You definitely need the best waterproof camera if you have been dreaming of photographing breathtaking scenes, diving in-depth, or shooting during a snowfall, heavy rain or dense fog. The best rugged camera is the perfect one to take travel pictures with on the beach, in the water, and underwater, too. Keep on reading about the top 15 waterproof camera reviews I’ve prepared for your extreme images.
When choosing a camera for traveling, many people wonder if waterproof cameras can be used underwater and if they are shockproof. Most rugged cameras can be dropped from a height of 5 to 7 feet, thanks to shockproof materials used in their construction, and submerged in water to a depth of 10 to 17 feet (some up to 80 to 100 feet), being equipped with rubber pads, fiberglass and carbon composites. Looking through waterproof camera reviews on the web, you can learn more about their technical characteristics. Personally, I prefer cameras that are protected from different weather conditions, rather than using special cases, as when using these cases you often get overexposed images. So here are the 15 best waterproof cameras for wild travel photographers.
Price: about $450
The Olympus Tough TG-5 is made of high-quality plastic, which seems very durable when you hold it in your hands. Being one of the top waterproof cameras, it can submerge to a depth of 50 feet, withstand pressure up to 100 kg, and fall from a height of 7 feet. All compartments and ports are closed with double plugs to protect this waterproof camera from water or sand. The 3-inch Tough TG-5 LCD display with a resolution of 460k dots occupies most of the back panel of the camera. Unfortunately, this camera has the same low resolution as the previous model of the line. It will be difficult to view the picture on the display in bright sunlight or underwater. Besides, you can’t tilt the screen. Nevertheless, it supports RAW shooting, which favorably extends the image editing possibilities.
Photo by Olympus Tough! TG-5
Price: about $3500
To the surprise of many photographers, this camera is equipped with a rather large sensor for such small dimensions. In addition to a 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, at the back side, it has a wide 3-inch LCD screen. The camera body is covered with anti-slip rubber that protects it from water. At the same time, the developers note that their camera can work properly even at lower temperatures than other cameras. According to the underwater camera reviews, this model can withstand a fall from heights of 4 feet. A specially protected case ensures this feature. Although the camera body is small, it comes with a large lens and is more like mirrorless cameras than compact ones. However, you cannot replace the lens with a smaller one because it is not removable.
Photo by Leica X-U (Typ 113)
Price: about $1000
This best waterproof camera has a 31mm-equivalent F1.8 prime lens and a 1"-type 20MP sensor. Its shock-resistant and waterproof case reliably protects your camera against various troubles. The SeaLife DC2000 camera can withstand dives to a depth of 200 feet. The special design and enlarged buttons simplify use when you wear gloves. A special underwater light and a flash on the leg can be used while shooting. In video mode, the underwater camera supports 1080p resolution with a frame rate of 60 fps. You can take photos while recording video. The camera kit includes a flash, a three-inch display, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. According to the manufacturer, the battery lasts for two hours while recording videos.
Photo by SeaLife DC2000
Price: about $500
This is the best waterproof camera that is compact and very simple to use. The KeyMission 360 has only two buttons: for shooting video and photos. There is no separate power button on the camera body. Just press one of the buttons and after turning on, the device will immediately take a picture or start recording videos. The KeyMission 360 is considered one of the best underwater cameras because of Dual-lenses. You get a full 360-degree view and you can also record 4K videos. In addition to water resistance, the camera can work well in frosty weather and is shockproof. You can dive to a depth of 65 feet without any preparations. The camera has a 23.9 MP sensor of 1/2.3-inch type. But the most important thing in modern 360° cameras is the place where two parts of the image are combined. This waterproof camera is almost perfect in this aspect. Of course, the border is noticeable and it was not possible to get rid of it completely. However, it is significantly better than most competitor’s offers.
Photo by Nikon KeyMission 360
Price: about $600
This is the best underwater video camera that withstands immersion to a depth of 16 feet. If you use two slightly offset cameras, it can capture everything that happens around it, with a resolution of 5.2K and a frequency of 30 frames per second. 18MP photos can be recorded in both RAW and JPEG format. You can play and share your videos immediately after shooting with the GoPro app. By using OverCapture, you can extract a moving fragment in 1080p or 720p resolution from your 360-video and create a standard HD-video, as if you were photographed by an operator with a camera. Since the camera is equipped with several microphones for recording 4-channel sound, the Fusion can record sounds from all sides. This underwater video camera has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and it supports GPS navigation, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a compass.
Photo by GoPro Fusion
Price: about $500
This Panasonic is positioned as a nice camera for outdoor enthusiasts. This is one more best waterproof digital cameras that has an absolutely waterproof case capable of withstanding water pressure to a depth of 39 feet. Frost resistance of the camera is -10°C. The device can also withstand a fall from a height of 2 meters and is reliably protected from dust. The presence of GPS, Wi-Fi and NFC makes this rugged camera a good option for travelers. There are a lot of sensors “hidden” in the device: atmospheric pressure, height and depth. All these things allow you to add different data to the photo. A Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens with a 4.6x optical zoom, a 16.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and a Venus Engine image processor provide excellent image quality.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix DMC TS5
Price: about $330
The Ricoh WG-60 is a new rugged waterproof camera. You can use it at the depth of up to 45 feet and drop it from 11 feet. It is one of the top waterproof cameras, which functions efficiently even in -10°C. It is equipped with a 16-megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor, a 2.7-inch LCD display and an integrated LED signal. Being quite portable, like a standard smartphone, the Ricoh WG-60 will be a great choice for traveling photographers who don’t want to carry lots of equipment. You can use it to take high-quality images and record Full HD videos.
Photo by Ricoh WG-60
Price: about $450
This is the best waterproof camera of a compact size that is designed for extreme shooting conditions (fall from a height of 7.9 feet; work under water to a depth of 100 feet; function in frost to -10° C). Moreover, it allows for shooting in a wetsuit or in ski gloves, as it is equipped with a bigger handle, large buttons and a 3-inch display with bright backlighting. The Nikon Coolpix W300 comes with a 16-megapixel matrix. It is often called the best waterproof camera for a cruise, allowing you to take high-quality images and record 4K videos with a frequency of up to 30 fps. You can use the Snapbridge wireless technology to transfer the footage from the camera to your smartphone. But primarily, you need to install the specific application on your gadget. The self-sufficiency of this device is determined by the ability to take 280 shots at one battery charge.
Photo by Nikon Coolpix W300
Price: about $300
Do you intend to shoot underwater deeper than 30ft? Need a durable device to withstand extreme weather conditions? Then have a closer look at Lumix FT7/TS7. This device is equipped with a 20MP sensor, a 28-128 zoom and has rubber elements in the case, so it may be called the best waterproof digital camera for both beginners and amateurs. If you wish to combine shooting on the ground and underwater, this model will also satisfy all your needs. It can fall from a height of up to 6.6ft, and is crush-proof up to 100kgf. Work 14°F won’t cause any difficulties.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix FT7 / TS7
Price: about $190
The FUJIFILM FinePix XP130 is the best rugged camera. Users greatly appreciate its comprehensible interface and diverse imaging capabilities. Thanks to the 16.4 megapixels CMOS sensor, you can take photos at up to 10fps. The video recording feature is also well-developed, so it can shoot videos in Full HD. This device can boast a backlit sensor design, clear photos without noise and efficient operation even in poor lighting. The FinePix XP130 is often called the best underwater camera as it is waterproof to 65 feet, shockproof up to a height of 6 feet and protected from dust and freezing to -10 °C.
If you're looking for a waterproof model that fits in your trouser pocket, then the Fujifilm FinePix XP130 camera will be the best choice. The rotating lock on the side ensures hermetic closure of the cover, under which you’ll find slots for the battery and the SD card.
Photo by Fujifilm FinePix XP130
Price: about $470
The camera has a 12MP sensor and can record videos with stereo sound in 4K format at 60 frames per second. Shooting 1440p is possible at a speed of 120 frames per second, and you can take 240 frames in 1080p mode (for slowing down eight times!). This is one of the best underwater video cameras that features a TimeWarp mode for recording time-lapse videos, which can be watched with acceleration up to 30 times. The GoPro Hero 7 Black has a 2-inch touchscreen display that lets you control settings or zoom while shooting. It supports voice control. For example, you can say "GoPro, take a photo" or "GoPro, record a video." It is designed for deep underwater shooting, mainly 33+feet.
Photo by GoPro Hero7 Black
Price: about $700
The Sony RX0 is a super-compact, shockproof and waterproof digital camera for travelers and videographers. You can use it to record 4K UHD videos and get footage in XAVC format. All ports and a microSD card slot are located on the left of the display and are closed with a tight-fitting lid with a rubberized outline. This feature allows you to protect your device from moisture and dust. The compartment with the battery on the right is also tightly closed. It provides water resistance up to 32 feet without an aqua-box. The Sony RX0 underwater camera is shockproof and can withstand a fall from a height of 6.5 feet and load up to 200 kg.
Photo by Sony RX0
Price: about $320
When creating GoPro Hero 6, the manufacturer took into account all the weak points of the previous model and presented an improved device. The most noticeable upgrade is the display. Though it isn’t so important for the best waterproof cameras, still, it makes the shooting process more enjoyable. The case is rather durable and sealable, so you can use this device at up to 32 feet deep. You can record 4K videos at 60f/s and 1080p at 240 f/s. This is the first device from the company that meets the current Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11ac communication standard. To connect with accessories, the camera has a Bluetooth 4.1 interface and a GPS receiver to add geotags and additional metadata to videos. As for self-sufficiency, the camera can record 4K videos for 50 minutes and Full HD videos for 70-75 minutes.
Photo by GoPro Hero6 Black
Price: about $150
This cheap waterproof camera from Fujifilm is equipped with a 16.4 million pixel 1/2.3-inch sensor. It is compact and rather durable. You can dip it into the water safely up to 65ft. It also has a similar shock rating. This camera can withstand a drop from a height of 5.7 feet. This is the best waterproof camera under $150 that easily endures low temperatures. Moreover, dust-protection is also one of its pros. The durable XP120 camera body includes a 3-inch LCD screen with anti-reflective coating. It is fairly easy to use the camera underwater or wearing gloves.
The 5x optical zoom was located inside without the ability to slide out when zooming. You will also appreciate the built-in Wi-Fi and the ability to record video in Full HD format. The camera battery allows you to take about 210 shots. Unfortunately, the RAW format is not available.
Photo by Fujifilm XP120
Price: about $600
This Canon waterproof camera has a small compact case. It can withstand a fall from 7 feet and immersion in water to a depth of 82 feet. The creators of this underwater camera did their best so that it would be easier for you to see the monitor in bright light. They added a special Sunlight LCD mode to fix this problem. Great Intelligent IS optical image stabilization and the ability to record video in Full HD are other advantages of one of the best waterproof cameras. However, if we talk about the indicators of ISO, the modest 3200 value is significantly inferior to most compact cameras. You may observe a slight color distortion and some noise in dark areas. In general, this is a good example of digital waterproof cameras that allows you to get decent pictures with good detail and contrast.
Photo by Canon PowerShot D30
|Olympus Tough! TG-5 3-Inch LCDBEST 2018||VIEW PRICE|
|Nikon Coolpix W300FOR PROFESSIONALS||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic Lumix FT7 / TS7OUR CHOICE||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm FinePix XP130||VIEW PRICE|
|Ricoh WG-60||VIEW PRICE|
|GoPro Hero 7 Black DigitalFOR VIDEO||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony RX0||VIEW PRICE|
|GoPro HERO6 Black||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm XP120BUDGET||VIEW PRICE|
|Leica X-U (Typ 113) DigitalEXPENSIVE||VIEW PRICE|
|SeaLife DC2000FOR SCUBA DIVING||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon PowerShot D30 FOR SNORKELING||VIEW PRICE|
|Nikon KeyMission 360||VIEW PRICE|
|GoPro Fusion||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC TS5||VIEW PRICE|
Choosing the best waterproof camera is not as simple as it may seem. You need to find a really solid model that will allow you to enjoy shooting or just relaxing, without worrying about the safety of the camera. To give you the opportunity to choose the right camera, I describe the main characteristics that should be considered when choosing a suitable option.
Everything is simple here. The better the lens you have, the better and more saturated your photos will be. You must also take into account the lens features for underwater shooting and use narrower ones. It is necessary to choose the best underwater camera with a 90-degree viewing angle or with the function to correct image distortion.
Perhaps it is the most important point for devices that are designed for underwater shooting. There is a big difference in depth between amateur photography while you are on a holiday and the photos you take while scuba diving. After all, the depth can be from 15-20 feet for amateurs and up to 200 feet for scuba divers.
If you choose a camera for an ordinary summer holiday, then you do not need to bother with the temperature regime. But if you plan to shoot in harsh and cold conditions, you need to opt for the camera that is resistant to cold. The ideal option would be waterproof cameras with a threshold of -15°C.
It will be disappointing if, during the next immersion into the water, your camera shows a low charge level and turns off. Therefore, you must choose among the best waterproof cameras with the longest battery life possible.
This parameter affects how well the elements inside are protected from moisture and dust. Ideally, all compartments should be with rubberized inserts for better protection.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.