What’s new in underwater photography: SeaLife’s Micro 3.0
One of the coolest aspects of cruising in bathtub-warm and crystal-clear waters is the opportunity to experience the often colorful world below the waterline once the anchor has been set. Capturing this imagery, however, requires a capable waterproof camera. SeaLife’s Micro 3.0 features permanently sealed construction that allows the camera to safely operate at depths down to 200 feet, while its rubberized body armor and optional wrist strap inspire confidence when whitecaps start breaking or green water is washing the decks.
Unlike most other waterproof and water-resistant cameras, the Micro 3.0’s sealed body means there’s no removable battery or memory card. Instead, the camera relies on an internal rechargeable 2,000-milliamp lithium-ion battery, which is good for hours of shooting stills and video, and 64 gigabytes of internal solid-state storage. Additionally, the Micro 3.0 employs a Sony-built 16-megapixel CMOS sensor that can capture high-resolution photographs, full-sensor burst shots, and 4K Ultra HD (at 30 frames per second) and 1080p HD (at 120 frames per second) video imagery.
The Micro 3.0 has a fixed lens that is equivalent to a 19-millimeter wide-angle lens on a 35-millimeter camera. This seven-element, multicoated aspheric lens delivers a focus range that runs from 15 inches to infinity, an f/2.8 aperture, and a 100-degree diagonal field of view.
While the Micro 3.0 is a feature-rich camera, its user-friendly interface is comprised of a 2.4-inch color LCD screen and just four buttons: a shutter-release button and three large piano-style hard keys (video, menu and playback) that are easy to work underwater, or while wearing sailing or diving gloves. This clean design and the camera’s plus-size buttons make it easy to change settings and/or modes underwater, and the camera’s operating system is easy to navigate and master. Also, much like high-end 35-millimeter cameras, the Micro 3.0 has an integral vertical grip that’s handy for composing both portrait and landscape shots and videos.
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SeaLife’s latest camera boasts three underwater modes (dive, snorkel and underwater light), and three underwater color-correction modes (deep, shallow and green water), all of which are easy to access and adjust, even while swimming or diving. The camera is Wi-Fi-enabled, and users can transfer images to their wireless devices using the SeaLifeMicro3+ app or, alternatively, they can use the included USB cable to transfer imagery and videos to their Mac or PC.
While the Micro 3.0 is ready to go swimming directly out of the box, it’s also designed to be adaptable in order to accommodate dives to deeper depths and waters that are maybe not so well-lit or crystal-clear. Users can optionally add SeaLife’s Micro 3.0 Pro 3000 setup, which includes a single Sea Dragon 3000F external light to add luminosity to both photographs and video, or the Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000 setup, which includes dual Sea Dragon 2500F external lights. These optional lights come with SeaLife’s clever FlexConnect trays, which connect to the camera’s undercarriage, and also stand double duty as handy vertical grips for composing shots.
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