Gopro Accessories for Scuba Diving
The GoPro® action camera has forever changed how sports/activities are documented. For many athletes and sports enthusiasts, the GoPro is their primary video cameras.
While it is common to use a GoPro in a variety of outdoor environments, underwater shooting has been always presented a challenge due to the unique conditions and requirements.
That’s why we put together this short guide for underwater and entry-level scuba diving videography - which includes tips on accessory/hardware selection and video capturing tips.
GoPro is continually innovating and releasing new versions of their product. While the brand doesn’t sell their old models anymore, you can still find them on other retailer websites. If you’re in the market for an action cam, keep your eyes open for great deals on older models! Otherwise the newer models have much more advanced functionalities.
Essential GoPro Accessories for Scuba Diving
When it comes to videography, the three most important aspects are:
1. Stability – in other words, how smooth are your shots?
2. Clarity / Light Source - this directly relates to the quality of your shots
3. Audio quality – well… the problem of underwater audio continues to be an unsolved challenge at the moment
Stability - Rig
Stabilizing the camera is top priority all the time – but especially when you’re shooting underwater, where the water pressure, waves, currents and more all make your life difficult.
A good GoPro scuba diving rig should be light, small, durable, versatile (easy to add accessories to), and have a way to attach to you. Even though there are many options for hand grips and sticks, for the best stability, we recommend a two-handed tray or rig.
Our own GB-U70model at MOVO is a great entry-level choice, if you’re looking for great quality at a great price. With the waterproof construction, compact design, and a variety of different accessory mounts, the GB-U70 rig allows you to flow through the water with ease.
Scuba diving videography often needs an additional lighting source to accommodate the lost color/details from the natural lighting. There are a variety of light-rig/tray sets for GoPro, most of which are expensive and can cost thousands of dollars. That is why we included versatility as an important factor in the rig selection - so that you can attach your own waterproof lights. To select your artificial lights, keep in mind of these factors below:
Strength: Does the light provide enough brightness?
Size: Is it small enough to be carried around easily?
Weight: How light is it? Can you move the whole set easily underwater?
Here are two options:
1. Budget Choice: Light & Motion Sidekick GoPro Light
2. Power Choice: Sea & Sea YS-D2J Underwater DS-TTL Strobe
Filters are great to bring out the colors in your scuba diving videos. The general rule to choose the colors of your filters is to use Red filters in Blue water, and Violet/Magenta filters in Green water. FLIP5 Three Filter Kit is one of the most popular red filter kit, as it includes three filters for different depth levels. PoplarPro has an Aqua Filter pack has both red and magenta filters.
GoPro Underwater Videography Guide
Waterproof your gear
While GoPros (at least the new models) are made to be waterproof, they are not always suited for scuba diving videos - because water can get in the smallest crack/obstruction. For an older model, you may even need a waterproof “housing” to keep it safe.
Even with lighting and filters, you need to be mindful of your environment underwater – where is the natural lighting source? How strong is it? etc.
If you have a good lighting tool, use it to lighten up your subject so you can see the full color spectrum in your video.
Try to be steady as you approach the shooting subject. You’ll see why this is the #1 challenge and the top priority in selecting accessories as soon as you dive under.
Additionally, try to get as close as you can to your subject (unless you are trying to catch an action shot). The closer you can get, the clearer and sharper your shots will be. However, this can take some time as your subject may be liable to swim away when you get close!
Timelapse is another great option for diving video, as long as you can keep your GoPro steady for a long period of time.
Short Clips, More Footage
Keep your footage short, so you (and your audience) don’t lose interest when reviewing the video later. But shoot a variety of “b-roll” footage, which will be tremendously helpful to create a storyline when you edit the video.
As we mentioned earlier, audio remains a challenge for underwater photography. One clever option is to add voiceover or music to your underwater video. If you choose to add voiceover, consider investing in a good-quality microphone for recording, like the ones below:
Hope this helps make the scuba diving accessory shopping easier. Let us know what you think and better yet, share your scuba diving videos with us!