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on 23 July 2012
I bought this camera as an alternative to disposables analogue underwater cameras which I was always using for my snorkelling and diving and the camera worked great. It costs about 4 times more than the disposable camera which can take only about 24 pictures, so after taking 100 pictures you get your money back.
Well it is cheap and it feels cheap and the pictures quality is averaged but it is not meant to be a professional equipment.
I am really glad I bought it, unlike with analogue camera you have almost unlimited amount of pictures you can take under water, and that is priceless. I was taking pictures constantly and then got rid of the bad ones ending up with huge collection of breathtaking shots.
With alkaline batteries it works non stop for at least 4 hours (and I mean constant shooting) which is enough for two snorkelling sessions BUT it needs 2xAAA batteries not 3xAA like on the webside.
Most of the time it is almost impossible to see the display under water so you have to practice good aiming but with unlimited pictures it is not a big issue and I had experienced similar problems with disposables cameras.
The case works only up to 10 meters, and around that depth buttons stop responding, which means you cannot take pictures during proper dive, but if you start taking movie on the beginning of the dive it will continue to shot the movie through out the dive (50/50 chance that the pressure will activate other button and the movie will stop) the camera works normally again once ascended above 10).
I was getting small leakage after the dives, nothing to damage the camera just traces of water on the case walls, but if not thoroughly dried before next underwater session they can lead to fogging the lens and ruin the pictures.
To sum up, I highly recommend it for snorkelling trips to a coral reef, for scuba diving it works only for shallow dives, during deep ones with a bit of luck you can take a movie.
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on 18 April 2012
I took mine to the Red Sea and wasn't miracles but was pleasantly surprised. Although the LCD screen isn't that useful when underwater, when you get used to how it works you can get some really cool pictures. I was taking it down to about 8 metres with no problem at all in terms of leaks. For better shots you need the sunlight on the subject to get the best colours. I got the hang of it and by the end was even using the screen to line up shots. I recommend playing with the settings to make the most of the resolution and light settings. Get a good size memory card, set the max resolution and see which light setting works the best on the day. I used an 8 gig card and uploaded after every session, ended up with hundreds of images, I would say that you get about 1 great shot out of every 7/8 shots. Batteries lasted the full two weeks at least. Can't fault this camera and casing for £40! You can spend a fortune on a camera but should only do so if you're a serious photographer with regular underwater shoots. Don't get disposables, get one of these.
review image review image review image
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on 29 July 2016
Do not buy this. Bought for a holiday and is practically unusable. Photo quality is rubbish and takes ages to actually take the photo, terrible quality.
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on 22 March 2017
Great Unit Cover Great For Outside Use
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on 26 December 2010
After receiving this camera for Christmas, i couldn't wait to try it out, so i tried taking a few shots and video in my own fish tanks and he quality was remarkable. There are settings that allow you to change how many mega-pixels you want to use, i haven't seen this in any other camera. However the only slightly negative part is the battery life, after taking a few 7mp, super fine pictures the camera says it ran out of charge, but then 5 mins later it goes back to 2/3 charged, however this could be due to the fact that the only batteries we had left were the ASDA smart price ones !
Overall this camera is great, very nice and compact size the case is easy to use and understand and it comes with a USB cable, 2 wrist straps one for the camera and one for the waterproof case, a pocket holder for the camera and several instructions and a piece of paper that was specifically useful which showed us how to test the casing before use.
THIS IS A MUST BUY CAMERA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Looks 5/5
Battery Life 4/5
Size 5/5
Picture Quality 5/5
Video Quality 5/5
Waterproof Capabilities 5/5

Average of 4.83333

EDIT: 4 years later it has finally broke. It was a brilliant camera and worth every penny :)
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on 9 September 2013
Greatly disappointed.
Enormously angry.

Pros:
- Camera looks fine. Small and handy.
- The shielding is great, went down 10m and over and not a single quid of water spilled in.

Cons:
- The onboard screen is blurry, you have just hints. In full sunlight there is no way it can be seen, either over or underwater, unless you shield it with your hand but you still have hints.
- the on-the-fly settings, like the flash always ON (useful underwater), do not work between a session and another. Remember to keep setting it.

But the biggest problem is another.
I made extensive tests before going on the field and things looked fine. However, after some 200+ pictures, it reset, former pictures gone, and now I find myself with just the last 100 pictures. No card formatting midway, of course.
I thought it might be defective, but then I read forums saying it happens when the batteries die on you, and mine might be the case since even the most expensive AAAs get dry like a martini in a short while.
Even recovery softwares gave no joy and it looks like the pictures are gone forever.

Fond memories of a vacation, lost, who would like to face that?
If you had the misfortune to buy this.. thing, be wary, download your pictures as often as you can and be, however, prepared to some loss.
I wouldn't want anybody to experience what I just did.

Hey, but it's cheap! Pity you don't get your pictures.
And now I have to explain that to my people.
Thank you vivitar. Very, Very Much.
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on 22 January 2011
I was apprehensive about buying this as I had read negative and positive reviews however the majority was positive and I saw good sample pictures. I bought this for my holiday to Barbados as I knew I would be swimming with turtles and didn't want to run out of film with my very old fashioned, film on a roll underwater camera.

Boy did I make a wrong purchase. The camera ONLY takes decent pics during daylight and ONLY when there is no movement so you can imagine, underwater with little daylight and alot of movement, it was complete rubbish. All my pictures came out a blur. When in the water or sunlight you can't see the display so you can't even see what you're taking a picture of or how it has come out until you get home. The casing has no text or icons next to the buttons so you don't know what button is what unless you memorise them. The flash takes forever to come on and also delays taking pictures so you're likely to miss the shot you want! The camera kept freezing out on me so often couldn't even get it on let alone use it. I was so dissapointed and very sad that all I came back with from my time with the turtles are blurred shapely blobs in a blue background. I would've have been better off with my non-digital, old fashioned and chunky underwater camera, at least I know it works!

Fortunately I managed to get a refund for it due to the fault of it freezing it. Otherwise I would've just binned it, not even worth giving to the kids to play with.
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on 8 April 2013
5 stars because I could not find at this unbelievable price a camera that will:
- take pictures at 10 m depth
- use AAA size batteries

I had this camera for 2 years now, heavily used underwater.
It is not so easy to find this camera (or the similar 5399 Vivicam) nowadays (2013).

For this price I have a cheap reasonable camera and a waterproof case that looks like a playmobil toy.
And surprise, the combination works.

The video records are quite good (not professional but definitively good for souvenirs). Video is the best bet underwater, as fish have little patience for still shots.
I made nevertheless also good stills (a lot more good stills in a week than I did in my 10 years use of a ridiculously expensive and fragile Nikonos IV underwater camera).

The case is really waterproof. I dived at 24 m with it with no water intake.
But you cannot make shots at this depth. The rubber like commands of the case (acting as push button and spring) collapse under the water pressure.
Practically, I was able to take shots up to 15 m in cold water (the plastic rubber gets stiffer) and 10 m in hot water.

Flash photos are over exposed underwater. You have to play with the sensibility adjustment, taking into account that it only works in auto mode.

You cannot switch between normal and macro when the camera is in the case.
The macro switch is just a flimsy command that moves the objective.
In macro mode, the operable distance is 10 to 24 cm.
In normal mode the opeable distance is 80 cm to whatever.
Hence between 20 and 80 cm, no joy.

In humid hot weather, you will get condensation in the case when the camera is immersed at first in the colder water: this is normal. Let the camera in the water for some minutes, the condensation will drip away.
The camera doesn't appear to suffer from this, but several metal pieces start to rust, with no practical adverse consequences. I use to dive from a tiny sailing boat, and the camera doesn't see any fresh water to rinse the salt for days.

The camera in the case floats, so no risk to loosing it if it fells.
The case is tiny, easy to use single handed.
The screen underwater is hopeless in bright light.
But with a little practice, guess work gives good results (again a point for video records instead of stills).

Don't use this camera with non rechargeable batteries: they don't last long and you will get frustrated.
You can have problems also with rechargeable batteries.
I recommend Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries. Very happy with them. A little more expensive, but worth the price.
If you are lucky, you can buy Lidl hard-discounter batteries (branded Tronix). These batteries range from excellent (almost as good as eneloops) to useless. The ones that are excellent are the black ones labelled in orange ENERGY and green Eco.

I am using a 2 GB SDCard on this camera. The eneloop batteries last enough to fill the card with stills and/or videos.

This is not a true 7 P camera. The sensor is 5 MP with the possibility to interpolate to 7 MP.
You don't gain in quality using the 7MP option. But curiously, you gain is size. I suppose because there is some processing involved from 5 to 7 MP, that also does compression.

There is no 2 step push (one for adjusting, the next to shoot) on the shutter button .
When you press the shutter, the camera doesn't take the picture: it does its calculations then takes the picture. This takes a variable time. If you are shooting a moving target (a fish), keep following the target as you don't know exactly when the picture is taken. Again more success with video than with stills.

I am very happy with this camera and hope that it will last some more years. When it dies I will probably replace it by the same, unless something better has emerged at a reasonable price.

So if you are on a budget and want to take souvenir underwater photos up to let us say 12 m, this seems a good bet.
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on 26 August 2011
i think it is brilliant for the money. i have had mine for 5 years and no problems except the image in the viewfinder can be a bit dim in sunshine underwater. i have not had any problems with the case, i do wash the camera down every evening after user and never open when wet.
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on 19 October 2011
On the poor points:-
I first fitted Maplin extra longlife alkaline batteries. These only latest for 7 still shots at max res and a 5 minute video. The flash will not come on if the batteries are low. I replaced the batteries with same type. This time I viewed the 7 shots and ran the video. When I tried to download via USB to my PC, it would not work until I replaced the batteries again. I sent two e-mails to the manufacturer asking how long they expected the batteries to last but got stupid replies (basically ignored the question). I then fitted Lithium batteries and so far they have lasted at least 20 stills shots and several short videos (1 minute max) without the battery indicator showing low.
The pictures come out a bit grainy if you take land shots while still in the waterproof housing. The camera won't fit the waterproof housing if the wrist strap is fitted, so I left the camera in the housing all the time and used the additional wrist strap supplied for the housing.
The display is impossible to see in sunlight, so point n shoot has to be used. Also it is very hard to know if the video recording is running or not when the screen cant be seen, and the bleeper is too faint to hear over the crash of waves on a beach.
Its good points are;
Excellent water proofing, only dived to 2 metres but no sign of leaks. Nice clamp for sealing.
Floats well, in fact you can set it to video mode and let it float around in your fish tank for some interesting video!
Fitted the 8GB SD card and says can hold approx 3000 still shots.
A good camera for the money.
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