1. Computing

Underwater Photography Equipment

Use These Tips to Keep Your Camera Safe in the Water

By

Underwater Photography Equipment

When using underwater photography equipment, such as the Panasonic Lumix TS4 waterproof point and shoot camera shown here, make sure you fully understand how to keep the camera and other equipment safe.

Panasonic

Underwater photography is an enjoyable hobby, giving you some photos that are almost impossible to duplicate.

However, you have to take extra precautions to protect your digital camera from the water ... after all, water and electronics don’t mix. The last thing you want to do is ruin an expensive piece of underwater photography equipment because you didn't take the necessary precautions or because you used it incorrectly.

Use these tips to make sure your camera and all of your underwater photography equipment is ready for use.

  • Before you travel to the water for an underwater photography session, make sure you've thoroughly read through the user guide or other materials for all of your underwater photography equipment. It's important that you completely understand how to care for and use your equipment. Even the slightest mistake could cause a leak, leaving your underwater photography equipment ruined.

  • Make sure your underwater housing or underwater case is made specifically for your model of camera. Without the correct housing, your camera may not fit in the housing properly, leaving leakage as a possibility. Although some housings may work with multiple cameras, it’s important to make sure that your particular camera is matched with the proper underwater housing.

  • Take your time when setting up your underwater photography equipment. Don't take any chances for a mistake by hurrying through the the setup process. Leave plenty of time for preparing the equipment, especially the first few times you do it.

  • If you have room, use a silica gel packet inside the underwater housing unit to prevent fogging of the camera lens from dampness trapped inside the underwater housing. Such fogging not only makes it tough to shoot photos, but it also could lead to damage to your camera from repeated exposure to the moisture. Such damage can include the introduction of fungus on your camera lens.

  • Most underwater housing units require regular greasing of the o-rings and a few other components to maintain enough elasticity to create a waterproof seal. Check with the user manual for your particular model of underwater housing to determine the best method for applying the grease.

  • Closely inspect the o-rings, making sure they have no cracks or dust stuck to them. Any imperfections in the o-rings will compromise your seal, which could lead to water leaking inside the underwater housing.

  • Make sure you have a wrist strap that can be securely attached to both your wrist and the underwater housing unit or to the waterproof camera. Cameras can float away or be lost in a strong water current if you aren’t careful.

  • It’s recommended that you secure the camera inside the underwater housing unit inside your home or hotel, well before you travel to the beach or lake. It is easier to secure the camera indoors without having to worry about wind, moisture, or stray sand particles.

  • Finally, it’s best to test the underwater housing before you arrive at the shoot. Test for leaks by placing the camera underwater for 30 seconds and making sure no air bubbles appear. At the same time, check the camera’s buttons, ensuring that the underwater housing is properly aligned, giving you the ability to access each dial and button that you’ll need to shoot photos. Once you’ve tested the camera, do not remove it from the housing until after the shoot.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.