‘Fluorescing’ Coral … and the SeaLife DC2000 …

… following a catastrophic incident with an underwater housing and not wishing to face the prospect of drowning a perfectly good and expensive Nikon D5 and turning it into a salty paperweight, I searched for an underwater camera that wouldn’t break the bank, shoots raw, has an off camera strobe, versatility … and would be stress free.

I came across the new SeaLife DC2000 when it was first announced. The specs included a SONY 2.5cm back-illuminated 20MP CMOS image sensor, RAW & JPEG capture, built in underwater colour correction, full Manual, Auto and Mode shooting, a comprehensive selection of lighting options and accessories … and both the housing AND camera are waterproof to depths far below that which I will descend to.

Surprisingly the BEST price deal on the new kit … I opted for the kit which included the Sea Dragon Flash … can be found in Australia from Tim Hochgrebe at Underwater Australasia. His price is way under anyone else I could find around the planet (including B&H) and he expedited stock into the country, offered free shipping AND a free extra battery. He still has some stock I believe and it can be found at https://underwater.com.au/shop/sealife-dc2000-camera-pro-flash-set.html.

I’ve now used the SeaLife DC2000 (pic bottom below) on a couple of occasions on news stories on the Great Barrier Reef … and have found it easy to shoot … admittedly a little slower and more measured than a housed DSLR … and easy to view and make adjustments underwater. For my shooting style adding the SeaLife ‘Fisheye’ (which it isn’t) wide angle lens to the setup was a no brainer.  The image quality from the camera is fine …

It isn’t perfect … what camera ever is … but the SeaLife has provided me with a relatively stress free setup to use for underwater news jobs.

The image below (with marine biologist Sam Grey from Silver Sonic) was taken with the SeaLife at Moore Reef on the GBR this week … and … before you mention the vivid colours I should explain that many of these corals are ‘fluorescing’ … showing amazingly vibrant and brilliant colours as they become stressed by too high water temperatures. These colours are exactly how the coral appeared … particularly striking was the plate coral near the centre of the frame. A prelude to bleaching and possibly coral death. I also witnessed large gardens of totally white ‘bleached’ coral. Our Great Barrier Reef IS under threat from Global Warming.

Main Image © Brian Cassey

Fluorescing coral Great Barrier Reef Moore Reef by Brian Cassey

SeaLife DC2000 underwater camera with Sea Dragon flash


Great Bit of the Barrier Reef …

Over the decades I’ve been fortunate to visit many Great Barrier Reef dive sites working on reef stories for various publications … but this one spot – the Fish Bowl at the Sno Dive Site at Opal Reef out from Port Douglas visited whilst working for the Courier Mail just before Christmas …  is really something else !

Just before my visit the BBC selected this very reef spot and spent two weeks here filming a documentary and searching for the ultimate reef footage and ‘money shot’.

In this pic made on a Nikon D4s in a Ewa Marine housing, Heather Baird – a 23 year old dive master from the reef boat Calypso – is swimming amongst an amazing variety of corals.

Lets hope the threats of global warming, coral bleaching, ocean acidity, fertiliser runoff … and the crown of thorns star fish … do not impact this beautiful irreplaceable environment.

(September 2016 Update – I returned to the Sno Dive Site. It appears that the vivid colours of the coral in this image from December 2015 MAY have been due to the coral being ‘under stress’ from sustained high water temperature … as the bleaching process began. Certainly, on my return to Sno there were no corals showing such intense colouration.)

Image © Brian Cassey 2015

Opal Reef - Great barrier Reef Australia