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Using Smartphone Housings Underwater

An increasing number of divers are using the underwater smartphone housing as an affordable system for creating underwater photos and videos.

Plus, you can post images and video footage to your favourite social media platforms as soon as you exit the water - unlike traditional underwater cameras.

The Basics about Underwater Phone Cases

Nowadays, owning a mobile phone that performs many of the functions of a computer has become widespread.

So, recreational divers who already own a smartphone have a 'cheaper' option of getting images while they're diving.

How does it work?

In fact, it will cost less than five hundred dollars to buy a smartphone housing for most iPhones and Androids.

Then, you may also need to buy an underwater video light if you want to enhance the colours in the photographs and video footage.

The camera functions on most modern smartphones achieve some amazing results. The 'high tech' computational photography algorithms built into the systems helps to make this possible.

As a result, once they understand the basics of how to take pictures underwater, scuba divers can get some very high-quality material of the marine life in our oceans.

Underwater Housings: Guide for Beginners

Smartphone housings come in a wide range of styles, features, and with various accessories. Even so, most of the popular makes (e.g. AquaTech, Kraken, Nautismart, and SeaLife) are compatible with most modern mobiles.

The first thing you need to do is decide which is the best underwater smartphone housing for your situation. The information in this guide below will help you make the right choice.

Let's Dive In...

Oceanic+ Dive Housing ($489.95*)

It's always exciting when new scuba gadgets for divers start selling like hot cakes. But, one that allows you to use an iPhone as an underwater camera, as well as a dive computer, is certain to get lots of attention.

Oceanic+ Dive HousingPlus, one of the key features about the Oceanic+ Dive Housing is the use of automatic colour-correction on the iPhone, such as when scuba diving, snorkeling, or freediving.

It gets better:

You can use the Oceanic+ app and Dive Housing to convert an iPhone into a functioning diving computer.

Another plus point, divers can use the same single subscription for the iPhone and Apple Watch Ultra.

In other words, you can save money by having two separate units share the same subscription fee. After making a dive with the Oceanic+ Dive Housing, it will select the primary computer for dive data.

Pro Tip: The main section contains more information about underwater digital camera equipment (meant for beginners).

SportDiver Underwater Smartphone Housing ($349.95*)

Are you looking for a compact and lightweight underwater housing for your smartphone? If so, the SeaLife SportDiver is a worthy contender.

SportDiver Underwater Smartphone Housing for iPhone and AndroidYou can take underwater stills and video footage down to forty (40) metres (130 feet).

This smartphone housing can encase most Android models and all of the iPhones (iPhone 7 to iPhone 14 Pro Max).

Furthermore, you can get the free SportDiver App at the App Store or Play Store.

Using Polycarbonate, stainless steel, aluminium, and optical grade glass makes this a heavy-duty housing.

Even so, it's not heavy.

It weighs less than 641 grams (1.5 pounds), so it has neutral buoyancy (determined by the model of phone) and it is lightweight for travelling.

You will find it easy to hold and use. It also has a large shutter lever (and rear control buttons) to ease the operation, even if you are wearing neoprene dive gloves.

Note: The SportDiver Underwater Smartphone Housing for iPhone & Android fits phones that measure up to 6.49″ x 3.15″ x 0.38″. The app supports phones running current or previous operating systems (subject to change as determined by Apple and Google).

Kraken KRH08 Universal Smart Phone Housing ($375*)

With an official depth rating of eighty (80) metres (263 feet), the Kraken KRH08 underwater smartphone housing is a good choice for taking pictures at some exotic diving locations with your phone.

This anodized aluminium underwater phone case is compact and rugged. It is compatible with almost all modern android and iOS smartphones.

It encases a range of different sizes through its adjustable shim system. Plus, the built-in vacuum system creates a tight seal and it will issue an alert if there is a water leakage issue.

Kraken KRH08 Universal Smart Phone HousingA couple of pulls of the pump operates the vacuum system. Then, the indicator will confirm if it is safe to use on a dive.

There are several different wet lenses available (e.g. for wide angle and macro photography). The manufacturers recommend:

  • The Kraken KRL-07 for wide angle.
  • The Bluewater +7 for macro (with a threaded adapter).

Using the Kraken Bluetooth App

A Bluetooth app controls the phone after it's been secured inside the housing.

There is a free download available for Android and iPhone (iOS). But, it's best to keep it on 'airplane' mode when using the app.

Note: The larger lens port on the new housing accommodates newer model mobile phones with multi lens cameras. It can also encase larger phones (max 175mm x 8mm), including all iPhones and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Google Pixel 2 and up (e.g. Pixel 7 Pro), and all Samsung phones.

DIVEROID Universal Pro & mini ($259*)

The Korean DIVEROID (Artisan&Ocean) all-in-one universal smartphone housing also has a dive computer and a logbook. Yet, it is one of the cheapest on the market.

It has a polycarbonate and glass casing - which is rated to sixty (60) metres (197 feet). In essence, it logs the dive while you're underwater shooting fish photos - including the odd selfie here and there.

One of the underwater housing's unique features is the real-time colour correction facility. Furthermore, the robust design will accommodate a range of accessories, such as external flashes and grip trays.

Related Information and Help Guides

Note: The short video [3:45 seconds] presented by SeaLife Cameras contains further information about the functionality and operation.

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