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!
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.
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!
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!