Compact Camera for Macro Wide Underwater Photography

Scuba diving, Underwater Photography, Jun V Lao, Paparazsea
Your compact camera can take great underwater photos beyond macro photography, know its limitations, use the right lenses and light then push it to its limits. Franny poses with an Ardeadoris Egretta nudibranch
Many people mid way into their underwater photography sojourns, whether for fun to serious enthusiast always gets that feeling they need to constantly upgrade their current already expensive compact camera systems to more expensive mirrorless and dslr set ups to step up their game. What if I told you all shots uploaded in this blog post are done with a compact camera with a single strobe paired with a bugeye novelty lens.

Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Anilao, Jun V lao
Jade shooting sea turtle, shot with a compact camera paired with a bugeye novelty lens
A lot of more advanced photographers like to associate themselves with cool expensive brands (any field if you think about it) and hash tag these brands to their images to grab attention and try to make them appear they are pseudo ambassadors to it/them (its trendy, unless you are a shop owner or the real anointed brand ambassador which is sound when association is expressed)... only to forget they paid for those gear and only advertise these brands further.


Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Anilao, Jun v Lao
get seemingly expensive 8mm fisheye fullframe dslr shots with your compact camera using a bugeye lens, Josh shooting yellow gobies at Romeo's Garden Anilao
If you paid for the photo gear, try not advertising these so called "brands" as the reason you got great images...focus on sharing your story, your dives and the people you were with.. it's more fulfilling and why short change yourself, you are the creator of the image... you deserve the recognition, not the camera gear

Camera brands are just tools, we already paid for their gear, no need to further piggyback and advertise them for free, unless you are a fanatic of it or if you into that I am ambassador to that camera brand or the owner is your pal lol...

Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Anilao, Jun V lao
Incoming turtle using a compact camera paired with the novelty bugeye lens shot at the Cathedral dive site in Anilao

Anyway, the key point I want to share in this post is you really don't need to upgrade to the latest brands of cameras to get nice pictures. For this set, I only used a 2015 model compact camera, one 2016 strobe and a novelty bugeye lens...Focus on sharing your story uniquely created by you.

Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Anilao, Jun V Lao
Macro Wide photography is enabled using the specialty bugeye lens shot in Romeo's Garden Anilao
Well, the short story about this sojourn is I came to Anilao without a camera, was on a dive guide capacity over the weekend but was lucky enough to have been lent the in house compact camera of Pier Uno Anilao.  Bought a novelty lens two weeks before this trip because I loved the outrageous macro wide effect it delivers.


Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Anilao, Jun V Lao
while still quite an expensive lens and not that sharp around the corners, know its limitations and you still get great fun shots, may not be of magazine quality but more than enough for social media shares, Shot in Secret Bay Anilao with Salbe Garsano of Pier Uno modelling
Bottomline, before thinking of sinking more money into upgrading to the latest 2019 camera gear, why not dive more, find a seasoned shooter and get some tips from Him or Her, buy them a beer, be generous enough to understand they've invested time and money to hone their craft. Sometimes, it doesn't make sense to me why divers will squeeze the professional fee of a dive pro but is willing to shell out 6 digits blindly for camera gear they don't even know how to maximize using. 

Anyway, as shared, while gear is important, finding a mentor is a cheaper and more sensible alternative and can help you decide which gear you really need, whether budget or lavish systems.

There are many of us, find someone who you enjoy being with and see your images improve for the better while saving a bundle of money for more dive trips so you can further build your portfolio with your images proudly showcasing your watermark, not the camera brands you use, cheers.

footnote: brand ambassadors are actually the worst people to get real information from since they are compensated for shares, so judgement and real feelings toward a product is already compromised from the beginning :)
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