I am a certified diver and a photographer too. My first experience in under water photography was taken with a cheap compact Canon Powershot G12 and its housing. It was a fantastic experience and my first try resulted in acceptably nice photos! My own professional DSLR camera is a Canon 5D MKII.

Which housing do you suggest, and is there any housing to fit the 5D with flash?

Is there anyone who has a experience with a housing for the 5D?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Depending on your needs, it might be worth considering one of the GoPro cameras. These are fixed-lens cameras, and a quick search for photos shows that contrast is not great, but they are dirt cheap and practically indestructible. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seconded for Go-Pro's, especially if you'll be doing a lot of video. The major downside is the super wide lenses (which i believe can be corrected with an additional lens over the front??) \$\endgroup\$
    – NULLZ
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 12:10

2 Answers 2


I've personally looked into this before and am friends with a professional cave diving photographer who uses an Aquatica housing for her 5D MkII.

There are lots of available options for underwater housings for DSLR's. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, they cost almost as much as the bodies themselves. In addition, you need to find a port that matches you lens. Housings for the 5D Mk II cost between $1,700 and $5,000 There are other mid range options available from a number of manufacturers.

Since you didn't specify depth i think it's worthwhile mentioning 'camera dry bags' which are usually good to a depth of 10-20 meters depending on the make and model. Some of these bags have room for a flash to sit inside it as well however this might not be ideal for underwater photography. These bags usually cost around the $100 mark.

Finally, with regards to strobes, there are multitudes of options, but you need to buy the right strobe for the right housing. Ikelite strobes work with ikelite housings etc. A couple of example strobes for Ikelite and seacam Prices vary between a few hundred and $2500+ for a strobe.

I would recommend hiring out any gear you plan to buy for a few trips before you commit. It is, like all good camera things, a significant investment.

Additionally, something to be aware of, if the lens ports get scratched you'll need to get them professionally buffed out which can cost several hundred dollars (almost as much as a new port in some cases).

I hope that helps. If you have any further questions feel free to ask!


  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been told not to rent/hire housings as you are risking your own body with the condition of the rented housing and seals. I have no experience with other, but just a note I've read. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 2:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think that depends on the person you're renting from. if you can, borrow it from a friend who uses one. If your part of a diving club this should certainly be an option. Always Do your due diligence regardless of where the gear came from and if its new/rented/secondhand, test the case empty first. Check the O-ring seals, ensure there are no small cracks etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – NULLZ
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 2:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ QD3C4FF Thank you very much for sharing your idea. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 10:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not a problem. I'm glad i could help! I'd love to hear how you get on with it all! Cheers! \$\endgroup\$
    – NULLZ
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 11:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ At first I need make money then go to buy any new housing!..:)) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 13:47

Underwater housings are a tricky beast and are largely going to depend on acceptable cost and features that you need. Personally, my recommendation is to take a look at B&H's selection of housings available for your camera. There aren't a whole lot of options available in the segment (only probably about 5 or 6 enclosures even made for any particular model and several of those don't provide access to all controls.).

If you intend to use a strobe or light, Ikelite makes some reasonably "cheap" ($2200 - $2400 with ports) options, though not quite the cheapest, but they integrate well with their underwater strobes and lights.

The cheapest reliable option that I've seen is made by Equinox. It runs around $1500 and looks basically like a cylinder with knobs on it and a clear front and back to see the camera and for the lens to see out. It's not very versatile since it has to be made for one particular body and lens combination, but it's about 2/3 to 1/2 the price of a modular system.

Aquatica also makes nice enclosures (I believe their's was the one I was favoring since it could support manual focus, which is key for doing video underwater.) They are however, more expensive than Ikelite.

I don't have any personal experience with any of the options, but as a fellow diver and photographer (with a 5D Mark III), I've just recently been looking in to the same thing.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for sharing your information. Those cheap equipments are very expensive for me nowadays! I am from Iran and consider the low value currency which we have! :( .But anyway it is my dream to experience it with my DSLR one day. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 19:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Underwater photography is insanely expensive, at least for my budget. I just stick with cheap cameras and equipment under $500 and end at that. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user37324 - prices may be different by region, similar to how prices can differ on cameras, so it is worth checking your local prices. But yes, in general, the cost of an underwater enclosure will be close to the cost of the actual camera and in some cases is more expensive since they are such specialized devices. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @dpollitt Me too! But I hope to get better equipments because these two I mean diving + photography are the most pleasure activities which I love! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ All that said, I think that the technology has come far enough now that it's time for someone to step up with a "digital Nikonos". I could see the delay with the near-immediate obsolescence of sensors and AF systems a few years ago, but things should be stable enough now to create a well-sealed camera and a "wet" supplemental lens system. Should be cheaper and easier to use than a $3000 SLR in a $5000 housing. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 19:10

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