Whether you’re a keen photographer or not, the chances are you’ll take some snaps or some videos once in a while, whether it be on a fully-fledged DSLR, or just the camera in your smartphone, so you can easily relive your memories. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend slipping into the sea or a swimming pool with your smartphone or camera attached to your hip, it could have disastrous consequences.
Fortunately, there are cameras designed for that very purpose, and today I have with me the Swann DVR-460 SportsCam, which claims to be able to do it. So let’s take a look, shall we?
What’s in the Box
Usually this section of the review mundanely lists a lot of what really, you’d expect to be in the box. However taking the packaging away from the Swann camera reveals a great many surprises.
First of all, you’ve obviously got the camera itself, a small fabric pouch to keep it in, a couple of USB cables and a mean-looking clear case for your ventures under the sea. But amongst all of that, we have no less than NINE other straps, cases and mounts to secure the camera for whatever activity you’re looking to capture.
There’s wrist straps, velcro straps, safety-pin mounts, basic clip-on mounts and even a tight-fitting rubber case and multiple varieties of each. There’s even a set of screws for the more heavy-going activities.
The first ingredient to the specifications of a camera is its maximum resolution, and with the DVR-460, you can capture video at only 640×480 at a frame rate of 30fps, which isn’t magnificent on a grand scale, but considering the device measures in at just over an inch in height, and even less in width and depth, and weighs just over 45g, then it’s not bad going.
For stills, you can shoot at 1280×960, which again isn’t outstanding, but having a camera in the palm of your hand that sets you back juts £60 suggests convenience and portability over premium photos. There has to be a compromise somewhere.
Being so small, the camera features zero internal memory, which means you’ll have to rely on a microSD card that’ll set you back a little extra. The camera supports up to 16GB.
In terms of battery life, in theory the camera will last up to 2.5 hours on a full tank, and I was suitably impressed by its longevity in my tests.
And lastly, but quite importantly, the robust looking camera supports depths of up to 65 feet, ample for those shallow water home videos you’ll revel in in years to come. You might also care to note that having submerged it in water for a good half hour, it came out working just fine.
On its own, the camera is simple to operate, with the mounts simply clipping onto the back and a single button on the side indicates where to press to shoot the video or take the snap. There’s also a slider which you use to turn on and off the power, and other than that it’s very much point and shoot. Suitably impressed by the simplicity of the camera, which goes hand in hand with its form factor and target audience.
The video you shoot can only be exported via USB or a memory card reader, and in AVI format, which means you can easily upload and share the videos on sites such as Facebook and YouTube once they’re off your memory card and onto your PC.
Additionally, you can also operate the camera as a portable webcam for your Windows PC, and it’s compatible with Skype, Windows Live Messenger and more for that purpose.
Setting you back just £60, this little Swann DVR-460 Waterproof Mini Video Camera isn’t something you should expect the best quality from, though the sheer amount of accessories it comes packed with and the diminutive stature of the product itself means it is extremely versatile and gives you acceptable results.
The waterproof case that you’re required to use when going underwater is extremely rugged and fastens with a trustworthy clasp, whilst not adding dramatic amounts of bulk and weight to the unit, which feels sturdy in itself even without the case.