Taking care of your underwater video gear

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You can only be an underwater videographer for as long as your equipment allows you to. In any media profession, it’s important to take care of your equipment. It might seem tedious and time-consuming. But if you do it correctly, your gear will last much longer and ensure you years of easy and problem-free filming. Here are the basic tips for taking care of your underwater video gear.

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Cleaning and maintaining your underwater housing

Maintaining your housing is one of the most important aspects of taking care of your underwater video gear. The housing needs to be cleaned before you go diving by opening the port and taking out the O-ring. Clean the O-ring’s groove of any sand, lint or hair. Next, clean the O-ring itself of any dirt by rinsing it . Finally, apply some O-ring grease to the O-ring before placing it back into the groove. Make sure the O-ring is firmly within the groove. Check the lens port or other adjoining part for particles or sand. Apply a little grease here as well and placeit back on the O-ring.

After cleaning your underwater camera housing, make sure that it’s properly sealed. You do this by submerging it in a freshwater tank or pool. If there are bubbles streaming from the housing, then there is a leak that you need to fix before going diving.

Always dry your port and viewfinder after a dive. This prevents permanent watermarks or salt stains. Prevent scratches on your dome port by covering it with a cover as soon as possible after surfacing.

Keep your equipment out of the sun

Don’t leave any piece of diving or underwater video gear in direct sunlight. It can cause your housing port to fog up and can form salt crystals once your equipment dries after a dive. Rather throw a wet towel over your gear or take them to a sheltered spot.

Rinse everything with fresh water after a dive

Rinsing your underwater video gear with freshwater prevents saltwater corrosion. Let your housing soak for a while to let the salt particles stuck in the O-ring dissolve and disappear. Keep a sharp eye on your gear while it’s soaking, to ensure that it doesn’t flood while in the freshwater bucket or tank.

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Be attentive

Don’t be careless about your camera and diving equipment. Taking care of your underwater video gear means being aware of where everything is. Make sure to not let any sensitive equipment fall on the ground or the bottom of the boat. Don’t bump any sensitive equipment pieces against each other. Don’t smash your housing, arms, clamps or lights into rocks or reef pieces while filming. Be attentive of your gear and your surroundings at all times. This way, you’ll ensure that everything is safe and not within the risk of damage.

Service your gear regularly

Where possible, get your underwater video gear checked by the manufacturer. Underwater housings often need to be serviced after a certain time. Read the manual for each piece of video equipment upon purchasing it. This will help you know all the details about taking care of your underwater video gear. Also, make sure you know what to do and where to take your gear to if something is faulty. It might be an easy fix at your nearest maintenance shop.

With these tips, you’ll be expert at taking care of your underwater video gear. Now, you can take even more amazing underwater footage knowing that your gear is in the best shape for it! You can practise these tips by doing a month of underwater videography training with Africa Media.

Every time our students go diving, they need to take care of their equipment before filming. Join them in either Mozambique or South Africa this year.

Rouxne van der Westhuizen profile

Blogger Profile - Rouxne van der Westhuizen

Rouxne has an Honours degree in journalism and media studies. She is the course director for the Travel and Environmental Journalism program and specialises in wildlife conservation writing, travel journalism and blogging.

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