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Sealife Micro 3 or Gopro 8?
I've now sold my old camera set up. I've been using a Lumix Panasonic LX 5 with Nauticam housing and 2 x Inon S2000 strobes for the last 9 years or so. I have loved it and it has maintained its value pretty well and it has taken some lovely photos.
The camera and housing were both ex -demo and were a decent bargain to begin with. I now have about £900 from the total sale to invest in something smaller, lighter and easier to travel with and to carry and maintain for local shore or boat diving.
What I want:
A tiny and easy to use video and still camera with a light.
I've bought a good second hand Sea Dragon 2500 lumen video light and tray. I am going to add either a GoPro 8 or a Sealife Micro 3.
I would like some recommendations please.
I want some nice short videos and a few OK-ish stills. I realise that the stills won't be amazing compared with a good set-up with strobes and manual settings. I'm trying to enjoy diving and capture the moments now.
Please persuade me.
Would the GoPro be a bit more 'flexible' as in would work for a lot of dry use cases than the Sealife?
With a decent case, it should last and not be too big. Could even attach to your torch on a ball.
There's also the Paralenz which does work. The new one has a miniscule screen to frame the shot. It's other trick is it records the depth, temp, etc. and is specialised on diving. I use one of these on a ball mount on my NW7 primary torch which means it's with me on every dive. When jumping in or climbing out, I turn and lock the camera towards the torch body to protect the lens. It's very robust and survived diving with me for 18 months.
It's OK. Wouldn't say brilliant/fantastic/whatever, but it is there if I see something of interest. Have a few videos but never got around to the editing.
I have an Olympus TG6 and Olympus housing (had a TG1/2 and a 5 all still working). It is great for both photos and video. I have happily used it with a video light and internal flash, although it does take much better images with the strobe attached. I don't think you can beat the TGs for all round performance.
I also have a GoPro6 which is good in low light, great for wide angle stuff but in my opinion useless for close work and stills. There's really nothing big enough in the UK to do it justice other than seals and the odd basking shark! It's great when the vis is good and you are diving some nice walls or a wreck but forget it if you want to film anything smaller than a lobster (we have a lot of videos of lobsters!!!). Taking screen shots from the video is actually better than taking a photo as the housing is so small it's practically impossible to not move the whole rig when pressing the button.
The TGs can take pictures of the smallest wee nudibranch up to a good enough wide angle shot. It's not fully manual but it sounds like you just want easy peasy just now. I have never heard much about the sealife cameras. I can see the easy appeal for someone new to UW photography. The TGs are waterproof too so if it's a reliability thing then they would work just as well.
Hi Sharon, for close work with the GoPro you need macro lenses, like those available from Backscatter.
Originally Posted by frogfone
I do agree the small housing can be a pain, especially with thick gloves in the way.
However, good works can be achieved with the GoPro, as illustrated by Alex and Colin, who both frequent dive sites local to Vonny.
I'd never heard of the TGs thanks Sharon. The advantages of the Sealife seem to be - small, light, no housing, therefore no flooding, macro lens available, large "piano" keys for using with thick gloves, easy to use, plus I've already bought the tray and Seadragon 2500 lumen light. I really am looking at aim and shoot and something tiny and easy to carry without lots of extras. I've sold my strobes now too!