Updated model that delivers more processing power than the Hero5. Produces beautiful 4K images. Has a durable build and numerous features that are easy to master. Feature set includes Bluetooth, voice recognition, and WiFi. Submersible up to 33 ft.
Pricey, but it's also one of the most popular and reliable waterproof cameras on the market today.
Can work in up to 33 ft. of water depth without needing a protective case. Includes Wi-Fi connectivity option. Records 4K video at good speed of 30 fps. Includes time lapse photography feature.
Display screen only measures 2" diagonally. Not really designed for everyday photography.
Offers waterproof capabilities up to 100 ft. Built-in Wi-Fi functionality. 4K video recording at 25 fps. Very easy to use for simple action video and photos. Good features for the price.
Limited to 12MP of resolution for still image photography. Only a 2" LCD screen. Some build quality issues.
Works in up to 100 ft. of water. Good battery life for low priced camera. Easy to use for beginners. Camera doesn't weigh much, so it won't interfere with your activities while using it.
Limited to 12MP photographs and full HD recording, rather than 4K. Only supports up to 32GB memory cards.
Four bright color choices. Waterproof up to 65 ft. Offers optical zoom lens that helps a lot with still image photographs. Includes 16MP of image resolution for photos.
Higher price than some others on our list. Limited to full HD video recording. Not aimed at action cam users.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Life is full of special moments that deserve to be preserved in photo. If you’re going to the beach, you’ll need a waterproof camera to avoiding missing anything.
There are so many waterproof cameras on the market that finding the right one can feel like mission impossible. What size should you get? Which features matter most? How much should you pay?
At BestReviews, our goal is to make your shopping process as stress-free as possible. We buy all our own products, so our recommendations are completely unbiased. Our experts took a deep dive into the world of waterproof cameras to get the lowdown on which products are best.
If you’re in the market for a waterproof camera, please visit the chart above to see our top recommendations. To find out more about waterproof cameras and what to look for, read on.
Waterproof cameras are made with special parts that can withstand moisture.
Airtight housing: The housing on a waterproof camera is airtight to keep water from getting inside and damaging the electronics. You could buy a waterproof housing for an existing digital camera, but the housing for a factory-made waterproof camera is usually much more effective at keeping out water.
Rubber seals: Rubber seals reinforce the airtight housing around any parts that open, such as the battery compartment and memory card slot. This helps keep water out. However, you must carefully dry these areas before you open them to prevent moisture from seeping inside.
Thick lens: Waterproof cameras that can be used underwater have thicker lenses than regular cameras because they must be able to withstand pressure at different depths without breaking. If you buy a waterproof camera, check the depth to which it can be used before jumping in the water with it.
Settings: Underwater cameras have settings that allow them to capture clear, vivid photos while submerged. The settings are designed to account for the way that light travels through water and provide options for common underwater subjects like fish.
If you’re using a waterproof camera underwater, try to get as close to your subject as possible. Wide-angle shots typically turn out better than zoomed-in shots underwater.
The size and weight of your camera matter if you’re using it in or near the water. In most cases, you’ll want the smallest, lightest camera you can find. Look for a waterproof camera that weighs five ounces or less.
In terms of size, choose a waterproof camera that’s no more than two-and-a-half inches in length, two inches in width, and one-and-a-half inches in height so it’s easy to carry around.
Waterproof cameras can be used at a variety of underwater depths. The lens must be a certain thickness in order to work at a specific depth without breaking. Consider the activities you’ll be using a camera to shoot when selecting the appropriate depth.
We recommend that you purchase a waterproof camera that can withstand a depth of 10 feet at minimum. For a more versatile option, look for a camera that can withstand a depth of 30 feet.
The maximum water depth for waterproof cameras is usually 50 feet.
As with any camera, you want to choose a waterproof camera with a viewing screen that allows you to see the photos you’re lining up or have just taken. The screen should be clear enough to see underwater or in direct sunlight.
For clear viewing in any situation, we recommend a waterproof camera with a high-resolution LCD viewing screen.
Camera resolution, measured in megapixels, impacts photo clarity. To ensure good image quality in underwater shots, pay attention to the resolution of any camera you’re considering. It might seem like a good idea to shoot at the highest resolution possible, but high-res photos take up more space on your memory card. For this reason, we suggest choosing a waterproof camera that allows you to shoot at different resolution levels.
Camera resolution is typically measured in megapixels. Look for a waterproof camera with a minimum resolution of 12MP.
A camera’s FPS rate is the speed at which it captures images. A speedy camera allows you to take photos in rapid succession so you don’t miss anything. Look for a waterproof camera that offers 25 to 30 FPS.
Still photographs can help you remember special events, but you may also want to take some video footage from time to time. Some waterproof cameras have video capabilities that allow you to record videos in or near the water.
Video quality is measured in the number of thousands of pixels the footage offers. High-definition recordings are fairly detailed and crisp, but for the most vivid recordings, look for a camera that offers 4K video – that means the footage features 4,000 pixels for the most detailed video possible.
Use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe down the rubber seals on your waterproof camera after each use. This will help remove debris could otherwise affect the airtight seal.
Some waterproof cameras feature built-in Bluetooth and WiFi technology. This allows you to easily transfer photos from the camera to your computer, smartphone, tablet, or other connected device.
Some waterproof cameras have a voice control feature. If you plan to take photos while the camera is mounted and you don’t have a free hand to take a shot, voice control can prove quite handy.
A waterproof camera with a large number of megapixels can provide high-quality images, but a camera with a good lens is also invaluable in terms of aesthetics.
A waterproof camera may come with one or more mounts that allow you to stabilize it for hands-free photos.
In order to transfer photos from a waterproof camera to your computer, it’s important to verify first that the model you’re considering is compatible with your computer system. Most waterproof cameras work with Macs and PCs, but double-check that the camera is approved to work with your computer.
Avoid leaving a waterproof camera in direct sunlight or in sand at the beach. These elements could raise the camera’s operating temperature and cause damage.
Waterproof cameras vary in price based on size, resolution, FPS, and other features. Expect to spend between $30 and $600 for a waterproof camera.
Small, basic waterproof cameras typically cost between $30 and $120.
Mid-range waterproof camera with a few extra features tend to run between $120 and $300.
High-end waterproof cameras with multiple extra features may cost between $300 and $600.
Q. Are waterproof cameras meant only for use in water?
A. Waterproof cameras are used primarily for underwater photography and other photography near the water, but you can use them for taking any type of photos you like. Before you buy, check that the camera you’re considering has an appropriate zoom range to provide enough versatility for your photos.
Q. How long does the battery usually last in a waterproof camera?
A. The battery life for a waterproof camera depends on the model and how you use it. In general, you can expect to get one to two hours of continuous use from the battery. Using the camera at a lower resolution helps preserve battery life.
Q. Does a waterproof camera have a flash?
A. A waterproof camera has a regular flash. In fact, the flash can be very important if you’re photographing in deep water where there might not be much light.
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