A waterproof camera lets you take pictures that seem difficult while wet or in extreme situations. When you go swimming, playing in the sea, or the pool you need an underwater camera that will be able to take good quality pictures. Underwater cameras are made for under the water because they are specially designed with cases that can withstand water pressure.
What type of underwater camera should you buy? The best underwater cameras are equipped with a fisheye lens, full manual mode, autofocus ability, a long battery life, and much more. So, read more to find out much you need to spend on underwater cameras. You have an extensive variety of waterproof cameras that are aimed for everyone that may work best for fishing, snorkeling, diving adventures, or even boats. Knowing what you want to buy on Amazon for underwater cameras is key, so continue below to see the best options.
Our Picks: Top 9 Underwater Cameras
- Best Overall: Nikon W300 Underwater Camera “Powerful, easy to use, and highly rated for underwater picture quality compared to the competition.”
- Best Action Camera: GoPro Hero 7 Underwater Camera “An action underwater camera ideal for outdoor use especially diving along with advanced social features.”
- Best Value: Fujifilm XP120 Underwater Camera “A great price for budget minded consumers that delivers high quality pictures and cool zoom features.”
- Best For Underwater Depth: SeaLife Micro 2.0 Underwater Camera “A high definition camera that has the capability to go 200 feet underwater.”
- Best Disposable Camera: Fujifilm QuickSnap Disposable Underwater Camera “The cheapest underwater camera on the market that is easy to use, compact, and ready to go for all water activities.”
- Best Camera for Family Use: Nikon W100 Underwater Camera “The easiest to use underwater camera, which is aimed for family use because it is easy to operate. ”
- Best Waterproof Underwater Camera Phone: Samsung Galaxy S8 Underwater Camera “All in one top rated Phone with an underwater capability and durability tailor made for active water situations.”
- Best Deep Diving Waterproof Camera: Nikon W300 Underwater Camera “The ideal camera for the deep sea diver adventurer because of waterproof depth and shock resistance.”
- Best Video Quality: GoPro Hero 7 Underwater Camera “Incredible camera for high action adventures and super innovation stabilization technology for smooth videos.”
Important Features for Underwater Cameras
When you buy an underwater camera be prepared for a large variety of cameras in the marketplace and especially available on Amazon. The extensive range of cameras vary from models best for divers, anyone into fishing, children, and of course into underwater adventures.
Here are the most important features to look for when you are buying a camera. Remember you need to ask yourself; how much do you want to spend? Do you require a strong and sturdy camera for challenging environments? How important is image quality when you take underwater photos.
1.Underwater Housing: This is the most crucial feature to any underwater camera because you need this to allow complete control of any camera while in the water. Whether you are diving or on the surface of the water, the housing needs to be strong and sturdy.
2. Full Manual Mode: Manual mode gives you the ability to adjust the exposure on an image. Basically, you have full control to change and alter the photos as you like it, which is important when you are taking photos underwater. The only drawback manual mode is that you need to learn and understand how to use the shutter speed and aperture to effectively use it.
3. Battery Life: A long battery life is crucial for a variety of reasons, but especially when you have to be on the water and away from power sources. The challenge of the environment requires a battery that will last extra long, so be prepared when shopping.
4. Fisheye Lens: A vital feature for people who need to shoot wide angle photography. Why? The best wide angle photos requires a UWL-04 fisheye lens to accomplish photos being close. Not many cameras have the fisheye lens option, so make sure this is available because it will make your photos better and the process easier overall.
5. Manual White Balance: This is a feature that makes a big change in the photos especially for water photos. Basically, when you are shooting with any camera, the white balance uses ambient light to reduce any strong and shiny “blues” or “peaks” that may make your photos look too bleached or bad for reproduction.
6. Autofocus Capability: This is a crucial feature to include for any serious underwater camera buyer because while underwater you may or will not have the ability to focus. So, an autofocus is more effective in challenging environments for better quality photos underwater.
Types of Underwater Cameras
1. Compact Cameras: A point and shoot cameras with a lot of range of features, but ideally you want a more advanced camera. Why? A point and shoot can be very affordable, and limited, but you need an advanced camera to use. The advantage of these cameras is you can use this easily and go underwater without having to learn too much about underwater camera photography.
2. Action cameras: A truly flexible and diverse camera because you can go anywhere with an action camera. This multitude of action cameras may be overwhelming, but an action camera may often feature a built-in fish eye lens within a 360 lens.
3. DSLR Cameras: The DSLR camera is the best type of underwater camera because it offers the best quality images. You are able to access and take advantage of high quality sensors for great photos. As well, expect great high quality lenses and in general a very high performing camera for underwater activities and usage. The only drawback of the DSLR is that the cameras are quite bulky, but worth the effort for great underwater photography.
4. Mirrorless Cameras: If you are not sure of what type of underwater camera to buy then you want to invest in a camera that delivers the perfect balance. Which camera would offer the best compromise? A mirrorless camera works well because it sits somewhere between a compact camera and DSLR. These cameras include great optics, bigger sensors, and interchangeable lenses that reproduce great images. Overall, this type of camera is smaller than the DSLR, but able to reproduce professional grade photos.
Top 9 Underwater Cameras with Detailed Reviews
<Overall Best Underwater Camera>
Nikon has made the highest rated and easiest to use underwater camera. The Nikon is very popular for a variety of reasons for everything from high quality underwater images, bluetooth pairing, and user friendly functions. The Nikon W300 is the clear winner for best in the underwater camera specialty field.
This Nikon model is the best of underwater camera field because it has an IP68 rating, which outdoes the competition. The features you will get will be important for any camera techie because you can get amazing 4k/UHD 30p footage and record full high definition video underwater. Another great feature is that you can go waterproof to 30 meters underwater, as well as shock-proof and freeze-proof. As a photographer, you will have a lot of control and accessibility over every picture. Furthermore, this Nikon has built-in technology for photo transfers to share online quickly. Overall, there are a wide variety of top notch features that range from WiFi, bluetooth, GPS for tagging, and you even have a compass built in to the camera!
In general, the Nikon wins because of the high customer satisfaction, stunning image quality, and easy user friendly handling. Of course there have been some complaints in regards to ISO parameters, low light issues, and more.
Positive: Highly rated and critically acclaimed for being easy to use, setup, wonderful image quality, and beneficial features for extensive use underwater.
Negative: There have been considerable complaints in regards to ISO parameters, issues with low light clarity, and not having a flexible screen display.
<Best Action Camera>
The GoPro underwater camera is known much more for its reputation for action photography outdoors. This is a rugged waterproof camera that offers a multitude of features from live streaming to time warp video.
This is a camera that perfect for mounting and using in a variety of ways from surfing to diving. In terms of specific function, the GoPro has the ability to go down to 33 feet. Moreover, the GoPro offers an ultra wide lenses, which is ideal for using for action, sports, and outdoor activities. Another positive aspect of this GoPro is the smooth footage and advanced image optimization. Furthermore, you are also able to stream video to Facebook as well as live stream to other platforms. Expect 4k video that is very impressive and able to do time lapses and much more for recording.
All in all, you have a GoPro camera built for action that can also go underwater. The range of superior features makes for a camera with advanced functions, but there is a limitation in regards to depth, battery life is very short, and as well there is no ability to stream and record in 4k.
Positive: An underwater camera known for action and outdoor use especially diving; along with features for social media and streaming.
Negative: A considerable limitation in regards to depth, battery life is very short, and as well there is no ability to stream and record in 4k.
<Best Value Underwater Camera>
An incredible camera for beginners looking to save money and being able to enjoy underwater cameras. The Fujifilm FinePix XP 120 is quite good considering the price because of the clever design, sturdy build, and user friendly features.
This Fuji underwater camera does a lot considering the price point, but there are limitations. The Fuji underwater camera is waterproof down to about 65 feet, in terms of a freeze point it can endure as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and shockproof to almost 6 feet. This camera showcases ideal optical stabilization, a wonderful zoom ability. In terms of image graphics and quality, you get about 16.4 megapixel that is good for underwater and dry overland images. The ability to get high speed continuous shooting, which can take up to 10 frames per second, is another great selling point for this underwater camera. Finally, in terms of ISO range you will be able to have quite a range from 100-6400 as well an extensive shutter speed range.
In general, this is a wonderful camera that delivers a lot in terms of features at such a price. On the other hand, the problems stem from a short battery life, waterproof depth limitation, and more. However, the Fuji is a great price for budget minded consumers that delivers high quality pictures and cool zoom features.
Positive: The price factor is quite good considering the amount of features available for the Fuji camera as well as optical and digital zoom including great image stabilization.
Negative: The biggest problem is short battery life and waterproof depth limitation.
<Best For Underwater Depth>
This is one of the more special cameras for underwater action and photo reproduction. Why? The SeaLife is easy to use and very good for sea life in the water while providing high quality photos and videos.
The SeaLife underwater camera features 16mp Sony CMOS image sensor, which sets this camera apart from the rest of the marketplace. This particular feature gives the SeaLife an advantage with excellent image and picture quality. In terms of graphics and image clarity, you have a complete 1080p HD video, as well as 60fps for slow motion videos. As well expect 130 degree field of vision in your lens view, so this has excellent features for underwater photography. One of the best and most striking aspects is the ability for this camera to go waterproof without damage for 200ft (60m). Finally, the ease of use for this camera is a selling point that can not be ignored for any potential buyer.
The best thing about this camera is the incredible depth that this can be used, down to 200 feet, as well as the HD quality images and videos. However, the drawbacks are more centered around the low battery life and freezing issues.
Positive: Incredible depth for underwater adventures of up to 200 feet as well High definition photography potential.
Negative: A low battery life or dead battery issue that has been noted in reviews causing freezing and glitches.
<Best Disposable Underwater Camera>
If you are looking for a disposable underwater camera then the Fujifim is best for delivering the best pictures. Also, if you are on a budget this is a good option to buy for wonderful photos that can get basic underwater photos.
This is a straightforward camera, so don’t expect a high tech camera with high definition photos. In fact, be prepared for a camera that will be easy, quick, and very practical. You will get photos in a 35mm format, so you don’t have too many options. In terms of image quality and film, you have 800 speed color film. There are only 27 exposures, so this is an old school option compared to any new digital camera, but waterproof. The waterproof depth of this camera is only up to 35 feet.
The Fujifilm is a quick and affordable option for underwater cameras and very affordable, but expect nothing more in terms of quality and features. The limitations are more based on the lack of advanced features, picture and image quality, as well as a relatively shallow depth for being waterproof.
Positive: Incredibly affordable price tag for an underwater camera; and very easy to use.
Negative: The limitations are numerous and include the lack of advanced features, picture and image quality, as well as a relatively shallow depth for being waterproof.
<Best Camera for Family Use>
This is an easy to use camera designed for first time users especially families. The W100 produced by Nikon is comparable to a high quality smart phone with heightened photo quality and fairly impressive waterproof levels.
This is a Nikon W100 is reasonably priced, so considering this price point it offers a lot in features. The Nikon is the easiest to use underwater camera, which is aimed for family use because it is easy to operate. The waterproof goes down to 33 feet, so this is a fully immersible camera for most water based activities. In terms of the quality of the image clarity, expect a 13.2 megapixel sensor for high fidelity graphic reproductions. Another interesting feature about this Nikon is that you have connectivity with the Snapbridge app, which gives the Bluetooth link capability. A wonderful perk is that you can put effects and frames into photo albums from photo taken already. As well, you can even put sounds after the fact to accompany a photo.
Positive: Ideal for family because of ease of use and incredibly simple design and features, as well as very affordable.
Negative: The image quality is not among the best of underwater cameras, as well the camera lacks advanced photo features and modes for varied styles.
<Best Waterproof Underwater Camera Phone>
Samsung has made a phone that is quite special because it can do what an underwater camera can do and much more. This is one of the most high tech and advanced phones with compatibility for high stress action and water photography. This camera phone is unique and quite effective for a variety of uses.
Samsung has made a phone that is waterproof up to 10 feet deep and able to withstand a lot in high active situations. For example, you can use this in many situations because of shockproof design that is tested up to 7 feet high. For example, you can take this Samsung phone underwater, for as long as a half an hour, all the while taking photos underwater. There is a specially designed shutter button that makes it especially easy to take wonderful underwater photos. Furthermore, this camera phone is able to endure dust, dirt, snow, and of course rain. The screen is shatterproof and even the battery has a long life for active and long term outdoor usage. There are not many phones on the market that can offer this type of protection and high quality image reproduction as well. Expect high quality and high definition photos and videos from a reputable company like Samsung. This is truly an all in one top rated Phone with an underwater capability and durability tailor made for active water situations. In addition, you have a wonderful phone that is unquestionably one of the most innovative and advanced when it comes to technology and active photography.
All in all the amount you can do with Samsung is unquestionably unmatched as the Galaxy S8 does deliver a lot of features. The best features to admire on this unique and highly rated phone are numerous; the most attractive being the underwater stress tests, which give this phone a unique edge in the marketplace of underwater cameras and of course phones. Though, this phone does come with some problems that include the price tag and service plan that is tied to AT&T.
Positive: An ideal camera for anyone who wants to combine active underwater photography with their everyday phone activities; this is an incredible that delivers vibrant photos even in low light.
Negative: Samsung does sell this for too much, so this will not be a bargain. Also, the phone has a binding contract and service plan that is tied to AT&T, so this makes it less attractive.
<Best Deep Diving Waterproof Camera>
A great camera for divers because it has the ability to go 100 feet underwater. The shock resistance of this camera is admirable for a number of reasons because it can withstand much more in terms of environmental conditions. The Nikon is popular for a variety of reasons that include neat zoom features and sturdy and strong design.
The Nikon W300 is the best option for real adventurer travelers or underwater enthusiasts. The ability to go underwater for great depths is matched by incredible shock resistance to endure falls from up to almost 10 feet. Another positive feature is that you have the 24mm-120mm lens to recreate and capture stunning photo and video footage. This is one of the best cameras for outdoor enthusiasts into water sports. You will get amazing high quality picture that vary from 4K ultra HD video to time lapse video and even possible montages for future editing. One of the most fascinating and unique features offered by the Nikon is the ability you can capture and save stills while in the middle of recording, so this is a camera that is truly unique. In terms of connectivity, you can use Bluetooth, WiFi for photo sharing, and NFC. This is a truly proactive and interactive camera that can do many things that other underwater cameras lack.
All in all, this is a camera that will satisfy many who want a demanding camera for plenty of outdoor and diving action. This is the ideal camera for the deep sea diver adventurer because of waterproof depth and shock resistance. Be prepared for some negatives and a few frustrations with this camera that may come with some buyers and situations.
Positive: One of the few truly shockproof underwater cameras that is precisely made for depth of around 100 feet as well as 4k quality, high definition videos, and highly proactive editing features.
Negative: There are problems with this Nikon modeo in low light situations. In addition, be prepared for issues with wireless connectivity and a lack of full manual mode for complete control photos.
<Best Video Quality Camera>
GoPro has an amazing and very dynamic presence in the camera market especially for action and sport consumers. GoPro videos are one of a kind and always memorable, so this GoPro Hero 7 is another wonderful camera that delivers great videos as well great technology.
The GoPro Hero 7 offers a lot in terms of precision, quality images, and as well features. First and foremost, the GoPro Hero 7 is equipped with a super smooth stabilization technology that will guarantee a very smooth video and photo experience for underwater adventures. Also, you have the advantage of having a time warp video feature that stabilizes in active situations, so this is a camera meant for action and adventure. In terms of photo quality, the GoPro Hero 7 definitely deliver the goods. For example, you can get 4k videos as well as 12MP photos, which are clearly meant for high quality usage. The photo editing features also add to the experience because you can add tone mapping, color balance, and even noise reduction to enhance and optimize your photos. This is a rugged and sturdy camera that is meant for high action use, so the waterproof depth reaches 33 feet. You even have voice control features that keep you active in moments when hands free operations are needed to start recording, so this Samsung phone is truly on the cutting edge. Finally, you have the ability to do live streaming and share stories while filming on Facebook, so this is a very innovative underwater camera.
In summary, the GoPro Hero 7 will satisfy your needs for great underwater photography. However, be ready to face some problems with overheating, internal battery issues, and limited pixel options for high definition photos.
Positive: A unique and highly resistant camera for action water use along with special connectivity for social media, editing, and stabilization for smooth videos.
Negative: Reported issues with overheating, internal battery issues, and limited pixel options that don’t allow shooting in 1080p and as well affect 4K as well.