Since we recently received authorization to sell SeaLife underwater cameras and accessories in addition to our stock of Intova underwater cameras we decided to do some research to see how our cameras stacked up against the ever popular GoPro Hero HD. Here is what we found....
Price: Price is always an important factor in any purchase. At face value, the Intova comes in the cheapest costing just $299.99 for the Edge X. The GoPro Hero 4 camera costs around $400.00 and the standard housing (waterproof to 131ft) is an additional ($50.00) and the dive housing (waterproof to 197ft) is an additional $60.00. The SeaLife Micro HD+ is a sealed system camera so no housing is needed to use the camera underwater costs around $500.00 retail typically (we can get you a better deal here at the shop, but that is for another post).
Video Quality: All three cameras take excellent videos. The SeaLife Micro HD and the GoPro Hero HD were side by side compared and no one could tell any difference in video quality according to both scubagadget.com and toucandive.com as well as several other websites and personal experiences. The Intova has been compared by more technical camera reviewers and very little difference in underwater video quality was found here either.
Still Photo Quality: The Intova takes the cake in the still photo category with its automatic fisheye correction and the ability to be used with strobes and flashbulbs with ease. The GoPro and SeaLife do take great still pictures in a variety of water conditions but the majority of their features focus on taking videos.
Battery Life: The GoPro cameras have always been known for having a notoriously short battery life. When you are worried about
Other Features: The SeaLife comes as a completely sealed system so there is no worry that the camera and all of your footage will be lost from unexpected flooding of the system. It has filter settings for underwater such as red filters for shallow and deep water built into its system which eliminates the need to buy and store and attach extras to the camera. It also has drop protection on its exterior to keep it safe if it falls to the ground. The camera can easily attach to its accessories using a tray and the attachments are so easy to use they can be reconfigured underwater. This is handy if you are trying to get the lighting just right for a picture or video. The SeaLife is a little larger than the GoPro and has larger, piano style keys which make it much easier to change settings and hold on to when diving with thicker dive gloves.
The Intova Edge X has accessories that fit the GoPro so if you already have a GoPro this can be a money saver. The Edge X is waterproof up 200ft and comes with the housing so it is not an extra cost. This camera can do time lapse, Burst modes, and Dive Mode. It has WiFi capabilities and comes with a USB for easy photo transfer. The Edge X has fish-eye correction and manual white balance. The Edge X also comes with easy controls and a large viewscreen. The filters and other accessories can be adjusted underwater.
So as a diver, unless you need above water capabilities such as attaching the camera to your dog or a model rocket, you may want to opt for an underwater camera over the GoPro and save time and money and the worry of a flooded GoPro losing your memories.