Most helpful critical review
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2009
Given that the camera leaked water and died on my second day of snorkeling, I consider my 3-star rating to be extra generous. I've returned the camera for repair/replacement under the terms of the warranty.
The photos that I recovered from the 1st day were pretty good...certainly better/more convenient than using a disposable camera. The video quality is also decent, though there is no sound recording, which is fine for most underwater videography. Considering the camera's low (tempting) price, the photo & video quality were just about what I expected, if not a little better. A negative is that it is somewhat difficult to use underwater: the view screen is hard to see, and the image of the photo you just took remains on the view screen for barely a second. On land, I found some of the functions non-intuitive (such as reviewing and deleting images), and the camera sometimes "froze," requiring me to turn it off and on again to reset.
Overall, I find the ViviCam 8400 serves as a relatively inexpensive, moderate upgrade to disposable cameras. If it hadn't leaked water and died on me, I might have even give it 4 stars given the low price. I'll be interested to see if other reviewers experience issues with water leakage.
UPDATE (March 2011): My rating has steadily dropped. It was a huge hassle to get a replacement camera from Vivitar. First, they sent me an incredibly cheap NON-waterproof camera (total junk). After much pestering, I finally received a replacement. Looking past the fact that the camera leaked water, I'm surprised I was so kind in my original review of photo quality. Don't be fooled by the 8 MP specs; photos look more like they are taken with an old-school 1 MP camera and are often blurry. And that's on land! I thought I might have bought a lemon originally, but the replacement has the same problems, often freezing up...very frustrating and annoying. My new recommendation: if you want a toy for your kids, this might suffice. But if you're hoping to take nice vacation photos, look elsewhere and be willing to spend a little more. I'm looking into Intova products, which seem to combine quality at a good price.