Komodo National Park lies near Bali, between East & West Nusa Tenggara islands in Indonesia. Our intrepid group of Optical Ocean Sales photographers managed to survive a cold wet season dive expedition there last February on the Damai 1 liveaboard boat and take an amazing array of photos.
Choosing an underwater housing for your camera in an important investment that should be an exciting step in your photography or video ventures. With different options in features, construction materials and a range in price points, it can be overwhelming to find the right housing to fit your needs. In this article we try and help simplify the decision-making process by compiling a list of what we consider the pros and cons of underwater housings made by some of the most popular manufacturers on the market. Recognizing what a housing will and will not offer can help tremendously when deciding which one is right for you. Realizing that there is not a “one size fits all” solution, our purpose is not to recommend one housing over another but to give you the information to make an informed decision for yourself.
At some point or another, underwater photographers are likely to experience a low-battery warning during a dive. Hopefully it occurs towards at the end of the dive, but for those of us unfortunate enough, the warning kicks in early and we end up carrying around a dead camera. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to improve the camera’s battery life so that dreaded low-battery warning doesn’t ruin your dive.
The Olympus TG-6 camera paired with the Kraken Ringlight 3000 is a great compact set-up for shooting macro without the added weight and bulk of a tray, arms and strobes. The Ringlight 3000 can function as a continuous light source (up to 1800 lumens), or as a focus light with 3000 lumen burst capabilities. While using the Ringlight in continuous light mode, the camera automatically adjusts the exposure to the light output. However, when shooting in burst mode, there are some additional considerations and settings we recommend for getting well exposed images and make the most out of this compact set-up.
The Olympus TG-5 camera and housing packages have been very popular with a wide variety of divers. The camera shoots great stills as well as 4K video. It has underwater preset modes for snapshot, wide angle and other modes that make life easy.
Having a lighting system that can shoot both stills and video gives the widest possible use of this great little camera. The new Kraken Hydra "S +" lights that now come in a 2500, 3500 and 5000 lumen models, as well as the popular Kraken Macro Ringlight 3000, all support a higher lumen output in a fast "burst" mode that saves power and gives a higher output for still photos.
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.
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.
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...