I started underwater photography in 1986 after becoming a certified scuba diver. My first camera was a borrowed Hanimax from my father. From the beginning of my scuba diving adventures, I have always taken a camera to show others what lies beneath our oceans. The Hanimax, a point and shoot film camera, broke on the first dive and I quickly realized I needed something more robust. At the time, that was the Nikonos line of cameras. I bought a used Nikonos II, also a film camera but no batteries, no light meter but very reliable.
Then in the late 80’s a used Nikonos V which at the time was a ground breaking camera, compact 35mm film, TTL auto exposure and excellent variety of lenses but still no auto focusing. It was a rangefinder camera so you had to estimate focus for every photo.
Finally in the early 1990’s I moved up to a “professional” custom housing for a used Canon F1n 35mm film camera. This housing was gigantic and crude by todays standards but with the Canon camera, it took amazing photos in it’s day.
In 2005 digital 35mm cameras had finally arrived and began surpassing the quality of their predecessor film cameras. At the time and to this day, the pinnacle of underwater housing was and is Seacam. I upgraded to the first full frame 35mm DSLR camera, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II. This camera and housing allowed me to take my photography too beyond next level. All of my Great white shark photos were shot with this camera and housing, actually all of my underwater photos since then have been taken with this system and it has served me flawlessly for 15 years. Canon no longer services the 1Ds Mark II and technology has advanced in many areas related to underwater photography.
After a year of searching I finally found a used Seacam housing on eBay to house my Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR camera. While we are still in the wild west of mirrorless digital cameras this made sense for me vs buying a new housing and mirrorless camera. The 5D Mark IV has many advantages over my previous system: 1. will double my resolution, 2. improved autofocusing, 3. more compact camera and housing, 4. can shoot video, 4K.
A huge thanks to Stephen Frink (world renowned underwater photographer who sold me my first Seacam housing and camera), and to Harald Hordosch owner of Seacam who made some modifications to my new-used housing to work with the Canon 5D Mark IV camera.