Underwater photography is exciting and the results can be awe-inspiring. You can take beautiful pictures of scenery and underwater creatures with a fancy and expensive amphibious camera, but the right external waterproof housing for a less expensive, good quality DSLR (digital single-lens reflex lens) camera can be used to take the same magical pictures.
Many camera manufacturers have designed external waterproof camera housing for their models. These are what some of the well-known camera manufacturers’ offer for underwater photography:
- Canon sells a case for its Canon Powershot SD780 IS camera: WP-DC31, which is both freshwater and seawater proof. It is also described as an all-weather case that can withstand sand and other debris. The casing is made of polycarbonate material.
- Sony has a case for its Cybershot-PSCWX100P, DSCWX100B, WX50, and WX100 cameras called the MPKWH Underwater Case.
- Panasonic offers a case for its Lumix DMC-Zs20 camera called the DMW-MCTZ30.
- Olympus has a case for its TG Cameras called a PT-051 Underwater Housing.
All of the housings listed are rated for 132’ (40 meters). Waterproof amphibious cameras and housings are rated by “psi” (pounds per square inch) of pressure. Since sea-level pressure is 14.7 psi, underwater cameras are set at an increase of pressure by 14.7 psi/33’ of depth; most housing units are rated to a maximum depth of 130’. Third-party housing manufacturers of underwater housings tend to go deeper at 200’-300’.
Some housing units are made of plastic or aluminum or a hybrid of the two. Glass may be added to some of the housing units as well. The differences between the types of housing materials are both functional and aesthetic.
- High-strength plastic: This casing tends to be rather bulky and slightly less durable than aluminum, but usually less expensive.
- Aluminum: This casing tends to be more rugged and better constructed than the plastic case. These cases also tend to be a lot more expensive than their plastic counterparts.
We recommend you buy the waterproof case for your camera via Amazon because of its large selection of cases. And for their excellent customer service and return policy.
Although many camera manufacturers now make underwater housing for their cameras, some individuals still prefer to buy third-party underwater housing. Some people may need housing for deeper dives or perhaps they feel the need for stronger, better materials. For whatever reasons one may buy a housing unit for underwater use there are certain things to look for when shopping one:
- Make sure that the housing does not interfere with operational buttons. Grip the camera naturally and make sure you can reach and use the buttons and levers without straining.
- Make sure that the casing does not interfere with the lens aperture, motor, or range of view. It would be sad if a picture of a large school of fish or a massive coral reef could not be photographed because the housing made it difficult to adjust the lens for that one- in- a -million photo.
- Test your case before the first use: Check the O-ring for dryness or damage. If that looks good then go underwater with the housing unit (without the camera, of course) to a depth of at least 33’. When you come back up check the inside for wetness and leaks.
How to take care of your case
After a day of underwater exploration there are necessary steps to take care of the housing so that it stays clean and functional:
- Always dry the housing with a scratch-proof cloth before opening the casing. This will protect your expensive camera from even the tiniest drops of water.
- Soak the housing in freshwater for a few hours or even overnight to protect the housing and O-ring from salt deposits that will surely ruin the cases water-proofing.
- Do not dry the housing in the sun. That could cause the O-ring to dry out and crack. Also, the smooth quality of the casing could be ruined, which could eventually affect the quality of the photography.
Scuba diving and deep-underwater exploration are fantastic adventures that are made even better with a photograph to share with other people and to show the amazing underwater world. Take good care of your camera and take care of your photography with the best underwater case money can buy.