I bought an “underwater” camera earlier this year, not
necessarily because I planned on doing any SCUBA diving but because
I knew that, as much time as I dangle any camera in the middle of a
trout stream, it would soon be underwater anyway. So it made a lot
of sense to get one that could take a dunking and keep on
I didn’t know much about underwater digital cameras at the time,
and probably still don’t, but I bought this model – Olympus, if
you’re curious – at an actual SCUBA diving booth at the big
Harrisburg, Pa., sport show this past winter. I figured if anyone
should know something about underwater anythings, it would be a
bunch of folks who immerse themselves underwater.
And the camera works great, although I admit it took a certain
leap of faith to first plunge it into a cold trout stream to see if
I could capture a movie of a brook trout I’d hooked on a golden
stonefly nymph. I probably don’t use one-tenth of its features, but
already I’ve stockpiled some pretty neat stuff, both still images
and movies. It works great above the water too, and I admit I still
dry it off after dunking it and clicking a few pictures of a fish
before I release it.
The key, I know, is releasing the fish and not the camera. I
know it’s still not totally foolproof. You can have a great
underwater camera, but if it’s at the bottom of a lake after it has
slipped from your hands you might as well toss any kind of camera
down there. So I keep pretty tight control of it, slipping the
lanyard around my wrist, and so far I haven’t had any major
mishaps. Which, when you think about it, any kind of fumble would
probably be major.
It will be great in the field this fall as well. Having an
underwater model certainly takes some of the pressure off when
you’re out hunting in wet weather. And as I said, it’s made to work
in both wet and dry scenarios.
So I’m pretty proud of this purchase. It made a lot of sense;
I’ve heard enough horror stories of drowned cameras, cell phones
and other items. I have a friend in Pennsylvania who works as a
funeral director and quite a few years back he fried not one, but
two pagers in the span of a week while wade fishing the Susquehanna
River. A 20-inch smallmouth might be worth one pager, but probably
I’ll still probably hesitate for just a second before I shove it
underwater as I play a brookie toward the lens. And I guess I’ll
always towel it off after I bring it to the surface. But I figure
that can’t hurt.