|List Price: $449.45
Our Price: $449.45
The Sea & Sea DX-860G is a kit that includes the Sea & Sea housing rated to a depth of 150' (45 m), combined with the Sea & Sea DX-860G black camera. The fine 1/2.5" CCD chip has an effective image quality of 6.2 megapixels that can be interpolated up to 8 megapixels, producing files for large detailed prints. The camera is equipped with a large, bright 2.5" LCD monitor. This makes composition, replay, and adjustment easy on the eyes. On land you can even listen to your favorite music on the camera's speaker. The 35-105mm optical 3x zoom provides focal lengths appropriate for a range of subjects and distances. For a wider view that is better for underwater shooting, a wide conversation lens that attaches to the housing is an optional accessory. The camera is also ideal for snorkeling, surfing, skiing, fishing, sailing, or even certain industrial situations. The Sea & Sea DX-860G housing allows access to all camera functions underwater.
- Even the AVI Video Clip function is impressive !
I have used Sea & Sea underwater cameras for many years.
For the last 14 years I was using a S&S Motormarine II 35 mm.
Thus the 860G is my first step into DIGITAL underwater photography.
I was impressed.
I prefer the 6.0 megapixel setting which is true imaging relative to the 6.2 MP sensors.
Like many digital cameras this model offers higher Mexapixel settings (up to 8MP in this case) with Interpolation.
Let me simply say here that I am NOT a fan of interpolation.
Interpolation is a fancy way of saying a computer algorithm fills in the BLANK areas when making the expansion from 6 to 8 MP.
Depending on the complexity of the picture, this may or may not end up with an accurate "guess" on the part of the software to fill in the void.
Suffice it to say, a TRUE 6.0 MP image is better to my eye (and most others) than a 6.0MP image expanded upward to 8.0MP via software tricks.
But 6.0 MP is virtually identical to 35mm for 6 X 8 prints.
(the old rule of thumb for digital cameras is the MP equates to the smallest dimension of an equivalent 35 mm print quality wise).
Thus to be roughly equivalent to a 35 mm print,
3MP = 3X5 4MP = 4X6 6MP = 6X8 8MP = 8X10, etc....
What really surprised me was the quality of the AVI video clip mode.
I rarely use the video mode on most digital "still" cameras because quite honestly they are usually pretty crappy............ but the S&S 860G has a very good 24fps AVI Video Recorder Mode with 320X240 and 640X480 resolution meaning you can pretty much get Super 8mm quality video footage underwater too !
What a bonus.
I filmed 12 minutes of video and edited it using Magix Movie Edit Pro 11 and some family thought it was a travel or documentary video rented from Blockbuster intended to introduce people to SCUBA diving.
It was that good !
Expect about 30 minutes of video @ 640X480 and 90 minutes of video @ 320X240 using a 2.0 GB storage card.
If I had one minor complaint it would be that the camera's captured images tend to be a bit heavy on GREEN tint regardless of customized RGB settings or other customizations of white balance, exposure, effects, ISO, etc...
This excess GREEN seems to occur under all light conditions (natural unlighted -or remote strobe, etc...)
Since this is a digital camera I only view this as a minor complaint since 99.9% of people using digital equipment will transfer pictures to PC for "tweaking" and optimizing prior to making prints anyway.
I have used Paint Shop Pro 6.0 for many, many years for photo retouching and with the 860G,I tend to find myself adding a bit of red, subtracting some green, lowering the gamma and giving the contrast a slight boost for most prints.
I find myself now using the camera almost 50/50..... meaning I shoot almost as much video with it as I do still pictures.
Note: If one was going to produce or release real underwater videos, then
they would need to get a true underwater video setup and do it right....... but for simply capturing a pleasure dive to show friends or family that may not be divers themselves, the 860G is a great piece of equipment!...more info