SeaLife Mini II
The SeaLife Mini II is a bulkier camera but its bulk provides extreme durability and security to your valuable pictures. It allowed me to capture some amazing pictures for my first and following snorkeling trips during my month-long+ trip in the islands of Thailand. The reviews on Amazon had me worried about possible leakage of the salt water into the camera but I shouldn’t have been concerned. For over 8 snorkel and kayak day-trips, I only required 1 set of batteries. I bought the 8GB memory card for my trip and it never filled up and I took thousands of pictures. The included wrist strap was excellent for securely holding the camera to my wrist while I swam. There is a small delay in the shutter so with the quicker fish it was more of a challenge to capture them but I found after a while a method to take several pictures in a row while trying to hold the camera steady under the water usually produced at least one clear shot. Towards the end of my trip I did find that the lens of the camera looked cloudy and some pictures reflected this. The locking mechanism on the camera which covers the battery and memory card from the water is complicated at first to open however after a few tries it becomes second nature. Having the memory card USB reader is fantastic for quickly uploading shots to see the beautiful memories you captured. The fact that the camera has both a land and a water setting is really helpful. Though I did find that sometimes I would forget to change my setting from water to land when I would come up to the surface but my pictures still tended to turn out well. I had a hard time with the flash on the camera. I couldn’t really figure out when I was supposed to use it - sometimes it worked but sometimes it would blur everything and even seemed to scare the fish away. I appreciated the battery-save mode with the camera - it would turn off after no pictures were taken for a while.
Overall I would recommend this camera for underwater pictures and for being an almost indestructible camera for action adventures. I loved not worrying about when my camera fell out of my bag on the boat and when it hit the kayak by accident. The lighting does affect the pictures and especially whether you have a steady hand but once you master that the pictures you can take are endless.
I cannot speak to how this camera compares to the more expensive SeaLife Reefmaster or Pro but for a basic intro underwater camera it more than served its purpose!
Pictures can speak more than words so check out some of the great pictures that were taken with this SeaLife Mini II!
I know I am really excited for my next water adventure and being able to document the experience!
Suggestions for improvement: Add a lens cover that you could flip manually so when you want to store the camera the lens doesn’t bump up against a finger or something. Something to clean the lens of the fog from water or salt deposits. I used my sunglass cloth and that helped a lot but I’m sure there could be something better. Would be nice if it could be a little less thick so that it could fit comfortably in a pants or short pocket easier. Perhaps also a viewfinder in addition to the screen - I found when I was taking pictures and it was really bright I would have difficulty seeing the screen to tell what I was taking a picture of and wouldn’t be able to see the results until I had uploaded the pictures to my computer.
I did not pay for this product but I do not believe that I let that color my review. I selected this product after doing careful research about the best products of its type and requested a sample to test in my own practice.