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BobT

Underwater Camera

Question

Been looking at underwater cameras and would like some input. If you've used one, did you find them useful and valuable or was it more of a novelty? 

 

I can imagine it might have it use to see what's down there regarding weeds, rocks, etc. but in reality how much can you really see? I expect in winter when water is settled and more clear it may be better but not so much in summer? 

 

Your thoughts?

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Picked up the Recon 5 last year. Never got around to using it on open water, thought I would, maybe this year?

 

Set up on a spot yesterday afternoon, lowered the camera before totally setting up and found out I was right on top of a sunken tree.  So I moved 15 ft away. Used the camera until it was too dark and then switched on the flasher.

 

So much easier using these smaller models these days vs the cumbersome bigger ones of years past.  It's great for scouting your spot, make sure you are where you want to be.

 

And I just get a kick out of watching what goes on under the ice, from schools of tullibee cruising by to being able to yank my offering away from smaller perch.

 

Yesterday it was watching how sluggish the fish were.

 

And it all depends on clarity of the water for the cameras.

Couldn't even see my offering 4 ft away trout fishing a couple of weeks ago, but I kept it down because I could see the silhouette of trout cruising by. Kept my flasher off because I think on high pressured metro trout lakes the trout can associate the clicking of the transducer with danger. (just a theory)

 

I've always found that they are pretty useless at night even with the IR or LED lights.

 

The Recon fits in my old Croxton Pond rod bag, so it doesn't seem like I'm even bringing a camera on the ice with me.

20171123_110044.jpg

Edited by Duffman

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I have a marcum vs485c. I think my kids get more use and value out of it than I do. They really enjoy watching fish come in on the camera. Helps keep them entertained while we are out on the ice.

 

I like to use the camera to scout, check out areas and structure underwater. They can spook fish so have to be careful with that. But they are a good way to tell the mood and how fish react to certain presentations. 

 

I like to run and gun so its not ideal to drag a camera out each time I move. But if am settled in to a spot I will drop it down. I have never had any luck with them at night and have never used it for open water.

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I've got one but rarely use it.  Its an older one and not fancy at all but it does work well.  I just find it cumbersome to haul along and I'd rather be hole hopping with a flasher than mucking around with a camera.  I keep telling myself to sell it but then convince myself to keep it around because the kids would get a kick out of it.  Still have never put it down when I had the kids in tow.

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As I have been looking at them, they do seem to be potentially bulky to have but the ones I've been looking at are the Aqua-Vu Mirco cameras. Smaller screens of course but then the unit is very compact and could fit in my pocket. The Mirco II is not IP67 rated so that has pretty much put it out of the running. The video  is not as clear as the next model up either. The Micro Plus has caught my attention. Much nicer video, is IP67 rated, and some models have built in DVR with cable connection for downloading to a PC which might be interesting. 

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If you do get one I'd for sure go with something smaller.  The easier it is to quickly drop down a hole and pack back up the more you'll likely use it so if I had to do it again I'd put those features at the top of my list even if it means sacrificing a little picture quality.  The one I have is an old cheapo with a picture that can come close to comparing to the new modern units.  However, even that old cheapo cam/screen does the job of letting you see whats down there (fish, bottom content, etc).  

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I went through this as well and my advice is if you want an underwater camera, get one with the rotating 360 degree view. And I'm no talking about that marcum panner either which is garbage.

 

You can buy a more professional, higher quality camera with a better case and screen on hsolist and you will find this to be much superior because you set it at the depth you want and get a constant 360 view with nothing external moving to spook the fish.

 

https://m.hsolist.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1313.TR7.TRC1.A0.H0.Xunderwater+fishing+camera.TRS0&_nkw=underwater+panning+fishing+camera

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have one, don't use it enough, once every few years....

Edited by Mike89

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I went with a Marcum Recon 5+ instead of the Aqua View Micro.  Just for the reason of a better picture and a slightly thicker cord for the camera.  I don’t know if it’s IP67 or not.  Never occurred to me to care.

 

I went with the 5+ for the depth, temp and direction readout which was good last year but slower to respond this year.  Not sure why but it eventually shows me the correct depth if I leave it down for a little bit.  In the summer the temp readout is nice - if you use it.

 

I went with a small model for the portability and mainly to scout spearing spots before cutting a block.  It also has the TV port and DVR so I thought that would be cool in the wheelhouse.  I’ve hooked it up to the TV once - and it was cool, but it usually sits in front of my wife so she can watch her bait in real life since she hasn’t gotten friendly with a flasher yet.  Don’t quote that Leech. ;)

 

Having a use that involves the wife makes the purchase go easier too!  I’m usually too busy cutting holes for everyone else, setting tip ups and scouting out the area to sit and watch the camera.

 

But I’m glad I have one.

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My buddy and I went out with a guide a few weeks ago. He used the camera all the time - not for actual fishing but for scouting. He was extremely mobile and would cut a hole, drop the camera down to see if fish were around and what the structure was like. If he didn't like what he saw, we were off to the next spot. I was used to the original cameras, and was very impressed with how much clearer and powerful the new cameras are.

 

I used to think of the cameras as a novelty, but with his setup the camera almost seemed more important than a flasher. 

 

 

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I have one, use it both seasons. Yea can be bulky at times. Summer time a sun shield really helps. I especially use it when I go to an unfamiliar lake. To me it's worth the extra hassle.

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You guys are making me think I need to get mine out of moth balls and start using it again.  Maybe I'll have to make a few recon trips out to some new lakes and put it to use.  maybe only bring my auger and camera out and just drill holes and check things out.

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2 hours ago, Duffman said:

Kept my flasher off because I think on high pressured metro trout lakes the trout can associate the clicking of the transducer with danger. (just a theory)

I have wondered about this myself a time or two. 

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3 hours ago, Duffman said:

Kept my flasher off because I think on high pressured metro trout lakes the trout can associate the clicking of the transducer with danger. (just a theory)

 

Courthouse high pressure?  Surely you jest.  :grin:

569fdc67c9c0c.image.jpg

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2 hours ago, bobbymalone said:

 5 hours ago, Duffman said:

Kept my flasher off because I think on high pressured metro trout lakes the trout can associate the clicking of the transducer with danger. (just a theory)

 

Quote

Courthouse high pressure?  Surely you jest.  :grin:

569fdc67c9c0c.image.jpg

 

Well dang, my thoughts of the BWCAW purest have dropped a bit, knowing he would combat crowd fish for hatchery mush fish! :( :lol:

 

As far as cameras go I have heard from a few guys saying they have had issues with the small cords on the Aqua-Vu Mirco cameras cracked and going out. They do work nice though for running around looking for weed lines and what fish maybe down there. I fished by two guy once who spent more time checking holes with their cameras then with a line down, but they did find the fish!

Edited by leech~~

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I'm not a big camera fan myself. I used to have one many moons ago but when it took a dump, I decided not to replace it. If you have young kids it's great to plant yourself in a small sunfish spot and let your little ones watch the fishies. 

 

Personally, I like the surprise of not fully knowing what's down there plus, I usually ice fish at night for crappies or Walleye. Unless something has changed, these underwater cameras are useless after dark or if there is a lot of snow cover.

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20 hours ago, Wanderer said:

@BobT

 

Just curious. have you made your decision yet?

 

 

Looking pretty close at the Aqua-Vu Micro with DVR. Nice and compact, seems to have pretty good image, is IP67 rated, and Aqua-Vu is offering a free case and charger with purchase right now. 

Edited by BobT

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4 hours ago, BobT said:

Looking pretty close at the Aqua-Vu Micro with DVR. Nice and compact, seems to have pretty good image, is IP67 rated, and Aqua-Vu is offering a free case and charger with purchase right now.

 

On-Line product reviews are a great place to find Pro's and Con's and issues other have had on products before buying.

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1 hour ago, leech~~ said:

 

On-Line product reviews are a great place to find Pro's and Con's and issues other have had on products before buying.

 

Thats what this is. ;)

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8 minutes ago, Wanderer said:

 

Thats what this is. ;)

 

Well kind-a. I was thinking more of a specific product search with a lot more feed back on just that item. ;)

This is a little open.

Underwater Camera

Asked by BobT

Edited by leech~~

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2 hours ago, leech~~ said:

 

Well kind-a. I was thinking more of a specific product search with a lot more feed back on just that item. ;)

This is a little open.

Underwater Camera

Asked by BobT

Sheesh. The forum barely had a pulse and you bag on him for asking a forum related question rather than asking Alexa. 

 

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52 minutes ago, PurpleFloyd said:

Sheesh. The forum barely had a pulse and you bag on him for asking a forum related question rather than asking Alexa. 

 

 

Did you read my suggestion above or are you still trolling for more drama tonight?

 

Bob started a subject about Underwater cameras. He got a lot of great feedback from the fine folks on this site. He then narrowed it down to a specific product Aqua-Vu Micro with DVR.

I then made the suggestion that he may look for more product specific reviews on line where the volume for that specific product may be greater then what he has found here. ;)

So I don't see that as bagging on him, as much as you Ball Bagging me about a pretty good helpful suggestion. "Roll eye's" emoticon.

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I read it. It was part of my response. You would trust an anonymous online review over asking for more verifiable information on a forum of registered users? No wonder you spend so much time having conversations with web bots.:lol:

 

Relax a little. The temps are warming up soon and it will be no safe place for snowflakes.:grin:

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Actually, I'm more inclined to trust the opinions on this site (from some of you :D) than I am from the reviews supposedly written by customers on retailer websites. Those reviews could be purchased. 

 

Anyway I did come to a conclusion yesterday so I thought I'd pass an update. I was trying to decide between the Micro II and Micro Plus until I came across the Micro Revolution 5.0. I finally decided on the Aqua-Vu Micro Revolution 5.0 and am hoping to put it to use this weekend. Here are the reasons for my decision.

 

  • The Micro II is only water resistant while the other two are both IP67 rated. I inquired about the Micro II and was told that it could handle light water splash but was not suitable for wet conditions such as during a steady rain. That pretty much ruled it out of the running for me since I plan to use it outdoors.
  • Micro II has a 3" screen as does the Micro Plus but the Revolution has a 5" screen. The 5" screen started out as a negative but later I realized the unit was still compact enough that I could fit it in the pockets of my coat so it was only a minor negativity. 
  • The picture quality of the Micro II was the lowest of the three while the Revolution had the sharpest picture quality.
  • The Micro II and Micro Plus come with 50' cables while the Revolution comes with 60' cable. I do some lake trout fishing and although we sometimes fish even deeper, having the 60' cable gave it a little edge over the other two.
  • The Micro II and Micro Plus camera cables are hair thin while the Revolution cable is a little heavier. I expect it should be easier for rotating the camera while viewing with the heavier cable.
  • The Revolution also has depth indicators on the cable while the Micro II and Micro Plus do not.
  • The Micro II and Micro Plus both have automatic IR lighting while the Revolution IR light is manually controlled so I can decide whether to use it or not. I liked that.
  • The Revolution has adjustable IR lighting intensity while the other two do not. 
  • The Revolution comes with Aqua-Vu's Integrated Revolution Camera Reel System which was a feature that really caught my attention. Rather than manually winding the camera cable around the storage spool which adds wear and potential damage as it slides through your fingers the Revolution has a reel so you can wind up or down the camera more quickly with less risk. 

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