An underwater digital camera is a specially designed camera, which can be use for still and video photography of marine life flora and fauna. They are fun and easy to use underwater by both professionals as well as amateur photographers. An underwater digital camera is usually stronger than a regular digital camera and can be use in any circumstances and conditions at different depths. There are a number of underwater digital cameras available at different price ranges in the market, each having its own key features. Therefore, finding the best underwater digital camera can be a challenging task, when sufficient information is not available regarding its features to help you choose before making the purchase.
How to Purchase an Underwater Digital Camera
There are many features that you will need to consider before making a purchase. This is in part to the many options available in modern underwater cameras. Discovering, what to look for when purchasing an underwater digital camera helps to ease the buying process. Here are the important factors to consider when purchasing an underwater digital camera
- Waterproof: Waterproof is one of the most important features to be considered when buying any digital underwater camera. Though all underwater digital cameras are safe underwater, they usually vary in the depths they can withstand. It is a personal decision to select a camera that can really handle the depths at which you want to take pictures. Modern digital cameras are design in such a way that many are able to work properly several feet below the sea, some even 30 feet below sea level.
- Shockproof: Shockproof is yet another feature that has to be on top of your list when purchasing this type of cameras. This is because hits and smashes happen very frequently underwater, so the camera should be able to tolerate the physical blows without falling apart or malfunctioning. Many underwater digital cameras claim that can withstand punishment when drop above five feet height.
- Dust Proof and Freeze Proof: Your underwater digital camera should be not only waterproof and shockproof but also freeze and dust proof, to withstand extreme weather conditions that can change quickly underwater.
- Picture Quality: A resolution of around 10 megapixels greatly compliments this type of underwater cameras. A greater resolution helps the user view things below the sea surface even better, resulting in sharper and clearer pictures. High-resolution cameras are quite expensive and produce larger image files. The file size of a single image taken with a 10-megapixel underwater digital camera can easily border the 8 megabytes so make sure to have plenty of storage.
- Optical Zoom: An underwater digital camera with optical zoom is preferable to one with only digital zoom. Make sure to choose a camera with a decent optical zoom. The optical zoom feature of the camera may be required more often when shooting underwater to capture clearer images of distant subjects. Since, some marine organisms excel at a close-up shot; the underwater camera should possess both zoom types. For example, with some marine life is best to keep a safe distance like with the poisonous puffer fish, which requires an excellent optical zoom and macro features to capture its beauty from afar.
- Image Stabilizer: Your underwater digital camera should include an image-stabilizing feature, which will help you secure sharp photos and reduce the blurriness caused by hands as well as the surroundings.
- Durability: Durability of the underwater digital camera includes battery life and the materials used in the construction of the camera. A good camera will have a long battery life so that the users do not need to recharge the batteries during the middle of his or her photographic expedition. In addition, the material used in the construction of the underwater digital camera is very important as it involves the resistance of the camera in response to its tough surrounding conditions.
- SD Memory Card: A secure digital memory card or SD memory card with lots of space helps to store more number of images in the camera without having to change SD cards or download pictures to your laptop or personal computer, this kind of cards are call SDHC or SD High-Capacity. It is also important to pick a SD card that has a high write speed to be able to take the next picture quicker.
- Larger and Brighter Screen: While selecting an underwater digital camera, it is very important to select one that has large as well as bright screen. A larger and brighter screen helps the user to review the photos easier and aim the camera accurately.
- Autofocus: The autofocus feature in an underwater digital camera allows the user to focus the picture at the touch of a button. Some of the best cameras allow for the activation of the auto-focus feature of the underwater digital camera by touching the shutter slightly.
- Manual Functions: Most cheap underwater digital cameras are fully automatic which often seems like a good thing. Actually, it will be more beneficial when the photographer is able to adjust the shutter speed and exposure manually to take the best underwater pictures.
- Control Sizes and Location: Accessibility of controls in an underwater digital camera is one of the major determining factors while choosing the best camera. The controls present in any of the underwater digital cameras you are planning to purchase should be checked to makes sure that they are large enough to manipulate easily while wearing a scuba gear underwater. In addition, the location of such controls is very important, as it would help the user to reach them out very easily.
- Price: One should consider how deep they wish to submerged before purchasing an underwater digital camera. To take reasonable snaps of images that are only 10 feet below sea level, a cheap underwater digital camera might be enough to take a decent picture. However, to go 40 feet below the sea level requires an underwater digital camera that has ISO features, which produce efficient pictures at that depth and more often than not, these underwater cameras are quite expensive.
- Accessories: Expensive underwater digital cameras often come with accessories that help the camera to function properly. Some of these accessories might be very costly, so while trying to save money purchasing cheap cameras, you should consider this matter or otherwise you will end up paying more for all the accessories that need to be purchase to compensate for the camera inefficiencies.
- Size of the Camera: There are many designs of underwater camera on the market. You should purchase an underwater digital camera that is compact but solid. This offers a firm grip on the camera thereby leading to steady hands while taking underwater photographs, resulting in clearer and sharp pictures and a better experience to the photographer.
Conclusion: Choosing the Best Underwater Digital Camera
All the different features mentioned above and some other smaller requirements will help you choose the best underwater digital camera for your needs.