How Do Deep Sea Cameras Work?

August 27, 2022 4 min read

If you're planning a dive trip, you may be wondering, how do underwater cameras work? You can learn more about the technology in this article. This article will explain the types of camera systems and the different ways to utilize them. Among other things, you'll learn how to choose a camera and a housing, use strobes, and create 3-D video. Once you've mastered the basics, you'll be well-equipped to take photos and film under water.

Choosing a Camera 

The first step in choosing a deep sea camera is to consider what you want to capture underwater. Taking pictures underwater requires a great deal of knowledge, not only about lighting, distances, and conditions but also about the types of pictures you want to take. This will help you determine the type of camera and housing you will need. Once you know what you want, you can narrow down your choices by weighing your priorities.

First of all, you'll want to consider size. You don't want a huge camera that takes up space in your pocket and is unwieldy. Also, you'll want a camera that has enough battery life, at least 150 shots per charge. Also, you'll want a camera with a wide lens and good focus, especially if you're taking macro shots. A wide-angle lens of 24mm or more is ideal for this type of photography.

Choosing a Housing

The first step in choosing a camera is determining what you want the camera to do. Most high-end compacts come with a housing option, and most have several. You can choose from simple, inexpensive housings or robust, professional models made by third-party manufacturers. In any case, the most important thing to consider is your needs and preferences. The following information can help you select a deep sea camera housing.

Before taking your camera underwater, you should test its functioning. To test if it works, place the housing underwater until the camera is 33 feet deep. When you bring the camera back to the surface, check for any leaks. Make sure to thoroughly dry the housing afterward, as even a few drops of sea water can damage your camera's electronics. Ensure that your camera housing is waterproof. It should also be able to withstand the pressure of the water. Underwater cameras can be used on land.

Using Strobes

If you're using a deep sea camera, using strobes is an excellent way to enhance the underwater photography experience. Strobes work by triggering your camera's internal flash. There are two types of strobes, one with automatic TTL controls and the other manual. Both types have a manual "full-blast" mode that is especially useful in dark and murky New Jersey conditions. In this mode, the strobe emits light when it's placed within the frame, whereas when using a strobe manually, the photographer can dial the exposure back later.

A close-up lens requires a closer distance from the subject. This type of lighting eliminates lens flare and backscatter and is best for wide-angle shots of reef scenes. Also, close-up lenses provide better illumination for branch-type and soft corals, which may look dark when shot on a sandy bottom. To make the most of this type of lighting, you should position the strobe above the camera housing and aim upwards when shooting.

Creating 3-D Video

Creating 3-D video with deep sea cameras requires a special camera system. DeepSea Power & Light (DSPL) developed a large precision optical dome port and MBARI developed a 4K camera system. Fathom Imaging designed a custom optical adapter to work with these cameras. The video quality required is higher than the standard definition and will be much better than conventional television. The resulting 3D videos will be better than traditional television and will be more realistic than ever before.

Choosing the right deep sea camera is crucial. You should look for one that is compact and offers all the features you need, such as image stabilization and white balance. Make sure to choose a camera with a long battery life, as this is important when shooting under water. If your camera doesn't have these features, you should opt for a different one. Make sure you select one that can withstand extreme temperatures and has a waterproof case for safety.

Getting Power

Many submersible cameras are powered by batteries or a controller. Using battery-powered cameras poses a number of problems in the water, especially if the camera is designed for long deployments. Additionally, it can be difficult to replace a dead battery while in the water. On the other hand, cameras powered by controllers will be ready to use regardless of their battery state. However, this can be a significant drawback for some underwater photography projects.

To overcome these challenges, MBARI and DeepSea Power & Light teamed up with Fathom Imaging, a deep-sea camera company, to develop the MxD SeaCam underwater 4K camera. Fathom Imaging was involved in the development of the camera's optical design, ensuring the camera would withstand pressure at deep depths. A custom-designed optical adapter was then developed, allowing the camera to operate at greater pressure and still maintain the high quality of the video it delivers.

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