Engbretson Underwater Photography

Search The Fish Photos

News From Behind the Scenes at Engbretson Underwater Photo and Stories about the Freshwater Environments We Visit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Can you Recommend a Good Underwater Camera?

Scott P. wrote to me recently asking about Spearfishing and Underwater Photography:

Been spearfishing for a while. Wanting to get into underwater photography. Any tips on a decent, but simple to operate camera? – Scott P.”
As an underwater photographer, I can always tell when a lake or a river gets a certain amount of spearfishing pressure because the fish become very wary of divers. They learn to avoid us. In waters where spearfishing doesn't happen, the fish tend to be friendlier and you can approach them closely and quite easily.  I mention this to you because if you start doing any underwater photography, you will definitely want to avoid lakes you spearfish and vice versa.

Spearfishing is outlawed in most counties of the northern Wisconsin where I spend a lot of time so luckily I don't encounter fish that are inherently frightened of divers. When I go to southern Wisconsin, or even Lake Michigan, it's a different story. When photographing fish, ideally you want to be about 2 feet away from them. As you can imagine, on lakes where spearfishing occurs, the fish never let you approach that closely.
There's a lot of digital cameras on the market that work well underwater. As a rule, the more expensive they are, the better they perform. If I had to single out one to recommend to you, I'd say go with a GoPro Hero. The latest one is the Hero 6, but the Hero 5 and Hero 4 models are also excellent. You'll be able to get some nice photos with any of these models along with truly exceptional video. You won't be disappointed. Trust me. They're small, easy to use and the results are very impressive. Both the GoPro Hero 5 and Hero 6 are waterproof to 33 feet. The Hero 4 requires a waterproof housing.  All the GoPro models shoot exceptional videos. However, their still photo capabilities are limited to 12MP images, which is a little less than we like to use for professional purposes.  All that means is that unless you’re a professional photographer, the images from the GoPros will be more than satisfactory.

Thanks for your question Scott.  If you have a question about fish, underwater photography or any related subjects, feel free to email me here.