When you’re at the beach or lounging poolside, your fun isn’t complete unless you have a waterproof camera. These well-protected, made-to-last cameras help capture all the fun moments of your adventure. We have reviewed several cameras to find the best diving camera on the market.
In our product review, you’ll notice that the 5 cameras we have chosen are all durable and well-built. They won’t let you down, no matter where you’re shooting your underwater pictures.
So how do you choose the best diving camera for you? Keep reading to find out.
The 5 Best Diving Cameras
We’ve chosen the 5 best cameras for every budget. Each comes with the unique features that make it stand out from the rest. Yet they’re all qualified to deliver crisp, highly-detailed underwater pictures.
1. Sony Alpha a7 – Best Diving Camera Overall Performance
The Sony Alpha a7 has all the best features an underwater camera can offer. It delivers top-quality professional-looking pictures with the help of its 24.3 megapixels.
This camera boasts a 5-axis image stabilizer. This means you get perfect images even if you’re swaying with the current. The video quality is also something to brag about.
Weighing a little over 1 pound, this camera doesn’t compromise its durability. You can preview all your images on the 3-inch display screen with a 3X optical zoom.
- 5-axis image stabilizer
- 24.3 megapixels
- 3X optical zoom
- 3-inch screen
- Price is higher than other models
2. Underwater Camera – Best Budget
The perfect underwater camera to make your trip to the beach complete. The Underwater Camera weighs over 9 ounces. It features dual screens. There’s a 2.7-inch screen in the front while the rear screen is 1.8 inches.
To ensure your pictures come out crisp and clear, there’s a 16X digital zoom. You can also enjoy the image stabilizer and the impressive 48 megapixels.
While the battery is a bit weak, it does provide up to 2 full hours of non-stop picture-taking. This lightweight, easy-to-operate underwater camera is great for snorkelers.
- 48 megapixels
- 16X zoom
- Easy to use
- Dual screens
- Not suitable for deep scuba diving
3. Olympus OM-D – Best Image Quality
The Olympus OM-D underwater camera features a wide selection of high-performance features. To begin with, this camera boasts a 16-megapixel sensor. At the same time, it’s capable of shooting in 40-megapixel high-resolution mode.
Plus, you get full-HD video capabilities so you don’t miss a moment of your underwater adventure. Even if you’re moving, you can still get crisp images with the help of the 5-axis image stabilization technology.
Another great feature is its Wi-Fi capabilities that make file sharing a breeze. These are just a few of what the award-winning Olympus OM-D has to offer.
- High-resolution shot mode
- 5-axis image stabilization
- Full-HD video mode
- Price is relatively expensive
4. GoPro Hero8 – Best Video Quality
The GoPro Hero8 is an upgraded version of a long line of top-quality action cameras. Its many features offer better functionality in a wide range of underwater settings.
One best feature is the touchscreen 4K ultra-HD video technology. It also boasts of live streaming image stabilization with 12 megapixels and 1080p. The stabilization comes in 3 levels with unique Hyper-smooth technology.
Another exclusive feature is its built-in mount. You can easily fold out the foldable feet on this camera for better functionality.
- Upgraded version
- 4K ultra-HD video features
- Built-in folding feet
- Live streaming image stabilization
- Requires accessories to fully function in the water
5. Canon S120 – Best Value
The Canon name has a long history of providing reliable and high-quality products, and this camera is no exception. It has exceptional functionalities that work to deliver professional-looking photos.
You can capture amazing 1080p HD videos with the help of a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor. There’s also Canon’s exclusive DIGIC 6 image processor. This feature allows for great handling in low-light settings.
The wireless sharing on the Canon S120 is easy to use. You’ll find it comes in quite handy when you’re transferring files back and forth.
- Great handling of low-light settings
- CMOS sensor
- DIGIC 6 image processor
- Wireless file sharing
- Great value for the price
- The build isn’t as durable as other models
What to Look for in the Best Diving Camera
To help you find the best diving camera, we’ve listed the 5 most important features to watch out for.
Cameras with image stabilization technology help you capture breathtaking images as you’re moving. This is a great feature that comes in handy when you’re swaying with the waves or underwater currents.
Megapixels vs. Sensors
Megapixels are important for capturing high-quality photos. Yet having a camera with a high-spec sensor is even more crucial.
Diving experts recommend getting a camera with megapixels in the range of 12 to 16. Then, supplementing it with a high-grade sensor. It’ll perform better than a camera with high megapixels, but a low-quality sensor.
One important must-have feature on any good diving camera is it has to be lightweight. A lightweight camera offers easier portability and better functionality. It’s also easier to use.
You may think this is just a marketing gimmick, but those bright colors can actually come in handy. Manufacturers design underwater cameras in these bright colors to make them easier to find in case they fall in the water.
For maximum protection, it’s a good idea to get what professionals call ‘housing’ for your camera.
There are 2 types of housings: plastic and aluminum.
Plastic housings cost less. This means their quality isn’t always going to be as reliable. But many manufacturers still manage to offer adequate protection against bumps and falls.
If you dive occasionally, then plastic housing will work great for you.
Aluminum housings are the better choice for more serious underwater photographers. They’re resistant to bumps, drops, and extreme weather.
Plus, they’re ergonomic. Their only downside is that they can be quite expensive.
Different Types of Diving Cameras
There are several types of waterproof digital cameras to choose from. Let’s see how each type can either benefit or hinder your underwater adventure.
Compact cameras are the smallest and most affordable. While compact cameras are lighter in weight, they have weaker battery life.
Another drawback is that they suffer from delays in both focus and shutter speed. It’s worth noting, however, that their travel size makes them easy to carry around with you.
Mirrorless cameras offer various focal lengths and superior image quality. They feature high-quality optics and a large sensor. This boosts the camera’s focusing capabilities and reduces shutter lag.
They have most of the features of the more costly DSLR cameras but at a more affordable price. They’re also lightweight for easy portability.
Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras offer maximum performance. Their large sensors deliver highly-detailed images.
They also offer high-quality lenses. Then there’s the reduced shutter lag and excellent handling of low-light settings.
Best Diving Camera Final Thoughts
While these 5 cameras are the most popular choice on the market, our absolute favorite is the Sony Alpha a7. With an assortment of impressive features, you’re sure to get your money’s worth with this camera.
It combines superb image and video quality. You’re guaranteed impeccable images with every shot.
Looking for something less pricey? Try the Underwater Camera. It’s the best diving camera for anyone on a budget. Yet it doesn’t sacrifice picture quality or durability.
You’ll be able to capture every moment with this camera’s 16X zoom, high megapixels, and easy-to-use control buttons. If you enjoy an occasional dive, this camera is a definite must-have!