Scuba is a tough industry to be a designer or engineer. For the first few decades it was pretty easy to create something new and exciting basically because you didn’t have much of a measuring stick to compare with. The sport was new, the industry was new and pretty much everything was either home-made or built new from scratch. A great deal of trial and error was applied to the products the divers were using in the water and generally the deciding factor over whether the new idea was good or not was if the piece of gear performed the 2nd and 3rd time you used it in the water.
It would seem over the past decade or so, with the exception of the Split Fin there has been a bit of a lull in creative innovation of new dive gear. That’s not to say the gear we use hasn’t been improved upon and made lighter, more reliable and easier to use than ever before, it just seems that there has not been anything really new and exciting in some time. Until now.
Liquid Image has taken a necessary piece of equipment and combined it with one of the more fun accessories for diving and introduced the HD Video Mask! The creative people over at Liquid Image have taken a 5 Megapixel Camera with 780P HD video and combined them with a high quality diving mask and come up with a product that has made missing that amazing, once in a life time occurrence during your dive a thing of the past!
The lens is located above the frame of the mask situated in the center between your eyes. Your masks lenses have cross hairs on them that at first glance would seem very distracting during your dive. They don’t interfere at all as you hardly notice them unless you are looking for them, but when you need them they serve to show you exactly what your camera is seeing. You can’t miss your shot by not lining up the camera. The power/shutter lever is located above the right upper corner of the mask and is easy to find. Simply grasp your mask as if you were going to clear it and you’ll have the shutter under your fingertip! You can turn the power on and off or select stills or video mode from here and a little LED indicator light inside your mask will remind you what is active at a glance!
The camera itself has 16mb of internal memory which doesn’t allow for a lot of photos (approximately 25-27) but will accept a micro SD or Micro SDHC card up to 32GB! With that card that means over 36,000 still images or 16 HOURS of video out of your dive mask! Of course this is limited by your battery life. Using normal Alkaline batteries, you can get up to 500 still images which isn’t bad, but only 16 minutes of video. The battery life is better using Lithium batteries with 2000 stills or 2 hours of video. Usually more than a diver would be able to get out of a tank of air.
Once done with your diving, the package comes with a USB cable and software (in case you don’t already have an editing program) that will allow you to check out your work on your PC or Mac and manipulate them into shots you’ll share with family and friends! When you are finished it stores in a protective hard case, also included, for safe keeping until your next dives. And when you are ready to use it again they’ve even included some silicone grease designed to keep the O-ring clean, moist and sealed dive after dive. The mask comes in two sizes so it’s a fair bet that this will be an item perfect for every diver!