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Reviews > Cameras > Digital > Intova X2 Waterproof Action Camera > Test Report by Duane Lawrence

Industrial Revolution 
Intova X2 Waterproof Diving Camera
By Duane Lawrence

March 24, 2018


Tester Information

 
Name:                Duane Lawrence
Email:                duanesgear (at) yahoo (dot) com
Location:           Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
Gender:             Male
Age:                   45 years
Height:               5’9” (1.75 m)
Weight:              160 lbs (73 kg)
 
I have been an avid outdoor enthusiast for over 25 years.  I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including mountaineering, day hikes, multi-day backpacking trips, river and ocean kayaking, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing. I have climbed throughout British Columbia, the United States and when opportunity presents itself in Europe and India. I carry a wide variety of gear depending on the type and length of trip.  I am a search and rescue team member in the Southern Canadian Rockies and am part of the swift water, rope rescue and avalanche technical teams and ground search team.

The Camera

Manufacturer: Industrial Revolution
Product: Intova X2 Waterproof Diving Camera
Manufactured Year: 2017
Web Site: www.intova.com
MRSP: $349.99
Colour: Black
Listed Weight: 197 g (7 oz)
Measured Weight: 195 g (6.8 oz)
Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 5 cm (3.15 x 2.76 x 7.97 in)
Warranty: Limited One Year
Battery: Rechargeable 2-hour use
Dive Depth: 300 ft (100 m)
Screen: LCD 2 in (5.1 cm)
Screen Resolution: 960x 240 pixels
Video Resolution: 1080p
Photo Resolution: 16 MP
Flash: 150 lumen (photo & video modes)
Zoom: 0-60x digital
Memory Card: Micro SD - not supplied
Functions: Still Photos and Video
Lens: Wide Angle
Accessories: Floating lanyard
Alternate Quick Access Removable Housing Door
Charging Cable

General Observations

The Intova X2 Waterproof Diving Camera is a small compact dive camera that comfortably fit into my hand.  The camera has a little bit of weight to it for a fairly small camera but nothing that I would deem excessive considering it is a specialty dive camera.  The housing is made out of what looked to be a durable hard rubber which showed no signs of wear throughout the test period.  I did note that there is a crack forming on the hinge of the access port which is concerning as it may result in the hatch cover breaking off.  The camera functions are accessed by five fairly large unlabelled buttons.  The digital ports, battery and micro SD card are housed under a locking, waterproof hat
ch. The camera comes with a separate port cover that allows for the data ports to be accessed without having to unlock and open the hatch door.  The camera has a small 2 in square LCD screen that is protected with a clear plastic cover.  A removable soft plastic LCD hood attaches to the clear plastic LCD screen with two prongs and is for the most part fairly secure when attached.  The camera also comes with a floating wrist tether.

Turning on the camera the LCD screen displays current settings and information along the perimeter of the screen.  The icons along the top and bottom of the screen are easily identifiable as there is a black bar that they sit on.  I found the information displayed along the sides more challenging to see as they were set on top of what the camera is seeing through the lens.  One thing I did notice is that when the LCD hood is attached is was much harder to see the icons, especially the ones located in the corners of the screen.  The hood is attached so that it rests on the inside of the screen rather than the outside thereby making it harder to see everything displayed on the screen.  

Functions

A single button accesses the menu screen which is then navigated by depressing the up/down buttons on the side of the camera which also control the zoom.  The menu provides access to the camera, video, wifi, image quality and general system settings.  Below is an overview of all the functions that are available within each menu.

Menu Options
Wifi On/Off Remote SSID Password
System TV System Video Rotation Digital Zoom Auto LCD Off Volume Language
Firmware V Time Setup Format Default Setting Auto Power Off Lens Correct Field of View
Image Flicker Screen Mode White Balance Image Effects
Contrast Sharpness Meter ISO EV Setting
Video Resolution Video Quality Motion Detection Video Duration Time Lapse
Loop Video Mute Dual Stream Video Stamp Record LED
Camera Size Photo Quality Photo Burst Photo Flash
Self-Capture Time Lapse Photo Stamp


Once in the menu the functions are generally self-explanatory and not very difficult to find.  Once selected the camera retains the settings until manually changed.  This is important to remember when using features such as self-capture, time lapse and photo burst as the camera will stay in that mode even when turned on and off.  Most of the settings are self-explanatory and for those that are not the instruction manual that is available online provides brief descriptions of what they do.  I found that the options available through the menu were, for a point and shoot style camera, plentiful enough without being overwhelming.  They are fairly self-explanatory that once I knew where to find them I could easily find and selected the various functions that what I wanted.  

Instructions

I found that the instruction manual was very easy to follow and use although brief.  Aside from some of the specific functions there appeared to be an overriding assumption that the camera user already knew what the functions would accomplish and why one might want to use them.  The manual actually only came in at a short 16 pages including the cover.  The photos depicting the set up and functions of the camera were easy to follow and I had limited questions after reading the manual or at least paging through it.  The last couple of pages included some information on battery care which was good information with the last page containing troubleshooting information.  

Wifi Control

The camera has the ability to be controlled through a mobile app.  I did download the app and was able to install everything needed to accomplish this with little to no major issues.  I am not much of a tech-minded person and I was able to install and connect to the camera in about 15 minutes or so.  Once in, I found that with the much larger display on my phone that I wanted to manage all the settings and get everything set up
the way I wanted.  The only problem was that I was only able to access the video and photo options.  I messed around with it for a while before I realized this and was thoroughly mystified why the manufacturer would go to all the trouble to creating the app and allow for remote access to the camera but not provide full access. I must admit that having what the camera was seeing on my phone was neat and I can imagine that if I was setting it up for delayed pictures or video of myself or others that this could be useful.  

I was disappointed that I was unable to remotely turn on or connect to the camera without first turning on the camera, going into the wifi menu and turning everything on.  By the time I got through this process I found that I could have already taken the video or photo that I was remotely setting up for.  

Usability

When I was first getting used to the camera I was mildly annoyed that there were absolutely no markings on the camera housing to indicate what button did what and its associated functions.  I found that I had to make a decided effort to memorize which buttons did what and how to access everything.  As I find with most things the more I use it the less I needed the markings but it seems like a fairly basic thing for the manufacture to do and it would make the camera much more user friendly.  Once I figured out what buttons did what it is a fairly simple camera to use.  The one thing that I personally got very a
nnoyed with was that camera's default setting was video.  Each time the camera is turned on it starts on the video setting, which I found for a camera impossible to remember all the time and I ended up with videos rather than photos.  I also found that when I went into the menu and out again it would revert back to the video mode unless the camera mode was deliberately selected.  Being an individual who takes photos and not videos I found this very annoying. Another oddity that I discovered was that the zoom function actually has to be turned on.  I am not sure why anyone would not want it on but it is actually an option that needs to be selected prior to use.  Once on it does stay on but it took me awhile to figure out why I could not just zoom in and out.  

For a small camera I found that it fit nicely in my hand and the buttons were very easy to use regardless if I was underwater or not.  I only had a chance to dive in the Caribbean’s warm waters so am unable to comment on how the buttons would be with neoprene gloves but they seem large enough that they would still be functional.  The buttons are fairly stiff, which I would attribute to this being a dive camera and the need for a watertight casing.  I actually found that I ended up using the side of my finger to depress the menu and zoom buttons as it was easier that using the tip of my finger.  The buttons are also different heights so that I found that I could run my fingers over the buttons and know which one was which.  The LCD screen under the right lighting conditions was fine, nothing fantastic but functional.  When I was diving I had no issue at all seeing what I was taking a photo or video of although the small size made it difficult to lock onto what I wanted to zoom into.  On land the screen was finicky.  In some light conditions I had no issues whatsoever seeing what was being depicted on the screen while if there was any reflective light it was impossible to see anything at all on the screen.  I would suggest that this is one of the major drawbacks of this camera.  The screen has very limited viewing abilities while on land and I found that it made the camera fairly useless as there was no way to determine what I was actually aiming the camera at.  Until I got back inside or to a place where the reflective light allowed me to view the screen I had no idea if I had actually captured the image I wanted or not.  

Pictures

Overall the images that the camera produced were fairly good.  The resolution options provide for a high quality image and the internal camera settings allow for a number of environmental conditions including sand and snow, sports, landscape, sunset and four dive settings from below 20 feet (6 m) to below 100 feet (30.5 m).  The image settings also provide the user to access the white balance settings which included auto, sunny, cloudy, fluorescent and incandescent lighting.  Regardless if the camera was in video or camera mode the quality of the images was very good.  When diving, I got down to 105 ft (32 m), I found that depending on the clarity of the water the images were of moderate to very high quality.  This is to be expected as the suspended particles in the water column have a significant impact on the clarity of any image taken under water.  On land the images taken were very good.  The main drawback and difficulty was the size of the screen and its susceptibility to reflective light on the LCD screen.  I found that a lot of the images I took were not what I was hoping for purely due to the fact that I couldn't see what I was taking a picture of.  


Another significant problem that I had with the camera was with the zoom function.  I am not sure if there is a problem with the autofocus or not but I was unable to focus the image when using the zoom when looking at a distant object.  I tried it out many many times over the test period and was unable to get the zoom to focus making it completely useless unless I was zooming in to something that was within a few feet.  Even after resetting the camera to its default system settings the focusing while zoomed in to distant objects was impossible for the camera.  One thing that I had to remind myself of while testing this camera was that it is first and foremost a dive camera.  Divers tend not to take images or video of distant objects and only zoom in to objects that are fairly close, think of a macro mode.  As a pure dive camera I would have no issue with the zoom function at all but when used outside of the water its limitations became very evident.  

Summary

The Intova X2 Waterproof Diving Camera is as previously mentioned first and foremost a dive camera.  Taking this into consideration I liked the camera and was happy with the images it was able to produce.  The camera is compact, reasonably light and the buttons are easy to find and use without having to look at the camera.  One of the most annoying things about this camera is that it reverts back to video often and I ended up with a lot of video rather than photos which, when taking a photo of an allusive fishy, is not cool.  As for its use on land this would not be the camera I would recommend.  The LCD screen is too sensitive to light, is too small to see much and the zoom is ineffectual when looking at distant objects.   

The camera body is definitely waterproof, I had it down to 105 ft (32 m) with no issues at all.  The one thing I did note and am concerned about is the crack that is developing on the hatch cover hinge.  If this fails I think it will compromise the entire waterproof structure of the camera and the whole camera may need to be replaced.  

The images produced by the Intova X2 are excellent both in and out of the water.  The available functions are fairly easy to navigate to and provided me with all the options I would likely need.  Overall I would say that this is a great little dive camera that can be used on land if desired but that is not really what it was built for.  

Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Industrial Revolution for the opportunity to test the Intova X2 Waterproof Diving Camera..  



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Read more gear reviews by Duane Lawrence

Reviews > Cameras > Digital > Intova X2 Waterproof Action Camera > Test Report by Duane Lawrence



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