dSLR Underwater Equipment checklist

Checklist and Total Cost of underwater photography Equipment
By Scott Gietler

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


dSLR Underwater Equipment checklist
Scott Gietler
Checklist and Total Cost of underwater photography Equipment


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