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 antireflective 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.
9 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
Leica XU (Typ 113)
The Best Waterproof Camera for Professionals
This waterproof camera can be a perfect match for a real pro of the photography world. Leica XU is quite expensive as it costs around $3000, but if you aren’t a novice at this business then you will appreciate the whole spectrum of its capabilities.
Leica XU (Typ 113) is a compact mirrorless camera of German production. It has a 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and ISO which can vary from 100 to 12,500. This model of Leica is not only waterproof but also shock- and dust-proof. It’s suitable for depths up to 50ft (15m) and up to 60-minute dives.
Leica XU has 23mm F1.7 Summilux ASPH lens which is able to deliver the same angle of view as a 35mm lens of a full-frame camera.
Leica lens can focus down to 20cm and delivers flash housing directly above the axis of the front element. This diminishes the distance between the flash and the subject what is essential for underwater shooting in order to reduce illumination.
There is also an option of underwater mode which makes some changes in the white balance to adjust it to the peculiar conditions. All you need to do in order to activate this option is to press the UW button which can be easily found on the camera corpus.
As Leica XU (Typ 113) was designed in collaboration with Audi Design, its top plate is made of high-grade aluminum and its body is coated with high-grip TPE armoring.
Leica XU produces both RAW and JPEG files and its movie mode can record at 30 fps in 1080p HD resolution.
This camera has conquered a title of the best waterproof camera for professionals thanks to its reliable and top-notch performance. Underwater monsters, wild rafting or colorful corals – Leica XU (Typ 113) is ready to face any task you have prepared for it.
- Sensor: APS-C CMOS
- Megapixels: 16 MP
- Max ISO: 12,500
- Shooting Speed: 5 fps
- waterproof to 49 ft
- shockproof to 4 ft
- robust build
- high-quality display
- manual focusing
- external flash shoe
- articulating screen
- slow autofocus
- no true full manual control
- no Wi-Fi
- no image stabilization
- heavy body
A High-Performance Tradition Still Lives
GoPro HERO8 is a great waterproof camera, which continues its predecessor’s successful adventure, and offers many similar, but improved features, as well as many brand new functions that help it keep the leading position among the best waterproof cameras.
Although it comes with numerous upgrades, this camera has also kept many of the old stuff from HERO7 Black, such as the GP1 chip and 12MP CMOS sensor, along with the overall design. However, improvements are a dominant aspect of this camera and are presented through the HyperSmooth2.0 function (it delivers advanced stabilization in every resolution, including 4K), enhanced HDR, RAW photos and 100Mbps bitrate in both 4K and 2.7K resolution. Moreover, there is the TimeWarp2.0 feature (it improves stabilization of fast-moving videos), Capture presets (it presets up to 10 different color and image settings for fast and convenient future use), enhanced shock resistance and a lot more.
GoPro HERO8 offers quality underwater performance at up to 10m of depth and allows for filming with 60fps in 4K, 120fps in 2.7K and 240fps in 1080p resolution, while in burst mode these framerates are limited to 60fps.
When talking about downsides, they are limited to the not-that-impressive low light performance and questionable image quality that has, on the other hand, never been a GoPro HERO’s thing.
Overall, GoPro HERO8 is an amazing waterproof camera and the only real tool that you need for your underwater travels.
- Excellent stabilization
- Quality microphone
- Mods accessory
- Great Capture Presets
- Livestream of Full HD videos
- Bad low light performance
- Not that great picture quality
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
Strong Option for Underwater Photography
The DC2000 is the successor of the discontinued DC1400, and, as the name suggests, the new generation boasts a significantly larger 1’’ CMOS 20 MP sensor compared to the old-gen 1/2.33-inch CCD sensor (14 MP). The new sensor is made by Sony, and the DC2000 is capable of recording fluidly (60 FPS) full HD 1080p. On top of that, you’ll get some cool slow-motion options in post-production and fast focusing capabilities, plus a way better shutter response (0.1s instead of 0.3s). Unfortunately, the fans of the brand will have to wait for 4K, and yes, we know, it’s the current year and all that.
Arguably, the best thing about the SeaLife DC2000 is the fact that it’s waterproofed to 60 ft., which means this camera is awesome for underwater photography, kayaking, snorkeling or any other water-based form of fun. If you add into the mix the housing and the rich choice of attachments available via SeaLife’s Flex-Connect arm system, you’ll understand what’s up with the hefty price tag.
- SONY® 1″ back-illuminated 20MP CMOS image sensor for sharp, stunning stills and videos
- 4 underwater shooting modes with built-in color correction (dive, snorkel, external light, and external flash)
- 25 Land Scene modes for various shooting environments
- Full 1080p 60fps HD video with picture-in-video capture
- Optional manual control from F1.8 to F11 in 0.3 stop increments
- very fast autofocus/shutter response
- Sony-made 20 MP sensor delivers excellent image quality
- RAW formatting capabilities
- comes with 200-foot underwater housing
- Wi-Fi, 920k dot LCD
- wide aperture lens is crisp, wide-angle lens adapter available
- no optical zoom
- high ISO
Great Cheap Waterproof Camera
Ricoh WG-50 has a lot in common with the pre-cited Nikon W300. They have the same image sensor type and ISO range. Still, there are some features that differ and it’s not only about the price (as Ricoh WG-50 is quite cheaper than Nikon W300).
If you prefer deep diving then Nikon W300 will be a better option for you as Ricoh WG-50 is only 46 ft waterproof. Still, it’s enough for amateurs who want to explore the underwater world of seas and oceans. Add to this enhanced digital microscope mode with 6 macro LEDs and you will get smooth images with perfect focus and even lighting. Apart from this, Ricoh WG-50 is shockproof as its ruggedized design protects from drops up to 5 ft.
Unlike Nikon W300 this waterproof camera doesn’t support 4K video. Instead, it’s provided with 1080p HD at 30 fps.
- Sensor: BSI CMOS
- Megapixels: 16 mp
- Max ISO: 6,400
- Shooting Speed: 8 fps
- reasonable price
- great microscope mode
- waterproof to 46 ft
- shock-proof to 5 ft
- built-in Wi-Fi
- poor battery life
- poor display
- hard shutter button
- no 4K video
- no image stabilization
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
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