There are a lot of waterproof cameras on the market. With such a large variety of options, it can be a bit confusing to find the best waterproof cameras on the market.
That’s why we’ve dug through the mud to find the ones that actually stand out among the rest. Our waterproof cameras reviews are designed to highlight the options with the best resolution, zoom, depth, and overall quality available.
These aren’t cheap waterproof cameras with short lifespans. They’re inexpensive, but they perform to the standards of professional cameras. Without any further delay, let’s look at some cameras that will easily capture your precious memories.
- The Best Waterproof Cameras
- 1. Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera
- 2. Sony 1.0-type Waterproof and Shockproof
- 3. PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-T530K Camera
- 4. Nikon W300 Waterproof Digital Camera
- 5. GoPro HERO7 Waterproof Action Camera
- 6. Fujifilm FinePix XP130 Digital Camera
- 7. AKASO EK7000 4K Waterproof Camera
- 8. Fujifilm XP120 Shock & Waterproof
- 9. Ricoh WG-50 Waterproof Camera
- 10. Fujifilm Waterproof Single Use Camera
- Best Waterproof Cameras Buyer’s Guide
The Best Waterproof Cameras
1. Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera
The Olympus TG-5 is an outdoor photographer's dream come true. It's not just waterproof. It has built in temperature reading technology, a compass, WiFi compatibility, a crush proof shell, and it's designed to work underwater. The camera has underwater compensation technology built in. So, you won't have to worry about the water distorting your pictures. Also, the included fish mode is ideal for taking pictures in crowded waters. This is definitely one of the best shockproof waterproof cameras out there.
This is a great option for people who love the outdoors. The bonus functions can help you stay safe, and the camera takes some great photos and videos. With a depth rating of fifty feet, this camera can go deeper than most people ever will. For this to be a consumer grade camera, it takes amazing pictures. It utilizes a Dual Quad Core TruePic VIII to process every picture that you take with astonishing clarity. You can record with this camera, too. In fact, you can record videos in 4K resolution. The Olympus TG-5 can take more than 220 lbs being dropped on top of it. The addition of a compass, thermometer, and GPS makes this a great back up to your phone.
2. Sony 1.0-type Waterproof and Shockproof
The Sony 1.0 is a compact, durable, and high-quality camera. In it's small package, it boasts a number of features that are perfect for amateurs and professionals. The Sony 1.0 falls slightly behind in the durability department. The Olympus is rated for much more extreme conditions. However, the Sony 1.0 includes some of the most advanced features on this list. It's not the best option for outdoor photographers, but it can definitely handle studio sessions and light underwater use. This Sony camera has built in Slow Motion 7 technology. When recording, you can capture video at up to 500 frames per second. This camera can be charged by any power source that uses a USB port. An included wrist strap keeps you from dropping the Sony 1.0 during intense photography sessions. While it's not as durable as the Olympus, the Sony 1.0 can easily survive outdoor use. A DRAM chip, 24mm Tessar T lens, and an Exmore RS CMOS processor are all integrated into the Sony 1.0 for the fastest photography abilities around.
3. PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-T530K Camera
This isn't the most advanced option on the list, and it's not the most rugged. However, it's a great value camera for beginners. The price is relatively low, and you get quite a few features with it.
This is a great camera for beginners. It won't hit your wallet as hard as the other options on this list, and it comes with a decent set of features. I wouldn't take it into situations where it is likely to be abused, but it can handle everyday life. Just know that Panasonic waterproof cameras are usually aimed at beginners. Drops that are five feet or less won't damage the shockproof shell of this camera. Drops that are five feet or less won't damage the shockproof shell of this camera. It automatically compensates for the lack of red light under the water's surface. Internal storage allows you to use the camera without an SD card.
4. Nikon W300 Waterproof Digital Camera
The Nikon W300 is simply one of the best cameras to take on an outdoor adventure with you. It can handle depths of up to 100 feet, and it's resistant to being crushed or dropped. To tie it all together, it can take 4K HD videos, and it produces high-quality pictures.
This is a higher end camera with features to match. It's not as beginner friendly as the LUMIX, but more advanced users will enjoy the extra features. 4K video has been growing in popularity for years, now. With the Nikon W300, you can make your own ultra HD videos without any specialized equipment. The depth rating for this Nikon is 100 feet. So, it's perfect for divers. The shockproof and crush proof shell is capable of withstanding a decent amount of force. WiFi, GPS, electronic compass, a depth gauge, and an altimeter make this camera a multi-functional tool during your adventures. To round off its feature list, the Nikon W300 is capable of making stunning time lapse videos.
5. GoPro HERO7 Waterproof Action Camera
GoPro has been known for creating quality cameras for quite some time. Primarily, they focus on targeting an active audience. The Hero 7 model is no different. It's built to capture smooth videos and high-quality images while you're on the move.
This camera is capable of taking a beating, and it will still produce the same quality images that the brand is known for. This is a great camera for active people. It's built to be rugged, and the entire GoPro brand is built around recording extreme moments. However, the addition of live streaming software makes this a great option for vloggers. The Hero 7 includes automatic stabilization technology to smooth out your photos and videos during intense movement. Time lapse functionality allows you to share longer memories in a short amount of time. With 4K video capabilities and a 12 megapixel camera, everything that you capture with the Hero 7 is going to look astonishing.
6. Fujifilm FinePix XP130 Digital Camera
The FinePix XP130 is a great alternative to the Panasonic LUMIX that we reviewed earlier. It's in the same price range, it features the same basic features, and it's great for beginners.
This isn't a camera that professionals will turn to. However, it's great for beginners. If the LUMIX didn't catch your attention, you can easily get the same experience from this option. The 16 megapixel processor on this camera is capable of taking some stunning photos. Colder climates are always harsh on electronics. Luckily, the FinePix will perform well in temperatures as low as 14 degrees. New users tend to make mistakes. Those mistakes won't cost you an arm and a leg with this camera. It's rated to be able to fall from heights of 6 feet. Most cameras embed GPS locations into your photos. With the FinePix, you can choose to prevent that. That's a privacy feature that nearly anyone can support. The built in bluetooth compatibility on this camera lets you instantly transfer photos to your phone.
7. AKASO EK7000 4K Waterproof Camera
You don't have to pay a small fortune to get a great camera, and AKASO proves that. For less than $60, you can enjoy 4K video, 12 megapixel photos, waterproof housing, and a few other features that make it one of the top waterproof cameras out there. The AKASO gives you 4K recording capability at a low price. Two rechargeable batteries are included with the camera. The inclusion of a wireless remote allows you to use the camera without touching it. With built in WiFi functionality, you can easily upload your pictures to any device on your network. HDMI functionality allows you to plug your camera directly into your television. You can watch your videos and look at your pictures within mere moments.
8. Fujifilm XP120 Shock & Waterproof
As the name suggests, this is the predecessor to the XP130. Most of the features are the same, but you can get it a little cheaper than its big brother. At this price range, a 16 megapixel camera is a pretty solid option. You can have professional level quality without paying a lot. While it lacks 4K compatibility, the XP120 can record in 1080p. That's a decent amount of pixels in your picture, and it's more than enough for beginners and casual users. The camera is shock proof and waterproof. Under normal use, you shouldn't end up breaking it. The entire unit weighs less than half a pound, and it has a compact profile. That makes it perfect for throwing it in a pocket. The XP120 has Cinemograph mode. This can help less experienced photographers with advanced settings such as contrast.
9. Ricoh WG-50 Waterproof Camera
The Ricoh is a camera that is designed for those with an adventurous spirit. It's durable, has an attachment hook for packs, and its feature set is made up of everything you need to take great pictures.
This a great choice for people who need a rugged camera that is user friendly. The addition of light compensation and back lit screens is perfect for those who can't adjust their lighting manually. LED lighting is used to create the perfect exposure level for every picture. The rugged housing of this unit can withstand 5 foot drops, and it can be submerged in 46 feet of water. A wrist strap and a clip are included with the unit. This makes it a great camera for hiking and camping trips. The built in zoom feature is capable of magnifying an image 5 times its actual size. This allows you to capture the smallest details of a far away object. The LCD screen on this unit is lit by a bright backlight for nighttime use.
10. Fujifilm Waterproof Single Use Camera
This option isn't actually a single camera. It's a pack of four single-use cameras, and it's designed for those who just need a quick, disposable, and inexpensive waterproof camera.
This is an option that is solely for casual users. It's a cheap alternative to digital cameras, but you don't get all of the bells and whistles that digital cameras have, either. These disposable cameras will work great for a trip to the pool, though. 4 disposable cameras are included with each order. Each camera can take 27 color photos. The cameras have their own wrist straps for worry free use. These cameras can be submerged in 35 feet of water before they fail. The film that's included with each camera is capable of capturing images in a vibrant array of colors.
Best Waterproof Cameras Buyer’s Guide
Finding the camera that’s right for you is difficult. You have to take into account your experience as a photographer, the features you need, and how much money you can dedicate to buying one.
It can be confusing without some guidance. So, we’ve put together this helpful buyer’s guide to get you started. We can’t pick a camera for you, but we can give you the information that you need to make an informed decision.
You should also know that our list is comprised of options in several price ranges, and all of them are high-quality cameras. So, it’s a good place to start when you go to pick a camera out.
The Purpose of a Waterproof Camera
It’s fairly obvious from the name, but a waterproof camera is just a camera that can be used in wet conditions. The waterproof housing on these cameras makes them practical for diving expeditions, snorkeling, and taking photos in the rain. They’re also great for tropical regions because the excessive humidity can destroy other cameras.
Even if you don’t intend to use your camera in those types of situations, a decent waterproof rating is always a bonus. We’ve all dropped a valuable electronic at least once. At least with a waterproof camera, you know it’ll be safe if it lands in a puddle or something.
What to Look for
Your personal needs are a huge factor in looking for a waterproof camera. To choose one you need to understand the different features, and then realistically determine if those features are right for you. In this section, we’ll describe the most common features, and you can decide what applies to your needs.
Your camera’s resolution directly affects the quality of every photograph you take. The higher the resolution, the better the picture. However, the higher end processors required for that are expensive, and they will drive up the price of the unit.
Most users can benefit the most from a camera with a 12 or 16 megapixel processor. If you’re not a professional and get a higher end camera, you’re wasting money. Of course, it’s never a bad idea to have the best if you can afford it. You can always learn to truly take advantage of the best cameras out there.
All of the cameras on our list are meant to be taken underwater for up to an hour. However, they all have different depth ratings. To achieve better depth ratings, manufacturers have to use better components. Those components increase the price of the camera. So, it’s usually best to choose a camera that doesn’t exceed the maximum depth that you’ll ever go to. You don’t need a camera with a depth rating of 100 feet to snorkel along the beach. However, the depth rating isn’t the only factor in a camera’s price. If the other features are perfect matches, go ahead and get a camera than can go deeper than you’ll ever take it.
If you’re looking at a waterproof camera, you probably live an active lifestyle. If that is the case, you need a rugged camera. You need to ensure that it’s rated to withstand drops of 5 feet or higher, is able to withstand your body weight falling on it, and that it can handle cold weather.
5 feet tends to be the average height of most drops. So, you don’t need something that can withstand plummeting from a skyscraper. The technology necessary for that would be insanely expensive.
You need your camera to withstand being crushed by your body because you’re likely to be what falls on it. You hold your camera in front of you. If you’re taking photos while you’re active and slip, you’re going to topple on top of it. Make sure that the crush rating of your camera can handle that.
The freeze proof rating on most cameras tends to be 14 degrees. That’s okay, and you probably won’t even need it in warmer climates. However, it’s nice to know what your camera can handle.
Buying a camera has a lot to do with its price. If you’re not going to be using your camera for complex photo shoots, you don’t need a $1000 camera. Having expendable income can allow you to do so, but it’s not necessary for most people.
On the other hand, you need something that takes good looking pictures. A lot of cheaper options produce blurry pictures, or they stop functioning after awhile. That’s not the case with any of the options on our list, but you should typically spend more than $50 bucks on a camera. That tends to be the lowest price you can pay for a decent device.
If you’re more of a professional photographer or advanced enthusiast, it’s worth it to spend a few hundred dollars for all of the extra features high-end cameras include. Those extra features and added versatility will give you a lot of room to grow as a photographer.
When purchasing of the right waterproof camera for you, you need to consider all the factors mentioned above. Depending on your use for the camera, you may only need an inexpensive option if you’re planning to use it by the poolside. That said, if you’re planning on diving with your new purchase and want to capture photographs and video in stunning 4k, you may want to consider a more expensive option with a greater depth range, higher resolution as well as tracking the location of where the footage was taken via the built-in GPS.