There is nothing in the world that beats or can replicate the experience of open water dives. You can witness unimaginable colours, surprising sounds of our world’s underwater habitats, and most of all, spectacular wildlife in outstanding places or beauty including the Borneo Dream. Of course, when experiences are this mind-blowing, a lot of people will want to record them – and that means having a camera. But what product does one go for? Should you rent or buy? And, how do you capture the most amazing shots when diving?
Are You Buying? Here Are Factors to Consider
Perhaps you are an ardent and frequent snorkeler or diver looking for an underwater camera that you can use on more than occasion. Maybe you are looking to take your underwater diving to a whole new level and want to record your experiences and love for the activity. Or you might just be looking to make the most of your family diving excursions when on holiday and want to enjoy the flexibility using your kit has to offer.
If you are looking for an underwater camera on the higher-end of the scale and your budget allows it, then consider going for the Olympus Tough TG-5. This camera also comes with a waterproof housing. When paired together, the set will cost you about £620, but the camera itself is waterproof up to 45 metres. The Olympus TG-5 is durable and super-tough with great colour processing and noise control.
Costing about £390, the Nikon Coolpix W300 is a waterproof camera with a 30-metre range without housing. With its wide zoom range and high resolution monitor, you will be able to grab some really good shots. We love this model so much that it is one of our top rental choices!
Costing just £99, Fujifilm’s FinePix XP130 is one of the most reasonably priced options we have come across. If you are diving with family or are looking for the flexibility of working with your own kit without having to worry about the price tag, then this is the camera to get. It is waterproof up to 20 metres and simple to use. Do not expect award-winning image clarity from it, however, it is a good option for having fun making memories and documentation.
Once you have rented or bought your camera, how do you make sure that you capture the most memorable and the best moments of your diving excursion? An underwater camera kit will only perform as well as the person operating it. For infrequent divers, documenting the experience can be especially precious. That is why it is worth taking the time to refine your shot and video capturing technique.
It is essential that you practice both photography and diving to optimise your images. To properly focus on subjects and image framing, you have to be good at buoyancy. For you to participate in our PADI Digital Underwater Photography course, you will need to be a qualified PADI Open Water Diver. It is worth noting that you can also take this photography course as a snorkeler without the qualification.
At shallower depths, there is plenty of natural light illuminating things for great shots. Morning light often provides the best clarity. Under these circumstances, it is vital that you get as close to your subject as possible without disturbing it. Images taken in deep water will benefit from a strobe or flash from different angles; though you need to be mindful of others taking photographs and the surrounding habitat.
The correct use of lighting will have a significant impact on how well your shots capture colour. Consider getting a camera that has a white balance feature. This feature helps regulate the blue hues of underwater images and is ideal for taking photos at depth. Using low aperture and ultra-wide lenses will capture the details of your subject and habitat surrounding it. This will also allow you to focus on colour when editing your shots.
There is so much that can be achieved through photo editing today. Colours can be enhanced, images sharpened, and scenes cropped. Once you’ve completed our Level-2 PADI Digital Underwater Photography course, we’ll send you all the photographs you took. If you are a keen photographer, you could then spend more time (if you want) working on the smaller details to turn your photos into masterpieces.