Everyone who’s ever tried scuba diving knows how different and almost bewitching the views of the underwater world are. Be it sea or ocean, maybe even a freshwater environment – there is no way the sight of an aquatic kingdom won’t imprint in your memory. The chance to experience an absolutely different environment so alien to us and remain there longer than a few moments is too enticing to pass up. Such an event is memorable in its own right, but there is one thing that can perpetuate the experience you had and the scenes you came across. Underwater photography is a constant companion of scuba diving, a way to capture the sights you won’t see anywhere else. The deal is, however, that the majority of regular gadgets can’t survive the encounter with the water element. Some of them are fortified enough to hold on for a minute or two until the frightened owner pulls them from the wet embrace of the aquatic trap, but by no means are they designed to perform underwater. We at gritroutdoors.com know a thing or two about outdoor activities (you can probably tell from the name), and we got just the thing for those who want to combine scuba diving and picture taking. Rejoice, for you are about to behold the advent of the machine of perpetuated images that fears no water!
Unnecessary pomposity aside, waterproof cameras are a real asset for everyone who wants to always carry a piece of the sea on themselves without disturbing marine flora and fauna. A piece of coral and a beautiful shell are more tangible than a photo (especially a digital one), but they are also alive and can be somebody’s home, and it’s kind of rude to carry somebody’s home away. Pictures are fundamentally different from souvenirs: instead of remotely reminding you of the places you visited, they show them to you just the way you remember them. A detailed colorful picture can conjure no fewer pleasant memories than a conch you found during your scuba descent. Some people feel reluctant to use underwater cameras because they are not professional photographers, but the technologies have advanced to the level when a camera can do 80% of the work itself – you only need to point it in the desired direction and let the machine work its miracles. If you go scuba diving once and don’t want to repeat this experience (which is a very unlikely course of events), a whole waterproof digital camera might be overkill. However, if you are determined to make scuba diving part of your life, even if doing it once a year, a waterproof camera might be a solid investment. It won’t bring you any money, but you can’t put a price tag on the memories you’ll capture with it.
Best Waterproof Camera: Reality or Myth?
Unsurprisingly, the search for the best underwater camera is not that different from the quest of finding anything “best”. The conclusion you’ll come to eventually is that the best in a vacuum carries little weight, and the true best goes hand in hand with the context. Since conditions vary from occasion to occasion, the cameras that will meet your needs the best will also be different. Does a person with basic knowledge of photography need an ultra-advanced camera full of features they’ll never use? Would it really be the best option for them? The best is not the coolest or most advanced. The best is what suits you more than anything else. That goes with everything, and cameras are no exception. We suggest switching from looking for the best camera for scuba diving to considering several options depending on your funds, needs, and proficiency in photography.
The Best Compact Camera For Scuba Diving: Sealife ReefMaster RM-4K
What makes a compact camera a worthy candidate for the title of the situational best underwater camera? The fact is that the majority of people who tried scuba diving are not professional photographers. However, it doesn’t mean they don’t want a memorable photo from their dive. Compact cameras don’t have the unparalleled sharpness or never-ending number of features professional cameras have, but let’s be honest, most novice photographers wouldn’t make use of those settings and regimes anyway. What we get in return are compactness, much lower cost, and decent image and video quality. Even more than that, the majority of cameras need additional underwater housing to withstand water and pressure. At the same time, some compact cameras are already made waterproof and don’t require any underwater housing. Sealife is one of the brands that produce such cameras. The ReefMaster RM-4K is a fine example of their work: equipped with a 14MP Image Sensor and 140 degrees Wide Angle Fisheye Lens, this 4K waterproof camera is capable of capturing ultra-sharp videos and brilliant still images. It has a very intuitive four-button design and control menu. The shape fits comfortably into your hand and mounts perfectly with camera lights.
The Best Mirrorless Camera For Scuba Diving: Sony A6400
Mirrorless cameras are the thing of the photography world. They are favored by the majority of the photographers and have all reasons for this. Sony A6400 is a crop camera that inherited several outstanding features from full-frame cameras at half the cost. The 24.2MP Image Sensor ensures an excellent image quality, while the 425-point phase detection and 425-point contrast detection autofocus system immensely facilitates the shooting process. With the golden standard 4K video at 30 fps, Sony A6400 will help you retain those wondrous scenes you’ll see while scuba diving. Don’t forget that for this camera to work its miracles underwater you need additional housing. The prices vary widely but be prepared to pay at least a little less than for the camera itself.
If you are looking for the best underwater camera for scuba diving, we won’t recommend any DSLR cameras. Not because they are not good enough, but because that is not an optimal choice. If you want a camera you can use both underwater and on the surface, you would benefit more from choosing a mirrorless camera. If you are not much of a photographer but love scuba diving too much not to have any photos for reminiscing, compact cameras will be your best choice both in terms of price and performance.
How To Display Your Underwater Pictures
Pictures taken underwater need to be displayed properly, on the right paper and in the correct resolution. Underwater pictures can often look blurry or cloudy if they aren’t displayed right. If you want to look back through your fun diving experiences and remember them as they were make sure you display the pictures in a high-quality photo book that lasts. The same applies to photo frames. The paper needs to be ultra-premium with luster to capture the full spectrum of color on show.