Since we emphasize getting the best possible pictures out of your trip, we recommend coming equipped with three things:

  1. A camera you can use underwater that shoots in RAW format
  2. A laptop you can use to do some photo editing while we're on the boat
  3. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop

These are the software programs that the pros use. Fortunately, the basics are simple to learn – and we'll teach them to you on the boat. Even better, you no longer have to spend thousands of dollars to get them! The Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan is just $120 for a year. When you buy it, make sure you get the Photography plan, not the Lightroom CC plan. (We won't be connected to the internet on the boat, so you'll be using Lightroom Classic CC, which is in the Photography plan, not the Lightroom CC plan.)

Laptop

We're not going to make a recommendation on which laptop you should use. Odds are you already have one. If you're going to be buying one, remember that we can show you how to get great results from your shark photos, but can't help you with tech support. So make sure you're very comfortable with it by the time you leave for your trip. (Also, Lightroom and Photoshop are downloads, so be sure that they're installed and registered beforehand.)

Underwater Camera

Ron and Nikki are both shooting with Nikon D7100 cameras in underwater housings. But there are all kinds of options available to you. The best camera advice we can give is:

Make sure the camera you use shoots in RAW format

A camera with burst mode will help you get the right shots

 

Below are some camera ideas and their specs to help narrow things down for you. Regarding specs, here's some things to watch for:

f/ number: the lower this is, the faster your shutter speed can be (good for action).

Focal length: Most of our underwater shark shooting is done between 18mm (for closer sharks) and 50mm (to zoom in on faraway sharks).

Burst: the higher the fps (frames per second), the more shots in a series you'll have to choose from.

 

Apple iPhone 7 in ProShot Touch case

  • Waterproof to 50'
  • Focal length: about 29mm
  • Aperture: f/1.8
  • Burst: (Rate unknown in RAW mode)
  • ISO: ?

iPhone 7: (you already have one, right?)

Case: $99

Flat lens: $20*

*case comes with wide angle lens, we recommend getting the flat one to keep at 29mm

Click to learn how to shoot in RAW with your iPhone

 

GoPro Hero 5 Black

  • Waterproof to 33'
  • Focal length: 14-28mm
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Burst: not available in RAW mode
  • ISO: 100-6,400

Camera: $394

Optional: Dome port lens with trigger $50

Olympus Stylus TOUGH TG-5

  • Waterproof to 50'
  • Focal length: 25-100mm
  • Aperture: f/2.0-4.9
  • Burst: 10fps in RAW mode
  • ISO: 100-12,800

Camera: $449

 

SeaLife DC2000

  • Waterproof to 200'
  • Focal length: 31mm fixed (19mm fixed w/ optional SL975 fisheye lens)
  • Aperture: f/1.8-11
  • Burst: (RAW rate unknown)
  • ISO: 100-25,600

Camera: $699

Optional fisheye lens: $279

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ80 in Ikelite Housing

  • Waterproof to 200'
  • Focal length: 24-720mm
  • Aperture: f/3.3-6.4
  • Burst: About 2fps in RAW mode
  • ISO: 80-3,200

Camera: $399

Housing: $550

 

Nikon D7200 in Ikelike Housing

  • Waterproof to 200'
  • Focal length: 18-55mm (with 18-55mm lens)
  • Aperture: f/3.5-5.6(with 18-55mm lens)
  • Burst: About 5fps in RAW mode
  • ISO: 80-3,200

Camera: $997

18-55mm Lens: $247

Housing: $1800

Dome Lens Port & Zoom Gear: $570

 

Tips

  • You can save a lot of money buying less-than-new gear. Look for used or factory refurbished on sites such as ebay and Amazon.
  • Underwater housings need to be checked and maintained. Getting to know yours – and what it requires – will save your camera.
  • Familiarize yourself with your camera beforehand. Bring with you its printed or PDF manual.