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I've looked at a few waterproof digital cameras recently, such as the Olympus mju-Tough 6020 or the stylish Sony TX5. These sort of cameras are fine for water sports or a dip in the sea, but they are only waterproof to a depth of a few metres. SCUBA diving has become a popular holiday activity, with diving schools and organised trips at many resorts in the clear waters of the Mediterranean or Caribbean. Even novice divers will usually dive to depths beyond the capabilities of these waterproof compacts, so if you want to take photos at diving depths you're going to need something a bit more robust.
Many camera manufacturers produce custom underwater housings for their more popular models, and there are several third-party manufacturers that also make bespoke housings for a range of popular compacts, however these are often very expensive (usually around £200-£250), and if your compact camera doesn't happen to be one for which a case exists then you're out of luck. Or at least, you were.
Now there's an alternative in the shape of the Seashell SS-1, a unique configurable underwater case that will fit most front-lens compact and ultra-compact digital cameras, and is waterproof to a depth of 40 metres. There is also another model, the SS-2, which will fit most compact cameras with corner-mounted internal lenses. It's easy and fun to use, and costs less than £150, a lot cheaper than most custom cases.
Like most underwater cases the Seashell is made from thick heavy-duty moulded transparent plastic, with a glass window on the front for the camera to look out of. Most of the case is clear, but it does have coloured trim areas and buttons, available in red, blue, purple or the orange shown here.
It is a two-part clamshell construction with a strong metal-pivoted hinge and a spring-loaded pressure clasp with a sliding lock. It has a durable O-ring seal around the edge of the rear panel, and sealed buttons on the top. It comes with a brightly coloured neck strap and wrist strap, and has a metal tripod bush on the bottom of the case which can be used to attach accessories such as lighting systems. The build quality is excellent, as you might expect from a protective housing, and the design is about as attractive as a big perspex box is going to get.
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