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Editor's Pick: Underwater Imaging Accessories
 December 10, 2012 @ 11:17 AM (EST)

By DPG Editorial Staff

As underwater shooters, we tend to focus a great deal of time on our cameras, lenses, and housings, often overlooking the accessory items that help us get the shots we want.

But tripods, diopters, LCD Monitors, and LED Ligts allow us to use our equipment in ever more engaging and interesting ways.  For those looking to take their photography or videography to the next level, the following equipment may prove invaluable to getting results.

SubSee Magnifier from ReefNet:

With the number of megapixels in DSLRs climbing at a rate akin to Moore's law, many photographers are foregoing optical magnification, turning instead to cropping to get that super-macro shot.  Although there are solid arguments for both viewpoints, for purists there is no substitute for getting the shot right in camera.  For those photographers, a high quality diopter is a necessity.  Currently there is no lens supported that will give higher than a 1:1 ratio underwater without the use of diopters, either teleconverters that sit between the lens and the camera body or magnifiers such the SubSee that are placed in front of the lens.  ReefNet's SubSee is a practical, lightweight solution that is available in power levels of +5 to +10 (which can give a lens 3.5x the magnification) and with the available SubSee Adapter can fit the majority of housings.  The hinged arm of the adapter allows the magnifier to be flipped away from the front of the port when not in use.

Wahoo Monitor Housing:

For HDSLR Video shooters, the biggest drawback is being forced to use the built-in LCD when in Video Mode.  The small size and inconvenient location, especially when using an aftermarket viewfinder, make it a generally unpleasant experience.  Luckily for those shooters, Backscatter has manufactured a housing for the Sony CLM V-55 5" LCD Video Monitor.  The Housing features access to all the monitor's features, including the priceless "Focus Peaking" overlay that shows a black and white image with the sharp edges overlaid in red.  In the latest incarnation of the Wahoo, Backscatter added a quick-disconnect bulkhead that allows for installation and removal of the monitor in less than a minute with no tools!  An optional "Zero Bouyancy" Back Plate is available, allowing the use of Sony's 6-hour battery and making the unit neutral underwater.

Xit404 Tripod:

Although not a new product, Xit404's underwater tripod is becoming more and more important for creative photographers and videographers.  For shooting macro video, a tripod is de rigeur as HDSLR cameras feature no stabilization and, as yet, no solid follow-focus ability.  The tripod is also seen more and more in wide angle applications, being used to stabilize the camera for certain static video shots or even to allow self-modeling or slower shutter speed shots.  Easily mounted to the bottom of a housing, the tripod also makes a great attachment point for pole-cams that feature ultra-light style clamps.

Sola Lights by Light & Motion:

Light & Motion's Sola focus and video lights have allowed photographers and videographers alike to save lots of cash in over-luggage fees since coming onto the market.  These compact LED lights now span the whole range from 500-lumen basic focus lights to 4000-lumen video lights.  With external charging, long burn times, and a variety of mounting options, there is a Sola for everyone.

When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the product mentioned in this article, please support DPG by supporting our retail partner -- Backscatter.com.




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