Guide Articles

In-depth articles written by experts giving you detailed insights into various underwater photo gear or subjects.

Underwater photographers have always debated their cameras and  there are always questions and continuing debates about the virtues and performance of various formats. We cover all of their pros and cons in our free Handbook: Choosing an Underwater Camera & Housing, but here's my experience.

Olympus TG-4 Camera and Sea & Sea YS-03 Package Set Up

Congratulations on buying a great underwater compact camera package! We've written these instructions to help you get started.

Ultra-wide fisheye lenses are the preferred wide angle lens underwater due to their close focusing ability, sharp corners and wide field of view. Divers can usually get very close to their subjects with them, filling the frame, eliminating water which makes their photos lack sharpness, color and definition.

But there is a drawback to fisheye lenses; when shooting the straight lines, commonly of a pier or wreck, or models or other similar subjects, optical distortion is introduced.
Underwater housings do several things besides the obvious of keeping the water away from your precious camera. They also protect from pressure, allow you to use camera controls, allow for different lens ports and gearing, and also hold other accessories like lighting in a complete system that you can swim with in an underwater environment. It is important to remember that they are only a part of that overall system and you need to take a holistic system approach when shopping for one.
Deciding on an underwater photography system to buy doesn’t have to be a bewildering experience. Cameras come in many different shapes and sizes, some are great for underwater use, some are not. Knowing the basic characteristics and classes of cameras and housings can help organize your choices. Then your personal preferences and budget can help narrow it down further to your best options.
The new Olympus MZ ED 7-14 f/2.8 PRO and MZ ED 8mm FE PRO lenses are very popular. They are sharp, fast, well-made and open up new abilities to shoot underwater in low light (see our reviews here and here). There are a number of ways to house these new lenses depending on how you shoot, or what dome ports and parts you might already own.

The Olympus TG-4/TG-3 Cameras have a robust selection of flash modes. Generally all you have to do is put the camera in auto/forced flash mode, but on some strobes TTL won’t sync with these settings. Fortunately Olympus has provided an alternative sync mode that does seem to work. To access it you must first enable it, then select it from the flash settings. It is best used in Program or Aperture camera modes. Here's how to set it up...

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a highly customizable camera allowing for many personal preferences and considerations for underwater use. Hopefully this article, with collaboration from customers and staff here at Optical Ocean Sales, will give you a starting point for setting up your E-M1 camera for underwater use.
By Coroander, courtesy of WetPixel. The E-M5 is a highly customizable camera and there are a lot of considerations (and personal preferences) for underwater use. This article will help you to prepare at least a starting point for configuring the camera for underwater use.

By Margo Cavis, Optical Ocean Sales

Divers and models make nice subjects to inspire wonder and excitement for the underwater environment. A human presence in this surreal, weightless surrounding can really draw your viewer in and help them relate to your image.

By Margo Cavis & Jack Connick, Optical Ocean Sales

Capture the unique beauty and wonderment of the underwater world where mysterious creatures exist. Underwater animals represent a unique world that not everyone gets to experience. Capturing these moments fuels the imagination and inspires creativity.

Setting up a GH4 for Diving by Peter Walker
To a lot of you who’ve been shooting video with DSLRs for some time, the settings on the GH4 might be a bit “ho hum”. But, for me, shooting camcorders for the last 10 years, it’s been a sea-change. I spent a lot of time studying the settings and came up with something that works for me. I thought that I’d share it.