About to set off for a sailing holiday? This Product of the Week just might be something that will add great delight to your time on and off the boat. The GE DV1 video camera is a handy small size that fits in your pocket and therefore can be produced in an instant, and the best thing about it for sailors is that it's officially waterproof to 5 metres.
Simple and tough enough to give to the kids
Maybe you wouldn't want to use it too much as an underwater camera (after all it's under $200), but it will feel at home being splashed on the bow and in the dinghy. It’s also shockproof for a fall of up to 1.5m, and dustproof.
Small size puts it in your pocket while sailing
Just a note here, at the 1080p HD setting, it shoots at 30 frames per second, which looks a little jerky, especially if there’s any movement. A better choice of settings is 720p, which motors along at 60 fps.
Another interesting thing is that as you hold the camera vertically, the whole of this screen isn’t used to show the image being recorded. Rather, the image is seen in a 2in window at the top, with settings data – such as resolution and frame speed – below it. (The display can be used in either landscape or portrait orientation when viewing playback.)
Below the screen is a big Record button surrounded by four function buttons. To the left are Shooting and Playback buttons, while on the right are Menu and Trash buttons. It’s all very neat and well thought out.
On the sides are an On/Off button and compartments for the built-in USB connector, Mini HDMI port and SD card slot. The DV1 has 27MB of onboard memory – enough for eight minutes of 1080p-quality recording – but it can add up to 32GB of memory via SD and SDHC memory cards.
The camera gives good colour in video setting, and its 5-megapixel still images are passable, but lack detail in highlights and shadows.
When you plug it in to a Mac using the built-in USB connector the DV1 is not recognised by iMovie or iPhoto. It does mount as an external drive, however, so your footage can easily be imported from there (File > Import > Movies).
You can also remove the SD card and plug that into a card reader or directly into a MacBook Pro. In this case, iPhoto recognises it as an image source, but iMovie imports must be done as above.
The GE DV1 is capable of taking 1080p/30fps or 720p/60fps video (but see earlier comment), which is better than the iPhone 4’s 720p/30fps. Add to this the GE’s underwater capabilities, and that makes it a good fun investment for family videos.
At the price the DV1 is a great video camera to take sailing, and it is simple and tough enough to give to the kids to record their activities.