Extreme photography and underwater photos are great ... as long as your digital camera is useable underwater. If you aren't sure whether your camera is rated as waterproof, read the user manual or visit the manufacturer's Web site. Ignoring the user manual and testing the digital camera in a full bathtub to determine whether it is waterproof is not recommended.
If you'd like to take these types of photos, you'll either need an underwater digital camera, as specified by the manufacturer, or you'll need to purchase an underwater housing for your digital camera. Here are some of the best underwater digital cameras and accessories.
Canon offers many underwater housing units designed for its specific models and brands of digital cameras. In addition to being able to purchase the underwater housing units at the Canon Web site, you'll also find advice for using your model safely underwater.
One of Canon's latest waterproof cameras is the PowerShot D20.
Ewa-Marine is a German company that offers underwater housings for digital cameras from many different manufacturers. You can use the company's Web site to determine whether a waterproof housing exists for your model of digital camera.
For beginner photographers, the Fantasea Web site specializes in underwater housings for Nikon compact digital cameras. More experienced photographers will find several other products aimed at underwater photography, such as lights, lenses, and filters.
Ikelite carries underwater housings for cameras from several different manufacturers, including Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony. You also can see underwater photos that customers have uploaded to the Web site, giving you some ideas for your photos.
Nikon recently introduced the market's first waterproof DIL camera, the Nikon 1 AW1, which is an interesting concept.
Olympus makes underwater housings for several of its digital cameras, and the company makes a few fixed-lens tough cameras, such as the TG-830 iHS that can be used in harsh weather and in shallow water without waterproof housings. Finally, the Olympus Web site has some great tips for shooting underwater photos.
Look for a few point and shoot models that can work underwater from Panasonic, including the Panasonic Lumix TS4.
Pentax has a few "tough" cameras that are designed for use underwater, including the point and shoot Pentax WG-3.
- Sea & Sea
Beginning and advanced digital photographers will find products for a variety of situations at the Sea & Sea Web site. Sea & Sea also has published an Underwater Photo Guide for Compact Digital Cameras (pictured above). It's a helpful guide with advice, instructions, and sample photos for those new to underwater photography.
Through the SeaLife Web site, you'll find digital cameras made specifically for underwater usage. SeaLife also offers lenses and flash units for its cameras, as well as a gallery of underwater photographs taken with its cameras.
Sony also makes some interesting looking waterproof cameras, including the Cyber-shot TX30.