Underwater Cameras

If you want to take pictures of your next scuba diving adventure you’re going to have to get yourself an underwater digital camera.  There are a couple of different choices you have for getting a good camera, but bear in mind that an underwater camera is going to cost you more than the standard DSLR camera.  Not only are you paying for it to be water resistant but there will be extra features and accessories that will go with it.

Underwater Cameras

Before you head to your local camera store or online to start comparing models, know that you can often buy the cameras direct from the manufacturer and often find a better price.  Underwater cameras are like anything else you need to compare features and prices before you whip out the credit card.  If you only scuba dive rarely or there is a special dive you want to photograph you don’t necessarily have to buy a camera, often you can rent one for the duration of your vacation.  Check with your diving school or the charter they will probably know where you can get one.

Special Features

Underwater cameras have special features that allow for you to take those incredible underwater shots.   The first and most important feature is the special housing that allows you to take pictures while you are underwater.  The second thing that these cameras have are special lenses that allow them to work underwater.  These lenses are fog resistant so you can get clear pictures.  Some underwater camera models come with oversized handles making it easier to grip the camera while underwater or while wearing diving gloves.

Memory

Like any other digital cameras underwater cameras also store pictures digitally so you need to make sure that you have a big enough memory card.  Digital photos have gotten better over the years but they do take quite a bit of memory space.  You can transfer the files onto your laptop later on and clean off the memory card at the end of the day.  Underwater pictures aren’t like taking a selfie, it’s not something that you can do whenever you feel like it so make sure you have enough memory to get through the dive.

Scuba diving and looking at all the plant and animal life is an incredible experience and if you want to capture those memories to treasure for ever then you need to pick the right camera to do it.

Photography Underwater

Underwater photography can be kind of tricky, and taking pictures in this environment is far different than taking pictures of a landscape.  If you have already tried it and it didn’t work out so well, let’s see if we can improve that for you.

Typical problems with underwater pictures are as follows:

  • Pictures are mostly blue
  • It looks like you took a picture of an underwater snowstorm
  • Blurry pictures
  • Not much contrast between background and your subject

Don’t despair, it’s pretty easy to overcome all these problems and have some fairly decent pictures to show your friends.  In the meantime if you want to practice here are some tips to take some great underwater photographs.

Lighting

When you are trying to take pictures underwater, adjusting the light can be…a bit of an issue.  Even when you use a flash, light gets absorbed extremely quickly and you will lose yellows and reds in your pictures first.  This is why all of your pictures come out blue.  You definitely need a flash and you need to be close enough to your subject for it to be effective.  Bear in mind that light must go to your subject and back to the lens.  You will take the best pictures if you’re within 3 feet of your subject.  Here are some of the problems you will run into with lighting.

Images may be larger than they appear

Your diving instructor probably warned you that sea life will look larger and closer than it really is because of the distortion of the water.  In fact it appears roughly 25% larger.  That is another factor to take into consideration when you determine the range of your flash.  Also you need to be aware that your flash will reflect of tiny particles that are floating in the water…thus the snow globe effect.  The solution to both of these issues is to use a flash that is off to the side of your camera.

Blurry pictures

Blurry pictures are again caused by being too far away from your subject.  Water is much denser than air and that is why it is so hard to get the crispness that you can easily get on land.  Getting closer allows the camera to better define the difference between the subject and the background.

You’re probably noticing a common cause here as to why your pictures aren’t coming out the way you want them to.  Yes, you need to be incredibly close to your subject when taking photographs underwater.  Be very careful, while this may be okay when taking pictures of reefs, but sharks may be another matter altogether.