How to Film Wildlife Underwater without an Action Camera

An inspection camera or endoscope is a tool that helps people examine hard-to-reach areas such as behind a wall or inside a pipe. It commonly can be used to inspect the cars, but have you been used the inspection camera to film wildlife underwater?

Generally, inspection cameras are either wired or wireless. What's more, inspection cameras come in many sizes with different features such as waterproofness and distance range. When selecting an inspection camera for filming wildlife underwater, it would be good to choose one with a cable length of at least five meters since the depth of the water tends to be deeper than five meters. Also, it's better if the inspection camera is waterproof so that you don't get caught in surprise by rainfall when you put it in the water.

depstech waterproof endoscope

Last but not least, inspection cameras come in all shapes and sizes, so it's essential to pick one that suits your needs. For example, you can consider inspection cameras that are easy to mount on an endoscope tube for inspection pipes or cars, while inspection cameras that are used for inspecting marine engines are usually small enough to fit into tight spaces. 

It is possible to film wildlife using action cameras via attaching it to your head or body with an adhesive mount, but not always the most convenient solution. For example, there are situations where you need to be very small and nimble to access hard-to-reach places or move quickly. There are also times when providing video evidence of the wildlife's existence is critical for conservation efforts, so one has to gather enough footage within a given time frame. 

The usage of an endoscope in inspecting underwater is a surprising find because my arm hurt last month and could not swim in the water. I took out the endoscope used to repair my car, and put it’s cable into the river in front of my house, do you know what I find out? Due to its strong waterproofness and great ability, the endoscope filmed the fishes clearly even in the worst scenario with low visibility.

Using depstech endoscope to film wildlife underwater

Anyone would rarely think of using one of these inspection cameras to look for wildlife. This precisely appears to be minor at first, but as people become more comfortable with the pole, tiny fish emerge from the dark water. These are most likely European minnows, which seldom grow larger than 8 inches long and may number in the millions in a small geographic location. Minnows have gathered in this drain as the water drains away from nearby roads, most likely consuming the organic matter that washes down.

The unique characteristics of drainage systems make them difficult places for animals to make their homes. Drainage systems are typically dark, wet, narrow spaces with poor ventilation. However, they can provide ample food for some animals living in the drain, attracting them there. These are the same characteristics that make an inspection camera so valuable for these systems. Still, they can also be referred to when using inspection cameras to film wildlife in drains!

If you are also looking for an endoscope to film underwater, please be aware: Firstly, inspection cameras are typically designed for pipe inspection, rather than filming underwater, they usually have a limited field of view (FOV). Secondly, inspection cameras will not provide high-resolution images of wildlife. To meet these challenges, you can consider buying a waterproof endoscope with a flexible camera to bend into the narrowest section and still fit through small rodding holes.

The inspection camera used was one picked up from DEPSTECH at around $50. Its waterproofness is listed as IP68 - considered 'dustproof' and able to submerge down to 3 meters without damage. The inspection camera must be semi-rigid that will give you good flexibility and visibility for both ends of the inspection.

When taking an inspection camera into a drain, it is good practice to choose one with enough lights. The inspection camera must be balanced well enough to shoot a smooth video. Any time you are using your inspection camera in an unusual place, there are several things you should do before beginning your inspection: test, whether the inspection camera will fit between obstacles, determine where any blind spots may occur, make sure lighting, is sufficient. It's also important to know what you would use for support if crawling.