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Showing 1-10 of 30 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 53 reviews
on June 3, 2008
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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on April 20, 2008
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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on May 23, 2008
I bought this for my son's sixth birthday. He'd been using an old Polaroid Spectra with expired film (to keep the cost down). Of course we can't get ANY Polaroid film anymore and he was crushed.

I didn't actually choose this camera for it's underwater capabilities, but that has certainly been an added plus. I chose it because it seemed rugged and much better than the "kiddie" digital cameras, which generally only have a resolution of 640x480...basically toys that they'll outgrow quickly for $50! Spent twice that but he has a camera that he can use for years.

It has proven to be rugged. I dropped it in our driveway while juggling too many things...the battery compartment popped open and the batteries and card fell out. Put them back and it worked fine, none the worse for wear.

It's also very simple to use, easy enough for my six year old to use alone. The pictures taken in automatic mode are quite respectable and he's taken some pretty good shots of our pets and family members, all on his own. He can also take shots of all kinds of crazy things that I wouldn't have let him waste the expensive Polaroid film on...like his stuffed dragon's foot ;). I haven't printed anything bigger than 4x6 yet, but those pictures look quite good...reasonably sharp and nice color.

We live on a lake and my son is a big swimmer, so the waterproof feature has proven very valuable, though that wasn't what drove me to choose this. I've been able to take underwater movies of him doing somersaults in a pool....everyone thinks that's pretty cool! And, he can take it to the lake and on canoe trips without worry about getting it wet. The underwater pictures, of course, are a bit noisier than the dry pictures...less light naturally, but, really, for a $100ish camera, I'm pretty impressed over all.

I've had surprisingly good luck with battery life using the Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables sold here on Amazon.

The lack of optical zoom does not bother me. This is not an expensive camera and I can't imagine how they'd manage that with the waterproof case anyway. My son certainly doesn't care. I have a Panasonic Lumix with the nice Leica lens and 12x optical zoom (plus a B200 teleconverter) for all the optical zoom I can make use of. That camera takes excellent pictures, but it is heavy, harder to carry and, of course, not suitable for a child or around water.

For an adult, interested in digital photography and wanting control and flexibility, this Vivitar wouldn't be appropriate as an only camera. But, for a child or someone who wants an easy point and shoot that can hold up to banging around and water, it is a great choice. And, for the price, a really good value. It appears to be the same camera as the Ecoshot underwater camera, but at 1/2 the price and in a gaudy color.

My husband and teenaged son are quite envious of this camera...I may be having to buy another for someone else's birthday ;).
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on May 4, 2008
I love this camera!!! I purchased it for a week long trip to South Padre Island TX and it worked great. We went snorkeling in the Laguna Madre and I used it playing in the surf of the Gulf of Mexico. The pictures have turned out very good and the camera took lots of punishment from handling and sand. The water clarity wasn't very good the day we snorkeled but the photos were very sharp. The only problem I had with it was I didn't rinse it off when I got back to the apartment (like I should have) and the shutter button stuck down the next time I used it. I wasn't sure if it was salt or sand in it so I soaked it in fresh water for a couple hours and then worked the button free by grabbing the rubber top of it and pulling it up. It was full of sand but once I cleaned it out it has worked flawlessly since. One review I read said that it was a terrible battery hog but that is definately not the case with mine. I think I only changed the batteries 3 times in the whole week and I used it alot on the beach for above water photos. I used Energizer rechargable batteries. The only pictures that didn't come out well were the videos of seagulls I took on a very bright sunshiny day. They came out overexposed but I think if I had taken the time to adjust the camera before taking the videos it would have worked better. The sound quality of the video is wonderful. I'm still trying to figure out if I can adjust the exposure on the videos with my computer but no luck so far. I would highly recomend this camera for underwater or above water use - just be sure that any time you open it up the camera is completely dry and clean the seal very well before shutting it. The very fine sand worked its way into the seal but not beyond it. I took about 500 photos with this camera and all but 10 were keepers.
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on June 4, 2008
I bought one of these for myself and one for my host on a trip to Hawaii. We went nuts taking underwater videos of turtles and fish. Every evening we downloaded our clips to an old laptop and sat around boring our friends and family.

It captured video clips underwater very well. Make sure to set the underwater mode before shooting. With 2500MA rechargeable batteries the power usage was very acceptable.

Still shots underwater were a little more problematic because it has a slow shutter speed underwater and even a flash doesn't help a lot. But over time it certainly is a better value than throw-away film cameras.

Regular surface daylight pictures were very acceptable with good color and exposure.
Don't substitute this for a decent digital camera in safe,dry environments though. It bleaches out videos to the point of looking like old home movies in direct sunlight. The lack of a focus function precludes better compositions.

Conclusion, extends your digital capture environment very nicely to wet, dark, and dirty settings.

Cons: It is hard to adjust modes underwater or determine if your movie capture is already on. Hard to capture the photo subject -- an external frame that was aligned with the camera's field of view would help.
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on December 6, 2008
Used an under water camera for the first time during my trip to Hawaii for snorkeling at Hanuma bay... It was cloudy with a bit of rain and so visibility was not so great. However, I got some decent images with this camera under water... but got great images of our group outside water. Next day we snorkled at lanikai beach, a sunny day and good visiblity resulted in some great under water images and average above the water images. Bottom line this camera is great under water if the visibility is good. The buttons are a bit hard on this camera and also you can not look at the picture on screen immediately after acquiring, there is a play button on the camera that lets you look at the pics on its lcd screen but that is not as convenient as instant replay that we are used to having on our canon digital camera. I find transferring images from my canon much more simpler so i simply switch the SD card from this camera into my canon to transfer files. Over all a good product for this price...
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on July 31, 2009
I wanted an inexpensive waterproof camera for the beach. After checking out the cost of a disposable camera coupled with the cost of developing and printing the pictures, I decided to go with this Vivitar. The pictures taken came out really good. The strap was secure and the camera did float as advertised. I also followed the reviewer's comments about making sure that the battery compartment was secure and closed before taking it back in the water. I also dropped it in the sand, but it cleaned up quickly in the water. The down side was that the camera turned off a lot if you were taking alot of pictures. Also the LCD screen is difficult to see if you are in the sunlight. All and all, it was worth the money and it will continue to get use when we go swimming at the pool. Note, instructions included in the camera were minimal at best, so I'm sure I haven't figured out all of the setting yet.
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on May 27, 2008
For what I paid, this is well worth the money.
It's quite a hefty/sturdy camera, which does the job of underwater photography well. It feels sturdy and should be able to take some impact and waterproof.
Things could be better:
1) quicker focussing: you cannot use this for sports since it's quite slow
2) no photo preview right after you took the picture
3) better strap: the little loopy thing which hooks to the camera should be more sturdy
4) optical zoom would be nice.
5) video is very low res (400x320), and sound is choppy. And you cannot use zoom during the video.
6) white balance is sometimes inconsistent between shots. If you're picky
perhaps you should set it at a setting instead of auto
Overall, for the price, nothing comes close at the price point you get it at Amazon. Underwater cameras are a niche and very expensive.
Overall, I am happy with the purchase. No trouble with the shipping, it came as expected on time and in good shape.
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on March 16, 2009
Very easy to use, just set it on auto and go. Once you get comfortable with the camera, you can fine tune light conditions, picture quality, night time, underwater, iso, etc.

I snorkeled in rough seas on Maui and it held up fine, very durable well armored, it's rated for 30 feet underwater, but I took mine on a scuba dive to 45 feet with no problems.

The view finder is difficult to see in bright light or underwater, but I suspect you'll find that on all camera's of this type. The flash works well under water for bringing out the natural colors of coral, etc., but did not work in a cave where it just magnified silt in the water.

I bought this new from an Amazon store for $110.00, but it is worth full retail to me. PS: Look for images from my trip!
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on May 12, 2014
! have had it for 5 years. I bought it to take to the beach. It worked well and I was able to take pictures underwater. The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is because the shutter button has a gritty feel now. That is probably from the fine sand getting in the button area. It may just need a good cleaning with fresh water. I would recommend This for beach or anywhere there may be water. i.e. Lakes, rivers or just rainy days.
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