Underwater photography is a passion which combines your skills and good equipment in perfect harmony. Not only does your camera have to be a good one, but the housing (waterproof cover for the camera) should also be of the highest quality.
But whichever housing you choose, regular maintenance will keep it in optimum condition and your camera safe and sound.
Electronic leak detectors, with visual and/or audio alerts for when water enters the housing, are available for some models (which gets added to the cost as well). It is important to maintain your housing properly, so that you don’t need a leak detector. Here are some additional pointers for keeping your housing, and indirectly your camera, in top shape:
1. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance, including cleaning, lubricating and changing O-rings. Even a grain of sand can cause a leak, so better be careful than be sorry later.
2. Don’t just take the plunge with your housing the very first time you want to shoot underwater. Test your underwater housing first. Check the O-rings and make sure they’re in good shape—not nicked or flattened or dried out. Submerse the housing (without the camera), preferably to at least 30 feet, and check for leaks. This way, you will be prepared for any initial defect which you detect.
3. Dry the outside of the housing with a soft cloth before opening it after diving. Even a couple of drops of water can wreak havoc on a camera’s delicate electronics if you place it in without drying it first.
4. Soak the housing (with or without the camera) in fresh water for a few hours or overnight when you’re done diving for the day. Clean the buttons to rinse off accumulated salt and debris.
5. Don’t leave your housing out in the sun to dry. Sunlight makes plastic brittle, so you can do the math.
6. If you plan to soak your housing in a fresh water bath which is shared by other photographers to clean their housings as well, then do so when the bath is empty and not crowded. Being knocked around with other housings is an invitation for disaster.
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