Category: 

How Do I Choose the Best Underwater Camera?

A picture of a sea turtle swimming taken with an underwater camera.
An underwater digital camera is designed to be used underwater.
Article Details
  • Written By: Shannon Rist
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

When it comes to cameras, there are many features to choose from. With the added challenge of looking for an underwater camera, it can be hard to know where to begin. Although film cameras are still available, underwater digital cameras are increasingly more common. Before you run down to your closest superstore and grab the first camera you see with a sale tag on it, you may want to consider what basic camera options and features you'll need.

Exposure becomes important underwater where lighting can be a challenge, so consider if you will want manual or automatic exposure. Most underwater cameras come with automatic exposure. Manual exposure control, however, allows the photographer to control shutter speed, letting in more or less light. This helps to adjust to any lighting condition.

A highlight warning can be a savior when you are underwater. There is nothing worse than taking photos of sea turtles in an underwater canyon for 45 minutes, only to find out your photos look like polar bears in a snow storm. A highlight warning will flash a light when your photos are overexposed.

Make sure your underwater camera has an LCD screen that is clear and large. Considering other equipment you may be wearing underwater, you vision may be obstructed, so you'll need a screen big enough to see what you are shooting. Things can move fast and you don't want to be spending all your time trying to see what's on your screen.

Ad

Picture resolution in digital cameras is measured in mexapixels. At its most basic, the more megapixels, the better the photos and the more options you will have when cropping. Cameras with high megapixel resolution can get expensive quickly, however, and the quality of your photos often has as much to do with your skill as a photographer as the resolution of the camera.

Be sure to check to what depth the underwater camera you choose will work. This is where it becomes important to know where you will be using this camera. You do not want an underwater camera with the limited capability of a 5 foot (1.5 m) pool if you will be scuba diving at 130 feet (40 m).

In addition to these features, you may want to consider several other options. You can opt for a long-lasting lithium battery or easily replaceable double As. You'll want to know the return policy of the manufacturer and the store where you buy the underwater camera. There should be a warranty of at least one year to protect you from the defects of the camera; some manufacturers may offer a three-year warranty. You'll also want to find out if you'll have to send the camera to a specialist to have it repaired, or if it can be fixed at a local store.

When it comes to buying an underwater camera, a little research goes a long way. If you do your homework, you should be able to find a camera with the features you want, and that will enable you to take amazing underwater photos. It can be a special way to show off your fantastic vacation.

Ad

Discuss this Article

George56
Post 1

Although you can get specialist underwater cameras, it's worth looking around to see if you can get an underwater camera housing for a digital camera you already own, or are considering buying. My girlfriend goes scuba diving, and she manages to get some pretty good pictures with a standard compact digital camera.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email