Intova CP9 Waterproof Digital Camera Review
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When it comes to manufacturing a digital camera, so many things are possible nowadays. There are many digital cameras out on the market that have great lens along with sophisticated electronics and technologies that really bring the power to the average consumer even if he or she does not know much about photography. Snapping that perfect shot is easier than ever to the point that buying any modern digital camera counts as a good choice as long as the price is just right. In fact, everything in a digital camera boils down to the price.
You are basically paying for a camera that is capable of doing this much. Once you throw in some extra features, the price goes up as a result. For instance, waterproof digital cameras tend to cost more because the waterproof aspect counts as an extra feature. The Intova CP9 digital camera is a bit different because it manages to keep the price low while including a free waterproof casing. This review is important to see what exactly has been left out.
The Intova CP9 doesn’t appear to be a very elegant camera but that isn’t a bad thing because those stylish cameras tend to cost more anyway. It has a very simple look to make it easy to place the camera within its waterproof housing. It is also rather compact so you can place it in your shirt pocket and take it with you wherever you go. The shock absorbent liner adds to the durability rather nicely which is expected for a camera that comes with a waterproof casing.
Features and Performance
The 9-megapixel CMOS sensor makes the Intova CP9 seem a bit ancient since there are already certain smartphones that have higher megapixel counts. But image quality isn’t all about megapixels and it may not even be a big deal if you won’t print the pictures on paper. If there is really a need to shoot high resolution photos, there is an option to increase the resolution to 12 megapixels using hardware interpolation.
It has a 4x digital zoom which is pretty standard along with mediocre video recording support with a maximum resolution of 640 by 480 at 20 frames per second. This is clearly not a camera for recording videos but it is understandably one of the stripped features that led to the lower price tag.
On the upside, there is plenty of storage space available with 32 MB of internal memory to start with which should be enough for dozens of pictures. That storage space can be expanded significantly using an SD card or the higher capacity SDHC card.
On paper, the Intova CP9 looks to be a standard camera that may be seen by some as an inferior camera. You do not get the bells and whistles such as face detection or automatic image stabilization. It purely focuses on the waterproof capabilities which deserve its own section.
The Intova CP9 really works well underwater. The battery compartment that contains the pair of AAA batteries are sealed rather well so you can continue to use the camera within its housing without worry as long as you do not dip below 40 feet. This makes the camera ideal for snorkeling and the performance turns out to be pretty good for a camera that has generic specs.
The main problem with this camera, as well as most other low-priced waterproof cameras, is that it doesn’t have an external strobe. So it’s more suited for snorkeling than for diving. Even though this camera can go to the depth limit of a basic Open Water diver, your images are going to be too dark or too blue if you don’t use the built-in flash, and likely to have backscatter if you do use the flash.
In more ways than one, the Intova CP9 does not give a very meaningful first impression with its plain design and simple specifications. But the real gem here is the price tag. The MSRP is over $100, but you can find it for far less at Amazon, and if you’re looking for a camera for snorkeling or shallow water diving, the Intova CP9 is a good choice.