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GoPro Dive Flat Lens Housing
Member Name: chrisheels
GoPro Dive Flat Lens Housing
Advantages: Great photos, good quality
Disadvantages: blocks the displays a bit
The GoPro is a professional quality camera now used for many surfing movies. The camera is small, rugged and when combined with various cases waterproof to 60m depth and useable for surfing, scuba diving, snowboarding, motorsports and a wide range of other activites.
The standard case is suitable for suba diving and rated to 60m depth, however is leaves the camera with a curved lens, which gives the distinctive fiseye style to the pictures.
As a keen scuba diver I saw that the dive casing was released by GoPro a few months ago and noticed that a compatible red filter was also available for the underwater housing so I decided to invest.
== The product ==
The GoPro dive casing is a strong durable case made from polycarbonate plastic. It is similar to the other waterproof cases available but includes a flat lens specifically for use underwater (although it works perfectly on the surface too). Buttons in the casing allow you to use all the features of the camera.
A bonus with this casing is that it includes a lens cap (which isn't included with other cases) making it ideal for stuffing the camera in a bag when travelling.
The underwater housing fits the GoPro Hero and Hero 2. The GoPro hero 3 has also just been launched which appears to have a flat lens as standard but I would imagine this casing can be used too.
== Image Quality ==
The flat lens really does improve the quality of underwater photos considerably. The blurring that the round lens gives is removed and out-of-focus issues caused by being underwater are much improved.
Red is the first colour to be lost as you get deeper on a dive so photos can look a little dark if no correction is made. No filter is included as part of the case and I would heavily recommend getting a red filter for sea diving (orange for freshwater) which puts back some of the red spectrum into the colours.
== Use ==
The only issue I have with the casing is that the flat lens part of the case does cover a lot of the LCD display on the front of the camera meaning it is hard to view the settings without removing the case.
I use the dive casing with a headstrap (heavily secured so that it doesn't fall off...I actually wear a wetsuit hood over it and have the camera poking out of the top of the face opening) which means that I don't need to look at the settings underwater and simply set them on the boat before going diving.
The GoPro camera is controlled using 2 buttons to move around the settings and the dive case includes features to let you use these whilst still providing a waterproof casing. They are easy to operate even when wearing thick wetsuit gloves.
The seal works well, however I have had issues with the case steaming up and now use anti-fog inserts to deal with that. After diving or using the camera in the sea, make sure to wash it off in freshwater as the salt will corrode the seal leading to leaks and a broken £300 camera.
== Price ==
The underwater housing is currently £42.27 on amazon and rougly similar prices from dive and photography online shops. I think this is quite reasonable considering the price of the other accessories for GoPro cameras and other makes of underwater camera.
== Summary ==
A good product that works well, is good quality and greatly improves scuba pictures. I don't think it is worth splashing (pun intended) out for this casing if you are only snorkelling as the picture quality with the standard case is still quite reasonable.
Summary: A good product that works well, is good quality and greatly improves scuba pictures