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If you’re looking for a way to take videos or photos underwater, a GoPro can be an easy and very affordable alternative to a DSLR paired with an expensive underwater housing. Unfortunately, most people find that when they get home from their dive to look over their footage, the results normally leave a lot to be desired. Instead of the beautiful, crisp imagery and video that you normally find all over Instagram, most GoPro users will find their footage is shaky, washed out and dull. However don’t worry, with a few additional GoPro accessories for diving you can take your amateur looking footage and create some very professional results in no time.
Why Use GoPro Accessories For Diving?
The obvious reason for using GoPro accessories for diving is that you can dramatically improve your underwater photos and videos. Most people complain that their footage looks shaky, blurry and comes out looking very green but fortunately these issues are very easy to fix with a few add-on accessories.
Not only will GoPro accessories help you to improve your shots, they will allow you to shoot photos and videos that otherwise would have been impossible. Some of these accessories will increase the capability of your camera, especially when diving to deeper depths, which should be more than enough reason to equip your camera properly.
Brilliant GoPro Accessories For Diving
One of the biggest complaints I had when I got my first GoPro was that the footage I took always looked super shaky. This was in the days before in-camera stabilization so most of the time what I shot was unusable. Luckily nowadays, the newer GoPros have video stabilization built-in but sometimes your footage can still come out looking shaky. So if you want your video footage to look extra professional you should use a stabilizer tray.
A stabilizer tray will allow you to shoot footage that is ultra smooth as the GoPro is kept more stable. Normally the GoPro will mount on the tray with two handles on either side that you will hold and because of these two points of contact your camera will remain stable. As well as allowing you to keep your GoPro steady a stabilizer tray will usually allow you to add extra accessories such as dive lights to your GoPro configuration.
Poyinco Underwater Video Light Stabilizer Tray
This is a great affordable stabilizer tray that will allow you to achieve super steady shots. It is compatible with all versions of the GoPro Hero but will require you to buy an additional tripod mount.
Movo GB-U70 Underwater GoPro Diving Mount
If you’re looking for a more compact, travel friendly stabilizer tray then this is a great option. The original version comes in silver but there is an option to get one that has yellow rubberized handgrips and also a larger version as well. Again this works with all versions of the GoPro Hero.
The next accessory that will transform your GoPro photos and videos are filters, in particular red filters. Red filters will be able to solve the majority of color correction problems that usually arise when shooting underwater. If you have ever taken video or photos underwater you’ll know exactly what I mean, the green or blue color cast that takes all the vibrancy out of your footage. Well that need not be a problem anymore as with the simple addition of a filter to the front of the lens you can correct this.
When you shoot underwater, the natural light from the sun is gradually filtered out by the water and this is why as you go deeper it starts to get darker and darker. As well as this it affects different spectrums of light, in this case the red spectrum. As you go deeper and deeper the red spectrum of light from the sun doesn’t pass through as easily. This is essentially why your photos and videos come out looking washed out with green and blue color casts. However, all you have to do to compensate for this is add a red filter to the front of your lens to reintroduce the red spectrum back into the image.
Normally you will find these filters come in different strengths of red to compensate for how different types of water and different depths affect the red spectrum of light. A lot of companies will supply three filters and give directions on how to use them properly. You will usually find two red filters of different strengths for use in blue tropical waters. One is for use closer to the surface, and the other for use in deeper water. You will also find a magenta filter is supplied and this is for use in greener water, such as rivers and lakes as these affect the reds differently.
PolarPro Divemaster Red Filter 3-Pack
This filter set includes red, magenta and snorkel filters to help you capture vibrant colors in blue, green and shallow waters. Filters fit onto the front of the Hero8 Black protective housing, only compatible with Hero8 Black.
PolarPro Aqua Filter 3-Pack for Super Suit Housing
This filter set includes red, magenta and snorkel filters to help you capture vibrant underwater content. Filters fit onto the front of the GoPro Super Suit dive housing, compatible with Hero7 Black, Hero (2018), Hero6 Black and Hero5 Black.
If you like to dive at night, in cenotes or any other low light environment, then a good light is crucial if you want good GoPro footage. Waterproof lights are one of the most useful GoPro accessories for diving as they allow you to shoot photos and videos that would otherwise be impossible to capture.
As well as allowing you to capture footage during the night, they will allow you to capture the underwater world the deeper you go. As you go deeper and deeper the natural light will slowly start to fade so an artificial light is key. So a waterproof light will work wonders, allowing you to reintroduce light back to your scene.
One extra little tip if you are using a waterproof light when you are deep down is that you can’t use a light and the red filters we have talked about, at the same time. A waterproof light will reintroduce the red spectrum of light back to your shots meaning that there is no need for you to use the filters.
The GoPole Flare is a compact, high performance light for use with all GoPro cameras. It is mountable to any standard GoPro mount, and can be used with or without your camera.
If you have a GoPro Hero5 Black edition or newer, your camera will actually be waterproof without the use of an extra housing which is great. However, without a housing these GoPros are only waterproof down to 10 metres. If you are just going to spend all your time on the surface that is great, but if you are going to be diving deeper than 10 metres you will need to add an extra protective housing to your configuration.
As we have already discovered, some of the other GoPro accessories for diving actually require you to have an additional housing in order for them to work. So if you want to get great diving footage, an extra protective housing is quite a vital accessory.
Protective Housing Hero8 Black
If you have a GoPro Hero8 Black this is the housing you want for your camera. It allows you to go to depths of 60m with your GoPro.
Super Suit Housing
If you have a GoPro Hero7 Black, Hero (2018), Hero6 Black or Hero5 Black this is the housing you want for your camera. It allows you to go to depths of 60m with your GoPro.
Protective Housing Hero7 Silver/Hero7 White
If you have a GoPro Hero7 Silver or Hero7 White this is the housing you want for your camera. It allows you to go to depths of 40m with your GoPro.
If you want to take close-up photos or videos using your GoPro underwater, you will need to buy yourself a macro lens for your camera. GoPros cannot focus on close subjects underwater so to be able to shoot close-ups you need to use a macro lens to reduce the focus distance. Essentially what a macro lens will do is magnify the image so that it looks like you are closer to the subject than you actually are and this will mean that your shots should be perfectly in focus.
PolarPro SwitchBlade for Hero8 Black
The SwitchBlade is a 3-in-1 filter system that allows you to capture close-ups and vibrant colors. It includes a glass macro lens for 5X magnification together with red and magenta filters that attach to your GoPro Hero8 Black in a protective housing for color correction and close-ups.
The SwitchBlade7 is a 3-in-1 filter system that allows you to capture close-ups and vibrant colors. It includes a glass macro lens for 5X magnification together with red and magenta filters that attach to a GoPro Super Suit housing for color correction and close-ups. Compatible with Hero7 Black, Hero (2018), Hero6 Black and Hero5 Black in super suit housing.
Have you ever tried to capture those beautiful half split shots that you see on Instagram where you can see above and below the water? If you have I’m sure that although you tried your hardest to get the shot it would have failed and that’s because you need a dome port. A dome port is essentially a big glass dome that you put in front of your camera lens that allows you to achieve a split-level shot. This is obviously great because it not only allows you to get great shots, but it also can be handy when you go under the water too.
Dome ports really are great GoPro accessories for diving because as well as allowing you to achieve split-level shots, they can also be handy for increasing the field of view while you’re underwater. When you go under the water with your camera you might notice that everything looks bigger, this is because of optical refraction between air in your GoPro housing and the water. This refraction means that things look bigger, which in turn creates a narrower field of view, so essentially it looks like your camera zooms in. The change in the field of view varies but it is normally in the region of 25%.
Fortunately, the addition of a dome port is a very easy way to solve this change in the field of view. Without going into too much detail as it can get very scientific, when you introduce a dome port the optical refraction creates a virtual image, inches in front of the lens. This essentially eliminates the 25% difference in the field of view, creating an image underwater that is 25% wider. The dome port doesn’t offer any special optics above the water, it’s only when you go underwater. So if you want to achieve split-level and underwater shots that are wider, a dome port is the GoPro accessory you need.
PolarPro FiftyFifty Dome
This dome port is made from custom optics for enhanced clarity. Included with the dome port is a floating grip, cleaning tool, wrist lanyard and dome cover. It is compatible with GoPro Hero7 Black, Hero6 Black and Hero5 Black.
This next product is maybe not as exciting as some of the other GoPro accessories for diving, however I do believe it is an important one. A dive lanyard can be very useful in helping to keep your GoPro and its accessories safe in case you let go of them. Simply attach the lanyard to your GoPro or one of its accessories so you can have it connected to you at all times.
Scuba Choice Coil Lanyard
This coil lanyard allows for your GoPro to be connected to your diving equipment. It includes quick release buckles and is expandable to 1.3m allowing you the freedom to shoot unrestricted.
Extension Pole & Hand Grip
Another very handy accessory to take with you underwater is an extension pole or hand grip. A hand grip will help steady your shots, similar to the stabilizer tray we talked about earlier but although it will stabilize your shots it won’t work quite as well as a stabilizer tray. However, a hand grip is great if you’re looking to turn the camera round on yourself to get some selfie action.
If you’re looking to take your selfie game to the next level, then a telescopic extension pole is the accessory you need to add to your underwater collection. As well as being fantastic for capturing great imagery of yourself, I’ve found that extension poles are great for allowing you to get your camera closer to marine life without disturbing it.
Suptig Floating Hand Grip
This floating hand grip is a very affordable, high quality alternative to GoPro’s own. A great feature of this grip is that the bottom screws off so that you can store money, keys and other valuables inside for safe keeping. Compatible with majority of GoPro cameras.
El Grande Extension Pole
This extension pole from GoPro is worth paying the extra money for in comparison to other poles. It is durable and waterproof, extends up to 38 inches and while collapsed measures 15 inches. Compatible with majority of GoPro cameras.
Anti-fog inserts are very useful accessories that you place into your waterproof housing to prevent your GoPro lens fogging up in cold or humid environments. Although you won’t always need these when diving, I would advise them if you use a housing, just to prevent any fogging up that will ruin your footage.
CamKix Anti-Fog Inserts
Great accessory for preventing your GoPro lens from fogging up.
A tripod might not be the first thing you think of when talking about GoPro accessories for diving, however a good tripod can really improve your underwater footage. One of the best ways to capture great underwater footage of yourself and others is to simply put your camera on a tripod and set it down safely on a surface so the camera stays still. This not only allows you to capture great footage of yourself but will allow you to capture amazing video of marine life too. Without a person holding the camera anymore, fish and other marine animals will be able to go about their lives undisturbed and may even swim right up to the camera. Just remember to only place the tripod on rocks or in the sand you don’t want to ruin any coral.
This versatile tripod moulds and conforms around many objects and surfaces. It has flexible legs that allow it to be used in just about any situation you might find underwater. Compatible with the majority of GoPro cameras.
Joby GorillaPod Action Tripod
This is an easy to use flexible tripod specially made for GoPros and other types of action cameras. Its flexible and wrappable legs allow you to secure your GoPro anywhere. Compatible with the majority of GoPro cameras.
Hopefully these GoPro accessories for diving will help you to take your underwater GoPro photos and videos to the next level. Although these accessories will greatly improve your footage, if you really want to become an underwater master with your camera you should learn how to use your camera properly underwater. Check out the following articles and tutorials to learn some great tips to improve your footage.
We have tons of other resources to help with all your photography needs. If you need any help choosing gear for your next trip check out our extensive photography equipment list.