Equipment Review: Paralenz Video Camera

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Having met up with Jacob from Paralenz at the Dive Show in Birmingham in October, we were very keen to try out this new video camera designed specifically for divers. We got our first opportunity to try out Paralenz at our local quarry, Capernwray, in some less than ideal conditions, so it was going to be a good test for this new product.

The camera is small (just under 12cm in length), and can be mounted on your mask, or as we did, on a ball mount attached to our larger DSLR camera housing. The Paralenz team are also producing a “3rd Person Viewer” which can be attached to your tank and will allow you to record your dive from above and behind you.

This camera is tough. You can feel the quality of the camera as soon as you get your hands on it, and we have even seen a video of it being run over by a truck and suffering no damage other than a couple of minor scuffs! It is depth rated to 200m. Additional insulation also improves battery life and can record for over 2 hours (recording in 4K) on a full charge, although we only ran the video when we wanted to record something, rather have having it on all the time, so we would get far more than this from a single charge.

When you first start to use the Paralenz camera, you cannot help but be impressed. It looks good, with an innovative round design making it easy to mount in tight spaces. It is designed to record depth and temperature as soon as you turn it on, and along with the app, can then act as a dive log, showing your dive profile. At any time during the dive, you can take a video clip or photo and the software will mark the spot on your profile that you took these images and you can play them from within the app by selecting the appropriate marker on the profile.

It is really easy to use, even with thick gloves, with simple function selection via a function ring and then starting and stopping filming using the only pull back button. No small fiddly buttons designed for those above water here!

The most impressive function is a built-in pressure sensor that autocorrects the colour depending on your depth. The short video clip I have included here, shows the camera reacting to the external lights of the photographer.

Once you download the dive and media to the app, you can see what depth you filmed each clip and re-live your dive. And downloading is really easy, with your phone synching to the camera and the menu very easy to work out. You can also add notes to your dive log to include who your buddies were, location, what type of dive it was, and any additional notes you want to include.

We were very impressed with the quality of the video we recorded in visibility that was only a few meters. The lens gives you a wide field of view (140 degrees) so whilst there is no screen to view what you are filming, you can be sure to get a nice wide shot of your dive.

We really do love the Paralenz and cannot wait to take it to The Bahamas to film some shark action! Watch out for more about the Paralenz here in December.

Visit www.paralenz.com for more information.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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