Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Summertime is pool time, and my kids are enjoying the water more than ever! They love swimming and splashing around, and their visits to the pool are even more enjoyable when they have some pool toys with them -- dive sticks, noodles, squirt cannons and floaty rings. Our latest fun summer toy is the SpongeBob Squarepants Digital Underwater Camera, which we were actually sent to review all the way back in March, but haven't had a chance to use until this month. What a shame -- to think we could have been enjoying it all this time!
The Spongebob Squarepants camera is a real working digital camera that comes with a waterproof case. It can be used in or out of the water (the case is waterproof up to 30 feet). The camera can take up to 152 low resolution digital photos, or up to 26 high resolution digital photos. It comes with a USB cable and the Spongebob Squarepants Snapshots software program, which lets kids download their photos to the computer and add frames, text and stickers to them.
Here's a basic product description:
Use your Spongebob Squarepants Underwater Digital Camera to take awesome photos! Take up to 152 photos either underwater or above water! This camera is waterproof up to 30 Feet and is great for kids! Features an adorable SpongeBob Squarepants on the water proof case, and the camera has bubble designs all over.
How fun is this camera? Everyone loves taking underwater shots, so the kids were falling all over each other to take photos and to pose. I have to admit, I'm having as much, if not more, fun with the camera as my kids.
The quality of the photos is, surprisingly for such an inexpensive camera, quite good, especially the high resolution photos (These photos are all taken in the high-res mode. They are 640 x 480 pixels and 96 dpi). We were all thrashing around in the water while these photos were taken, so I was half-expecting a series of blurred photos, but see how clear they came out! Even the bubbles were crystal clear.
The fun doesn't stop in the pool. The camera also takes decent photos out of the water, and the included software lets kids add Spongebob-themed borders, captions and stickers to their photos.
Best of all, it's light and inexpensive, so you don't have to worry too much about getting it scratched or banged about. You don't even have to worry about getting it wet!
The main limitation of this camera is the lack of a preview window, so kids have no idea what their photos will look like until they download them. The tiny viewfinder becomes even more of a problem to see through when you take photos underwater -- and there's that little matter of having to hold your breath, so you can't take your sweet time when shooting. I didn't have goggles on, so holding the camera up to my eye was useless. I ended up just holding the camera in front of me and shooting blindly, so many of my shots were of tummies and tops of heads and eyes.
Also, there are 2 buttons on the camera -- one to turn the thing on and to change mode (i.e. resolution, delete photo, delete all, power off/on, etc..), and another to take photos and to make selections when in certain modes. The basic point-and-shoot function is pretty easy to remember -- press one button to turn the camera on, and the other button to take photos -- so kids can use it without too many problems. But it's way too easy to forget how to switch from low-res to high-res, or to delete photos, or to delete all photos. My kids often click on both buttons indiscriminately and have inadvertently erased all the photos they took! So I do wish some basic instructions were printed on the camera itself.
The Bottom Line
The Spongebob Underwater Digital Camera is the perfect pool toy for your kids this summer -- it's fun, inexpensive, and easy to use! Kids will have a blast using it in the pool!
Disclosure: I received a product sample, but was not paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is clearly indicated as such. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.