Underwater with the Canon D10

Posted by Alex

Well I have a new toy. No it’s not a $3500 underwater housing for my 5D (though that would be awesome). I’ve been shooting with a little Canon Powershot D10 for the last week and it’s been a lot of fun. If you are considering a trip to anywhere water-lush, I suggest giving the D10 a shot. It’s not perfect, but it sure beats spending a boat load for an SLR underwater housing if you’re strapped for cash.

First, the D10 is waterproof and shockproof. I tested it thoroughly (trust me, I break point-n-shoot cameras regularly). I carried it around in my swimming suit pocket and sat on it, swam with it, dropped it out of moving golf carts and threw it to friends when we didn’t have a ball. The thing is solid. I didn’t have a strap and this was a crucial error. If you are going to parade around with one, definitely invest in some kind of way to connect it to your person.

Next, it’s massively fun to have an amphibious camera that can fit in your pocket. I underestimated how much fun it would be and spent a very long time on various bizarre photo missions (#43. Try to take a photo with the lead singer from Kings of Leon, underwater. *Unsuccessful, but close). Even if you are just in a pool, the camera is worth trying.

The photos above are a few of the cooler ones I got. Dolphins are kind of a cheating way to make a photo look cool, but still, the colors and clarity are nice, especially for a wee little camera. These photos were shot with sand everywhere, all over the lens, and my complete lack of concern for the camera’s well-being. Pretty cool I’d say — it’s nice to not have to treat your camera like a fragile little hamster (5D).

On the negative side, it’s very bulky for a point-n-shoot. If you are in water, who cares, but if you are looking for a one stop shop that you can also bring out with you at night, this isn’t it. Putting it in your pants pocket renders that leg odd looking as it protrudes rather unfortunately. Personally, I also find it ugly, but I gravitate towards all black cameras, so take that with a grain of sea salt. The camera definitely looks more like a toy than a Bell & Ross.

This post certainly cements my affinity for underwater photos (Asako Narahashi will always reign supreme). I have a bunch more, but most are of my friends and I floating in the water, and we isn’t Facebook friends!

16 Comments Leave A Comment


NAVIS says:

January 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm

These are rad Alex. I tried to do an underwater shoot once for my friend and it was probably the most challenging thing ever. Mostly because the people being shot couldn’t hold their breath for more than four or five seconds. Love the fluidity of the last shot. Makes me miss summer and warm ocean waters.

I’d die to have one of those underwater housing units. I can’t imagine I’d get a lot of clear shots in the California Pacific either so it’d be pretty useless to own one… but you’ve got my interest in this little gem of a camera.


Noran says:

January 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Canon A640 isn’t bad as well, I had it couple years ago, only cost me around $200, and $100 for casing. It’s a lightweight camera, that’s all that matters for traveling, no?

Some outputs can be seen here:

Been wanting to get some D10, but the U/W video output from it is not very hot, isn’t it? Colors are degraded in movie, from my experience. Have you try the video recording, and maybe you can share about that?

That pic of you swimming of dolphins is really soothing, love it.


Kevin A... says:

January 4, 2011 at 8:47 am

Great pics, Alex. If only you’d posted this 2 weeks ago, I’d have picked up one of those bad boys for my parents who are in New Zealand as we speak, no doubt babying their non-water-proof point and shoot.

One question: did you adjust these photo’s much in lightroom/ps? The colors are quite nice.


Sean says:

January 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

First off, these are great photos. Absolutely beautiful. I have some questions though about the camera though. First is the vignetting in the pictures actual caused by the camera? I am going to guess so since the maximum focal length is 18mm. Second what iso are these shot in.

You’ve definitely peaked my interest in underwater photography.


Nick says:

January 5, 2011 at 11:15 am

looks like any of these photos could’ve been a photo for any indie music release in 2010. I mean that in the best way possible


Cornelius says:

January 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

Wow, great shots Alex, will need to look into this as an option for my up and coming holiday to Greece.

Anyway, wanted to pick up on your point that you need to treat the 5D like a hamster.

I smashed my 5D Mark II off a rock recently after slipping on ice. Damaged the casing (camera worked fine) and seeing as we have accidental damage cover for my business I applied to get it fixed. The guy told me if they couldn’t fix it they’d replace it with a new one. The smash it took was pretty bad so the thought of a new one was attractive in case it had any problems down the line from the smash. So I threw caution to the wind and tried to destroy it (which btw was emotional, like drowning a pet (I’d imagine)).

I wrapped the 5D in a bathing towel and threw it on the stone tiles in my kitchen, it survived fine. It took 8 attempts throwing it full blast at the floor to get it to malfunction. The god damn body was in bits, cracks everywhere, stuff rattling inside and it still took photos and displayed them!!

Highly unethical but a testament to just how well these things are made. : )