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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Intova CP9 Underwater Camera Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Intova CP9 Underwater Camera Review Posted in: Below $100, Underwater Cameras

The Intova CP9 dive camera is a classic example of the maxim “you get what you pay for.” It is a compact, handy camera with a price tag that hovers right around $90 (although the camera is often marked up considerably in Europe). The CP9 is also rated for depths of 130 feet/39 meters. Very few underwater cameras are free to go anywhere within standard recreational scuba diving parameters and yet cost so little.

However, that bargain basement price tag comes at a cost, as the CP9’s performance is pitiful. While the camera has a modest zoom capability, the underwater housing that goes with it does not, so all distance and focus adjustments must be done through manual positioning (i.e. moving around).  As a practical matter, that means taking a clear picture with the Intova CP9 requires a careful set-up, so the camera is useless for taking advantage of those golden, magical moments that last for only a few seconds (or even less). To make matters worse, the CP9 uses AAA batteries and is a serious power hog. A fresh set of batteries will usually (but not always) last for one complete dive, so to enjoy reliable power one must replace the batteries before each dive. An older set of chargeable AAA batteries might lack the duration to make it through even a single dive. Also, for a purpose-built dive camera the buttons on the Intova CP9 are small, so the spring-loaded buttons on the underwater housing might not align with them every time. This means a diver must check out the major functions of the CP9 before every single dive to make sure everything is properly aligned, which incidentally wastes some of that precious battery power. Finally, the flash is worthless and drains yet more of the finite battery power.

The Intova CP9 is an unreliable camera and prone to taking bad pictures. A scuba diver should only consider buying this camera if they urgently need an underwater camera and cannot afford something more expensive. Otherwise, wait until you can afford something better. Spending an extra $200 or more is worth it to have a reliable underwater camera with the basic performance standards one might expect from a typical pocket digital camera.

Average Price: $90