When it comes to adventure photography, especially underwater, one of the most crucial pieces of equipment is a waterproof casing for your camera.
In this article, I’d love to share my hands-on experiences and insights to help you choose the best waterproof casing for your camera in 2023.
Why Waterproof Camera Casings Are Essential?
A good waterproof casing is not just about keeping your camera dry. It’s about enabling you to capture stunning underwater shots without worrying about damaging your equipment.
From my firsthand experience, I’ve observed how a quality casing can shield a camera from a harsh underwater environment.
Therefore, good waterproof housing is an essential piece of gear for protecting your camera against water, dust, and shock during your adventure shoots.
My Tip: Ensure your casing is fully sealed before entering the water. A small leak can cause significant damage to your camera.
Top Waterproof Camera Cases in 2023: Product Reviews Based on Depth Capability
I’ve categorized the products into three sections based on their depth capability. This way, you can easily find a casing that suits your underwater photography needs.
1. Water Housing for Shallow Water Activities
Shallow water activities like snorkeling typically take place in water depths of up to 20 meters.
This is where you can explore vibrant coral reefs and interact with a variety of marine life in relatively clear and bright conditions.
· Olympus PT-058 Underwater Housing for TG-5
The Olympus PT-058 is a compact and lightweight underwater housing designed specifically for the Olympus TG-5 camera.
This housing is waterproof up to 45 meters, making it suitable for snorkeling and shallow dives.
The PT-058 is constructed from durable polycarbonate, and its clear back and control buttons made operation a breeze, even underwater. I appreciated the full control it offered over the camera, and the easy-to-open latch system was a nice touch.
The Olympus PT-058 offers excellent value for money considering its features and build quality.
· Canon WP-DC55 Waterproof Case
The Canon WP-DC55 Underwater Housing for the Canon G7X Mark II camera stood out. Its quality was evident, with a waterproof rating of up to 40 meters, making it a great choice for snorkeling and shallow-water diving.
The durable plastic build and clear controls simplify operation, while full access to camera controls and a secure lock add convenience.
Despite being pricier, its compatibility with the G7X Mark II makes it a worthy investment.
· Sony MPK-URX100A Marine Pack
I heartily suggest the Sony MPK-URX100A Marine Pack if you own a Sony RX100 series camera. It is a small, light underwater enclosure that is watertight to a depth of 40 meters.
This housing is made from durable polycarbonate and features clear back and control buttons for easy operation. Plus, its easy-to-open latch system allows full control of the camera.
Moreover, having a suitable camera for snorkeling or shallow water activities is very important. For this purpose, you can check out the buyer’s guide for the best action camera for snorkeling.
Additionally, if you’re conducting a photoshoot near water, it’s worth having a waterproof camera case. Water housings designed for shallow water activities can serve this purpose effectively. Remember, you also need to use suitable cameras for these shoots.
Having the right equipment will enhance your photography experience and ensure you capture stunning moments during your aquatic activities.
2. Waterproof Camera Housing for Medium Depth Activities
According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the recommended maximum depth for recreational scuba diving is 130 feet. However, most recreational divers limit their dives to depths of 18-40 meters.
This depth allows divers to explore deeper parts of the ocean, including underwater caves and wrecks, while still adhering to recreational diving safety limits.
· Sea & Sea MDX-D7100 Underwater Housing
The Sea & Sea MDX-D7100 is a professional-grade underwater housing designed for Nikon D7100 and D7200 DSLR cameras. Rated for depths up to 100 meters, it’s suitable for recreational scuba diving.
Its corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy build and clear back for camera monitoring stood out. Full access to camera controls and a secure lock add convenience.
Despite being a high-end option, its quality and depth rating make it a solid investment for serious divers.
· Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing for Canon EOS R
The Ikelite 200DL, designed for the Canon EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera, is one of my favorite underwater housings. It has a depth rating of up to 60 meters.
The corrosion-resistant polycarbonate build and clear controls simplify operation, while full access to camera controls and a secure lock add convenience.
Despite being a more expensive option, it is a great choice for professional divers due to its compatibility with the EOS R and exceptional build quality.
Besides, Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing for Sony A7 III also gives the same features and is compatible with Sony Alpha A7 III, A7R III, and A9 Mirrorless cameras.
· Aquatica AD850 Underwater Housing
The Aquatica AD850 is another professional-grade underwater housing designed for Nikon D850 DSLR cameras.
It comfortably handles depths of up to 90m or 130m, making it ideal for recreational scuba diving.
I was particularly impressed with its user-friendly features, such as the easy installation of enhanced viewfinders, a secure port locking system, and an accessible lens release button.
Although it falls into the high-end price range, its performance and features justify the investment.
Besides, there is a need to have a camera that suits your adventure journey. I believe you already referred to my previous article on scuba diving cameras before purchasing your underwater housing.
3. Professional Camera Housing for Deep Water Activities
Technical diving often involves dives in the range of 40 meters to 100 meters, sometimes even deeper. These dives exceed the limits imposed on depth and immersion time for recreational scuba diving and require special gas mixtures for breathing.
At these depths, divers can encounter unique marine life and geological formations, but it requires advanced training and equipment due to the increased risks and technical challenges.
Based on my research, I found that the following waterproof cases are suitable for Deep Water Activities.
• Nauticam NA-A7III Waterproof Housing
This casing is compatible with Sony A7 III and A7R III cameras and can handle depths up to 100 meters.
Its rugged and reliable aluminum construction offered peace of mind, while the fingertip access to all key camera controls provided a level of convenience that truly enhanced my underwater photography experience.
• Subal ND850 Underwater Housing for Nikon D850
Subal ND850 Underwater Housing is designed for the Nikon D850 camera and can withstand depths up to 120 meters.
It’s a high-end option, but from my insights, it’s worth the investment for professional divers.
After testing each product, I’ve compiled comparison tables for each category to help you make a quick comparison.
|Waterproof housing Product||Waterproof Depth||Build Quality||Ease of Use||Compatibility||Price|
|Olympus PT-058||Up to 45 meters||High||High||Olympus TG-5||Moderate|
|Canon WP-DC55||Up to 40 meters||High||High||Canon G7X Mark II||High|
|Sony MPK-URX100A||Up to 40 meters||High||High||Sony RX100 series||Moderate|
|Sea & Sea MDX-D7100||Up to 100 meters||Very High||High||Nikon D7100 and D7200||High|
|Ikelite 200DL||Up to 60 meters||Very High||High||Canon EOS R||High|
|Aquatica AD850||Up to 90 meters||Very High||High||Nikon D850||High|
|Ikelite 200DL for Sony A7 III||Up to 60 meters||Very High||High||Sony A7 III||High|
|Nauticam NA-A7III||Up to 100 meters||Very High||High||Sony A7 III and A7R III||Very High|
|Subal ND850||Up to 120 meters||Very High||High||Nikon D850||Very High|
My Tip: I always check the compatibility of the casing with your camera model. Not all casings fit all cameras, and using an incompatible casing can lead to damage.
How to Choose the Right Waterproof Casing
Before I dive into my reviews, let me share the criteria I used to judge these products.
I looked at factors as the followings.
· Waterproof Depth
I considered the waterproof depth because it dictates the range of underwater environments where you can safely take your camera, affecting the diversity of photos you can capture.
· Build Quality
I took into account the build quality because it influences the casing’s ability to endure the pressures and conditions of underwater use, which is critical for the protection of your camera.
· Ease Of Use
The ease of use was an important factor because a user-friendly casing allows for smoother operation of your camera underwater, letting you concentrate on your photography rather than fumbling with controls.
· Compatibility With Different Cameras
I considered compatibility because the casing needs to fit your specific camera model perfectly to ensure maximum protection and functionality.
Price was a key consideration because it’s important to find a casing that offers the necessary features and quality at a cost that fits within your budget.
Besides, I also considered my personal experience with each casing during my underwater shoots.
My Tip: Consider your specific needs and the type of photography you’ll be doing before choosing a casing. For example, if you’re planning on deep-sea diving, you’ll need a casing that can withstand greater pressures.
How to Travel with Underwater Camera Housing
Traveling with underwater camera housing requires careful packing and handling. Here are some tips:
Pack the casing in a padded bag or case to protect it from knocks and bumps during transit.
Handle the casing with clean hands to avoid transferring dirt or oils that could compromise the waterproof seal.
Rinse the casing with fresh water after each use to remove salt, sand, or other debris. Allow it to air dry.
My Tips: Remember to carry spare seals or O-rings when traveling. These can degrade over time and may need to be replaced.
How to Care for Your Waterproof Casing
Proper care and maintenance can extend the lifespan of your waterproof casing. The following tips will help you:
- Clean the casing regularly to remove dirt and grime. Use a soft cloth and mild detergent.
- Store the casing in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- Regularly inspect the casing for any signs of wear or damage. Pay particular attention to the seal.
My Tip: After cleaning your casing, apply a thin layer of silicone grease to the O-ring to keep it in good condition and ensure a tight seal.
Moreover, while surfing the internet, I found a guide about maintaining underwater housing. You can check it out too.
Choosing the right waterproof casing for your camera is crucial for successful adventure photography.
By considering factors such as waterproof depth, build quality, ease of use, compatibility, and price, you can find a casing that suits your needs and budget.
Whether you’re snorkeling, recreational scuba diving, or professional scuba diving, there’s a casing out there for you!
Justin Parker is a professional photographer and has been in the industry since 2007. He attended the University of Georgia. Justin combines his passion for photography and his interest in writing to give life to this blog which talks about photography in order to help and inspire young photographers.