An underwater digital camera should not only be waterproof, it should also be tough. Many underwater cameras that are not tough enough to withstand travel are available for low prices. While fine for a backyard pool party, any camera that will be traveling with you must include a protective shell. Other considerations include added features, waterproof capability, and computer compatibility. On average, a decent underwater camera can be purchased for around $200.
Pay careful attention to a camera’s underwater abilities. Some cameras are waterproof up to 100 feet, while others can only be used in water that is 10 feet deep. Professional grade cameras ($1000+) can withstand depths of more than 100 feet. If you dive with a camera that is not meant for deep waters, your camera will be ruined. Further, a manufacturer warranty will not cover a camera that was used improperly.
Additional underwater camera features can include anything from an LCD screen to extra zoom. Some features to consider include a video option, different scenery modes (including beach, landscape, and night), and decent zoom capabilities. Most inexpensive cameras do not include a large zoom range.
While zoom may not be important if you are shopping on a budget, photos may appear blurry when taken from far away with poor zoom technology. Video options are a good way to capture vacation and travel moments on film. Likewise, various landscape settings will make it easier to snap photos in all kinds of environments.
Find a camera that has a large memory card. In addition, look for a camera with a memory card that can be changed. Purchasing additional memory cards is a wise idea, since most cameras are only capable of taking up to 100 photos. Further, make sure that switching a camera’s memory card is easy (some cameras make this simple process complex).
Transferring your underwater photos to a computer should be simple. However, not all cameras work with every computer operating system. Read the back of a camera box to determine whether or not a camera will work with Windows, Linux, and Mac. While many cameras work with Windows, finding a Mac or Linux compatible camera may be harder.
Size, Color and Durability
The size of a camera matters if you intend to travel. Most underwater cameras tend to be on the bulky side (due to protective waterproof casings), though some are slimmer than others. It is also vital that you select a camera that can withstand a good amount of impact.
By reading manufacturer specifications, you should be able to determine how durable a camera is. Camera color is another consideration. Lighter colored cameras tend to become scratched easily, while darker colors hide scratches well.
If you do not want to purchase a new camera, you may be able to purchase an underwater housing unit for your existing digital camera. When buying an underwater housing, make sure that the housing fits your camera exactly. Some camera manufacturers only produce housings for certain camera models.
If your camera manufacturer does not make a housing for your camera, you can purchase a third party housing unit. However, be advised that buying a housing for your camera that does not fit exactly may ruin your camera forever. For this reason, it is best to purchase an inexpensive underwater camera.
PS: An external hard drive is the only way to backup existing computer files. External hard drives are available for $50+, and these drives are a true investment. Most external hard drives can hold thousands of photos, movies, and files. This basic backup insurance is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure the timelessness of any files that are important to you.