Options For Swimming With Whales

Started Jul 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ken Gosden Senior Member • Posts: 2,602
Re: I use Ewa Marine for my DSLR

jckk wrote:

Pumba12 wrote:

I'm planning a trip to go snorkeling with Humpback Whales in March 2014. I'll be going on a professionally guided tour down in the Dominican Republic where it's legal to swim with them. In trying to prepare for this trip (my first real trip), I'm trying to figure out what my best option is in terms of photography. Any insight or advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

Option#1: Originally I was looking at a GoPro3 Hero, but reading how terrible the battery life is scared me away. So now I'm looking at (5) other underwater point and shoot cameras, but I think I narrowed it down to (3). They are the Canon Powershot D20, Pansonic Lumix DMC TS5, Olympus TG-2 IHS, Pentax WG3 GPS, or the Nikon Coolpix AW110. The (3) that I think I've narrowed it down to are the Panasonic, Penxtax, and Nikon with the Panasonic having the slight edge so far because of the better video quality. Does anyone have any experience with any of these cameras? Would you consider them to be good choices for this trip?

Option#2: I cannot afford to get an actual underwater housing for my DSLR (Canon T3i), but I have been wondering if using a Dicipac might be another possible solution. I do worry about bringing my DSLR into the water regardless of which casing I use, but of course I'm a bit more nervous about this one since it's essentially a bag. Have any of you used one of these or know of someone who has? Did it work well without springing any leaks?

Any other advice you can offer or if you can think of a different camera I haven't mentioned, please let me know and I'll add it to my "to research" list. Thanks!

I don't know the model of the Ewa Marine underwater bag and I also don't know if they make that model any longer. It has a bracket that attaches to the lens port ring and you screw it into the tripod socket so that retains the extension of the lens extension. Water pressure won't force the lens to collapse down and it'll also keep the lens centered on the lens port.

I've used it for at least four years and never had any issues with it. You do need to squeeze out most of the air or else it is quite buoyant and your hand/wrist will get fatigued. I've used it with a Canon XTi and T2i and was able to change the settings that I needed to change, which is mostly ISO. You do need to get good at aiming when the camera is not directly between your eyes and the target. I've only used it for snorkeling and I don't dive down, so it's probably never been deeper than about 6-8'.


I believe my EWA bag came with lead weight to offset the buoyancy.  You can and should test it out in your tub before snorkeling.  I bought one of the ub100 series and ordered the bracket separately.  I will say that the EWA Marine web site info is confusing at best.  The US importer is actually pretty helpful on phone.

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