Goldfish all gone? Turn that empty tank into an underwater housing

If you have a digital SLR and don’t want to blow two grand on an underwater housing, check out the alternative the folks at Digital Camera World came up with. Just put your camera into a clean fish tank, attach a remote shutter release cable, lower the tank into the water, and fire away. Naturally, this only works in calm water, so don’t take it into the ocean unless you fancy buying a new camera.

Though the site mentions you have to take a lot of shots and check the results because you can’t see through the viewfinder, it’s worth pointing out that using an SLR with a swivel screen would allow you to compose while you shoot.

A Nikon DSLR in a fish tank starts its dive under the water. [Photo: Digital Camera World]

Feeling brave and want to try it for yourself? You’ll find instructions via the source link below. And don’t forget to make sure that fish tank doesn’t leak before you take it for a dip!

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DotCom Editor

I think this is a brilliant idea and I recommend it to all Nikon owners.

Eamon Hickey

My friend Nick Didlick, a professional photographer and Nikon School Instructor, has been doing this for years with a very cheap and simple setup.

He uses a plastic trash can that he buys at the local drug store, cuts a hole in it near the bottom, then expoxies the cover glass from a 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 picture frame over the hole (on the outside of the trash can).

I’ve seen some nice shots of trout and other fish that he’s taken in rivers and creeks using his “BucketCam”, as he calls it. But, yes, he has pushed it a little too far into the water and doused a camera once or twice. He likes to dry them on the heater vent of his car during the drive home.


I’ll stick to using my TG-1 thanks …


Yeah, like this is a good idea… NOT


Good to see the recruitment drive for a new editor finally bearing fruit. Meanwhile, over at Gearshop….



No, I don’t think so…


Pioneers of underwater photography used similar devices (though rather a metal housing with a window) turned upside down, a la diving bell


some potential benefits:
– optical quality of a used aquarium has a potential of interesting artistic filter effects
– you can leave the fish inside for extra ghosting
– if you need to service your camera, you can keep it floating in the water that entered the aquarium to facilitate accurate troubleshooting
– having a wired remote allows you to recover your camera without soaking your hands in that muddy lake


maybe rig it so that the camera does not sit right on the floor of the aquarium. At least you get a period of grace before any water ingress starts to float the camera.

Paul De Bra

This is generally a bad idea! Be very careful with the choice of fish tank!
A fish tank is designed to keep water in, not out. It can withstand the pressure of the water in the tank that is trying to pull the fish tank apart. It is not designed to withstand the pressure of water pushing on the glass towards the inside.
I remember in the old days you were not even supposed to empty a fish tank completely (to clean it) because the loss of pressure could already spring a leak. So you have to be very careful to check whether your fish tank can withstand pressure from the outside. Not all fish tanks will survive being dipped in a lake.


Why not just buy a submarine?


There MUST be a third picture they forgot to post that really shows how clever the contraption is. Otherwise…


Must be a sloooow news day


what could possibly go wrong?


Hum…i can’t exactly tell what it is but something doesn’t seem right with this setup.


Just buy a cheap DSLR and a cheap Sigma lens and who cares if it goes in the drink!

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