Underwater Gear for the Smartphone Photographer: AquaTech, Cressi, Da Fin, Matador, Lume


For your next tropical getaway, this setup will help your Instagram be so much more than just—yawn—sunsets and artfully arranged cocktails.

1. AquaTech AxisGo Water Housing

The chunky grip and stainless steel buttons on this waterproof case give any iPhone model 7 or higher a “real camera” feel for shooting stills and video as much as 33 feet beneath the surface. The optional pistol grip ($99) allows for trigger-finger shutter presses, and the 6-inch acrylic dome ($199) screws over the lens to let users capture sharp, seamless scenes that start underwater, then emerge above the surface—or vice versa. The AxisGo comes with a wrist leash that will ensure your treasured iPhone doesn’t end up in Davy Jones’ locker.


2. Cressi Panoramic 4 Window Dive Mask

This mask’s four lenses, two over each eye, wrap around your face, displaying the wonders of the ocean (or hotel pool) in a dramatic widescreen format. Once peripheral vision is in play, there’s a much better chance of spotting, say, an elusive moray eel before it ducks back into its hideaway. The mask’s ratchet bindings (like on ski boots) make it easy to get a proper fit—enough of a seal to keep the water out, but not so tight that you get a headache.


3. Da Fin

Those tropical Poma­centridae are spry; grabbing a shot of one requires quick moves. These all-­rubber swim fins are flexible enough to boost maneuver­ability ­underwater­, but the vertical spines on their outside edges help stabilize the blade—giving you more oomph out of each kick. They float in salt water, making­ them easy to find. And when you’re done ogling octopi, they’re great for bodysurfing.


4. Matador NanoDry Shower Towel

The nanofibers in this lightweight towel will suck the salt water (and sand!) off your hands before you get your phone out of its underwater case. The 5-ounce towel is a useful 47 by 24 inches but packs down into a silicone carrying case about the size of a cigarette pack. When mine is saturated from a post-dive wipe-down, I clip it to the outside of my pack using the carabiner it comes with; it dries so much faster than my Star Wars beach towel.


5. Lume Cube Air

Depending on the weather and how deep you’re diving, the light underwater can be plenty murky. This waterproof LED lamp allows you to choose from four brightness settings to illuminate the scene and get that gorgeous humuhumunukunukuapuaa to shimmer. The battery lasts about 30 minutes on the highest setting. A magnet on the Cube’s side lets it cling to any metal surface, but I was happy to see that it comes with a leash, just to be safe.


Styling by Audrey Taylor

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