Thursday, November 19, 2009

Liquid Image Camera Masks - Which is the right one for me?

As both a photographer and a diver, I was blown away when I first saw the Liquid Image Dive Masks about a year ago at the CES Show in Vegas. What a great idea! My daughter Ally and I had scuba certified about three years ago in Monterey California (boy, the water is cold there!), and since then dived in Islamarada (Florida), Bonne Terre Mines in Missouri (read my account on my RV Trip Blog), Mexico and Hondorus.

I'd tried taking photographs underwater with both a disposable camera as well as a rented digital camera in a special housing. The disposable camera was a waste of time, especially as I had to then scan what ever pictures did emerge. The digital caemra was better, but it was still hard as it would bob around on its little strap underwater making it hard to grab hold of and use, especialy as when you're diving there's so much else going on that you have to worry about. I can't wait to get out and use one of these masks as I'm sure that they'll make the whole thing so much easier. They have cross hairs on the mask to show where you are shooting. One press of the button to take a photo and another to shoot video. The mid-range and high end ones even have audio which is very cool.

So how do the photos and videos turn out your wondering? Well, although I haven't taken any yet, I do have some samples from my buddy at Liquid Image who is a big diver. Click on the photo to take you to the Photo Albumn on my TechnoRV Fan Club page. All of the masks use the same camera (5 mega pixels) so you'll get a good idea of what they are all like.

So what about the video? Which one is the right mask? Well, a lot depends upon your budget of course, and what you'll be using them for. Read on ...

Swim Mask (302) - $89.95

This is the cheapest mask and is good down to 15 feet making it great for snorkelling, swimming or just recording fun goofing around on the beach in the waves or in the pool. It will record video at VGA resolution at 20 fps (frames per second) which doesn't sound like much, but don;t be fooled, this little beauty packs great value for money. To get an idea of what that's like, check out the collection of videos on the Liquid Image YouTube video channel for the Swim Mask, or click on the video below.

It's hard to get a good idea of the quality with these videos though as YouTube does a lot of compression on the video making them look not as good as the originals. If you'd like to download an original video file (right click to download) to check out the quality, I have a 38MB file of a turtle and I think you'll be amazed by the quality, even though it's VGA.

Video Mask (310) - $149

This mask has audio as well as better video (D1 which is 720 x 480 resolution at 30 frames per second). It is rated to 33 feet / 10 meters which is fine for snorkelling and shallow scuba dives. Check out the Liquid Image Video Mask Channel, an original video file (right click to download), or the video below:

Scuba Mask (HD320) - $249

Certified to 115 feet, this is the top of the range mask and is great for all types of scuba dives. If you can believe it, the video is high definition (1280 x 720 at 30fps). Check out the Liquid Image Scuba Mask Channel, an original video file (right click to download), or the video below:

Well I hope that gives you a better idea of what this product can do and which is the right one for you. One thing I didn't mention is size. These masks are designed to fit 80% of all faces. If you think that you may need a larger size, let us know as we may be able to special order one for you.

Have fun and be sure to check out these products on TechnoRV, the prices are the best you'll find.