• Underwater Camera

  • Talk about the gear that makes your fishing day.
Talk about the gear that makes your fishing day.
 #238709  by TrackerPro16
 Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:24 pm
Anyone use one? I have read up a bunch but am on the fence as to whether my usage would be worth the price. There are underwater drones as well but they seem to be pretty pricey.
 #238711  by Larry3215
 Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:16 pm
Have a link to any underwater drones? The only ones Ive seen so far are for commercial use - $$$$$$$$$ - or some half assed DIY things that didnt look very practical. Its been a while since I last looked though.

If you're thinking about a cam, there are two basic types you have to choose between - real time viewing (with possible recording optional) or recording only.

I have used the recording only type cams for years in my RC flying hobby - small cams on airplanes and sailplanes. Its fun and interesting, but I got to really hate video editing. The problem is you can easily capture two + hours of recording that has maybe 2 minutes of video that anyone would actually want to watch. Its even worse with under water cameras.

I got to play with some real time video on drones for a bit and that is the way to go as far as Im concerned. So I decided to build my own real time underwater cam.

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=21836

The advantage of record only cameras is that they dont need to be connected to the boat. You just turn it on, drop it down and hope to record something interesting. You can attach it to a fishing line, downrigger, etc and you are good to go. Then you take it home, and spend a few hours on the computer viewing and editing the video in the hopes of finding the few seconds of good stuff - if you're lucky.

The downside to a real time camera is you need a cable connecting it to the boat and a way to view what it is seeing. Im using the video input on my Garmin, so I can watch what the cam is seeing in a combo screen on the MFD while I watch the sonar at the same time or switch to full screen. I can also record from there using my phone and the built in WiFi and an app.

Handling 75 ft of cable and the camera and the plugs etc is kind of a pain, but its less of a pain to me than editing hours of video when you have no idea if there is even something good on it.

The other problem with underwater video cameras is the water in almost all the lakes and rivers around here is just not very clear. In most places Ive tried so far, you cant see very far at all under water once you get below a few feet of the surface - even with a very sensitive camera and bright lights. I have yet to try it in a really clear lake though. Im itching to try Chelan, but we havent been back since I built the cam.

Most every where else Ive been the visibility has been from 6" in Silver Lake and about 3ft in PotHoles and Mosses up to maybe 10 ft in American Lake. Puget Sound is in the 6-8 ft range most places Ive tried shallow, but its very dark 75 ft down and vis drops to maybe 2 ft.

User Toni has an underwater cam she uses a lot. She has a bunch of videos posted somewhere, but I forget where. You might PM her if she doesnt drop in to this thread on her own.
 #238714  by Toni
 Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:49 am
Depends on what you want from it and what kind of use? Go Pro type or Water Wolf? I have a go pro type that was fun but hard to get fish on it without worrying about loosing the fish. Then I got the Water Wolf which hooks right to your line and sees everything that looks at your lure (if the water is clear enough but is not real time). The only time you have to edit it is if you are going to share the video. I enjoy it. I have learned a lot about fish behavior from the video feed I have watched. I just use it for trolling. I have tried casting it but was not successful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBFAlD8FZZY&t=22s
 #238732  by TrackerPro16
 Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:48 pm
Thanks for the replies! I was looking at the live-resl time stand alone type. Aqua-Vu was one I liked. The new models this year look pretty good. Not sure how useful it would be but one of the models has a 120' cable.
Here is one of the underwater drones.
https://www.openrov.com/products/triden ... gITWvD_BwE
And another
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/glad ... chnology#/
 #238739  by Sideburns
 Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:18 am
I think someone here has experience with the aqua vu, maybe you'll get some feedback... Better yet do a search for aqua vu. I think ive read a few posts about 'em.
This is the one Ive been eye balling on ebay. Less than 50 bucks shipped from california. Gotta have something to use as a display though.
 #238740  by Sideburns
 Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:42 am
Opps here's the link
http://www.ebay.com/itm/15M-1200TV-Unde ... Ciid%253A1
This is another ive been looking at with a 20 meter cable that hooks to a battery powered wifi transmitter. View on a phone or tablet wirelessly. With no other wires to connect, one could mount the transmitter to a cord reel of some sort, so that the camera could be reeled in or out while watching live.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wireless-Wifi-F ... SwRMtZaJBx
 #238744  by Larry3215
 Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:47 am
Sideburns wrote:Opps here's the link
http://www.ebay.com/itm/15M-1200TV-Unde ... Ciid%253A1
This is another ive been looking at with a 20 meter cable that hooks to a battery powered wifi transmitter. View on a phone or tablet wirelessly. With no other wires to connect, one could mount the transmitter to a cord reel of some sort, so that the camera could be reeled in or out while watching live.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wireless-Wifi-F ... SwRMtZaJBx


A couple of things to note about those two offerings. Neither one lists the camera's light sensitivity. I had to really look hard to find a camera with a very hi sensitivity. Mine is around .00001 lux IIRc. Most are in the .1 to .o1 range with a few in the .001 range. Price goes up as sensitivity goes up. A lower number is better by the way - .01 is ten times more sensitive than .1.

The other thing concerns me about the second listing is that its bragging that its camera is infrared. The problem with that is everything under water is at the same exact temperature, so infrared is useless under water. I found that out with my first cheap cam attempts.
 #238748  by Sideburns
 Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:51 pm
hmm good to know about the infrared. Probably more useful for drain pipe inspections.....