SeaLife DC1400 Underwater Camera Operating Guide
THIS CAMERA IS RESTRICTED. Proficiency is gained through a workshop. Workshop participants must read this operating guide and bring the written proficiency test answers to the workshop. In addition to reading this operating guide and attending the workshop, it is recommended that you download and read the SeaLife DC410 Manual PDF. Optional reading: SeaLife Underwater Photo-Video Light Instruction Manual and SeaLife Digital Pro Flash Instruction Manual.
- 1 Warnings and Cautions
- 2 SDHC Card
- 3 Speed Scrolling and Menu Navigation
- 4 Formatting the Memory Card or Internal Memory
- 5 CAPTURE MODE
- 5.1 Capturing Images (Taking Pictures)
- 5.2 Setting the Focus
- 5.3 About Easy Set-up Mode
- 5.4 Setting the Scene Mode
- 5.5 About External Flash and External Light Modes
- 5.6 Exposure adjustment when the camera is in Ext Flash Mode:
- 5.7 About Dive and Snorkel Modes
Warnings and Cautions
Continued use under the following conditions may cause fire or electric shock. Return to Media Loan for repair service if not working or damaged.
- If foreign objects or water have entered the camera, turn the power off and remove the battery.
- If the camera has fallen or its case has been damaged, turn the power off and remove the battery.
- Do not use the camera in areas near water, rain, snow, high humidity, sand, dirt or combustible gas* unless it is properly sealed in the waterproof housing provided.
- Do not fire the flash close to anyone’s eyes.
- Do not subject the LCD monitor to impact.
- A camera is a precision instrument. Do not drop it, strike it or use excessive force when handling the camera.
- Do not remove the battery immediately after long period of continuous use.
- Do not wrap the camera or place it in cloth or blankets.
- Do not leave the camera in places where the temperature may rise significantly, such as inside a car.
- Before you move the camera, disconnect cords and cables.
Notes on Battery Usage
- Extremely cold environments can shorten the battery life and reduce camera performance.
- When you are using a new rechargeable battery or a rechargeable battery that has not been used for an extended period of time, it may affect the number of images that can be captured. Therefore, to maximize its performance and lifetime, we recommend that you fully charge the battery and discharge it for at least one complete cycle before use.
- The battery and/or camera may feel warm after a long period of continuous use of the camera or the flash. This is normal and not a malfunction.
- Always keep the battery terminals clean.
- To prevent short-circuiting or fire, keep the battery away from other metal objects when carrying or storing.
Important Notes on Waterproof Function and Waterproof Housing
- The inner camera is not waterproof or shock protected. Seal the camera inside the waterproof housing in areas of water, rain, snow, high humidity, sand, dirt or combustible gas*.
- Do not use underwater housing if O-ring or O-ring contact surfaces are damaged.
- Make sure O-ring is completely seated into O-ring groove before sealing housing.
- Carefully follow O-ring removal and installation instructions contained on page 67 of manual.
- Carefully close lid and latch to seal housing and make sure there are no obstructions that prevent housing from closing or sealing properly.
- Soak and rinse waterproof housing in fresh water for about 2 minutes after underwater use or if the housing becomes dirty.
- Press each button several times to clean out any saltwater, sand or dirt that may be trapped under the buttons.
- Use clean, soft cloth to dry housing.
- Store camera and housing only after careful cleaning and when totally dry.
- Do not let any moisture or dirt get inside housing when opening. This may result in damage to the inner camera.
- Make sure that you and the waterproof housing are completely dry before opening the waterproof door or changing the batteries or the SD memory card.
- Avoid opening housing in wet, sandy or humid environments. It is recommended to open and load the housing in dry cool air, such as inside an air conditioned room. This will prevent water or humidity from being trapped inside the housing, which may cause fogging to occur or damage the inner camera.
- Avoid getting sunscreen or suntan oil on the camera as it may cause discoloration of the surface. If any oil gets on the camera, wash it off immediately with warm water.
- The waterproof function does not apply to the camera’s accessories.
- Do not exceed the depth rating of 60m (200ft.) or the housing may become damaged and leak.
- The camera may sink if dropped in water, so be sure to attach the strap to your wrist or buoyancy control device (BCD) when using the camera in or near water.
- Store housing at room temperature in a clean and dry place.
- Do not expose housing to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
- Do not store housing in extreme high temperatures, such as the trunk of your car.
- Keep the housing unlatched when storing for more than 3 months.
Each Media Loan SeaLife camera comes with a 32G SDHC Class 10 card. Please remove your images and format the card before returning to Media Loan. Replacement cost for the SDHC card is a flat $50 fine plus the $15 service fee. Please Note: To prevent damaging the SDHC memory card, be sure to turn off the power when inserting or removing. If inserting or removing the SDHC memory card with the power on, the camera will automatically turn off.
There are two ways to navigate the menus:
When the Menu is open, use the Zoom lever to scroll through the menus and the shutter button to set the camera. This is how you adjust the camera settings when the camera is inside the underwater housing.
- Press the Menu button.
- Turn the zoom lever right to scroll down or right through the menu.
- Turn the zoom lever left to scroll up or left through the menu.
- The Shutter button functions like the Set button when the Menu is open. Press the Shutter button to confirm the setting.
This is the traditional method for scrolling through the menu. When the Menu is open, use the Nav button to scroll through the menus and press the Set button to confirm your selection. You can use traditional Nav button scrolling or Speed Scrolling when the camera is NOT inside the underwater housing.
- Press the Menu button.
- Use the Nav button to move up, down, left and right through the menus.
- Press the Set button to confirm the setting.
- Whenever the operating guide refers to ^ / v / < / >, you can use the zoom lever or navigation button.
- Whenever the operating guide refers to the SET button, you can use the Shutter or Set button.
Formatting the Memory Card or Internal Memory
This utility formats the internal memory (or memory card) and erases all stored images and data.
- Press the MENU button.
- Select Setup at the end of the menu with the ^ / v buttons and push the SET button.
- Select Format with the ^ / v buttons, then press the SET button.
- Select Yes with the < / > buttons, and press the SET button.
- To cancel formatting, select No and press the SET button.
- To exit from the Setup menu, press the Menu button.
Capturing Images (Taking Pictures)
Media Loan's Sealife camera is equipped with a 3” full color LCD monitor to help you compose images, playback recorded images/video clips or adjust menu settings.
- Press the ON/OFF button to turn the power on.
- Press the MODE button and set the camera to Capture mode (not Video mode).
- Compose your image in the LCD monitor.
- Turn the zoom lever right to zoom in on the subject, and enlarge the subject on the LCD monitor.
- Turn the zoom lever left to zoom out on the subject, and provide a wider angle image.
- Press the shutter button.
- Pressing the shutter button down halfway automatically focuses and adjusts the exposure, and pressing the shutter button down fully captures the images.
- The focus area frame turns green when the camera is in focus and the exposure is calculated.
- When the focus or exposure is not suitable, the frame of the focus area turns red.
- Avoid using zoom while underwater to take pictures of subjects at far away distances. For best underwater pictures, keep your subjects within
2 m / 6 ft shooting distance.
- If the focus area frame is red, the light conditions or contrast may be too low. Try again until focus frame is green, or try focussing on a subject with higher contrast located at equal distance to the shooting subject.
- The Flash icon on the LCD display flashes on and off when the flash is charging. When the flash icon is solid, the camera is ready.
Setting the Focus
The camera uses an auto focus lens system. You can select among the six focus settings described below. Press the flower icon button and the < / > buttons to select the desired focus mode.
About Easy Set-up Mode
The Easy Set-up mode is a fast and easy way to set the camera for underwater or land photography. Select Easy Set-up option located in the capture menu. Then, select the best choice from a series of options depending on the shooting condition and the accessories you are using.
Setting the Scene Mode
“Scene modes” are pre-programmed camera settings to automatically give you the best picture possible under specific shooting conditions. You can use the Easy Set-up mode described on the previous page, or select among the following 33 scene modes.
- Press the MENU button and select Scene Mode using the down button (or zoom lever) and push the SET (or shutter button).
- Select the desired scene mode with the ^ / v / < / > buttons (or zoom lever), and press the SET button (or shutter button).
- Compose the image and press the shutter button.
About External Flash and External Light Modes
If you are using the SeaLife Digital Pro Flash and/or Photo-Video Light accessories (supplied with Media Loan's SeaLife cameras), set the camera to one of the following Scene modes:
- Ext Flash Auto or Ext Flash Manual modes
- When using the Digital Pro Flash, but NOT the Photo-Video Light, set the Scene mode to Ext Flash Auto. The camera automatically adjusts the image exposure and white balance resulting in sharp, colorful underwater pictures. The camera is preprogrammed to account for the additional flash power resulting in optimal image exposure and brightness. The camera’s flash will always fire, which automatically triggers the Digital Pro Flash through the optical cable connection.
- For advanced underwater photographers who want to manually control the aperture and shutter speed, set the scene mode to Ext Flash MNL. Refer to the Digital Pro Flash instruction manual for more details on connecting and operating the flash.
- Ext Light mode.
- When using the Photo-Video Light, set the Scene mode to Ext Light. The camera automatically adjusts the image exposure and white balance resulting in sharp, colorful underwater pictures and video. The camera’s default setting is set to Flash Off, which is recommended to prevent backscatter. Refer to the Photo-video instruction manual for more details on connecting and operating the light.
- Ext Flash + Light mode.
- When using one Digital Pro Flash in combination with one Photo-Video Light (as supplied by Media Loan), set the Scene mode to Ext Flash+Light. This mode functions just like Ext Flash Auto mode, but uses a different white balance for video mode.
Exposure adjustment when the camera is in Ext Flash Mode:
About Dive and Snorkel Modes
The Dive and Snorkel Scene Modes are used to capture underwater pictures and video when NOT using the optional external flash accessory. Dive mode is ideal for scuba diving below 25ft/8m depth. Snorkel mode is ideal for underwater pictures above 25ft/8m depth. The camera will make color corrections to compensate for the loss of red colors typical in underwater photography.
To set DIVE mode:
- Press the MENU button.
- Select [Scene mode] with the ^ / v buttons (or zoom lever) and press the SET (or Shutter) button.
- Select DIVE mode with the ^ / v buttons (or zoom lever) and press SET (or Shutter) button.
To set SNORKEL mode:
- Press the MENU button.
- Select [Scene mode] with the ^ / v buttons (or Zoom lever) and press the SET (or Shutter) button.
- Select SNORKEL mode with the ^ / v buttons (or Zoom lever) and press SET (or Shutter) button.
In Dive and Snorkel modes, you can fine-tune the color correction depending on the water color and depth. These color correction options are located in the White Balance Menu. The default white balance setting for Dive mode is Blue Water > 25ft/8m. The default white balance setting for Snorkel mode is Blue Water < 25ft/8m. To select Dive or Snorkel modes, follow the Easy Setup mode described on page 25. You can also set the camera to Dive or Snorkel modes under the Scene mode menu.
Underwater white Balance settings
- BluWtr<25ft (Blue Water less than 25ft depth). This mode is ideal for snorkeling or shallow diving in “blue” water.
- BluWtr>25ft (Blue Water greater than 25ft depth). This mode is ideal fordeeper diving in “blue” water.
- GrnWtr<25ft (Green Water less than 25ft depth). This mode is ideal for snorkeling or shallow diving in “greener” water with higher algae content.
- GrnWtr>25ft (Green Water greater than 25ft depth). This mode is ideal for deeper diving in “greener” water with higher algae content.
To change the color correction (White Balance):
- Press the MENU button.
- Select [White Balance] with the ^ / v buttons (or Zoom lever) and press the SET (or Shutter) button.
- Select between BluWtr<25ft, BluWtr>25ft, GrnWtr<25ft or GrnWtr>25ft with the ^ / v buttons (or Zoom lever) depending on your type of water conditions and press SET (or Shutter) button.
- The underwater color correction feature should only be used for nonflash photography.
- When the camera is in Dive and Snorkel mode, the scene displayed on the LCD display will appear red in color when you are on land. This is normal and will appear different when you are underwater.
- The underwater color correction feature will not work during night time diving or depths greater than 50ft / 15m depending on the amount of available light.
- For best UW pictures, keep the camera’s flash OFF when in Dive or Snorkel mode. If light conditions are too dark, we recommend using the SeaLife Digital Pro Flash.