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DC1400 / MicroHD comparisons??

Discussion in 'SeaLife' started by gr8jab, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. gr8jab

    gr8jab Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oregon, USA
    629
    379
    Hi all (and hopefully Sealife),

    Wife gave me the OK for a Cozumel trip, and Toddler will be old enough for Kids Sea Camp soon, so I'm going to start diving again after a few years hiatus.

    I need a new camera. I really liked the DC1?00 we used for a week in Grand Cayman as part of Kids Sea Camp demo. Great pictures, and easy to use. Now I'm confused, and don't know if I should buy a DC1400+strobe or a MicroHD+light. FYI, I'm more of a photo guy, but do take some videos.

    Here is a basic summary of the differences that matter to me.

    [TABLE="class: grid, width: 500"]
    [TR]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD]DC1400+Strobe
    [/TD]
    [TD]MicroHD+Light
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Focal Range
    [/TD]
    [TD]1 inch to infinity
    [/TD]
    [TD]1 foot to infinity
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Movie Res/speed
    [/TD]
    [TD]720 @30fps
    [/TD]
    [TD]1080 @30fps
    720 @60fps
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Battery
    [/TD]
    [TD]2hr replaceable
    [/TD]
    [TD]3hr internal
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Memory
    [/TD]
    [TD]SD Card replacable
    [/TD]
    [TD]16Gig internal
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]External accessory
    [/TD]
    [TD]Strobe and/or light
    [/TD]
    [TD]light only
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Housing
    [/TD]
    [TD]flip-open w/o-ring
    [/TD]
    [TD]Permanently sealed
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    So, here are my questions, in order of importance.

    1. Why no strobe for the MicroHD??? Can an external light, like the Dragon 1200 or 600 provide sufficient light to take good images? Which takes better pictures, DC1400+strobe or MicroHD+Light? Will the fish care if I shine a light at them before I snap the pic??

    2. I don't care what anyone says about a battery's life, when Li-ion get a few years old, they don't hold as much of a charge. I would be really upset if I had to send the MicroHD back to Sealife every few years to replace the battery for $150. What's Sealife's reasoning and take on battery life/replacement in the MicroHD?

    3. The MicroHD won't focus closer than 1 foot. Will this matter? I've seen lots of nice macro shots, and wonder if they are not possible with the MicroHD. Does this go hand-in-hand with the light vs strobe thing? Was the MicroHD (with no strobe) simply designed to NOT take macro shots? Or maybe I'm confused, and 1 foot is plenty close enough for 99% of shots.

    4. Does Sealife see the MicroHD as a replacement for the DC1X00 series, or a complementary product? If it is complementary, for what markets are they targeted, and how does their quality/feature/value vary to meet these different markets.

    Thanks for any answers, advice, or commentary...

    Jeff
     
  2. SeaLife Cameras

    SeaLife Cameras Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    161
    31
    1.
    Because the Micro HD doesn’t have an internal flash, it cannot be synced with a strobe. A powerful light, such as the Sea Dragon 1200 or 2000, can absolutely provide proper lighting for great still images. Check out our gallery of Micro HD images, many of which were taken with Photo/Video Lights: Images | Sealife Cameras

    Both cameras take excellent images – because the DC1400 is an autofocus camera with more photo-driven features and super macro capability, you’ll probably get the best still image results with it.

    Generally speaking, the light won’t scare the fish, as you can see in our gallery of photos and videos. The way you approach your subject will have the greatest effect on that, and of course it’s best to approach calmly and slowly to avoid scaring.

    2.
    The Micro HD battery is quite large – actually 3x larger than that of the DC1400. It provides approximately 3+ hours (1000 images or 3+ hours of video). Even after 1000 charges, the battery will still hold 70%+ of its original power.

    3.
    The Micro HD wasn’t designed to take Macro shots like the DC1400 – you’ll still be able to capture great close up encounters, but not that super macro shot of a Pygmy Seahorse from a few centimeters away. The advantage of a fixed focus camera like the Micro HD though, is the complete lack of shutter lag.

    We will be releasing a small external macro lens for the Micro HD in the coming months which will allow the camera to focus from 6-inches to 2-feet.

    4.
    The Micro HD is not a replacement for the DC1400 or DC-series cameras – each has its own advantages. As mentioned above, the DC1400 has more photo-driven features like Super Macro Auto Focus down to 1-inch, as well as additional scene mode options and the ability to sync an external flash. The Micro HD is a fixed focus camera, but takes gorgeous 1080p HD video, has almost no maintenance because it’s permanently sealed, and is overall a bit more versatile. It really depends on what your priorities are.

    Thanks for your questions Jeff, hope that helps!

    SeaLife
     
  3. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    6,424
    2,228
    Wonder when the next dc series is coming out?
     
  4. gr8jab

    gr8jab Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oregon, USA
    629
    379
    Thanks for the great reply! It was helpful.
     
  5. TRMMEM

    TRMMEM New

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: PA
    1
    0
    SeaLife,

    This was a very helpful comparison. Could you provide any update, in regards to the Micro HD+

    Thanks
     
  6. SeaLife Cameras

    SeaLife Cameras Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    161
    31

    You can find all updates for the Micro HD/HD+ on the SeaLife website under "Technical Support" and then "Troubleshooting/Product Updates".

    Click here to directly enter the site: Micro HD Tips and Technical Updates | Sealife Cameras
     

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