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Best Underwater Video Cameras 2008 - Ultra-Compact Cameras

Jump to page... 1. Which camera is best for you? 2. Entry Level Cameras 3. Ultra-Compact Cameras 4. Professional Broadcast Cameras 5. Red One 4K Professional

Best underwater video cameras - Sony SR12, Sony HC9, and Sony CX7
Favorite Compacts: Sony HC9, Sony SR12, and Sony CX7

Our Top Picks: Ultra-Compact Cameras

Sony HC9, Sony SR12 and CX7
Again Sony came out the clear winner in this category based on housing availability and price. Our top 3 picks are listed below, but our favorite is the tape based Sony HC9 due to the simple fact that it records to tape in the easy to edit and lower compression HDV format. The hard disk Sony SR12 offers better low light capability, but we'd rather do a dive trip on tape media and have the security of tape for back-up. Hard disk cameras like the SR12 offer instant access to clips, but require you to download to hard disk in the field and the added overhead of a back-up hard disk system at home. With the tape based HC9 you will need to download clips to the computer, but you can put those original tapes in the closet and not worry about hard disk management for back-up. If you're already living in the hard disk world, choose the SR12. If you are a little old school, choose the HC9.
We've also kept the Sony CX7 in the top pick category as it's the smallest high resolution system on the market. With its matching Seatool housing, the Sony CX7 is almost small enough for a BC pocket. The use of solid state flash media, means the lens is the only moving part in the camera. A perfect solution for surf filming and divers that want great image quality in the smallest possible size.
Of the housings options listed below, you'll find that only the Gates and Light & Motion Bluefin series of housings offer manual white balance and manual exposure control. If you're looking for this level of control, then your choice will be between Gates and a Bluefin. If you are looking for the most compact, then Seatool is the smallest offering on the market. If you prefer this category of camera, but need to keep the housing cost to a minimum, then you'll find Top Dawg to be the lowest price available with a built-in monitor.
This category of camera has the largest selection of housings. Thus, please don't hesitate to give us a call to discuss which underwater housing is best for you.
Sony HC9 Sony SR12 Sony CX7
Resolution1440 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1440 x 1080
Sensor1 CMOS 1/3 in.1 CMOS 1/3 in. 1 CMOS 1/3 in.
Max Bit Rate 25 Mb/s 16 Mb/s 15 Mb/s
Media Type


120 GB Hard Disk
or Flash Memory
Flash Memory
Approx Price $1099$1399$800
Mfg. Link click hereclick hereclick here
Housing Options Link

Bluefin HC9
Gates HC9
Seatool HC9
Stingray HD
Top Dawg
view all housings

Bluefin SR12
Seatool SR12
Stingray HD
Top Dawg
view all housings

Seatool CX7
Stingray HD
Top Dawg
view all housings

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