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What are the Best Camera Settings for Underwater Photos?

Admit it or not, the DSLR cameras in today’s market have a myriad of features and menu items for customizations and that can be proven overwhelming to a newbie, or to the one who just makes a dive or two in a year. The worst case scenario is when some settings tend to give away the false impression that your equipment is rather faulty when a simple setting change can address the issues completely. Here are some tips to get started.

  1. AF illuminator off

Nobody wants to light up the inside when the built in focus light of the camera is readily available.

  1. AF drive

Single AF is far better than the continuous as it’s easier to lock the focus on a single point of the subject.

  1. Reassign AF to AF-ON only

You should reassign the autofocus controls from a half-press of the shutter release to the AF-ON button. This helps in disabling the ability of the shutter button to autofocus, letting it to act as a shutter release. When AF-ON is enabled, the lens tends to stay in manual focus mode until and unless the AF-ON button is pressed, which will turn on the autofocus.

  1. Single-point focus (center)

The center focus point is deemed strongest focus point in the diving camera. When the action is ongoing, you don’t have time to move the focus points. Focus on the closest point of your subject, lock focus and recompose your shot.

  1. LCD brightness two clicks down

Underwater is usually dark. When your screen is too bright, you can edit it, but it won’t bring out the feels.

  1. Priority release, not focus

Turning your camera setting to priority release will let the shutter to be released no matter the camera thinks it’s in focus. This turns out to be handy when you have enough depth of field for getting a sharp image and don’t want to miss the shot as the camera refuses to fire.

  1. Metering evaluative or matrix

This setting is useful when it comes to metering the entire scene.

  1. Show histograms and highlight warning

This helps in letting you know if the exposure is correct while reviewing the image in the playback.

  1. Shoot RAW

RAW is an uncompressed file format, and will produce better results and more color tones than shooting in JPEG.

  1. Color space Adobe RGB

This is a wider color range than sRGB and ideal for printing.

  1. Limit switch on macro lens

Ensure that your macro lens is not on the limited setting.

  1. Auto white balance

When it comes to shooting with strobes, AWB will be accurate 99 percent of the time. When it comes to shooting RAW, you can change white balance in postproduction.

  1. Auto ISO off

Auto ISO alters your ISO automatically on the basis of camera’s meter. If you are making any kind of alteration on shutter speed on aperture on the basis for exposure, the auto ISO will ruin your efforts.

  1. Picture style normal or standard

Don’t get carried away to pick the vivid setting. Yes, you want the vivid pictures but the post can handle that aspect in a better way.

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