At some point in our journey as divers, we have all wanted to take great underwater pictures. Grabbing a disposable camera at the dive shop counter on the way to the boat gives any diver the capability to take poorly lit, blurry and very blue photos, but for many of us on a limited budget, that is as close to photographic glory we are going to get.

The advent of the “action camera” like the GoPro and underwater-rated, point-and-shoot cameras, gives divers the potential to take better quality photos, but they are usually still in the “snapshot” category of artistic endeavor.

DeeperBlue.com had the opportunity to speak with Lee Burghard at this year’s Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo. An equipment specialist at Reef Photo and Video, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based photography equipment retailer, Lee introduced us to the Ikelite Underwater Housing for Olympus TG-5, an “entry-level” and cost-conscious housing designed for the aspiring underwater photographer.

Offering professional photography capabilities in a rugged, waterproof housing, the TG-5 Housing is specifically designed for the Olympus TG-5 iHS Digital Camera, “which is known to perform some of the best macro-photography among point-and-shoot cameras,” according to Lee.

Features:

  • Ergonomic side-mounted shutter lever
  • Improved returning zoom control
  • Universal 1/4-20 threaded tray mounting
  • New white ABS-PC blend
  • The 67mm threaded port is ready to accept wide angle lenses and domes.
  • This housing has two “Sea & Sea style” fiber optic cable ports to make easy operation of external strobe(s).

Specifications:

  • 200 ft (60m) depth rating
  • Controls for all camera functions except Log Switch
  • Slightly positive buoyancy in fresh water
  • 1/4 – 20 thread tray mounting
  • Weight 1.1 lb (500 g)
  • Dimensions 158 x 112 x 94 mm 6.2 x 4.4 x 3.7 inch including projections
  • 3.0-inch diameter glass lens port

In addition, the housing port is designed to accept 3.0-inch diameter color filters, and wide angle or macro options with 67mm threads. Reef Photo and Video explains on their website that:

The addition of a compatible wide angle accessory expands the camera’s field of view underwater, providing the opportunity to get as close as possible to the subject and reduce the amount of water light passes through.

TG-5-iHS Digital Camera

Priced at US$299 (~242 Euros), the housing can be used with your existing Olympus TG-5 iHS Digital Camera, or you can buy the camera with the housing for under $750 (~606 Euros). Mounted on a tray with strobes or video lights, this relatively inexpensive combination gives most divers the opportunity to take “professional grade” photos and videos.

Try Before You Buy:

Reef Photo and Video specializes in underwater photographic equipment sales worldwide, but local or visiting divers can take advantage of their popular Reef Photo & Video Blue Heron Bridge Photo Workshops! Held at the world-famous Blue Heron Bridge at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach, Florida, divers can try out the entire lineup of top of the line equipment! To schedule a workshop ro for more information, visit Reef Photo and Video at their website and Happy Shooting!

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John Griffith
John Griffith is an avid SCUBA and Freediver based in Southeast Florida, with over 34 years of experience in the recreational, military and commercial dive fields. Retired from military service, John completed Bachelor Degrees in both Business Administration and Journalism, a M.Ed and PhD in Education. John is a driven conservationist and social activist...with a great passion for sharks, cigars, rum and writing. John is an Associate Editor with DeeperBlue.com.

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