In this constantly updated guide, we will recommend the best underwater camera to buy. In the world of photography, there are a thousand types of cameras available for purchase, each with its own characteristics and its strengths, but you will hardly be able to find a device with the same versatility and resistance of an underwater camera. These particular cameras not only manage to shoot both in the water and on land but often boast a rugged body that makes them very resistant to falls and accidental damage.
The best underwater cameras, in addition to withstanding extreme temperatures and considerable shocks, are often used by sportsmen and adventures as well as explorers. Precisely for this reason, the manufacturers have worked hard to develop highly resistant devices that can guarantee a semi-professional quality. If you are looking for a device that will allow you to record your dives and your most extravagant feats, in this guide, we will show you the best underwater camera for your needs.
How to choose an underwater camera?
The key to choosing the best underwater camera lies in the analysis of the main features that you consider fundamental within this type of device. Before listing the key points on which to dwell carefully to perfectly choose an underwater camera, it is necessary to specify that there are different types of devices ready to dive. Among these, we find compact waterproof cameras and some of the best Action Cams.
On compact cameras it is possible to come across sensors:
- from 1/2.3″, the most common with very small dimensions and with a decrease in performance with increasing megapixels;
- from 1/1.7″, slightly wider than the first ones which give a general improvement in the shot;
- from 1″, Micro 4/3, Full Frame, the less common types of sensors because they are mounted on top compact cameras like the Sony RX-100 Mark VI.
In these cases, it is fundamental to reduce digital noise that can occur in an obvious manner during a shooting in poor light conditions.
Among the various tasks, the processor for image processing fulfills are demosaicing, sharpness, color adjustment, and noise reduction. This is a component that varies from manufacturer to manufacturer: Canon uses DIGIC processors, Nikon instead uses Expeed.
A fundamental parameter for better rendering of images in low light conditions, since shooting with very high ISO values makes it easier to encounter the appearance of noise.
Burst of shots
The value indicates the number of shots that can be captured per second. The higher this value is, the greater the chance of getting a sharp shot of a moving subject. This is a fundamental parameter for those working in the world of sport or shooting on the move.
An aspect not to be underestimated for the choice of the best underwater cameras is the video sector. The quality of the shots must be very good so that they can be prepared to the Action Cams.
In this section we will show you the best underwater camera for your needs, listing some of the underwater cameras on the market that are worth buying in our opinion.
Easypix Aquapix W1024
The first underwater camera that we offer has a really paltry cost. EasyPix Aquapix W1024 is a compact camera with good performance that keeps the price to a minimum. Do not expect top of the range performance, as the quality of this diving compact is sufficient for social use.[amazon box=”B007B7ZC30″ /]
EasyPix Aquapix W1024 integrates a 10 MP sensor with 10x optical zoom that allows you to discreetly shoot in most conditions. Among the strengths of this underwater camera, we find the resistance to diving up to 10m and the smile detection function, which allows you to take a photo automatically when the subject is smiling.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30
An economical underwater camera without too many compromises: the Panasonic DMC-TS30 is a device with a very special color, which integrates a 16MP sensor and a wide-angle lens with an 8x optical zoom.[amazon box=”B00RBG5QKA” /]
The TS30 allow it to go underwater to a depth of 26′. It is also shockproof from a drop height of 5′, freezeproof to a temperature of 14°F, and dust and sand proof. In addition to this, it also comes with an Advanced Underwater Mode which compensates for the red colors often lost when shooting underwater providing more natural looking underwater images. You can also buy it via Bhphotovideo store.
Fujifilm Finepix XP130
Fujifilm also offers a tough camera with an excellent quality/price ratio, suitable for social and amateur use of the device. The 16 MP sensor on board is combined with a Fujinon optical with a focal length of 28 – 140 mm which allows for a slightly wide angle of view and 5x optical zoom.[amazon box=”B0797CV4B7″ /]
A strong point of Fujifilm Finepix XP130 is undoubtedly durability: it can withstand submersions up to 20 m, the drops of up to about 2 m and the frost down to -10° C. As anticipated, it is an underwater camera with an eye for connectivity, there are both Bluetooth and the WiFi connectivity. You can also buy it via Bhphotovideo store.
Action Cams also appear among underwater cameras, and this Yi 4K+ is one of the best you can take home. In addition to recording in 4K at 60fps, this Yi Action Cam is equipped with electronic stabilization and can share live content on social media.[amazon box=”B01CW4AZ4M” /]
Thanks to the RAW mode, it is possible to change what was taken and recorded in post-production. The USB-C port will appeal to many, as it allows you to transfer, transmit and share data via a single port. The manufacturer declares to be able to guarantee transfer speeds of 40 MB / s and inside the package, we also find the convenient waterproof case for diving in the water.
Nikon Coolpix W300
A series of waterproof cameras also appear in Nikon’s lineup, which includes the Coolpix W300. This underwater camera integrates a 16MP sensor with a 5x zoom Nikkor lens. It also incorporates SnapBridge wireless connectivity, which uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for seamlessly sharing imagery and remotely controlling the camera from a linked device. Built-in GPS is also available for geotagging your imagery in-camera.[amazon box=”B071ZMDBKL” /]
The video recording in 4K greatly increases the value of the Nikon Coolpix W300, which therefore guarantees of much smoother and quality shooting thanks to the 5-axis stabilization. As the rugged design suggests, the camera is waterproof-rated for depths up to 100′ as well as shockproof for falls from up to 7.9′ high and freeze-proof for temperatures down to 14°F. You can also buy it via Bhphotovideo store.
Olympus Tough TG-5
Olympus Tough TG-5 is a device that boasts excellent photographic performance combined with a rugged body. We find a 12MP sensor that is combined with a 25 – 100 mm lens, has an ISO 100 – 12800 range and a burst of shots at 20 fps. TG-5 is resistant to water up to 15 m, drops of up to 2.1 m and the freeze down to -10 ° C.[amazon box=”B071RSJGXZ” /]
Video recording in 4K at 30 fps, alternatively you can rely on Full HD at 60 fps or slow motion, always in FullHD at 120 fps. Among the sensors, there is the GPS, the pressure gauge, the compass and the WiFi chip that allows you to quickly share photos and videos with your smartphone. You can also buy it via Bhphotovideo store.
GoPro HERO7 Black
The HERO7 Black is the latest addition to the company’s best Action Cams and brings with it a breath of improvement over previous models, including HyperSmooth stabilization and a brighter touchscreen.[amazon box=”B07GDGZCCH” /]
Let’s start by saying that the 12MP sensor of this Action Cam allows you to record 4K at 60 fps or 1080p at 240 fps. The design is very robust and guarantees water resistance up to 10 m. We also find the possibility to record videos in slow motion 8x, timelapse and to broadcast live on our favorite social networks.
This Action Cam focuses on connectivity, it is equipped with WiFi and GPS and can be managed using voice controls. Through the application, it will be possible to instantly share your live shots or as stories. If this were not enough, the photos can be further enriched with details and colors through an HDR algorithm that provides for local mapping of the tones and noise reduction. You can also buy it via Bhphotovideo store.
Sealife Micro 2.0
In many ways, Sealife Micro 2.0 can be considered the best underwater camera on the market. Not only because of the 16MP Sony sensor combined with a 130° wide-angle lens, but also because it is waterproof up to 60 m thanks to the components welded inside the body. Additionally, it is configured with 32GB/64GB of internal memory and runs on an internal lithium-ion battery.[amazon box=”B017N8INUA” /]
If in many ways it can be a weak point for the storage quantity, this choice can be a strength for durability. Videos can be recorded in Full HD at 60fps and return an excellent level of detail. You can also buy it via Bhphotovideo store.