Underwater Photography: Care for Your Underwater Camera Housing Unit

If you plan on taking your camera in the water with you, you will need to purchase underwater camera housing. Most digital camera manufacturers do not produce underwater camera housings, so you will need to purchase one from a third party company. Before you make the purchase, you should double and triple check that the specific housing you are purchasing was designed just for your make and model. Every housing is different, so make sure you read the included instruction manual very carefully to see if your specific housing has to be cared for in a certain manner. Companies can and will void warranties if the housing was not maintained according to manufacturer specifications.

You will see various terms used by companies, such as waterproof, water-resistant and weatherproof. You really should not pay much attention to those terms, as every company will use these terms differently. Instead, you need to check the depth rating of the housing. The depth rating will tell you how deep you can go into the water without harming your digital camera. It is very important to know how deep you will be going with your digital camera before you step foot into the water. Some underwater camera housings can only be taken 10-16 feet into the water. Other underwater camera housings have a depth rating of 100-300 feet. If you exceed the depth rating of your camera house, you are taking the risk that your digital camera may implode.

Test Run

Before you place your digital camera within the underwater camera housing, do a test run with the housing to check for any leaks. When performing this test run, do not immerse the housing in a jacuzzi, hot tub, etc. Underwater camera housings are not designed to withstand elevate water temperatures.

Cleaning and O-Rings

After you have gone underwater with your digital camera, make sure to dry and clean the housing before you open it to remove your digital camera. This will prevent water or dirt from falling on or into your camera.  

You should clean and lubricate the o-rings of your underwater camera housing each and every time you submerge the housing underwater. When lubricating the o-rings, you want to be careful not to over grease. Too much grease on the o-rings can attract unwanted debris. If you feel that the o-ring has been compromised in any way, shape or form, it is always best to replace the o-ring. Never use a sharp or pointed object to remove an o-ring, as this can cause damage to your housing. 

Salt Water

If you have taken your underwater camera housing into salt water, you will want to clean the housing. To do this, after you have removed your digital camera from the housing, reseal the housing and soak the housing in fresh water for an hour or two. Make sure that the housing is completely dry before you place your digital camera into it again.

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