Whether you go diving and snorkeling, or simply need to take pictures underwater while you are at the sea on vacation, an underwater camera could be a worthy companion for many adventures, excursions, and activities. But despite being a niche market, choosing the model that best suits your needs may be difficult.
Here is a complete guide to choosing the best underwater camera Scuba Diving that’s perfect for your needs.
The underwater cameras are cameras specially designed for diving able to take pictures underwater during snorkeling, but not all. It is a particular type of camera, also called a ” rugged” camera, resistant not only to water, but also to frost, shocks, falls, sand, and dust.
These features also make them usable for taking pictures in the mountains, in the snow, on trips, or outdoor excursions and, in general, are also perfect for those who practice extreme sports.
Best Underwater Camera Scuba Diving
Recently, underwater cameras are preferred action cam, for which you can almost always buy waterproof housings that make them capable of withstanding several meters underwater and that provide professional results.
The purchase of an underwater camera, in fact, is recommended for non-professional photographers, although they still manage to take excellent quality photos even at great depths. For those looking for a more professional product, we suggest purchasing other models or waterproof cases for reflex or mirrorless cameras.
We specify that in the following list, containing the best underwater cameras scuba driving of 2022 currently available on the market and on Amazon, we have included only the compact ones whose use is specific for amateurs and not for professionals.
Furthermore, for the selection, we took into account the price and the technical specifications that make them perfect for a specific type of use.
Let’s find out together.
Best Underwater Camera Scuba Diving | Comparison Table 2022
|Nikon COOLPIX W300 16MP 4k Ultra HD Waterproof Digital Camera (Black) - (Renewed) + 16GB Memory & Flash Deluxe Accessory Bundle||Nikon||Check Price|
|OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red||Olympus||Check Price|
|Underwater Camera FHD 2.7K 48 MP Waterproof Digital Camera Selfie Dual Screen Full-Color LCD Displays Waterproof Digital Camera for Snorkeling (806BC)||YISENCE||Check Price|
|Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Red - Deal-Expo Basic Accessories Bundle||Deal-Expo||Check Price|
|Panasonic LUMIX LX10 4K Digital Camera, 20.1 Megapixel 1-Inch Sensor, 3X LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX Lens, F1.4-2.8 Aperture, POWER O.I.S. Stabilization, 3-Inch LCD, DMC-LX10K (Black)||Panasonic||Check Price|
|Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Large Four Thirds 21.7 MP Multi Aspect Sensor 24-75mm Leica DC VARIO-SUMMILUX F1.7-2.8 Lens Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Camera with 3" LCD, Black (DC-LX100M2)||Panasonic||Check Price|
|AKASO EK7000 4K30FPS Action Camera Ultra HD Underwater Camera 170 Degree Wide Angle 98FT Waterproof Camera||AKASO||Check Price|
|Sony RX100 VII Premium Compact Camera with 1.0-type stacked CMOS sensor (DSCRX100M7)||Sony||Check Price|
|GoPro HERO7 Black + Extra Battery + Super Suit Dive Housing Case - E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization||GoPro||Check Price|
Best Underwater Camera Scuba Diving | 2022 Products OverviewError: Unknown Link Type
How to choose the Best Underwater Camera Scuba Diving
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best underwater camera for your needs and, indirectly, they affect the selling price of the product. Depth, autonomy, sensors, optics, are just some of the most important features and, for this reason, we have decided to list those to be taken into consideration more in the purchase phase.
Structure and design
The structure and design of an underwater camera are very important, not so much from an aesthetic point of view as in relation to the functionality and versatility of this instrument. As we have already anticipated, the underwater and water-resistant cameras available on the market are of two types:
Compact underwater cameras: they have a similar design to classic digital cameras, and are quite inexpensive. The brands of these models are typical of digital cameras, first of all Canon and Nikon.
Action cam: they are cameras and video cameras widely used by those who practice extreme sports, and are also good for diving as long as you use a waterproof case; they are generally more expensive.
Resistance and protections
An essential feature of the underwater camera is its water resistance, but it is not the only protection the device must have to last and be used in “extreme” situations.
In addition to water resistance, in fact, the best underwater camera must also be able to resist frost, sand, and dust: small debris, in particular, could enter the camera body and irreparably damage our camera.
The impact protection is also very important: it allows the device to remain functional even in the event of a fall. The height from which the camera can fall without breaking varies from model to model but can range from a minimum of 1 meter to a maximum of 2 meters.
To understand well what is the resistance level of one model compared to another, it is necessary to take into account the indication of the initials IP, present on all the technical sheets of underwater cameras. This value identifies the resistance and protection of the device both as regards solid elements, such as sand, and as regards liquid elements such as water. For the first parameter, the associated numerical value ranges from a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 6 ( IP0X-IP6X ), while for water resistance it ranges from a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 8 ( IPX0-IPX8 ). The maximum protection index, given by the combination of the two, is the IP68 index, which indicates resistance to both dust and immersion.
The maximum depth is the most important factor to evaluate, not only because it directly affects the selling price of the device, but because it also changes its design and size.
The underwater cameras are coated with special protection that makes them able to withstand different depths without suffering any damage. For those who have no special needs, or for those who just want to take pictures underwater while at the sea on vacation, our advice is to opt for a model that can go down to 3 meters below sea level. However, it must be taken into account that the most recent models even reach 30 meters deep.
A fundamental feature of an underwater camera is that it is able to take quality photos: it is an element that is the sum of a series of elements present inside the camera. Let’s see them briefly:
Sensor type :
it is an important element in all cameras, but as in the case of all other digital cameras, even underwater ones do not have a very high-quality sensor. When it is backlit, the underwater camera will be able to take good photos even in low light conditions, thus reducing the grainy effect and discoloration within the photo (what in jargon is called “noise”). It is not said, then, that a high number of megapixels implies a good quality of the camera, because often this element risks increasing the noise inside the images.
By sensitivity of an underwater camera, we refer to the variety of ISO values that can be used for a single model. What is called the “ISO range” usually ranges from a minimum of 100 to a maximum of 6500?
The other features that contribute to making an underwater camera capable of taking good pictures are the shutter speed, the lens width, the ability to zoom even if minimal (because the lens cannot extend too far out of the body, otherwise it could get wet). What is important, however, is that the camera you choose has a backlit sensor and medium sensitivity, and is not equipped with too many megapixels.
Another factor not to be underestimated is that relating to videos. All underwater cameras are capable of recording video underwater, but some do it better than others. Most of the models on the market allow a 4K video resolution, the highest existing. An acceptable resolution is 1080p, which any camera, even of average quality, ensures.
The quality of videos and photos clearly impacts memory capacity. As with normal cameras, also in this case the memory factor depends almost completely on the external SD cards, which allow you to expand the basic capacity of the device as desired.
On average, the cameras have an internal memory of around 500 MB, which is enough for a very limited number of shots. For this reason, we always recommend the purchase of external memory. SD cards on the market cover a rather wide range: they are found from a minimum of 128 MB to a maximum of 2 TB. For moderate use of the camera, also taking into account the high resolution, we usually turn to 64 GB or 128 GB cards: these meet the needs of most users.
As in smartphones, it is also very important to evaluate the battery life in an underwater camera. And the reason is simple: when you are at the sea or in the case of special dives, the worst thing that could happen would be not being able to use the camera because it has flat batteries because, it is clear, in these conditions recharge the battery. it would be quite complicated.
Underwater cameras usually feature a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This must be compact and rather light, so as not to weigh down the overall structure. It also recharges in an average short time. The autonomy is indicated in the number of photos and video minutes: the best models have an autonomy of about 250/300 shots and an hour and a half of video. Acceptable cameras, on the other hand, must guarantee a minimum of 200 shots.
Controls and control panel
Especially for an underwater camera, the availability of manual controls is essential. Because in the water the touch screen does not work, and if you want to change the shooting settings or the recording modes, you could do it only with the presence of physical buttons. It is therefore very important to evaluate the presence of these keys and their arrangement, in order to get the most out of your camera, even when you are already immersed.
It is the last of the most important factors to consider when buying a camera. The vast majority of mid-range and high-end underwater cameras integrate not only GPS and other sensors, but also a Bluetooth module and a WiFi module. Thanks to these integrations, it will be possible to transfer all the photos and videos recorded to the smartphone in real-time and immediately share them on social networks or edit them on the go. If you have this need, it is, therefore, essential to consider purchasing a model that integrates this type of connectivity.
Among the best brands of underwater cameras, there are a number of cornerstones of digital photography, such as Olympus, Nikon, GoPro, Fujifilm. They are all top-quality brands. If, on the other hand, you want to turn to an average quality product, then a good alternative can be Ricoh.
Underwater cameras have a price that never drops below $ 100. Therefore, if you have decided to invest in this purchase, be prepared for the prices they present. The top-of-the-range models have a price around $ 400-500; cheaper products, but always of high quality, cost around $ 200.
How do I use the underwater camera?
The operation does not differ much from traditional camera models. The settings vary depending on the model, and it is always good to look at the instruction manuals before approaching use.
Also, before immersing the camera in water, always pay attention to the SD card and battery slots: these must be tightly closed, to ensure maximum waterproofing of the device.
How do i clean my underwater camera?
Maintenance is very simple but very important. Simply immerse the camera in freshwater for a few minutes to remove the traces of salt which, in the long run, could damage the device.