Author Topic: Best Underwater Camera?  (Read 3247 times)

Offline PaddyO

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Best Underwater Camera?
« on: Oct 02, 2017, 12:32 PM »
Every year I buy more ice fishing gadgets - this year's new toy will be a underwater camera.  Spending a lot of time watching YouTube with camera reviews...    Pro's vs Cons.   Battery Life, recording ability, screen size, unit weight, picture clarity, ect, ect...   
Please share your opinions and experiences
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Offline Junkie4Ice

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 02, 2017, 01:25 PM »
I bought the Marcum Recon 5+ last year. Definitely not the "best camera" but I liked the compact size (and new products of course). I was pretty disappointed in the quality of the picture, most of the waters are pretty murky around here so that is likely why. I was hoping I'd be able to see more than a couple inches though. Either way, I ended up returning it and if I do ever buy one again it will likely be whatever the top end cameras are, so we'll see what the public consensus is here! The built in recording feature was nice but I feel like cameras are one of those things that if you don't get a top end one, you end up disappointed...
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Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 02, 2017, 01:33 PM »
Its all about ice thickness/clarity... water clarity...light penetration/angle ...snow cover..etc...I have two AV micros a 5 and a II both with DVR ..love them but my local lake has some issues with plankton ..at times it looks like I am at the helm of the Enterprise flying through space...especially a low light/dusk conditions . Had it on another lake in same depth of water and was much better even had color . Love the Micro II for scouting . 
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Offline missoulafish

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 02, 2017, 03:17 PM »
you can buy the best camera available and it will show you nothing if the water clarity is poor....

Offline RussC

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 02, 2017, 08:41 PM »
X2 what missoulafish said.

Offline 3300

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 03, 2017, 11:11 AM »
best camera would be based off of your needs. how you want to use it and if you want one screen for sonar and camera or two. if you want to be able to record or not. if you want two types of lighting or not. if you want to be able to turn off the lighting or not. if you want to use it for a moment holding the cable looking around or want to be hands frees while fishing with it. if you want to be hands free what will hold it for you. there is a lot to consider.

for myself, if i wanted a stand alone cam it would be the marcum recon 5 plus.
if i wanted the one display it would be the marcum rt9 as the best being you can have more than one cam (they use module add-ons) and has all of the features one would want or the marcum lx9 as a runner up.

i do use my lx9, but the camera is not used much at all. the sonar does a much much better job of putting me on fish than a limited view of a camera lens does.

Offline PaddyO

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 04, 2017, 08:25 AM »
thank you for your input - keep your opinions coming.   
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Offline PaddyO

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 04, 2017, 01:00 PM »
I like both the Marcum Recon 5+ and the VS485C - both have pros and cons - one concern is battery life - Recon 5+ is 6 hours.   I haven't seen data on the VS485C battery life, but the more similar but not - VS825SC boosts 10 hour battery life with a standard 12V 7a battery.    The 5" verses 7" screen - not an issue.  The size and weight - kinda like girlfriend then wife - so if someone has it - please forward it.   Currently I have both in the shopping cart and deciding which one.   
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Offline 3300

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 04, 2017, 02:15 PM »
don't forget about recharging options while on ice. example, the new marcum shuttle has two usb charges built-in. you can buy portable usb chargers. i don't own the recon, but i would think this is how they charge them. so the battery life shouldn't be a big deal.

being pocket size is why i would like the recon and the wire size is easier to manage. being able to have your neck hold it means it's light weight too.
i know i would go with the recon over the other.

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 04, 2017, 02:45 PM »
I like both the Marcum Recon 5+ and the VS485C - both have pros and cons - one concern is battery life - Recon 5+ is 6 hours.   I haven't seen data on the VS485C battery life, but the more similar but not - VS825SC boosts 10 hour battery life with a standard 12V 7a battery.    The 5" verses 7" screen - not an issue.  The size and weight - kinda like girlfriend then wife - so if someone has it - please forward it.   Currently I have both in the shopping cart and deciding which one.

Good review of the Recon 5+

https://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=337837.msg3582174#msg3582174

take away...Video files are difficult to export ...and uses and old style format..dont think Marcum has addressed this for 2018

From user Jim_Mi

I ended up returning my Recon 5+ and downgrading to the Recon 5 because it was too difficult to work with the recorded video files.

1) Video looks fine when played on the device itself, but the "Library" functions are primitive and make it difficult to pull up a particular video for viewing or deletion.  You cannot fast forward or backward. 

2) The files are saved in .AVI format.  They appear to be interleaved, because if you pop the memory chip from the camera and put it in your computer the resolution is only 720 x 240 pixels, instead of the advertised 720 x 480 HD.  The worst part of this is that by eliminating half the vertical pixels and none of the horizontal ones, all your jpg images and AVI video looks way stretched out, as if in a fun-house mirror.  Basically, this defect makes it pointless to try to watch video on anything but the camera itself.  Works this way on either Mac or PC machines. 

3) Not sure why Marcum chose the AVI file format, but doing so forces all the PC users in the world to download 3rd party software to view the video.  And even when you use the recommended software (VNC), the software reports corrupted files with no index, forcing you to manually build an index to each file if you want to fast forward or move backward.  Mending the distorted aspect ratio and doing simple editing is a challenge, which is probably why everyone is having such a hard time finding videos from the Recon 5+ posted online. 

No complaints whatsoever about the live video - it is extremely good.  But paying $100+ more for this level of DVR functionality and inability to export files for editing is not worth it to me, leading to my "downgrade".  Hopefully Marcum can address these issues in their next version of this otherwise good camera.

 


also if you plan on using your other choice to record Aqua Vu makes a add on

http://www.aquavu.com/Products/Aqua-Vu-New-Underwater-Cameras/AVCONNECT

Vexilar has a DVR unit for about $100 that only work for their camera system
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Offline PaddyO

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #10 on: Oct 05, 2017, 08:30 AM »
I pulled the trigger and ordered the VS485C.   The biggest thing was not having to worry about anything - set it up, turn it on, and fish - not monkeying with mounting it on rail, battery life, thin cam cable.   Thank you for all your input. 
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Offline 3300

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #11 on: Oct 05, 2017, 09:18 AM »
congrats and thanks for the update!

so this will be your first full size cam. the small version is more for scouting and pocket sized and quick deployment and quick to put back in a pocket. looks like you did what you needed to do and find out what works for you.
because i have a full sized unit, the smaller version is appealing to me, but not needed at all.

i found some info that may be helpful for you on amazon q&a and feed back.
https://www.amazon.com/MarCum-VS485C-Underwater-Viewing-System/dp/B00JS32N78
 I saw complaints about getting the camera and cable back into the carry case, is this true?
Answer:
It can be a little difficult at first. Observe how the cable and camera head is packed by the manufacturer. After taking camera and cables out a few times it packs back in the case fairly easy!

Offline jbird68

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #12 on: Oct 23, 2017, 07:19 PM »
I bought the AV Micro II a couple years ago. But I rarely use it. I just find it hard to see the screen because of glare and water clarity. Maybe I'll use it more this winter. Tried it once this summer but if rather spend my time with a rod in my hand then a camera screen.
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Offline DANMAN

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #13 on: Dec 12, 2017, 10:42 AM »
i have an old aquu view scout   works fine, picture is good, only drawback it is heavy

I find it useful to find the weedbeds                 avoiding barren mud terrain

Where there are weeds   i see fish

No weeds  i relocate

Offline PaddyO

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 08, 2018, 06:25 PM »
I finally got out on the ice today after work on the river from 4 to 5:15pm   Fished 4 FOW.  Very impressed with the Marcum camera.  Had 6 small perch on the camera at one time and looked down the hole and couldn't see any of them.  Normally I sight fish there.   Was losing light but the image was still very bright without turning the LED light on.  Turned the LED light on the camera and the little buggers became very active.  No keepers, but I was on the ice....
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Offline Knife2sharp

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #15 on: Jan 12, 2018, 07:35 AM »
I got the 485c last year and also picked up an Aqua Vu monopod/spinner - the combo is awesome. 

Offline icehook17

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Re: Best Underwater Camera?
« Reply #16 on: Feb 01, 2018, 03:16 PM »
Purchased the aqua vu micro5 dvr dts recently and it works great, everyone was impressed with the video quality. 

 



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