Two dives, 202 photos and over 140 minutes of bottom time. Sharing three shots (out of 202!!) from the weekend dive. We kicked off from Anilao PHOTO Hotel with Ivan Manzanares. Not only is he a spotter, he’s adept with a camera so he helped jog back my understanding of shooting with a P&S from 3 months of absence from Vitamin Sea.
If I were to summarize the Anilao experience into one dive site, it would have to be an area called Batok, a rich reef located right behind Sombrero Island. Huge barrel sponges seascapes with the divine hand, flat table corals lined with hovering juveniles and fry and fan corals that pipe the currents like wind.
As an underwater photographer that doesn’t have a video capable camera, it’s hard to balance the logistics of wanting to take both video and photo during a dive. The mainstream suggestion would be to bring down a GoPro camera fastened around your head and I’ve done that. You can read the review, look at pretty photos of the Hero 2 and watch the underwater video demo over here.
The other solution would be to build the camera into the mask. Liquid Image previously had a yellow snorkel edition camera which was great, but because of its build, it wasn’t meant for anything deeper than 20 feet. I was a little anxious: after looking at the build, I noticed that there were no visible o-rings present. The two corners of the mask housed rubber stoppers and a water tight seal for the batteries, while the top of the camera had another water tight seal for the 4GB SDHC card (roughly 2 hours of continuous video). I later realized that the scale of the mask is small enough that you wouldn’t need such precautions. It actually makes the mask easy to prepare.
Before reading on, you might want to have a look at the video I took (above!). It was originally in 1080p but I scaled it down to 960×540 and YouTube scaled it down even more. The finished product you see isn’t as high quality as the original but I was able to demonstrate how well the camera adjusts white balance especially in deeper areas (notice that there’s barely any blue-ish overcast). Note that the camera is strapped onto my head so I can’t see what I’m recording. BUT… what you see is exactly what I see during a dive as peripheral vision is completely absent. The actual video lasted over 90 minutes and the built in software cuts the videos down to 30 minute files in .MOV format.