Underwater Housings

Want to use your digital camera underwater, either snorkeling or scuba diving? A number of Canon, Olympus, Nikon, Sony, and other models can be adapted for underwater photography by placing them inside what is called an underwater housing. That's a watertight, pressure-resistant transparent plastic or brushed aluminum box designed to fit the camera in such a way that the user can access controls, look at the LCD viewfinder, and shoot pictures underwater. Underwater housings do require some care and attention, such as properly lubricating "O" rings, cleaning between dives, and making certain that all seals and connectors are in place. Depending upon the manufacturer, camera model, and level of sophistication, underwater housings cost $100-$1,000. More expensive housings can be used at deeper depths (typically, 3-5 atmospheres, or 100-160') and may be able to accommodate auxiliary underwater strobelights or lenses. However, sports divers rarely go below two atmospheres (66 feet) and will usually shoot only with their camera's built-in strobe, so the basic (less expensive) plastic housing will probably do very nicely.

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