Underwater photography with the iPhone?
It doesn’t seem that long ago that we tried to revive damp smartphones by sticking them in a bag of rice and hoping for the best.
Today, most modern smartphones are “water resistant”. If water gets into them, they will not be destroyed, as in the past. Yet we are not supposed to immerse them in water. But try telling the kids that.
Underwater iPhone Images
My friend Alex called me recently, excited about the underwater photos his daughters were getting on the iPhone. He was right, the pictures and photos were amazing. But the idea of putting a naked iPhone in water seemed a little scary to me. A few years ago my iPhone wouldn’t charge due to “water damage” in the charging port. So I would be wary of putting on a $1000 device that makes me live in water for an extended period of time.
Alex and his 13-year-old daughter, Zadie, had no such qualms, and happened to be “staying” near me at a local beach resort. So I stopped by to chat with Zadie recently and gave her one of my old phones to film on. You can watch the interview by clicking this YouTube link or by listening to the full chat on the latest episode of the iPhone Photo Show podcast.
Underwater photography “shows the kind of photos you can’t normally take but would love to take when you’re having fun,” Zadie tells me.
It takes you to an underworld where the sky is usually always blue. Sometimes there are bubbles and it’s always dreamlike. Yes, it’s just too much fun.
But is your iPhone safe?
I had fun shooting videos and photos with the iPhone in the rain. While the photos looked great, the LCD became completely unresponsive. I had to dry it out for it to respond to my commands. Zadie agreed that the LCD screen doesn’t like water. As a workaround, Zadie said she used the volume button to trigger the shutter instead of the on-screen button. For the video, she started it before the phone fell in the water.
And what happened after Zadie took my old phone for a swim? Has it stopped charging? Has the screen been damaged? Have there been any problems? None.
However, Apple does not approve. Apple’s website states that in no uncertain terms, we have to take the phone in the drink.
To avoid liquid damage, avoid these:
- Swimming or bathing with your iPhone
- Using your iPhone in a sauna or steam room
- Intentionally submerging your iPhone in water.
Samsung is less keen on going underwater with recent Galaxy devices than Apple, saying they’re IP68 rated, meaning they can be submerged for up to 30 minutes at less than 1 .5 meters. iPhones have the same rating, just a different warning for customers.
There is no doubt that Zadie has had fantastic results with the underwater iPhone. But at such a high price for the device, which many of us use to run our businesses and personal lives, I still don’t think the potential risk is worth it. However, I have a solution.
When my son was growing up, I used to shell out over $20 for a single-use cardboard Kodak camera that could be taken underwater, and then spend another $20 to develop the film. In other words, each shoot costs around $50. They didn’t shoot any video and you only have 24 shots per camera.
Fortunately, we all live in the digital age. So, if the kids or spouse are comfortable with the iPhone, why not buy a second-hand iPhone for the exclusive use of the pool and rain shots? You don’t need a high-end model either, because you won’t be using multiple lenses. A large underwater shot is all you need.
A used iPhone SE can be picked up for less than $250. Good recent Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones are also available in the same price range. If they’re wrong, because of all the water games, you’re not too far off.
Or spend around $200 for a waterproof point-and-shoot, or better yet, $200 to $300 for a used GoPro, which can do double duty, with pool and ocean footage.
Keep the expensive phone for the important stuff and the secondary phone (without wireless service, of course, why pay for that?) as a wet phone.
Last resort: Buy a waterproof case for the iPhone, like the Hitcase. Its case is both “drop-proof” and waterproof up to 10 feet, and with protection you could potentially take it into the ocean. However, I would still be wary of putting my work/home phone in the deep blue sea, and would rather do so with the SE. And you?
#Mobile #Mondays #iPhone #Underwater #Photography