Using an iPhone for underwater photographs

Can I Take My iPhone Underwater

Can I Take My iPhone Underwater

Can I dive with my iPhone Underwater?

The intern divers that we have here at Mermaids dive centre in Pattaya are often here training for several months at a time. The divers of course like to stay in touch with the ‘outside world’ and increasingly we all own iPhones these days. We have free wifi at the dive center and the divers hotel so iPhones or iPad are ideal for the divers to bring. Android phones are equally as popular and have scuba diving Apps (software applications) making them fun for a diver to use. However, there are so many different sizes of Android phones and more on the market daily making it hard to review a particular underwater phone housing. I am often asked about underwater housings for phones for the divers to use during their stay. As the iPhones are generally standard in size (OK, 3, 4s and 5 slightly different) – there are a lot of options on then market to be able to sink your iPhone for marine shots. Personally due to the amount of data that is usually kept on a my iPhone I’d be wary about taking it underwater to use as a camera. However, there are so many different types of iPhone underwater and iPad underwater housing systems out there that I must be in the minority in my thoughts.

What are some options of  the best iPhone Underwater Housings?

watershot iphone caseThe Watershot® underwater iPhone housing The Watershot® iPhone underwater camera housing sports a glass lens port and lens baffle for optical image clarity, external threaded bezel for accessory lenses and filters. A clever yet simple mounting system allows easy access into the housing for the phone. There is a custom mobile app for imaging optimisation and allowing easy social media sharing.

The iPhone case is rated waterproof to depths of 50 meters (165 feet). The iPhone is suspended within the polycarbonate housing effectively shielding the iPhone from wear, tear, shock and unto five atoms of water pressure.  The Water-shot is a serious waterproof housing for iPhone using divers and snorkelers alike. The price of the Water-Shot is $99 (18.09.2013) The free Watershot Application, available on the App Store, is designed to utilise the built-in buttons to maximise camera functions from the basics to rapid fire, front and back camera use. Great for being able to get underwater shots of yourself as has always proven difficult with one lens cameras. The GPS overlays works and the social media sharing can upload while the phone remains enclosed safely in the waterproof housing. The built-in heavy-duty tri-pod mount allows compatible access to a wide variety of GoPro® mounting accessories.  As with scuba divers, surf and action sports photographers will appreciate the ultra wide-angle fisheye lens and pistol grip accessory. The dive computer module, macro lens, coloured filters and lighting kits are designed to meet the individual demands of divers and underwater photographers.  While the Watershot comes with an adjustable lanyard, a buoyant lanyard is available to ensure additional peace of mind. Personally with my iPhone I’d have it locked to my wrist:)

SCUBA Geeky but is this iPhone Underwater Case Good?

iphone underwater case

To the SCUBA geeks out there, you might be excited to know that Patima has released a “pro level” iPhone underwater housing for Apple’s 4s. Patima’s casing is made of stainless steel and aluminium making it negatively buoyant. Make sure you keep a lanyard attached:) The case comes with four buttons for easy use, three to interact with the touch screen and one to push the home screen. Patima’s iPhone underwater case for the will set you back about USD $300 online (18.09.2013)

This is quite a high price to pay and must really make you want your phone functionality underwater. For that sort of money a decent case from Ikelite or other leading camera housing brand to fit most mid range cameras. But I guess the main selling proposition here is the sheer novelty of being able to bring your iPhone underwater. The phone functions won’t work of course because you won’t have any way of pressing the other buttons. The three buttons control the camera functions allow shifting from video to photo, taking snaps and entering the gallery. The hefty price tag would get me to think twice certainly as it potentially has issues with keeping the phone turned on underwater and possible fogging issues. Try it for yourself though and let me know your thoughts.

The iPhone Scuba Suit (a.k.a. The driSuit Endurance)

iphone underwater caseThe Photojojo Store! The New iPhone Scuba Suit, your iPhone can fulfill its fantasies of subaqueous photo expeditions. It’s a 100% water-proof case that’ll give you the dreamiest iPhone underwater photos. If dipping your iPhone in water sounds inconceivable, conceive it! Each iPhone Scuba Suit is factory tested to guarantee that not a single drop will get inside. The case latches shut to create a liquid airtight barrier that keeps your iPhone safe underwater. We’ve tested this case with our own precious iPhones, so you know it’s the real deal. Unlike other waterproof cases that have hard screen covers that don’t work well when wet, this case has a touch-sensitive gel screen cover that makes shooting photos underwater extra easy. Who wants to be fumbling with a phone underwater? You can only hold your breath for so long! Not being able to take your iPhone camera with you to all those potentially iPhone-harming places has been such a bummer. With this little suit of armor, you can now bring your iPhone 4/4S with you to shoot photos at your fave beach, on top of a snowy mountain, in the pool, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing , or at the water park. Pretty much anywhere you’ll be having fun. Now, your iPhone can throw on an iPhone Scuba Suit and fearlessly stand at the bow of a ship to yell “I’m king of the world!” With that suit on? It’d totally be true.

Questions about the iPhone Underwater Scuba Suit

  • Will the iPhone Underwater Scuba Suit keep my iPhone safe from water completely? – Yes, for real! The case is waterproof up to 15 feet. Each one is factory tested to make sure it’s totally safe to take your iPhone underwater.
  • Can I charge my iPhone with the iPhone Scuba Suit on? – No, you’ll need to take the suit off to access the charging dock.
  • How do you put it on? – The case comes in two pieces that slip over each end of your iPhone. Two latches on either side of the top piece securely lock the bottom piece on, so your iPhone will be safely sealed away from water.
  • Will my photos look as good when I’m shooting with the case on? – Yes, the optical grade lens cover will preserve the quality of your photos. They’ll look just as good as your above-water photos.
  • What’s the gel screen cover about? – Most underwater cases have hard screen covers that don’t respond well to touch due to water pressure. The iPhone Scuba Suit’s gel screen cover is designed to be more sensitive to touch than a hard screen cover. This allows access to more functionality of your iPhone.
  • Does the waterproof headphone jack mean I can listen to music underwater? – If you have waterproof headphones, then yes, you can! Otherwise, you can safely use your regular headphones above water just fine.
  • How big is it? – It adds about ½” thickness to your iPhone and measures at 5″ x 3″ x .8″.

iphone underwater housingBonica iPhone Underwater case for 3G, 3GS, 4 and 4S SS-i

iPhone Underwater Housing Seashell – waterproofing your mobile device

Seashell Underwater case for iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and 4S SS-i, is quite a new release (18.09.2013) by a popular camera housing manufacturer. Bonica have made some very well respected waterproofing cases for cameras so hopefully the Bonica quality has carried over to the mobile device market. The iPhone Underwater Housing Seashell is available now at various prices on the internet.

There are scores of new underwater housings for the iPhone and indeed Android and tablets. I have a feeling that it’s not too long before there’s little peace underwater also:) In seriousness I welcome the introduction where we can safely take our mobile devices underwater completely safely. With the boost in technology and applications available I am sure that we as divers can make great use of our, essentially mini-computers. If it means that we can take awesome pictures at the same time – for me that’s the bonus.

Bear in mind that there are actual underwater camera and housing packages out there that would be less expensive than an iPhone case if you were to have an accident and flood it. The iPhone cases might be great value for money at between $75-$300 but the cost of replacing an iPhone and indeed much of your data might be more costly in the longterm. I wonder if there’ll ever be an iPhone that comes out of the Apple camp ready for underwater pictures? Imagine the capability to be able to upload your dive shots to Facebook or Instagram etc whilst on a safety stop! Sounds like science fiction but I am sure it’s only a matter of time! In the mean time have a look at what suits your needs best – If you are looking for a hardy underwater and all action sport camera then the Go-Pro Hero cannot be recommended highly enough. Mermaids Dive are a major supplier of the Go Pro series of action-sport and underwater cameras and accessories.

Mermaid dive released an Android App (18.09.2013) for our scuba divers to utilise. Whether you wish to book a diving day, check the boat schedule, find information on diving courses and new happenings at Mermaids dive center then it’s all in there. The iPhone App IOS will be available very shortly – you’ll be able to read it on your iPhone underwater. New additions and version updates are already being planned and these will include much more great stuff. If you have any recommendations or suggestions for the Android or IOS Mermaids App please contact us and we’ll take all into consideration.

Apple often have the latest products such as iPhone Underwater casings on the main website.



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