I have been using it for a while but haven’t done a proper post on what I think about it along with my experiences … so here it is.
When I started diving I was using this really cheap (price wise not necessarily the brand because they do have some good cameras on the higher end) intova camera for the last couple of months and it has done pretty well. It’s tough (dropped it many times) and takes some nice shots underwater, it comes with an LCD screen and has all the features that you would need from an underwater camera without needing to purchase addons or anything else. It does the job Oh and the connectors are all standard ones so its easy to find really cheap mounts too …
The one major difference that I noticed between the GoPro silver that I bought and the old intova camera is the 170 wide view (as opposed to 140) and that fact that even in murky waters the GoPro still takes really nice pictures. Features aside, cost aside, even in water that is hard to see through the mask, the results from the GoPro are actually really good even I thought I wouldn’t be able to see anything.
There were times when I was taking shots underwater and thinking to myself, “Crap, this is going to be a really bad set of shots” only to be pleasantly surprised to see shots that seem to show everything that even I had difficulty seeing when in the water. The problem with the GoPro is there is no LCD screen so you can’t really check then and there how the pictures have turned out or how the angles are so you just take shots and hope that the camera still works through the murky waters.
When I took the shots in Gordon’s Bay and Tulamben the water was pretty murky, no more then 8m visibility yet the video results were not to bad. I took some shots of a Wobbegong shark in the same visibility from only a few meters away using my Intova camera and you can hardly see the shark, just the slight outline. If I had my GoPro at this time the shot would have been much clearer I would say.
So in terms of quality of picture you can really tell the difference. The one thing that really annoys me is I can not preview my shots ! This should be a pretty basic feature of every camera … I think, even in the old days there was a lens that you could see through to ensure you had the camera pointed in the right direction The GoPro doesn’t even have that and if you need this feature it is an additional cost, yeah you can use the iPhone/Android App but what about if your underwater ? (I don’t think there are water proof cases for iPhones that go more then 3 or 4 meters)
This is one of the reasons why I still carry the Intova camera with me. I noticed that the Intova camera takes really really nice still pictures on land and since I can preview my pictures before I take them I still use the Intova camera to take pictures on land. However underwater its gotta be the GoPro all the way (even if I have to guess that I am pointing the camera at the correct angle and in the right direction)
As for the connectors and the cost for the addons, the only thing I can see my self purchasing would be an additional battery because the battery life sucks on this thing, but I guess with the quality of the images it is taking thats not surprising. All the mounts, I will just try to make myself
Its a great device and definitely a requirement for the avid extreme sports weekend warrior ! Whats also great is their advertisement video, sometimes I play it to get my day started since its so exhilarating and gets me fired up
Check it out above. BTW just noticed the first comment “Almost forgot to watch this today” HAHAHAHA …. LEGEND ….. guess im not the only one that uses this video to get their day started