My Underwater Camera Gear

Brooke Underwater aka Mermaid
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As I’m so often asked what I use in terms of underwater camera gear, today I’m going to share with you the gear I use under water, as well as my tricks for shooting submerged in water (as a beginner with basic equipment!) Please feel free to drop me a line with any further questions regarding my camera equipment or requests for future blog posts in the comments below!

Underwater Camera Gear | World of Wanderlust Underwater Camera Gear | World of Wanderlust

GoPro Hero 4 (with waterproof housing)

My go-to camera gear when shooting underwater is an obvious and safe choice: the GoPro Hero 4 with an underwater housing and a GoPro “selfie” stick to make sure I get more of the surrounds underwater, not just a shot of my face up close!

I chose to upgrade my GoPro a couple of years ago as the Hero 4 comes with a built-in screen in the back to monitor your video + photography and allow time to perfect the art, instead of getting back home to a laptop and realising you’ve shot an entire video up your nose!

The underwater housing is an absolute must if you’re taking your GoPro underwater, but there are also a few other tools that you can use to drastically improve your underwater photography skills using a GoPro.

First of all, the floaty device is a great add-on if you’re planning to go deep into the ocean and fear the very real possibility that you might drop your camera (this happened to me in St Barths and resulted in a lengthy treasure hunt!)

Second, if you plan to go diving or snorkelling, a great attachment to prevent you from spending too much time focusing on your shots (and spend more time focusing on the scenery) is the wrist attachment. Then, all you’ve gotta do is place your arms out in front of you and enjoy!

A third attachment I personally love is the selfie stick, as it allows you to get more background in your shots if you have the camera facing you (whereas on the wrist mount, you will be quite close to your face/body).

My final tip for shooting underwater with the GoPro is to lick your screen before going underwater as this will prevent droplets from forming on your screen and blurring the end result.

GoPro Brooke Saward Ski Lesson

Waterproof iPhone Cases

A few years ago I worked on a campaign with Lifeproof iPhone cases to test out their waterproof cases and use on my travels. While I personally loved using the case and would take my phone underwater in swimming pools, I was a little hesitant to take it in the ocean as the iPhone cases can only withstand so much depth and I didn’t want to risk it.

If you don’t want to risk it yourself, I would still recommend these cases as a great investment for adventure sports, particularly skiing and snowboarding, as there’s less chance (or no chance) your phone will be damaged in snow if the case is installed correctly. Attached to a “selfie” stick this is a great way to capture videos as you make your way down the slopes!

Underwater housing

Underwater Housing

Last but not least is a more professional approach to capturing great underwater photos, by using underwater housing to cover your digital camera. This is something I have seen many photographers and videographers doing whilst I travel, but personally I have not yet tried (yet to make the extra investment!) So I would love to hear from you, if you think underwater housing for cameras is a better investment than the GoPro or are both similar in quality? If I do decide to move forward with underwater housing, I’ll be going for the Olympus waterproof tough cameras as I always use Olympus products and trust their quality!


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    April 6, 2016 at 6:14 am

    are there any specific gopro accessories you recommend out of these? I have a go pro session but the headband doesn’t exactly fit my head (i have a big head haha) so I was looking into investing into a monopod and/or a remote for it. Right now I just hold it out and use the app to take pics/record but it’s getting a little annoying having to bring my phone everywhere or take it out when I travel.
    I don’t plan on doing underwater activities, but having items that have the capabilities are a definite plus to me! 🙂 which is why I like the session because it can go underwater without the extra water housing components.

    March 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm


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    March 16, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Be careful not to get the inside of the waterproof casing wet for the GoPro… even just a little, the tiniest bit of dampness on the inside causes the thing to fog up almost instantly!!! I accidentally did this before going white water rafting, would have had amazing footage but instead I got just got white mist!

    If you do get water in it, leave it out in the sun for as long as you can!

    March 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for the details, I might just have to get one!

    xx Kelly

    March 16, 2016 at 4:42 am

    what is the difference between the Hero 4 and Hero 4 session? I like the price of the session but am I missing something? Any advice would be appreciated.

    March 16, 2016 at 4:11 am

    Nice! I’ll have to check some of these things out. My boyfriend has a GoPro and he loves it! I have a super cheap water proof case I used in Hawaii. Luckily it worked! Ha.

    Posh, Broke, & Bored
    March 16, 2016 at 2:38 am

    I did consider an underwater casing for my DSLR but was shocked to learn that some casings cost more than the camera itself! I’m testing out the Olympus Tough for underwater situations and I think I’ll take your advice and get a selfie stick for it…no more half-cropped faces for me! x


    March 16, 2016 at 2:01 am

    I should really invest in an underwater housing for my phone!

    March 16, 2016 at 1:44 am

    Hi Brooke! Thanks as always for sharing your tips. I was just wondering, which lens serves as your “50 mm” lens. I remember on your most recent Home Office Tour on Youtube you picked up a lens that you said was comparable to a 50 mil. Which lens is that? And do you use that lens on your OM-D camera?

    Thanks! Hope you’re having a great day.

    March 15, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for this post! I need to invest in some of these to protect and use my gear in different conditions now!

    March 15, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I have a GoPro too, and I absolutely love it! I didn’t know I could lick the screen to prevent the photos from getting blurry, though – I’ll have to start doing that! 🙂

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    March 15, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I need to get a GoPro! I’ve heard so many amazing things, it looks absolutely perfect for traveling 🙂

    Tessa at

    Annika Ziehen
    March 15, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Quality wise the underwater pics I have seen from Olympus are much better so I would definitely go for this. When you take your go pro diving make sure you add a red filter as colors start disappearing (red goes first after 10m), which will safe you lots of editing work later!

    March 15, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I love my go pro for underwater filming and picture taking. I also have a little floaty device as I would definitely loose it otherwise.

    Gabi @ Books & Trips
    March 15, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Great post, thank you for the recommendations! I am working on improving my photo gear, but this will take some time! It’s great to know what consecrated travel bloggers use to snap their amazing shots!

    March 15, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I use a Sony Action cam underwater, but I’m really considering buying underwater housing for my main camera. It’s so expensive though!

    March 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I love my GoPro! I only have the three, but it lasted me years. I’m hoping to upgrade soon.

    March 15, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I love my GoPro! I take it with me everywhere!

    March 15, 2016 at 8:42 am

    My gorpo sunk and I never got it back 🙁

    March 15, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Hi Brooke! I’m so glad to see more photography gear posts, it’s always interesting to find out what cameras bloggers prefer to use when traveling. I’m really interested in your opinion on the Olympus Pen EPL-7 as a vlogging camera: what are the best things about the camera when it comes to taking videos? More importantly, is there anything you DON’T like about it, or wish to change? And do you use your fisheye lens or the 14-42 lens as your vlogging lens?

    • Brooke Saward
      March 15, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Hi Andie – thanks! Always happy to share my tips 🙂

      I LOVE the EPL7 – there really isn’t anything I don’t like about the camera other than the fact that my screen is smashed from horse riding in Indonesia (nothing that couldn’t have been prevented though haha!)

      I mostly like the screen that flips down so you can always see you are in focus and what is in frame. The settings are super easy to use as well – esp. as a beginner or you can choose to switch to manual.

      I use the 14-42 lens for vlogging, only the fisheye for photography shots 🙂 hope that helps!

    March 15, 2016 at 6:54 am

    I got a life proof case and took it just under water in the ocean and it killed my phone! I tested before I left and it was fine!