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summer worsley
Summer Worsley, Dive Instructor
PRODUCT REVIEW

The Paralenz Camera+

The Paralenz Camera+ has taken the diving world by storm and reinvented the dive camera. Gone are the days of bulky housings and fiddling with white balance and filters. Instead, they’ve given us a streamlined piece of kit that’s the size of a torch. It’s eminently user-friendly and you can start taking quality photos and videos as soon as it’s out of the box.

 

Already know the Paralenz Camera+ is for you? Click on the link below for the latest prices and details. If not, read on to find out if the Camera+ offers everything an underwater photographer needs. We also took a look at Paralenz’s new offering, the Paralenz Vaquita, which is due for release in July 2020.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5
All purpose underwater camera

Reasons to buy

  • Fits comfortably into the palm of the hand even when wearing thick gloves
  • Easy to use even for amateur photographers
  • Paralenz’s Dive App makes it simple and quick to download photos
  • Waterproof to 820ft / 250m

Reasons NOT to buy

  • Doesn’t do RAW format photos, only JPEG, which is really only an issue for hardcore photographers when editing
  • Auto white balance can produce fuzzy video in some light situations

After reviewing the Dive Camera, we found there’s a lot to like. Already know the Paralenz Camera+ is for you? Follow the link above for prices and more details. Need more info? Read our full review below.

See the complete list of the best Dive Camera’s here!

Cressi Neon
 

Paralenz Camera+: Key Specifications

  • Depth rating: 820ft / 250m
  • Temperature rating: -4 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit / -10 to 85 Celsius
  • White balance modes: Auto, 3500K, 5000K, 6500K, Depth Controlled Color Correction (DCC)
  • 140 degree lens with distortion correction
  • Pressure and temperature sensors
  • 1600mAh battery
  • Battery life: Three hours on 1080 pixels, two hours on 4K
  • Eight megapixel still photo resolution
  • Video resolution: 4K-30fps / 2.7K-60fps / 1080p-100fps / 720p-240fps
  • Housing made from aerospace-grade aluminum & titanium screws
  • Mask mount and universal mount included
  • Compatible with 64GB or 128GB Micro SD cards (requires U3 speed)
  • Connectivity: Wifi, Bluetooth, USB-C port
  • Weight: 5.5oz / 155g
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.4 x 1.5 inches / 116 x 35 x 38mm
Paralenz gear

What You Need to Know About the Paralenz Camera+

Here’s a round-up of some of the Paralenz Camera’s key features.

The Paralenz Camera+ offers photographers a more streamlined way to capture underwater images. It’s small yet powerful and packs a punch in terms of features. Here are a few of our favorite things about the Camera+.

Lightweight Design

Some say that the Paralenz Camera+ is the most comfortable camera to carry and we tend to agree. It’s about the size and weight of a small flashlight and fits snuggly into the palm of the hand. It’s easy to hold even when you’re wearing thick neoprene gloves.

The housing is made from a strong but lightweight aluminum and polycarbonate compound that is shock-resistant and super durable, no need to worry about bumps. The housing’s design also means the Camera+ can be used at depths of 820ft / 250m and in extreme temperatures.

Intuitive Two-Control Design

The Camera+ is operated using two different controls. A selector ring rotates and allows you to switch between modes: power, video, photo, custom, settings, and locked. Once you choose a mode, a magnetic activation switch on the top is used to turn the camera on and off, start and stop the video function, take a photo, and surf through the settings.

Display Panel

We won’t beat around the bush. the display panel on the Camera+ is very small, perhaps to be expected given its convenient size. That said, it does display the key info you need. When you switch the camera on, it lets you know the SD card storage level and whether WB or DCC is active. The display is then used to adjust settings.

One nifty feature of the Camera+ is that it vibrates in a certain pattern with each setting change. So once you get used to the pattern, there’s no need to look at the display.

One of the biggest drawbacks with the Camera+ is the lack of a viewfinder so it can sometimes feel like a game of point, click, and hope. When we first tried it out, some of our photos taken out in the blue were slightly off. Once you get used to it, getting your subject in the center of the shot becomes much easier.

Depth Color Correction

Paralenz describes its Depth Color Correction (or DCC) as “an intelligent version of a color filter,” which is pretty accurate. A pressure sensor controls the DCC and adjusts the strength of the built-in filter to match your depth. It also has separate settings for blue and green water. It’s finally time to ditch all those additional filters you’ve been carrying on every dive!

White Balance Modes

Although the Camera+ comes with the DCC, there are times when the best option is to use video lights or add extra color to your shots, especially when shooting into the sun or below 65ft / 20m. The auto setting is great, especially for amateurs, but it can produce a wavy effect as the white balance constantly updates.

To solve this, there are three fixed white balance settings to get good color and contrast into your photos. Find out the color temperature of your video light and select Paralenz’s closest setting for beautiful, vibrant pictures every time.

Depth and Temperature Record Function

The Paralenz can be set to record depth and water temperature throughout a dive and overlay that information on to the videos you make. When you upload the video and review it in the Paralenz Dive App, you can view a dive profile chart in conjunction, giving you a full overview of your dive.

Mounts

Paralenz provides two mounts with the Camera+: a mask mount and a universal mount. The mask mount is secure, sturdy, and comfortable to wear. Just note that it can take some time to get it in the optimum position to limit vibrations when filming. The universal mount makes the Camera+ compatible with most existing accessories on the market, including GoPro style mounts.

 
New vanquita

The Next Generation — The Paralenz Vaquita

In early 2020, Paralenz revealed its new generation of dive camera — The Vaquita. Originally due for release in April, this has been delayed until July 2020. Paralenz has used a new powerful processor that means you can shoot 4K video at 60fps which should mean brighter, smoother, and higher-quality videos.

Paralenz already works with scientists and conservationists to provide data on the condition of our oceans. With the addition of a GPS sensor in the Vaquita, this information will become more accurate. The GPS sensor will also make it possible for divers to share dive footage as a pin on a map in the Paralenz app.

Best of all, the Vaquita will come with a true-color OLED display and high-quality viewfinder. Other smart additions include smaller file sizes and improved wifi and Bluetooth connectivity to make transferring data between the camera and the app easier and quicker.

The Camera+ was already good but the Paralenz Vaquita is making improvements which should result in happier divers. It’s safe to say the next generation Vaquita will be a hit.

Paralenz’s After Sales and Servicing Support

Paralenz offers a warranty on its cameras, but bear in mind that the warranty duration varies from region to region:

  • EU — 2 years
  • US — 1 year
  • Asia Pacific — 1 year

Cover begins from the date of purchase. If there’s a fault with your camera during this period, you can contact customer services or submit a request via the website. They will try to assist by trouble-shooting the issue but, if the problem can’t be fixed, the faulty product will need to be sent to a Paralenz office to be repaired, refunded, or replaced. 

 

Obviously, the warranty doesn’t cover natural wear and tear or any damage caused by improper use or botched servicing carried out by yourself or an unauthorized dealer. To avoid these nightmare scenarios, make sure you get your camera serviced by a licensed dealer only.

 

Any Ongoing Maintenance?

All dive cameras need some sort of maintenance and the Camera+ is no different. A copy of the Paralenz Camera+ full manual can be found here and gives thorough advice on ongoing maintenance.

Paralenz recommends cleaning the Camera+ in freshwater thoroughly after each dive. Don’t use any chemicals or cleaning products as this could damage some of the components. Check the O-rings and manipulate the selector ring and activation switch.to make sure they are clean and free of debris. It’s possible to remove these parts and clean them properly. However, Paralenz suggests you contact customer services for advice before doing anything.

If your Camera+ is going into storage for a few months until your next scuba adventure, take it out and fully charge the battery once a month to keep the battery safe. And before its next use, be sure to download the latest firmware.

Summary

Paralenz claims that its cameras are “made by divers, for divers” and that does seem to be the case. The quality of photos and videos is outstanding and they capture the beauty of the underwater realm in all its glory. Divers all over the world rave about their Camera+ and we reckon the Paralenz Vaquita will follow suit.

Manufacturer’s Specs and Features

  • Depth rating: 820ft / 250m
  • Temperature rating: -4 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit / -10 to 85 Celsius
  • White balance modes: Auto, 3500K, 5000K, 6500K, Depth Controlled Color Correction (DCC)
  • Lens: 140 degree angle of view with lens distortion correction
  • Sensors: Pressure, Temperature
  • Sensor size: ½.5”
  • Battery type: 1600mAh battery
  • Battery life: Three plus hours on 1080 pixels, two plus hours on 4K
  • Still resolution: Eight megapixels
  • Video resolution: 4K-30fps / 2.7K-60fps / 1080p-100fps / 720p-240fps
  • Housing material: Aerospace-grade aluminum & titanium screws
  • Mounts: Mask, universal
  • Data storage: 64GB or 128GB Micro SD cards (requires U3 speed)
  • Connectivity: Wifi, Bluetooth, USB-C port
  • Weight: 5.5oz / 155g
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.4 x 1.5” / 116 x 35 x 38mm

What We Like

  • Great battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Fits comfortably into the palm of the hand even when wearing thick gloves
  • DCC means you can start shooting underwater videos straight out of the box
  • No need for additional filters
  • Easy to use even for amateur photographers
  • Paralenz’s Dive App makes it simple and quick to download photos
  • Highly durable
  • Pictures and video quality is outstanding
  • Video syncs with the dive log
  • Great customer service
  • Waterproof to 820ft / 250m
  • Rated for cold water use

What We Don’t Like

  • Mask mount takes a bit of adjusting so exhaust bubbles don’t shake the camera
  • Some reviewers were disappointed by the color correction levels in green water
  • You need to act slowly when changing settings or switching between modes to avoid freezing
  • Doesn’t do RAW format photos, only JPEG, which is really only an issue for hardcore photographers when editing
  • Not the best camera for macro photography
  • No viewfinder
  • Auto white balance can produce fuzzy video in some light situations

Buy This Dive Camera If:

After reviewing the Paralenz Camera+, it’s definitely a dive camera that’s hard to beat. Whether you’re a twice-yearly recreational diver or a dive professional, it offers so much more than other action cameras on the market.

Gone are the worries we’ve encountered with maximum depths, white balance, and waterproofing. The Camera+ is easy to use even when wearing gloves making it ideal for deep, tech, cave, ice, and lake diving — it even produces excellent results while snorkeling.

And the Paralenz Vaquita is set to improve on all the great parts of the Camera+ and include loads of additional smart features. Its release may have been postponed until summer 2020, but if like us, you can’t wait to get your hands on the Vaquita and put it through its paces, Paralenz is taking pre-orders via its website.

Have you used the Paralenz Camera+ or want any other information about it? If so, leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Paralenz wet

The Paralenz on the go!

Do you use a Paralenz Camera or have questions about it? We’d love to hear what you think, so please drop us a comment below!

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