Summer is here, so get ready for a photo/video adventure on the beach or in the water, with B&H’s broad array of waterproof camera/smartphone bags, housings, and accessories. Whether you want to catch some rays, ride the waves, explore beneath the surface, or enjoy a scenic boat ride, these enclosures keep your camera or mobile device protected from the water while you’re having fun. Accessories such as color-correction filters and add-on conversion lenses help you enhance your images with ease. If you’re planning an expensive vacation, you need not worry—we’ve got plenty of options that are not only beach, sea, and pool-friendly, but also easy on your wallet.
Waterproof bags from DiCAPac, Aquapac, and Ewa-Marine are made of durable but flexible plastic, allowing you to operate point-and-shoot, DSLR, and mirrorless cameras right through the material. For your smartphone, similar types of bags and pouches are available from DiCAPac and Aquapac, plus a host of other brands that include Catalyst, Dog and Bone Cases, GoBag, LifeProof, mophie, OverBoard, Snow Lizard, and Xuma. These camera and phone enclosures give you full, easy access to the shutter, video recording controls, and other functions, options, and modes. Additionally, many of the units for cameras have built-in ports for the lens to offer greater image clarity and protection.
The bags are clear to allow you to monitor the watertight seal and maintain a full view of your device the whole time you’re using it. Many of them are not only fully resistant to water spray and splashes, but also waterproof and submersible to a wide range of depths beneath the surface—so you can take your point-and-shoot, mirrorless, DSLR, or phone with you wherever you go on your relaxing vacation or exciting island adventure, provided you don’t exceed the bag’s depth rating. Most of the submersible camera bags, including Ewa-Marine's 3D-M for Sony Cyber-shots and DiCAPac's WP-570 for the Canon G11 and other large point-and-shoots, are safe for the 10-33' range. However, there are a few that are rated for much greater depths—even up to 150', in the case of the Ewa-Marine U-BXP100 for the Canon 1Ds and other large DSLRs. The submersible phone cases and pouches can safely descend as far down as 6.5-33'—except for the GoBags, which feature a 100' rating that’s remarkable for enclosures of this kind. A bag, case, or pouch is also super lightweight and easy to pack and carry with you, folding to a smaller size as needed so as not to add much bulk at all to your backpack, beach bag, or suitcase.
If you are really intent on doing a lot of diving or swimming at depths greater than a few meters underwater, we recommend that you get an bona fide housing, such as those from Ikelite, Canon, Nikon, Polaroid, Panasonic, and Olympus to better protect your camera. Made of hard polycarbonate or ABS plastic and featuring O-ring seals and locking latches, these enclosures are extra secure and generally allow you to go much deeper beneath the surface than most bags do. They range in depth rating from about 130-200'. They’ll also provide more protection against impact in case you drop your camera or phone, or it gets swept away by a crashing wave and thrown against a rock. Access to controls varies with these, but most of them will enable you to operate all or nearly all of the camera or phone’s functions by way of ergonomic, mechanical controls, such as push-buttons, dials, knobs, and levers. In some cases, you can even add on accessory wide-angle or close-up lenses to the front of the housing’s port, expanding your photo and video options so you can fit that vibrant coral reef or those breathtaking sea cliffs in the frame—or get a stunning, in-your-face shot of those parrot fish, manatees, and sea lions.
Color-correction filters are an easy, convenient way to make sure underwater photos and videos come out looking the way they’re supposed to. Beyond about 15-20’ beneath the surface, the sea starts acting like a giant blue or green filter and turns colors into muted shades of blue and gray. Putting a filter over the front of your housing’s lens port corrects the problem, restoring the hues that get absorbed by water and giving your images back the vibrancy, accuracy, and richness of color that will make them pop—and make your friends and family say, “Wow.” What a difference a small piece of glass or acrylic can make! Color filters are useful at maximum depths of about 60-80’ with available sunlight. You’ll need a strobe or underwater video light once you go deeper than that, and it’s not recommended to use these at the same time as a color filter because the combination can throw off the color accuracy in your images.
When you’re venturing beneath the surface, even only a short way down, it can be beneficial to have a support system for your camera to improve balance and handling while you’re shooting. A lightweight tray with grips will accomplish this goal, while also offering convenient attachment points for a strobe or video lights. When you want to shoot video on the move--gliding alongside fast-moving fish or encapsulating precious memories of your kids swimming with dolphins--a setup like the Ikelite Underwater Steady Tray for GoPro cameras is an excellent choice. It gives you all the benefits of a tray and handle system, plus a pistol grip on the bottom to keep the camera steady during one-handed, run-and-gun style shooting.
Want an even lighter, smaller, simpler solution? The 9" Surf Stick for GoPro from Beneath the Surface fits the bill. This pole-type support gives you stability in a very compact form factor, and features a highly-visible yellow handle and a lanyard for securing to your wrist. If you’re looking for this type of accessory but you want something with a more tactile grip and broader camera compatibility, Beneath the Surface also makes a Multi Grip with Lanyard for GoPro, Intova, and Sony action cams. This one is configured with a 1/4"-20 threaded hole on the bottom for mounting onto a tripod, monopod, or tray, so you can also use it as part of a larger, compound support system if you prefer.
To give you greater reach and allow for stable placement on rock ledges, the sea floor, boat decks, and numerous other surfaces, the durable, lightweight SeaLife AquaPod Underwater Monopod is at your service. It is extendable from 18-53" and offers a load capacity of 7.7 lb, making it an ideal choice for many different cameras equipped with a standard 1/4"-20 tripod mount. As an added bonus, the monopod even has a built-in self-image mirror for easy selfie-snapping. A GoPro adapter and quick-release mounting plate are supplied, as well.
For the water sports types, GoPro itself makes a set of 2 Surfboard Mounts for all of their HERO camera housings. With these strong adhesive supports, you can attach your action cam to surfboards, standup paddleboards, kayaks, boat decks, and more. Adhesive anchors and tether straps are supplied with the mounts, as well.
Sometimes, in the course of fun and adventure, things can get dropped or swept away from you. If these things are valuables like your camera, you want to do your best to prevent against loss and ensure that you can quickly get your equipment back if it does slip away. With these floating wrist straps, you can do just that. Designed for point-and-shoot cameras, they keep your investment bobbing right near the water’s surface and are easy to spot with their bright colors. Fully enjoy yourself knowing you need not worry about a monster wave knocking your camera out of your hands and sending it into the depths of the sea forever.
Wherever the call of adventure or relaxation takes you, B&H has you covered with a plethora of waterproof bags, housings, and convenient accessories to help you capture great memories. Whether you’re simply looking for a way to keep your camera or smartphone safe from cannonballing children at the pool, or seeking a case that you can count on to protect your investment as you go underwater to explore and photograph the wonders of the sea, there’s something on our shelves to suit your needs.
It's like my dad always said: don't be a fool, wrap your tool.
Thanks for reading! We actually do carry a large selection of underwater housings, lens ports, and accessories—plus lighting. It’s just that this piece in particular wasn’t meant to cover all of that.
Here are some helpful links, though! Hope you find what you’re looking for.
General UW photography landing page, with navigation to any sub-section (housings, ports, strobes & lights, accessories): http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/browse/Underwater/ci/11585/N/4183191454
Housings from brands including Aquatica, Sea & Sea, AquaTech, and more (including housing & lighting kits and housing & camera kits): http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Cameras%2fHousings_Cameras+%26+Housing+Kits&ci=16477&N=4185679681+4283022107+4283022106+4283022110
Lens ports: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Lens-Ports/ci/16488/N/4267396738
And if it’s UW video you’re after: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/browse/underwater-equipment/ci/28087/N/3770636100
Any chance you can expand your line to Subal or Nauticam? My personal favorite is the Subal, but Nauticam has some great products too. I would take them over Aquatica or Sea & Sea (though a few of the Sea & Sea models like those for D800 and D600 were nice).
I wish you would start carrying a full line of underwater housings, ports and accessories, iike Subal, Nauticam, etc. I prefer to do all of my photo shopping with you and this is one area that I am dissappointed with the products you carry. Ikelite just doesn't cut it.