With the age of digital imaging, closely each (shallow water) diver may be involved with underwater photography. This review is of a unfeigned beginner camera outfit. The Chinese made, SVP Acqua digital outfit includes the camera system and waterproof case for underneath $100. There are apparent limitations and we’ll cover them in this review.
Don’t suppose professional results with this camera, but you’ll be astoundingly pleased with the skillfulness this little compact outfit provides. With all the features you’d suppose to find in frequent brand ‘point and shoot’ cameras, this compact scheme will without apparent effort fit into your BCD pocket. The specifications are listed after our review comments. Since the factory selling brochure supplied these, we can not affirm or dispute them.
First of all, before using this camera… view the enclosed DVD instruction manual provided with the camera. There are a good deal of features and settings that you’ll need to recognise before you get out on the water to use your camera system. We’ve used galore dissimilar brands and all seem to have some logical settings and a great deal of not-so-logical procedures. Like most ‘point and shoot’ cameras, there is a delay amid pushing on the shutter and having the actual shutter operation. After you become intimate with the operation of the camera and the features you’re ready for the underwater part.
Like any housing, you need to keep the housing clean and free from sand or grit that could develop a leak. Since the main seal is not in truth an o’ring, I was very careful to clean the surfaces with a cotton tip (Qtip) and utilize a great deal of o’ring grease to the surface as well as a thin film on the seal itself. The seal is sort of a wedge shape, so it must provide a good positive pressure seal. The clean part is more for all the little control buttons that grant you to alter settings of the camera underwater. We’ll get into the best settings we found when using the camera underwater.
When they say the housing is good to 15 meters or around 33 feet, they are not lying. Not that we were attempting to flood the housing or anything, but at 60 feet the camera is not operational because the pressure is squeezing the controls and shuts the camera off. At 40 feet, you might get the camera to work, but don’t count on altering the settings. At 35 feet the camera seems to work fine with all the features and settings operational. For galore divers, this will be too limiting because most of your dives will be deeper than 35 feet. However, keep in mind that the red/yellow/orange end of the spectrum is filtered out beyond this depth too.
The camera and housing combining are well matched and easy to operate. With the clear plastic housing, you may without apparent effort see the settings on the camera. Like most digital displays sure angles are more difficult to see, but with the proper shading and angle everything is visible on the 2 inch screen. Even even though you may alter the lens focal length from wide angle to zoom, we kept the setting on wide angle for the dives for the duration of the whole procedure because of the water. Keep this in mind for all underwater photography; stay close to your subject and use the widest angle possible for better results.
For the still shots, the camera was set for the strobe to fire with each shot. This uses up your batteries faster, but if the subject is closer than 8 feet, you’ll have better imaging and color. The best results were our macro shots where we set the camera for ‘close-up’ and applied the flash. When using the movie mode, you’ll be impressed with the sharpness of the images, but don’t suppose high quality audio. The housing will have to absorb a lot of the sound as much of the underwater audio is muted. More than likely, you’ll edit with a great deal of musical background anyway.
The color remainder was a little off. We did change the settings according to the instructions and the results were that the color remainder was a little on the blue side for topside shots. This was not an issue for the underwater shots as the greenish tint of the water was eliminated. Most of the color remainder issues may be handled in the editing phase.
The assert of being 12.0 mega pixels is a little deceiving because this is the ‘hardware interpolation’ not the ‘image resolution’ which is 5.0 mega pixels. All in all, we were not disappointed in the quality results of the better pictures. However, numerous of the shots showed camera shake even with the built in flash. This means that the shutter does adjust for the amount of light, so it’s primary to squeeze the cameral and hold it as still as possible.
We applied an 8 GB SD card because we expected to take a lot of video and had ample memory space for two dives. We didn’t use the provided USB cable because we use a card reader to our laptop and then back up the memory to a portable hard drive. The power source uses two triple A Alkaline Batteries, so it’s not a problem having new batteries for each dive. We didn’t use the ‘voice recorder’ feature, but from our underwater video experience, it would not be commended inside the underwater housing.
Now for the bottom line counsel on this gear: If you plan to take your underwater imaging seriously, save your cash for a more comprehensive system. This could be the perfective outfit for a sport diver that wants to percentage their diving experience with their friends and family. For less than $100 (prices range from $70-100), not including your SD Memory card or batteries, it is a value. The SVP cameras are available at galore dive shops and are directly marketed from assorted importers online. The next “point and shoot” underwater outfits, without an external strobe, will most likely cost over $500. So, if you are going on vacation and thinking regarding having your own digital camera outfit for shoal water, this is the answer. Of course, for around $35 at most diving centers you could rent a camera with everything included. Sometimes the choice is not easy, but you may know a lot more from an individual who has tested the SVP out. It is a great still and video camera outfit for around the water and underwater to regarding 35 feet.
Specifications from the Manufacturer:
· Waterproof design: Don’t be affrighted to take this Aqua camera to the water-even underwater. The waterproof case will protect this camera to depths of 30 feet.
· Very sleek and little camera design
· Takes Pictures, Video, and Audio Clips with it’s built in microphone.
· Resolution sensor gives you the option of taking: 5 MP, 3.1 MP, 1.3 MP, and 300K Resolution Images.
· Takes, 12 and 8 MP pictures through hardware interpolation.
· Movie mode: When a picture isn’t enough, shoot 640 x 480 (VGA) video, with sound, at 30 frames per second.
· 2.0″ LCD screen: This compact color screen has a great deal of room to help you compose your shots.
· Zoom: The 8x digital zoom enlarges pixels to fill the frame with your favored percentage of the image.
· Adjustable Flash
· Self timer: 2/10/10+2 Seconds
· Tripod Capabilities
· Onboard White Balance
· Waterproof to 50ft
· 16MP Built in Memory, Takes SD Cards to exaggerate memory.
· Power Source: 2 triple A Batteries
· Time Stamp Options: Off/ Date only/ Date and Time
· Comes with software, hookup thru USB 1.1
· Video/TV out supported- Via video out cable.
· Automatic power mode- Prolong batteries life by auto-switching the camera power off.
· Auto Flash, Auto Flash with Red-eye reduction, Slow Sync, Fill-in Flash, Flash off, Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Sunset, Custom etc…
· MULTI-LINGUAL INTERFACE 8 Menu Languages including: English, Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, T. Chinese, and S. Chinese.
The MF-800 Plus is a full feature Digital Frame with substantial state-of-the-art features not found elsewhere. The MF-800 Plus sports a high resolution, bright 8″ TFT screen that displays digital photos and video in bright color. Set up as a slide show and play directly from a memory card. Includes a bonus audio slideshow function, so you may listen to music while a slideshow is playing. The number of images is only fixed by the capacity of the memory card being used.
- Brand: Digital Spectrum
- Model: U-40183
- Dimensions: 5.55 pounds
- Product #: MF800PLUS
- Manufacturer: Digital Spectrum Solutions
- Manufacturer Item #: U-40183
- UPC: 810258010566
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
By Stephen J. Sacayan
Well, I’ve owned this frame for about a week now and it’s not all that bad. My photos are clear and I love the remote control (which my last frame did not have). The most important feature I was looking for was the ‘no limitation on amount of photos’. Although it has an internal memory, it reads directly from the size of memory card you insert. Unfortunately, this frame does not have a timer which would allow it to turn on/off at designated times. I have to give kudos for the delivery, it shipped the same day I ordered it. And I received it within 3 days even though I live in HI (a near miracle). Overall, a pretty good purchase.
14Sep10 – OK, owned it for a few weeks now and thought I’d give an update. The frame does not allow the pictures to be displayed randomly. They only display one way, which is the way they are listed on your memory card. Also, occassionally a picture will not fully display and still show part of the last picture.
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