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Topic # 151716 2-Sep-2014 19:50
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Heading to the islands in the school holidays and hope to be spending as much time in the water as out.  To give the kids some extra interest and encourage them to get over some possible fears and go snorkeling we thought an underwater camera might be a good idea.

As much as I would love to get a GoPro it's a bit out of budget, and the thought of the kids swimming around on the ocean with my phone in a waterproof case give me shivers.  So...looking at a basic way to get some underwater shots.

Generic covers for a compact camera I have been told could make the camera difficult to use,and the genuine waterproof casing for our compact is worth a fortune.

Looking at the bottom of the market, anyone used this sort of thing?  

http://www.jbhifi.co.nz/photo/video-camera/extreme-x/action-camera-sku-278428/ or
http://www.trademe.co.nz/electronics-photography/video-cameras/action-cameras/auction-773899193.htm

Not looking for a National Geographic winning shot but something that will last more the 5 min and may delver some reasonable pics to show later.

Thanks




 




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  Reply # 1120799 2-Sep-2014 20:12
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I have one that I think is the same as the cheaper one you posted. I bought it from JB, but I think it's the same.

For your use case, and for that price, it's not terrible. I've used it strapped to my motorbike and took pretty poor video, but have also used it out kayaking with my son. I found it fogged up and that deteriorated the image, but otherwise it was passable. There's probably a way to stop the fogging from happening but I haven't looked into it.



Where are you based? If you're in Wellington you're welcome to borrow it for a test run.



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  Reply # 1120802 2-Sep-2014 20:19
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joff_nz: I have one that I think is the same as the cheaper one you posted. I bought it from JB, but I think it's the same.

For your use case, and for that price, it's not terrible. I've used it strapped to my motorbike and took pretty poor video, but have also used it out kayaking with my son. I found it fogged up and that deteriorated the image, but otherwise it was passable. There's probably a way to stop the fogging from happening but I haven't looked into it.



Where are you based? If you're in Wellington you're welcome to borrow it for a test run.


Thanks for the feedback and generous offer, but other ends of the country.  




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  Reply # 1120804 2-Sep-2014 20:26
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No worries. If you can work out what the underlying model code is (those cameras seem to rebranded a lot) then have a look on youtube for sample footage. 

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  Reply # 1120820 2-Sep-2014 20:57
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I just bought one of these and its great, I used in on the weekend doing the Timber trails. The quality is fine and if you checkout youtube you will see there isn't much differance.

Happy to lend it to you if you are in Auckland




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  Reply # 1120861 2-Sep-2014 22:04
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scuwp:

The first one is wide angle btw.

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  Reply # 1120869 2-Sep-2014 22:24
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Hi - there are quite a few options out there these days! I've got a compact 6 Mpxl Panasonic fx01 camera that shoots digital also, I have the dedicated housing for it and have used it underwater a couple of times but have got a DSLR now & don't use the Panasonic.
Happy to sell if you're interested - $200 with 2 batteries & 2 chargers. Let me know if you'd like to see some samples also.




Cheers,
Mike

Photographer/Videographer clickmedia.nz


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  Reply # 1121648 4-Sep-2014 10:26
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Hi,

My $0.02 on this:

I recently purchased a Sony Action Cam from the states.  similar to this one 
(I used the youshop service to bring it back to NZ, with free shipping inside the US to the youshop location.)

 

HDR-AS15 it was, with the original solid as case which is good down to 60m apparently and it has wifi to an iPhone app etc.
After a recent firmware upgrade Sony enabled 1080p 60fps and 720p 120fps capabilities, giving it very similar specs to the more recent/expensive models.
The newer models come with a 5m only case also, so I actually didn't mind the security of the older less flexible case option.
The action cam comes with inbuilt stabilisation at 120degree angle, or non stabilised at 170degrees.

Just thought I'd mention that one.

On the real cheap though I'd just watch:

The waterproof case specs and ratings, so you don't soak your device on holiday.

The mounts are another issue, in that if it doesn't have a standard tripod 1/4" option or the gopro style mount, then you may struggle to adapt to any other mounts, limiting to what is supplied with the camera.

Check youtube for cheap camera reviews.  This was quite useful for some of the cheaper ones I'd seen at noel lemmings etc when a friend was recently looking for the same thing as you.
Some of the online reviews found the quality pretty poor and also the interfaces really nasty, such that they lost quite a few recordings not knowing if it was on etc.

Do you want an onboard screen?  Useful in some cases, not really in others.

Interfaces.  Can't say that enough actually.  (Those who know me know I'm seriously critical of sloppy/unintuitive UI design).  Sadly this is where a lot of the cheaper clone devices fall down.

I would consider these though:    don't let the site name put you off lol

 

oh and don't forget these which will address the fogging issue common to all case cameras.
Basically you put the camera in the case in a hot humid tropical environment and the take it under water where the case cools down.
The water in the humid air inside the case condenses on the colder surfaces and leads to fogging up.  It's not brand specific, it's a physical occurrence.

Wow this quick post just turned into an epic...



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  Reply # 1122795 5-Sep-2014 22:02
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Jaxson: 

Wow this quick post just turned into an epic...


Appreciated.  Had a surf on you tube and can't say I am that impressed.  Going to have a hunt around this weekend but likely to look more towards a 'tough' point and shoot rather than a sports/movie camera I think.  It will be more versatile out of the water as well.   There seems to be some pretty robust models for $200 - $300 ish.  

Thanks  




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  Reply # 1122801 5-Sep-2014 22:17
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I bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 from Amazon for my last trip to Rarotonga, took some really neat underwater videos and a few pictures. Above water it's an OK camera, but a long long way behind my good but otherwise aging Canon G12 in terms on image quality and features.

Battery died a few months later, am yet to get a replacement...

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