UW Options for Photographers


I have always been envious of my friends who shoot underwater. Tropical places, bright colors. But I have never taken the plunge (haha) to learn to scuba, so my attempts have been limited to snorkeling. I have shot with all kinds of UW cameras and housings (even with the old Nikon Nikonos UW camera).

So what are the options today to shoot UW? Well, the easiest is to get a waterproof case for your iPhone. I use a Lifeproof case which is waterproof to 6.6 feet for 1 hour. Here is a clip from the Smokies

I also have a EWA Marine UW bag to use with my dSLRs. Takes some practice for using the controls through the bag. Hints, try to get all the air out of the bag before sealing and put a small 2 pound dive weight inside the bag to help compensate for the bouncy. Thanks to Morgan Heim for those tips. This bag is rated to 33 feet. Always test your bag for water tightness before using with your camera!


GoPros are great and I have used them for UW photographer, including trying some tide pool photography. Problem with the GoPro and tide pools is the GoPro doesn’t focus close-up (about a foot or so). So getting close to little fish with a wide-angle lens gives you a fuzzy image.. I’m working on ways to be able to shoot the GoPro Hero3 UW with close-up capability.. Maybe GoPro would build a close-up front plate for the housing or give us the option to buy a Close-up GoPro? Wouldn’t that be sweet?!

Last for today is that Nikon just released a new UW camera, Nikon 1 AW1, based on their CX sensor format. There are two UW lenses, a 11-27.5 f3.5-5.6 lens (30-74mm equivalent on 35mm format) and a 10mm f2.8 (27mm equivalent on 35mm format) but the camera will take all of the other 1 Nikkor lenses for above water use. Should be interesting and I plan on trying this out once available.

Bottom line, there are a lot of ways to get wet and not be all wet, so get out there and play!


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