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Best Underwater Camera?

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New York
posts: 3
Best Underwater Camera?

I don't really know much about cameras so I would appreciate if someone could fill me in.

My mum has asked for a underwater camera for her birthday as she'll be doing a fair bit of snorkelling in the next few months. I suspect she'd also like to use it above land.

I see a lot of cameras are waterproof, but don't know if these are water resistant similar to watches that can get wet but aren't appropriate for full time water use.

Can anyone suggest an appropriate camera for the above mentioned use? Looking for <$600 if possible.

Thanks in advance.

43 replies to this topic
Northern California...
posts: 1,442
reviews: 18
41. Re: Best Underwater Camera?

I've borrowed an Olympus TG 820 and had some really good photos at Haunauma Bay after I figured out that the default settings for underwater had the flash on automatic. I couldn't figure out how to turn the flash off on the snorkle settings so I had to manually turn the flash off each time I switched settings (there are 3 different ones for underwater). If you don't, you get a photo of all the oxygen bubbles between you and the fish you are looking at.

I also previously owned a Fuji Z-something and an underwater housing. That worked ok, but the housing was much larger than the camera & took up too much space in my luggage. Like a previous poster mentioned, I also had to use a gel sealant to insure water didn't enter the housing (something not required in the water proof cameras).

I second the comments about being extra careful opening the battery compartments. Before using, make sure the seal is completely clean before closing the camera openings and after using, make sure you rinse it & dry completely before attempting to open it.

hudson valley
posts: 662
42. Re: Best Underwater Camera?


First,are you already an experienced diver? Second, how serious a photographer are you when out of the water? Finally, what's your budget?

If you're not already a thoroughly comfortable diver you should probably hold off on an UW camera setup until the distractions of a camera won't interfere with your attention to the diving. On the positive side, that gives you time to do a bunch of research.

If you're a serious photographer out of the water you might want the capability of a dSLR. Ikelite housings for dSLRs start at about $1500, and are fairly big and bulky. You'd want at least one strobe, and the necessary cable, so figure another $750 or more.

If you aren't that serious or don't want to commit quite so much you can find housings as cheap as $150 for compact digitals. Ikelite housings start at about $300. You'll still want at least one strobe, so you're still looking at $1000 and up before you buy the camera. I wouldn't make specific suggestions to somebody else about which camera, but you definitely want something with full manual capability, and a fairly wide angle lens. I'm not planning on diving on my upcoming trip so I've decided not to replace my 6 year old setup, but while I was thinking about it I considered something like a Canon Powershot S110 or SX280 HS. Both have a fairly wide lens, and run about $200. BH Photo has a combo package that will save you a few bucks on the S110 (and probably a few others) if you buy it with the Ikelite housing.

San Diego...
posts: 2,484
43. Re: Best Underwater Camera?


Just saw an advertisement in Scuba magazine for a Sealife camera. Looks like you can get the camera, tray and light for about $549.00 on Amazon. It has some good reviews. Sealife Sea Dragon DC1400. You might check that out.

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