Sealife Mini II Camera Review

Fun in the Pool!
Fun in the Pool!

By Mary Webb

It’s summer, and time to see more of the water with Sealife’s Mini II camera.  Whether you are diving around the kelp beds of Mendocino or heading out to partake in some diving fun in the swimming pool, Sealife’s Mini II camera will help you capture some cool photos.  We had the opportunity to take the Sealife camera from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, with the swimming pool in between!

Right away I liked the cushioned camera case that the Mini II is stored in; traveling around from plane to town and suitcase to backpack, the case brought me assurance that the technical equipment was safely stored in a properly cushioned case.   Another advantage in traveling with the Mini II is the fact that you can use several technical applications in one!  The Mini II compact camera is a water camera, land camera and video recorder all in one; a little load to pack when you want to record in various depths and mediums.

The Sealife Mini II is encased in a rubber-based material that will not only keep you color coordinated in your wet suit, but assists in providing needed protection against chlorine and the salty Mediterranean.  There are other safeguards as well, such as the bottom water proof door; protecting the interworking of the camera.  A small red latch lock tab off the bottom door secures the bottom door shut and keeps the camera free from the sea!

O ring keeps batteries and storage chip safe from water
O ring keeps batteries and storage chip safe from water

An O-ring seals the door closed where the batteries and storage chip are housed.  The batteries are also under an additional lock for added insurance.  I found it a little difficult to pop the storage card out of the slot, but I realized this was necessary in the design to protect the chip inside the camera.  The Mini II uses two AA batteries, with a working life of about 100 pictures.  While it is cumbersome to have to carry around extra batteries, especially on a longer ocean dive; the Mini II offers rechargeable batteries in their extensive line of accessories.

A la mode, easy as pie!  The mode brings up a setting asking if you would like land or water photos.  We tried both on the coast of Mendocino and found the photos to be quite satisfying.  After pushing the large mode button, you will choose land or water, and the camera will automatically compensate for the various mediums.  Hold down the mode button and you will be able to set up the time and other pertinent details to your photography.

Green light means go! The Mini II camera signals a green light when you are ready to record your favorite sea star or underwater diving partner.  A built-in flash adds extra light in dark waters or evening hikes.  I found the flash to work well under the various lighting conditions I was working in.

While the camera does not have a traditional zooming mechanism, it will allow you to maximize with a click of a button from 1.5 to 3 times the size.  There is a thumb grip which gives you a better handle of the camera under water which I really enjoyed.  We liked the rubber wrist band to keep the camera safely beside us and there is also a plastic clip if you need to attach the camera to your scuba suit.

Thumb holder makes it easy to photograph in the ocean
Thumb holder makes it easy to photograph in the ocean

The Mini II has been manufacturer tested to depths of 130 feet, although we did not venture that deep at the beginning of summer.

The Mini II camera is sturdy, convenient, and versatile.  For a suggested retail price of about $220, you are well on your way to capturing those moments, scenes, and underwater creatures you would otherwise miss.  I would suggest taking a close look at the many accessories that come with the camera to fine tune your aquatic experience.


Underwater Lighting
Underwater Photo – Video Light
Digital Pro Flash
Digital Flash
Digital Pro Flash Diffuser
DC1000/DC800 Diffuser
Flash Link
Wide Angle Lens
Lens Dock
Mini Wide Angle/ Close Up Lens
3X Close-up Lens &
Underwater Filter
Elite Travel Case
Hard Travel Cases
Buoyancy Control Weight
Moisture Munchers
Energizer Battery and Charger Set
Replacement Batteries
Float Strap
Mini II Specifications:
Image Sensor: 9.0 mega pixel CMOS image sensor
Color: 24-bit color (RGB)
Image Resolution: 9mp (3472×2604)
Picture File Format: JPEG
Movie Resolution: VGA (640×480) at 30 frames per second
Video File Format: MJPEG (.AVI)
Lens aperture: F3.0
Focal Length: 7.9mm (film equivalent = 45mm)
Focus type: Instant fixed-focus lens
Zoom: 3x Digital zoom
Shutter speed: Mechanical shutter
Land: 1/2 to 1/2000 second
UW mode: 1/60 to 1/2000 second
Flash: Auto, Fill, Off, Red-Eye Reduction
Scene modes: Auto, Snorkel (underwater), Sea, Ext Flash Mode
Shooting modes: Single, SPY
LCD: 2.4″ TFT LCD color display
Memory: Internal: 28 MB (10 hi-res pictures)
External: SD and SDHC card
Recommend 8GB SDHC card
EXIF Format: EXIF 2.2
Operating Environment: PC: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7
MAC: OS 9.0 and up
CD/Software: International instruction manuals in 5 languages
Language Support: On-Screen Display: English, German,
French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Dutch,
Turkish, Portuguese (Brazil), Chinese
(T-C and S-C)
Instruction manual: English (printed), German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
Power: AAA Battery x 2
Battery life: Approx. 100 pictures with Alkaline and 500+ pics with Energizer Ultimate
Certification: CE, ROHS, FCC
Weight: 10 oz. (286g) w/strap
Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.5″ x 1.8″ x 3.0″
(11.4cm x 4.6cm x 7.6cm)
Environmental Specifications:
Depth: Individually depth tested to 133′ (40 m)
Buoyancy: Slightly negative
Operating temp: 33 degrees F to 110 degrees F
Storage temp: -20 degrees F to +140 degrees F
Tripod mount: Standard ¼-20 tripod threads
Warranty: 1 year limited warranty

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