Your next summer vacation is just around the corner, and chances are you are already dreaming about the perfect selfies you will post on your Instagram feed. When it comes to underwater photography, the first thing that jumps into everybody’s minds is the Go Pro camera; however, if you only use this type of gear once a year when it’s vacation time, taking pictures underwater with an iPhone is the best option if you want to have high-quality memories without breaking the bank.
This guide will explain how you can take amazing underwater pictures with your iPhone by buying inexpensive accessories and following our little tricks and tips. Don’t you believe us? Check out the underwater pictures we took with an iPhone 8 during our last trip to Thailand!
Can I take underwater pictures with an iPhone 13?
Yes, you can take pictures underwater with the iPhone 13. The device is certified IP68, meaning it is water-resistant up to 6 meters (20 feet) deep for up to 30 minutes. You can also use its powerful camera system to capture fantastic images and videos while submerged in water. Just stay deep and dry your phone off as soon as you come out of the water. Also, saltwater can damage the iPhone 13 more quickly than ordinary freshwater, so avoid taking pictures in salty water if possible. Nevertheless, with some care and caution, you can capture beautiful images and videos underwater with your iPhone 13.
Can I take underwater pictures with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15, too?
The iPhone 14 and 15 are expected to have a high level of water resistance with an IP68 rating, which means they can withstand being submerged in water up to 6 meters deep and for up to 30 minutes. However, users should be aware that the device’s water resistance is not permanent and can be affected by various factors.
1. Choose the best underwater case that suits your needs
Wait, wasn’t the iPhone IP67 certificated? While the International Protection (IP) marking states that iPhone’s latest models are protected from dust and up to 1 meter / 3.3 feet of immersion in water, the truth is that this does not mean that the phones are protected from salt water, sand, or the chemicals that are often used to keep pools clean. Because of this, your best option is to buy an underwater case for your iPhone and, luckily, you have many options to choose from:
Waterproof pouches: best budget-friendly option
By far, waterproof pouches are the most affordable way of taking photos and underwater pictures with an iPhone; the best thing about this accessory is that it suits different types of smartphones from other companies. Because of how simple this product is, we can’t recommend a particular brand since most of them will do the job, but when in doubt, we always advise going with Amazon’s choice.
PROS OF WATERPROOF POUCHES
CONS OF WATERPROOF POUCHES
Waterproof cases for iPhone: best for taking underwater pictures
You can buy a waterproof one instead for the same amount of money you could easily spend on a regular case for your iPhone. These cases will give you wonderful underwater pictures without losing the camera quality (remember what made you buy an iPhone in the first place?). They can also be a great everyday case that will protect your phone from drops.
Several brands offer this type of case at a wide range of prices. According to your iPhone model, these are the ones that we recommend you the most:
- Best waterproof case for iPhone 7 / 8: Otterbox Defender Series (+$20)
- Best waterproof case for iPhone 7 / 8 Plus: OUNNE Waterproof Case (+$20)
- Best waterproof case for iPhone X: OTTBA Waterproof Case (+$25)
- For iPhone XR: Lifeproof FRĒ SERIES (+$50)
- Best waterproof case for iPhone XS: Catalyst Waterproof Case (+$90)
PROS OF WATERPROOF CASES FOR IPHONE:
CONS OF WATERPROOF CASES FOR IPHONE:
Waterproof housing for iPhone: best for scuba diving
If you are looking for something more exciting than your typical summer snorkeling, waterproof housing is the ally you need for the scuba diving adventure of your life. Since these accessories are specifically designed for scuba diving, the housing has buttons that allow you to use your screen underwater and will resist the water’s pressure.
This type of housing is less common than regular waterproof cases, so few brands in the market offer them. Depending on which iPhone you are using, we advise you to check for these scuba diving housing for your phone:
- Best scuba diving housing for your iPhone 7/8: Proshot Touch Waterproof Mountable Case (+$95) is prepared to work with Go Pro accessories!
- Best scuba diving housing for your iPhone 7/8 Plus: Meikon Waterproof Case (+$55). We love that it comes with a red lens for your pictures!
- Best scuba diving housing for iPhone X/XS: Hawel Professional Diving Case (+$65)
- Best scuba diving housing for iPhone XR: Haweel Underwater Housing Professional (+$95)
PROS OF WATERPROOF HOUSING FOR IPHONE:
CONS OF WATERPROOF HOUSING FOR IPHONE:
2. Test your waterproof case before using it
While we recommend the best waterproof cases for iPhone available on the market, the truth is that things can go wrong sometimes, and we are sure that you don’t want to risk a phone that costs you +$800. Because of this, we suggest you take these 4 easy steps to check that your case is working well before taking it to your next adventure:
- Fill your waterproof case with toilet paper
- Make sure that the case is sealed and put it in a water recipient
- Put weight over the case and leave it there for an hour
- Take the case out of the water, dry it, and open it. If the paper is not wet, congratulations… you are ready to take unbelievable pictures of your holidays!
Another safety precaution to remember is that accidents can happen, and you can always drop your phone in the water, so if your waterproof case doesn’t come with one, it is always a wise idea to spend extra bucks on a float strap for your phone.
3. Change your screen settings and prepare your phone
If you got an underwater pouch or case, you can’t use your screen once you enter the water. While it is true that the diving housing for your phone will come with buttons, don’t expect to use them as if you were in dry conditions.
Because of this, you need to configure some unique settings and take into consideration these things before jumping into the ocean with your iPhone:
- Ensure that your screen will remain turned on since you won’t be able to enter your password or fingerprint once it turns off. Go to Settings / Display & Brightness / Auto Lock / Never for this.
- Open the camera and select your mode before entering the water.
- You must use the volume buttons to capture photos, so ensure you feel comfortable shooting with them.
- Put your iPhone in airplane mode to avoid receiving text messages while shooting underwater.
4. Try these 5 tips to get better underwater pictures with your iPhone
Now that you have picked the best underwater case that suits your needs and changed the settings of your iPhone, it is time to start collecting memories of your summer trip. To achieve the best underwater picture, here are some tricks and tips that you should follow:
- Press the camera button, aka the volume button, to shoot in burst mode. Burst mode will take continuous pictures and let you choose later which one is the best.
- Get close to your subject. Whether taking pictures of a dolphin or your best friend, getting as close as possible to your subject will maintain your pictures’ color, contrast, and sharpness.
- Avoid taking underwater pictures from above. Even if you are snorkeling, get to the eye level of your subject or underneath it to capture a more intimate picture that will make the viewer feel in the water with you.
- Red is the first color lost when descending the water. It would be best to consider investing in a red lens to compensate for this and bring the correct colors to your pictures. While it is true that there aren’t many red lenses for cellphone photography, the CamDive Red Diving Filter will fit Meikon, Haweel, and Watershot Pro diving cases.
- Make sure that your phone is fully charged. While this might be a silly recommendation, you should remember that you will have the auto lock setting of the screen deactivated, which means that your iPhone will consume much more energy than usual. If you plan a long day in the water, having a wireless power bank that lets you charge your phone without risking your device by opening the waterproof case is best.