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Rock Like a Semi Pro With DC1400 Sea Dragon Pro Duo
I went diving with friend and fellow underwater photographer, Steffan Grauert. Steffan was sporting the a lovely new rig set up and was just itching to get it wet and start clicking. For this reason I had to join him for some dives (OK, I was going anyway but new toys made it even better) and to take some underwater pictures putting the DC 1400 Sea Dragon Pro Duo through its paces and features.
The setup we used included:
DC 1400 SeaLife Camera with underwater housing
Sea Dragon Flash with diffuser
Sea Dragon 2000 lumen light head
Two Flex-Connect Grips and the Flex-connect tray.
6 Underwater Modes Really!?
The cameras 6 Underwater Modes which I used to some degree, when set properly did their own colour corrections, making skin tone look reasonably natural, and underwater colours pop. however I have to note that when used with either flash/strobe knowing which mode to use with light or without is important otherwise incorrect colours are produced. I found myself using the auto white balance a lot with the light and strobe on and the pre-depth mode only with natural light, which is how it should be. For beginners getting to grip with U/W photos 6 Underwater Modes will be fun to experiment with!
Facts and Features SeaLife DC1400 Camera
“Piano Key” controls for easy operation, even in gloves
Easy Set-up mode – 1-2-3 graphic on screen guide
6 Underwater Modes
Spy Mode – shoots continuously at set intervals.
Rubber armoured, shock-resistant for the rough & ready user
26mm Wide lens. Get closer and fit everything in picture.
Depth tested to 200 ft (60m) – Guaranteed!
Manual shutter and aperture control in Ext Flash mode.
HD Video mode
14 megapixel CCD for sharp, high-resolution pictures.
Super Macro Auto focus from 1” (2.5cm) to ∞
Powerful 2000 lumen LED light
The Powerful 2000 lumen LED light is an awesome feature! Diving Pattaya has alot of limited visibility diving. The light illuminated the reefs, subject and wrecks very nicely. I want to comment about the lumen ratings. Our research has shown that only a small percentage of the dive industries stated lumen ratings hold up to independent testing. We did ask for and receive a lumen testing sheet for this light and the tests show SeaLife’s claims are are on the mark with the ratings for both of their new lights. Thank you and well done to them for having the testing done.
The snap on/snap off Flex Arms are as expected and easy to use, however being used to arms with elbow joints and having quiet a adventures approach to my underwater photography I felt s little limited with this flex arms. I would like to see this change on this camera as a extra and provide a swivel joint capable of positioning the strobes not only level but also below lens level is i wish.. I a do sometimes
The video capability of the camera produced some great little videos – sharp and clear.
Facts and Features SeaLife Video Image Light
Powerful 2000 lumen LED featuring 6x CREE XPL LEDs
One button control easy operation - one power light on/off /brightness.
Three brightness levels: 100%, 50% and 25%
60 minute burn time at full power and constant brightness
Depth rated to 200 feet/60 meters - Guaranteed
Easy to expand with Flex-Connect™ trays, grip & Flex Arms
Auto Flash Detect Mod turns light off when external flash detected
100° wide beam angle evenly illuminates with no hot spots
Three brightness levels: 100%, 50% and 25%
Corrosion-proof metal light head for heat dispersion and durability
Waterproof battery compartment
Facts and Features SeaLife Strobe
Universal - Works with SeaLife & other brands of underwater camera
Auto Mode auto adjusts flash for optimal exposure
Variable power lets you manually fine-tune flash brightness.
Easy to expand with Flex-Connect™ trays, grip and Flex Arms
Depth rated to 200 feet/60 meters
Quick-release to detach flash and aim in hard to reach areas
Universal mount fits all SeaLife cameras and standard mount
Auto Learn Mode easily syncs pre-flash with any digital camera
Effective underwater distance range up to 8 feet/2.5 meters
Approximately 150 flashes at full brightness with 4 AA batteries
Waterproof battery compartment
Mounting For SeaLife Lighting
Universal mounting screw fits SeaLife and other brands of underwater cameras w/ standard ¼-20 tripod mount
If you have an underwater camera/rig and want to come diving with me get in touch. I am always looking to get wet and like to play around with cameras as much as I can and with as much different equipment as possible.
I can arrange private photography dives and maybe even give you some pointers on taking pictures underwater if you want or need it. If you're a beginner and would like to really take your photography up a notch why not sign up for the underwater photography course and we can really get into a session and get you some holiday pictures to remember!
How Did the Sea Dragon Rate Auto Focus Speed?
In both macro and low light settings we test shot the Sea Dragon auto focus speed. In view of the range of camera it is, it's quite good for a compact camera. Its not going to compare to your Sony RX-100 III or the likes but nor is it trying to. Its a great little camera designed and aimed at divers looking for an all in one solution.
Low Light Performance Sea Dragon Review
As I've found to be the case with a lot of digital compacts in the past, the low light performance can vary under certain conditions, in this particular case I would say Sea Dragon is better than most regular compacts but not the best I've seen in it range to be honest. It does have many things going for it in ways of quality verse convenience but without a doubt low light ability is a very important factor with underwater photography so you might find your self wanting better performance as your photography grows. Check out the pictures at various depths and you’ll see its giving a fair performance under various ISO and light conditions.
What a Heavy Duty Housing!
The heavy duty underwater housing is without doubt one of the most rugged and durable underwater housing I've ever seen. The easy to use “piano keys” and big shutter and zooming controls are very easy to use as stated, I was a little worried about the shutter due to a previous experience with another Sealife camera where i found it very insensitive to control, meaning when i tried to half press the shutter i either found the shutter box not appearing or appeared and took the shot before it had focused. At the same time I DID NOT find this a problem, which made me smile.
Conclusions DC1400 Sea Dragon Pro Duo Review
To conclude our DC1400 Sea Dragon Pro Duo Review, I have to say it is a popular all in one choice for photographers looking to a get quick, straight out of the box set up. This rig will really please most avid underwater photographers and fun divers with ease. Those who advance and excel in their picture taking, may end up looking for a little better image quality & focus speed but that is all down to the individual. By all means a great compact set up and intuitive easy menu and hot keys. Love the inclusive lens and lightening and all at a good price considering what you get!
Images Shot on The DC1400 Sea Dragon Pro Duo- Browse With Click Or Touch Slide
Have You Used A DC1400 Sea Dragon Pro Duo?
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