Underwater digital cameras are fun and easy to use under the water and great above the water as well. Use your underwater digital camera in all kinds of weather, for many activities and in a variety of locations that could be either wet or wild.
Are underwater digital cameras better than the film underwater cameras? It’s up to you to decide. The digital camera cannot run out of film. It has the ability to delete bad shots or change to a lower resolution if you need extra shots.
They have better (up to 4 times) depth of field. This is also great for wide-angle photography in low light conditions. Shooting with film at f4 would typically produce fuzzy backgrounds and edges. The same scene shot in digital will give you sharp photos
When using a strobe, most film cameras are limited to shutter speeds of 1/60th – 1/250th of a second. The new consumer digital cameras don’t have mechanical shutters and will sync at speeds up to 1/800th of a second. Therefore, you can shoot in bright shallow water where high f-stops would make strobes ineffective. Higher shutter speed options allow you to keep your f-stop at a better setting. These high shutter speeds are also great for freezing light rays and fast action.
35mm zoom lenses don’t do well underwater. They are bad at close-focus. The built-in lens in the new digital systems offer a large zoom range with minimum focus ability to 8 inches or less. So if you had a new digital camera and a high quality aspheric housing port, you could take a 100degree wide-angle shot and zoom into 1:3 macro shot without changing lenses. Who likes to change lenses all the time?
Underwater digital cameras are small and lightweight, and the quality is comparable to film if you go for the higher resolution shots. Scans and digital camera images require a small amount of sharpening in Adobe PhotoShop®. Just apply the “”unsharp mask”” filter for an instant improvement.
Underwater digital cameras are not perfect, however and like video, the cameras have a tough time with high contrast scenes. Also, it’s fairly expensive to transfer your digital files to slides if you are interested in having your images presented in slide shows. However, most digital cameras allow you to plug directly into a television for image display. And there are digital projectors on the market that produce brilliant images and even professional presentations complete with audio tracks.
Unfortunately the underwater digital camera has not fixed the one worst digital camera problem: when you press the shutter release, the camera will not immediately take the picture. This shutter delay could be a problem–fish swim fast.
If you’re just starting with underwater photography, it would probably be best to purchase a digital underwater camera instead of a film underwater camera. The instant feedback of digital imaging will take years off your learning curve. With the 5 megapixel cameras, print qualities are great.
Regardless of your photo experience, think about your goals with underwater imaging. Shooters looking for instant results, quick web posts and prints of 11 in. x 14 in. and smaller will be thrilled with digital. Digital is probably the best solution for all new shooters that are comfortable with computers. Instant feedback is always great.
If you are still not sure, however, try out the equipment before you buy it. Take a class with demo gear and instruction. Then buy something wonderful and go out and have a great time with your new digital underwater camera.