Underwater photography has been greatly impacted and improved because of the digital revolution. Being able to see and edit your shots before you leave the water is an incredible advantage. Back in the stone age of film cameras you had to wait until your trip was over and your film was processed before you even knew you had made a mistake that could have cost you some or all of your photos. It is not difficult to see that digital imaging has greatly improved underwater photography, and all photography for that matter. Another blessing of underwater digital cameras is that while technology is constantly improving, prices are constantly dropping.
There are two basic groups or types of digital cameras: SLR which stands for “single lens reflex” and “digi-cam” which just means digital camera, and enlarges to the smaller point and shoot models. SLR cameras resemble their film type predecessors. They are about the same size and have similar functionality. SLR cameras have advanced features, will allow you to change lenses, and are faster than the point and shoot digital cameras. Digi-cam, while easy to use, has shortcomings when compared to an SLR underwater camera.
Although SLRs are more capable than digi-cams, they require more photographic expertise and are more expensive. A point and shoot underwater camera is more affordable and much more user friendly to the hobbyist and everyday user.
Underwater camera manufacturers are now offering affordable housings for their cameras. Although housings can cost up to $ 5000, there are some good lower end options. Olympus offers a very affordable underwater digital camera and an inexpensive housing to fit it. The Olympus FE-360 is a great inexpensive pocket camera, and when combined with the Olympus PT-044 housing is an exceptional combination for the price.