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Finding the right case

Published on 2010-04-04 11:27:12

camera01The case is also a significant piece of your gear. There's also many factors to take into consideration when selecting a case such as the depth rating: stay away from the plastic bags advertised for 10ft. They're for snorkelers. Bubbles blowers like us need more serious gear. 120ft (40m) should cover most of your dives. Once, probably narc'ed, I took my 120ft case to 150ft and it starts emitting cracking sounds. If that happens, go up immediatly (at 50ft/minutes of course), it will stop and you'll start sobbering up.
Access to the various controls of your camera is also very important. You want to avoid controls that require more than one finger as it's fairly difficult to handle underwater with gloves. You also want to avoid the lack of controls. The best case is the one that will give you access to all the controls of your camera in a streamlined way.
Expandability is also of interest. You may want to add an external flash or two or you may want to add wide angle wet lenses later on. Attachment points for any of these are  necessary if you want to go that direction. A diffuser is necessary if you want to use the built-in flash of your camera. And if you don't you want to be able to obscure the flash so your case needs to support this (most do). For information on diffusers see the flash tutorial.
You also want your camera gear (case + camera inside) to be buoyant as it helps you stabilize when you're shooting (it's easier to hold than to pull up).
Attachment points to secure your camera to your wrist or your BC are also mandatory as you don't want your brand new photography equipment to be washed out by a rogue 6-footer when you enter the water (and yes, I *do* get in the water *and* shoot in these conditions as well).
Finally you want to have a look at maintainability as well. A case with a lot of o-rings will require more maintenance than a case with one unique flat ring and electromagnetic switches. Refer to our dedicated tutorial for information on maintaining your case.


 

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