Underwater Photography Review
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Digital Underwater Photography
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3
Underwater Photography
Panasonic DMW-MCTZ3 Review - Page 2/5
Underwater housing review
Underwater Photography
Published : Friday, December 21th 2007
Text & Photography by Karin Brussaard
Camera Equipment Maintenance
Camera equipment is expensive. The only thing that separates the camera from the water is the underwater housing. The worst thing that can happen to an underwater photographer is that the underwater housing fills with water. It is obvious that one should handle the equipment with care. Before, during and after diving it is of great importance to treat the underwater housing the correct way. The most important tips are given below. During diving it is most important not to surpass the maximum depth the manufacture specified. Not all housings can go to the same depth. An average depth is 40 meters but there are also underwater housings that can only go to 30 meters or to 60 or even 90 meters of depth.
Panasonic DMW-MCTZ3 Underwater Housing
Preparation Before Diving
Underwater Photography Test your underwater housing & digital camera equipment
Proper preparation prevents problems. Start in time with the preparations. Preparing the housing right before diving could lead to stress and stress can lead to making mistakes. These are the main number of practices you have to count with before you take the camera underwater:

Test a new underwater housing always WITHOUT camera.

• Make sure you are in a clean and dry environment with sufficient room for all the equipment.

• Firstly equip the camera with full batteries and a memory card with sufficient space. Don't forget to remove the lens cover before placing the camera in its underwater housing.

• Next it is the o-ring's turn. Remove it from the groove of the underwater housing and clean the groove as well as the o-ring. Don't use paper tissues while they can leave fluff behind that can cause leakage. Check the o-ring for damages. Replace a damaged o-ring immediately! Grease the o-ring slightly with silicone grease that is suitable for the particular o-ring. There are many different o-rings available and some o-rings get less elastic when the wrong type of silicone grease is used. Don't stretch the o-ring while greasing. It enlarges the o-ring and eventually it won't fit in the groove of the underwater housing. Make sure to place the o-ring correctly in the groove.

• Close the underwater housing and check if all the buttons work. Sometimes the camera is not correctly placed in the underwater housing and the buttons are unable to connect to the cameras buttons. If everything works as it should turn the camera off.

• Check the underwater housing for leakage for example by dipping it in a bucket of water. If there are bubbles visible coming from the housing, there is a leak!

• Avoid heat and humidity. When the water temperature is lower than the air temperature the air inside the underwater housing will cool down and cause moist. As a result of which the lens of the camera will become steamy and photographing will be impossible. And if you are very unlucky, there will be so much moist that the electronics of the camera will refuse to do what they should do. Never put the underwater housing with camera inside in bright sunlight. This will also heat up the air inside! And for the same reasons never prepare your camera in a room with air-conditioning.

After diving Storage and transport
Underwater Photography Take Care of your Underwater housing Underwater Photography Diving Holiday
Diving is done. Of course you are curious as to how your pictures turned out, but more important is to take care of your underwater housing before watching the pictures. The main practices after diving are:

Rinse the underwater housing straight after diving using fresh water. Often a boat or a resort will have a unit with fresh water available specifically for housings.

• Press all the buttons of the underwater housing during rinsing and turn all dial buttons. These buttons are prone to salt water residue. If it dries, salt crystals can appear that can cause leakage.

• Dry the underwater housing thoroughly with a soft cloth, micro-fibre for example.

• Open the underwater housing on a dry spot and not on the back of the boat between the wet diving suits. Make sure you are dry too. It prevents the camera getting damaged from water drops falling from your wet hair for example. Keep the lens of the underwater housing pointing downwards when opening the housing. That way the camera cannot fall out.

• Transfer pictures to the computer or the memory tank in order to empty your memory card before the next dive. Don’t forget to recharge the batteries.

It's not likely you will use the underwater housing on a daily base, except for on a diving holiday. It means you will have to store the underwater housing for several weeks or even months. Also transporting of the underwater housing needs special attention.

Take the o-ring out of the groove, clean it and grease it. Don't place the o-ring back into the groove but put it in an airtight bag. This way there won't be constant pressure on the o-ring.

• Store the underwater housing on a dark and dust-free spot. Store accessories, maintenance materials and the user's guide on the same spot. When your next diving holiday comes up, you can find all your material in one go.

• Do not transport your underwater housing in luggage that gets checked in but put it in your hand luggage. Underwater housings don't like the rough treatment that suitcases usually undergo on an airport.

• Take the o-ring out of the groove when you travel by plane. The pressure differences may cause the underwater housing not to open again. The same for when you are travelling by car on a high mountain pass.

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