Find what you are looking for

or search by

Topics

Article
Article

Article

e-Book
e-Book

e-Book

Video
Video

Video

Campaigns
Campaigns

Campaigns

Architecture
Compact Cameras

Compact Cameras

Architecture
DSLRs

DSLRs

Architecture
Videography

Videography

Architecture
Astrophotography

Astrophotography

Architecture
Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless Cameras

Architecture
Architecture Photography

Architecture Photography

Architecture
Canon Technologies

Canon Technologies

Architecture
Low Light Photography

Low Light Photography

Architecture
Photographer Interviews

Photographer Interviews

Architecture
Landscape Photography

Landscape Photography

Architecture
Macro Photography

Macro Photography

Architecture
Sports Photography

Sports Photography

Architecture
Travel Photography

Travel Photography

Architecture
Underwater Photography

Underwater Photography

Architecture
Photography Concepts & Application

Photography Concepts & Application

Architecture
Street Photography

Street Photography

Architecture
Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Architecture
Lenses & Accessories

Lenses & Accessories

Architecture
Nature & Wildlife Photography

Nature & Wildlife Photography

Architecture
Portrait Photography

Portrait Photography

Architecture
Night Photography

Night Photography

Architecture
Pet Photography

Pet Photography

Architecture
Printing Solutions

Printing Solutions

Architecture
Product Reviews

Product Reviews

Architecture
Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Tips & Tutorials >> All Tips & Tutorials

5 Crucial Camera Settings to Ensure Sharp Underwater Photos

2018-09-06
8
8.97 k
In this article:

Are you planning on going for your first underwater photography adventure? Diving techniques aside, there are certain basic camera settings that would greatly benefit you and your photos. Here are five camera tips to ensure that what you see (underwater) is what you get, or even better.

william tan thresher shark

EOS-1D X, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/5.6, 35mm, 1/50sec, ISO1000

Should I use Auto or Manual setting?

Auto setting can be used when you are photographing with natural light (without strobes), or if you do not have enough time to adjust the camera exposure, such as shooting a fleeting manta ray. Otherwise, manual setting is a better way to gain full control of your camera.

Learn more about shooting in manual mode in Camera Basics #18: Manual Exposure (M Mode).

What are the basic settings I should take note of?

Control your aperture to decide how much light you want in your camera and determine the depth of field (the nearest and the furthest focused distance) of the final image. For macro shots, where depth of field is important, choose a setting between f/8 to f/22. For wider angle shots, set between f/5 to f/22 to get the desired shades of blue. Find out more about aperture in Lesson 3: Learning about Aperture.

Use a shutter speed no less than 1/60 to “freeze” the action of a moving fish. If you are using external strobes, make sure that you sync your DSLR camera’s shutter mechanism to the strobes between 1/160 sec and 1/250 sec (depending on the camera model). If you are unfamiliar with shutter speed, you may like to check out the article Understanding Shutter Speed.

william tan sperm whales

EOS-1D X Mark II, EF8-15mm f/4L FISHEYE USM lens, f/8.0, 14mm, 1/320sec, ISO500

As for the ISO setting, when shooting macro subjects, a low ISO is preferred due to the finer grains, while a higher ISO might be needed for wide-angle photography to balance your strobe power with natural light.

When do I use the zoom or macro function?

Turn on the camera’s macro function if you want to get a closer focus that “enlarges” your subject. For larger macro subjects, use the wide end of the zoom lens. For macro subjects that are too small, attach a dedicated close-up lens outside the camera while zooming in (to get rid of vignette).

william tan nudibranch close up

PowerShot G7 X Mark II, f/10.0, 36.8mm, 1/200sec, ISO125

How do I ensure that the colours in my photos are balanced and not extremely blue?

Shoot at the shallower end of the reef; use a dedicated “red” filter to balance out the colour; make use of your camera’s built-in flash; or take advantage of a torch or a strobe. Learn how to use light source effectively for your underwater photography in Quick Tip: How to Get Great Colours in Your Underwater Photos.

william tan close up macro

PowerShot G7 X Mark II, f/11.0, 36.8mm, 1/250sec, ISO125

Which camera model should I get?

If you are a beginner, opt for Canon G7 X Mark II or G1 X Mark III. The Canon EOS M5 is great for intermediate underwater photographer, while the EOS 80D, EOS 5D Mark IV and EOS 1D X Mark II are perfect for semi-professional and professional underwater photographers.

Can’t decide? Let us help you with the infographic Which Camera Should I Get for My Dive Trip?

Bonus Tip: Safety First

Personal safety is the most important thing to take note of when one dives. Always look at your remaining air and No-Decompression Limit (NDL) – the amount of time a diver can stay at a given depth – before you shoot your next subject.

Find out what are the essentials for your next trip in 10 Things to Bring on Your First Dive Trip.

william tan fisheye wide angle

EOS-1D X, EF8-15mm f/4L FISHEYE USM lens, f/9.0, 8.0mm, 1/13sec, ISO100

Special thanks to professional underwater photographer William Tan for his tips and advices.

 


Receive the latest update on photography news, tips and tricks.

Be part of the SNAPSHOT Community.

Sign Up Now!

Share your photos on My Canon Story & stand a chance to be featured on our social media platforms