We take a Nikon D800 for a quick dip
James Paterson explains how to keep your costly camera and lens safe at the seaside with a simple, inexpensive underwater housing
Water and cameras don’t usually mix. However, there are a wealth of options available to help you take pictures underwater without wrecking your Nikon.
At the top end, you can get hard cases that are built to fit your specific Nikon D-SLR. These can cost upwards of a thousand pounds/dollars, so for most of us a more realistic choice is to use a soft case like the Aquapac (£80/$105) or Dicapac (£55/$60) options we tried here. These have a cylindrical space for your lens, fronted by a hard, clear plate. Your D-SLR sits in the bag, and you can press buttons and access controls through the soft material. It’s surprising how much you can do through the bag; you can twist the lens barrel, focus, review shots and more. While not exactly easy, controlling the camera is not as tricky as you might expect.
These bags are pretty tough. In fact, Aquapac claims that a camera lost over the side of a boat at sea was found a week later, still in working order. But when it comes to your camera gear you don’t want to take any chances, so test it beforehand.
With these bags you can get close to the action without worrying at all about your camera… You can get shots from angles you might never have even attempted before
We took our underwater cases to the beach – a notoriously hazardous place for D-SLRs and lenses! It’s not just the destructive effects of water from which they provide protection. There’s also all that dastardly sand that is forever trying to get into your lens and mess up the mechanisms.
With these bags you can get close to the action without worrying at all about your camera. There’s something thrilling about taking your D-SLR into the water. You can get shots from angles you might never have even attempted before, and if you drop the camera, the air in the bag will keep it afloat. However, it can be a challenge to compose and focus while the waves are knocking you around, so here are a few pointers to get you started…