I found this underwater housing for the Nikon D5100. Are there any other options that will work? I will only be using it for snorkeling — not diving.
I am not really experienced in underwater-photography. However I just ordered an aquapac for my P&S Lumix and they have also cases for SLR. I thought about buying their SLR case for my D7000 but I guess I will not go snorkeling with my SLR.
They say their cases are submersible to 5m/15ft and should fit your D5100 with a lens not bigger than 8cm/3.1" length and 8cm/3.1" diameter.
The price, compared to the housing you linked, is worth considering this option I guess - U$ 140.
My brother in law told me about this case and he was happy with it using it in Egypt. Since I will be at the sea next week with that new case, I can not give any recommendation. But you asked for other options ;-)
You might also want to use some desiccant sachets.
I think it depends on your 'stomach' for taking risks with sensitive camera equipment. Most of these 'packs' are rated for splashing, such as on a boat. Submersion is a different issue, as it is not only water but also pressure. This is the reason for the jump from $140 to $1400. Of course, you won't be diving to 200 ft when snorkeling, but you very well may be doing 20-30ft, if you want shots of coral and fish near the bottom. While the Aquapack above says it is rated for 15ft, I have had a IPX8 rated GPS get water damage in the floor of my kayak. While Garmin replaced my GPS, I doubt Nikon or Aquapak will replace your 5100.
In addition, what happens if you drop your camera and it sinks to the seafloor? This may be 30-50 or more feet.
Finally, recall that it is much darker underwater, and decent shots usually are going to require flashes, typically external flashes. Kodak used to make (maybe they still do) a film disposable camera that was waterproof to 10ft. However, you find when you get your photos back that a flash was absolutely needed.
My suggestion is to consider one of the Fujifilm, Olympus or Pentax rugged waterproof cameras. These go to 30 ft, are impact and sand resistant, have built in flash and have underwater modes to correct for color. And alot cheaper than $1400.
I made my own housings when I was 12, for next to nothing. Take a diving mask with the stainless steel rim around the lens that can be tightened, and remove it and the lens. Get a heavy clear freezer bag and put your camera in it, then pull the open end of the bag through the mask opening and put the mask lens back in it, tighten it up and shoot through the mask lens. Take the money I just saved you and buy a Coolpix and use that, not your D5100. the color underwater is washed out after about 15' so you don't need to go deeper. EWA makes bags for about $150-200 that are the same idea as my home made one. How about a home made hawaiian sling?