Gear — Underwater

Read our underwater photography how-to guide

Mirrorless

Mirrorless cameras are all the rage these days both above water and below, and they offer great performance in small packages. One option is the 42 MP Sony a7R II fitted with a Nauticam housing, and on the more affordable or entry-level side of the spectrum is the Olympus PEN series, with an acrylic Olympus housing.

Sony a7S II
Sony a7S II

Ultralight Control Systems

Ultralight arms are the best tool to use for attaching your strobes or video lights to your underwater rig. Ultralight arms come in lengths as short as five inches and as long as 18 inches. All of their arms come with one-inch balls on their ends that can be attached to other arms by clamps. I suggest using two arms per light, or a total of four arms for a two-light set up. Short arms have never been my thing. Whether I shoot macro critters or wide-angle subjects, I’m a big believer in using large arms to maximize light maneuverability.

Ultralight Arms
Ultralight Arms

Nauticam And Ikelite

I shoot in Nauticam housings and feel they consistently offer the best-engineered housings available today. Of course, there are many good housings and many good manufacturers such as Sea & Sea, Seacam, Aquatica, and Subal. However, Nauticams aren’t the most affordable housings. If your goal is not necessarily the best ergonomics and engineering, but if you just need to start getting your camera in the water, then Ikelite offers great housing at a more affordable price.

Ikelite Housing
Ikelite Housing
Nauticam NA-A7II Housing
Nauticam NA-A7II Housing

 

 

Large Vs. Small Dome Ports

Wide-angle lenses such as fish-eye lenses require the use of a dome port. There are big domes, small domes, acrylic domes and glass domes. Personally, I use, and have always used, a Sea & Sea large fish-eye dome port. It’s a nine-inch acrylic port, and I prefer the large ports because they’re optically superior. Small ports are attractive to many travelers because they are easier to carry on planes and more efficient to wield underwater.

Sea & Sea Dome Ports
Sea & Sea Dome Ports

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