Best Cameras & Top Tips for Perfect Underwater Photos
The perfect honeymoons include a spicy combo of romance, excitement, intimacy and adventure. You need a camera that will capture every moment, especially in a warm weather destination where, for some couples, being in the water is half the fun!
To save big bucks, buy refurbished – refurbished cameras are guaranteed by the manufacturer to be in perfect working condition, and you usually get the same warrantee as when you buy new.
Here’s our list of the best cameras for underwater shots. Our main criteria were style, durability, and ease of use for capturing high-quality images.
Lower Budget: Polaroid IF045.
The Polaroid iF045 is perfect for a familymoon. Its simple interface makes it an ideal camera for novice photographers and children. Whether you’re enjoying an afternoon at the pool or a day in the waterpark, this AAA battery-powered camera will capture all the fun.
Its buoyancy makes it an excellent camera for water activities. Even if it manages to slip out of your hands, it will float to the water’s surface. Though it has no optical zoom it’s fairly priced for its features, and allows you to have fun with the kids without stressing about pricy equipment. It’s waterproof down to ten feet so you can’t go Scuba diving with it, but for something cheap and effective to take on a snorkeling trip it’s a great choice.
Price Range: $79.99 – $99.99, www.polaroid.com
Mid-Range: Olympus TG-830.
The Olympus TG-830 is a champion among waterproof cameras. Its 16-megapixel sensor takes sharp shots up to 33 feet underwater.
It has four underwater automatic settings to help you capture perfectly clear, well-lit images. With a 120 frame per second video mode, you won’t miss any of the underwater action if you decide to shoot a honeymoon movie under the sea. An added bonus is the built-in GPS, so you can trace the route of your honeymoon and see all the photos you took along the way.
Price Range: $239.99 – $279.99, www.getolympus.com
Mid Range: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 Series.
The Wi-Fi enabled Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 enables you to send images to your smart phone or tablet with one touch. Its anti-reflective coating and easy playback mean you’ll have crystal-clear images every time. The TS5’s compact size and “grippable” ergonomic design make shooting with one hand a breeze. Its underwater mode eliminates dull colors, making pictures pop! There are several cameras in the DMC-TS5 series, and in the hands of a decent photographer, the highest-end models give you amazing shots for the cost.
Price Range: $279.99 – $347.99, www.shop.panasonic.com
Higher Budget: Nikon 1 AW1.
If you’re a klutz who’s prone to dropping phones and cameras, but you’re also someone who needs the best of the best, the Nikon 1 AW1 is the camera for you. It can withstand a drop from over 6.6 feet and can go as deep as 49 feet under water, making it a great choice for snorkelers and divers. But its durability doesn’t take away from its ultra high-end specs. It shoots HD video, and is the only interchangeable lens model that can be submerged in water without a protective case.
Price Range: $800 with one lens, $1000 with two lenses, www.nikonusa.com
Video Pick: GoPro Hero3 Series.
Whether you’re surfing, jet skiing or exploring aquatic life while scuba diving, the GoPro Hero3 Black has you covered. This camera is lightweight and captures impressive, Hollywood-quality HD video. The shockproof, waterproof casing makes it ideal for action-packed fun on the water. GoPro has exploded as go-to for premium, rugged cameras, and there’s a good reason why. With plenty of megapixels for high resolution even on enormous prints, and the ability to function 197 feet below the water’s surface, the GoPro Hero3 line is worth every penny.
Price Range: $399.99, www.shop.gopro.com
Top Tips for Perfect Underwater Photos
Find Your Inner Fish.
Before you can begin to perfect your underwater photography skills, you have to be comfortable swimming and floating below the water’s surface, whether you’re holding your breath or breathing from a scuba mask or snorkel. If diving isn’t second nature for you, you may need to give the camera to a more experienced diver.
Seize the Day.
The optimal time of day to capture underwater images is a bright afternoon. The more natural light you have, the better.
Know Your Gear.
Know your camera and its capabilities. Before going underwater, play around with your equipment’s settings. Being 20 feet below water is not the time to fumble with an add-on lens or figure out which shutter speed to use.
Light, Light, Light!
Don’t forget to use the flash. It may seem like an obvious tip, but when swimming in murky waters, you’ll need artificial light to illuminate your subject. Even in well-lit and shallow areas the flash will help you make the most of your shot. When it comes to capturing great photos, light is everything.
Don’t Scare Your Subjects.
Don’t chase fish – find a good spot, set up your shot and let them come to you, otherwise you’ll scare them off.
Get as close as you can, as being underwater will distort images slightly to look farther away and filter out bright colors.
The key to stunning underwater photographs is a wide shot. Shooting from this angle eliminates flash back and makes your subject the focal point.
Patience is a Virtue.
Photography on dry land requires patience, but taking photos underwater requires even more. Your first shot will probably not yield the image you want. Be ready to take lots of shots in pursuit of one really awesome photo.
Find Your Angle.
Be mindful of how you are shooting. The best angles tend to be upwards or directly across. Pointing your camera down can make your subject less distinct as the ocean background takes precedence in the frame.
Edit Like A Pro.
Sometimes a great photograph can become an amazing one after a little editing. Whether you’re using a basic Instagram filter or advanced software like Photoshop, there are apps and programs that can adjust the clarity and vibrancy of your shots, enhancing them tremendously! Gimp is a completely free photo editing software with all the features and power of costly alternatives.