking something out and swimming toward it. Fish are usually very cautious in their everyday lives, a strange looking and loud diver does not make them very comfortable. Slow, relaxed movement and penitence will reward you with a good fish portrait. Try not to look or swim directly toward the fish, approach slowly from a side and give the fish some time to get used to you.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3097/2744479372_df8dd52529_m.jpg
Photo was taken close enough but shot from an downward angle takes away from the subject and make it look like it is in a hole. The white sand makes a distracting washed out background and takes away even more from the photo.

Lobsters can make a great subject to practice on, they will usually allow a close approach and most likely they are not going to swim off. There are two basic fundamentals of taking photos underwater and these can be the hardest to master.

1) Get close. I mean really close, and then get closer. (Unless you are shooting a scenic shot of a wreck and even then get close) If you have a wide angle lens it is not so you can move back and get a picture of the whole reef system but so you can get as close as you can to your subject ans still fit it into your photo.

2)Shoot up. It is not always easy but very seldom will you get a U/W photograph you are happy with shooting from a top angle. Really try to approach your subject from a level or slightly under angle and capture at an upward angle. This will keep you from getting the highly reflective sand or cluttered multi-colored reef in your background and subtracting from your subject plus this will give your subject a positive presence in the photo.

Practice, practice, practice..... There are a lot of great underwater photography books out there, they are a great investment.

Oh, I really liked the Seahorse photos!!

moosicman
01-04-2009, 21:06
I never got around to thanking you for the critique!!! I must say that I'm not too much the pro and more like the tourist. I usually just want to get something visual to come back and show my family and my wife, as none of them dive. But I am going to purchase the wide angle lens. But it seems that I've read on this forum a long time ago that it popped off easily or some other negative. I can't find that now but can someone comment about how easy the lens comes on and off of the camera. I would hate for it to pop out underwater.

rainmaker
01-04-2009, 23:10
I am going to purchase the wide angle lens. But it seems that I've read on this forum a long time ago that it popped off easily or some other negative. I can't find that now but can someone comment about how easy the lens comes on and off of the camera. I would hate for it to pop out underwater.

It pops on and off pretty easily, though mine has not come off underwater accidentally. However, it comes with a little lanyard. If it comes off underwater, it's not going anywhere.