GoPro Accessories for Scuba Diving: Under Water Videography Guide

July 06, 2018 4 min read

Movo - Best accessories & tricks for your next dive with a GoPro

The GoPro action camera has forever changed how sports and adventures are documented. For many athletes and sports enthusiasts, the GoPro is their primary choice for video recording.

While it’s common to use a GoPro in a variety of outdoor environments, underwater shooting has always presented a challenge due to its 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 and gear selection.

Before we begin, let’s answer a quick question...

Is Your GoPro Waterproof?

Most GoPro cameras are waterproof, while others (particularly older models) require a housing in order to withstand moisture and underwater pressure. Check if your action cam is waterproof and how deep they can go:

Waterproof without housing:

  • Fusion - Up to 5m (16ft)
  • HERO7 Black/Silver/White, HERO (2018), HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, HERO Session, HERO4 Session, HERO5 Session - Up to 10m (33ft)
  • HERO+ LCD, HERO+, HERO (2014) - Comes in a non-removable housing and can resist depths of up to 131 feet (40 meters)

Needs waterproof housing:

  • HERO4 Black, Silver, HERO3+ Black, HERO3+ Silver, HERO3 Black, HERO3 Silver, HERO3 White, HD HERO 2, HD HERO Original - Underwater capacity depends on the housing you choose
  • Standard Definition HERO - Up to 100 feet with housing

Newer models have more advanced functionalities and are better suited for scuba diving. They can even endure greater pressure in deeper parts of the ocean if paired with a capable housing. Just make sure that all camera doors are closed before making a splash!

GB-U70 Underwater Rig

Essential GoPro Accessories for Scuba Diving

There are lots of things that you need to consider whenusing a GoPro for travel vlogging. Aside from having the right action camera gear, you should also put some thought into your storytelling and connectivity. Underwater videography is much simpler. Ace these two important aspects, and you’ve got the basics covered:

  1. Stability - How smooth are your shots?
  2. Clarity - Can we see the subjects clearly?

GoPro Diving Mount for Stability

Stabilizing the camera is top priority all the time, most especially when you’re shooting underwater, where the pressure, waves, and currents can make your life difficult.

A good GoPro scuba diving rig should be light, small, durable, and versatile. Ideally, it should be able to accommodate accessories and make it easy for you to keep it attached to your body. There’s a rig that ticks all those boxes: the Movo GB-U70 Underwater GoPro Diving Mount.

This design is a great entry-level choice if you’re looking for durability and performance at a reasonable price. With the waterproof construction, compact design, and a variety of different accessory mounts, the Movo GB-U70 rig allows you to flow through the water with ease. Attach an external light, secure the safety strap around your wrist, and you’re ready to dive.

GoPro Lighting Accessories

Scuba diving videography often needs an additional lighting source to bring out the color and details that would otherwise be lost in the darkness of the ocean. If natural lighting is not on your side, use a light rig or tray for GoPro. That is why we included versatility as an important factor in the rig selection—so that you can attach your own waterproof lights.

Most lighting sets are expensive and can cost thousands of dollars. To help you select artificial lights that are worth every penny, look for these factors in your choices:

  • Strength - Does the light provide enough brightness?
  • Size - Is it small enough to be carried around easily without obstructing your frame?
  • Weight - How light is it? Can you move the whole set easily underwater?

Another way to make colors pop in your underwater GoPro videos clear is by using filters. The general rule to choose the right colors: use RED filters in blue water, and use VIOLET or MAGENTA filters in green water. When shopping for lighting accessories, you might want to include filter kits for different depth levels and colors of the shooting environment.

GoPro Underwater Videography Guide

Now that you know which GoPro accessories can elevate your scuba diving videos, it’s time to put them into action. Here are five steps to capturing mesmerizing marine life:

1. Waterproof Your Gear

As mentioned earlier, not all GoPros are made to be waterproof, and not every waterproof model is well-suited for scuba diving videos. You may need a waterproof housing to keep your action cam safe and enable it to withstand greater depths. Better get a reliable case from the official GoPro website and be sure to check its underwater capacity.

2. Find Your Color

Even with lighting and filters, you need to be mindful of your environment underwater. It may be difficult to spot an amazing subject, especially because most sea creatures can blend in with their surroundings so well. Keep an eye out for sudden movements under the sand or between corals. It would be cool to capture something emerge from camouflage mode and change colors right in front of you!

3. Smoothen Your Shots

As soon as you dive, you’ll see why stability is the #1 challenge and the top priority in selecting accessories.

You need to be steady as you approach any living creature. Try to get as close as you can to your subject (unless you are trying to catch an action shot). The closer you get, the clearer and sharper your shots will be. However, this can take some time, as animals may tend 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.

4. Keep Your Footage Short but Long

Sounds weird, but let me explain. Take short footage so that you (and your audience) won’t lose interest when reviewing the video later. But shoot a variety of “B-roll” footage, which will be tremendously helpful in creating a storyline when you edit the final video.

Hope this helps make your scuba diving accessory shopping easier. Let us know what you think. Better yet, share your scuba diving videos with us!