Cressi Entry Level & Recreational Dive Computers - The Leonardo and the Giotto
The Cressi brand has a long history of providing quality products for Scuba Divers, Spear Fishermen, Snorkels and Swimmers. Cressi is a good brand with high standards when it comes to safety, performance and reliability.
Both the Leonardo and the Giotto are great choices for entry level and Recreational divers.
If you already know the Cressi Leonardo dive computer is for you, click the button below to see the current price plus any savings available on either Amazon or The House of Scuba.
Click on the link below to take you to the answer to your most pressing question, or keep scrolling to read the entire review.
How many Dive modes does the Cressi Leonardo have?
The Leonardo has 3 operating modes, Air, Nitrox (between 21% to 50%), and Gauge.
Gauge mode is an excellent bottom timer with accurate profile sampling and bookmarking functions. Dive time is shown in minutes and seconds. The Gauge Mode will display accurate bottom times and decompression limits.
Buying a dive computer with Gauge mode means this can be used as a backup computer if you decide to expand on your training or get into technical diving later on.
What Features and Functions does the Leonardo have?
Entry Level Dive Computer Comparisons
All of these dive computers have the basic functionality to keep you safe while diving. Their differences are listed in the comparison table below.
There are some notable differences between these diving computers.
Want to go lake diving or diving at different altitudes?
Whenever diving above an altitude of 1,000 feet (300 meters), the Altitude setting needs to be adjusted. The Leonardo's altitude setting is adjustable up to 12,100 feet (or 3,700 meters).
You must give yourself time to acclimatize to a new altitude and lower atmospheric pressure before going on a dive. It's generally recommended you wait at least 3 hours to regain equilibrium before going on a dive after changing altitude levels.
Cressi Leonardo Dive Alarms - Are they Adjustable?
The dive alarms on the Leonardo are audible and quite distinctive. They are also adjustable and can be turned off. There's an Ascent Rate Alarm (10 meters per minute), Deep Stop and Countdown Timer.
The Leonardo will signal a SAFETY STOP for each dive greater than 32 feet. It also displays a STOP icon to help with the 3 minute stop that's recommended be taken between 20 feet and 10 feet. The STOP icon appears with the time in minutes and the depth (shown in meters or feet depending on your preference).
The Cressi Leonardo also has a Deep Stop alarm. Whether or not you need to include Deep Stops in your Dive Plan remains a controversial issue. Given that the Leonardo is an entry level dive computer, you shouldn't need to worry about planning for Deep Stops. Deep Stops may come into play when you're diving below 65 feet (20 meters), for long periods of time.
What about the Dive Planner and Logbook Memory?
The Leonardo has a dive memory logbook for DIVE AIR, DIVE NITROX and GAUGE dives.
The Logbook has a memory capacity of around 70 hours (or approximately 60 dives) worth of dive time. Data is recorded every 20 seconds.
The Leonardo's pre-dive planning sequence will give adjusted dive times based on residual nitrogen accumulation. It also includes safe decompression calculations if you're doing multiple dives over multiple days. Your nitrogen absorption and release are continually processed.
Does this come with a downloadable Data Log option?
The short answer is no, this is an optional extra. You need to buy the download kit separately.
The download kit lets you download your Dive Log to either a PC or a Mac.
You can then view your dive profile information complete with graphs. This makes it easy to review critical dive profile information. Being able to view and analyze this information helps improve your diving.
The dive information includes depth, decompression status, maximum depth, bottom time, descent and ascent rates. It also shows the ambient temperatures, surface intervals and all warning points during a dive.
There are package deals available where you can buy the download kit together with the dive computer. This kit includes a stand. The download kit when purchased on its own will cost around $100.
Cressi Leonardo USB Interface
The Software can be downloaded directly from the Cressi web site on their Downloads page under PC Interface. Another great open-source option is Subsurface.
Can you change the Leonardo battery yourself?
The Leonardo takes a 3-volt CR2430 battery and is user replaceable. The battery life indicator icon is easy to see.
The average battery life is around 2 years based on 50 dives per year. Different factors will affect its longevity including the length of your dives and how often you use the back light. Diving in cold water will decrease the length of the battery life.
When the time comes, the replacement battery pack costs under $23. If you don't want to change this yourself, then any supplier should be able to do this for you.
Which Algorithm does the Cressi use?
The Cressi Leonardo uses the Haldane and Wienke RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model) algorithm which is known for its conservatism.
As with most dive computers, you can adjust the level of conservatism based on your personal preference, the level of fitness and your diving style.
Who's this Dive Computer NOT for?
The Cressi Leonardo doesn't have the option for wireless air integration or a built in compass.
The Cressi Leonardo is not designed for commercial or professional use. This dive computer is NOT recommended for diving beyond No Decompression limits. If you go below the no-decompression limits, an audible alarm is issued and the STOP icon with DECO will be displayed. The Leonardo will provide specific information to help you with surfacing.
The Cressi Giotto is the big brother to the Cressi Leonardo and if you have a few extra dollars to spare and want to stick with the Cressi brand, then it would be worth investing in the Giotto.
If you're planning on expanding your training later to include deco diving, then take a look at some of our reviews of mid-level diving computers.
Experienced Scuba divers and Freedivers after more advanced functions may be interested in the Aqualung range of dive computers, Suunto's D6i, D4i Novo the D4F. Shearwater also has the Teric with a Free Diving Mode.
Cressi Leonardo versus Giotto - What extras do you get?
The Cressi Giotto is priced around $100 above the Cressi Leonardo dive computer. It has all the same features as the Leonardo but comes with the ability to do decompression calculations.
The Cressi Giotto has a 3 button menu as opposed to the one menu button interface of the Leonardo. Many people find the 3 button style menu is much easier to navigate.
The Giotto can handle two different hyper-oxygenated mixtures, which can be selected during the dive.
Cressi has built a solid reputation as a strong and dependable brand for Scuba divers. The Cressi Leonardo is one of the most popular entry level dive computers.
This is a reliable and well built dive computer and has all the functions needed by entry-level and Recreational Scuba divers, at a really attractive price.