|1. Olympus Tough TG-6||2. SeaLife Micro 2.0||3. Ricoh WG-50|
Saw the sky in pretty colors? Capture it! Saw an amazing car? Capture it! Went out for hiking? capture the mountains! Saw a pretty girl across the road? Hah! Capture her right away! In today’s era, every other person is taking photos of something or the other from their mobile phones or cameras and uploading it on social media.
A camera has become one of the most eminent and wanted equipment of every person, be it a child or an adult. Everybody carries a smartphone nowadays. Not only mobile phones, but a majority of people who are photo aficionados also have digital cameras with them.
However, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could take photos in the rain? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just laze around on a beach with water being splashed on you while you take pictures and videos of all the fun you are having? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just dive into a lake or into an ocean and capture yourself while doing so? The answer will always be yes.
Although there are reasons why people prefer smartphones with good camera quality instead of digital cameras.One simple reason is that you can take your smartphone anywhere on land, but it doesn’t cut it, underwater.
Also, if your photographic exploits have you traverse streams and diving into oceans amongst the fish, you would be needing a special type of camera that could take stunning shots in challenging outdoor activities and water laden adventures. There is a special range of cameras that are designed for the exact same purpose.
There are waterproof cameras as well as underwater cameras designed specifically for adventure-laden photography aficionados. The basic idea behind creating waterproof cameras is to enable people to capture photos in an environment prone to water and moisture. Underwater cameras are designed not only for aquatic use but also designed to be rugged and tough so that it can handle being used in a rough environment as the environment underwater.
Waterproof Camera vs. Underwater Camera
As the name suggests, the single and most important purpose of a waterproof camera is to let you take extraordinary pictures in environments prone to moisture and water splashes. In case you are one of those enthusiasts who are eager to capture the full beauty of the underwater world, then you need a good waterproof camera.
How To Choose The Best Waterproof Camera?
Since these kinds of cameras are more advanced than your standard digital cameras, there are a lot of factors and features that you’ve got to look for before buying a waterproof camera.
There are hundreds of brands out there, and each brand manufactures its camera with features varying from one another, which makes it difficult for you to choose the right camera for yourself. The good news is that most of these brands incorporate the latest technologies in the cameras to ensure that the users can capture amazing videos and pictures. These latest features include Bluetooth, auto time-adjustment, a high-resolution LCD, geotagging, optical zoom, and a wide-angle setting. So, in order to choose the best brand, always start by researching online and reading online reviews.
Underwater photography can be gear-intensive, which can be a problem for you if you are planning to travel by air. So, unless you are planning on chartering a flight, it is highly recommended to choose a pocket-sized camera so you don’t have to lug heavy equipment around and you get to access the same features available in bigger models.
Housing ensures that your camera is fully sealed and prepared to go underwater without getting damaged. The type of housing varies from one camera model to another. So, you can choose a waterproof camera with a variety of quality housing elements to ensure its safety.
Ease Of Operation
There must be many people who are at the beginner level and many people who are experienced underwater photographers. So according to your own skill level, you can choose the waterproof camera with respect to how easy it is to operate and how perfectly you can use the controls.
Manual White Light
If you are planning to shoot underwater without strobes, this is an important feature that you need to look for in your camera. Due to the water’s properties, pictures that you take using natural light will appear blue, and to remove the color cast, you should go for a camera with a manual white light balance setting.
Lenses are the most important part of every camera. They are handy when taking wide-angle or closer macro images. There is no need to use housing if you’re using a point-and-shoot camera, so that you can use different lenses for different kinds of shots. However, if you are using a DSLR, then you need to buy lenses that are compatible with your camera brand.
Water Resistant Depth
To determine the water-resistance depth, you need to be sure of the maximum depth you will take the camera underwater. The average model can provide you water resistivity to a depth of 8 to 10 feet. If you are in need of a digital camera for professional underwater shoots, you can choose the high-end models which allow you to go 33 to 40 feet underwater.
Since your camera will be used under rough environmental conditions, your waterproof camera should be able to withstand extremely low temperatures too.
People set a budget before they buy anything, be it a smartphone or an advanced camera. Regardless of which brand of camera you are planning to buy, you should always budget for more and set a limit too. The waterproof cameras are laden with so many features such as WiFi, GPS, and other features to make it easy for you to share photos and record wherever you take them.
Hence, it is but obvious that the price of waterproof cameras will be higher than the standard cameras. Still, there are plenty of varieties and options to choose from, so you can choose a camera as per your needs and budget.
If you have ever tried underwater diving or scuba diving, you must be well aware of the surreal and utterly enriching experience that underwater diving can provide you.
Now, how many times have you felt the urge to capture this beautiful world around you and underneath the vast ocean with your camera? Maybe a thousand times! However, the only thing that you would have come across would be because of your dependable camera that doesn’t work underwater or isn’t waterproof.
If you’re a budding photographer and have the fantasy to capture the mysterious world underneath the vast water bodies, then you need not worry. There is a whole separate range of cameras for you all that work amazingly underwater. The camera companies are not oblivious to the numerous problems that a budding photographer or even an experienced photographer faces with underwater shooting.
How To Choose The Best Underwater Housing For Your Underwater Camera?
Below mentioned are some of the factors you should look for while buying an underwater camera.
The underwater housing generally provides your waterproof camera much more waterproofing to deeper depths (up to 100 feet) than what a standard waterproof camera provides you.
The waterproof digital cameras have higher chances of leakage than underwater housing.
Functionality In saltwater
In saltwater, you often have to clean the waterproof camera for proper functioning and clear images, but underwater housing doesn’t need this type of maintenance.
Top 10 Best Waterproof And Underwater Cameras 2019
1. Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
This is a point-and-shoot camera that is still going strong in a market where smartphones have taken the place of the point-and-shoot cameras. People have been using and abusing different models by the TG line, and this camera is by far the most impressive one: the rugged, waterproof, shock-proof, take-it-anywhere camera.
This model looks nearly identical to the previously successful model by TG i.e.TG-5. The TG-6 offers the same indestructible structure as its predecessors and fits well both in hands and in pockets. Also, the buttons are on the small side.
This is the recent model by TG, which provides numerous improved features. It is freeze-proof. This model is also dust-proof as well as shock proof. You can even drop it from a height of 7 feet, and it wouldn’t break. To achieve such an indestructible structure, Olympus uses an all-metal body and dual locks on each of the two hatches of the camera. Although the double latches make it a little fiddly to change the battery or connecting a cable but they inspire more confidence that it won’t pop open even if you accidentally bang the TG-6 against a steel wall.
Since it looks nearly identical to the TG-5 model, it means that the model can work with all the existing TG-5 housings and accessories. The TG-6 adds an anti-reflective coating on the glass surrounding the sensor, which provides reduced lens flare and ghosting. It comes with a 12-megapixel sensor, which produces high quality images for a point-and-shoot camera.
The biggest change in this model is its vastly improved resolution of the LCD panel. The improved sharpness makes it much easier for the user to see any image while they are underwater. The model has got some new white balance modes for you to capture better colors. The new modes provide help in snapshots. The model also comes with a full waterproof enclosure ranging from 15 to 45 meters and external flash.
The one thing that may tempt the TG-5 owners to upgrade is the TG-6’s macro controls as well as aperture priority modes. The model is handy for macro photography because of its exceptional focus stacking abilities.
There are some features in TG-6 that you won’t find anywhere else, like the built-in compass, thermometer, manometer, and an accelerometer. The camera tracks the location and associates all the data from the other sensors with your images via an app. That way, not only you can know where the shot is from, but also what the water temperature was like, and how deep you were.
The TG-6 can shoot a 4K/30p video, and 1080p videos up to 60 frames per second, though video capture is always going to be limited because there is no mic or headphone sockets available.
The trickiest part about the model is to figure out how to use it properly. Some of the menus are not immediately accessible.
The accessories that come with the TG-6 model are the underwater case, fisheye converter lens as well as a silicon jacket, but these accessories are optional as the cost adds up if you wish to purchase the full kit. This model is one of the best rugged camera. Not only it is suitable for rugged environments, it is also one of the best tough cameras suitable for you if you are an adventure-loving person.
2. SeaLife Micro 2.0 32 Gb Wi-Fi Underwater Digital Camera
This model is the latest in the first series of cameras to be completely sealed, requiring no user maintenance. No longer do you have to inspect and maintain o-rings to take the camera underwater. The camera serves good for around 6 hours of video and 8000 images. Also, the internal battery provides 3 hours of battery life. The tough and rugged housing of the model is waterproof to depths of 60 metres and will easily deal with the rough environment encountered when diving.
The SeaLife Micro 2.0 has built-in WiFi which allows downloading and sharing of the user’s images and videos through smartphones as well as tablets via free apps that are available on iOS and Android Play Store. The user can control the model wirelessly through the app, which allows them to capture and review both photos and videos.
The camera can be charged via a waterproof USB connector, files can also be downloaded via USB if you don’t have access to the app. It will shoot in full 1296p HD at 30fps as well as 1080p at 60fps. While still images are taken at 16 megapixel resolution, the built-in 130 degree fish-eye lens allows you to get closer to the subject you are capturing, while still fitting it all in.
The Micro 2.0 is controlled with four big piano-like key buttons placed exactly where you would expect. This provides easy handling and usage even while wearing thick gloves or swimsuits while diving.
The model comes with an adjustable wrist strap, free USB cable and a USB adapter, and a free camera pouch.
As opinionated, the Micro 2.0 is one of the best scuba diving camera as well as one of the best underwater video camera because of its high resolution and picture clarity.
3. Ricoh WG-50 16MP Waterproof Still/Video Digital Video Camera
The Ricoh WG-50s are designed to be as comfortable in the water as above it, and are the type of cameras that you can take literally anywhere. This means that this model is amphibious. The model makers are certainly aiming to design a versatile camera that can be taken to thick-adventures as well as everyday adventures, and this can be seen in the Ricoh WG-50 model.
This camera is waterproof until depths 45 feet and crush-proof up to 220 pounds. These are also freeze-proof as well as shock-proof. If you look very closely, you can see the tag “adventure proof” inscribed on the top of the camera which pretty much sums up the abilities and ruggedness of the camera.
While the WG-50 works much like its competitors, it also has some unusual features that make it stand out, such as the built-in macro lighting as well as the looks.
It is small enough to fit in a pocket, when its lens is tucked back into the body and not sticking out.
The 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor offers plenty of image detail. There are several shooting modes available in the camera, ranging from Auto to HDR to macro to underwater. The lense tries to compensate for the reduced red and orange lights underwater, but it works well only if you are going for snorkeling or close-to-surface diving.
Since the camera is rated waterproof up to a depth of 45 feet, it’s good for water activities near the surface as well as for some recreational Scuba Diving. However, Scuba Divers can drop deeper than 45 feet which can be a problem. Hence, the camera is suitable for snorkeling, taking it to a beach and boating.
This is one of the best camera for snorkeling as well as close-to-surface diving.
4. Fujifilm FinePix XP-140 Waterproof Digital Camera
The camera is waterproof up to 82 feet as well as shockproof up to 5.9 feet and is designed to be suitable for rough environments. It is freezeproof as well as dustproof and hence fit for the user’s outdoor adventures.
It is a tough and compact model having 16-megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor and 5x optical zoom that allows the user to take pictures without going too close to the subject. It includes advanced SR Auto mode with eye detection for quickly locking on to your subject.
Apart from the key features, the main specifications are the same as the previous model but also has built-in optical image stabilisation which moves the CMOS sensor to counter camera shake. On its back, there is a 3 inch LCD monitor and next to it on the left are buttons for zooming in and out. There is a small playback button and a 4-way controller which also allows quick access to any function of your choice, flash settings, self-timer settings, exposure settings, and whatnot.
This camera comes with an interesting feature known as smile shutter, which automatically takes the photo when you smile, so that you never miss the perfect shot. The newly installed Bluetooth, low-energy technology allows the automatic and instant transfer of photos and videos to smartphones and tablets by easy pairing registration.
As per user opinions, this camera is undoubtedly one of the best tough camera because of its extremely durable and shockproof structure as well as its ruggedness. This is a must-buy for outdoor adventure enthusiasts.
5. SeaLife DC-2000 Underwater Camera
DC-2000 is a full-frame equivalent still lens, waterproof as well as shockproof. The camera’s large sensor size and wide-open f-1.8 aperture cannot be beaten for low noise 20-megapixel images. Almost all images can be recorded with low ISO. The camera’s got an ultra-fast autofocus and shutter response, so that you never miss out on a perfect click. The camera provides the user with 8 shooting modes: manual, aperture, underwater, shutter, program, intelligent auto, land and panorama. JPEG and Raw imaging formats are also available that provide the user with nearly endless photo editing options.
It features picture-in-video so that you can take a picture while recording a video. The piano-key controls make the camera easy to operate, and the ergonomic design makes it comfortable to handle and never leaves you guessing what each control-button does.
The camera comes with a powerful lithium-ion battery that delivers 2+ hours of operation. The battery capacity is about double the power of most of the other compact waterproof cameras and can be charged inside the camera via USB cable and wall charger, which are included in the package. The 25 Land Scene modes automatically adjust the camera settings for specific shooting environments.
The DC-2000 comes in three different sets namely: DC-2000 Pro 3000 Auto Light Set SL747, DC-2000 Pro Flash Set SL745, and DC-2000 Pro 3000 Duo Set SL749, each of which has its own specified features. The camera is rubber armored, is shock-resistant for rough handling and tough environments and as per reviews is one of the best underwater camera for snorkeling as well as one of the best camera for scuba diving. Since it comes with rugged 200feet/ 60 metres Underwater Housing, it has become one of the best rugged camera in the underwater photography field.
6. Nikon Coolpix W100 Waterproof Digital Camera
The COOLPIX W100 is an attractive and rugged camera designed for outdoor adventures. If you are deciding to go on a vacation with your family to a beach destination, then this might be a great choice for you because this camera is something you won’t have to worry about dropping or getting wet.
The model sports round edges and a lens that does not extend while zooming. It comes with large control keys which makes it easier to use for everyone , and Wi-Fi and NFC are included for seamless image transfer to your smartphone or tablet.
The real benefits of the COOLPIX W100 are its sturdy design and inexpensive cost. You can turn the flash on or off, and select a scene mode as per your requirement to fine-tune the settings for specific shots- fireworks, fast action, underwater photography, etc.
There are some shortcomings in the model too. If you are serious about photography, you would definitely miss the ability of the camera to set the shutter speed, aperture, and IOS manually. The rear LCD is not going to wow anyone as it is small and not that sharp.
Nikon’s Wi-Fi system is called SnapBridge. If your smartphone supports NFC, you can tap on it to pair. However, if you are an iPhone user, you would need to use the SnapBridge app. The camera also has Bluetooth and GPS features.
The camera gives a pretty decent speed while shooting, and the image quality is on par with a smartphone, but the quality deters when zoomed all the way in.
If you are in the market for an inexpensive, yet decent waterproof camera, the W100 might be the best cheap waterproof camera for you, but clearly not your best bet for the best waterproof digital camera.
7. Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera
The Nikon W300 is a rugged and waterproof camera. It continues the Nikon’s tradition of producing exceptionally versatile point-and-shoot camera series, that perform as well on land as they do underwater. If you are looking to take photos in harsh environments where you cannot take your smartphones, you’ll want to reach out for a camera with features like the Nikon W300.
The Nikon W300 might not be the most stylish underwater camera to look at, but it has easily accessible functions, and setting makes it a great choice for most of the photographers. In fact, many settings are just a click or two away. The camera is also shockproof and freezeproof.
It captures 4K ultra HD videos, 16-megapixel photos, time-lapse movies and more, even in the harshest environments. Bring the Nikon W300 where your adventures lead, be it surfing, skiing, scuba diving, biking, etc. and it won’t disappoint you as it is waterproof up to 100 feet. The camera also provides its users built-in GPS, e-compass, altimeter, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
It includes a secure battery chamber so that you don’t accidentally flood the compartment and ruin your camera. The camera has a 5x optical zoom lens which lets you take photos from far away and you would have the flexibility to get the whole view too. This is a simple action-friendly control camera and hence is easy to operate.
When you are in a challenging situation, just select from the 20 preset Scene Modes like the Night Landscape or Portrait, or choose Scene Auto Selector and let the camera choose for you. It requires low energy to track and share every moment of yours, and the battery has a charging time of 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The weak point of this camera is somewhat its image quality due to the small sensor size. Although it is not one of the best rugged camera but might be the best waterproof or underwater camera for snorkeling.
8. Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Digital Camera
The Panasonic LUMIX is a quad-proof tough camera specially designed for people with an active lifestyle. This waterproof camera is rugged up to 26 feet as well as shockproof to drops from 5 feet. The camera is dustproof and freezeproof as well, perfect for photos and video shoots anywhere and everywhere.
This underwater camera is the smallest and lightest of the LUMIX bunch. Its small size makes it easy to carry around in your pockets. The camera promises to record dynamic MP4 HD videos in 1280 * 720 pixels with the simple push of an independent motion picture button as well as beautiful underwater shots with Advanced Underwater Mode which compensates for the red tones, which are lost in underwater shooting. However, the camera doesn’t bode well for underwater video shooting as per users’ reviews.
The camera comes with some interesting features such as the MEGA O.I.S feature that automatically compensates for the blurring caused by hand-shake, because even a slight hand shake movement is detected by the sensors of the camera by a sampling frequency of 4000 times per second to produce clear, sharp images. The Time Lapse Shooting feature is one of the main highlights of this camera.
The camera includes a Torch-light which allows the user to shoot beautiful videos in the low light environments and even in dusky underwater environment. It also comes with a 220 Mb additional internal storage which helps to store photos and videos when your memory card reaches its limits.
Since this camera is waterproof only up to 26 feet underwater, it is not the best underwater camera for scuba diving. However, because of its Advanced Underwater Mode, it is one of the best underwater video camera and best waterproof video camera as well.
9. GoPro Hero 5
The camera is laden with some added features such as raw and wide dynamic range photo capture and linear field of video recording, a touchscreen, GPS, electronic image stabilisation, stereo audio, voice control and the option of auto cloud uploads. Using the touchscreen feels very similar to using the camera on a smartphone. You can swipe to navigate menus and toggle features on and off. You can toggle additional settings, such as video stabilisation and the option to capture in RAW format for easy editing, by swiping left. However, for fast-paced shooting, the touchscreen navigation might get a little sluggish.
The camera provides higher frame rates at lower resolutions. Its newest feature that makes it stand out amongst other GoPro models is its electronic image stabilisation feature. This digitally stabilises your footage and helps smooth out any unwanted camera shake. However, one thing that the user must keep in mind while shooting with HERO 5 in a rough underwater environment is that it crops 10% of the image to help combat camera movement when EIS is turned on.
The video quality of the HERO 5 at 4K resolution is wonderful and makes it one of the best waterproof video camera as well as the best rugged underwater video camera. The video has fantastic levels of details keeping noise levels to a minimum. In terms of stills, its 12-megapixel lens does a fabulous job of producing clear and sharp images with vibrant colors. The camera has three built-in microphones with excellent sound quality production.
However, the only weak pursuit of the camera is its battery life. The battery is replaceable, so the user can always carry spares for longer use. GoPro HERO 5 is one of the best camera for snorkeling. However, it is not as great for scuba diving.
10. FujiFilm FinePix XP80 Waterproof Digital Camera
The camera features a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens, and an optical image stabilisation feature. The model includes a bright and clear LCD which comes with an anti-reflective coating. The anti-reflective coating ensures excellent visibility, even in bright sunlight. The brightness of the LCD is automatically adjustable to prevent unnecessary battery drain.
The camera shoots full HD videos. It has a movie recording button which makes it easy to switch video shooting mode with a single touch. The camera features a Burst Mode Button for responsive hassle-free shooting. This lets you instantly switch to continuous shooting mode, making it easy to capture the perfect moment. Easy Wi-Fi transfer with the camera makes it simple to save, upload as well as share media.
The camera has a unique feature of interval shooting which lets the user take photos at set intervals. A selection of 11 special filters enables the user to create various exciting photo effects. The Motion Panorama 360 mode cleverly produces a stunning 360 degrees panorama shot effortlessly. However, the battery life of the camera is nothing impressive when compared to the battery performance of some similar best underwater camera and best cheap camera available at the same price as FujiFilm FinePix XP80.
This camera is a great option for those on a budget as it is reviewed as one of the best cheap camera. Because of its high-quality photos and videos, it is ranked amongst the best underwater video camera list. It is waterproof up to 50 feet and is rated one of the best underwater camera for scuba diving in the 2019 list of the best underwater camera.
Best Waterproof Cameras: What’s Your Pick?
Whenever you jump into the water, you don’t know what you are going to see, and that makes every single dive all the more interesting. With land photography, you are likely to set an idea of what you are going to see and capture.
So naturally, you would know the kit you would need to capture the perfect moments and 9 out of 10 times you will get it. However with underwater photography, there is no guarantee of what you will be coming across as the world underwater is a whole different mysterious world in itself with so many things and creatures that are still unknown to mankind.
So it is obvious that you have to try and be prepared to be able to capture those things in pictures as well as videos and share them with others – there is no other feeling like it!
Also, for this, you need the right camera which is best suited for your adventures. Well, that can be a really tricky task because, with so much advancement in the field of photography and camera manufacturing, there are hundreds of cameras laden with numerous different features as per the requisites of a user.
Anyway, you don’t have to worry about choosing the best waterproof camera and the best underwater camera for yourself as the above guide can prove a wholesome buyer’s guide for anyone who is facing difficulty in choosing the right camera for themselves.