Finding Equipment for Underwater Photography

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A friend recently returned from a trip to Mexico with loads of photos from a scuba diving expedition. They weren’t taken with one of those ubiquitous waterproof disposable cameras, however, but instead with a digital point and shoot created just for those who like to bring their cameras along diving, hiking and on just about any rough and tumble adventure you can imagine. If you’re the type that wants your camera to be able to go anywhere you do, one of these options may be just want as the same properties that make the camera impervious to water also protect it from dirt, dust and sand. Here are a few cameras to consider that can be a budget-friendly way to capture shots underwater.

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  • Olympus SW Series: Those who see this camera might be surprised to learn that it takes shots underwater as it very much resembles its typical land-loving cousins. There are currently 4 different cameras offered by Olympus that are waterproof, the major difference being that two are meant for shallow water use (up to 10 feet) and two will take you into deeper waters (up to 33 feet.) The top of the line version offers features that rival standard digital offerings with 10 megapixels, ISO 1600 and even a decent zoom lens.

  • Pentax Optio W30: For those looking for a tried and true offering in the underwater camera market, this little camera might be a good bet. As one of the first of its kind, its been honed to offer good quality underwater shots. This version will take you down t 10 feet and offers 7 megapixels, ISO 1600, a zoom lens and the ability to take video recordings as well.

  • Sea & Sea DX-1G: This camera and its housing will take you into much higher quality underwater photography, and can be a great way to exert more control over the pictures you’re taking without breaking the bank. At $800 it isn’t cheap, but it’s fairly mid-range for underwater cameras and housings. That money will buy you a camera that offers much of the SLR quality and functionality in a much smaller and manageable package.

If you’re into fancier cameras and better quality pictures there are plenty of SLR aquatic housings out there on the market. Keep in mind that with nicer equipment comes a price, and unless you’re pretty serious about taking photos underwater it may not be worth the cost.

This post was contributed by Kelsey Allen, who writes about the art careers. She welcomes your feedback at KelseyAllen1010 yahoo.com

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