I am an amateur observer and I don’t have a professional camera I only have my phone and I during the summer I plan on going to a place where I can make lots of cool underwater observations at the beach but even though my phone is technically waterproof but I don’t want to take the risk and put my phone underwater. Is there any way for me to take photos underwater with a case or waterproof pouch? Do you recommend any products?
This is my first ever forum post. If this is the wrong place to post such a question I am really sorry.
Welcome to the forum!
There are waterproof phone cases for snorkeling. I can’t personally recommend any particular one, but a quick Amazon check came up with several choices. Sounds like fun,will look forward to seeing what you come up with.
I’ve been thinking about options for underwater photography also but haven’t really researched it. Not sure I want to risk my smartphone or SLR camera for this purpose, but maybe there are underwater cameras out there that won’t break my budget. Any advice would be welcome.
I recall using an inexpensive underwater film camera in Hawaii many years ago before digital came along. Might still have those prints somewhere.
I would recommend taking a look at the Olympus TG6. It is a small underwater camera that does not require a case, and it will not break the bank like a mirrorless or dslr. Many divers and snorkelers I know are using it with great results.
Agree. TG cameras are good for underwater. I tried my TG5 out in sea water. Worked fine. But you always need to check whether all covers are trully locked. And wash the camera carefully afterwards, following instructions.
The Olympus TG series mentioned above are ~$500, there are also cheaper waterproof point-and-shoots you can find for less than $200 that work decently well. See the other thread linked above for more detailed reviews.
If you are just wading you could try a hack with your phone I mentioned here: Aquacam Hack. Add to it using voice activation to trigger the camera to take the picture.
I rarely advise against things but one thing that may be tempting are the Akaso go-pro style cameras on Amazon (they’re the first things that come up when searching underwater camera and are way cheaper than most cameras) but I strongly recommend against buying them. They claim to be 1080p/4k but the photos are terrible quality that seems to be upscaled from a lower resolution. There are tons of good reviews because in the box they include a card that says is you rate 5* they’ll send you an Amazon gift card.
Or you can disregard my advice and get pictures like these, taken from close to the organism in perfectly clear water and good light
is it possible to put your phone in a really well sealed ziploc bag and then use it underwater as normal?
I’ve thought of that myself but decided I wouldn’t want to risk it. Maybe if I had a phone I was going to replace soon anyway.
If you’re just snorkeling, you could get one of the older GoPro models, something like the Hero 5 or 6.
You can get a new or refurbished one, often with some kit, for less than $200 now if you do a bit of searching around.
For snorkeling you don’t need a case, but if you’re SCUBA diving you should get one.
The main issue with them is that the lens is a fixed wide angle, but within that limitation they’re great for underwater stuff.
For image quality, here are some observation with my Hero 6 (in a case at around 20 meters depth). Took these using the RAW option and edited them in Photoshop to correct the colors, but if you’re snorkeling color correction isn’t much of an issue.
Whatever you get make sure you have a float handle and a wrist strap, so if you drop the camera it doesn’t sink. I actually clip mine to me with a lanyard and a carabiner on the wrist strap so that there is no way it can get away from me.
Helped a lot by it being a really amazing area and with very clear water. We could see bottom 40 meters down from the boat.
If you expand the map area and search in the large map area I have other photos from other dives, or, better, remove my from the filter and look at the photo from other divers in the area too.
We agree with the waterproof phone pouches. They work well to just submerge your phone enough to get rid of the surface distortion.
They’re also VERY valuable if you’re just messing about near the sea, on a boat etc. It is painful to learn the hard way that phones dive into the sea at every opportunity.
if you’re on a budget… a well sealed ziploc bag has worked for me in the past. Not the ‘safest’ option, but in a pinch works well.
Thank you all for the replies!!
Thanks a lot for the recommendations!
That’s what I was think but I am too scared to do that