Are you looking to start filming videos and taking photos underwater? Whether you’re going on vacation to Cancun for spring break, or you’re a professional diver looking to take up underwater photography, you need a camera for the job.
Underwater cameras come in various designs and configurations to suit your needs underwater. From a housing for your cellphone to an action camera or a DSLR, there are plenty of ways to take amazing videos and pictures of your diving experience.
Choosing the best underwater camera can be a challenging experience. So, we decided to make life easy for you with this curated list of the best underwater cameras available.
- Our Top Picks
- Underwater Camera Reviews
- The Best Overall Underwater Camera – SeaLife Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000 Set
- The Best Premium Underwater Camera – Sony Alpha 7 II
- The Best Budget Underwater Camera – Action Camera 4K
- Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
- Paralenz Vaquita
- SeaLife Smartphone Dive Case with Light
- Nikon W300 CoolPix
- GoPro HERO9 Black
- Other Best Selling Options
- Underwater Camera Buyer’s Guide
- What Do I Look for in the Best Underwater Camera?
- Underwater Camera FAQs
- The Best Underwater Camera – The Verdict
Our Top Picks
- The Best Overall Underwater Camera – SeaLife Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000 Set
This rig offers divers a great way to record their underwater experience. You get a high0qaulity 16MP camera with a low-light lens, and a dual lighting rig included to capture amazing shots and videos on the reef. If you’re looking for a complete set offering you a semi-professional filming experience, the SeaLife 3.0 is our best overall choice in this review.
- The Best Premium Underwater Camera – Sony Alpha 7 II
If you’re upgrading your beginner equipment to something serious, we think the Sony Alpha 7 II is your best option for a premium underwater camera. This mirrorless model offers you 5-axis stability in the camera body for your shots. It’s an expensive model, but you get all the functionality you need for great underwater photography.
- The Best Budget Underwater Camera – Action Camera 4K
If you’re looking for an affordable underwater camera, we recommend this Generic model. You get everything you need in a compact setup that’s very close to the latest GoPro offering, including electronic image stability. It’s an affordable entry-level camera and the only option under $100.
Underwater Camera Reviews
The Best Overall Underwater Camera – SeaLife Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000 Set
If you’re planning a dive trip and want the best underwater camera for recording your experience, we recommend going with the SeaLife Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000 Set. The upgraded 3.0 set comes with several premium advancements over the previous generation in the range.
The SeaLife 3.0 features a 16MP Sony IMX083 CMOS 1/2.3″ image sensor bringing you images to life on screen in 4K Ultra HD at 30fps and 1080p HD at 120 fps. You get a 260K hi-resolution 2.4″ TFT color LCD on the camera’s rear, allowing you to line up the perfect shot.
- CAMERA POWERFUL IMAGE SENSOR - 16MP IMX083 CMOS 1/2.3" image sensor for sharp colorful pictures and 4K Ultra HD video @30fps and 1080p HD video @120 fps, 260K hi-res 2.4" TFT color LCD
- BRIGHT LED LIGHT - 2500 lumens LED light using the latest COB LED array technology, 90 Color Rendering Index (CRI) that mimics natural daylight, 120 deg. wide beam angle evenly illuminates the subject with no hot spots, 60-minute run time at full power
- HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES – The underwater camera shoots 10 high resolution 16MP pictures in 1 second, captures 8mp still images while recording 4K video; hi-res, uncompressed .DNG image files for virtually unlimited photo editing options
- SOLID CONSTRUCTION - The camera is leak-proof with no O-rings, compact design for easy handling, fully rubber-armored shock resistant body; corrosion-proof anodized aluminum light head with fiber-reinforced polycarbonate body
- FEATURES – Camera: ultra-fast shutter response, 100° ultra-wide angle lens, electronic stabilization, WiFi, 64GB internal memory; Light Head – 3 brightness levels, hidden emergency signal mode; depth tested to 200 ft (60m), waterproof battery compartment
If you’ve ever seen professional dive photographers on the reef, you’ll notice that they have their camera, along with lighting rigs attached to the housing. The reality is that shooting underwater offers you limited viewing in deeper waters. You’ll need a lighting system to ensure you get the best shots.
The SeaLife 3.0 Duo comes with a built-in lighting rig for the system. You get a 2,500-lumen LED Dual-lighting rig using the latest COB LED array technology innovations. A 90-color Rendering Index (CRI) mimicks natural daylight underwater for bright, colorful shots in full definition and crystal clarity.
This leak-proof camera comes with a solid design and construction. There are no O-rings to worry about, and you get a rubberized polycarbonate armored casing that’s shock-resistant and drop-proof. The lighting rig features construction with lightweight anodized aluminum for optimal corrosion resistance.
Other notable features of this underwater camera include an ultra-quick shutter response, a 100° ultra-wide-angle lens with electronic image stabilization, and Wi-Fi compatibility with a 64GB internal memory. The light head has three brightness settings, manual white balance, and emergency signal mode. This camera has a depth rating of 200-feet.
The SeaLife Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000 Set gives you everything you need in a high-quality complete setup that’s ready to hit the water.
What We Liked
- High-quality camera.
- 16MP Sony IMX083 CMOS 1/2.3″ image sensor
- Dual Lighting rig included.
- Waterproof to 200-feet.
The Best Premium Underwater Camera – Sony Alpha 7 II
If you’re looking for the best upgrade to semi-professional underwater camera equipment, we recommend the Sony Alpha 7 II. This camera doesn’t have an underwater rating, and you’ll need to find a model-specific housing for it online.
However, When you’re building the ultimate underwater rig, the Sony makes a great centerpiece. You get a 24.3MP camera allowing for video and phot in 4K. This model offers you a world-first 5-axis image stabilization for a full-frame camera. As a result, you get no blurring and less shake in the video for superior stability in your shots.
- World’s first 5-axis in-body image stabilization in a full-frame camera.
- Use your favorite lenses without blur from camera shake.
- Capture stunning images with full-frame, 24.3MP resolution.
- Fast hybrid AF with phase-detection - 30% faster than a7.
- Viewfinder Type:0.5-type electronic viewfinder (colour)
The BIONZ X-processor offers you the best clarity in your underwater photography, using the light around you to capture mesmerizing images. While it’s not an underwater camera, you get a weather-resistant magnesium-alloy body that’s rugged and has a decent weight to it.
The E-mount lens system lets you attach a wide range of telephoto lenses and 30% faster AF phase detection with lightning-quick shutter speeds for the best shots in any conditions. The camera’s rear panel features a large touch-sensitive 3-inch viewfinder with rotary dial controls and large buttons that make it easy to set up in an underwater camera housing.
Overall, you can’t beat the performance and quality of this camera, and it’s a must-have for anyone looking to build out the ultimate underwater rig. If you have the budget available, we highly recommend it.
What We Liked
- BIONZ X-processor.
- 24.3MP camera.
- E-mount lens system.
- Weather-resistant magnesium-alloy body
- 5-axis in-body image stabilization.
The Best Budget Underwater Camera – Action Camera 4K
If you’re heading to the Gulf of Mexico for a snorkeling spring break holiday, you probably don’t have hundreds of dollars to shell out on an underwater camera. That’s okay because the Generic Action Camera offers you everything you need in a camera system at an affordable price.
If you can’t afford the steep price tag of the new GoPro model, then this Generic version offers you all of the main benefits of the GoPro at a quarter of the price. The Generic Action Camera shoots video and photos in 4K, with an onboard 24MP camera.
- 🏄🏄【Professional 4K Action Camera】The sport camera provides professional 4k/30fps video, up to 30 frames per second and 24MP photos, capture and share your world in an amazing resolution. The built-in anti-shake function and equipped with 6 layers of optical glass lenses can effectively eliminate vibration, and at the same time, it can bring you vivid and realistic images to ensure that pictures and videos are more clear and smooth.
- 🏄🏄【Dual Color Screen Display】The dual screen action camera makes you the protagonist of your own world. The vivid front screen provide excellent recording experience for selfie photos and videos. 2.0'' high sensitivity back screen is clear and vivid, gives you a great playback and preview experience.
- 🏄🏄【40m Waterproof】With the durable waterproof case, you can take the camera dive into water up to 131ft/40m, perfect for water sports such as swimming, driving, surfing etc. And helmet camera uses EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) technology to minimize camera shake and blurring while moving. It can easily take crystal clear stable images even at high speed or other extreme sports conditions. Comes with tons of free accessories, you can transform it to fit various extreme activities.
- 🏄🏄【Built-in WiFi】Just download App(XDV PRO) on your phone or tablet in Google Play or Apple App Store, and connect with this action camera, You can see what is displaying in this camera without delay, Capture photos, record videos, download and share your exciting moments on your phone. The USB port allows you to connect it to the computer and television.
- 🏄🏄【Multifunctional】Action camera 4k supports an external 2.5mm microphone(not included) and adjust the view angle of this sports camera according to your needs between wide(170°), medium, and narrow, to capture crisp directional sounds, providing ultra convenience for hiking, cycling, skiing, etc. And sport camera comes with 2 rechargeable batteries, you will no longer worry about the recording time for this action camera.
You get underwater housing included with your purchase, with a depth rating of up to 131-feet. The accessory kit included with your purchase gives you extra mounting brackets and a ton of extras like tripods to increase the utility of your camera in all conditions.
The Generic comes with a display on the front and a large viewfinder on the rear with touchscreen capability. You get plenty of functions, including electronic image stabilization, wide-angle lens, Wi-Fi and HDMI capability, loop recording, and time-lapse features.
Sure, you don’t get the built-in waterproofing of the GoPro. However, considering the price tag and functionality, it’s a great low-cost alternative for an action camera.
What We Liked
- Very affordable.
- 4K video and photos.
- 24MP camera.
- Front display and large rear viewfinder.
- Built-in Wi-Fi.
- USB connection.
The Panasonic Lumix LX100 II is another great choice for your underwater camera. This premium model features a large four-thirds sensor with a 17MP camera shooting in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The Lumix comes with a high-sensitivity multi-aspect four-thirds MOS sensor and compatibility with a range of aspect ratios from 4: 3 to 1: 1.
The Leica DC Vario-summilux lens comes with power optical image stabilizer technology (OIS) to minimize blue and handshake while operating the camera. The Lumix shoots video and photos in 4K resolution at 30-frames per second, providing the best detail on the reef and in the sealife you’re filming.
- Large Four Thirds sensor - 17 MP [4: 3 aspect] high-sensitivity multi-aspect Four Thirds MOS sensor. 4: 3, 3: 2, 16: 9, 1: 1 multi-aspect modes taken from 21.77 Megapixel total count
- Leica DC vario-summilux lens - 24-75 millimeter lens [F1. 7-2. 8], with power optical image Stabilizer (O. I. S.) to effectively compensate for hand shake, minimizing Blur during zoom shooting
- 4K video & 4K photo - Panasonic’s exclusive 4K photo technology uses 30 frames per second in high resolution 4K Ultra HD video to extract them as photos. You’ll never miss that moment again
- Macro shooting - Macro photography at 3 centimeter at wide-angle and 30 centimeter at telephoto. Photographs of flowers, plants and more reveal the fine details nearly invisible to the naked eye
- Camera body viewfinder and display – compact digital camera with electronic viewfinder EVF [2,764k-dot], and large 3-inch touch sensitive monitor [1240k-dot]
The macro shooting mode brings you a three-centimeter wide-angle telephoto lens, unlocking the camera’s power in any water conditions. You get a large touchscreen 3-inch electronic viewfinder for setting up the perfect shot.
This Panasonic Lumix model comes with Bluetooth 4.2 (Low Energy), shutter release, and record start/stop functionality accessible through your mobile device. We like the body and styling of the Panasonic, with its premium grip and refined look.
It’s important to note that this is not a waterproof camera. You’ll need to locate an underwater camera housing for this model to take it underwater. We recommend this camera for those underwater photographers moving on from their entry-level system to a more advanced rig. The Lumix LX100 II is the perfect upgrade for the intermediate underwater photographer.
What We Liked
- High-quality photos and video up to 4K.
- Good upgrade for intermediate photographers.
- Bluetooth compatibility.
- Leica DC Vario-summilux telephoto lens.
- 3-inch electronic viewfinder.
The Paralenz Vaquita is another great compact choice for your high-quality dive camera. This model comes with a streamlined design with a depth rating of 1,150-feet.
You get a 100% marine-grade aluminum casing with the 12MP ultra-light-sensitive lens shooting in 4K at 60 fps. The result is smooth and visually-rich imagery. You also have the option of recording in 720p to 4K resolution, with options from 30 to 240 fps and up to three hours of battery life.
- True-to-Life Recordings - 4K 60 fps, 12MP: Capture the smoothest underwater videos and photos. Record from 720p to 4K resolution, and 30 to 240 fps with up to 3h battery life. The Low Light Lens is ultra light sensitive and perfect for divers.
- True Color OLED Display: Frame your underwater recordings easily with the new live viewfinder and auto-record for full focus on your scuba dive. Follow your dive profile on screen with information about current temperature and depth.
- Made for the Ocean - Waterproof to 350m/1150ft: Experience the easiest handling for undisturbed scuba diving, free diving or snorkeling. This underwater diving camera is as tough as your scuba gear: 100% marine-grade aluminum. Perfect for travel – no housing or filters needed.
- Your Dives in One Place - Free Paralenz App: Easily transfer, organize, and edit your dive videos. Log your favourite locations (GPS) to revisit later. Share your videos and Ocean data with divers and researchers worldwide to inspire others and help save the Ocean.
- What’s in the Package: 1x Paralenz Vaquita underwater camera, 1x Click Mount, 1x USB-C Cable, 3x extra O-Rings, 1x Lanyard, 1x extra Magnet, 2x Springs, 1x Activation Switch, 1x Quick Start Guide, 1x Dust Bag. Can be mounted to your dive gear equipment and snorkel gear: dive mask, BCD, dive stick. IMPORTANT: PLEASE UPDATE YOUR FIRMWARE BEFORE YOUR DIVE.
You get a true-color OLED display and live viewfinder with auto-record and full auto-focus. You don’t have to worry about settings, just focus on your dive and let the technology do the work. The on-screen dive profile gives you information about your current depth and water temperature.
The Paralenz Vaquita comes with connectivity via Wi-Fi to the Paralenz app. Transfer, organize, and edit your videos from within the app, and log your favorite locations with the built-in GPS functionality. You charge the battery via a USB-C connection, and you get a built-in 2,000-mAh lithium-ion battery providing up to 40-hours of runtime in 720p filming mode.
This camera is a great choice, offering you excellent video recording in low-light conditions thanks to the low-light lens. The intuitive controls allow for easy operation, and the handle mount provides a comfortable filming experience underwater.
What We Liked
- Streamlined, lightweight design.
- Shoots up to 4K video.
- Depth rated up to 1,150-feet.
- Full Wi-Fi and USB-C compatibility.
- Handle mount included.
If you have the latest iPhone, then why bother getting a camera? The onboard camera on the iPhone 12 and 13 are already outstanding pieces of technology. The SeaLife smartphone dive case with an integrated lighting rig gives you a risk-free way to take your phone underwater.
This casing comes with a depth rating of up to 130-feet and a high-quality cam-lock seal design featuring a tension spring with a rubber grip holding your iPhone in place while providing shock protection. The case comes with interior moisture and pressure alarms that alert you if it detects the presence of moisture inside the casing.
- SAFE & SECURE – The SportDiver case for most Android models and iPhone 7 & up is waterproof for dives down to 130 feet using its cam-lock sealing mechanism. The interior tension spring and rubber grip tabs hold your phone in place while adding shock protection. Should you not seal the case correctly the AUDIBLE & VISUAL MOISTURE & PRESSURE ALARMS will quickly notify you. The anti-fog Moisture Muncher capsule prevents internal fogging from residual moisture
- SEE COLORS AS THEY REALLY ARE – Whether using the 2500 true lumen Light from the Sea Dragon 2500F Underwater Photo & Video Light or the included filter on the SportDiver case your images will turn out like those of a professional underwater photographer. The COB LED technology with a Color Rendering Index of 90 closely mimics natural sunlight or use the filter on the case to restore natural light so all you see are the vivid colors as they truly appear in nature. No more washed out blue pictures
- EASY ACCESS AND SIMPLE TO USE – The camera controls are no different than the normal way you take pictures and you have access to all your popular camera controls settings including Zoom, Focus, White Balance, Tint, Lens selection, and more while easily switching between photos and video. The case mounts directly to the Flex-Connect Tray and features a large shutter lever for easy picture taking with gloved or bare hands while the Flex-Connect Grip below the light adds stability and balance
- LONG LASTING & BRIGHT – The 2500 true lumens & 120 degree beam angle brighten up the darkest scenes. At the highest power setting the rechargeable lithium battery lasts up to one hour on a single charge, two hours at half power & up four hours at quarter power. The case uses 2 AAA batteries providing long lasting power up to 50 hours of continuous use. The free App for current & prior generation OS connects to the case via Bluetooth and shows photos & videos with thumbnails to locate your images
- INDIVIDUALLY TESTED – Your phone is invaluable with your pictures, music, messages, & emails and this is why we test every case before it is packaged. We also know things get lost and include extra rubber grip tabs, spare O rings for the housing and Vacuum Check Port, O-ring lubricant & removal tool, an additional Moisture Muncher Capsule, Travel Case, Deluxe Wrist Strap and two AAA batteries. Includes the free SportDiver app for current & prior generation OS available at the App & Play Stores
You get an anti-fog moisture muncher to prevent the casing from fogging up underwater and easy access to all your iPhone camera settings. The case mounts to the “Flex-Connect Tray” on the lighting rig, allowing for easy grip of the light stem with the Flex-Connect Grip.
The lighting rig comes with a 2,500-lumen Sea Dragon 2500F underwater light, featuring COB LED technology offering you a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 to mimic natural sunlight. There are no washed-out blue pictures. The light helps you capture all the fine detail of the reef and sea life around you.
You can download the “SportDiver” app from the Apple store and set it up on your phone to manage your underwater camera experience. You get spare rubber tabs and O-rings included with your purchase, as well as a lubricant, a wrist strap, and a travel case.
What We Liked
- 2,500-lumen Lighting rig included.
- Android models are available.
- High-quality case with 130-feet depth rating.
- Cam-lock sealing mechanism.
- Access to all phone camera settings.
- Flex-connect grip for stability.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced underwater camera, you can’t go wrong with the Nikon Coolpix. This model comes with an attractive high-visibility casing featuring a bright yellow color for easy identification. The case of the CoolPix is dust, water, and shockproof, offering you a decent waterproof rating of up to 100-feet, and you get full use of the camera in temperatures down to 14F.
The Nikon W300 comes with a 16MP backside-illuminated CMOS low-light sensor. The quick f/2.8 NIKKOR zoom lens offers you amazing detail in shots, with auto-focus, macro, and continuous shooting modes for capturing the perfect image. You get 5X optical zoom and Nikon’s Hybrid VR (Vibration Reduction) technology for a stable shot.
- Waterproof, freeze proof, shockproof and dustproof adventure camera with extra capabilities;Autofocus (AF) : Contrast-detect AF
- Stunning high resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos, Time-lapse videos, Super lapse videos and music montages
- 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with telephoto power and Hybrid VR image stabilization; Charging Time:2 hours 20 minutes (when using Charging AC Adapter EH-73P and when no charge remains)(Approx.)
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, eCompass, altimeter, depth gauge and more.Lens Construction:12 elements in 10 groups
The W300 CoolPix shoots in 4Kor in 1080p Full-HD, and you get the Nikon editing suite included with your purchase. The camera also features VR in movie mode, offering you a five-axis hybrid of lens-shift and electronic type. There is also an AE lock for shooting underwater.
You get a large LCD on the rear for viewing the perfect shot and easy navigation of the menu with the rotary dial and easy-reach buttons. It’s a great choice for an entry-level camera if you’re on a budget.
What We Liked
- Waterproof to 100-feet.
- Shockproof and dustproof.
- 5X optical zoom shoots in 4K.
- 16MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor.
- Hybrid VR stability mode.
If you’re looking for an affordable camera to use in and out of the water, there’s no better option than the GoPro. The HERO9 Black edition is the latest tech available from the company, and it’s a great choice for any watersports requirement, with no need for external housing.
The HERO9 shoots video in 5K resolution. You get zoom function included with this model, along with “HyperSmooth 3.0” stability sensors to keep the shot smooth with things getting rough on or under the water. The HERO9 comes with a 20MP camera sensor and “SuperPhoto” mode, allowing you to capture crisp, clear 20MP quality images.
- 5K Video - Shoot stunning video with up to 5K resolution, perfect for maintaining detail even when zooming in
- 20MP Photo with SuperPhoto: Capture crisp, pro-quality photos with 20MP clarity. And with SuperPhoto, HERO9 Black can automatically pick all the best image processing for you
- Front Display plus Rear Touch Screen: A new, larger rear touch screen with touch zoom on HERO9 Black and a dazzling new front display makes for easy framing and intuitive camera control
- Live Streaming plus Webcam: Live stream in 1080p on social, get HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast
- HyperSmooth 3.0: Experience the ultimate smoothness with our most advanced video stabilization ever.TimeWarp 3.0: Record mesmerizes time lapse scenes as you move on the road, on foot or anywhere else.Rugged plus Waterproof: Shoot in the gnarliest conditions imaginable. HERO9 Black can take it. It's tough as nails, and waterproof down to 33 feet right out of the box
The HERO9 features a front display for vlogging and a large panel rear display with touchscreen functionality. This GoPro model includes live-streaming plus, providing streaming in 1080p on social media. Create amazing time lapses with the “TimeWarp 3.0” technology, and add more character o your videos.
The GoPro HERO9 comes with a waterproof rating of up to 33-feet, with no housing required. It’s a great choice for a recreation camera for surfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, snorkeling, and more. The GoPro is the king of the action camera market. It might be for times the cost of the best budget model in this review, but it’s worth spending the extra $250+.
What We Liked
- POV underwater video in 5K resolution.
- 3.0 HyperSmooth stability.
- Plenty of mounting options.
- Many accessories are available.
Other Best Selling Options
- 4K Ultra HD action camera. Professional 4K 30Fps & 2.7K 30Fps video with 16MP photos at up to 30 frames per second for incredible photos, which is 4 times the resolution of traditional HD cameras.
- Wireless wrist remote control sports camera. With a wrist 2.4G remote, you can capture the world in an all-new way. Controlling the camera, framing shots or recording video is convenient.
- Longer battery life. AKASO EK7000 action camera comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries. Each battery can record up to 90 minutes. No more worry about the recording time for this Action camera.
- Built-in Wi-Fi & HDMI, edit & share YOUR action in minutes. Just download App(AKASO GO) on your phone or tablet and connect with this action camera. Wi-Fi signal ranges up to 10 meters.
- 100 Feet waterproof camera. AKASO EK7000 is designed to withstand extreme environments, together with durable waterproof case. With the accessories, transform it for indoor and outdoor activities.
- 【1080P Video & 30MP Image】This upgraded waterproof digital camera supports 1080P video and 30MP photos with up to 16x digital zoom. Which can help you capture more wonderful and real-life photos. It is a really good choice for beginner photographers.
- 【2.7 Inch TFT Screen】The underwater camera is equipped with 2.7 inch high-quality color display, which is convenient for you to check the photo you take. The anti-shake function makes your photos clearer. Just take it for your trip and enjoy your shooting time.
- 【Support Recording While Charging】This waterproof camera with 650mah battery capacity. It can support the camera to work continuously for 2-3 hours. It also supports recording while charging, you don’t need to worry about battery power off during your journey.
- 【10FT Underwater Camera】The waterproof function makes this digital camera can be submerged 10 feet underwater without a waterproof case one hour per time. You can take it to diving, camping, snorkeling and other activities. To take it and you will not miss any scenery you want to record.
- 【Warm tips】Please remember to purchase a class 10 good quality micro SD card within 128GB separately. Make sure that the battery is firmly closed and the battery cover security lock.
- 【2.7K WATERPROOF CAMERA】 With MAX 2.7K 20fps and 48MP, this underwater camera captures every moment in crisp detail and unparalleled clarity. Equipped with 650mAh battery and supports charging while working.
- 【10FT UNDERWATER CAMERA】 Submersible up to 10 Feet in depth waterproof without casing for one hour per time. Explore the fun underwater.
- 【SELFIE DUAL SCREENS WATERPROOF DIGITAL CAMERA】This waterproof camera has dual front and rear screens, you can take pictures with all your partners in the same frame.
- 【LIGHTWEIGHT AND EASY TO USE】 The compact,lightweight and pocket size design make it easy to take this underwater camera for snorkeling to the beach, water parks or other underwater vacations.
- 【WARM TIPS】This camera supports micro SD card up to 128GB, please purchase it separately. The battery compartment is sealed tight to be waterproof, one hand presses cover lock, another hand(or use a tool) pushes out battery cover meanwhile to open battery door!
Underwater Camera Buyer’s Guide
You have several options for underwater cameras, and all of them offer a different underwater filming and photography experience.
These cameras are for semi-professional use and the next best model to a real DLSR. You get great optics, large sensors, interchangeable lenses, and fantastic image quality in your shots and videos. They come in a more compact package than DSLRs, with less weight while managing to take professional-level photos underwater.
The DSLR is the gold standard of camera technology. However, you might end up spending thousands of dollars on one of these cameras. So, unless you’re planning on making photography your living, it’s better to go with a mirrorless model when upgrading your equipment.
GoPros and generic action cameras are great choices for up-close POV filming and photos. They come with high-quality megapixel cameras, and many have electronic image stabilization for smooth images and videos, with no shake. They are also very compact and affordable and a great choice for holidaymakers looking for a budget camera.
If you have the latest generation iPhone, why not take it underwater? A smartphone casing can protect your phone while enhancing its functionality for underwater use.
What Do I Look for in the Best Underwater Camera?
So, what do you look for in a prospective underwater camera? Let’s unpack the features and functionality of the best underwater cameras.
Sensor and Megapixel Count
The heart of the camera is the processor and sensors. You’re looking to get the latest technology possible, and the best cameras will offer you between 16MP to 24MP images, with resolutions up to 5K.
Options like the Nikon W300 Coolpix come with CMOS low-light sensors allowing for underwater use. You’re looking for high-quality sensors to help you enhance the detail in the video and images you take.
You’re looking for an underwater camera offering you laser-quick shutter time for the best photos. Your camera should also provide shooting in several aspect ratios to suit your environment.
While many of the cameras in this review come with low-light sensor technology, there are those times on the reef when you need artificial light. When it’s cloudy overhead or the water is a bit murky, lighting up your surroundings results in a huge difference to your underwater photography and videography.
If you’re buying a DSLR or mirrorless camera like the Sony Alpha 7 II, you’ll need to purchase a separate housing for the camera. The housing comes with mounts for light bars and strobes, allowing you to build a custom rig.
Options like the SeaLife Duo give you a complete system with a mirrorless camera and lighting rig ready to go right out of the box.
Every camera should come with a large viewfinder screen on the camera’s rear. The viewfinder helps you set up your shot, and some come with touchscreen compatibility, like the GoPro and the Generic action cameras.
Larger models typically have 3-inch viewfinders and controls like rotary dials to help you navigate the menus. The viewfinder also displays your settings for easy reference when setting up the shot. You also have the option of using the viewfinder to playback your videos and photos to see if you want to keep them or delete them.
Look for cameras offering you a wide-angle lens. The wider the lens, the larger the aspect ratio, and the better the shot. You’ll capture more detail and get better-quality photos and videos with wide-angle lenses in your camera.
Look for cameras offering you auto-focus. When you’re diving, you have to keep your eye on your surroundings, and the last thing you want to do is take your eye off the shot to lose focus at the last second. With auto-focus technology, the camera does the work of focusing the image for you.
Most high-end underwater cameras come with an auto-stability function for taking photos and video. Even action cameras like the GoPro and the Generic come with image stabilization. However, the better the technology, the higher the price tag. If we compare the quality of the stability control in the GoPro to the Generic, it’s not even close.
Action cameras offer you plenty of interesting functions for filming POV videos. The time-lapse function is amazing, allowing you to capture all the events of your dive in a compressed format. Highlight the best parts of the dive and move quickly through the less-engaging scenes in your dive at the touch of a button.
Internal Memory and SD Card Compatibility
Many models come with impressive onboard memories. Some cameras carry dedicated internal storage for up to 64GB of data. Cameras with smaller onboard storage will offer you SD-Card slots for upgrading your memory function. When taking photos and videos in 4K, you need as much storage capacity as possible.
Underwater cameras come in battery-operated models using lithium-ion battery packs of regular rechargeable AAA batteries. The onboard lithium-ion battery is the better choice, and you’ll get longer operation from it than with AAA batteries. The lithium-ion battery also offers fast USB charging, and you can expect service times of up to 50-hours or longer. The only issue with lithium-ion batteries is they eventually fail – think of your cellphone battery.
USB or Bluetooth Connectivity
The top cameras have USB charging capability and a USB-C interface with your mobile devices or desktop. Some models also include Bluetooth to assist with the wireless transfer of data from the device.
Top-end digital underwater cameras come with Wi-Fi compatibility. These functions allow you to wirelessly share the data on the camera with other people on your network. Update the drivers and connect to dedicated apps for editing and enhancing your videos.
The camera should come with a travel case to protect it during transport. The travel case is an essential piece of equipment, and if you don’t get one included with your purchase, you’ll have to buy one aftermarket. Fortunately, all the models in this review come with travel cases included in the deal.
The brand name of the camera matters sometimes. If you’re buying a high-end mirrorless model or a DSLR, it’s probably a good idea to go with a reputable name brand you can trust. Apart from the Generic action camera, all of the models in our review come from companies with a heritage in camera manufacturing.
However, there are times when name brands don’t make much of a difference. For example, the GoPro HERO9 and the Generic Action Camera in this review are very close in terms of functionality and use. The GoPro does get the edge in every department over the Generic. However, when we see the GoPro has a price tag four times that of the Generic, we would expect that.
Underwater Camera FAQs
Q: Do disposable underwater cameras work?
A: Sure, you get disposable underwater cameras, but they are trash. These cameras are okay for taking fun shots in the surf without the worry of getting your camera wet. However, these cameras’ lens quality and processing power are rubbish, and you’ll find you get a blue washout when trying to shoot past four to six feet underwater, especially in the ocean.
Q: Where can I find an underwater casing for my DSLR camera?
A: Speak to a specialist camera store or find a vendor online. There are housings available for all the cameras in this review. The housing allows you to build your underwater rig from scratch. Add lighting, strobes, and accessories to make a custom underwater rig for your dive photography.
Q: Is an action camera as good as a DSLR for underwater filming?
A: Action cameras have come a long way over the last decade since their inception. Today’s GoPro models have all the features of DSLRs and shoot video and photos in 5K up to 24MP! The only thing lacking with the GoPro is the zoom offered by lenses on DSLR cameras. As a result, action cameras are great for shooting in ranges up to six to eight feet, but you lose the intensity of the shot the further out you shoot.
Q: Where can I buy the best Underwater Camera?
A: We recommend picking up the best underwater camera from Amazon. Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, and they have the best range and prices in the industry. You’ll probably find it cheaper on Amazon than you will in a retail store in the mall. Amazon offers Prime members free, fast shipping, and buyer protection on your order.
The Best Underwater Camera – The Verdict
By now, you should have your eye on the right underwater camera system you need for your aquatic adventure.
We have models to suit any budget or any activity under the water., Whether you’re an amateur looking to upgrade your kit, a holidaymaker looking for a cheap camera, or you need a complete underwater rig; we have something for you in our review.
However, if you’re still on the fence with your choice, we get it. It’s challenging to settle on a model when you have so many great camera options in this review. If that’s the case, why not go with one of our top picks?