Camera & Housing - Entry Level
Want to take your camera to 40 meters? Want to start exploring underwater photography? Buying an underwater housing for your camera is the start of this journey. Many companies such as Canon and Olympus actually sell underwater housings for their top selling cameras. There are also a number of third party case manufacturers such as Ikelite and Sea and Sea.
The quality and price of compact cameras varies significantly. Cameras such as the Canon S120 and G16 offer fully manual functions and the flexibility of the DSLRs. The main difference is the compromise on processing speed and lens quality. However the size and price make this option a realistic entry point into underwater photography to 40 meters. The differences between the compacts and companies also vary. For example the latests Canon's are good for still images but fail to compare with video against some of the Panasonic cameras. Here are some points and considerations when selecting your compact camera:
- Price - Can vary significantly, especially the housings
- Weight of both camera and housing (Especially for abroad)
- Max Depth rating
- Manual White Balance
- RAW shooting mode
- Macro Mode
- Does the camera and housing allow for future expansion, i.e. Wet lenses and strobes
- Fully manual camera functions
- Working battery life around two hours (2 dives) - you can't change battery underwater :-)
At this current time of writing the best compact camera is the Sony DSC-RX100 III followed by the Canon G16 and S120 respectively. However make sure you do your research as this all soon changes...
As stated above expand-ability is an important consideration with Wet Lenses being the first...