If you are one of those people who love to carry a camera around irrespective of whether you are going to the pool or on a vacation, a waterproof camera must be a necessity in your life. Underwater digital cameras are manufactured in such a way so as to resist water-based activities, cold temperatures and accidental drops.
There are a few features that you need to consider before buying an underwater camera. While size and weight may seem to be the most important criteria in this regard, they actually come behind picture quality, battery life and storage. Video recording is also an important feature to look out for if you are planning on reaping the most out of your camera.
In this article, we provide you the best underwater digital cameras currently in the market along with brief reviews on each.
1. Canon PowerShot D30 Waterproof Digital Camera - Best on the market
Considered to be the camera with the second deepest waterproof performance in the world, the Canon PowerShot D30 is an ideal choice for those with a penchant for scuba diving and extreme underwater sports. This camera can withstand pressure up to 82 feet below the sea level and can produce excellent vibrant images at that level.
Packed with some important features like face detection, image stabilization, GPS for image geo-tagging and 1080p video recording, this camera boasts of an above average underwater color saturation and 12.1 megapixel image sensor. If you are looking for a durable product with decent performance, this is the one to go for.
2. Nikon COOLPIX AW130 - Compact pick for travels
With a 16MP image sensor, 1080p video recording ability, 5x optical zoom and built-in GPS, mapping, electronic compass, the Nikon COOLPIX AW130 is undoubtedly the best underwater camera you can possibly hope for. It performs excellently up to a depth of 100 feet, and is freezeproof till 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
The fact that it has a built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology makes it easier for you to transfer your photos to a compatible smartphone instantly. Its compact design and durable build quality makes it an ideal product for packing into your travel bag during vacations. Be it hiking, scuba diving or simply swimming in the pool – this camera is intended to amaze you everywhere you go.
3. Fujifilm FinePix XP90 Waterproof Camera - Good choice for for snorkeling
The Fujifilm FinePix XP90 is a solid digital camera that takes great pictures even at 50 feet under water, and is rugged enough to survive an adventure without any hassle. It is freezeproof till 14°F and can withstand drops from 5.8 feet. Moreover, it is so designed as to keep out sand and dust particles that can otherwise damage the camera.
The 16.4 MP image sensor ensures the best of images even in dark settings. The Wi-Fi sharing feature makes transfer to smartphones easier and convenient, while the sleek camera menu and reader-friendly instructions make it a popular choice. This camera may not beat its competitors in terms of performance, but it’s definitely one to be considered if you are looking for a budget alternative to Nikon or Canon.
4. Olympus TG-4 16 MP - with WI-FI and GPS
Arguably the best camera to take pictures underwater, the Olympus TG-4 falls a bit behind when one considers dry-land pictures as well. It is waterproof up to a depth of 50 feet and crushproof to 220 lbs. The underwater image quality is clear and crisp which, when coupled with its fantastic color saturation, results in high quality, detailed pictures with vibrant colors.
The F2.0 High Speed lens, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS e-compass features further makes it a lucrative buy. The only drawback, probably, is the price. So if you are on a budget, this product may not be the one to consider.
5. Panasonic DMC TS25D - Best cheap Underwater Waterproof Digital Camera
Moving on the relatively inexpensive options in this category, the Panasonic DMC TS52D is a decent waterproof camera that possesses all the basic requirements, but falls short of checking the boxes for amazing performance. Small and lightweight, it is perfect for carrying around inside your pocket. It is waterproof to 23 feet and shockproof from 5 feet.
The dry-land pictures seem grainy when zoomed, and the image quality suffers more when taken underwater. No Wi-Fi or GPS compatibility further adds to its list of cons. The camera interface looks a bit outdated and the battery life isn’t too great either.
Related: Check our Best Action Camera Under $50 Review
Waterproof cameras are essentially point-and-shoot cameras with a durable casing to keep away water and dirt. With so many options available in the market spread generously over a wide range of prices, it is indeed difficult to select the one that provides the best value for money. Overall, Nikon and Canon are popular choices while Olympus can be your go-to model if money isn’t a restriction for you.