Saturday, November 13, 2010

SeaLife DC1000 Long Term Review

Ok, so I've had my SeaLife underwater camera for a while now.
My first one was a DC800, which was a good camera, but somehow the firmware locked up on generator power in Fiji. It was under warranty so they sent me a DC1000 + new case + wide angle lense for free. Pretty awesome.
However recently the case developed a sticky shutter button. I've just pulled it apart and managed to fix it, so I wanted to share because many out there have resorted to sending in for a new case, but I am out of warranty. Anyway the fix went well.

Dis-assembly is straightforward, except for getting the black plastic arm off the shaft inside the housing. There is a groove in the shaft just below the arm which holds a c-clip. Once the c-clip is removed (use two small screwdrivers to nudge it off) you would expect the arm to slide right off, but it catches on the groove. Resist the temptation to wang on the tip of the arm - use a small screwdriver and pry from above, as close to the shaft as you can. Mine came off crooked with a popping sound, which was really distressing but it wasn't hurt.

Here's the shutter button assy, and a close-up of the scoring I found on the button shaft. I also noticed that some sand made it into the assembly spring hole and stayed there.

I resized the spring to provide more restorative force to the button.

Don't use appliance oil - it is too light and it isn't effective on rubber/metal interface actually. Note that the c-clip is placed on the assembly prematurely in this pic - it actually goes on the inside of the case.

Use lib balm instead. And block up the pesky flush hole which let the sand in.

Insert the button spring assy gently, noting that the seal from the o-ring is two-sided: one on the housing and one on the shaft. Lube the hole before insertion.

Once the shaft is c-clipped in place, put the arm on within the housing.

and add the second c-clip beneath it. Little flat screwdrivers are good for pushing them back on.

I used a piece of condom to seal above the shutter button to avoid sand ingression again. Put it under the cover plate, against the clear plastic.

Note the shutter button has big clearance for flushing. Sand comes in if you do sandy stuff. Avoid sand.