Digital compact cameras have come a long way over the past eight years. You no longer need to spend a fortune for an SLR system or carry all that extra weight in equipment. The housing accessories available for the compact camera have divers all over the world taking to the waters. Choose wisely and your compact camera system should see you through many years and hundreds of photos. There are however certain situations where the compact camera just won't cut it, such as shutter lag issues when working with fast moving subjects and superior image quality required by some commercial agencies. In either case you may be forced into an SLR system.


1. Sensors in digital compact cameras are smaller than those found in Digital SLRs and as a consequence the pixel size is substantially smaller and explains the higher noise levels found in compacts.

2. As a rule of thumb I keep to the lowest ISO possible until I absolutely have to increase it.

3. Never use the digital zoom function as this will degrade the quality of your images. It is fundamentally better to physically get as close as you can to your subject especially if you use the camera's built-in flash.

4. The 35 mm wide cameras give access to Inon's highly acclaimed fisheye lens.

5. I use a stainless steel lanyard threaded through an eye on the housing or tray and clipped to my BC. The lanyard has an intermediate clip and coil,

6. In my opinion one of the best all-round digital compacts is the Canon Digital Ixus 980is & WP-DC27 housing with Inon accessories.

7. An advantage of the digital compact system is that you can invest in the necessary accessories when the time is right. Not all camera housings will be supported by these accessories so it is always important to check first and make sure your camera and housing is forward compatible.

8. The close-up lens allows you to keep your distance and zoom into the subject. The magnification of the close-up lens will ensure that the subject fills the frame. When using close-up lenses make sure to switch the camera's Macro mode off as they conflict with each other, making focusing difficult.

9. Manual power settings give you more control over lighting your subjects.

10. Always use fresh batteries to get the best recycling time out of the strobe.

11. At the time of writing, and for its all-round flexibility, my own compact camera purchase choice would be:

Canon Ixus 980is with Canon WP-DC27 underwater housing Inon UFL165 AD Fish Eye lens and Inon UCL165 AD Close-up lens Flash choice would be the Inon S-2000 and Magic Filters for natural light photography.

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