If you’re anything like me, I am paranoid about losing any of the expensive accessories we carry around with us on a dive especially as I have fingers like sausages, which makes it difficult to manipulate small, fiddly items.
With this in mind, I am especially careful with cameras as I may take 2 or 3 with me on a dive so I have to make sure they are really well secured, as well as not interfere with my streamlining/trim and, most important of all, I can easily get to the camera and make full use of the photo opportunity before it disappears.
During dives, I have witnessed several losses of cameras: one was a diver in Weymouth (UK) who had it secured around his wrist while conducting a backward entry into the water and poof it was gone! The diver asked the captain if we could look for it … oh how we laughed! Another was a diver who had a bolt snap secured to the camera but got distracted by his buddy and there it was, gone! A lot of us can tell some story of losing accessories and it happens but unless we are loaded and drink pints of MOET after a dive, we need to get a personal system for all our accessories especially our cameras which we have a lot of fun with and get to bore our friends.
As mentioned, our personal system needs to be secure, accessible and non-interfering with our trim/streamlining.
Personally, I really like the tech shorts that you can put over your wetsuit or dry suit if there are no pockets on it. These Tech shorts have great big pockets with plastic or metal D rings where you can put your DSMB, spare mask, and a small snap and shoot on a retractable line which is attached to the D ring as in the picture below:
The line as well as the line housing can take about 20 ounces (approximately half a kilo) so will not have a great breaking strain if you tug on it like Geoff Capes but it is sturdy enough if you handle it slowly and smoothly. You can quickly grab the HERO camera, raise it to eye level and take that lovely pic. If you get distracted, you can simply release it and will at least get to the top of your short pocket and won’t be hanging in the sea like an ornament.
For something like the Nikon camera, as pictured below, it might be a little large to keep on a D ring in the Tech shorts so I tend to attach this on the D rings of my BCD and is held tight to the chest by the large clip and coiled plastic chord:
It’s a little bit tight when you lift to eye level but you can still easily get your picture especially when using the focus on the Nikon. Again, you can let go of the camera once taken the picture or get distracted and the camera will be safe and sound against your chest. The downside is if you need to get out of the harness in the water, then it will take a few seconds to release one side of the chord attached to the camera.
Fingers crossed, you have not lost a camera yet but you should always look to see what other divers use for their accessories especially home made gear so please BLOG or post any great ideas you have. Better still, bring them along when you come diving with DIVERS FIRST.