DIY: Cheapest video camera waterhousing

Here’s an experiment I’ve been wanting to try since I was a kid. If ZipLoc bags can hold liquid, why can’t it hold it out? And if it can keep water out, than I can put a camera in that shit! First problem that I encountered is that shooting through a plastic bag looks like crap, so you need a better conduit than just freezerbag and that means more chances for leaks.
Originally, I went to the grocery store to buy an old pair of sunglasses to use for the exterior lens, but they were $15, so I found a $3 snorkel mask, then I realized that the plastic packaging that the mask was in would work well enough.
So, here’s the “how to…”, I also shot a test run clip, but wasn’t super happy with the out come. Although, the first test did prove that I could take a camera underwater with no more than left over plastic and some duct tape.

Everything you’ll need.
Cheap camera
Cheap wide angle lens-
Plastic dome….something? basically needs to be clearer than the zip-lock bag.
ZipLoc bag
Gorilla glue
Felt tip marker


Plastic lens. There’s lots of this crap packaging on so much stuff these days. I got this one from a coax TV cable that I had to buy anyways. Keep this thing as clean as possible during the building process! (Mine got some glue on it, which you’ll see later.)

Draw circle

Fold and cut

Pull tight through hole in plastic bag.

Gorilla glue the seam and let dry. You don’t really need to over do it. I tried to put it inside the bag and it was completely unnecessary. Just put it on the outside seam and smear it on there. (don’t use your finger!)

Once dry place multiple small strips of duct tape around the seam. Avoid wrinkles in the tape.

Test the bag with nothing in it before throwing the camera in there.

Put the camera in the bag, roll the excess bag to avoid leaking. This also decreases buoyancy and increases control of camera. (notice that crappy glue all over the lens, lesson learned)

Other lessons I learned:
Keep plastic dome clean
Tape and fold the hell out of that ZipLoc seal
Tape your zoom button in the wide position or it’ll move around on you.


~ by tatemacdowell on 05/18/2009.

3 Responses to “DIY: Cheapest video camera waterhousing”

  1. I’ll be hella surprised if your bag survives anything more turbulent than a swimming pool.

  2. I dare you to put your HD camera in there.

  3. Nice call Tate, now lets get to the Gros Ventre for some cliff jumping angles.

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