underwater camera housing Take stunning images during your dives without worrying about ruining your camera.
As a scuba diver, being able to see some of the ocean’s colorful fish and plant life is extremely satisfying. Wouldn’t it be great if you could capture gorgeous underwater shots during your dive? Save those aquatic memories forever with a professional underwater camera housing!
In this post, we’ll take a look at the features and functions of underwater camera housings, and what to look for as you shop for one.
The Primary Functions
As you can tell, an underwater camera housing protects your expensive point and shoot or DSLR camera while you dive or snorkel. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit different camera models.
Some camera manufacturers will develop custom underwater camera housings for their camera models. However, a majority of the underwater camera housings on the market are from third parties.
This doesn’t mean they aren’t awesome, however! If you’re buying from a reputable scuba retailer like us, you can trust that the underwater camera housing will perform up to your high standards.
While there are some amphibian underwater cameras on the market, they can typically be more expensive and only work well under the water. You probably have a camera that you know and love, so your best bet would be to buy an underwater camera housing that fits it.
Let’s Talk About Depth Ratings
Just because you put your DSLR in an underwater camera housing doesn’t mean that it can survive all the way to the bottom of the ocean. You should only purchase an underwater camera housing that will go to the depths (if not more) that you intend to dive. If you go further than the depth rating, the pressure from the ocean will cause it to crack, effectively destroying your camera.
Look at the box of each underwater camera housing you compare. It should clearly label its depth rating in feet. Keep in mind that camera manufacturer’s underwater camera housings will only go to a maximum depth around 130 feet, while third-party ones can go as far as 300 feet below the surface.
Plastic or Aluminum?
A vast majority of underwater camera housings are made of high-density plastic. These cases are a little bit bulkier, but they also cost much less than many aluminum underwater camera housings.
Underwater camera housing made of aluminum are usually more camera-specific and will fit over a DSLR without much added bulk. The tradeoff is these cases can easily cost a couple of thousand dollars. Depending on the camera you plan to use, you might either have a variety of choices or only one choice. It all depends on how often you plan to shoot pictures and video underwater.
The Lens Port
At the very front of an underwater camera housing is the lens port that the camera captures images through. If you are using a traditional point and shoot camera you won’t need to worry about this component.
DSLR cameras have such large lenses that an extra part is needed to complete the water-proof seal. Also, the acrylic or glass port is necessary to maintain the curve of a wide-angle lens.
If you plan to buy an underwater camera housing for your DSLR, keep in mind that you’ll need to pick up this extra add-on.
Controlling Your Camera Underwater
Whichever camera you decide to use under the water, your case should be comfortable, and easy to control. Whether that means that it is highly ergonomic and easy to hold while you swim, or if you have access to the buttons of your camera; your underwater camera housing must be user-friendly.
If not, you might feel buyer’s remorse and never take it out on your dive!
While you’re shopping and comparing underwater camera housings, be sure to make a note of their functional benefits such as button access, secure hand grips, stabilizers, and more. We’d also recommend that you try the underwater camera housing in-person while wearing your scuba gloves. You want to make sure that you have a secure grip on the camera while also having easy access to the buttons and levers on the underwater camera housing.
Some Helpful Tips
To avoid any mistakes beginners make, along with some helpful tips for maintenance, here is how you can test and care for your underwater camera housing.