This camera review was not meant to be about the Snap Sights camera SSO2, in fact is was meant to be about a different underwater camera all together. So: bear with me!
image from howstuffworks
This review was meant to be about an underwater camera I had found in a charity shop costing a whopping £2. I wanted an underwater camera for two reasons; firstly I am totally in awe of Stouf's underwater stuff and I wanted to have a go for myself. Secondly I was going to Turkey on holiday where i was going to teach my son Lukas to swim. But on its first trip into the pool it filled with water and the fogged up. This was a set back in my documenting my son learning to swim plan, fortunately Turkey, like most places, has shops. So I bought a new camera, The Snap Sights SSO2. The first thing I noticed was how much easier it was to open its water tight case. The first camera I had to pry the bottom away with a knife – i really should have known then! But the SSo2 has a dial on the side which has a locking mechanism so it can’t be opened accidentally. When closing the case you have to squeeze the two sides together which forces the dial to turn and close. This feature I liked very much as I really felt that the camera would be safe from water, or salt or sharks (i didn’t know what might be in the pool). So we went to the pool and i dived in, the water proof housing did its task perfectly. So far so good, 1 up on old charity shop camera anyway!
Shooting with the camera is interesting, because you are underwater and it is in its house you cant hear the click of the shutter, so you just have to hope that you have taken a picture. It also floats which is brilliant if your three year decided he wants to throw it off a boat. Overall I found the camera simple and user friendly, its 28mm focus free lens was good for the confined space of the pool but also good in open water. In the pool the camera was great, Lukas could use it and in the clear pool water I really rate it. In the sea however i don’t think it performed as well BUT i think a high iso film of about 800 should solve this. I have a couple of issues with the camera though. Firstly it boasts a “Flip Up Sports Viewfinder” which is great for composing shots underwater except mine flipped up and flipped off. Its not a big issue, but surely a sports camera should be more durable? Also; because I was covered in sunscreen and my son was covered in ice cream the camera got very greasy as these creams covered the plastic, but I found the plastic hard to clean and it got scratched when I tried.
Aesthetically it’s not the best looking camera, its rather simple, nothing new to the design of the actual camera and the casing is purely functional. but then for this camera I would rather it worked than look amazing and not work. In fact divers don’t look particularly sexy in the wet suits with the masks and the flipper, but then under water its not a fashion show (though that would be a great shoot!)
To summarize: This is not a camera that will make waves – but it will splash like hell! This is a fun camera, its not a serious underwater camera, so for a dad taking pictures of his son learning to swim it was excellent, and way better than the charity shop camera! Oh yes and Lukas learned to swim!