The invention of underwater action cameras has brought great empowerment to every photography lover. The action cameras are not only efficient in capturing the beautiful landscapes on land but also are great at photographing the beauty that lies underwater.
However, most people who use underwater action cameras lack the common knowledge of using the camera with the right settings. Taking pictures inside water is a lot different than that taking them on land. The foremost thing that one needs to know is the correct underwater camera settings.
It is essential to choose the right picture settings on the camera in order to get the best photography results. Apart from that, there are various other ways and techniques that enhance the level of your underwater photography. So let us go ahead and know the best ways to use action cameras underwater.
Why Do You Need An Underwater Action Camera?
Underwater action cameras can fulfill multiple purposes. There are various useful applications of underwater cameras. Let us check some of them out.
- Capturing the Underwater Life
One of the best uses of underwater action cameras is it provides us the ability to shoot and present the underwater life to the world. The world of water is too vast. From rivers to oceans, life is present in many different forms. Capturing them in your camera can be a heartwarming experience for you.
- Underwater Diving
Scuba divers usually witness the underwater landscape that is hard to explain in words and is too beautiful for the human eyes. Using these action cameras, those beautiful scenes and moments can be magnificently enclosed in the camera.
- Water Surveillance
Underwater action cameras are great at providing security inside the waters. Naval forces of many countries have installed camera underseas to trace out any unusual activity or presence of submarines. The underwater action cameras are also used to check the activity inside the swimming pools.
Though people are playing water sports for a long time, they have received the needed attention after the incoming underwater cameras. Sports activities such as surfing underwater tides, spearfishing, underwater wrestling, and swimming are now easy to capture with these underwater action cameras. They provide good contrast and clarity in aesthetically capturing the event.
What to Look Out for An Underwater Action Camera?
Good underwater action cameras are the ones that can capture each frame of the water with clarity and perfection. Check out the given pointers to understand better about the selection process of underwater action cameras.
- Manual and Other Necessary Modes
The importance of manual mode in an underwater camera is huge. Having manual access means you can control the camera's exposure settings and click photographs according to your preferences. Other than that, macro mode is also necessary for a camera to capture close shots and bokeh.
- Battery Life
When choosing underwater action cameras, make sure to select the camera that has good battery life. An average underwater camera has a battery life of two hours. So always go for a camera that has at least two hours of battery life.
- RAW Shooting
RAW files of any footage are important as they have an unmatchable quality, and we can add many changes to these files. Photos that are for professional use always have to go through various checks and edits. So the ability to shoot in RAW will be of great value for you.
- Sensor size
It is essential to know the sensor size of the camera as it indicates the measurement of image resolution. So selecting a big sized sensor for your camera is important.
Strobe lighting can hugely enhance the quality of the pictures. Strobes are being used in every professional shoot these days. Some underwater action cameras can attach the strobes onto them to provide you enhanced picture quality.
They connect to the camera using sync chords or can be attached through pop up camera flash. However, they may also use additional battery life to implement their working successfully.
- IPX Rating
IPX ratings denote the protection level of a specific digital instrument against the ingress of water. For full waterproof or underwater action cameras, the IPX rating should always be 7 or higher.
Figure Out the Correct Camera Settings for the Best Underwater Photography
Certain camera settings must be taken into account while capturing the underwater scenes. It is necessary to set the correct settings on the camera for different kind of scenes you want to capture underwater. Check out the given setting recommendations that will help you to get excellent shots.
- Frame Per Second (FPS)
FPS comes in the range of 30, 60, 90, 120, and 240. Higher the FPS you select, better slow motion pictures and video you can capture. So if you like to capture bokeh and portrait style images of underwater creatures, then go for high frame rates. Else stick between 30 and 60 FPS.
- Image Sensitivity Optimisation (ISO)
ISO of an image should always be kept lower if you want to get some crisp, clear images. When we raise the ISO of a camera, it starts sensing every little detail around itself, which, in turn, produces grainier images.
- Aspect Ratio
The most common and ideal aspect ratio for shooting underwater is 16:9. However, some people like to have wide-angled footage to capture more from the scene. If you are one of them, try the 4:3 aspect ratio.
It is always feasible to set a resolution that you can handle well on your digital devices. Everybody likes to shoot in 4K, given its super awesome picture quality. However, videos captured in 4K can have extremely large file sizes. They are harder to maintain and edit and also takes more time for their uploading on the internet.
- Water Filters
Magic filters are the filters that are specially designed for underwater usage. They filter out the green and blue light and allow the red light to reach the sensors to get premium quality images.
Keeping your Camera Safe and Secure
Another essential aspect you need to consider with underwater action cameras is their security. Many accidents occur when shooting underwater due to the unsteady flow of the water. Hence having the right accessories will help in keeping your underwater action cameras safe.
- Camera Case
There are several cases available in the market for underwater action cameras. They prevent the water from coming inside the camera and also protect them against any falls or pebble strikes.
- Fog Prevention
To protect your screen and the camera lenses from getting fogged, make sure to never expose cameras cover case and other underwater housing in the sun. The water particles on condensing forms crystals and leads to steam ingestion in the camera.
- Super suit for Camera
Various super suits are created and are available in the market that protects the camera from all kinds of damages. Whether it is free-falling off the camera or the fog prevention, they are supremely built to withstand all kinds of programs.
- Using the right camera stands
Camera stands are one of the most useful accessories of the camera. They protect the camera from free-flowing in water and also adds stability to the photograph. Hence, using a camera stand should never be avoided.
Methods and techniques to Use Your Underwater Action Camera
The following tips will be helpful for you to capture the aesthetics underwater beautifully and professionally.
- Mounting the Camera Underwater
Lights and handles can be mounted to your underwater action cameras to provide you better stability while taking the images and videos. Mainly, there are two mechanisms, a flex-connect arm and a rigid handle that helps in mounting lights and other accessories to underwater action cameras. So by adding a stand to your camera, you will surely get more stable and top-notch images.
- Slowing Shutter Speed
Slowing down the shutter speed of your camera’s lens can actually benefit you a lot. When we reduce the shutter speed of the camera to 1/5th or 1/8th of a second, it synchronizes perfectly with the light flash. So when you click the picture, you will get extraordinary results of clear and detailed pictures.
- Exposure Settings
If you are really interested in underwater photography, it is essential to understand the working of a camera in manual mode. The light varies with water particles under the water, and the automatic feature of the camera keeps on readjusting the exposure. Whereas, manual mode gives you the full control to make changes and adjust the exposure as per your convenience.
- Choosing the right angles
The appropriate knowledge of underwater action camera angles only comes with experience. However, knowing some good angles before you go to your first venture will help capture some admirable underwater pictures. Firstly, you must try out all the standard angles of taking pictures and find the major differences.
Apart from that, there are four ways that will help you capture the pictures of sea animals more vividly. Above, Straight on, Below, and Behind the object is four crucial angles inside water. These angles will let you take the pictures inside the water with better positioning and high detailing.
Underwater action cameras are wonderful devices that add excitement to your life by capturing unexplored and fundamental underwater life forms. Unlike land photography, nothing is fixed when you dive in to get the footage for your camera. Every time there is something new to discover and capture. So using your underwater action cameras, dive in the sea and make people see the world of oceans with your camera.