The variety of locations you can photograph in is greatly increased with the help of a waterproof camera. You can take comfort in bringing it near the water’s edge or dumping it in a river, knowing it will be fine.
So, you’ve made up your mind to buy an underwater camera. If so, you’ve likely seen numerous alluring cameras available, but you are unsure which one to pick for your next snorkeling adventure.
To ease your deliberation, we have analyzed 15 top underwater cameras to help you narrow down your options. Listed below are some of the pros and cons of each option.
That said, let’s dive in.
Nikon Coolpix W300
Here is one of the best underwater cameras for your next snorkeling adventure digital. The electronic compass and barometer on the Nikon W300 make it an exceptional underwater camera, and its depth rating of 30 meters exceeds that of other waterproof cameras.
There’s also Bluetooth support, which works nicely with Nikon’s SnapBridge technology for speedy photo sharing. The W300 has a large shockproof rating of 2.4m, making it especially safe against bumps and knocks, and 4K video is a great addition for videographers.
The 4K HD camera produces high-quality images, and the 5X lens ensures that even faraway details are easily captured.
The omission of Raw capability is unfortunate, but if you’re OK with JPEGs, you’ll discover that it’s a fantastic all-around camera for daring dives.
- Extensive enough of a zoom range.
- The best waterproofing available.
- You can pick from four different shades.
- Capable of withstanding any type of climate.
- Shooting with quick autofocus and a continuous flurry of shots is possible.
- This camera is built to last and can withstand being dropped from any height.
- Admittedly Expensive.
- Lack of Raw support.
- Low-light underwater photography leaves plenty to be desired; a dedicated external flash is recommended.
Sealife Micro 3.0
SeaLife cameras are your best bet when it comes to underwater photography, especially if you don’t want to spend the money on dedicated underwater housings and optical ports for your DSLR camera.
The camera’s capacity to be submerged to a depth of 60 meters (200 feet) is astounding in and of itself. Still, the 16-megapixel Sony-derived sensor and RAW shooting capability add to its photographic prowess. The camera, which is fully sealed to prevent leakage, weighs only 329 grams.
The camera is available on its own, but we recommend looking into the various kits that include one or more of SeaLife’s brilliant LED lights if you plan on using the camera for deep dives (which is its intended use).
These are not just thick ergonomic carrying handles but can produce at least 3000 watts to illuminate muddy underwater depths.
Because of its low price, flexibility, and ease of use, this is a great option for snorkeling beginners.
- Waterproof to a depth of 60 meters.
- Large, easy-to-use buttons.
- Optional illumination.
- Useful and easy to handle.
- The ability to shoot in RAW format.
- Small imaging detector.
- Small, low-resolution display.
- No zoom.
Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
The Panasonic Lumix LX100 II has improved over its predecessor, making it easier to record steady video and take sharp pictures, even when the photographer is shaking a bit.
Because of its 4K resolution, this camera makes it simple to record all of your exciting underwater adventures. It’s also a fantastic camera for use on land.
The macro setting is great for shooting shrimp and nudis in their natural habitat. When zoomed in, it picks up even the distant tiniest features in stunning detail.
The LX100 II is highly regarded by content creators, casual photographers, and expert snorkellers for its user-friendliness and high-quality photos and videos.
It is an unrivaled user-friendly camera that excels in underwater and terrestrial environments.
- Superb mode for close-up photography.
- It boasts excellent anti-shake functionality.
- This camera stands out from the rest with its plethora of optional extras.
- It was built using a few sensors that significantly affect the final image.
- It’s an expensive camera that requires an additional investment in housing; however, if you can afford it, you won’t be let down.
Canon G7x Mark II
Canon is an industry leader and a name that can be relied on when purchasing a camera. As expected, the G7x Mark II produces sharp, detailed images making it one of the best underwater cameras.
This camera’s 20.1-megapixel lens and intuitive point-and-shoot controls are a pleasure to take high-resolution photos. Extra batteries, a memory card wallet, a lens pen, an HDMI cable, screen covers, a microfiber cleaning cloth, stain remover, and cotton swabs are just a few of the extras included in the Canon G7x kit.
Canon’s new DIGIX 7 technology excels underwater, enabling quicker autofocus and improved RAW capture. The ability to set a custom white balance with a single button is a huge plus. You can set up your camera virtually anywhere with the help of the included 12-inch spider tripod.
The G7X is a worthwhile investment for any snorkeler searching for a flexible camera that requires little maintenance or upkeep.
- It can withstand the weather without showing signs of wear.
- Everything you need to get started is included in the purchase package.
- Images and video in stunning 4K resolution.
- Superior point-and-shoot functionality compared to many comparable compacts.
- It supports memory cards of up to 64GB, allowing you to expand the device’s storage capacity.
- The included charging cable is geared toward European plugs and won’t work in most US sockets.
- The Mark II is a larger camera than the G7X it replaces, so if you’re upgrading from the G7X, you’ll need to buy new housing.
Sony Alpha a7II
The Sony Alpha a7II is your one-stop-shop for an underwater camera with professional-grade image quality. An exceptional 24.3-megapixel camera ensures that every detail is caught, and the world’s first five-axis optical zoom design ensures you’ll get amazing shots even if you’re moving with the current. The same can be said for the video quality.
Your Sony a7II will be safe and sound within an Ikelite housing, allowing you to explore the reef without worrying about your camera.
You won’t be burdened by its weight, as the Alpha a7II’s mirrorless design makes it surprisingly lightweight despite its extensive feature set.
This device is a great choice, especially if you want some amazing still photography.
- A camera with 24.3 MP is impressive.
- On land or in the water, the image stability is unparalleled.
- Unlike any other device, it can take high-definition images and videos while you’re moving.
- The battery life is subpar; we recommend fully charging your device before you begin shooting.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Every underwater photographer who takes their hobby seriously will eventually reach a point when they must upgrade from their compact to a full-frame digital single-lens reflex camera. The Canon EOS 6D is the perfect update; it’s a DSLR with a compact body, probably its coolest feature.
Even while shooting at higher-than-usual ISO levels, excellent results are achieved because of the camera’s fast and precise focusing, 4K HD images and videos, 26.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, and Canon’s exceptional ability DIGIC 7 processor.
The Ikelite 200DL is a great option for housing your camera. The included battery handle makes it more comfortable to use the camera while standing on solid ground. You can also get the camera with a couple of lenses and other accessories if you like.
Overall, it’s an excellent option for people seeking sharp underwater photography. The experience will undoubtedly leave you impressed.
- Small size, sturdy build.
- The ability to stabilize images.
- Super portable and light for a DSLR.
- A sharp and quick vision.
- Durable and dependable in use.
- Certain professionals have criticized the video quality of the camera. The Sony a7II is a better option if you frequently shoot videos.
The Paralenz Camera+
The Paralenz is one of the best underwater cameras on the market, and its 4K HD quality images never fail to blow people away. A major unique feature is that you can start taking pictures with it immediately after opening the package. A huge plus is not having to deal with a housing, setup, or mounting mechanism.
Plus, unlike most other cameras, this one doesn’t require filters for taking stunning underwater images. The three-hour battery life allows you to extend your underwater time and record more of your snorkeling.
Get the Paralenz app for further ease of use. Among its many features, the software lets you single out memorable moments and organize your photo library.
This camera has been heralded as the device that finally improves upon the dive camera in scuba diving. Photographers no longer have to carry along cumbersome housings or waste time adjusting white balance and filters. As an alternative, they have provided us with a compact piece of equipment about the equivalent of a flashlight.
- If you’re looking for a camera to take stunning underwater images, go no further than the Paralenz, which features one of the best 4K HD lenses on the market.
- This underwater camera is solid as a rock compared to its competitors. You can count on it lasting for quite some time, as it is built to last.
- Simple to use and set up.
- There is no necessity for housing.
- Until you’ve gotten the hang of it, the mask mount’s effectiveness leaves much desired.
Canon Powershot G5
The Canon PowerShot G5 X stands out as a top contender when considering both image quality and user-friendliness. When paired with housing, it’s ideal for underwater travel and other outdoor activities.
To get clear shots of items in the distance, a powerful 5X optical zoom is available. There is also very little need to buy an additional lens, as the camera’s macro setting is among the greatest of any compact camera.
Your photos will be stunning because of the 20.1 megapixels CMOS sensor and the speedy DIGIC 8 processor.
We also like how Canon improved it by including features that make it more suitable for underwater photography, so it’s a good option. Super-efficient and reasonably priced.
- An 8-bit DIGIC CPU.
- For a compact camera, the results are stunning.
- Change to the macro setting.
- You can zoom.
- Light in weight for all the functions it has.
- Lesser housing options exist in comparison to other Canon models. Consider Ikelite or Nauticam, which are both highly recommended by us.
Insta360 ONE R
Insta360 takes great satisfaction because its inventive and creative features have helped carve out a new camera market segment. The brand, launched in 2014, has quickly risen to prominence and is now widely recognized as the leading manufacturer of 360-degree video cameras, thanks to innovative products like the Insta360 One X.
Insta360 rode this wave of popularity to unveil the ONE R, an audacious product with a modular framework that lets users quickly switch between different types of cameras.
There are several customization options for the ONE R. When it comes to cameras, the Twin Edition has a 4K broad-angle shooter and a 360-degree cam, whereas the 1-Inch Edition has a 5.3K shooter and a 1-inch sensor.
The brilliance of the modular design lies in the fact that it allows for adding other modules, such as the One-inch Edition. This camera is a great choice for anyone interested in experimenting with 4K and 360-degree footage.
- Tough and dependable.
- The use of modules.
- It’s simple to toggle between the standard and wide-angle 4K modes and the 360-degree option.
- The picture and sound quality are superb.
- Reasonable cost.
- The camera’s shutter button is very difficult to press, making it unsuitable for still photography.
- The SD card writing process takes too long.
- The extra money is needed to buy three separate housing units.
- It’s a mild nuisance that 360-degree films shot with the mod should be transformed in the app before they can be seen.
- The screen is small, but that’s the price you pay for portability.
Snorkellers can use the Paralenz Vaquita, one of the best underwater video cameras. The Vaquita is designed for professional photographers and filmmakers as a high-end model.
It’s easy to adjust the settings while underwater, and the cylindrical chassis means you don’t need a separate waterproof cover.
With what amounts to a digital filter, the Depth-Controlled Color Correction modifies the white balance of both video and still images based on your perspective in space.
The Vaquita captures more than images and goes beyond even the most saturated tones. Additionally, the camera will capture conditions during a dive, the story of which may be viewed on the Paralenz App once the dive has concluded.
It adds context to any underwater photo or video by including details like depth profile, geographic coordinates, and ocean conditions.
- There is no requirement for additional housing or filtering.
- With DCC, you can immediately begin taking high-quality videos and photographs.
- Easily held in the palm of your hand.
- Simple to use even when wearing gloves.
- The user interface is so straightforward that even novice photographers find it simple.
- It’s heavier than the DiveCamera+, but you won’t notice the difference when you’re underwater.
- Concerns about battery life may arise due to the increased power requirements of the sensor arrays and the color screen.
- The LCD screen is small, but it should be sufficient for getting great shots.
DJI Osmo Action
From the camera, you can see right away that DJI is trying to undercut the top GoPro cameras with the DJI Osmo Action, given its feature set and pricing point. Is it a good idea? We believe that its reception in the market will tell it all.
The camera having a screen on the front is convenient, the stabilization is on par with the HERO, and the pricing is reasonable.
However, it is not without flaws: there is some lag at higher resolutions, the app isn’t always stable, the HERO’s footage is a tad on the flat side, which matters in the professional setting.
However, the Osmo Action is an excellent substitute for the GoPro if you’re on a budget and still want a high-quality camera.
- Great image stabilization.
- Useful front display.
- App’s erratic behavior.
- Limitations in real-time responsiveness when using the highest possible resolution.
Sealife DC2000 HD
The SeaLife DC2000 HD was designed with divers in mind, making it a great choice for individuals who value high-resolution images while scuba diving over a zoom lens. If you use the housing that comes with your SeaLife, you can go as deep as 200 feet (60 meters).
It’s built to last and does the job you need it to, and with four different underwater shooting settings, it can be customized to your preferences. Our list offers better options, but this camera shouldn’t be discounted just yet. It records in 1080p with 60 frames per second.
With its respectable 2500 lumens, the integrated Seadragon strobe is a big help when using the camera underwater.
While SeaLife isn’t necessarily the first brand that comes to mind when thinking of an underwater camera, the DC2000 is a solid choice for those who want a simple camera that doesn’t require much setup before use.
- For a compact camera, the results are stunning.
- You can activate Zoom.
- Change to the macro setting.
- Light in weight.
- Raw capturing takes a toll on speed.
- Odd controls placement.
Canon Powershot G16
This Canon PowerShot is equipped with a 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor with a telephoto lens that can extend by a factor of 5, allowing for 1080p HD video recording and playback. This camera has some nice extras that bring it very near to the quality of an SLR.
The G16 is a great device and a camera; we particularly like the built-in wifi that enables simple image transmission to any of your electronic devices or even social accounts.
If you want a strobe and housing that functions well underwater for a reasonable price, opt for the RecSea WHC-G16.
Affordable and reliable, this camera is a great option for underwater photography. Be warned, though, that the cost of the housing will likely exceed that of the camera itself.
- Superb results for a compact camera.
- High-tech camera.
- Tough on the exterior.
- There isn’t much to complain about here, especially considering the price, but you may decide that you’d rather go with a Canon that uses the DIGIC 7 technology.
Sony RX100 VII Premium
The Sony RX100 is one of the best underwater cameras capable of producing sharp, detailed images. Techcrunch stated this is the most compact camera that money can purchase.
With its 4K HD quality, this camera is great both on land and on the water—just remember to bring the housing.
The Sony RX100’s strong performance comes from the camera’s many useful features, such as its 20.1-megapixel 1.0-type mounted Sensor, Zeiss Vario Sonnar, lightning-quick autofocus, and high-resolution zoom lens.
We appreciate the option to plug in a separate microphone when shooting on dry land. The 24-200mm lens provides exceptional sharpness and depth of field when shooting underwater.
Regarding cameras, the Sony RX100 is right at the top. There is no wrong way to advance to a higher level of photography.
- Superb clarity and sharpness.
- A straightforward and easy-to-use interface.
- When shooting underwater, the video function works well.
- As a result of its stabilization features, this camera is ideal for use by underwater photographers.
- The performance of a DSLR in a convenient point-and-shoot body.
- Being one of the most expensive devices in our selection, you won’t be impressed if the housing leaks, but otherwise, there isn’t much to complain about here.
- Due to its larger lens, this camera’s maximum zoom may be disabled in some housings.
Underwater Camera FHD
When it comes to snorkeling vacations, you won’t find a better deal than this inexpensive camera. It’s quite cheap (costing less than $100) and performs precisely as advertised.
Despite its low cost, it includes several desirable extras, including a 2.7-inch display, picture stabilizer, and 48 megapixels. In addition, it has a depth rating of 10 feet (or 3 meters), so you may take pictures without worrying about water damage as long as you stay above ground.
In addition to being sturdy enough to withstand some sand between swims and snorkels, we love that it is available in a rainbow of vibrant hues.
This waterproof camera is ideal for taking photos of the reef from above and some beach photos of the family. Also, you won’t feel too bad if it is stolen because of how cheap it is.
- The camera’s many capabilities may be accessed without much effort.
- It can be used for hiking, swimming, floating, and other outdoor activities.
- Inexpensive and enjoyable.
- A great option for beginners.
- Battery life is rated at 3 hours.
- Larger hands may find the design awkward due to the small size of the buttons.
- There is no lanyard to go with it.
- It is not safe for scuba divers.