3 Cheap Digital Cameras for Diving

If you’re just getting interested in taking photos while scuba diving, you might be dismayed to see the prices on good underwater cameras or underwater housings for the camera you already own. A housing for a DSLR can easily cost more than the camera itself, and when you add in the price for strobes, you’re looking at spending a couple thousand dollars to take your DSLR underwater.

This is a big investment if you’re not sure how much you’ll enjoy it. Fortunately, there are some inexpensive digital cameras for diving, and if you pair them with a handheld light, you can get started in underwater photography for a few hundred dollars. Here are three cheap digital cameras for diving.

cheap digital cameras for diving - gopro hero1. GoPro Hero2 Outdoor Edition

The GoPro Hero2 is popular with all types of athletes because it can be mounted on a helmet, bike, surfboard or armband and shoots both video and still photos. If you’re shooting photos, it can even take them at timed intervals, leaving you free to explore while your camera records the action. It has an 11 MP sensor that can shoot a burst of 10 photos per second or one every half-second in Timelapse Mode. In video mode, it has four settings you can choose, from 120 fps WVGA up to 30 fps 1080p HD. The GoPro Hero2 Outdoor Edition is currently available for $299.99.

2. Intova CP9

The list price on the Intova CP9 underwater camera is 139.95, but you can get it at Amazon for about half that price, making it a great deal if you’re really on a budget. This 9-megapixel camera is waterproof to 130 feet and can capture VGA resolution video (640 x 480) at 20 frames per second. It runs on AAA batteries, so you’ll probably want to invest in some good rechargeable ones if you plan to use this camera much. The lens has a 4x digital zoom and a 7.9 mm focal length (equivalent to a 45mm on a 35mm camera).

best digital cameras for diving - liquid image dive mask camera3. Liquid Image Dive Mask Camera

The advantage of having a camera on your mask is that you don’t need to carry an extra piece of equipment and it leaves your hands free. But unlike the other cameras above, you won’t be able to take this one on your next fishing trip or out in the rain unless you want to look a little silly. But for diving, this camera mask is becoming quite popular. It features a 135 degree Wide angle lens that can capture 5.0 MP still photos or 720p HD video. It has lever-style buttons made for easy operation with diving gloves, and it’s waterproof to 130 feet.

To get good results with any of these digital cameras for diving, you’re going to need a light source unless you want your photos to be flat and blue. Liquid Image makes an underwater light that can be attached to your mask that is available for $50 from Amazon. You can also pick up any other diving light to illuminate your photos, keeping in mind that if you’re holding a light in one hand and the camera in another, you may have some difficulty. Your best bet is probably a mask-mounted light or a buddy to hold the light while you shoot photos.

These inexpensive digital cameras for diving can get you started in underwater photography for little cost.

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