Product Reviews

Sealife Micro HD Review and Samples

Sealife Micro HD - First permanently sealed camera!
Sealife Micro HD – First permanently sealed camera!

Intro

Sealife have recently introduced this awesome little camera, in two models – Micro HD (16GB, no WiFi) and the Micro HD+ (32GB, with WiFi). The Micro HD includes full 1080p video and 12MP photos with a 20mm fisheye lens (140 deg above water), plenty of internal memory, but surely the most unique feature of this camera is the fact that it’s Permanently Sealed. That means you never have to open it, for charging, downloading pics or replacing batteries. It simply eliminates all risk of leakage, worrying about O-rings etc.. That’s pretty cool.

Micro HD Specifications

Image Sensor 14 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS image sensor
Image Resolution 13MP (140° Super wide 4:3), 10MP (130° Wide 16:9), 7MP (Super wide 4:3), 4MP (Super wide 4:3), 2MP (Super wide 4:3)
Picture File Format JPEG
Movie Resolution Full 1080p HD at 30 fps or 720p HD at 60fps
Video File Format MPEG4 h.264 (.mp4)
Lens Aperture F2.8
Focal Length 3.5 mm (film equivalent = 20mm)
Focus Type Instant fixed focus lens
Focus Ranges 1 foot (30cm) to infinity
Field of View 140° Super Wide, 130° Wide, and 90° Standard
Shutter Speed Land: 1/25 to 1/2000 second
Underwater: 1/45 to 1/2000 second
Scene Modes Land Auto, Snorkel, Dive, External Light, Dual External Lights
Shooting Modes Single, Continuous (1 frame per second), Time Lapse, AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing)
LCD 2.4″ TFT LCD color display
Memory Internal: 16GB
Operating Environment PC: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8 and up
MAC: OS 9.0 and up
CD/Software International instruction manuals in 5 languages
Language Support On-Screen Display: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
Instruction manual: English (printed), German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
Power Internal 2400 mAh (Li-ion)
Battery Life 3+ hours (Approximately 1000+ images/ 3+ hours video), 2350 mAh / 3.7V / 8.7Wh, Battery maintains 70% of its original power after 1000 cycles
Certification CE, ROHS, FCC
Weight 9.4 oz. (266g)
Dimensions (LxWxH) 4.2″ x 2.1″ x 2.0″
(10.7cm x 5.3cm x 7.4cm)

Environmental Specifications

Depth Individually depth tested to 200ft (60m)
Buoyancy Negative
Operating Temp. Underwater: 33 degrees F to 110 degrees F (5 degrees C to 44 degrees C)
Land: 0 degrees F to 120 degrees F (-18 degrees C to 50 degrees C)
Storage Temp. -20 degrees F to 140 degrees F (-29 degrees C to 60 degrees C)
Tripod Mount Standard 1/4-20 tripod threads
Shockproof 3ft / 1m
Warranty 1 year limited warranty

Permanent Seal

The permanent seal is made possible by a waterproof USB connector at the bottom of the camera, which comes with a special dry connector for charging and plugging into your PC/laptop. Once you’re done, simply remove the dry connector and you’re good to go!

Sealife Micro HD Connector - Waterproof USB
Sealife Micro HD Connector – Waterproof USB

Sealife Micro HD Bottom Side
Sealife Micro HD Bottom Side

Controls and Mounts

The Micro HD is equipped with Sealife’s famous piano keys, which are incredibly easy to use, work effortlessly with small hands or large, and even easy to press with gloves on. The shutter button feels just like a regular topside camera and recording video is just on click away with your thumb. The grip is also extra comfy, unlike most action cameras (GoPro, Intova etc…) this camera is made to be hand held, but small & light enough to be mounted on anything ranging from poles, scuba masks, flex arms, cold shoe or any other mount you are using.

For mounting the camera you would use the standard 1/4″-20 tripod mount on the bottom of the camera.

Features

A cool thing about the Micro HD is how easy it is to set up. When you choose “Easy Setup“, you have two options: Underwater or Land. Choosing Land sets it on land mode, and choosing underwater, pops up a 2nd stage where you choose Camera Only / One Light / Two Lights and then a 3rd stage to select between Dive / Snorkel. This easy setup is a no-brainer to adjust the WB and exposure correctly without over thinking it. You can also adjust it manually on the regular picture setup.

The underwater mode produces excellent colors without a need for a red filter, even at 20 meters. Although a red filter by Sealife isn’t available yet for the camera, I tried out Intova’s red filter and was surprised to see it fit perfectly. I found that for deep dives, 20-30 meters, combining the red filter with underwater mode produced the best colors by far! However, don’t try to combine underwater mode with a red filter on shallow dives since you will get red footage.

Time lapse mode is also available, with intervals ranging from 2 seconds to 30 minutes between frames which allows many creative possibilities. You can also manually adjust ISO, WB, Exposure Compensation, Sharpness and Metering Type.

Photo Samples

Underwater mode, no filter attached
Underwater mode, no filter attached

Underwater mode, no filter attached
Underwater mode, no filter attached

Sealife Micro HD Photo sample
Underwater mode, no filter attached

Sealife Micro HD Photo sample
Underwater mode, no filter attached

DCIM100MICRO

Great colors topside
Great colors topside

Great for Selfies as well!
Great for Selfies as well!

Video Samples

Performance

After trying the Micro HD in several situations, I can definitely say it can handle itself very well! Topside images and videos are very sharp and have excellent colors. The Auto WB is usually very precise and adjusts to changes in lighting fairly quickly.

Underwater the colors are very good even without any external filters. The underwater Deep mode cancels out a fair amount of blue and produces videos and images which you are used to seeing with red filters.

Another great thing about it is battery life. It’s practically infinite. Well maybe not infinite but it surprisingly long! You can go through 3 dives with it easy. Sealife promises over 3 hours of operation, and it seems to live up to that. That’s quite impressive considering it has a large 2.4” TFT Color LCD screen.

The only thing missing compared to other action cameras is 60fps on 1080p. The Micro HD produces 60fps only at 720p, which I find a bit limiting.

Bottom Line

This is one of the best all-around action cams I’ve tried. Thanks to the built in Underwater Mode, your photos and videos already look pretty good without filters and that might be enough for some. If you still decide you need lights, there are two special modes for that (1 light or 2 lights) as well which make the upgrade super easy.

Most important, the Micro HD is fun! Sealife’s engineers have designed it with the user in mind and you will definitely feel that once you play around with it a bit.

For those who want an easy, reliable camera, with great ergonomics and excellent quality, the Micro HD is an excellent choice.

Purchase it here: Sealife Micro HD
Or the WiFi 32GB version here: Sealife Micro HD+

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Ran Mor

Sales and Marketing at Mozaik Underwater Cameras
Ran is a professional photographer for over 14 years. His passion for scuba diving and photography has pushed him to combine his profession and hobby and become a professional underwater photographer. Teaching is one of his greatest passions and over the years he has shared his experience with many divers and aspiring photographers. Along with his wife Danielle, an experienced Scuba Instructor, they have founded Dive and More, leading dive trips and UW photo workshops all over the world. Ran is also an electrical engineer and an avid internet marketing specialist.
Visit his personal portfolio at www.ranmorphoto.com.
Ran Mor
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4 comments

  1. Murat "Seaman" DEMIRAG July 3, 2015

    Hello all,

    I have been using SeaLife Micro HD for more than 5 months.

    Because I am also a product reviewer, I have used tens of cameras underwater.

    We should realize that SeaLife Micro HD is NOT an action cam. It is a camera.

    It definitely has some pros as well as cons.

    I advise SeaLife Micro HD for those who would like to work on u/w photography or those who are already u/w photographers, but want to add a “simple ready to use camera” to their portfolio.

    However, I don’t recommend SeaLife Micro HD for the ones who would like to “shoot what they do”. For this purpose, you can use action cams from GoPro, Liquid Image and etc.

    For my photos taken by SeaLife Micro HD, you can take a look at my web-site.
    http://www.divewithseaman.com/sealife-micro-hd-review/

    Have good and safe dives.

    Kind regards

  2. Ran Mor
    Ran Mor July 17, 2015

    Hi SeaMan! Thanks for your input!
    I regard the Micro HD as an action cam due to the field of view. Since it is a Fisheye camera, it’s considered a “POV Cam” which is synonym to action cam.
    However, this is a technicality and I completely agree with you that it’s different than GoPro’s and similar and much more useful for underwater photography and videography.

  3. Kadi October 2, 2019

    I have the Sealife Micro HD. It’s a great camera. However I’ve been looking at getting the aquapod to pair with it from sealife I’m a little confused as how to take pictures with it connected. Is it just set up on a timer of some sorts? Thanks for your review!

  4. Ran Mor
    Ran Mor October 3, 2019

    Glad you found the review helpful!
    Yes the best way would be to set a timer and shoot several shots every time.

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