The market for waterproof cameras is booming right now, which means there are many contenders out there. Some have features that others don’t; some have better build quality, others are cheaper or more compact, etc. Before you choose one of these devices, it is important to determine the purpose of the underwater camera, which is to capture images and video underwater.
What To Look For
There are waterproof cameras on the market that are guaranteed to float in water. If you go hiking in the rain or snow, there’s a good chance you’ll drop your camera in a puddle or a lake, and you want to have a waterproof camera that will not rust, crack, or break. The best waterproof camera will float but still capture clear underwater photography. It should be easy to take pictures and offer clear videos. It should be easy to mount and use in the water and provide a significant amount of time underwater.
Olympus Tough TG-6
Olympus tough TG-6 is an advanced underwater camera that goes beyond what you’d expect from a submersible point-and-shoot camera. The TG-6 delivers dynamic and high-quality photography with a range of standard and custom modes—all in a durable, compact, waterproof unit that’s ready for the next adventure. The TG-6 has a host of features to help you get the best pictures possible. Olympus Tough TG-6 is a rugged camera (and a great deal) with an exceptional quality that makes it great for underwater use.
- 24-megapixel RGB sensor
- High-resolution LCD touch panel display
- No optical viewfinder
- No flash
Nikon Coolpix W300
The Nikon Coolpix W300 is an upgraded waterproof camera, which will shoot at 16 megapixels (MP) and is waterproof to a depth of 200 feet, making it perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. It is a compact point-and-shoot camera, coming in at a little over 5 inches long.
Its 24-megapixel sensor and f/2.8 lens make it a good choice if you plan to take your underwater shots in shallow water. The camera’s built-in Wi-Fi lets you download photos and videos to your computer without dealing with an SD card. The W300 is also splash- and dust-resistant, so you can take it into the ocean or on a hike without worrying about it.
- High-quality photos with its 20MP sensor
- Slow motion video
- GPS tagging
- Lack of optical zoom
- Limited battery life
Ricoh has just introduced a new camera called the Ricoh WG-70, and it is waterproof, dustproof, and even shockproof. The WG-70 is a compact point-and-shoot digital camera with a 16.0 megapixel F2.8 CMOS sensor, and it is water-resistant down to 3 meters (9.8 feet). The camera has a large 1.4-inch LCD monitor on the back, and Ricoh says it has a high-speed processor and a fast hybrid AF system. It is a fully-featured waterproof digital camera that can take beautiful pictures in all kinds of weather.
- Sophisticated and sleek design
- Lightweight body ensures portability and convenience
- Lacks a viewfinder
- Battery life is short
The Panasonic FT30 is a great little camera that is both waterproof and shockproof, which means it will withstand the impact of a dive without any damage. It’s a great little camera for taking photos while you’re snorkeling, scuba diving, or engaging in other underwater activities.
Panasonic’s FT30 is a mid-range underwater camera that’s perfect for fun and action. It is a compact waterproof camera that offers a lot of features for an easy-to-use, travel-friendly camera. The most important part is that the camera has an incredible 16-megapixel sensor. This sensor is far more sensitive than a traditional point-and-shoot model, which means taking great photos.
- 16-megapixel sensor
- Ability to shoot raw images
- It only takes 16-megapixel photos with an aperture of f/3.5.
- It doesn’t have many different settings like ISO adjustments, white balance controls, etc.
The Fujifilm XP140 is a compact waterproof camera that’s perfect for taking your adventures underwater. The XP140’s design makes it feel like a classic Fujifilm with a metal body and the addition of a wide-angle lens that’s equivalent to a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera. The XP140 is waterproof up to 33 feet deep, and it’s shockproof down to 6.6 feet. Plus, it has a fast aperture of f/2.8 for shallow depth of field underwater.
It’s no secret that Fujifilm is serious about their new waterproof camera, the XP140. It’s a flagship model built to withstand the harshest conditions and great for action sports photographers who want to capture that raw, candid footage. If you’re going to bring your best work to the camera, that’s what you’ll need; the XP140 is a fully-featured machine that is built to last.
- A healthy level of protection
- It takes videos up to 60fps at 720p HD resolution.
- Short battery life
- Price point too high
The SeaLife DC2000 is a waterproof digital camera compatible with various lenses, and it can shoot video underwater. This camera has a 4.5-inch LCD that shows images and video in color, and it has a sensor that can capture 1280 x 960 pixels of video. It has several shooting modes, such as stills, video, time-lapse video, night, and selfie, and it comes with a lens cap to prevent lens damage.
- Easy it is to install and use
- Advanced color control system
- Short battery life
GoPro HERO9 Black
The GoPro HERO9 Black is the latest GoPro camera with 4K video capture, Bluetooth low energy (BLE), and waterproof to 33ft (10 meters). It is also the first GoPro to feature the company’s new 4K SuperView recording mode, capturing a 432p (16:9) and a 2.7K (4:3) angle simultaneously. As a result, you can record a wide-angle video with an even wider 2.7K aspect ratio. The new camera also features an integrated electronic image stabilization feature that uses two accelerometers and a gyroscope to maintain a sensor-generated image stabilization (IS) frame while recording.
- 4K video recording
- Live streaming capability
- Voice control
- Inability to use filters
- No screen for previewing shots
- More expensive than previous models
DJI Osmo Action
The Osmo Action Waterproof Camera from DJI is a camera that will make any adventure better. It is a rugged enough camera to take with you in the pool, the ocean, or even deeper water. It is dustproof, so you can take it hiking or down to the depths of a cave. It is rugged enough to be thrown down a mountain or out on a surfboard.
It is a comfortable camera to hold in one hand and to use. Unlike most cameras, you have to hold it against your eye, but it can also shoot 4k video, great for action shots.
- Small and lightweight
- 4K video quality
- Lacks image stabilization
- Average battery life
Fujifilm Quicksnap Marine
Fujifilm has a long history of designing cameras that can withstand harsh conditions, and this reliability has been tested in the most advanced requirements. Fujifilm’s Quicksnap line of waterproof cameras is a staple for underwater photographers due to their ability to capture stills and HD video underwater without a case having to be involved.
The Fujifilm Quicksnap Marine Waterproof camera is an exceptional, durable, and highly capable camera. It works underwater, it’s dustproof, and it has rechargeable batteries. It means you can take it with you to the beach, pool, lake, river, or even the bathtub. You can take it to the bottom of the ocean and shoot photos or videos there, as well. It isn’t just a waterproof camera; it’s more like a waterproof camera with unique features.
- Great image stabilization
- Much smaller than other cameras
- Battery life isn’t very long-lasting.
The best waterproof camera will depend on your needs and how much you are willing to spend. Some of the choices on this list are more expensive than others, but they are still good cameras that are water-resistant enough to use underwater. So, which is the best waterproof camera for underwater action? That’s hard to put into words and almost impossible to quantify. Factors like image quality, battery life, low light performance, and ease of use make a big difference.