It’s not a name you’d normally associate with digital cameras, but Speedo’s latest creation is exactly that: a camera which, as you might expect from a swimwear manufacturer, is perfectly at home around water.
The Speedo Aquashot, for that is its name, isn’t likely to set the world on fire with its specifications: a five megapixel sensor would be more at home on a smartphone than in a dedicated camera, and its fixed lens doesn’t have any optical zoom capabilities whatsoever. Even the video recording functionality seems like an afterthought, with support for a mere 0.3 megapixel, or 640×480, resolution.
The design of the beast, seen over on Chip Chick, also seems a trifle old-fashioned: the tiny 2.4″ LCD display on the rear is cramped, and there’s no optical viewfinder in sight. The bulky body is likely to be a love-it-or-hate-it feature, but it’s there that you’ll find the hidden functionality that makes the Speedo Aquashot worth writing about.
As you would expect from the name alone, the Aquashot has nothing to fear from water: supporting photography at depths of up to three meters, using it around the pool – or even shallower parts of the sea – won’t be a problem. So far, so like a wide range of waterproof cameras on the market.
Where the Aquashot differs, however, is in its buoyancy: unlike traditional waterproof cameras, which sink when dropped, the Speedo Aquashot is designed to float in water – making it an ideal choice for those who find themselves using a camera above deep water. The quality might not be the highest, but unlike traditional cameras if you drop this one in the drink you just need to pick it up from the surface rather than prepare a dive team.
It’s this flotation feature which makes the Aquashot useful: a camera which can survive a dip is all well and good, but if it sinks to the bottom of a lake or sea then you’re going to have trouble retrieving it whether or not it’s still functional. By producing a camera which can float, but which can also be taken beneath the surface in your hand without feeling like it’s trying to escape your clutches, Speedo has cleverly resolved the problem – and watersports fans, fishermen, boat racers, and other water-loving types are sure to rejoice at the news.
The Speedo Aquashot is available in pink or green now for around $130.