Best Underwater Cameras – Review 2019

Waterproof cameras have seen a strong rise in travel and holiday culture, with people wanting to capture their most memorable events out kayaking, swimming, or scuba diving while having the peace of mind a normal camera lacks. But with all the options on the market, it can be difficult to pick the right one. There are so many factors to consider when purchasing a camera, which is why we’ve picked the highlights of the most popular ones out there to help you decide!

Nikon Coolpix W300

This underwater technologically aquatic beast can withstand anything under the sea.

Nikon Coolpix W300

Brand: Nikon Corporation
Type: Compact
Sensor: ½.3in
Megapixels: 16MP
Lens: 24-120mm (equiv.) f/2.8-4.9
LCD: 3in, 921k dots
Waterproof: 30m/100ft
Shockproof: 2.4m/8ft
Freezeproof: -10°C/14°F
Dustproof:
Max Video Resolution: 4K
Retail Price: $399.99 CAD (Amazon.ca)

Pros:

  • Waterproof up to 100 feet
  • Responsive, Versatile, and easy to use Controls
  • Includes 4K-resolution video and timelapse

Cons:

  • Lacks full-manual mode
  • Struggles in low-light conditions
  • No Raw Support

The Nikon Coolpix W300 is an excellent choice when it comes to the world of waterproof digital cameras. Not only is this camera capable of diving deep down to the depths of up to 100 feet, but it uses barometer and an electronic compass to provide underwater readings such as: altitude, depth, and location. The camera also has bluetooth functionality that you can use for fast image transfer with Nikon’s SnapBridge Technology. Unfortunately, the camera does lack full Raw Support, providing a downside to this technologically aquatic beast. On the positive note, 4K video is another useful component in the W300’s arsenal and with the shockproof rating of 2.4m, it is capable of withstanding any rough encounters you may meet under the sea.

Olympus Tough TG-6

Toughest to beat, and the toughest in the market.

Olympus Tough TG-6

Brand: Olympus Corporation
Type: Compact
Sensor: 1 / 2.3in
Megapixels: 12MP
Lens: 25-10mm (equiv.) f/2.0-4.9
LCD: 3in, 1040k dots
Waterproof: 15m/50ft
Shockproof: 2.1m/7ft
Freezeproof: -10°C/14°F
Dustproof:  JIS/IEC protection Class 6
Max Video Resolution: 4K
Price: $579.99 CAD (Amazon.ca)
Pros:

  • 4K Video Recording with excellent zoom and wide aperture lens.
  • Tough and waterproof, as the name suggests.
  • Raw-shooting support

Cons:

  • Not touch screen, LCD can get easily scratched
  • Expensive

To put it bluntly, this camera is tough, as the name suggests. The TG-6 comes with a zoom mechanism and Lens Barrier (sold separately) equipped with and comfy grip that protects the lens from any collisions. Zooming wise, the TG-6 uses 25-100mm optical zoom lens along with an option to enable the Underwater Microscope Mode for even closer zooms. It is also technically versatile, with 4K video support recording at 30fps in addition to its slow-motion support at 120fps. The LCD screen, albeit prone to scratches, is an improved version of the TG-5’s. Simply put, this camera is truly one of the all-around best on the market.

Panasonic Lumix FT7 / TS7

Panasonic’s sun-sensitive camera for sunny hot days.

Panasonic Lumix FT7 / TS7

Brand: Panasonic
Type: Compact
Sensor: 1 / 2.3in
Megapixels: 20.4 MP
Lens: 25-10mm (equiv.)
LCD: 3-inch, 1040k dot electronic viewfinder
Waterproof: 31m/102ft
Shockproof: 2m / 6.6ft
Freezeproof: -10°C/14°F
Dustproof
Max Video Resolution: 4K
Price: $447.99 CAD (Amazon.ca)
 
Pros:

  • USB Charging
  • Built-in electronic viewfinder
  • 4K Photo Mode

Cons:

  • Small buttons
  • Slow zooms
  • No RAW support

Like many other underwater cameras, the Panasonic Lumix FT7/TS7 uses a 20.4 MP sensor equipped with 4K recording capabilities at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, and 720p at 100fps. What makes this camera different is its greatness in sunny shooting sets. The MOS sensor can give you that clean and natural-looking JPEG, despite its lack of Raw support. Additionally, it has a slowly operating but full optical zoom range at 120mm with image stabilisation. On top of that, the Panasonic FT7 has a great 1/2.3-inch sensor in low light. This device simply sets the bar for great image quality.

 
Fujifilm FinePix XP130

Fujifilm’s family friendly adventure companion.

Fujifilm FinePix XP130

Brand: Fujifilm
Type: Compact
Sensor: 1 / 2.3in
Megapixels: 16.4MP
Lens: 5.0-25.0mm (equiv.) f/3.9-4.9
LCD: 3in, 920k dots
Waterproof: 20m/65ft
Shockproof: 1.75m/5.8ft
Freezeproof: -10°C/14°F
Dustproof
Max Video Resolution: Full HD Recording
Price: $174.95 CAD (Amazon.ca)
Pros:

  • Affordable great price
  • Strong shock support
  • USB Charging

Cons:

  • Average Image Quality
  • No 4K Recording

The FujiFilm FinePix XP130 is built with a locking mechanism waterproofing it down to 65 feet or 20 metres, allowing you to take this companion wherever you go for all your recreational aquatic needs. It is also shockproof and is great for the cold white north. Additionally, the camera’s new eye detection feature automatically detects the faces and eyes of your subjects and ensures they are the ones you need. However, the lens is quite slow and is not really sharp when it comes to image quality. Despite all this, the camera is great for your holiday needs at an affordable price!

GoPro HERO7 Black

GoPro’s strong package for adventurers on the go.

GoPro HERO7 Black

Brand: GoPro Inc.
Type: Compact
Sensor: 1 / 2.3in
Megapixels: 12MP
Lens: 14-28mm (equiv.) f/2.8-2IN
LCD: 3in, 1040k dots
Waterproof: 10m/33ft
Shockproof: No Rating Available
Freezeproof: No Rating Available
Max Video Resolution: 4K
Price: $329.99 CAD (Amazon.ca)
 

Pros:

  • Extremely smooth video stabilization
  • Lots of accessory variety
  • Touchscreen and user-friendly UI

Cons:

  • Not freezeproof
  • Weak Waterproof level compared to other underwater cameras
  • Struggles with voice commands
  • Camera gets hot in 4K

GoPro’s jump in the waters of underwater cameras has been highly contested over the past few years with hovering competing giants taking over. However, the GoPro HERO6 Black may set a new standard in the industry with its HyperSmooth image stabilization, 4K video at 60 fps, and 2x slow motion effect during playback. Additionally, the tiny build of the device provides a kind of mobility that is needed, albeit at a cost of its low (or should we say not so low) waterproof rating, which stands at a measly 10m or 33ft in comparison with its peers. The GoPro is a great choice for active divers looking to capture their fun on the go.

 

Ricoh WG-60 underwater camera

Shine some light on those dark underwater journeys.

Ricoh WG-60

Brand: Ricoh
Type: Compact
Sensor: 1 / 2.3in
Megapixels: 16MP
Lens: 28-140mm (equiv.) f/3.5-5.5
LCD: 3in, 1040k dots
Waterproof: 15m/50ft
Shockproof: 1.6m/5.2ft
Freezeproof: -10°C/14°F
Max Video Resolution: Full HD
Price: $299.99 CAD (Amazon.ca)
 

Pros:

  • Strong zoom range
  • Built-in Ring Lights
  • Heavy-duty Build

Cons:

  • No 4K recording
  • Identical to WG-50

The Ricoh WG-60’s centrepiece is its built-in ring lights which are complemented by the camera’s other features. With your subjects having good light, it has a microscope mode allowing it to focus as close to 1mm. In low-light, the Handheld Night Snap allows you to capture images in succession to create one blur-free composite image. On top of that, the WG-60’s heavy-duty build allows you to stay up to 14m underwater for up to 2 hours.

 

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