The camera-of-choice this summer was a little gem I got for $5 US at K-Mart. I'm sure you could find it in your local Megalo-Mart, too. The Snap Sights! is a lovely plastic, blue beauty that comes in it's own waterproof housing. In fact, you can't really use this camera without the housing unless you plan on modifying it somehow.
Snap Sights! takes 35mm film and can be used up to 25 feet (8 meters) below the surface. It’s lens is nice and wide, 30mm, which is almost as wide as the Vivitar UWS’s ample 28mm. The integrity of the underwater case is impressive: I have yet to see a hint of water or condensation on the inside of the housing or camera. Not bad for a fiver. If the price of the camera doesn’t make you smile the little sticker on the inside that covers the film door latch will. It reminds you that you need to REWIND the film before opening the back.
The kids got first crack at this camera and boy did we get some interesting results. Because they want to take close-ups lots of their faces and body, shots were blurry but once I grabbed the camera and a pair of goggles they were more than happy to pose for me. Here are a couple of my favorites
Fun, right? Next I tried some action shots. I was aiming to capture interesting splash-downs and half-in-water-half-out pictures
Be careful that you don’t have a droplet of water right on the lens, otherwise you just get a blurry mess like this…which is kind of interesting in it’s own way
Finally, I was going for artsy and abstract
Snap Sights! isn’t just cool in the pool. I took it in some clear, green Atlantic Ocean water and got some fantastic and dreamy results. I’m not sure the pictures would be so good in more turbulent water.
All these were shot with Kodak Ektachrome slide film, 100 iso but Snap Sights! comes pre-loaded with some generic roll of color negative film. Now you have a mission: get your hands on the best and cheapest underwater camera that money can buy. Just think of how cool your summer vacation photo album will be NEXT summer!