Underwater Photography

Tips For Shooting Underwater Video

Many divers are looking to capture their underwater adventures and get some amazing videos to share their passion with friends and family. However, venturing into underwater video seems intimidating at first, with so many different cameras, settings, accessories, lights, filters….. Where do you even start??

In this short video, videographer Joe Kistel gives a few simple tips on how to get started!

Watch the video below, or scroll down for a summary of the tips:

Joe Kistel’s Tips for Underwater Video


1. Keep it simple!

As mentioned above, there are plenty of options out there. You don’t have to overload yourself with gear! When starting out, keep it simple. Having too much gear means harder to travel, harder to handle above and underwater, longer setup time, greater risk of losing the gear, getting it damaged on the boat etc. Get only what you need to start!

2. Get a camera that can do UW video.

There are several types of camera setups available that can do underwater video:

  1. Underwater camcorder housings – these housings are usually compatible with several different camera models and allow you to adjust some or all of the settings. This is fairly easy to use but also rather expensive.
  2. High end mirrorless or DSLR bundles – this is the preferred camera used by professionals, but also comes with a high price tag and a steep learning curve.
  3. Compact bundle – Point and shoot cameras, aka compact cameras, available by Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony and Olympus. This is the most recommended type to start with. This solution is a good balance between price, ease of use, size and availability. Most importantly, they usually allow full manual video settings! Make sure the camera you choose offers that, so that you have full control over your results.
  4. GoPro and action cams are also available and can produce good results if you capture the moment. However, they don’t allow manual controls so they do limit you.

3. Learn the camera before you go diving with it!

Play around with your camera before taking it under.

As for settings – Set the shutter speed to double the FPS you chose. e.g. If you use 24fps, set shutter speed to 1/50s, if you use 60fps – 1/125s.
Once you have that set, you just have to use your aperture and ISO underwater and forget about the aperture.

ISO gives you more light, but reduces quality as you increase it and increases image noise.

Smaller aperture (larger number, such as f/8), will give you a larger depth of field. This gives you a better chance of focus on the subject but also allows less light in, so you will have to increase your ISO.

4. When starting out, shoot without lights

Ambient light is easier to start with. Set your White Balance to Underwater Mode, or adjust it manually using the custom WB setting and a white slate at your depth.

We hope this helps!

Stay tuned for an in-depth article about Underwater Video Settings coming soon!

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Ran Mor

Sales and Marketing at Mozaik Underwater Cameras
Ran is a professional photographer for over 14 years. His passion for scuba diving and photography has pushed him to combine his profession and hobby and become a professional underwater photographer. Teaching is one of his greatest passions and over the years he has shared his experience with many divers and aspiring photographers. Along with his wife Danielle, an experienced Scuba Instructor, they have founded Dive and More, leading dive trips and UW photo workshops all over the world. Ran is also an electrical engineer and an avid internet marketing specialist.
Visit his personal portfolio at www.ranmorphoto.com.
Ran Mor
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