It used to be that only professionals could film underwater.
But now, times have change and what used to be impossible is now made possible with an action camera.
For many recreationals divers and snorkellers, action cameras are the main cameras used when you’re down underwater but many of the times, there will be issues, such as insufficient light, too shaky of a video, inconvenience in holding, which prevents you from getting the fullest out of it.
That’s why today, we’ll going to be taking at some of my top recommendations for action cameras and gopro underwater acessories, to make your trip underwater a fun and unforgettable one!
Best Action Cams & GoPro Underwater Accessories
Many of the times, filters are there for aesthetic purposes, with an easy example: your girl friends on Instagram. 🙂
And because of that, filters are often overlooked by many because it’s seen as something unnecessary.
Though that’s true most of times, it does not hold true when you’re underwater as filters not only help make your shots look better, it also makes everything clearer.
Why does the filter help, you may ask? Well because when you’re underwater, much of the “red” light especially is absorbed by the seawater, which increases the deeper you go, leaving you a very ‘blue’ and weird looking shot.
Therefore, to correct to filter out the green and blue light and at the same time to capture more red light, a red underwater filter should be used.
Filters are not interchangeable because each one has to be specific to the shape of the camera’s lens for it to work.
I’d also like to point out that there’s no “1 colour fit all” within diving filters, because there are still subcategories within diving filters, but they are usually sold together:
- Light Red: Shallow Water (Approx from 2 to 15 feet Seawater)
- Red: Shallow Water (Approx from 2 to 15 feet Seawater)
- Dark Red: Mid-deep Water (Approx from 15 to 85 feet Seawater)
- Mageneta: Freshwater or Greenish Water Up to 50 feet
Check out the best diving filters for your action cam here:GoPro Hero 5 & 6 – 3 Pack Dive Filter (Red, Light Red & Magneta)
Yi 4K – Alloet Red Underwater Filter
Floating Hand Grip
If you have no idea what to get, your best bet would probably this floating hand grip.
This grip acts like a selfie stick on land but once it’s underwater, because of the air inside, it’ll float.
Having said that, some floating hand grip (like the Mystery Hand Grip) also have the option of filling water into the handle grip, which gets rid of his buoyancy to float and comes useful if you’re planning to shoot underwater, such as when you’re snorkelling or diving.
I personally like the Smatree F1 Hand Grip because it has a really light carbon fiber body, has a ¼” threaded hole at the bottom which can be attached to tripods, and also work not only with GoPros, but any other types of action cameras that utilise the same GoPro standard mounts (SJCAM, Thieye, Yi, and many other action cams).
Underwater Fill Light
If you haven’t been scuba diving before, you would probably not see this coming but light becomes an issue especially if you’re planning to dive deeper than 20m.
Thankfully, there are tons of light sources we call fill light to brighten up the environment.
My Favourite Setup With the Fill Light
Because the fill light can’t just be stranded and has to be mounted onto something, my favourite set-up to use with the fill light (my favourite overall setup underwater) is the floatable hand grip pistol trigger setup. It has all the bells and whistles for you to shoot high quality shots and is really everything you need, other than the filter.
Moreover the multipurpose hollow container can be filled with water if you decide that you don’t want it to float, such as when you’re diving.
Furthermore, the hollow tube can be used as a storage container to keep your valuables, which is nice to have especially when you’re shooting in your holidays.
Check it out here:
If you’re looking for ways to up your shooting game underwater, definitely consider getting a dome.
By moving the waterline away from your camera’s lens, you’ll be able to capture really cool hybrid underwater shots, with half of the shot being underwater and the other half capturing the horizon above water.
Moreover, because of the optically denser water, using a dome lens will allow you to get a much wider field of<> view than not using it, giving you a more immersive footage when
There are tons of dome ports available, for GoPro, but the one that I’ve personally used and really liked is theOuttek Shoot 2.0 Dome Lens. It has a dome hood which helps reduce lens flare and helps the shots to look better even when the sun is directly above.
Another one that I like is the Telesin dome lens, which is the about the same price as the outtek dome lens. However, unlike the Outtek (above), the Telesin doesn’t have a lens hood, but instead has a pistol trigger, which makes shooting way easier because you can easily start and stop recording with a quick pull.
Costing about $40+, I’d have to admit it’s a little quite pricey but if you’re interested, you can actually make it DIY, with some balloon, dome and rubber bands. Take a look for yourself here!
Anti Fog Inserts
Although the waterproof case can seal out the water from coming in, you can’t guarantee there’s not going to be moisture getting in.
That’s when the anti-fog inserts come useful.
If you are planning on bringing your action cam out to the sea or in wet or cold conditions, definitely bring some of these with you in case the lens suddenly turns blurry.
You wouldn’t want to miss shooting a once in a lifetime moment, just because it turns blurry for a second and ruins the entire shot.
Moreover, the inserts are reusable, meaning after you’ve used them over a few battery charges (3- 4 charges → about 4 hours), you can heat them out in an oven at about 150˚C for few minutes, to dry them out and use it again. So technically, you can just buy it once and it’ll last a lifetime.
Action Cams & GoPro Underwater Mounts
Let’s now move on to the mounts!
Different Perspectives To Consider
If you’re planning on snorkelling, especially as a hobby, I’d recommend you on getting one of these snorkelling mask because personally, I feel the perspective that you’re getting is the most interesting and engaging one, with a close contender being shots taken from the chest shots.
There are lots of different snorkeling mounts so here’s a quick summary to what to look for:
1. This Aleoron Snorkel Mask comes in a complete set and features both quality and portability. It has all the 4 features that I’ve listed above (foldable, UV filter, anti-fog and dry snorkel tech), so you can’t go wrong getting this.
2. A cheaper alternative would be the Greatever Snorkel Mask. It comes with everything that the Aleoron has, with the exception of the UV filter.
The snorkel mounts would be for you if you decide to snorkel regularly. However for the bulk of us, we aren’t, so an alternative to buying a mask would be getting a head strap mount, which not only limited to underwater shots but can also be used to film land sports, such as skiing, hiking and cycling.
There are many shoulder straps available that you can get and the main thing to consider is the comfort. More costly ones have slightly more cushioning especially on the shoulder (such as the Stuntman shoulder mount), which reduces fatigue quite considerably.
Chest shots alongside headshots are the 2 most immersive point of view especially filming in the underwater world.
Strap your action camera to your hand or wrist to capture immersive first person footage and one of a kind selfies!
It also frees up your hand so you can forget your camera was ever there and be in the moment!
I personally like the Makit Wrist Strap Hand Mount because it features a 360˚ rotation in all directions which makes it really convenient to adjust the angle to your liking! In addition, there’s a lock button so once you rotate to your liking, you wouldn’t have to continously adjust it!
Quick Tips For Shooting Underwater
As a bonus for you for sticking till here, so here are some of my top tips for nailing underwater shots!
- Wipe Lens Clean Before Going Underwater
- Shoot with the sun at the back
- Get a filter if you’re planning on diving deeper than 20 feet (7m)
Quick Setups You Can Try
Pistol Grip or Hand/Chest/Head Strap + Fill Light + Diving Filter
Pistol Grip/Hand Strap + Dome Lens
That’s all I have for now. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment down below and I’ll be sure to get back to it ASAP!
Thanks for reading and till next time, have a great one!