Review: Xtar D10 - scuba videos/beamshots/runtime/heat test and more!

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ergotelis
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Review: Xtar D10 - scuba videos/beamshots/runtime/heat test and more!

Hello from Crete, an island in the middle of meditteranean with wonderfull sea and beaches.

Larger size, courtesy of Cretanbeaches.com :
http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/1313/panr.jpg

A few days ago I received a Xtar D10, a new flashlight, specialized for diving. So, how does this new offering stands up?


First of all, lets see some official specs:

XTAR D10 100m Diving CREE XM-L U2 LED Flashlight
50,000 hours lifespan CREE XM-L U2 LED

Luminance: 16 Lm → 800 Lm
Duration: 250h 2h20min
SMO reflector, throws beam over 356 meters( on land)
Electrodeless magnetic control switch
Constant circuit constant brightness
Power by 2 * 18650/ 2 * 18700(3.7V)/4* CR123A lithium batteries
Made of anodized aircraft 6061 aluminum and premium type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
Amphibious 100m deep diving sealed compression resisted design
Safety switch design
5.6~13.5V voltage range
Size: Ø 64mm(Head dia)x Ø 30mm(Body dia)x 232.5mm(length)
Net Weight: 360g(Excluded battery)

Looks like a common flashlight right? To summarize, the things that makes it uncommon, is its 100m depth rating and the magnetic switch, which allows you to choose the level you would like. The magnetic switch is the standard for most good diving flashlights.
All right, lets see what we can get of this flashlight.

-The package:

The package good, it is excellent in protecting the flashlight, you don’t need anything more! A lanyard is included, it is a very important accessory for a diver, its quality is quite good, but remember, you always have to check for its condition, as sea water can damage everything after a period of time.
- No holster included, but remember, it is a diving flashlight!

-The parts and design of the flashlight:

The flashlight consists of 3 parts, the head, battery tube and tailcap.

The design, even though it looks like a classic 2×18650 flashlight, differs. In fact, it shows us that this is a real diving flashlight, some specific points remind me of submarines or underwater equipment! It doesn’t have knurling on the battery tube, the manufacturer followed a different approach for holding it safely, because its main purpose is underwater use. This is even better when you use gloves, where you don’t have direct feeling of what you hold, this design helps you to have a feeling that you hold it tightly.

As for its dimensions, it is quite big, not the bigger one, but it is in the category of the classic 2×18650 flashlights, like Olight M3X, Sunwayman T40cs and Crelant 7g5. According to Professional divers, its dimensions are very good for a compact primary diving flashlight.
Here, a comparison to other famous flashlights:

-The construction:

A diving flashlight has to have an excellent construction, not only for underwater use, but generally. When you go for diving, you won’t carry the box and most of the time you won’t be in a sandy beach, you will probably be in a pebbly beach or on the rocks or on a boat and dive from there. So, it is almost certain that the flashlight will be hit. Xtar D10, won’t have problem in any case, though expect some small chips in anodization, because it has a very sharp design and a lot of corners, especially in the heat fins. The design is very sturdy, walls are quite thick, the front bezel looks quite sturdy too, there is nothing to worry about. I personally don’t treat well my equipment , this specific flashlight has already a lot of hard use, but other than these small chips, there is nothing to worry about. The threads seem of a very high quality, nothing to worry about at all.

Moreover, we can see double springs, assuring perfect battery contact.

-Waterproof construction:

The manufacturer says that this flashlight has 100m depth rating. It is pretty sure that there are really few people in the world that they will use it in such a depth, as most go up to 60m. Firstly, the switch, because it is a magnetic one, does not have any contact with the interior, so we are fine with that. Secondly, the glass, Ar coated, seems quite thick, its sealing is amazing, this is a point that shows that this one is a diving flashlight, not like all other classic flashlights. And thirdly, the threads, this flashlight has 3 points of thread, the one is in the head(which seems well sealed and doesn’t open) and the other two are in the battery tube/tailcap. Both have double o-rings, when you screw the battery tube and the tailcap, you will notice how tight the contact is with the o-rings. So, it is important for the o-rings to be always well lubed, I advised the manufacturer to include a silicon gel for that purpose, it is more important than in classic flashlight series.

-The switch / operation:

The switch is basically a small magnet, and as previously mentioned, it doesn’t have contact with the interior. There is a metallic ring just below that can be removed, so as to remove the switch too. This is very good, because you can clean it in there, if sand or salt gets in there, and of course, to replace it if you break it somehow. The switch generally is tight, have not tried to lube it to see if I can make it smoother. I will probably not do it, I prefer it tight, so as not to open the flashlight accidentally or not to switch off too easily. If you want to protect the flashlight from accidental switching on, you can tighten off a little bit the tailcap. At the tailcap, the threads are anodized and offer secure lock and moreover, no parasitic drain(small but exists).

For the tailcap, I suggest to use one plastic/metallic stick to tighten it on and off, as it is very tight and you will probably won’t be able to tighten it completely with your hands.
In my case, I used a small screwdriver.

As for the operation, it is very simple, you move it up-down to choose the brightness you would like, it is a stepless mechanism, you will be able to choose the ideal balance of output-runtime. No strobe/SOS modes, at least for me this is not a problem for that specific flashlight. Very important to mention, is that there is a low battery warning, with the flashlight flashing several times when voltage of the batteries gets low.

-The weight:

This is the weight with 2× 18650 batteries.
The flashlight underwater, does sink, I have heard that the ideal design is to stay neutral in water(and generally for all the diving equipment), but it is very difficult for a complete aluminum body that takes different types of batteries. I asked professional divers, they told me that as long as you tie it well with the lanyard and you hand or you waist, this is not a problem at all.

-Amp/lumen/lux test:

The flashlight performed quite well in fact much better than expected. It has a 48mm inner diameter reflector, manufacturer says it performs only 31700 lux, but I measured ~ 42500 lux.

I won’t tell you that my reading is accurate too, but I can tell you that the manufacturer seems to have underrated their product. I am pretty sure it is in the ~40,000 range, I have so many other flashlights to compare and I am pretty sure for my estimation.
As for the lumen, I managed to read 784 OTF lumen at the highest level, after 30sec of activation. It is a bit lower than the official spec, but this is quite good too, if you take into account that the amp read at the highest level is 1,33amp, with 2× 18650, charged batteries. With the stepless mechanism, I managed to get about 15lm for the lowest setting, with an amp reading of 0,02amp. It is a bit difficult to get that lowest level, I would say that it is practically impossible to set the flashlight to the lowest level underwater, especially with gloves, because it requires quite a lot of accuracy. But who cares, you won’t probably ever need such low underwater.

-Runtime test:

Runtime test ,it is done two good (discharge rated ) Panasonic 3100mah batteries. On the spray area, the flashlight starts flashing, usable still for some emergency use, to alert us that we are running out of power.
The performance is exceptional, flat line discharge. For cooling, the flashlight was in water. I stopped the test@160min.

-Extreme heat test:

This test was done to examine how well the heat is transferred from the led to the body. In a room with no airflow, at a very hot environment(28-30 C stable, summer time!!) and on clothes, the heat transfer is excellent. After half hour, the whole flashlight was very hot(51 Celcious) , so we can see that the heat test is successful. Here, we can see the heat graph, after 30 minutes, the temperature starts stabilizing.

This result, shows us that you won’t have to worry for heat, underwater its performance will be excellent, the heat gets out of the led to the body(and then to the water). In fact, I would worry if it wasn’t that hot, because it would mean that this heat would remain in the led and as a result, improper cooling will shorten its life and performance.

-PWM test:

As far as I know, it is very difficult and expensive to manufacture a stepless dimming mechanism in a flashlight without PWM. So, as expected, there is a PWM mechanism in here. At the highest level, there is no PWM, at lower level, it does exist, I cannot measure it currently with accuracy, but according to what I have seen in so many other flashlights that I have seen, I am estimating it about 300-400hz. Personally it doesn’t bother me, but someone might find it irritating. It is barely detectable with my eye.

High level:

Custom level:

I asked the manufacturer about it, they told me that with a lower PWM, there is less electromagnetic noise. I have an electromagnetic meter, it does show to read less in comparison to others flashlights with higher PWM rate.

Beam analysis White wall Beamshots:

Here, you can get an idea about the hotspot/spill spread of the flashlight. With red color, it is an area wider than hotspot, brighter than spill, not visible to camera.

The beam is very clean, almost no artifacts or no donut hole, they did quite a good job with that reflector. The beam is also very tight, it is necessary for underwater operations, to penetrate blurred water and moisture in the air of seas. Moreover, its color is pure white, I can’t see any bluish/yellowish/greenish hue. I estimate it about 6200K. This is the best color rendition for underwater operation, as we can get the greatest in-water penetration.
Here you can see some custom levels, just to see the difference, from the highest to the lowest.

-Outdoor Beamshots:

Here you can see some outdoor beamshots, the first shot is 100meter and the second 170 meter. I tried to capture beamshots (with canon 350D custom settings) that are close to what I see.

No beamshots for closer distances, don’t tell me that you need such thing!

-Underwater beamshots:

Currently pending, will update soon some beamshots to show how with steady picture how does it shows into the water, as well as how we see the flashlight performing into the water,from outside of the water point of view.

-Underwater videos:

With the great help of the local diving school of Panagiotides(http://www.panagiotidis.com.gr/) we got some great underwater operating videos of xtar D10. The diving area is in Mononaftis beach, 24km west of Herakleion(Crete, Greece). Max depth was about 35meters, daytime, the water was not that clear because we usually have windy weather(And as expected, no water got into the flashlight!!).
Lets take a look on them closely:

IN this video, we see the depth of 31meters. In another video, we can see in its end, a depth of 15meters.

In these first 3 videos, we see how this flashlight performs underwater with lots of light.

IN these 6 videos, we are irritating some fish in order to show the stepless dimming magnetic mechanism of D10. Take notice, how well the area is illuminated even though it is day, even though the contrast is high we get great results.

And finally in this video, you can see the difference with a 300 lumen rated reputable diving flashlight. I guess you can understand which one is D10 and the other. No, i won’t tell the name of the contender(but it is not the one in the last picture, which is only 30 lumen rated)

-Conclusions:

Don’t need to say that much, this one is an excellent diving light. If you want a generally good flashlight, think of it, but if you need a diving flashlight, get it!
At least i hope you don’t dive with that next to D10:

*Special thanks to Panagiotidis.com.gr for the flashlight diving session, their effort and help is much appreciated.
And of course, thanks to Xtar for providing the flashlight.*

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:34
kreisler
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Thanks for your efforts!!

Great review, i am sure!

Nice beaches. it's best to share the DIRECT LINK:

http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/1313/panr.jpg

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
MRsDNF
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Ergotilus. Sorry? This is an orsm review. Are you sure your not doing a thesis on this flashlight. Wink Good stuff. Thanks for the effort.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

ergotelis
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I think almost fixed everything, now it is ok! Thank you for the kind words!

jacktheclipper
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Excellent .

What I do

 

sb56637
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Wow, incredible review! Thanks so much for your hard work. Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

ergotelis
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sb56637 wrote:
Wow, incredible review! Thanks so much for your hard work. Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

Thanks for the kind words!
After a few dives with it, i can say that the idea of a moving switch and not a ring, is a great one, as you can remove the switch(magnet), clean it and possibly lube it, so as to be sure that it works properly. Other flashlights, that have a rotation ring, may suffer from improper operation of the switch, as salt and sand might stick under the ring and as you can’t remove them to clean it, it is possible for the switch to stick after some use!

SaCRiiD
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This is an amazing review!

Thanks for your time and effort!

Foy
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ergo -

Dude, that was awesome.  The only proper way to review a dive light . . . at depth on a dive.  Not that I have any real need but, would be curious how it looked at night under water.  31 meters so, that's like 100 feet or so . . .

Seriously, great review.

 

Foy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

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ergotelis
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Thank you so much for the kind words, 2 days ago it went at 55 meters depth. No video or photo for that, it performed great, no problem at all with waterproofness. The professional divers were really satisfied by its performance, this is the best divelight they have used so far at a logical cost.
To add here, I am in no need to promote this flashlight, i am not a dealer or something like that, i am just a flashlight collector and i am just transfering the reactions from other experienced people.

Suncoaster
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Thanks you very much for that glimpse into another world.
Make me want to visit Crete!

"In the land of the blond the one eyed man is king."

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