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eellenoff
June 19th, 2010, 02:40 AM
I'm looking at buying an Intova CP9 for a trip to Honduras/Roatan. My expectations for the camera (at $100) aren't that high, but I'm wondering if anyone has used one. Is it a total piece of junk, or is there a chance it will shoot some nice dive pictures?

Thanks!

HerraduraDivers
June 19th, 2010, 08:48 AM
eellenoff,
intova cameras are very economic and basic cameras working surprisingly well for their price,
but still you get what you pay for. Similar cameras from more "famous" brands will cost much more and not necessary make better photos. You can expect very clear waters in Roatan so you may use the internal strobe to take some "macro" photos from the millions of sponges and corals you will encounter there.
The trick with this kind of camera is to go as near you can to get some illumination from the weak internal strobe and switch the strobe off (iff possible) when doing "wide angle" shots on top of the reef or in shallow waters.
Set the picture quality to 9MP (the native resolution) and remember that focussing distance for Macro = 2-4 ft.

Have Fun there!

Chris

Black_3000psi
June 19th, 2010, 11:23 AM
My first camrea was an intova, which is not a bad thing, but the first thing you will notice is the quality of the shots, or in your case the lack there of.but it is a good camrea to start on. but in the end i would say if you have the money skip the sandlot games and head to the majors, get the Canon G11.

HerraduraDivers
June 19th, 2010, 04:37 PM
Black3000PSI,
with the cheapest housing, the G11 will be +/- 700$. Quite a difference to the Intova for 100$....
For telling you the truth, i saw at least the same amount of bad G11 photos as ones shot with the Intova. Why that? For a very simple reason, to take nice pictures everybody needs to begin, learn, develop his skills and then he takes good pictures, while the quality of the camera is (in the beginning) not very important. A lot of people belive that being "good" is only a matter of the right gear. Well, thats partially true, but a full frame DSLR will be useless and shoot bad photos in a beginner's hand.
A 100$ camera is a wise "investment" for a beginner because the beginners "mishaps" won't be so expensive as for example flooding, banging or loosing a G11.

Chris

shark girl
June 19th, 2010, 05:01 PM
I have an Intova. Different model to the one you are looking at (C600), but I've had some nice quality pics from it; it's a reasonable entry level underwater camera. I agree with the summary of the weak flash- other problem with the flash is, when you are taking macro shots, the casing over the lens actually obscures part of the flash, leading to shadows. My flash is slightly to the left of the lens, the CP9's looks right above the lens, so this might solve the problem? Also, there is no manual white balance, so expect wide angles to come out looking blue. I'm never going to win any prizes with it, but it's light, easy to dive with, and I get enough nice shots of what is 'down there' to be able to show off to the family back home! There are some pics from it on my photo gallery.

stinggirl
November 6th, 2010, 06:16 AM
I bought one. But eats up batteries like crazy. I will put new batteries in it before going to dive. By my second dive (same day) the battery it's low and camera starts shutting off.

HerraduraDivers
November 6th, 2010, 01:38 PM
What batteries are you using? ( Use Lithium Batteries, they are the best)
Do you have the screen always on?
How much pictures are you taking while before she shut down?
Is the autofocus always on?

There are many reasons to be a battery hog!

I bought in Peru normal batteries and they gave me 10-15 pictures per set of 4...
It almost ruined my trip to the Amazonas!

eellenoff
November 8th, 2010, 02:23 AM
For what its worth, I ended up buying the CP9 and my verdict is that the camera itself is junk. The fixed focus makes it really hard to get anything in focus (clear water or not) and the fabled 9MP resolution is a total misnomer. A real 9MP image should be about 5MB. The "9MP" images from the intova are a measly 0.8MB.

In terms of batteries, I'm using rechargeable 800mAh AAA's. In Roatan I was able to get 3-4 dives per set of batteries with very active flash / video use. I was fine with that because I took 4 batteries and was able to always keep a set charged.

Other misc notes:
* There is no timestamp on the files. They all have the same date which means that you can get confused about which dive pictures are from if you don't take a picture of the boat or something to delimit your dives.
* The case is very nice...I'm pretty sure this is a $95 case and a $5 camera.
* The camera didn't work reliably below about 75ft and never worked below 90ft (sadly the only eagle ray I saw was at 105ft)
* If you buy this camera (or any other), remember to buy silicon grease so that you can lube the o-ring and keep it water-tight.
* On one dive, the camera refused to read the card. I transfered all the pics off, reformatted, and haven't had problems since

dburg30
November 18th, 2010, 01:07 PM
I bought one. But eats up batteries like crazy. I will put new batteries in it before going to dive. By my second dive (same day) the battery it's low and camera starts shutting off.

Yep.. so far that's been my problem. I sent my first one back and they just send me a new one. First picture I took the camera shut off. Now the battery icon on the camera never showed less then full. First set of batteries I used took lots of pics, lots of video etc. Then it just got worse and worse. Will have to try some better batteries (although, in the long run I guess that could matter, but only getting 30 shots out of a set of batteries over an hour just dont cut it). Video always worked though, so go figure..

johnboywalton
December 15th, 2010, 08:05 AM
I own one of these cameras, and after a year of use I'm so disgusted with it that I have resolved to cough up the money and replace it. I concur with the points made here that the camera is a power hog, with a pair of standard alkalines being good enough for about 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 dives. The buttons are finicky and might fail you at a critical moment. The focus problems make it a hard camera to use.

Bottom line: get another camera. The extra money is worth it.

For more, see this review of the Intova CP9 (http://dive-gear-reviews.com/2010/12/13/intova-cp9-underwater-camera-review/).

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