If you plan to take photos or videos underwater you need to find a camera which can easily cope with such a task. Waterproof cameras from our list are not afraid of rough mountain rivers or deep seas.
So, in case you’re one of those enthusiasts who are eager to capture the whole beauty of the underwater world then stick with us, as we have prepared a list of the best waterproof cameras you can buy today.
How to Choose The Best Waterproof Camera
A type of image sensor, as well as its size, affects the image quality greatly. So while selecting a camera pay attention to this feature. Note that bigger sensors provide better result. Even a 12MP camera can produce great photos in case its sensor is big enough.
Lenses quality is important. Your task is to decide what types of lenses you need as all of them are suitable for different situations.
Some waterproof cameras offer unique macro zoom. So if you aim at shooting underwater world in all its details then have a look at such cameras like Olympus Tough TG-5. Thanks to its microscope mode it is able to focus at the distance of only 1cm.
Check whether a camera you are going to buy has an anti-reflective coating which allows easy shot review under the sun as well as underwater.
The more autofocus points a camera has the sharper image it will deliver. Besides, pay attention to the shooting speed. The higher it is, the more chances you have to get clear images of fast-moving objects.
All waterproof cameras can withstand different water depth. Look for one which is suitable for your purpose. What is more, don’t forget to check if its drop-proof, dustproof and shockproof. Some of the waterproof cameras are also freeze-proof.
There is also a range of other features which should be checked before buying. They include video modes, scene modes, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS and others. In a nutshell, any purchase requires a thorough study of camera options.
8 Best Waterproof Cameras
Olympus Tough TG-6
Great Update of an Affordable Family Camera
If you’re looking for a camera to take with you while exploring the Amazon rainforest or climbing the Everest, the Olympus Tough TG-6 should rank high on your shopping list. And if you’re wondering why here are the main reasons: first, the Tough TG-6 is built to be an underwater point-and-shoot camera, i.e. it’s waterproof up to 50 feet / 15 meter and incredibly easy to use. On top of that, it’s crushproof, shockproof, dustproof, freezeproof and anti-fog. Basically, this Olympus will outlive you, no matter what you’re doing, being something like the G-Shock of cameras.
And speaking of the latter, the Olympus Tough TG-6 ticks all the important boxes in the tech-department: high-resolution F2. 0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back-illuminated CMOS Image Sensor, 5 underwater shooting modes, a variable macro system, and even magnified shooting up to 1 centimeter from the end of the lens. In terms of video, this tough cookie can record 4K movie and full HD 120 fps high-speed movies.
- 12MP 1/2.33-inch CMOS sensor
- 4x optical zoom lens (25-100mm equivalent), f/2.0-4.9
- 3-inch, 1040k-dot fixed LCD screen
- Slo-mo modes include 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps
- GPS and Wi-Fi
- bright lens and excellent image quality for a small camera
- tough as nails and waterproof
- macro lights and add-on lenses available
- good quality rear LCD
- 4K video, Wi-Fi
- wide-aperture lens
- doesn’t come with touchscreen
- the LCD display is prone to scratching
- scrolling through the menu can be confusing
Sony RX0 II
Premium Ultra-Compact Camera
Next in line, we have another tough camera, this time from Sony. The Sony RX0 II boasts a water, shock and crush-proof body, as well as high tech components, including the company’s famous 1” (1.0-Type) stacked back-illuminated Exmore RS CMOS sensor and a24mm F4 Zeiss tessar T* lens for high-res images. The video recording thing also works in 4K, and comes with Pro features and image stabilization, while the battery has enough juice to give you over half an hour of continuous video-shooting or 240 shots.
But what’s really interesting about the Sony RX0 II is that it offers Eye AF and a flip screen on the world’s smallest 4K capable tough video camera. Basically, this baby is Sony’s “kaizen” take at high-end water-proof (and more) all-purpose cams, and the end result is an impressive gadget which is great for travel photography and vlogging, to name just a couple of modern-day hobbies.
- 1.0″-type (0.52″ x 0.35″) Exmor RS® CMOS sensor, aspect ratio 3:2
- Approx. 15.3 Megapixels
- Wide-angle ZEISS® Tessar T* 24-mm4 F4 lens
- good image quality for an ultra-compact
- cool flip-out screen, water/shock/crush proof
- smallest and lightest premium all-purpose camera in the world
- 960fps slo-mo, up to 4K 25fps video
- decent battery life
- lacks optical image stabilization
- kind of expensive for what it is
- no touchscreen
- the user interface is not intuitive
GoPro HERO8 v2
Action Cam King
The GoPro Hero 8 is one of the best waterproof cameras out there and arguably, one of the most popular in the world. If you’re going to spend money on flagship material, the GoPro is the way to go, and its 8th iteration is probably the best yet, but there’s a caveat to that: you’ll have to buy Mod accessories.
Without mods, the 8th gen is just a minor upgrade over the 7th, i.e. it’s not really worth the dime. What’s better in the 8th gen, you asked? Well, to begin with, there’s the design thing, which is now more streamlined, the app was dramatically improved, so is the microphone, to name just a few.
Also, you’ll benefit from a higher max bitrate, and, very important for vloggers, 1080p live streaming. However, the Mod accessories make the Hero8 the weapon of choice for vloggers, and push it into a league of its own. The action cam king, and by that we mean Hero8, comes with a long list of software and hardware tweaks over the previous gen, but the most important are the foldable built-in mount, a better (double actually) shockproof rating, awesome new software features and a wind-resistant microphone. The Mod accessories will allow you to have a more professional setup, as they improve sound, lighting and visibility. Hardware-wise, the Hero 8 comes with the exact same GP1 chip and 12MP sensor as the 7, but the software is completely new and optimized for better overall performance, including battery life, better low light processing, live burst photos and improved HDR.
- 4K video @60fps
- 100Mbps bitrate for 4K and 2.7K
- USB-C charging
- Raw photos
- Automated editing app
- Mod expansion system
- Picture quality not so great
Great Camera for Diving
Its compact design is always attractive to travelers who need something reliable and at the same time small enough to put into their pockets. Actually, Nikon W300 deserves to be called one of the best waterproof cameras for different occasions.
This camera is especially suitable for those who prefer extreme and action. It is 100 ft waterproof and freezeproof to 14° Fahrenheit. Besides, it can handle drops from 7.9 ft and it doesn’t allow dust to spoil shooting.
Thanks to fast f/2.8 NIKKOR zoom lens Nikon W300 can freeze actions with all details saved. And note that poor light conditions won’t be a hindrance for high image quality. You will also enjoy its Macro Mode effect that allows you to reveal all the details of the world around you.
There is an option of both 4K Ultra HD as well as 1080p Full HD videos that are provided with stereo sound. You can also edit your records using background music and special effects. Time-lapse recording and Superlapse video are included as well.
- Sensor: BSI CMOS
- Megapixels: 16 mp
- Max ISO: 6,400
- Shooting Speed: 7 fps
- waterproof to 100 ft
- freezeproof to 14° Fahrenheit
- shock-proof to 7.9 ft
- 4K video
- built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- image stabilization
- compact size
- time-lapse recording
- remote control with a smartphone
- no articulation touchscreen
- poor battery life
- no manual focusing
Better Than the Real Thing?
Compared to other GoPro copycats, the DJI OSMO is a fantastic little camera that’s perfectly capable of giving the Hero 7 Black a headache and a drop in sales figures. The thing is, the DJI Osmo Action delivers amazing image quality and a plethora of shooting modes, including a selfie screen, for an incredibly low price tag. If you’re a professional vlogger and you require steady video, yet you’re not ready to break the piggy bank and pay Go Pro prices, this Chinese made knock-off will give you a run for your money, and you’ll definitely ask for seconds.
The design is very GoPro-ish, and the image stabilization is nothing short of impressive; speaking of design, you’ll clearly appreciate the big-lens rear-screen style and the design cues borrowed from GoPro. The body is made of metal, and it looks and feels premium, featuring a grippy/textured band that wraps around the frame seamlessly on the right, left and top side. The ergonomics are solid, and the camera is waterproof for up to 11 meters. When it comes to video quality, the DJI OSMO really shines with slick and crisp images, while its image stabilization system dubbed RockSteady is clearly in the same league with the big boys out there.
- Sensor 1/2.3″ CMOS
- Effective pixels: 12M
- Lens FOV: 145° f/2.8
- ISO Range: Photo: 100-3200 Video: 100-3200
- highly competitive video/still photo quality
- impressive image stabilization system
- well designed and ergonomic
- cool front display great for vlogging
- good value for money
- no HDMI port, no GPS built-in
- a bit of display lag when the RockSteady feature is on
- some quality control issues reported
KODAK PIXPRO WPZ2
Dirt Cheap Action Camera
Kodak used to be a big name in photography; not so much lately, yet their rugged/waterproof PIXPRO WPZ2 seems to be the best friend of adventure lovers on a low budget. Compared to other “toys” presented previously, the Kodak action-camera is ridiculously cheap, as it’s retailing for way less than $200.
So, if the money is tight, this colorful little action camera will do its job with flying colors, that provided you don’t expect miracles. The star of the show is the 16MP BSI CMOS Sensor with 4x optical zoom and capable of shooting full HD 1080p video.
You’ll also get a rather minuscule 2.7″ 230k LCD/viewfinder, and Wi-Fi connectivity, but not much else. All things considered, if you want to take pics and vids underwater, without worrying too much, the KODAK PIXPRO WPZ2 would make for the perfect companion, as it’s waterproof, dustproof, shockproof and it can survive a drop inside a volcano.
Hell, you even get electronic image stabilization, and bottom line, for the price asked, this yellow Kodak is pretty damn’ good.
- Waterproof, shockproof
- Takes pics underwater
- Full HD 1080p video
- Dirt cheap
- 4x optical zoom
- Mediocre image quality
Perfect Camera for Watersports
If you’re looking for a waterproof/shockproof compact camera, the RICOH WG-70 may be the answer to your prayers, especially if you’re into scuba diving and similar stuff. The thing is, this brightly colored action camera can “survive” submerged down to 14 meters/46 feet for up to 2 hours.
Speaking of adventures, the RICOH WG-70 is also designed to survive a drop from 5 feet, and it can still work in subzero temps, up to (or should we say down to?) minus ten Celsius. Other than that, this orange ultra-rugged camera has a 16 Megapixel 1/2.3” backside-illuminated CMOS sensor with max sensitivity of ISO 6400, and it can record full HD 1080p video.
The lens has 28–140mm 35mm-equivalent focal length and an aperture range of F3.5-F5.5, being built using of 11 elements in 9 groups; obviously, you’ll get both optical and digital zoom and the familiar (for the fans of the brand) 2.7-inch monitor with 230k dots. Video recording maxes out at 1080p@30fps or 120fps@720p.
Since the WG-70 replaces the older WG-60, a number of improvements were made, besides the new orange color option: the Image Tone Mode filters have a new feature, Cross Process respectively, and the Digital Microscope mode is now better than ever before. Basically, if you’re looking for a G-Shock camera that comes with a built-in macro ring-light (6 LED lights), the WG-70 comes highly recommended.
- Easy to use
- Full HD video
- Good Macro mode
- Industrial design
- No Wi-Fi, no GPS
- Kind of expensive
Fujifilm FinePix XP140
Beach Friendly Snapper
The Fujifilm FinePix XP140 makes for the company’s latest addition to the waterproof/tough XP range, and at first sight, it definitely looks the part. Also, compared to some of the previously reviewed cameras, this time you’re in for the bargain of your life, as this tough guy retails for way less than $200. So, what do you get for that kind of money? The FinePix XP140 is robust and well built, and offers a ton of shooting modes, 4K @15 FPS included, so yeah, this baby is UHD ready despite its tiny price.
Fujifilm also provides a 25 meters waterproof rating for their affordable tough boy, which means you’ll be able to shoot effortlessly while scuba diving. Considering the price asked and the features, the FinePix XP140 definitely provides a lot of functionality in a nice form factor. Obviously, this is not your daddy’s DSLR, and there are no fancy controls or anything like that, but what really counts is that you’ll be able to get good shots, provided the conditions are right.
- Image sensor 1/2.3-inch CMOS with primary color filter
- Number of effective pixels 16.4 million pixels
- Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens
- amazing value for money
- very easy to use
- pretty good pictures in daylight
- 4K (15fps) video
- wide range of video modes/shooting options
- not much of an upgrade over the old FinePix XP130