dSLR Underwater Equipment checklist


Here is a short equipment checking you can use, when you are purchasing a new underwater photography system, covering the basics.


  • Camera body
  • Macro + wide angle lens
  • Flat port + dome port
  • Port extension, zoom gear, and diopter (if its required) for the WA lens
  • Port caps & housing cap (if they are not already included, check with your camera shop)
  • Dome port cover, dome port share (may be included)
  • 2 single sync cords or 1 "Y" sync cord, unless you are using fiber optics to fire your strobes. Then you will need 2 fiber optic cables
  • 2 strobes, make sure they include diffusers
  • 4 arms, ball and joint clamps, and necessary connectors & adapters
  • Focus light + focus light accessories (additional clamp and small arm may be needed)
  • Optional TTL converter
  • Storm case or pelican case for travel
  • Backups as your budget allows, if you will travel alot  (sync cords and strobes are usually the 1st backups purchased)
  • NiMH rechargable Batteries and chargers for everything. Make sure your chargers are 110/220 volts.
  • Lens cleaning kit (air blower, blower-brush, lens paper, lens cleaner)
  • A couple memory cards, 8 gig cards work well, Sandisk extreme have a good reputation


Underwater Photography Costs


Let's look at the approximate cost of some UW camera systems in the USA, as of early 2009.


Here's some sample systems we might purchase:


  • (used) Canon A570 + canon housing + Inon strobe + fiber optic cable + arm $800-$900
  • (used) Canon G9 + Ikelite housing + inon z240 strobe + sync cord + arm + stacked macro lenses $1200
  • (new) Nikon D90 + ikelite housing + macro lens, macro port, 2 ike ds-51 $3500
  • (new) Nikon D300 + S&S housing + 2 lenses, ports, 2 inon z240 $5000-$6000
  • (new) Nikon D300s + Subal housing + 2 lenses, ports, 2 ike ds-160 $10,000



Further Reading

Underwater photography packing list and flood insurance

Best locations for underwater photography

Underwater photography equipment

Underwater equipment photos of complete setups