Waterproof cameras allow you to capture incredible moments. It allows you to shoot underwater, while in close proximity to water or even shoot fearlessly during a downpour.
Rugged and well-built, these cameras are often shockproof to ensure their versatility and reliability.
With so many options on the market, the question becomes “What’s the best waterproof camera?”
Well, there’s no solid one size fits all answer. You’ll have to choose the camera that suits you most. The best camera will depend on a number of factors unique to you.
Things like what your budget is, how important is shooting video for you, and the level of image quality you’d like the camera to deliver.
That’s why today we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide for waterproof camera beginners.
We’re going to look at a selection of some of the best waterproof cameras on the market, one of which is bound to be the one for you.
We’ll also discuss a few things you’ll want to consider before hitting the purchase button.
Best Waterproof Cameras – The List
These are some of the finest cameras for all your underwater needs. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
The Olympus TG-6 is the latest release in the esteemed TG series. The line-up of bodies from Olympus is well-known for being some of the finest tough cameras.
Not only does their premium build quality make them great for withstanding tough conditions, but their image and video quality quite staggering.
The TG-6 is a very capable 4K-capable which makes it great for filmmaking underwater. You can shoot 4K at 30fps and Full HD at 120fps.
On the surface (no pun intended!), the TG-6 might not seem like an upgrade over the TG-5. However, the TG-6 presents enough new features to stake its claim in this list.
For one the LCD is a clear improvement over the previous iteration in terms of resolution.
The camera also includes a brand new Underwater Microscope mode. This helps nab you great images and videos of subjects from a great distance.
You can play around with super-slow-motion. the TG-6 is al equipped with a 25-100mm optical zoom lens which brings you closer to the action.
The handgrip makes holding the camera comfortable and easy. Overall, the TG-6 is a no-nonsense great waterproof camera.
- Bundle Includes: 1 x Olympus Tough TG-6 Digital Camera (Red) | 1 x Corel Photo Video Art Suite...
- 12MP BSI CMOS Sensor | TruePic VIII Image Processor
- Olympus 4x Optical Zoom f/2 Lens | 25-100mm (35mm Equivalent)
- 3.0" 1.04m-Dot LCD Monitor | Water, Crush, Shock, Freeze & Dustproof
- 4K Video Recording and Full HD at 120p | Built-In Wi-Fi, GPS, Field Sensor System
The GoPro Hero 9 Black is not only one of the most versatile and powerful action cameras ever released. It’s also one of the best waterproof cameras on the market.
While the Hero 8 might be cheaper and thus easier on customer’s pockets, the Hero 9’s new 23.6MP sensor which gives us 5K video makes this the true contender on this list.
The Hero 9 is waterproof all the way down to 10 meters. Beyond that, you’ll probably need housing. You also can’t the Hero 9’s touchscreen underwater.
Instead, you’ll need to use the physical buttons to control the camera’s settings. This is a really clever solution to the problem.
The action camera uses a front-facing screen to help filmmakers frame their shots better. The Hero 9 also uses HyperSmooth Boost.
This is a GoPro-developed image stabilization software. It’s really high-quality software that ensures no shakiness in your footage.
The Battery life is also an improvement over the Hero 8.
Overall, for filmmakers looking for the smartest, most streamlined and great performing waterproof action camera, the GoPro Hero 9 Black has no rival.
- 5K Video - Shoot stunning video with up to 5K resolution, perfect for maintaining detail even when...
- 20MP Photo with SuperPhoto: Capture crisp, pro-quality photos with 20MP clarity. And with...
- Front Display + Rear Touch Screen: A new, larger rear touch screen with touch zoom on HERO9 Black...
- Live Streaming + Webcam: Live stream in 1080p on social, get HyperSmooth stabilization as you...
- HyperSmooth 3.0: Experience the ultimate smoothness with our most advanced video stabilization ever
Panasonic’s Lumix FT7 is an impressive camera that can shoot 20-megapixel photos and 4K videos.
More impressively, it can do this at up to 31 meters under the sea with no need for housing.
It’s also equipped with a 4.6x optical zoom. There’s also built-in image stabilization. There’s also a handy 10fps maximum shooting.
If you’re the adventurous type, the camera is equipped with an altimeter and a compass.
Moreover, the camera boasts a pretty great ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. You can use the FT7 is in -10 degrees and it’ll still work.
You can drop it from two meters and the camera will still function.
You can also choose between black, blue, or orange body colors. This is handy in case you drop the camera underwater.
What makes the FT7 stand out, however, is the uncommon feature of having a 0.2-inch electronic viewfinder. It has a 1,170K dot resolution.
Add this to another bigger 3 inches 1,040K dot resolution LCD monitor protected by toughened glass and you have yourself a unique underwater camera.
The camera earns its price considering what it offers in this range of waterproof cameras.
- [Waterproof] Snorkel with confidence down to 102 feet, plus enjoy drop protection to 6.6 feet and...
- [Picture quality] capture low light photos with a 20.4 Megapixel MOS sensor, and record video in...
- [Lens] high-quality 28mm wide-angle with up to 4.6x optical zoom range
- [Special features] create with 22 filter effects, Panorama, plus turn 4K video frames into pictures...
- [Technology] 3” LCD display and a 0.2 inch eye live viewfinder [LVF], in-camera AC or USB battery...
GoPro is the crowned king of action cameras. I think this is well established.
However, there are contenders for that spot that came and went.
And we think that DJI is the most promising. The DJI Osmo Action reinforces this. For one, the camera beats GoPro to have a front-facing screen. This is a feature that GoPro played catch up with.
The Osmo Action is an action camera that’s very capable when it comes to video.
You can dive all the way down to 11m and manage to shoots some amazing 4K footage at 60fps. The camera was also reasonably priced at launch and the price has only dropped since.
The Osmo Action utilizes the RockSteady image stabilization system. You’ll have no problem shooting butter-smooth footage that’s blur-free.
This makes handheld videography a breeze with this camera. We impressed when seeing the camera in action and we think you’ll be as well.
- Dual Screens: Osmo Action’s dual screens allow you to capture it all with the touch of a button. A...
- The RockSteady technology combines EIS with complex algorithms, delivering stable, shake-free...
- Action camera with 1/2.3" CMOS Sensor, 12MP, wide-angle 145° that allows you to shoot 4K HDR...
- 8x Slow Motion: Capture every epic move with jaw-dropping clarity and detail when you use 8x slow...
- 11m Waterproof, -10℃ Temperature Resistant Sporting a watertight seal and a hydrophobic coating on...
Much like the Fujifilm XP130 before it, the latest Fujifilm sturdy camera shares many specs with its predecessor.
For one, it has a similar 16.4MP sensor. The 5x optical zoom is also here alongside the 3-inch touchscreen. at a first glance, the XP140 looks only slightly more rugged than the 130.
That marginal difference makes it nearly bulletproof. For one it’s dustproof and also shockproof, taking leaps of 1.8m like a champ.
It’s also freezeproof and can work like a charm at below 10 degrees. You can also dive with this camera down to 25m. So wherever you take it, it’s bound to return in better shape than you.
Where the XP140 differs from its predecessor is under its hood. You can use it to capture 100fps slow-motion in 720p which was impossible before. It’s also the first Fuji camera to capture native 4K footage.
It’s a superior Full HD 1080p camera, however. The ISO ceiling has also been pushed to 12,800. Making this work like a charm in low-light situations. Overall, a nearly flawless camera.
- KIT INCLUDES 11 PRODUCTS -- All BRAND NEW Items with all Manufacturer-supplied Accessories + Full...
-  Fujifilm FinePix XP140 Shock & Waterproof Wi-Fi Digital Camera (Yellow) +  Transcend 32GB...
-  Spare Rechargeable Battery +  Vidpro Hard-Shell Camera Case +  Vivitar Floating Camera...
-  PD SD & MicroSD Card Reader +  Sunpak Wired Selfie Stick Wand +  PD 5pc Complete Cleaning...
-  PD 8 SD Card Memory Card Case +  LCD Screen Protectors +  Image Recovery Software
We round up our list with a compact camera from Ricoh. This probably the toughest compact available on the market.
It also has plenty of nifty features that push it beyond its competition. The camera takes beautiful images at 16MP and videos at a Full 1080p HD resolution.
The camera has a focal length range of 28 to 140mm which enables you to shoot in a variety of angles and situations.
You can dunk this waterproof down to 14m with no trouble. It can also be thrown from 1.6m straight to the floor and work just fine.
It also performs well in low temperatures down to 10 degrees. You can also have this baby in either orange or black.
A standout feature of the WG-70 is the ring lights surrounding its lens. They perform the function of both a torch and a macro light.
This enhances vision underwater and keeps the subject of the image well-lit.
There’s also a microscope mode. This allows the camera to focus as close as 1mm. Overall, this is a seriously impressive compact camera for the asking price.
- THE ALL-WEATHER ADVENTURE CAMERA: A rugged chassis you can rely on in the harshest conditions.
- HIGH RESOLUTION WITH ALL THE MUST-HAVE FEATURES: With a high-performance image processing engine and...
- WATERPROOF 14M: With features that include uncompromising waterproofing - good for 2 hours of...
- UNDERWATER MODE: This mode uses white balance optimized for underwater photos, making colors appear...
- FULL HD VIDEO: While the camera can of course record Full HD (16:9) video at 30 fps, it also offers...
Let’s take a look at some of the Buying Considerations you need to be aware of when buying a waterproof camera.
before you buy your first camera, you’ll need to know that underwater photography includes a number of options. The most prevalent is the compact body type.
While mirrorless and DSLR cameras are obvious, compacts have a few advantages and disadvantages to them that you’ll need to be aware of.
Starting with the positives, the smaller size of these cameras makes them easier to carry for travel and handle underwater.
They also allow you to change wet lenses underwater which makes you able to easily switch from one angle to another without the need to surface.
Compact cameras are also less costly. Although the prices of housings, wet lenses, and things like that start to add up the more you get involved.
The downside of using compact cameras is the small size of the sensor which could lead to more noise, loss of details, etc.
There are exceptions to this, of course. Focus times tend to be longer as the aperture on these cameras is quite small.
Make sure that the camera allows you to control it beyond its auto settings. You’ll want to change the ISO range depending on the situation.
You could want to use manual instead of autofocus and customize the camera to operate to your liking.
Lacking this could render the camera useless to you as every shooting experience turns to frustration.
Quality Underwater Housing Support
Your camera should be supported by a number of housing options that make it convenient and easy to access and adjust the camera controls.
You’d be surprised at the number of housings that make it incredibly difficult to customize the camera controls especially in full manual mode.
Long Battery Life
Underwater filmmaking can take hours just because of the technical skill it requires and the harshness of conditions it brings.
The last thing you’ll want to fail is your camera due to the battery dying. Make sure that your camera has a solid battery life and swappable batteries at the very least.
The Best Waterproof Camera – Wrap up
This concludes our guide on the best waterproof cameras. Hopefully, by now you’ll have a better idea of what camera you want to have.
Underwater photography can be truly wonderful and downright beautiful. Especially when you see the final results in films like For Your Eyes Only.
The key of course is to have the right camera. We’ve put a lot of care and thought into the cameras we’ve selected for this list.
So, what are you waiting for? Find the underwater camera that’ll take you for a dive into untapped potential. Good luck!