Speedo’s always been associated with all things aqua that you wonder why releasing an underwater camera only occurred to them just now. The Speedo Aquashot Underwater Digital Camera is a belated outing on their part, yes, but it’s a progression that merits a gregarious come-in come-in, why-only-now welcome.
Why only now, you ask? They’ve only released the Aquashot now—at least here in the Philippines—because first and foremost Speedo makes bikinis. They make bathing suits and swimming trunks, and swimming leggings for when it’s too cold and they are brilliant at it. Speedo only released the Aquashot because making cameras is not what they do. They make this immediately obvious upon first tinker of the gadget.
To begin with, the buttons are hardly intuitive. Where does this go? What does this do? The play button has two horns: scenery and mode. What’s the difference? The Okay button also has the menu in it so when you press it with the intention to go to the menu, sometimes the camera understands it as an okay.
As soon as you press a button, the camera tone will tell you that the slow processing has begun. You actually feel the camera working it until, finally it grants it to you…only to find out you pressed the wrong button. This slow processing extends to the shutter, which can be really annoying. Imagine missing out on all the fun you are having in the water, the fun you want to immortalize in pixel, because whoops, the camera is slow.
Last of the caveats would have to be the very low flash. It oddly does not reach the subject, making for a very dark, WTF-is-this photo. Which—hold on, lemme finish—isn’t that bad after all. Sure, you know, reviewing them on the display will dismay you pronto, but don’t delete that image just yet. View it on your computer and you’ll realize that wow, that low flash can make for a very dramatic image. Pwede!
Do we have anything good to say about the camera? Of f*cking course! This is where, we feel, Speedo’s strengths come in: The casing is absolutely brilliant! Water proof cameras, you see, are a tricky thing. Before an underwater camera can work its magic underwater, it first, must work underwater. This can only be done when the casing is good. And Speedo’s casing is good.
First, it feels sturdy; as though it were ready to rough it out. It has a matte finish, which prevents the rubber case from feeling rubbery or gross.
Second, the act of inserting the battery and memory card will tell you that protecting the machinery in it—no matter how old (that the camera is slow should tell you it works on old technology)—is one of Speedo’s top priorities. It has double covers you see. And as soon as you get past the tight protection—necessary to keep water and sand away—the slots where you insert the battery and the memory card are impressively tight, as well.
And besides, it looks good in dirt. You know how some things just lose its appeal when battles scars appear and dirt clings to crevices? Not this Speedo camera. Dirt suits the Aquashot good. Which is good because the beach is the beach and there’s no avoiding all the elements present there.
Expecting a swimwear maker to deliver, say, a Canon-quality experience is unfair. In fact, it doesn’t make any sense at all. If anything, we give props to Speedo for expanding their reach. And in the age of technology, there is a place for a brand that’s almost synonymous to water.
Speedo cameras are available at Electronics Boutique outlets in Robinson's Galleria, AMrket! Market!, Park Square 1, Alabang Town Center, Festival Supermall, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall