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-   -   Underwater cam: Sanyo VPC-E1/CA65 or Panasonic SDR-SW20?? (

gobears29 Apr 12, 2008 5:05 PM

I am looking into a underwater cam for snokeling and the pool for an upcoming vacation. To see where I am coming from: I am not a digital photography guru and pretty much a newbie. I want good video that doesnt have to be flawless - good enough to make friends jealous at what marine life I saw, not submit it to the discovery channel.

As far as I know, the sanyo vpc-e1/ca65 and the panasonic sdr-sw20 are the only underwater camcorders, however there seems to be very limited reviews on the panasonic. I was all set to get the sanyo but just heard about this one.

Can someone help me figure out which one to get? I guess, help me sort out all the differences between the tech specs.

Also, does anyone know if there are new underwater cams being developed that maybe I should wait for?

Thanks so much for all your help!

blindsight Apr 14, 2008 12:13 PM

This particular thread in the "Hybrid Still/ Movie/ MP3 Digicams" forum gives hands-on user opinion on the Panasonic SDR-S10 (previous non-waterproof model which has very similar components as the SDR-SW20 eg. the 1/6" CCD):;forum_id=92

(You should also search "sdr s10" in that forum to see if there are any other useful threads: )

I think user "Private Idaho" has both the Sanyo (CG6 or CG65 I think, which are non-waterproof models very similar to the CA65/ E1) and the Pana SDR-S10 - you may ask him your questions.

I do have a Sanyo CG6, and I find the low light video performance adequate (low light = one 100W bulb in a small sitting room, not candlelight!) - this is particularly important when you are filming deep underwater. However, Private Idaho commented that the Pana makes better video in general, mainly because it uses a well-proven MPEG-2 (similar to DVD standard) video format, instead of a MPEG-4 format in the Sanyo which has higher compression.

NOTE: To be honest, I probably won't trust a consumer-priced "waterproof" camera/ camcorder to go into any depth of water, even snorkeling depth. For the price of these devices, "waterproofing" probably works well for the first dozen of times. When you start opening and shutting various compartment doors (particularly the memory card / battery door, or the USB flap), I worry that things will start to go downhill. True there are rubber seals but they are wear-and-tear items. Comparing with the thick and bulky seals of proper standalone underwater cases, these look flimsy and inadequate. Exposure to salt water doesn't help.

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