How to choose the right great for your diving images?
If you are willing to do underwater photography, the first step is to choose a waterproof camera or a case. Point & Shoot or DSLR ? Full frame or Crop?
It’s a very important step that will have a great impact on the image quality of your future underwater images, and on your wallet.
Therefore, it’s very important to make the right choice. To do so, you need to ask yourself the right questions !
Here are some key points that will help you.
Fixing a budget :
As often , you wallet will choose that for you , let’s be honest , underwater photography will hit on your wallet !
And this , because of the price of :
- The waterproof case
- The accessories ( Porthole , dome , strobes , etc… )
- and of course the underwater camera price
Or use you own camera
If you already take pictures ( it’s quite rare to start underwater photography at first ) , you may have a high end DSLR , or just a basic one .
In this case , you are better off getting a case with a couple of underwater strobes.
Point & Shoot cameras for diving
If you are starting out , I strongly advise you to invest in a small compact camera with a flash and a case .
The compacts have several assets above DSLRs :
- They are much cheaper than DSLRs ( beside the flagship ones )
- The cases are much cheaper
- The size is much smaller , which is a huge asset , especially if you are starting out
- The versatility : it’s possible to do both macro and atmosphere images .
But , there are also some drawbacks :
- The slow autofocusing system (which is sad because fish don’t pose)
- The buffer is very small, even if it’s led by the flash recycling speed
- The sensor size often is very small, which means that you get a much longer depth of field as well as a tiny Dynamic Range.
If you go with a compact , you have to watch out for the following points :
- Make sure the case you are looking for exist for the model you chose
- Make sure it’s able to capture your images in RAW
- And finally, make sure that it has at least two knobs, one for the shutter speed and the other one for the aperture without having to “dive” into the menu. Even entry level SLRs may not have these features.
DSLRs for underwater photography
DSLRs are more expensive , but they have a bunch of assets:
- A greater definition
- A greater dynamic range
- A faster autofocus system
- A shorter depth of field which is perfect for portraits, when you want to emphasise the subject