I’d heard a lot about the Paralenz Dive Camera from friends and clients so I was curious as to what all the fuss was about.
I’ve never really taken pictures underwater before because I’ve always been teaching or guiding. I don’t even own a proper camera on land and use my phone if I get the urge to snap something. I wasn’t sure if I had the energy or inclination to suddenly take up underwater photography and videography. Then I met Jacob at EUROTEK and decided the time has come for me to create some memories and document some of the places I’m fortunate enough to dive.
The first Paralenz experience
So in mid-March, my wife Amy joined me in Gili Trawangan, where I have predominantly lived and worked for the last 14 years as a TDI technical diving Instructor Trainer, Paralenz in hand. It comes in a nice case with spare o-rings, silicone grease, lanyard, USB charging cable, mask mount, and a universal mount so it can go on a Selfie Stick. (Selfies are not my cup of tea by the way).
One of the first things I had to do was to download the app for my iPhone and read the manual. It was clear and concise and I soon realized it had more features than I was expecting. There are different levels of quality 720p 1080p 2.7k and 4k with EIS (Enhanced Imaging Stability) and a wide-angle lens. It also has DCC (Depth controlled Colour Correction) for Blue Or Green water. Deeper than 20m and it’s recommended that you put it on auto WB (white balance) and turn DCC off. You can adjust this underwater by flicking the switch 3 times. The good thing about the Paralenz is that it’s ready to dive and no need for housing. I’ve seen so many Go Pros flood that I was relieved I didn’t have to worry about that.
The first Paralenz dive
The next day I was diving 55m with an assorted group of tech divers. I was on CCR with a colleague and we had a group of Backmount and Sidemount divers going to explore connections between 2 sites I found 2 ½ years ago. I named them Pyramids and Lighthouse due to the topography. Personally, I was diving with a canister torch so set the Paralenz to Auto. There are options to set the Kelvin of the torch but that’s way beyond me for the first dive with the camera.
The visibility was unnaturally awful. It’s very rare on the Gili Islands, particularly on the deep walls, but the storm the previous night hadn’t helped. The dive was still amazing with lots of black coral, reef fish, and amazing topography. I was pointing the camera everywhere, switching between video and photo mode. I could feel myself turning into one of those people who pay more attention to the camera than the dive so I reigned myself in a bit. After I took some shots of my wife and friends on deco, I couldn’t wait to get back to the dive shop to see what I’d captured.
Extremely easy to use
It was really easy to get the media off the camera and on to my phone via the app and a WiFi connection between the two. I was pretty happy in an amateurish way with my video and photos. Usual beginner stuff, shaky, moving too quickly and shining my cave torch directly on the subject so it was bleached out. The best stuff was when I had the light facing away from the subject. I need a video light.
Having learned a few lessons I decided to dive the wreck of the Glen Nusa, which is a shallower site at 30m and now houses a load of reef fish. The following day’s results were a lot better and I played around with the DCC. I even managed to get a decent video of some snapper, sweetlips and a big grouper. I’m pretty impressed with the quality and how easy it is to use and I’m still only using the 1080p!! I can’t wait till the visibility clears up and with a bit more practice I think ill be able to get some decent footage on my upcoming trips. I’ve unexpectedly just been invited on a 2 week trip from Raja Ampat to Ambon!!!
Time to read the rest of the manual and practice!!
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