August 2007

Using and abusing the SeaLife ECOshot -- the Video

-- Posted Saturday, August 25, 2007 by chb

We tested the ultra-tough SeaLife ECOshot underwater camera
If you need something that can survive a six-foot drop, be punted around with getting as much as a scratch or dent, yet also take pictures and videos underwater, the very affordable SeaLife ECOshot is just perfect. It's a very simple 6-megapixel camera with just the basic controls, but its underwater modes and underwater white balance settings make for excellent pictures. It's rated at 75 feet, but won't give up if you go a bit deeper. [Read our full review of the SeaLife ECOshot underwater camera] -- Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2007 by chb

Great dive sites: Rubicon Wall at Lake Tahoe, NV
The water level of Lake Tahoe is at 6,230 feet and the lake is over 1,700 feet deep. Its waters are blue and clear and a diver's paradise. Summer surface temperature is 68 degrees. There are dozens of dive sites, but the most spectacular is perhaps the great wall off Rubicon Point, accessible from the D.L. Bliss State Park. It is a near vertical drop of over 800 feet. While testing underwater cameras, we explored the Rubicon wall and descended to 110 feet. Click on the picture to the right to see a progression from Google Earth to USGS underwater mapping.[Read Diving the Wall off Rubicon Point, Lake Tahoe] -- Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007 by chb

Great dive sites: Meeks Bay, Lake Tahoe
Meeks Bay is a Lake Tahoe dive site located about five miles north of Emerald Bay off Highway 89. It's a charming beach with easy access and offers diving for anyone from beginners to those who want to explore the steep drop into the abyss with huge boulders and rocks and visibility up to 100 feet. It can get pretty cold below 50 feet, so consider a hood and gloves. And with the lake level at 6,230 feet, this is a high altitude dive! [Read Diving Meeks Bay]

-- Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 by chb

New breath holding record
Scuba divers must never hold their breath when diving, but free divers do, and the longer you can hold your breath, the longer they can stay underwater. But breath holding is also a competitive sport of sorts. On August 10, 2007, Tom Sietas of Germany broke his own mark with a new record of 15 minutes and two seconds. Yes, it seems impossible, but he did it. [read about the new breath holding record] -- Posted Sunday, August 12, 2007 by chb

Home-made camera housings and sonar
What if you want an underwater case for you camera, but they don't make one? Why, you make it yourself! At least that is what Tim O'Brien did, an innovative New Zealander who also thought up and constructed a home-made sonar dive buddy locator. See the story of his home-made Pentax 750Z underwater housing, and the one he is making now for the Pentax A20. Even if you don't follow in Tim's footsteps, reading about his projects will give you a new appreciation for all the camera makers that do make underwater housings for us. It isn't that easy. -- Posted Tuesday, August 7, 2007 by chb