Hello Steven! (Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018)
Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018. (Photo: Steven Weinberg)

Photo and diving equipment: my travel gear

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I travel to do underwater photography. So in my luggage, in addition to my clothes, I take all my photo and diving equipment. Namely a hybrid camera (Canon Eos R7) and its waterproof case to use it underwater, with two underwater flashes, as well as a complete diving equipment!

Accuracy: I am not sponsored by ANY of the brands I list below when I detail my photo and diving equipment. I have equipped myself little by little, over the years, according to my needs and budget.

Since 2023: Canon Eos R7

I will test in this year 2023 a new camera, the Canon Eos R7. A hybrid camera, which represents quite a technological change compared to my old SLR camera (the Canon Eos 7D, see below). I just invested in the right waterproof case to take it underwater with me (picture below). I will update soon when I have some experience with my new "toy"...

My "precious"... Here is my new toy, the Nauticam housing to take the Canon Eos R7 underwater!
My "precious"... This is my new toy, the Nauticam housing to take the Canon Eos R7 underwater!

From 2010 to 2022: Canon Eos 7D

From 2010 to 2022, I did some photography on land and underwater with the Canon Eos 7D. Twelve years, so... You could say that I knew how to make the pleasure last and avoid the overconsumption. I had a lot of fun with it, it's a great device, and I was very happy with it. Its only flaw was that it was a bit heavy. But SLR technology is now outdated, and the performance of today's autofocus on hybrid cameras has encouraged me to finally change my camera.

Below, the material I was using until now.

In Angkor, Cambodia, in February 2011. (Photo credit: Marie Toumit / blog-plus-loin.com)
In Angkor, Cambodia, in February 2011. (Photo: Marie Toumit / blog-plus-loin.com)
Hello Steven! (Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018)
Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018. (Photo: Steven Weinberg)

So I took the 7D underwater, in an adapted waterproof case, to take my underwater pictures and videos. The accessories below allowed me a wide angle or more exactly fisheye configuration (10-17 mm) and two macro configurations (60 and 100 mm):

My Ikelite case, the flash and the portholes to take the Canon Eos 7D underwater... Yes, that's quite a lot of junk to carry!!!
The Ikelite case, a flash and the portholes (flat and dome) to take my Canon Eos 7D underwater... Yes, that's a lot of stuff to carry!
The little bazaar that I steal on a trip to be able to take photos under water ... Right, my camera with its new lens 100mm macro. Only the most fragile elements, namely the camera and lenses, its box and portholes, remain in my cabin bag. I put everything else in the hold. (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)
Since 2016, I've had a second flash, floats, an extra arm, a carrying strap... It adds a bit of junk and hardware. On the right, my Eos 7D with its 100mm macro lens (not all my lenses are visible here and there's no mini-dome either).
And here it is! The'device is ready to accompany me underwater! (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)
And here it is! The 7D (here in macro configuration) is ready to accompany me underwater! (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)

On land, while traveling, I mainly used the following lenses with the 7D:

Yes, I was lugging all this little world with me!!! Not to mention, of course, all the chargers, batteries, cords, memory cards, etc. that go with it...


Before 2010: the Canon Powershot A95, my first underwater camera

My pre-2010 camera equipment was much more modest... This compact, the Canon Powershot A95accompanied me everywhere, during several years, before give up the ghostI took it underwater for my underwater pictures, with the waterproof housing designed for this model: the WP-DC50.

I didn't have any additional lighting at the time, I only used the built-in flash. This limited me to underwater macro photography.

But I was pleasantly surprised, from the beginning, by the quality of the underwater images obtained with this minimal equipment. I used it for 4-5 years and I learned a lot with it. All the underwater pictures below have been taken with this small DSC (digital camera)...

Photographing with a DSLR AND a smartphone

The advantage of a smartphone for terrestrial photos: it is much more discreet and less cumbersome than a SLR. Everyone has this kind of phone in his pocket, now, it allows to draw it at any time without attracting attention ...

I invested in an iPhone X a few months after its release and I am bluffed by the quality of the sensor, really more than enough for souvenir pictures as well as for those intended to illustrate this blog. The iPhone allows me to take pictures when I don't have my 7D at hand, for example on the boat, between two dives, because the SLR is in its housing. Or for all the times when I prefer to walk around lightly, because the 7D still weighs a little...

I had offered me a compact as a backup camera, at the beginning of 2012: the Canon Powershot S100. It allows manual mode, it also shoots in Raw and makes excellent quality video. But since I bought the latest smartphone, I don't use it anymore and I don't take it with me on trips. It's good, it makes one less thing in the bag !

Diving equipment

I passed my camera to my guide, and for once, it is me who takes the pose!
I passed my camera to my guide, and for once, it's me who takes the pose! (Indonesia, 2015)

Regulator: Aqualung Legend LX ACD in stirrup version + Legend octopus + basic mano (great comfort for inhaling and exhaling, ACD system which prevents water from entering the first floor, a bit heavy (2.1kg). The nice little light Mikron model was not yet released when I invested at the time, and the stirrup mount was the most common in Asia, but today I would adopt a DIN.

Diving computer: the Quad of MaresIt's not too expensive, with big and readable characters, switchable in nitrox mode and you can change the battery yourself. It replaced my Puck, from the same brand, that I involuntarily left somewhere at the bottom of the water in the Red Sea in October 2016... I had it for many years, it worked perfectly. (For the veterans: my very first dive computer was a good old Uwatec Aladin, with its famous "fridge" look, it started to unblock all of a sudden, going to dive by itself in a drawer...)

BCD: a basic Seac Sub (it does not even figure anymore on the BCD page of the brand), found a long time ago, for cheap, in a big chain of sport stores (Decathlon). Very sturdy, it still works perfectly since years (it's my first one, I never changed it). It weighs 2,8kg so I plan to invest one day in a lighter and less bulky travel stab, with integrated lead pockets.

Fins: Mares Volo Power. I have two of them, in sock and adjustable versions. Their flexibility suits me well (and I make sure I never find myself paddling like a fury against the current). They allow a very fine approach and stabilization when I have to come close to a subject to photograph.

Booties: for a long time, I kept trying new ones... All of them hurt me, there was always a seam or a reinforcement that created a blister in the long run... Except the Ellie Ergo from AqualungI have definitely adopted them since 2015. No seams on the inside and no zippers. The neoprene is super soft, they fit like socks! But they are fragile: after a few dives, the inner lining frays and the reinforcement on the top of the foot comes off. So I replace them regularly.

Mask: Aqualung Micromask Technisub (very small, comfortable, easy to empty, I love it).

Wet-suit: I only dive in warm waters these days (rarely below 25-26°C except for thermoclines). So I always wear 5 mm wet suit (I even sometimes add a shorty over it when the temperature drops to 20-24°C). I currently have the Focea Comfort by Beuchat for women: I bought it in July 2015, to replace an old Aqualung, and the cold person that I am was delighted for a long time, it kept me warm and was super-comfortable. But it is well worn, I have to change it...

Accessories : a stick or "pointer" (metal rod which is used for many things, very useful to have a point of support on the sand when you take pictures underwater and which allows you to avoid touching anything), a neoprene mouse of 2,5mm neoprene mouse and a lycra that I systematically put under the suit (I'm very cold), a hook, a parachute, a small lamp, a whistle, a mirror, a knife, a clip for the octopus, various carabiners, hoods and headbands for the hair...

And to carry all this?

I equipped myself little by little, as much for diving as for underwater photography. As a result, my luggage has also grown little by little. I am not a backpacketeer anymore...

I reviewed my logistics for transporting all my little stuff and opted for wheels! I invite you to read the two articles below where I talk about it:

→ Luggage: which dive bag should you choose for travel?
→ No more backpacks, long live the wheelie bag!


  Between Two Journeys