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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2007
I'm really happy with the purchase of the Vivitar 6200W. I took the camera to Maui and the photos came out much better than the disposable underwater cameras. We went snorkeling 3 times with the camera and its holding up well. The feature I like the best about the camera is taking underwater videos with sound. The shutter speed of the camera is a bit slow (takes 2-3 seconds between each shot) but the photo quality is very good in daylight conditions. We weren't as impressed with the early morning snorkeling photos since it doesn't do so well in low light conditions. But overall, its the a great underwater digital camera under $200.

Pros:
- Video mode with sound (which also works well underwater)
- Photo quality in daylight situations is very good
- Case is well designed (2 latches to keep the battery/SD card compartment dry - it shouldn't have any problems while snorkeling as long as the rubber seal is ok)
- Low price
- Decent battery life, it'll last a 1-2 hour snorkel trip on AAs
- Case included
- SD card slot (I recommend buying at least a 1GB SD card)

Cons:
- The picture does not display after you snap a photo (it just shows a blank screen after you take a photo)
- No zoom (digital zoom is available but not recommended)
- Low light performance is ok, could be better
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2007
I tried out in a pool our Vivitar 6200W Digital Camera. The camera took very good photos out of the water and under the water. Also the underwater movie mode did great! The sound works best underwater for the movie mode. Out of the water the movie sound has an echo but you can still understand what is being said. I bought rechargeable AA batteries that lasted for over 250 photos before needing to be recharged. The camera view finder works well out of the water but in the water is very hard to see. Also very bright sunlight makes the view finder hard to see at times.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2007
Verified Purchase
This little underwater camera is a great deal for the price. It's 6 mp, not just the 5 listed in the description and seems very sturdy. It is easy to use and has a lot of features. Not good for deep diving, but great for shallow diving and snorkeling. I've shot a lot of photos with it already and they are pretty good quality.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2008
Verified Purchase
Back Story: I bought this camera to take with me on a trip to Cancun. I knew that my buddy and I would do a lot of water sports and needed a camera to take with us. I decided on the Vivitar 6200W because it had all of the features I needed at a price that fit my budget.

Cons:
- Video mode is only 320x240 AVI format. So don't plan on playing the video back on a TV. The quality won't be good enough.
- Microphone doesn't work well above water. Further than 6' away, don't expect the microphone to pick much up.
- No Optical Zoom!!! This was a big drawback. The only zoom is digital and it ruins the picture quality. You're better off taking the picture with no zoom and then cropping your photos in a photo editor later.
- Large & Heavy... this isn't a take-anywhere point and shoot.
- Low-light pictures don't come out. In low light situations (indoors, sunrise, sunset, night, etc.) the Vivitar doesn't focus. Even using the camera's preset features, I still can't find a way to take good low-light pictures.

Pros:
- Works GREAT underwater for photos and video. The buttons are easy to use underwater and the camera didn't leak once.
- The microphone that doesn't work well above water works great underwater. I picked up sound on my videos of boats and other divers that I don't remember hearing at the time.
- Good price. For the price, I couldn't find a better waterproof camera out there.
- Durable. I wasn't intentionally trying to harm my camera, but I did bring it places that I would never consider bringing my high-end Kodak. It kept on taking pictures and videos and asking for more.

Note:
- I've seen in several places where the camera only supports 1GB SD cards. I used a 2GB card with no problem.
- The package came with an extra O-Ring and batteries. I didn't need the batteries because I use rechargeable... but it was nice to find them inside. And, even though I don't expect to need a new O-ring anytime soon, I like that I have a spare.

Summary:
Great camera for the money. It'll take all of your outdoor fishing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing (and so on) photos that you'll ever need. There are things the camera isn't good at and won't do but... for the money, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a more feature packed camera.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2008
Verified Purchase
Unfortunately my camera arrived with several mechanical problems, such as a faulty waterproof compartment latch, malfunctioning motion detection feature, bad spring for the memory card, and the flash would not work period. Sometimes the LDC display would go blank, with nothing but a blue screen, and the only way to reset the camera was to remove the batteries and reinstall them. Not to mention the pictures were extremely poor even on the highest quality settings, the zoom was a complete joke, and the photos would not download via the USB cable, even though driver & software were installed in our computer, and all connections were fine.

So I contacted Vivitar for a replacement. Although I had to be transferred from outsourced customer service, with lengthy hold times, I eventually spoke with someone stateside in the returns department. I was given instructions for returning the camera for REPLACEMENT, and did so at my own expense. A little over 2 weeks later I received my EXACT same malfunctioning camera BACK with nothing more than a post-it note stuck to it that read, "NDF"?!?! I phoned Vivitar for an explaination. Once again there was the tangle of transfers and long hold times, and I finally got connected with an extremely rude individual in the California based returns department. I was told that they do not replace cameras and that nothing was wrong with the camera I sent them! I asked to speak to a supervisor and was HUNG UP ON! Upon trying to phone Vivitar back, I again went through the obstacle course of long hold times, disconnections, explaining my situation again and again to outsourced customer service agents, transfers, and FINALLY connected to the SAME rude individual in California! I asked for the supervisor once more but was never connected with them. I was told they would replace my camera ONE TIME only, and with NO warranty! I was to receive an e-mail with a return shipping label, but never heard back from them AT ALL!

DO NOT expect quality customer service from Vivitar, or for them to honor their warranties!

This like model camera is available from SeaLife as the "ECOshot" (Vivitar purchased the design from SeaLife/Pioneer Research - as I found out). GO WITH SEALIFE!!!! The camera they produce has higher quality programs installed and it is depth tested.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2007
i ordered this camera for a trip to cuba that i just got back from. the underwater pictures i took snorkeling and on a shallow scuba dive turned out great - especially after i used the enclosed software to filter out a lot of the overall greenishness. takes very nice pics on land as well - they don't look great on the screen on the camera, but when you download them to the computer, they look much better. i think i actually had it a little deeper than 30 feet on the dive and it worked fine. only drawback is that it is a battery PIG, especially underwater, so take lots of AA's , dry the camera off between dives and change them even if they're not dead yet, 'cause they will be soon! so far, i am very happy that i bought this camera!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2008
I received this camera for Christmas. I vacation several times a year, most of those being on cruises. I was able to test out the Vivitar 6200W in January, on our cruise to the Mexican Riviera. The underwater photos turned out much better than disposable waterproof cameras. I was able to take some nice underwater video as well. You really need to be fairly close to your subject (fish, coral, etc) if you use the flash, because it will pick up all the little debris that floats around in the ocean. However, if you use this camera underwater in a pool, the flash worked much better at a greater distance.

The underwater video taken in pools was crystal clear. I also tested the camera half in and half out of the water and those pictures turned out pretty nice. I was able to catch my daughter's body underwater with one of her legs kicking up water above the water. No blur whatsoever...so it's good for multi-level & action shots as well.

I also took a considerable amount of out of water photos with the Vivitar 6200W. The photos turned out very nicely, but compared to my other digital cameras, the photos were slightly brighter. I'd stick to using my other cameras for the above water shots, if at all possible. I'm a stickler for sharp vivid colors though, so for most people the photos taken out of water might be considered above average.

The buttons on the Vivitar 6200W need to be pushed down a little more firmly than the buttons on other cameras, but that's to be expected. Switching from photo to video was very easy. To view the photos you've already taken, just push a button. Everything seems very quick with this camera, from start up, to zoom, to viewing photos to shutting down. The case has a slightly rubberized feel to it so it's easy to grip. The SD slot is in the same compartment as the AA batteries and the door closes firmly.

Overall, this camera is an excellent choice for the average snorkeler/swimmer. The price is excellent, AA batteries are easy to come by and the price of SD cards have come down drastically so they're easy to obtain as well. If you're looking for an underwater digital camera to replace your disposable underwater cameras, this is a great choice!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2007
I thought it was going to be great. I used this in the Caymen Islands and thought it worked great taking under water pictures while snorkling and visiting Sting Ray City. The next day we went to swim whith the Dolphins and I couldn't take any pictures!! Some how water got into the camera!!!
I didn't do anything different so I was not happy it ruined all my pictures on the SD card...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2008
I bought this camera for my Grand Canyon rafting trip - not so much to shoot underwater, (I stayed atop the raft for the most part) - but because I wanted a camera that I could actually use "in the wild" without worrying about it. The 6200W fit the bill perfectly. If the lens got sandy, I just dunked it in the river and blew it off. Cool.
Picture Quality - not amazing but certainly passable.
Battery life - a bit short, but acceptable. It was discouraging to learn that Vititar recomendeded against using lithium batteries (heat build up, they said). Exchanging batteries during the trip proved tricky, but certainly possible. Fine sand, grit everywhere - I had to be careful to clean things as carefully as possible before opening the battery compartment. Ended up cleaning the o-ring with my mouth. No leaks with 8 battery changes. (I did fall in with the camera and it survived just fine)
A disappointment - video mode couldn't deal with bright light conditions even though I set the EV to -2. So my live action stuff in sunlit rapids failed. Ok in the shade.
Auto white balance wasn't accurate - tended toward red - but that is easy enough to correct with software later.

Bottom line - good price, tough little camera - you get the shots that the folks with fancy delicate cameras won't get.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2008
I purchased this camera for an upcoming cruise. I love to snorkel and planned on doing some underwater photography. I got this so I did not have to get film developed. I am very glad I did. The camera overall was nice. It accepts the SD memory card and I was able to take a ton of pictures. It worked really well. This camera is actually better than my "land" camera for indoor pictures. I had no issues at all with water seeping in. Since I used it for snorkeling, I really did not take it too far underwater. The zoom seemed to work well for a "digital zoom". There were a couple of down side items though. First, the display was sometimes hard to see, especially underwater. Second, the buttons are rather close together and I think could be arranged better. A couple of times, I accidentally went into movie mode.

Overall, I would highly recommend the camera as an alternative to other underwater cameras. It is nice to be able to combine digital files together for a trip!
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