Do you fancy dipping your toes into the wonderful world of underwater photography? Come with us as we dive into the deep end to show you the best waterproof camera.
Modern waterproof cameras pack impressive features into compact bodies. They maintain excellent image quality but are still able to withstand harsh conditions.
Whether you are a diver, kayaker or mountain biker looking to capture action shots, here is a selection of the best waterproof, rugged cameras that will hold up to your active lifestyle.
1. Olympus Tough TG-5
A sturdy companion in the most extreme weather conditions.
Weight: 249g | Photo resolution: 12MP | Waterproof: Down to -15m | Freezeproof: 14°F or -10°C | Shockproof: 2.1m | Screen Size: 3 inches | Video resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
The Olympus Tough TG-5 will get the job done even in the most extreme situations, whether you are climbing, diving, rafting or hiking. This camera can withstand 100kg of pressure and will survive a fall from up to 2.1m. Its rugged body is freezeproof to -10°C. And with a high IP code rating of IPX8, this camera is waterproof up to 15m.
To compensate for underwater discoloration, the TG-5 has an underwater photography mode that enhances red tones for vivid results. It shoots up to 20 frames per second, which is great for action photos. It is also dustproof to a rating of IP6X, which lets you capture moments in harsh environments, such as the remote savannah or sandy dunes. Additionally, the TG-5 has a GPS, a manometer, a compass, and a thermometer to show you all the important information about your surrounding environment.
2. GoPro Hero7 Black
A tiny but versatile device that shoots smooth underwater video.
Weight: 117g | Photo resolution: 12MP | Waterproof: Down to -10m | Freezeproof: No | Shockproof: No | Screen Size: 2 inches | Video resolution: 4K
While it doesn’t look like a conventional camera, this small device will capture your adventures effortlessly. The camera is waterproof up to 10m and boasts a set of features that make it ideal for vlogging. Its smart processor will automatically apply tone and noise reduction according to the environment. Plus, The Hero7 Black also has a Voice Control system, which lets you control the camera without the use of your hands.
The GoPro Hero7 Black has a 4K video resolution with HyperSmooth stabilization: making even the shakiest footage look good. Furthermore, you can record high-quality time-lapse and stabilized slow-motion clips as well.
Plus, if you can’t wait to share your experiences, it offers live streaming to Facebook Live. And the rear touchscreen means sharing is just like working with your smartphone. Some of the downsides are that it has a short battery life, is not shock-proof or cold-proof, and streaming can be difficult to set up.
3. Fujifilm FinePix XP130
A feature-packed underwater camera, useable in the harshest of conditions.
Weight: 453g | Photo resolution: 16.4MP | Waterproof: Down to -20m | Freezeproof: 14°F or -10°C | Shockproof: 1.75m | Screen Size: 3 inches | Video resolution: FullHD 1080p
Equipped with a 16.4-megapixel sensor, the Fujifilm FinePix XP130 produces photos with excellent quality, even in harsh conditions.
It is shockproof, freezeproof, dustproof and waterproof. The camera will operate at up to 20m underwater and survive a fall from up to 1.75m. It won’t malfunction even in -10°C. Plus, its dust-proof rating is IP6X. For underwater shooting, XP130 has both an Underwater and an Underwater Macro mode, that reproduces the rich colors of nature.
Thanks to its many added features, the FinePix XP130 is suitable for other types of photography as well. The Electronic Level means it’s great for landscape photography, while the Eye Detection is great for shooting sharp, elegant portrait photography. And if you want more creative freedom, you can try Double Exposure or choose from 11 other filters.
4. Ricoh WG-60
A rugged choice with long battery life.
Weight: 227g | Photo resolution: 16MP | Waterproof: Down to -14m | Freezeproof: 14°F or -10°C | Shockproof: 1.5m | Screen Size: 2.7 inches | Video resolution: FullHD 1080p
The Ricoh WG-60 is a feature-rich, rugged camera designed to sustain a beating, and can shoot in any conditions. It is waterproof to 14m, shockproof up to 1.6 m, crushproof to 100 kg, and freezeproof to -10°C. A unique digital microscope uses 6 LEDs around the lens barrel to create even lighting for a perfect macro shot.
Plus, this camera has 24 scene modes, to suit any environment you may find yourself in. This is great if you’re a beginner or shooting on the go.
Furthermore, it has a long battery life of 300 shots, or 260 minutes of video: impressive for this kind of camera. And in case that’s not enough, the Ricoh WG-60 is also lighter than its predecessor, a bonus for those who prioritize portability.
5. Nikon W300
Dive deep with this feature-packed favorite.
Weight: 231g | Photo resolution: 16MP | Waterproof: Down to -30m | Freezeproof: 14°F or -10°C | Shockproof: 2.4m | Screen Size: 3 inches | Video resolution: 4K Ultra HD
If you crave 4K video with lots of other features, turn your attention to the Nikon W300. It is waterproof up to an impressive 30m and shockproof to 2.4m. Its operating temperature varies: on land, it can withstand -10°C, while underwater, it will function at up to 0°C.
Its lens has a 5x optical zoom, long enough for medium telephoto shooting, or macro photography. This zoom system includes a Hybrid Vibration Reduction function with 5-axis stabilization.
It also boasts GPS, an eCompass, an altimeter, a depth gauge, Wi-Fi, and even Bluetooth. Plus there are 20 scene modes to choose from. However, it does not work well in low light and the battery life is short.
6. SeaLife DC2000
A specialist camera designed for beginners and pros alike.
Weight: 599g | Photo resolution: 20MP | Waterproof: Down to -18m | Freezeproof: No | Shockproof: 1.5m | Screen Size: 3 inches | Video resolution: FullHD 1080p
One of the most specialized cameras on this list, the SeaLife DC2000 has 4 different underwater shooting modes. These include Dive, Snorkel, External Light, and External Flash. Each of these modes has three color correction filters.
Furthermore, the DC2000 has a Macro mode and a Super Macro mode, to better capture the small fish or sea life you may meet during a dive. These modes and filters are great for beginners, but if you are a more experienced photographer, the camera also allows for manual shooting.
Its improved autofocus and shutter capture even the fastest animals. The camera does not have 4K video, but it does have a good Full HD resolution. It is waterproof up to -18m and shockproof up to 1.5m. However, it is an expensive piece of kit and if you shoot in RAW, it can slow the performance of the camera.
7. Olympus TG-Tracker
A dream for videographers with its fish-eye lens and flip-out LCD screen.
Weight: 181g | Photo resolution: 8MP | Waterproof: Down to -30m | Freezeproof: 14°F or -10°C | Shockproof: 2.1m | Screen Size: 1.5 inches | Video resolution: 4K
The Olympus TG-Tracker is a videographer’s dream.
It boasts 4K video and will even keep recording down to -30m underwater. Naturally, it is also crushproof up to 100kg, shockproof up to 2.1m, and freezeproof up to -10°C.
It includes a very wide, fish-eye lens, which adds another dimension to underwater photos. It is also equipped with GPS, an eCompass, a thermometer, an accelerometer, a barometer, and other action sensors.
The camera has a 5-axis image stabilization system and a high-quality lens, plus a comfortable handgrip for increased steadiness. The lens provides noise-free, crisp, vivid images even in low light situations. An added bonus is that the LCD screen can be flipped out–a feature no other camera on this list has.
8. Panasonic Lumix FT7
A top contender boasting high-quality images thanks to huge resolution.
Weight: 317g | Photo resolution: 20.4MP | Waterproof: Down to -31m | Freezeproof: 14°F or -10°C | Shockproof: 2m | Screen Size: 3 inches | Video resolution: 4K
The Panasonic Lumix FT7 has the biggest sensor on our list with a 20-megapixel resolution–producing photos of exceptional quality. Waterproof down to a staggering -31m, this is a camera made for deep divers. It is also able to withstand a fall from 2m.
As you would expect, it has built-in environment indicators, such as GPS, compass, and altimeter. The lens has an average zoom of up to 35mm. And for convenience, the camera can be charged with a USB.
If you want to try your hand at action photography, the FT7 has a 4K Photo function that takes a video of 30 frames per second, which can then be split into individual frames. As a bonus, the camera also boasts an electronic viewfinder. However, the battery life is not great and there is no option to shoot RAW.
9. Canon PowerShot D30
A bargain staple for beginner underwater photographers.
Weight: 218g | Photo resolution: 12MP | Waterproof: Down to -25m | Freezeproof: 14°F or -10°C | Shockproof: 2m | Screen Size: 3 inches | Video resolution: FullHD 1080p
Harboring Smart Auto and Intelligent Stabilization, the Canon PowerShot D30 is great for newbie underwater photographers.
The Smart Auto mode detects the scene on its own and controls the settings so you don’t have to. The image stabilization analyzes and automatically corrects various types of camera shake.
The new Sunlight LCD screen corrects the display in bright light for optimal view. In terms of its underwater capabilities, it functions down to -25m of depth. It is also shockproof, withstanding a fall from a height of up to 2m.
This camera provides limited environment indications and does not include a WiFi connection function, but, considering the price, it makes a great tool for capturing adventurous holidays.
10. DiCAPac WP-S10 Pro DSLR Camera Series Waterproof Case
The ultimate in underwater protection for your pro DSLR or mirrorless camera.
Weight: 448g | Photo resolution: N/A | Waterproof: Down to -4.8m | Freezeproof: No | Shockproof: No | Screen Size: No | Video resolution: N/A
This item is for those who already own a DSLR or mirrorless camera and want to take them below the surface of the sea–the ultimate waterproof case.
It is made from thermoplastic polyurethane, and despite enveloping your camera, it still provides access to all controls.
It includes a clear UV-coated polycarbonate lens port that lets a lot of light through, and it will accept lenses as big as 8cm in diameter or 9.5cm in length.
Furthermore, it has anti-fog and scratch-resistant properties. If your camera’s body is a little short, there is also extra sponge in the case that will lift it up to align the lens with the port.
You can go as deep as -10m underwater without damaging your precious gear. Additionally, the case is very lightweight, so it will be comfortable to work and travel with.
How to Choose the Best Underwater Camera
The best way to choose the right waterproof camera for you is to assess the locations you will be traveling to.
No matter what the environment you find yourself in, there is always a camera that will do the job thanks to countless shockproof, freezeproof and waterproof capabilities.
Whether you are planning to go snorkeling above coral reefs or hiking in unstable weather, there is a model out there suitable for you.
Dive into Your Underwater Photography Dreams
The best waterproof cameras are compact, lightweight, and offer all the features you need to shoot in conditions that a traditional camera might struggle in.
Adding a rugged, underwater camera to your gear will allow you to capture images a traditional camera would not.
So why not splash out–soon even the depths of the oceans will be within your photographic reach. If you value your memories as much as your experiences, make sure you pack one before leaving for your next adventure!
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