If you want to get some good photos or videos underwater, a GoPro is a great choice! GoPro’s are super easy to use and a less expensive option than most other underwater cameras. But perhaps you’ve been disappointed, like many others, with the results when you’ve checked out your shots after the dive.
But the good news is, these bad-quality diving shots can be easily fixed with simple add-on accessories for your GoPro.
Why do you need underwater accessories for your GoPro?
Unlike the other options that we reviewed in our guide to the top dive cameras, GoPro wasn’t made with a white balance setting that is optimized for the underwater environment.
Shooting underwater means you have to consider additional factors that you wouldn’t have to think about on land, mainly the white balance and lack of colors.
Although it can produce very high-quality footage, the GoPro is still just a simple action camera, so you will need to add a few accessories in order to achieve those amazing shots you’re after.
The two main problems GoPro users experience with underwater footage are the bad coloring (the greenish tinge or loss of vibrancy once you’re deeper than 5 meters) and the shakiness in videos.
In this guide, we will list some quick fixes for these common problems, and our favorite GoPro accessories for scuba diving.
So let’s dive in…
GoPro accessories you need underwater
1. A simple red filter
No red filter VS red filter
We are just going to jump right into it with the most important GoPro accessory you need underwater: A RED FILTER! Just look at the two photos above, or you might recognize the green style from your own photos. With just this cheap little red filter, you can see a HUGE difference. If you only get one underwater accessory for your GoPro, then get a red filter. You won’t regret it, we promise!
Why a red filter works and is essential underwater, is because light doesn’t penetrate so deep, and colors, mainly reds, do not show up. You can either fix this by adding big lights (which are expensive and can be bulky to travel with), or by just adding the red filter to your lens (very affordable and compact for travel!).
Just this simple, little GoPro accessory will solve most of your problems. We recommend having the filter on a little string so you won’t lose it when you take it off near the surface. Once you’re within 5 meters of the surface, there’s enough light so you don’t need to use the filter. Or you get the opposite problem and your shots end up red! You can purchase a clip for the red filter that attaches directly to your GoPro housing.
Sometimes a pole is the only way to get close, but never harass them
A telescoping pole with a GoPro on the end is always a good way to get much closer shots of those shy critters. There are also obvious applications for you selfie-lovers, but for us, it is great for getting much closer to those creatures that don’t normally let you get closer with a big camera. And in general, you always want to be a little closer than you think when shooting subjects underwater.
There is a fine line, however, between getting closer, and full-on harassment, and we are strongly against any sort of harassment or manipulation of marine critters, so keep that in mind. If you have to annoy the creature or damage the reef, then it’s not worth it. Better to just enjoy the moment!
Another thing you can use the pole/handle for is to help keep the camera stable. If you find a den or hole with an octopus or something interesting, that won’t let you get close without disappearing, you can just lay the pole in the sand (please don’t wedge it any delicate coral!), aim the camera at the hole and swim off.
The creature will then usually venture out and the extended pole keeps the small camera still while filming, and you can get some great shots that way! You’ll probably need to tie a weight to the pole for this. Using the timelapse setting for this can also create some seriously cool footage.
Whatever you do with it, an extending pole is very versatile!
Always time to play around with the dome during surface intervals
This isn’t really for scuba diving, but might be the ultimate GoPro toy for snorkeling or swimming on the surface. You can put your GoPro into the casing that has a dome attached, and get those awesome split shots, above and below the water.
The only downside to these that I have experienced, is that they are a little bulky for travel, and need to be taken care of. The big 6″ dome is easy to scratch or break and needs to be packed very carefully.
And here is a little tip we learned recently: Before jumping into the water with this set-up, be sure to keep the dome in some water on the boat. If I have had the GoPro and dome laying out in the sun, and then jumped straight into the water, the lens has been known to fog, which you can’t fix in the water. Maybe you can even find an anti-fog spray for the inside, not sure.
Whatever you do, split shots are definitely going to make your friends jealous, so make sure to get one for your next trip. It even makes cool shots in the pool!
The three listed above are our must-have GoPro accessories for underwater shots. If you only buy these, you really can’t go wrong! you can’t go wrong. Once you have fixed the colors with a red filter, and learn to perfect your stable shots for video, you will be getting great content!
If you want to explore even more cool underwater GoPro accessories, check out these…
To be honest, GoPros are so small, that any shake at all shows up huge on videos, and the bad part is you don’t know it until you go home and look at the footage. You think all is good and you are steady but in reality, it’s unusable.
This two-handed tray, which we recommend for all underwater cameras, is a huge help for that steady shot. If you want the most pro-quality videos from your GoPro, this is what you need. Use this adaptor for a connecter.
In many situations, a red filter is just not enough to pick up the colors. But if there is really low light, then a red filter will just make your shots too dark, and you will need a light to capture the vibrancy and detail. The same goes if you are doing cenotes diving or on a night dive.
The good thing about the light above is that you can use it on the tray, or even on the GoPro pole. You will need this adapter for the tray. You just attach the light, then the camera on top. Works great.
If you are wanting even more vivid colors for your photos and videos, here is your best option. You could even use all three lights! If you are going deep with less natural light, then you can bring your own with this set up.
For this option, you will also need this 1″ ball joint clamp, and this 1″ ball to mount, to connect lights to tray handles. If you want to get really fancy, you can also get arms to extend the lights out.
The ultimate Underwater GoPro Accessories checklist for diving
Just so you don’t forget anything, here is our list of the accessories you will need for the ultimate underwater GoPro setup.
- GoPro Hero 9
- GoPro 9 60m dive housing
- A red filter for housing
- Telescoping pole
- LED light for pole or tray
- 64gb macro SD card (get a few)
- Extra GoPro batteries (get lots)
- Portable power pack
- GoPro split shot dome
What are your favorite GoPro accessories for diving? Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments below.