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should i buy a strobe for a camera in underwater housing or sealife 1400pro
bronxdiver - 2/10/2012 10:15 AM
Category: Photography
Replies: 7

Ok, my question is this, i have a sony cybershot camera that has an underwater mode setting, i have the underwater housing it goes in and i keep the flash setting on. The pictures i take the reds come out but the underwater colors and water colors look washed out. I’ve been told i need a external strobe, my local dive shop has a sealife 1400 pro which is ment for underwater and has the strobe thats ment for the camera. Im not looking to spend alot, just trying to get better photos. Is a external strobe for my camera gonna make a difference or be what i want, or for the little extra money should i buy the sealife 1400 pro which has everything in one and is ment for the underwater. Hope this makes sense, thanks in advance.
Greg - 2/10/2012 10:26 AM
I’d say an external strobe will greatly improve the quality of your photos...

Excerpt from article on DiveBuddy:

An external strobe is a way for photographers to add more light to bring out colors and detail that would otherwise be lost and creatively light their subjects, to emphasize, or de-emphasize subject matter. Also by angling the light away from the subject directly, you can you can reduce backscatter; particles in the water that reflect light directly into the camera lens.

Read more

Whether you want to spend more money on a separate camera designed for scuba diving is up to you and your wallet. Will the camera and housing your currently have support an external strobe? If so, try just buying the strobe first (maybe one that will also work with the sealife 1400 in case you end up buying the whole thing later on).
m_grieco - 2/10/2012 2:21 PM
Sealife Pro-Digital Flash will work on both (SL961). And yes, a strobe will improve your images greatly.
Agojo - 2/10/2012 3:31 PM
I had an earlier model Sealife with 1 external strobe and got ok pictures. Last year I bought the Sealife DC-1200MAXX with 2 external strobes and it made an amazing difference in my pictures, much more color and don’t have to be as close to the subject. Also much easier to operate with the large piano keys. The more light the better, just how much to spend.
JoePagano - 2/10/2012 3:57 PM
Just as an aside, I went to Bonaire last month with my new SeaLife Mini and SeaLife strobe. Got some good pics but the Mini flooded on its third dive and that was that. Anyway, I called Pioneer when I got home and they could not have been more helpful. I was given return instructions and they got back to me just a few days after receiving the Mini. They offered to replace the Mini under full warranty. I said I was a little gun shy about the Mini and asked if I could upgrade to the 1400. They came back with a very fair deal and I upgraded to the 1400 and added the video light. The packages arrived in two days and I am ready for the next outing, can’t wait. I think I will get superior performance and I know a superior company is behind my gear. The 1400 does it all, an awesome camera. Good luck, Joe P
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/11/2012 8:17 AM
The real question is are you taking snapshots to relive the dive later or do you want to be an underwater photographer?

Adding the strobe to the Sony or moving to a bigger set-up increases the workload and it takes both hands, yes you will get more color and be able to light up things farther from the camera but it comes at a price.
bronxdiver - 2/11/2012 10:06 PM
Thanks, for all the great feed back now i just have to figure out what a external strobe that will work with my camera costs and the difference between that and the sea life 1400 and make a decision.
OUBobcat - 2/12/2012 9:20 PM
I have the Sealife 1200 which is pretty much the same camera just not in HD. Not sure how big of difference that makes in the camera. However I am currently looking for a strobe just for the fact without the strobe there is a huge amount of backscatter in my pictures. There is so much in fact sometimes its hard to tell what I’m taking pictures of. I dive in dark waters in the NE. From what I have seen the strobe as most said will bring out the colors a lot better than just the setups loaded into the camera.