I tested many cameras, tried many options, scoured websites and stores, and found the Olympus Tough TG-6 is the best water-proof camera.
Underwater photography can be challenging. It’s a dynamic and fast changing environment, and marine life moves quickly. I knew I wanted an option that could withstand deep water so I could get a varied collection of photos, among other features. However, I understood that this process needed to be thorough, so I wanted to do it correctly.
In conducting weeks of research, I narrowed down my list to the 15 options that I list below. However, one stood out above the crowd due to its premium features. With everything combined, it felt like the best and most logical choice.
The Olympus Tough TG-6 has the high-depth ability that I was looking for, in addition to a high-speed, wide-angle lens. This camera comes with underwater capabilities. I can also use it in various weather conditions without issue.
Another element that sold me on the purchase was the option to add extra protection. I can do this through a lens barrier that affixes to the camera’s body. This accessory is a must-have for those who plan to use the device frequently.
Although I found the Olympus Tough TG-6 to be the best overall camera, there are many others in my list that were at the top of their own categories. I quickly learned that various features are suitable for specific situations but not all.
Knowing that this information would be valuable to someone, I compiled it into its respective categories. With all the necessary details, you can make an informed decision when ready to purchase.
To learn more about these high-quality underwater cameras, continue reading below!
Top 15 List of the Best Cameras for Underwater Photography
- Overall Best Camera For Underwater Photography: Olympus Tough TG-6
- Best Budget Camera For Underwater Photography: Akaso EK7000
- Best Compact Camera For Underwater Photography: Sony RX100
- Best Underwater Camera For Scuba Diving: Paralenz Vaquita
- Best Underwater Professional Camera: Canon EOS R6
- Best Action Camera For Underwater Photography: GoPro Hero10 Black
- Best Nikon Camera For Underwater Photography: Nikon D850
- Best Canon Camera For Underwater Photography: Canon SL3
- Best Sony Camera For Underwater Photography: Sony RX100 VII
- Best Mirrorless Camera For Underwater Photography: Sony A7 IV
- Best Full Frame Camera For Underwater Photography: Canon 5D Mark IV
- Best DSLR Camera For Underwater Photography: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
- Best Deeper Diving Compact Camera For Underwater Photography: Nikon Coolpix W300
- Best Rugged Camera For Underwater Camera: Ricoh WG-70
- Best Still Images Camera For Underwater Camera: Panasonic Lumix TS30
Overall Best Camera for Underwater Photography: Olympus Tough TG-6
I never thought I would be so excited about the amenities that this camera possesses. However, as you’ll see, there are many superior and highly beneficial attributes of the Olympus Tough TG-6.
The first thing I love about this camera is its 12 million pixels. It allows me to create a high-quality underwater photo or video. With this feature, I can enlarge and crop pictures without losing quality.
I also like the automatic and manual ISO setting function. The automatic feature goes from 100 to 1600 ISO, while the manual ranges from 100 to 12,800. With such high ISO, I can minimize camera shake or movement when capturing moving subjects underwater.
One of my favorite aspects about the Olympus Tough TG-6 is its durability. It’s dustproof, shockproof up to seven feet, waterproof up to 50 feet, and crushproof up to 220 pounds. With that, bringing this camera underwater feels conveniently secure.
Plus, this camera can function in temperatures as low as 14° Fahrenheit. There isn’t much this camera can’t withstand, making it one of the most durable options you can buy.
Another aspect I love about this camera is that the included lens captures highly detailed photos with an incredible aspect ratio. With that, I can create more visual impact in my underwater photography, and tell a more engaging story to viewers. I love being able to catch minor details thanks to the focus zoom of 4x and shutter speed ranging from a 1/2 to 1/2000 of a second.
I’m very satisfied with the focal length of the camera zoom – 4.5mm to 18mm with an infinite range. With that focal length, I get very close to my underwater subjects without cropping the intended composition.
Another benefit I got from this professional camera is the aperture ranges include f/2.0 for the wide lens and f/4.9 for the telescopic. With such a large aperture, I feel comfortabel when photographing in dimly-lit caves or wrecks. Plus, It can help avoid underexposed shots to some degree, but it’s not a guarantee.
The Olympus Tough TG-6 has several internal flash settings. As the built-in flash is fairly weak when shooting underwater. I recommend using at least one external strobe to capture vivid colors underwater.
Some of the top features that stood out to me most include:
- TruePic VIII Processor
- CMOS Contrast Detection
- AF Illuminator
- 20 Frames Per Second
- White Balance for Underwater
Other perks that come with the Olympus Tough TG-6 include:
- Color LCD
- Seven Brightness Levels
- Multiple Display Modes
- Face Detection
- Removable SD Card
I was thrilled that this camera has many different shooting modes to utilize in multiple situations. While I can input custom modes, there are also various pre-sets to choose from.
Of the pre-sets, I can choose from the over a dozen options. These include:
- Standard Movie or Portrait Mode
- 4K Resolution Movie Mode
- High-Speed Video Mode
- Underwater Filters and Modes, and more
My favorite and most-used features with this camera is the numerous photo filter options. With these, I can be more creative, and create high-quality photos with a high level of detail.
There are several photo filter features you can select from more than a dozen options to mach your taste. I find that the Pop Art effect and Watercolor overlays are so much fun to play with.
For something more traditional, I favor the Soft Focus Filter or Dramatic Portrait tone. Some of the other unique filters include:
- Vintage Overlay
- Pinhole Effect
- Diorama Filter
- Partial Photo Color
- Bleach Overlay Bypass
Using the Olympus Tough TG-6, I can create movies and save them in many formats. Whether raw footage or video with filters and elements added, I can easily export the content to a shareable file or post online.
Ultimately, I loved many features that the Olympus Tough TG-6 camera includes. My desire to get quality underwater photography was made a reality with this device.
Best Budget Camera For Underwater Photography: Akaso EK7000
When my priority is having a budget-friendly camera that can go to the deepest levels of water, the Akaso EK7000 is my go-to choice. While it’s missing some premium features, it’s powerful enough to get the job done underwater.
I love the Akaso EK7000 because it can go 98 feet, while the previous camera went 50 feet below water. Since this is a significant difference, this camera helps me find undiscovered marine life, document underwater voyages, and capture photos of sea life that are otherwise unviewable.
I also like the camera’s ergonomic design. It is a simple block structure with only a few buttons. A minimalistic look and operation provide a user-friendly interface with a natural learning curve. With that, I don’t have to worry about fumbling around to find the right button or finessing the lens to focus.
In addition, many accessories are included in the purchase, which can help me improve the photo and video quality.
One more feature I love about this camera is it also includes the necessary mounts and attachments that keep everything secure. The camera even comes with a protective cover that provides extra security when taking photos in rough terrain or underwater.
Another perk to the Akaso EK7000 comes from the integrated WiFi. With the touch of a button, I can share my content online without lag time. What’s good is getting everything set up isn’t complicated, allowing me to store valuable photos and videos in cloud storage easily.
When I’m continually recording a video of one subject, it tends to become monotonous and I need to trim it. With smartphones, it’s now possible to shoot in timelapse. I was pleasantly surprised that the Akaso EK7000 now offers this feature as well. With it, I can capture an hour’s worth of underwater footage and condense it into a few minutes while still showing all the pertinent moments.
I’m very satisfied with the loop video and shots in 4K the camera offers. When you think of the exquisite detail that the ocean offers, being able to capture all the intricacies with the highest level of detail is highly valuable.
The Akaso EK7000 isn’t limited to action activities. I have set it up to snap photos of myself, my family and friends, and even special events. Moreover, this camera includes a remote. With that, I feel comfortable when I snap a picture from a distance by clicking a button. However, it’s worth noting that this remote is not usable underwater.
For those who are interested in mount accessories for the Akaso EK7000, the company provides the following:
- Selfie Stick
- Clip Mount
- Finger Grip
- Bite Mount
To clarify the price range the Akaso EK7000 falls into, the cost comes in at less than $100. For this reason, being the top contender in the budget category came as a no-brainer. This brand and model offer high-quality photo and video that costs a fraction of what similar models cost.
Best Compact Cameras For Underwater Photography: Sony RX100
I knew that I would want a compact camera for underwater photography. When I’m diving, trying to get quality photos, I don’t want to have a clunky device affixed to me or in my hand.
When I saw the Sony RX100, I almost dismissed it immediately. The tiny size the camera embodies is the smallest I’ve seen in photography. It comes with compact dimensions of four inches wide by 2 ½ inches tall, perfectly fit for my hands or pocket.
I love I can shift to 4K recording or a burst shooting setting. Plus, it comes with real-time tracking and eye auto focus. With these features, I get sharper, great quality underwater shots despite the challenges of shooting underwater.
Other top features that the Sony RX100 has are:
- ZEISS High-Resolution Lens
- 20.1 Megapixels
- CMOS Sensor
- Flip Touch Screen
- Steady Shot
This camera exceeded my expectations with many places to plug in external accessories. For instance, there is an external microphone jack and a bracket for an external flash, which can help me capture higher-quality sound when shooting underwater. Noted that these items are sold separately.
Every purchase includes various parts that make using the camera more straightforward and safer.
I love that there are multiple power options, including an AC adaptor and rechargeable battery packs. Also included in the box are:
- Micro USB Cable
- Wrist Safety Strap and Safety Strap Adapter
- Shooting Hand Grip
- External Flash Bracket
- Camera Cable Clamper
- Protective Pouch
While the items above may be enough for those taking standard pictures, other accessories can be valuable for underwater photography or action footage.
Sony makes various components you can purchase separately to boost the photo and video capabilities with the RX100. It’s better to identify what accessories you need and try it, if possible, before you buy.
Some of my favorite accessoriese include:
- Portable Power Bank
- Action Cam Accessory Pack
- External Flashes
- Camera Shoulder Strap, and More
It’s worth noting the Sony RX100 has won multiple awards since being on the market, including the TIPA World Awards in 2020 and an EISA Award for Best Product in Photo Innovation in 2019 and 2020.
Another perk I got from this device is it’s great compatibility. I can use it as an external webcam and hook it up directly to my laptop or tablet. With that, I think I got to save some money from buying an external webcam. Moreover, the software that the camera use to operate also has built-in integration for webinars and web conferencing, making the camera more convenient to operate.
Out of all the reviews for this camera, much of the positive feedback centers around how user-friendly it is.
With the camera’s compact size, there is limited space for buttons and switches. The good thing is that the operation is seamless and comes naturally to many users. Adding the extra accessories also comes easily due to the easy-to-access ports and brackets.
I’m sad to say that the Sony RX100 isn’t explicitly waterproof, I purchased a separate case for the camera that allows it to be submerged. Although the case isn’t cheap, pairing it with a high-quality camera gives me amazing underwater photos.
Overall, the Sony RX100 has many optimal features for underwater photography and action footage. This camera comes out on top when a smaller size is better for the shoot. However, don’t mistake its minimal dimensions for low-level quality. The RX100 offers some of the best technology, with top-notch detail in each image.
Best Underwater Camera For Scuba Diving: Paralenz Vaquita
Having the ability to explore and photograph deep water levels safely is optimal, many other features are also essential to scuba diving photography. I strongly suggest the Paralenz Vaquita if your main goal is to shoot videos and take photos while scuba diving
First, I love the unique barrel shape and handheld design. With these, I can maneuver the camera naturally while gliding through the water. I recommend using a bracket stabilizer to create a smoother shot. That said, the waterproof exterior helps me get the ideal shots without sacrificing the safety of my equipment.
The next feature I like about this camera is the extended battery life. With one charge, I managed to get up to three hours of underwater footage, meaning I don’t need to cut dives short to recharge. Although I can get a lengthy amount of footage, I noticed that the time frame decreases if I increase the quality. For example, I found that shooting 4K videos drained the battery in about an hour.
One more aspect I love about this camera is its built-in color correction. It gives each shot the perfect vibrancy. When shooting underwater, a significant amount of red comes into photos. However, the color correction technology evens the scale, and allows the true colors to come through in every shot. I like this feature because it gives my underwater footage a uniformed look.
Moreover, I am impressed that this camera is waterproof up to 1,150 feet, partially due to the marine grade aluminum exterior, making it more durable and more reliable than others.
I also prefer this camera because of the ultra wide lens with low light capabilities. This feature allows me to get close to my underwater subjects, making my underwater pictures more sharpness, and better colors.
Plus, the Paralenz Vaquita features some impressive premium features:
- Ocean Data Sharing
- Internal Microphone
- GPS Capabilities
- Weight of 7 Ounces
One thing to remember with this camera is that it is specially created for diving photography, although you can use it above water. I noticed that the quality of photos taken on land lacked the desired quality. Additionally, the body of the camera can quickly overheat when using above ground due to the aluminum material.
I absolutely loved that I could affix this camera to my standard scuba gear or snorkel easily and securely. With that, I can enjoy a hands-free experience.
The Paralenz Vaquita features various mounting options to accommodate other setups plus a range of other accessories, including:
- Protective Underwater Case
- Lithium Ion Battery
- USB-C Power Cable
- Additional Equipment Magnets
One thing I learned after using the Paralenz Vaquita for the first time is that you need to purchase memory storage separately. However, I found the Paralenz app could share footage and store it on my computer or cloud service. The app is free for Android and IOS.
One of the more unique elements is the GPS location tag. Once I upload footage to the app, I can share data with anybody, including researchers and other dive enthusiasts. Overall, Paralenz Vaquita is the best underwater camera for scuba diving.
Best Underwater Professional Camera: Canon EOS R6
Some cameras in the list are for casual use and others to use professionally. The Canon EOS R6 is a professional-grade camera for underwater photography.
When I started out with the camera, I appreciated some of the automatic functions, like focus and subject tracking features. I’m overjoyed with these features because they let me track my underwater subject around the frame, whether my framing changes or the subject moves. I can take better underwater photos with these features.
I love being able to switch between photos, high-speed shots, and 4K recording depending on my subject.
Additional premium features that I enjoyed with the EOS R6 include:
- DIGIC Processor
- Low Lighting Sensor
- Electronic and Manual Shutters
- External Accessory Jack
I also prefer the Canon EOS R6 because of the internal stabilizer. The internal stabilizer allows the correction of minor shakes and movements. I would note that I experienced some random juts and shakes while using this camera for diving or snorkeling. However, I love that the camera corrects up to eight stops when in use to deliver the best quality underwater footage.
Another vital element I like about this camera is its ability to connect seamlessly to WiFi and Bluetooth. With this technology, I was able to quickly transfer underwater video footage to my cloud storage. It’s also possible to upload it to a computer or share it on social media.
I am happy that the camera’s exterior is made of a durable material called polycarbonate resin, while the interior comes from magnesium alloy. These materials are not only corrosion-resistant, but also provide high temperature endurance. With these, I feel comfortable when photographing underwater.
Plus, an LCD screen sits on the back of the EOS R6, and I have access to two SD memory card slots for a significant amount of photo and video storage.
In addition to being water resistant without the waterproof body mount attached, the camera is dustproof. I like this feature because if dust comes within the vicinity of the body, I can utilize a self-cleaning feature to rid the various crevices of any particles.
While the Canon EOS R6 doesn’t have as many photo filters as other cameras on this list, this is primarily because photographers will more commonly transfer photos from a professional device like this to a computer. From there, they will edit with special software. This step reduces the need for internal filters and overlays.
That said, I appreciate the filter and overlay options. These include:
- Professional Portrait
- Wide Lens Landscape
- Neutral Color Overlay
- Monochrome Filter
Another feature of this camera is the white balance adjustment. I appreciate being able to manipulate this setting to get the look I like. There are several choices, but my favorite options include:
- Color Light Temperature
- Day Light Standard
- Cloudy Standard
- Ambient Light Priority
Many features make this camera attractive. While it comes with a label of being water resistant, it is only fully waterproof for deep water levels with an extra housing case.
Additionally, the Canon EOS R6 doesn’t come with a lens; my purchase only included the camera body. While I was still able to get underwater photos without an extra lens, the quality and zoom weren’t as high-quality.
On the downside, though the Canon EOS R6 is a professional-grade camera, there are a lot of features and settings that require training in order to work effectively.
While it’s possible to use the camera as a beginner, I didn’t find it as user-friendly as some of the other options. Prepare for a bit of a learning curve if you’re not comfortable with so many settings.
Therefore, if you are new to underwater photography, take a class or find an online tutorial before using a camera of this style for the first time. In summary, Canon EOS R6 is the best professional camera for underwater photography.
Best Action Camera For Underwater Photography: GoPro Hero10 Black
GoPro created a line of cameras that were specific to action sports. They have built on their original model to have even better technology and a more durable exterior. With the latest implementations, divers can enjoy a fast-paced activity without the risk of losing or damaging their cameras.
The GoPro Hero10 is the best action camera for underwater photography. It comes with a budget-friendly price tag and a compact body. However, even with its small size, I was impressed by the 5K video quality and 23-megapixel photo quality. With these features, I can create more sharper, clearer, more realistic looking underwater video footage.
As a versatile camera, the GoPro Hero10 can affix to over 30 mounts. With that, I can be more creative and capture unique shots. And the number of experiences I can record underwater is endless!
I am very impressed that this camera can shoot in various modes, including slow motion. The good thing about this model is it comes with the option to live stream. For example, I found it useful for facilitating a presentation. It was easy to set the camera to stream my activities.
One component that I appreciate about this camera is the Hindsight feature. With this amenity, the camera records up to 30 seconds before I hit the button. The addition of this feature means that there are fewer times that I miss the mark in catching the peak of action.
I’m very satisfied with the LCD screen with on-screen photo editing capabilities. It’s convenient and I can work with each shot immediately instead of scrapping an entire outing.
In addition to the items above, I noticed that the camera has multiple other premium features. These features receive high user ratings and reviews. Some of these items include:
- Music Auto-Sync
- Schedule Capture
- HyperSmooth Stabilization
- GP2 Processor
I recommend purchasing an SD memory card before using the camera. It doesn’t come with one, and you need the memory card to use the camera.
I also recommend looking into some of the mods you can add-on to maximize the camera’s performance. Some of my favorites include:
- Maximum Lens Mod – creates a wide-angle lens
- Media Mod – consists of an external microphone
- Display Mod – adds more screen space
- Light Mod – for extra lighting
With this brand and model, you can access the product’s specific app. Within the app, you can enjoy unlimited cloud storage, extended warranties, and discounts on future purchases. To gain access to these features, you must purchase a GoPro subscription separately from your camera purchase.
This impressive camera comes with the numerous accessories. Be selective with the accessories, and only buy the ones that best fits your needs.
These accessories include:
- Camera Carrying Case
- Rechargeable Battery
- Curved Universal Adhesive Mounts
- Camera Mounting Buckle
- Mounting Thumb Screw
- USB-C Charging Cable
While the GoPro Hero10 is waterproof, it isn’t suitable for deep water. However, I found it delivered decent photos in shallower waters, up to 33 feet.
Many things make this camera a top choice for action sports. While underwater photography doesn’t always fall into that realm, GoPro has made it easy.
Overall, if you’re looking for a great action camera and don’t need deep water capability, the GoPro Hero10 is an excellent option.
Best Nikon Camera For Underwater Photography: Nikon D850
As another professional-grade camera option, the Nikon D850 has a series of features that rise above the rest on the list.
Starting with the camera quality, which comes in at almost 46 megapixels, and rounding it out with the Expeed 5 Image Processor, you will have the ultimate photo souvenirs of your underwater photography endeavors.
Like the Canon EOS R6, the Nikon D850 is sold as the camera body only. If you want any of the additional lenses available, you will need to purchase them separately. However, the body alone takes phenomenal pictures, and I was impressed that I was able to take a timelapse in 8K video resolution.
Like the Canon, Nikon offers an underwater housing accessory. With that, I can take this high-end camera to capture my favorite sea life.
Power is the name of the game for this handy little camera. I hate running out of battery power and having to wait on a recharge. I like this camera features a rechargeable battery with quick charge capabilities to make life easier.
Many professional photographers use the Nikon D850 when shooting underwater. With so many premium features, it’s a natural choice.
In addition to the above, this model has the following features:
- Image Sensor Cleaning
- Flash Sync Speed
- Interval Timer
- Multiple Playback Features
- Bluetooth and WiFi Connectivity
Another excellent addition I love about this model is that it comes ready to house many different accessories. If I want to add an external flash or microphone, the availability is there, and all I need to do is plug the items into the camera’s body.
I also love filters and focus options. This camera features plenty of options to meet any needs. My favorites focus options include:
Taking things a step further, I appreciate being able to adjust white balance settings to enhance images. Some of the best options include:
- Shade Balance
- Color Temperature Between 2500K and 10000K
I also appreciate that Nikon offers many accessories to boost my underwater photography and videography skills. Selecting an external microphone will prove valuable for those who want to add clear audio. Many want to use external flashes, which are quite suitable for underwater use. Moreover, you can get cases, straps, remotes, and wireless transmitters to fit your personality and needs.
One downside of this camera is the interface isn’t user-friendly for beginners. Additionally, this model is waterproof but isn’t appropriate for significant depths.
The Nikon D850 is a top-notch camera that has many favorable features. While it’s not intended for beginners, it’s a camera that one can grow into by learning the different elements and settings over time.
Those who use this model routinely love the clarity and detail the underwater images and videos provide. As an extra perk, the underwater housing lets you get crystal-clear pictures while diving.
Best Canon Camera For Underwater Photography: Canon SL3
I landed on the Canon SL3 when I sought a professional-grade camera that was lightweight, budget-friendly, and suitable for underwater photography.
The technical specs aren’t as high as cameras like the Nikon D850, coming in at 24 megapixels. However, the user-friendly features made it easier to manage than some of the more complex models.
I loved that this camera came with a lot of features like the other cameras, including auto focus abilities, a touch screen, and timelapse video recording. However, it also has some unique features, like the direct printing option. It’s nice to print a copy without going through a computer since I can send pictures to a WiFi-connected printer through the camera’s LCD screen.
With Bluetooth connectivity, I can access many additional features and tools that automatically transfer my underwater photos from the camera to another device.
When shooting videos, I can establish a high level of quality with the 4K resolution integrated into the operating system.
When recording, I can select from various aspect ratios to find whatever specificity reflects my current needs. When I save my underwater footage, I can choose between multiple extensions, including .RAW.
In addition to the items listed above, other premium features lend themselves to expert-level underwater photography:
- Low Pass Filter
- Noise Reduction
- Exposure Control
As noted with some of the other cameras, I love working with the various overlays and filters. The Canon SL3 doesn’t disappoint with a selection of standard and unique filters. Take it artsy with an embossed overlay or water painting effect. Accommodate extra bodies with Group Photo mode or capture the ultimate action shot in Sports Mode.
Other popular filters include:
- Fish-Eye Effect
- Candlelight Mode
- Toy Camera Effect
- Miniature Effect
Like the other high-end cameras on the list, I recommend purchasing an underwater cover if you want to go into deep water for pictures. While this is considered a professional-grade camera, more user-friendly features are included in its makeup than the others on the list offer.
Noted that you can purchase this model in black or white, but you only receive the body, as lenses are a separate cost.
Another good thing is the Canon SL3 also has optional add-on accessories to boost my underwater photo and video options without a lot of adjustments or configuring. It’s easy to plug them in and start using them immediately.
I recommend purchasing an external microphone to pick up more precise sound, if you are planning to create content with audio.
Many divers prefer this camera over some of the other professional-grade options on the market, primarily due to the ease of use.
I found this camera easier to learn and master than some of the others. Overall, the Canon SL3 is one of the least frustrating options for those beginning their underwater photography adventure.
Best Sony Camera For Underwater Photography: Sony RX100 VII
Sony owns a great deal of technology that sits at the top of the rankings list. Their cameras are no exception. Many experienced photographers use Sony products daily due to their ease of use and attention to detail.
The first thing I love about the Sony RX100 VII is that it functions like a high-end camera without overly complex features. Instead of having external lenses and flashes, everything is built into the camera when you buy it from the store.
At first glance, the Sony RX100 VII has many of the same features as other cameras on the list, including auto focus, eye detection, 4K capabilities, and continuous shooting. You get 20 megapixels and some helpful focus modes, but there are some standout features that set it apart from others in the class.
One of the most remarkable features I like about the Sony RX100 VII is the expansive screen on the back. With this dashboard, I can review all the photos and videos, and adjust the internal settings with the click of a button. I also found it easy to add overlays and filters to my images to see if they enhance the photo.
In addition to the above, several other premium features that make me love this camera include:
- High-Resolution Zoom Lens
- Real-Time Tracking
- Multiple Drive Modes
- Light Metering
- Noise Reduction
I like how the compact Sony RX100 VII fits anywhere and the affordable price. While the camera is more expensive than other point-and-shoots on the market, I don’t have to buy accessories, like external lenses and flashes.
The Sony RX100 VII is water resistant, but I found that it works best with an underwater mount. Many brands produce cases that fit this particular camera. Additionally, Sony carries a few different styles that fit the need.
On the downside, some of the more desirable features are unavailable when used for underwater photography. Elements like the advanced zoom capabilities aren’t usable in such conditions. However, those who use the camera for its video option will be able to secure quality underwater footage.
Integrated into the Sony RX100 VII is a variety of creative modes I can access directly through the dashboard screen. I found it easy to alter photos to enhance various aspects for a cleaner or more artistic photo. Some of my favorite filters to play with include:
- Style Box Feature
- Deep Color
- Sunset Mode
- Autumn Leaves Effect
In addition to the various creative mode elements, the Sony RX100 VII has a range of white balance settings to match my image style. It’s worth a mention white balance will significantly impact the quality of your underwater photos.
Although this camera is highly useful for beginners and those new to underwater photography, I found it beneficial to do my research. If you want to make the most of this camera, it helps to read the instruction booklet for guidance on what each feature offers and how to use it.
All in all, if you are looking for a simple and compact camera to capture underwater sea life, I recommend the Sony RX100 VII. It delivers high-quality underwater images and videos.
Best Mirrorless Camera For Underwater Photography: Sony A7 IV
There are many benefits to using a mirrorless camera for underwater photography, including quieter functionality, faster shooting speeds, and lighter weight.
The Sony A7 IV is a mirrorless camera sold in two different ways. Sony sells the camera on its own or as a bundle with an external lens. The price points vary slightly to account for the addition of the external lens.
The first thing I love about the Sony A7 IV is its image quality. This mirrorless camera rounds out at 33 megapixels, which offers a high level of detail in underwater photos. I was able to take a decent 4K video quality and it’s possible to live stream the shots.
Inside the camera, you will find a BIONZ XR image processor, giving you a quality that is 8x the amount you get in other processors. I like this feature because it offers excellent value for money.
I’m very satisfied with the large LCD screen with touchscreen capabilities for easy use. This feature makes the camera more user-friendly and convenient to operate as well.
I found the real-time autofocus and internal image stabilization features extra helpful when shooting underwater. These features helps me capture excellent underwater shots of fast-moving subjects.
When it comes to the other premium features of the Sony A7 IV, I found the following useful for shooting underwater:
- Noise Reduction
- Anti-Dust System
- Multiple Recording Formats
- Two SD Memory Card Slots
- Metering Sensor
Another perk I like about the Sony A7 IV is that I was able to rotate the touchscreen monitor on the back of the camera to view it from the other side. I can also relocate the screen to the side if I need a more accessible viewpoint. I enjoy this feature. With that, I can shoot with different angles that usually wouldn’t be possible with a non-tiltable screen camera. Additionally, I can be more creative with my underwater videos and photos. It also gives me the freedom and other extra benefits as well.
I also found it convenient to adjust the A7 IV mechanical and electrical shutter and frames per second speed of 10. This feature is important to me because, with fast shutter speed, I can capture clear and sharp underwater photos without any blurring.
Many professional photographers like this amazing camera because of the high-end materials that make up the camera’s body. Using quality materials doesn’t just look chic, it also makes the equipment more durable for extended use.
One downside to purchasing a mirrorless camera is that the technology is costly. The price point of this camera is at the same level as the high-end professional devices. Therefore, I would not consider this device a budget-friendly option for those looking for an excellent camera for underwater photography.
Another downside to consider is that the A7 IV and other Sony Alpha series of cameras, have water-sealing capabilities and are not regarded as water-resistant or waterproof. I was able to use this camera in short bursts underwater, but not for scuba diving. It’s essentially limited to wading in water and taking a quick snap, unless I upgrade to an underwater case and mount for deep dives.
In terms of accessories, you can purchase many different accessories for the Sony A7 IV. Some of my favorite items include:
- Full Frame Wide-Angle Zoom G Master Lens
- Lithium Z Battery Charger
- Full Frame Constant Aperture Lens
- External Boom Microphone
- External Control Flash Units
Overall, users of the Sony A7 IV appreciate the mirrorless technology and high-quality processor. However, you need to take steps to make it an optimal camera for underwater photography.
Best Full Frame Camera For Underwater Photography: Canon 5D Mark IV
Many people look for autofocus as one of the features, but what divers appreciate greatly about the Canon 5D Mark IV is that there are over 60 points for autofocus. With this extensive amount, the level of detail in my underwater photos is crisp and vibrant.
This specific model has an ISO range that goes up to 102,000 and a frames per second rate of 7. Having a wide ISO range allows me to adapt to various underwater settings. Deeper dives and cloudy days require higher ISO to allow more light in, and this camera delivers well.
One aspect I love about this camera is its intelligent tracking. With this technology, 5D Mark IV can pinpoint various underwater subjects in the frame and track them to secure a quality photo. I like this feature because it brings me a lot more control of my underwater photos without needing to pan for focus.
The lightweight, touch panel design is convenient, but the Canon 5D Mark IV has many unique features. Some of my favorites include:
- Full Frame Sensor of 30.4 Megapixels
- Mirrored Vibration Controlling System
- Anti-flicker Function
- Electromagnetic Shutter Release
It should be noted that the Canon 5D Mark IV is water-resistant but not waterproof. For underwater photography, you will need to purchase a separate case that seals the camera in thick and durable plastic. With extra cases, you can securely utilize your camera in deep depths.
Another top feature that I find advantageous about this camera is its direct printing capabilities. With the touch of a button, I can send my images to a connected printer without utilizing a computer or tablet, making things convenient for me.
While this high-end camera doesn’t have as many customization options as some of the others, it has some fun specializations. Aside from three custom presets and traditional options, you can choose from the following:
- Wide Landscape
- Fine Level Detailing
- Neutral Overlay
- Faithful Filter
- Monochrome Filter
I like that I can protect and enhance my purchase with a range of Canon accessories, including high-resolution lenses.
As a professional-grade camera, you only get the body with purchase, meaning the accessories cost extra. It’s best to identify what accessories you need most before your purchase. I also found that accessories makes this camera more versatile for people who do more than underwater photography.
High-quality cameras like the Canon 5D Mark IV allow users to get multimedia memories of all their adventures. While Canon didn’t create this camera with beginners in mind, I didn’t find it unbelievably difficult to learn. I read up on the camera a bit and sought some guidance, but mostly, I relied on trial and error to learn the system.
Overall, choose the Canon 5D Mark IV If you’re looking for a professional-grade camera for underwater photography. This decision is especially sound if you’re looking for a full-frame camera with multiple premium features for underwater photography.
Best DSLR Camera For Underwater Photography: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
This Canon camera resides under the same umbrella as the last option because they are both parts of the same line. However, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II has a few features that deviate from others in the series. Yet it still earns top marks for the best DSLR option for underwater photography.
Another element that sets this camera apart from the other models of the Canon brand is that it comes at a lower price. I got all the features that matter most but with significant cost savings.
I was pleased that in addition to the camera operating at an optimal DSLR level, it includes full-frame functionality to get the whole image I want in my underwater shoot.
For those hoping to expand their skills to underwater photography, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II can do so with a waterproof case or mount. The camera offers a few notable features to get the perfect shot:
- 26.2 Megapixel Camera
- ISO Range of 40,000
- Dual Pixel Autofocus Functionality
- High Definition Videos
- Extended Viewfinder
On the downside, though the Canon EOS 6D Mark II has autofocus like the Canon 5D Mark IV, it doesn’t have the same number of points. Instead of having over 60, this one features 45 points that come through in the image. It accentuates the various details and elements that make an image vibrant and incredible.
On the wall,, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a quality camera. It functions like a professional-grade but offers many advantages for beginners. I feel that the easy-to-use interface and automatic features make it easier to capture striking and captivating underwater photos!
Best Deeper Diving Compact Camera For Underwater Photography: Nikon Coolpix W300
What you have yet to see on this list is a camera that is both waterproof and freezeproof. However, that’s what the Nikon Coolpix W300 offers. I love how this compact little camera can perform in some incredible settings, including freezing temperatures.
Nikon is a leading name in photography, and the Coolpix W300 proves why they are a force in the industry.
I found this camera to have all the great features I wanted in terms of operating system. It also includes some creative options that let you work wonders with underwater images.
For example, the camera even has a Creative Mode to let me add special effects from the LCD screen. I like this feature because it allows me to creatively adjust the look of my underwater image in-camera, including the ability to mimic a fisheye lens, miniaturize the scene and more.
It almost feels like Nikon developers made this camera with scuba diving in mind. Therefore, it can withstand the deepest levels of water I experience, with a small and lightweight size that I can easily carry in my hand.
I appreciate the various accessories to help improve the photo and video quality, including handheld mounts that allow me to record video while gliding through the water.
Additionally, I recommend the SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight that serves as an external flash and strobe light to capture well-lit photographs underwater. I like this accessory because it takes my underwater pictures to the next level by giving me perfectly lit pictures every time.
When buying the Nikon Coolpix W300, you can choose between three different colors. There are no lenses that you need to buy separately, as the camera is ready to go right out of the box. What’s good is you have a 5x optical zoom and 4K high-resolution video within the various features.
I appreciate the shockproof, dustproof design and extended battery life for a more versatile camera. In addition to the above, there are many other premium-style features that I enjoy, including:
- Data Recording
- Automatic Photo Backup
- Built-in Altimeter
- Low Light Sensor
Nikon understands that when participating in active excursions, you don’t have the option to stop and charge your device. Therefore, they provide an extended-life battery that lasts over two hours. This duration allows you to get all the shots and save some money from buying new batteries every time.
Another perk I love using the Nikon Coolpix W300 is receiving access to the Nikon Snapbridge app. Grab my mobile device to quickly transfer photos to my mobile device and automatically back them up to cloud storage.
I appreciate the high-end features packed into the compact Coolpix W300 design. The durable materials and action-oriented attributes make this model the perfect fit for those with an active lifestyle.
Best Rugged Camera For Underwater Camera: Ricoh WG-70
While the Nikon that I highlighted above offers optimal protection for active endeavors, the Ricoh WG-70 takes things further by providing a camera exterior with multiple grip levels. These secure areas allow me to control my shoot better and keep hold of the camera underwater.
The Ricoh WG-70 comes in at a low price point. It’s a powerful and durable camera for a budget-friendly price.
I found the WG-70 capable in extreme weather conditions as an all-weather camera, like turbulent water during whitewater rafting and icy winds while skiing.
When shooting underwater, I can quickly adapt the image to account for changes in light. With this feature, when I photograph events at the beach, I can alter the brightness to take the light intensity down, and offer more prominent detail on the other subjects in the photo.
I was thrilled that the Ricoh WG-70 is not only waterproof, but also shockproof and freezeproof like the Nikon. It gives me peace of mind knowing my camera can handle the underwater conditions, even if it gets chilly or jostled about.
I also like the Ricoh WG-70 has a specific mode that you can use underwater. It elevates the natural shades and colors to provide details in the objects, like texture.
The Ricoh WG-70 isn’t a premium or professional-grade camera, but many features make it a quality option for underwater photography. These include:
- Outdoor View Settings
- Macro Photo Filter
- 25 Shooting Modes
- Intelligent Zoom
When you purchase the Ricoh WG-70, you get all the necessary accessories. At purchase, you can select between two color options to fit your taste. In the product box, you will also find the following:
- Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
- Battery Power Adapter
- USB Camera Cable
- Camera Neck Strap
- Macro Photo Stand
I would suggest picking up the additional batteries as accessories. While it’s an extra purchase, it’s nice to extend the use when underwater or in challenging and frigid conditions. Additionally, the waterproof remote control is convenient and lets you shoot from a distance.
While the Nikon Coolpix is a great option for deep water pictures without buying extra accessories, the Ricoh is phenomenal when you are in rough terrain, or you need extra grip for challenging shots.
Both cameras are great brands and models. The choice just boils down to what your greater need is in terms of photo quality and security.
Best Still Images Camera For Underwater Camera: Panasonic Lumix TS30
If you are looking for a fashionable camera that delivers precise photos, consider the Panasonic Lumix TS30.
This camera is built for toughness. It offers the ability to partake in rough activity without worry. Plus, the sleek exterior looks classic and stylish.
I love that the Lumix TS30 comes with everything I need, although I don’t love having to use software to work with my camera. I don’t have to download from another site or space to get started.
The Panasonic Lumix TS30 is best suited for still images rather than video recordings because of the higher-end features associated with photographs. I have tried still images for myself and was amused at how clear and sharp the images were from this camera!
Although I was still able to capture some video footage, but the quality isn’t as impressive as other cameras.
For a small camera, the Lumix TS30 includes many key features, like the LCD monitor with on-screen editing plus a built-in flash and microphone.
Some of the other standout features include:
- 4x Optical Zoom
- Multiple Focus Levels
- Full Resolution Continuous Shooting
- Intelligent Light Metering
- Digital Red Eye Correction
I’m very satisfied with the various modes within the Lumix TS30’s operating system, allowing me to add creative elements to my videos and photos.
I can further edit them on a computer, tablet, or mobile device, these modes allow me to add filters and overlays directly from the LCD screen on the back of the camera.
Some of my favorite creative modes include:
- Retro Filter
- Toy Effect Filter
- Scenery and Night Scenery Filter
- Starry Sky Filter
Many users love the Panasonic Lumix TS30 for its compact and stylish design and features conducive to outdoor activity. The multitude of features, internal modes, and filters make it easier to snap.
This camera is suitable for underwater photography. However, I found it didn’t handle the same depth levels as other cameras on the list. The Lumix TS30 extends to 26 feet below the water while also being shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof.
I found this camera to be one of the more versatile options on the list with a range of subjects and settings available. It comes with many accessories and some small perks. It’s ideal for shooting underwater still images. However, videographers might skip this one since it’s not as impressive for movies.
As I set about reviewing the cameras I listed above, as well as some that didn’t make the list, I had a firm mindset. I knew I wanted a high-quality camera that would get the images I wanted while being durable enough to last a long time. Another critical element was being budget-friendly as well as compact.
Although my search took time, I found the camera that fulfilled all my needs. The Olympus Tough TG-6 is newer to the market, but it has many valuable traits that I couldn’t pass up. Between the competitive price point, the compact size, and the many premium features, I knew it would check off every box on my list.
After my first underwater photography shoot with the Olympus Tough TG-6, I could confirm that my decision was sound.
Looking through the videos and pictures I took while on a dive, I was in awe that a camera could capture the various things I came across. The footage made me feel like I was back in the water again; the pictures were abundantly clear, and the videos brought out the details of everything I encountered.
If you are searching for the perfect underwater camera, I highly recommend the Olympus Tough TG-6. However, if that doesn’t suit you, there are 14 other options that I list above that are also high-quality and have underwater capabilities. You can find these cameras online and also through various retailers.