Sunday, August 3, 2014

Underwater Camcorder Review

I've now officially 'tested' my new little underwater camera. For what it is as well as the cost of it that it's a good little camera.

I have taken 2 sample videos out of water with it as well as now made a video that is 19mins long of me masturbating underwater with it making a true test of it all. You'll find the 2 samples below, one was done right when I took it from the box of just my computer/wall/around me area and the 2nd was done by Camera Man when we were at the last hotel room Friday evening but it had me and my wonderful bubble butt at the end so I thought I'd share that one too!

As a note here... it saves in .avi format. At first I did not have a problem with this when editing but something with my video editing software really just didn't like something. At first all saved well into hd .mp4 format but when I went to try to edit the samples below, they wouldn't save in anything higher then 700 something pixel and no hd version at all in any format. Hell it even gave me a warning when pushing it into 1280x720p by custom save that it was not the same ratio but ummm it was! It wasn't reading the original right for what ever reason. I over came this somehow by converting 1 of the 2 samples into .wmv format and then tried again. Something with just changing that *1* video format before putting it back into my editing program reset something and off I went again being able to edit the .avi format into hd .mp4 format. Not sure what was happening but I was about to pull my hair out.

 ~ It's small and compact, this will also be a con when the list comes up. The pro of it being small is just that, it's small. You can easily pocket this little guy or put it in a small belt pouch, purse or any other small bag. I would keep it in a soft casing of some sort though or put it in a plastic bag by itself just because the lens is not recessed so it could possibly be prone to getting scratched.
 ~ It's High Def 1280x720p. For an underwater digital camcorder that has the ability to take 1mp, 3mp, or 5mp still shots on top of every thing with only costing 55euro including shipping from the UK, that is pretty damn good!
 ~ A number of possible ways to mount it. It comes with a helmet/strap type mount (think about placing it over your wrist or ankle even with a tripod mount on it). Another one is just a normal case to place on it when it's not in the tripod mountable waterproof casing to provide the mounting on any tripod piece. The waterproof casing which also is a tripod mount in itself and then on top of it all a bar mount if you wanted to attach it to a bike bar or in my case say oh a shower bar *halo*. And if those were not enough it also comes with a powerful suction cup part that acts like a mini tripod (mount and all) and it works VERY well under water!
 ~ Easy to unload content off it despite being a little slow. Again for the cost, you can't complain about the speed of which it unloads which isn't horrid. It's a mini USB to USB attachment right from the camera to both unload and charge. It took about 3mins to unload almost 2gig worth of content.
 ~ Easy to charge. It's about 90mins usage per charge but it charges by the same mini USB to USB connection. If you are like me, you have a USB to outlet adapter (it came with my tablet in this case but I'm sure you can buy them as well) then you don't even need a computer to charge it, just pop it into the adapter and charge. One downside, although it charged rather quickly, it didn't give (or at least I didn't hear anything) a warning at all that it was fully charged.
 ~  If all the above wasn't bang for buck with this little thing, it also comes with a 32gig micro SD chip which means it indeed uses an external memory device. If you didn't care for the speed of the direct mini usb to usb unloading process, have a faster card reader and a micro sd card adapter (most come with this little thing to make it the size of a normal sd chip so it fits into something like a card read), then you can do this. I have all of these but I will have to experiment a bit more when I have more content made. My card read is internal, new to me and also has a USB port so I'm going to experiment with unloading both by reading the sd chip itself with the card reader as well as seeing what happens when I attach the camera itself through the usb port in the card reader... not even sure if that will work but what else would a card read have a usb port for hey?
 ~ It does use a touch screen but again there is a con coming to follow this. It's nice that it's touch screen instead of being this button or that button or oh shit what button was it that did that type thing. It's all there on the screen for you with exception of the power, shutter/record button and the mode switch. If you want to switch the dates, time, what mp it's using or see your recorded video, it's all done by the screen.

 ~ It's small, also a pro though. It is extremely small so if you have problems handling small devices, be cautious. This thing is only a couple if inches across as well as high.
 ~ Small buttons. Because of it's size, all of the buttons are also very small. If you don't have at least 1 strong/longish fingernail you could have an issue using some of it's buttons. The shutter and power buttons are no issues as they are push buttons located at the top but for instance the switch to change from video mode to car mode and to still mode is a slide switch, that might case a problem.
 ~ No way to change battery/s. The battery/battery pack although lithium is located within the camera so there is no way to exchange the battery without opening the camera. If this battery should go before I am finished with the little thing, I will check with a local camera shop to see how much it would cost to open it for me and replace the battery (if it is even possible at all)... then make the choice if it is worth doing or just buying a new one for.
 ~ All mounts are very nice and well fitting but there is a minor down side to it's hard case (the non-waterproof one). It goes on very easily but it can because of it's size, hard to remove. I suggest storing the camera in it's waterproof casing anyhow though to protect the lens while not using it.
 ~ Although touch screen, it's small and also the old fashioned 'yesterday' style touch screen. Now a days people are use to the electrical impulse style touch screen... the ones where you just slide your finger or special type of tablet pen lets say (stylus) across it and that small contact makes it react. This is a bit more forward in which the screen must FEEL the connection against it and not sense an electrical charge so to speak. That means if you have fat fingers such as I do, you're going to have some problems using the screen. So far I control the screen with my longer fingernails but trying to use my finger tips on the small screen doesn't work well. I will be buying the old fashioned hard point stylus when I get to the next media store. That is the best option.
 ~ It needs more light then a more expensive counter part. My hd digital flip camcorder worked quite well with the light that was in the last hotel room Camera Man and I went to but this little guy didn't fair nearly as well. It is dark even out of the water but even darker under the water. If you use it under water, find yourself a waterproof light to go with you or make sure your doing it on a nice sunny day outside. Outside in the sun/natural light shouldn't be much of an issue but indoors or underwater shooting like I've done so far, you need extra light period. I will be investing in some 'spa' lights that are battery powered and waterproof for later usage with it. I also intend to test out my beloved room #18 at the hotel with it's whirl pool and this camera because that pool has built in underwater lights. It's hard on the eyes when looking into it from above but I can image it would greatly help the image of this camera when it's used underwater.

All in all I would so far give this camera a 7 out of 10. It's compact, it's easy to understand, it comes with TONS of stuff for the cost and it's easy to unload/charge. But in the same it really needs extra light when recording with it indoors or under water. It is handy to carry with but the same factor it can be hard to handle because of the small size. It does only have a 90min at most charge but the SD chip that comes with it can handle over many more hours of filming before needing to unloaded. Over all though, it's a high def action style camcorder for less then 50euro minus shipping costs. See the samples, judge what you think and soon I'll be placing some of the underwater shooting I did on

Edited August 7th, 2014 ~ I wanted to include a photo, although again it's not the best, it SHOULD be a photo that is with this little beauty where you buy it but of course no one thinks of including such vital details like the full fledged specs that take up 95% of the back of the box .... nonono who'd ever think of doing that? ;) Anyhow, it's at least readable.

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