Back to Captain's Blog

Simple and Effective Underwater Camera Care

The greatest part about snorkeling is all the beautiful water creatures you’ll see. You can keep this memory in your head, but you can also take a picture and have a physical reminder forever. Because you’re going in the water, you will still need to practice care for you underwater camera. Fortunately, we’ve got some great underwater camera maintenance advice below!

Using an Underwater Camera While Snorkeling

When you’re on your next Maui vacation for a peaceful snorkeling trip, what are you expecting? Obviously you want to see some splashy fish and glorious sea creatures! The tropical islands of Hawaii are definitely perfect for that, home to one of the world’s best locations for snorkeling! Seeing them with your eyes is definitely what you’re here for, but have you considered using an underwater camera to capture a more-permanent memory that you can always turn back to?

An “underwater camera” can refer to a variety of devices. Some cameras are designed to be completely waterproof (like Olympus models) and can go straight into the water, while others can fit inside an airtight special housing designed for your camera model. Regardless of what style you are using, the thought of having the electrical components mere centimeters away from water is a great reason to practice underwater camera care!

Camera Issues You Might Experience

With either style of camera, there are two issues that you can run into. The first is fairly obvious; water damage, but the other is a fogged up lens. Water damage is much more severe than a foggy lens, but both problems will prevent you from taking beautiful photos underwater.

Here’s a little more on each problem and how you can handle them if they arise:

  • Water Damage – The biggest problem with water is that you’ll be swimming in salt water, meaning that is far worse for your electronics because it leads to corrosion. The best way to deal with water damage is to prevent it from happening in the first place, but that isn’t helpful when you’re starting to notice a leak. Instead, you should get your camera out of the water the moment that you see any signs of water leaking. You should then remove the battery and memory card, using a towel to dry both of them and the camera. Once you’ve patted the camera down, close it up and put it inside a closed bag of rice to dry it out. If it doesn’t power on without a day or two, then you may need to have it professionally serviced.
  • Foggy Lens – How you handle this depends on what caused it and what type of underwater camera you are using. If your camera lens got fogged up before entering the water, then it will need to spend time drying out in a non-humid area. But if you have an underwater housing, you can just wipe the fog off with a cloth and resume taking photos. On the other hand, if your camera got foggy in the water, then it is likely a result of changing temperature environments too quickly (hot to cold or cold to hot). This means that the fog will clear up naturally, but it will take a few minutes! Again, this is much simpler with a housing (just wipe it with a cloth).

Preventative Underwater Camera Care

The best way to keep your underwater camera in good shape is by performing routine care both before and after snorkeling. Both of these actions are effectively preventative maintenance, stopping any issues from happening in the first place. Fortunately underwater camera care is very simple and you can quickly start using it on your own device!

Here’s how to care for your underwater camera:

  • Before Snorkeling – This is the easiest part of underwater camera care because it is more of an inspection than anything. You want to take a close look at the seals of your underwater camera or housing. For an underwater camera without housing, this will be the battery compartment. Make sure it closes snugly without issue and that there isn’t any dirt or debris particles (wipe them off if you do see them). Cameras with housing are much simpler because you can actually test the seal without damaging your device. Place a piece of tissue or toilet paper inside your housing (without the camera) and put it into the water. If you take it out and open the case, the paper should be completely dry. 
  • After Snorkeling – Once you leave the water, you will need to give your device a thorough cleaning. Funny enough, this actually involves submerging your camera in water, but this needs to be fresh water (without salt). This will remove any residue, allowing you to fully wipe down your device without scratching it. Once your device is dry, check the battery compartment and seals to look for any dust again.

Put Your Underwater Camera to Good Use!

Underwater cameras are a fantastic way of capturing your beautiful Maui snorkeling vacation. Because you are still placing electrical components in salt water, there is a chance of water damage. You can prevent this by performing an inspection beforehand to identify a faulty seal. If your underwater camera does get wet, immediately abandon ship and grab some rice! After you’re done snorkeling, remember to give it a nice rinsing with some salt-free water. 

Between keeping an eye on the water and weather conditions, looking for a good snorkeling spot, and actually enjoying the experience, you might forget to use your underwater camera altogether. A simple way to fix this is by joining a snorkeling tour so you can focus on having a blast! The tours we offer at Kai Kanani are perfect for anyone wanting to take some incredible photos! We’ll guide you right to the best locations in all of Maui, giving you the best photo opportunities for sea creatures. Take a look at our tour options to see what you want to take pictures of!

  • Posted in: