Underwater photography is a fun experience. After all, you get to take surreal shots of marine life. What’s not fun, however, is risking damaging your camera due to leaks or bringing the wrong device altogether.
Tips and Tricks on Protecting Your Camera for Underwater Photography
In addition, underwater gear is far from cheap, and getting it repaired will cost you even more. To avoid this, here are a few tips to protect your underwater camera while you snap away underwater.
1. Invest in Sturdy Housing for Your Camera
Next to your camera, the most important piece of equipment in underwater photography is underwater camera housing. As its name suggests, this is what keeps your camera safe and dry when you dive.
For starters, you can check out the Ikelite 200DL for a Canon EOS R5, or the Sea & Sea MDXL-a7IV for the Sony a7IV — depending on the type of camera you have, of course. Universal camera housings are relatively affordable, but they might cost you more if they leak due to poor fitting. So to be on the safe side, buy sturdy housing that’s specifically designed for your camera model.
2. Pack Your Camera Carefully
Packing your camera isn’t as simple as putting it in the housing. For one thing, don’t pack while you’re in dusty, sandy, or windy areas, as it may cause particles to enter your housing. Even a strand of hair can cause a leak! Be sure to clean and check the housing carefully before placing the camera inside. Some housings have a space between the base of the housing and where the camera sits.
You can also choose to put silica gel to absorb moisture from condensation. In case of a leak, tissue and gel will help you buy time to get to the surface before your camera gets completely soaked.
3. Test Your Camera Before Heading Underwater
Even if you’re 100% careful when packing your camera, it’s still best to test it so you can catch any potential problems before hitting the waters. Hold your packed camera underwater (like in a wash tank or even a pool) and check for bubbles; this could indicate a problem with the housing.
Take a test shot too, together with your color correcting filters, focus light, strobes, and other equipment. If possible, try to avoid having to get out of the water to adjust your camera settings or other equipment. This is because you’ll end up having to tweak your housing, which could compromise your camera’s safety.
4. Get Insurance for Photography Equipment
Whether you’re in the photography business or are a photographer in your spare time, having insurance coverage will protect you if anything goes wrong. It may be a bit of an investment, but such plans can cover the cost of expensive repairs and replacements related to water damage — potentially saving you hundreds of dollars. This is especially great if you dive with your camera on a regular basis.
Taking photos underwater is definitely a great way to capture your experience and share it with others. So, don’t forget to brush up on your underwater photography skills before diving in.