The iPhone 7 is the most weather-resistant iPhone yet, but unlike some of its Android competition it’s still not waterproof. If you buy the right case, though, you can take it to the beach and out into the surf this summer.
One of the biggest selling points of the iPhone 7 and the larger-screened 7 Plus is that it handles the outdoors a little better than previous models. You will need a properly protective and waterproof case for your iPhone, though, if you intend on doing anything actually underwater. Apple very specifically calls out the iPhone 7 as being water resistant rather than waterproof, and we don’t want to be responsible for you walking into an Apple Store with a soggy 7 Plus and getting sadly turned away.
These photos above and below come to us from Tech21, which has just released the Evo Aqua in Australia for $99.95 through JB Hi-Fi. It’s waterproof to three metres’ depth for an hour, as well as resisting drops of up to two metres. Here’s all the nitty-gritty specs.
Mark Fitz, an ocean photographer — check out some of his amazing shots on Instagram — has six tips that you should follow to make sure your underwater photos are as good as they could be.
1. Know your smartphone and its settings – unlike above the water, you can’t use the touch screen underwater. To be able to take photos you’ll need to use the volume key to take the photo. Try this out above the water first to get comfortable using them: there’s nothing worse than missing a great shot because you couldn’t press the shutter release in time.
2. Know the subject you’re shooting and its behavior – if you’re shooting a subject that is fast moving, then use the Burst mode. This will take multiple photos in a very short frame of time and can be the difference between getting the fish in the middle of your frame or just getting its tail in the corner as it swims away. Very rarely will a marine animal sit still and pose for you, so you need to be aware of what your camera is capable of and use the setting that best suits the conditions.
3. Time of day – when shooting underwater I like to shoot between 10am and 2pm. This is when the sun is at its highest point in the sky and provides the best visibility underwater. Ideally you would like it bright and sunny with no cloud cover. If there are clouds it’s not the end of the world, but keep an eye on where the sun is in relation to the clouds and wait until the sun comes out for the shot. Also, try to keep the sun either right above you or behind you: if you shoot into the sun quite often this can give the water a green tinge instead of beautiful blues.
4. Get as close as you think you need to be, and then get even closer – the main reason for getting close is you’ll get better colours and sharpness in the image. The more water between you and the subject, the more colour you will lose and the less sharp the image will be. Smartphones don’t have filters that can be attached to the lens as with SLRs, so you need to get as close as you can to eliminate the loss of colour.
5. Try to get at eye level with the subject or underneath it – this makes the viewer feel like they’re right there in that moment. Quite often when people are starting out snorkeling on the surface they tend to just shoot straight down. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some amazing images taken from straight above a subject, but more often than not the place to be for the best image is right down there with them at their level – just be careful to go no deeper than your waterproof camera casing is rated for.
6. Practice, practice, practice – as with all things, the more you get out there and practice something, the better you’ll get. The best place to start off is a swimming pool. The water clarity is good and the water is calmer. Once you’re comfortable here, look at progressing to the ocean. You will learn what style you like shooting the most and these things will become second nature to you.
Here are all the beautiful underwater photos that Fitz captured with the iPhone 7 wearing a Tech21 Evo Aqua case. [Tech21]