Underwater Camera Review - Sea Life Mini
Screen: The screen is relatively small compared to most digital cameras these days, but was easy enough to see underwater.
Photos: The photo quality was generally strong, but it often took a bit of effort to find the right setting. When we choose the 1-25 feet ISO setting the photos all came out orange, so we had to mess around and put the setting on "auto".
The photos on land were fine, but given the size and rubberized feel of the camera, this probably isn't a camera you'll be using on land too much (besides the beach).
Movie Mode: The movie mode on the camera works well and is easy to access.
Resolution: 6 megapixels - more than enough for this type of camera. One of the downsides is that there is no optical zoom - there is a 4x digital zoom.
Price: The list price is $279 and the camera can be found for under $250. In the world of underwater cameras, this is a pretty good price.
Ergonomics / Usability: Underwater cameras in general don't have great ergonomics, and this camera has its frustrations. There are no "zoom in / zoom out" buttons on the camera for the (digital) zoom - rather a single button that you press multiple times to get closer and closer. The problem is, if you go too far you can't just back up one - you need to press the button 4 more times to cycle through all the levels. (though because it is a digital zoom, there isn't much reason for zooming) Switching from photo to movie mode is very easy which is a big plus. The more we used the camera the stickier the buttons became to the point where you often had to fiddle with them to unstick them.
Batteries: The camera uses 2 AA batteries. We used rechargeable batteries and were impressed with the number of pictures we could take when we weren't using the flash.
Memory Card - Uses SD memory cards. Given the 6megapixels, you'll want to buy at least a 1gb card.
Overview: Based on our testing, this is a good basic underwater camera with some shortcomings.
The lack of an optical zoom is a shortcoming, however at under $250, this camera is less expensive than many other underwater cameras dive enthusiasts might be considering. If you are looking for a basic camera for your underwater adventures, this is a good choice.