Sea & Sea MX-10

Overall Rating* * * * *
Lens Sharpness Excellent

The MX-10 had the sharpest optics of the bunch, as you should expect from the price. Wide-angle, close-up and macro lenses, a framer and a strobe are available, giving the camera considerable flexibility. Unusual thought has been given to making the MX-10 user-friendly. The viewfinder is large enough to be usable through a mask, and bayonet mounting makes lenses easy to change under water. A nice gadget is a lens caddy that mounts an extra lens on top of the strobe, keeping it safe. A clever, compact framer is attached to the macro lens, making it by far the easiest macro system to install. The compact strobe is also easy to attach to or remove from the camera under water. Separated, both will fit in one large accessory pocket (like that made by Zeagle). Thus, the whole system can be carried hands-free without needing to dangle it from a D-ring.

The MX-10 is not quite point-and-shoot simple, however. An aperture knob requires selecting among six non-flash and two flash settings, although you're likely to need only two or three under water. And you've got those annoying depth-of-field charts which I, for one, can never make much sense of. Thankfully, the strobe has an automatic setting which apportions the amount of flash to what is needed. If cost is no object, this camera is the best of the bunch.

At a Glance

Cost - Basic camera: $429. Deluxe Kit (with auxiliary lenses, strobe, framer, case): $1,274.
Type - Waterproof camera.
Closest focus - Camera: 4 feet. With macro lens: 10 inches.