Underwater Photography - tips or advice?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sotgecho, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. sotgecho macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2007
    Does anyone here shoot underwater photography?

    I am new to scuba diver and a hobbyist photographer. I want to combine both of my interests.

    Anyone have any good advice or tips ie equipment, techniques?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes I do a bit of U/W photo.

    How new are you to diving? Don't bring a camera with you until you have done a number of dives and have zero trouble hovering motionless without having to thing to much about it.

    Soe questions anyone who is to recommend equipment would ask...
    How new are you to diving and how frequently do you dive?
    Where do you live and what are the dive conditions like there? What's the visibility? How are you getting in and out of the water. Charger boats, Kayaks, Beach dives with surf or midwest quaries? Do you have a budget? What is your level of understanding about photography. Can you shoot on full manual while balancing a flash and ambient light? All of this kind of goes together before anyone can recommend something to you.

    You have to think this through. I've seen so many posts were a diver buy s a camera then thinks about a housing. Wrong. Housing are not available for every camera. And then comes an external strobe or maybe you want two strobes and not all strobes work with all housings.

    To start with look for a six megapixel point and shoot. If you can find one that shoots RAW format it would be great. RAW will help a lot because color balance under water is never easy do to the selective filter effect of water. A wider lens is best under water photos are always shoot at the widest possable setting and as close as you can get. I said 6MP because you need a camera that has low noise at high ISO. More pixels will only cause more noise. You will be shooting at 100 or 200 ISO so find a 6MP camera. The camera brand name is the least important thing. Don't worry, Sony, Canon or whatever.

    Don't pick a new model camera. If the housing floods even the smallest amount of saltwater will kill the camera and you'll need to replace it. Don't even think about a hused DSLR as your first U/W camera. Start with the 6MP P&S then later add a strobe.
  3. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    To the OP, Chris is offering some really great advice. You don't say what your dive experience is, but if you can't hover motionless without sculling with your hands or fins, you'll want do a bunch of dives where you work on your buoyancy first and get that nailed before adding a camera to the mix. You don't want to be the guy who is grabbing the coral or kicking up a bunch of silt with your fins while trying to "get the shot".
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Great advice.

    And to add, if you want to do videos, this is really important because you will be moving while filming. Need to learn to glide while motionless if you will.

    FWIW, I never envisioned an underwater case for this digital camera due to it's design:

    Sanyo HD1000

    However, I saw one the other day. Huge case compared to the camera. Expensive.
  5. sotgecho thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2007
    Thanks for the great advice so far.

    I have been scuba diving for on and off for over two years. I am getting back into it recently. I live in Florida in the West Palm Beach area. I do a lot of boat dives with a local dive center. Visibility lately out here has been really good. I am working on my buoyancy still and getting hovering down perfectly.

    As for a budget right now it is being used to get some better scuba gear. Luckily I found the housing for my older PS Sony camera that has not been made for a few years. It is a 5.1 and I feel that is good enough to start out with to get the hang of balancing the camera and me underwater.

    I know my SLR pretty well but I do not think I would ever want to bring it underwater b/c the case alone is just way to expensive.

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