Which filter should I use on my underwater camcorder and when (what depth)?

Without a filter or lights on your underwater camcorder all your video will look washed out and blue or green in color.

In blue water a UR-Pro red filter is used. This filter works well from about 20 to 60 feet. There is no magic depth. I use mine all the time except very close to the surface or on the surface or when using lights. There is no solution for depth except using lights with no filter or correcting for color and contrast when you are editing your video on your computer. Many editing software have color correction.

Baby Clownfish in Anemone

Which filter should I use with my underwater housing? What is white balance?
When do I use lights?

White and Black Eel

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE...will give you great underwater Video.

Got a question about video? Send questions to
Sheryl Brakey at
sjbproductions@sjbproductions.com.
We will try to answer them or give another opinion.

What if the water is green and not blue?

If you use the UR-Pro filter in green water the video will have a yellow cast. A magenta filter works here but there is a solution for PC100s and their equivalent which can not adjust white balance externally.

What is white balance?

On professional camcorders there is an external white balance control and usually on their underwater housings. On consumer camcorders their is no external controls for white balance.

White balance is used to correct for color by adjusting the white color. It can be done by automatically or manually. Usually a white slate is held in front of the lens and the white balance control is adjusted.

Most consumer camcorders adjust color automatically but there are adjustments which can be made on some consumer camcorders internally by use of a menu. They are limited.

Red Hermit Crab

When the water is green and you will know because all your video will look yellow with the UR-Pro filter, you can either use a Magenta filter or change the setting on your Camcorder white balance to 'Indoor.' What the 'indoor' setting does is make everything look like it has a blue cast. This combined with the UR-Pro filter gives you Magenta as a filter. The only problem with this setting, you cannot use your lights because everything is going to have that blue cast. Also video on the surface and not indoors will have the blue cast.

What if I want to use the filter or lights underwater?

Use the a filter (either UR-Pro or Magenta) only without lights. If you use lights, remove the filter from the lens. Otherwise, everything will have a red or purple cast to it.

What do I do if I have only a UR-Pro red filter and the water is green?

Use your UR-Pro red filter and correct the color in editing with a computer editing software which has color correction by adding blue.

This article gives you a general idea of what you need to edit video and where to start. There are a number of manufacturers with editing equipment and software available. If you have more questions on where to start with editing your own video or have a problem with editing that I may be able to answer, send your emails to sjbproductions@sjbproducitons.com.

What can I do with my Camcorder for white balance underwater?

May Camcorders have an internal white balance control which is reached through the menu. By turning on your camcorder to 'standby' and pressing the 'menu' button, you will see WHT BAL listed. Press the scroll button and scroll down to WHT BAL. It will show "AUTO." If you press the scroll button while on WHT BAL, you will see several choices--Auto, Hold, Outdoor, and Indoor. This is where you can change the white balance settings. But the changes will effect everything you take video of while in that setting.

Under normal underwater conditions as in blue water, your Camcorder on white balance 'auto' setting is fine with your UR-Pro filter or without the filter and using your lights.

But there are other problems with filters like the color of the water. The UR-Pro red filter is designed for blue water.

What is the Orange filter that came with my underwater housing?The orange filter is actually your UR-Pro red filter. Red is the first color that is lost as light travels through water to depth.

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