Underwater Camera Housings

Underwater cameras can produce some amazing photography, but who wants to pay for housing if you can make something yourself?

This underwater camera housing on Instructables doesn’t require a specific container, allowing you to choose anything you have around the house that’s watertight and large enough to fit your camera. A finger from a glove is added so you can still operated the controls. A similar project uses an insulated water jug, accommodating any camera that fits inside. Neither of these involve any camera mods.

Maybe you want something less bulky for your camera. This method uses a plastic bag and a repurposed piece of thermoplastic to make a waterproof enclosure. You’ll have to shape, cut, and attach the thermoplastic to a clear window and a bezel that goes outside of the plastic bag to keep it in place. It should work underwater, but this project was designed to keep the camera dry while kiteboarding. They suggest putting an Alka-Seltzer tab inside the bag to let you know of any leaks. If things get really bad, the bag should inflate and float on the surface.

If you want to go the incredibly cheap route, you might consider building this underwater camera housing that we discussed back in 2006. It’s a modified Pelican #1010 case, and the camera is a CVS Single Use Digital Camcorder (a hacker favorite) with an added magnetic record switch.

Even commercial housings can be improved upon. [Andrew Newton] added a macroframer to his underwater rig. There aren’t any specific instructions on how to build it, but the step-by-step images give a good idea of the process. A macroframer allows you to take detailed up-close photos like the one above without needing use a view finder or wait for autofocus.

Now that you’ve got an underwater camera, why not let an underwater ROV do all the swimming for you? Hackaday contributor [Jason Rollette]’s mini submarine is constructed of PVC piping and is controlled by custom software written in Visual Basic; commands are sent via an attached RS232 serial port. With a camera mounted, you’ll be able to take awesome photos of undersea life… or the bottom of your pool. It’s your call.

7 thoughts on “Underwater Camera Housings

  1. I’ve always wanted a camera i could use while surfing, hey I want to run this by you guys, I surf a a lot and I’m learning to shape boards, is there any way I could place some LEDs in the foam of a board to make the thing like glow, do you have any clue how bad ass it would be to surf on a lite up board!

  2. jack: You could carve channels and embed wires into the foam. The LEDs you might want to push through the fiberglass before applying epoxy, otherwise they won’t shine too well. Another idea would be to get a lot of housings for car side markers, put LEDs inside and then embed those flush with the surface of the board. Those would light up rectangular areas pretty well. The only thing left is a compartment for batteries. You can inlay a flat gasket and metal threaded inserts to hold a cover on tightly.

  3. I’d like something for cavediving. The bulky containers won’t work, and the plastic bag is doubtfully robust enough. (and it’s purported “float to the surface” feature is somewhat nullified).

    I guess that leaves the Pelican housing.

    But the mp3 players I’ve gotten from Dell over the years all have pluggable handheld controls for the convenience factor. Surely some video cameras might? Would make it a fairly simple problem then… find a box that fits and drill a hole in it. :p

  4. wow… I’m surprised no one mentioned depth pressure, I think there was an instructable for making one of these out of a military ammo container thingy, at a certain (not so low) depth it crushed – and thats with a really strong metal case and rubber seals.

  5. Epic Camera housings (www.epiccam.com) work well for video taping in the water. The are positively buoyant so you have to weight them if you are going to take them down diving. They are only tested at 60ft but we do know people that have taken them down to 90ft with no problems.

    Full disclosure: I work for Epic Camera Housings.


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