This is the first underwater camera I've ever bought. I'd been using a flasher, which is EXCELLENT, but decided i wanted to see more of what was going on beneath the ice.
We took it out on a bright sunny warm day, so we didn't bother setting up the ice fishing tent. so i couldn't see the screen very well. The water where we were fishing was murky, maybe 8-10 inches visibility. so i really couldn't see much. It was a lake I've only fished once before, so we moved around a LOT before we found the hot spot. I quickly discovered that I'd be spending more time messing with the camera and drilling extra holes for it than i would actually fishing.
One of the spots we were at had much clearer water, and the visibility was excellent. We could see the weeds on the bottom, and my jig, and it was pretty slick. Sadly, there weren't any fish at that spot, either.
My conclusions about this unit are:
a) it works. it does everything as advertised. we had no problems with it. there were no leaks or malfunctions.
b) the camera can only show what's there. if the water is murky and visibility is poor, you end up wishing you had another flasher instead of an underwater camera.
c) the screen is easier to see in a dark tent as opposed to bright sunny day.
d) it's a bit of a hassle setting it up: extra hole, getting the camera at the right level and aimed where you want it to aim, etc. it's not worth the hassle if you are going to be moving every 20-30 min.
e) even though i never had a chance to see how the camera worked with fish around, i learned a LOT watching how my jig acted in the water. it was interesting to see exactly what the bottom looked like.
f) this is clearly a piece of equipment that i will need to use a bunch before i am comfortable with it, particularly figuring out how to position it, how far away to drill the camera hole from the fishing hole, aiming the camera and other little details.
Bottom line: I think this camera will be awesome when i find a spot where there are fish, and the water is clear, and we are fishing inside the shelter, and I am looking forward to that day (which may be tomorrow!)
However, if anyone is reading this review and wondering if they should buy an underwater camera or a flasher as their first piece of high-tech ice fishing equipment, I would absolutely recommend a Flasher unit first. The flasher is easier and quicker to use, you don't have to drill an extra hole, and it doesn't matter if the water is murky or not for it to work well.
Pros: Works as advertised, Picture quality is great
Cons: Hard to see on sunny days, Does not work well in murky water
Would you recommend this product? Yes