Table of Contents

12 Best Underwater Camera for Scuba Diving in 2022

The best underwater cameras are essential for professional photographers to record stunning videos and photos below the surface.

A quick search on google will give you many options, proving that the need to buy an underwater camera has been increasing more and more. Nevertheless, choosing the right model can be challenging due to the market’s complexity and a wide range of brands.

To save time, I have assembled a list containing the best underwater camera for scuba diving, numbering up to 12. Also, I have attached a buying guide with useful tips that you should not skip reading if you really want to make the best purchase.

Table of Contents

My Top Picks

Underwater cameras are essential for any scuba divers who want to capture high-quality videos and images. If you are looking for quick answers, you are in the right section. Below is a list of the best underwater cameras for scuba diving and their key features to consider.

  • Best Overall: GoPro HERO8 Black
    “hree levels of stabilization, foldable fingers at the base, expandable mods, digital lenses, super lightweight and compact.”
  • Best Budget: Sony RX100 VII
    “igh-magnification zoom lens, AI real-time tracking and touch tracking, Interval Shooting mode, Movie Edit feature, captures fast-moving objects.”
  • Best for Snorkeling: Olympus Tough TG-6
    “nti-fog design, 8x zoom lenses, a built-in changeable macro system, underwater microscope shooting mode, ideal for cold diving.”
  • Best Professional: Nikon D850
    “ikon’s First Back-side Illuminated Full-Frame Sensor, Silent Photography feature, Focus Peaking function, great flexibility, incredible battery performance.”
  • Best Underwater Action Camera: Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
    “.75-inch screen, G-Metrix technology, built-in GPS, altimeter, and compass, perfect for scuba diving and various outdoor sports.”
  • Best Underwater Compact Camera: Panasonic LUMIX LX10
    “ptical Image Stabilizer, manual lens-mounted control ring, supports Wi-Fi connectivity, Depth From Defocus feature, allows divers to control exposure.”
  • Best for Beginners: SeaLife Micro 3.0
    “hree digital underwater color correction filters, manual white balance available, 64GB internal memory, long battery life.”
  • Best for Kids: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
    “ual DIGIC 6 Image Processors, Intelligent Viewfinder II, ergonomic design, robust construction, ideal for still and fast-moving photography.”
  • Best Value for the Money: Sony Alpha 7 II
    “nterchangeable lens, 5-axis image stabilization, WhiteMagic technology, Supports near field communication (NFC).”
  • Best for Murky Water: Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
    “IGIC 8 Image processor, Vertical Video feature, Compatible with USB charging, HDMI output, Ideal for vlogging, function as a webcam.”

Comparison Chart

Except for luck, getting the finest underwater camera is not straightforward, especially when you are a first-timer. Every item poses the best buy until you purchase it and realize that you have made a wrong decision.

Hence, I’ve collected the top 12 best underwater cameras for scuba diving that are currently available on the market for your reference. Besides, I attached the following comparison table to furnish you with all the swift details.

Underwater CameraMax Video ResolutionMax Photo ResolutionWhite Balance ModesMaximum Depth Rating
GoPro HERO8 Black – Best Overall 4K 60 fps12 MP33 feet (without a housing)
Sony RX100 VII – Best Budget 4K20.1 MP200 feet (with Fantasea Housing) 330 feet (with Nauticam Housing)
Olympus Tough TG-6 – Best for Snorkeling
(Editor’s Choice)
4K 120 fps12 MP350 feet (without a housing) 150 feet with a housing)
Nikon D850 – Best Professional 4K45.7 MP1
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Best Underwater Action Camera 4K 30 fps12 MP131.234 feet (with a housing)
Panasonic LUMIX LX10 – Best Underwater Compact Camera 4K 30 fps20.1 MP9
SeaLife Micro 3.0 – Best for Beginners 4K 30 fps/ 1080p HD 120 fps16 MP7200 feet (with a housing)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II – Best for Kids 1080p20.2 MP1
Sony Alpha 7 II – Best Value for the Money 1080p 120 fps24.3 MP2
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III – Best for Murky Water 4K 30p/ Full HD 120p20.1 MP1200 feet (with a housing)
Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition4K 60 fps516.4 feet (without a housing)
Nikon COOLPIX W3004K16 MP1100 feet (with a housing)

The 12 Best Underwater Camera for Scuba Diving Reviews

All scuba divers want their cameras to last a while before replacement. And I guess you are not an exception. An item with the finest quality not only gives you wonderful experiences but also ensures your utmost safety.

However, only a few choices available on the market will fit so well since your needs and diving skills are different from others. For that reason, let’s delve into comprehensive reviews of the top 12 best underwater cameras for scuba diving below to get accurate decision-making.

1. GoPro HERO8 Black

(Best Overall)

GoPro HERO8 Black

There are some outstanding benefits that scuba divers should not skip the GoPro HERO8 Black. First of all, it comes with three levels of stabilization – On, High and Boost. Therefore, there is no doubt that this camera provides you with the widest shooting angles and smoothest videos.

Particularly designed for underwater use, the GoPro HERO8 Black includes a streamlined design and pocketable size to facilitate your movements in the water. Besides, it is equipped with lots of folding fingers at the base to use different mounts.

High durability is another advantage of the GoPro HERO8 Black. Its lens can be twice as impact-resistant as previous versions. The camera also has a new digital lens which enables you to frame your diving shots at ease.

Key Features:

  • Three levels of stabilization
  • Foldable fingers at the base
  • Expandable mods
  • Digital lenses
  • Night Lapse Video function
  • Horizon leveling feature
  • Super lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use underwater
  • The digital lenses make it simple to frame shots
  • Suitable for different mounts
  • Offers excellent image quality
  • Support RAW shooting capability
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Its image sensor provides lower resolution than most underwater cameras in this list
  • No HDMI port
  • No manual white balance is available

Product Specifications:

Sony RX100 VII

Despite having a compact body, the Sony RX100 VII is constructed with numerous features and functions to deliver stunning underwater footage. Firstly, it comes with a 20.1 MP sensor that ensures superior quality.

Besides, the high-magnification zoom lens is engineered to maximize resolution and sharpness even when you take telephotos. Image stabilization is added to this camera to create smooth shots according to your movements.

If you want to help viewers feel realistic and fascinating as if they are in the scenes, I advise inserting marine creatures’ sounds by using the external microphone jack. Notably, capturing footage from high and low angles is effortless with an LCD screen that tilts up to 180 degrees.

Key Features:

  • High-magnification zoom lens
  • AI real-time tracking and touch tracking
  • Interval Shooting mode
  • Image stabilization
  • Movie Edit feature
  • 1.0-type stacked CMOS image sensor
  • The BIONZ X image-processing engine
  • It offers telephoto capability, although it has a small size
  • Supports huge zoom range
  • The touch-to-operate function is available
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Be able to capture fast-moving objects
  • Suitable for macro shooting
  • 20.1 MP sensor can deliver premium image quality
  • The image stabilization reduces hand shake’s effects
  • A microphone jack allows the camera to capture audio while recording video
  • Requires additional cost for underwater housings
  • Not ideal for professional photographers
  • Difficult to take pictures in the low-light conditions

Product Specifications:

Olympus Tough TG-6

With a compact design and intuitive interface, it is no doubt that the Olympus Tough TG-6 is one of the best underwater cameras for inexperienced divers. Besides, the model also is constructed with excellent water resistance, making it suitable for scuba diving and snorkeling.

The Olympus Tough TG-6 includes various features for capturing videos and images, such as a wide-angle F2.0 lens, a high-speed CMOS sensor, and four macro shooting modes. The camera can snap crisp and vivid pictures with great ease, thanks to that.

In addition, despite being a lightweight and compact camera, the Olympus Tough TG-6 also has a rugged and robust construction, giving it the ability to operate well in all conditions. However, one of the item’s downsides is its poorer image quality than DSLRs.

Key Features:

  • Anti-fog design
  • Integrated with 8x zoom
  • Back-illuminated sensor
  • A built-in changeable macro system
  • A high-resolution F2.0 lens
  • Underwater microscope shooting mode
  • Be able to dustproof, shockproof, and crushproof
  • Designed to withstand regardless of your diving environments
  • Ideal for cold diving
  • Simple to take photos in low-light conditions
  • Super-lightweight
  • It can be used with various kinds of accessories
  • Come with durable construction
  • The ability to zoom up to eight times enables you to capture aquatic scenes with sharp details
  • Its price tag is much lower than GoPro cameras
  • Only some functions can be changed manually
  • Not perfect choice for advanced underwater videographers

Product Specifications:

Nikon D850

Most divers praise that the Nikon D850 is a successful improved version of the famous DSLR series. With a 45.7 MP sensor, this model can enable you to capture fast motions in high resolution as well as exceptional sharpness.

The autofocus feature combined with NIKKOR lenses makes it simple to take pictures in darkness. Meanwhile, the Focus Peaking function will allow for manual changes. Bluetooth connectivity is another upside of the Nikon D850.

When you travel, it is convenient for you to share stunning photos of underwater worlds with your friends or family members, thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy. Moreover, this function is designed to operate without consuming much battery and remotely control the camera.

Key Features:

  • Nikon’s First Back-side Illuminated Full-Frame Sensor
  • Tilting touchscreen
  • EXPEED 5 processor
  • Silent Photography feature
  • NIKKOR lenses
  • Focus Peaking function
  • Compatible with Nikon’s SnapBridge app
  • Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Its 45.7 MP sensor offers you crisp photos with extraordinary resolution
  • Its design gives great flexibility
  • You can focus manually, thanks to the Focus Peaking function
  • Designed to bring divers incredible battery performance
  • Easy to synchronize your images and photos to electronic devices via Bluetooth connectivity
  • Suitable for remote shooting
  • Because it is a DSLR camera, it is a little heavy
  • Bulkier than action and compact cameras

Product Specifications:

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

Having the smallest screen on this list, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is one of the finest choices for scuba divers and adventure lovers. This camera can capture spectacular footage thanks to a high-resolution lens and 3-axis image stabilization.

Meanwhile, the G-Metrix technology is another attractive benefit of the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 since it constantly tracks your data like speed, elevation, and heart rate. Based on those statistics, you can make calculations to improve performance and set up a workout plan.

Key Features:

  • Built-in GPS, altimeter, and compass
  • 1.75-inch screen
  • Voice control function
  • 3-axis image stabilization
  • G-Metrix technology
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Perfect for not only scuba diving but also various outdoor sports
  • Be able to capture performance data
  • Operate well with or without a waterproof housing
  • Take underwater footage by using voice commands
  • The 3-axis image stabilization ensures high-quality photos and videos
  • Its small screen may be difficult to see
  • It requires a protective case for deep diving

Product Specifications:

Panasonic LUMIX LX10

Point-and-shoot cameras often impress divers with their compact size and ease of use, and thus, they are always top priorities for travelers. And the Panasonic LUMIX LX10 is one of the most popular choices due to its amazing features as well as particular capabilities.

At a glance, this model comes with a portable design, meaning that it is small enough to be stored neatly in your travel BCD’s pocket. It supports USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity as well. Therefore, you can transfer fabulous underwater footage to mobile devices at ease anywhere.

This feature helps to increase your camera’s memory capacity and, at the same time, avoid accidental losses. Furthermore, the ability to recharge through USB ports will bring you many conveniences when traveling.

Additionally, offering inferior image quality is a great disadvantage of compact cameras. Nevertheless, this does not exist in the Panasonic LUMIX LX10. This item is integrated with a manual lens-mounted control ring, enabling divers to adjust exposure like DSLRs.

Besides, the LUMIX LX10 can create top-quality photos in super-sharp detail thanks to a built-in 20.1 sensor and the four-time resolution of standard Full HD. The Optical Image Stabilizer is another bonus point since it makes the camera automatically correct handshake.

Key Features:

  • MOS sensor
  • 3x zoom ILUX lens
  • Optical Image Stabilizer
  • 180-degree selfie rear LCD
  • A manual lens-mounted control ring
  • USB 2.0 micro-B and micro-HDMI type D
  • Supports Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Depth From Defocus feature
  • Comes with a USB charging
  • Effortless to connect this camera to your electronic devices such as phones or laptops, thanks to different port types
  • The Optical Image Stabilizer helps to enhance smoothness and improve image quality by reducing lens shake
  • Designed to take selfie photos effortlessly
  • It allows divers to control exposure
  • Perfect for traveling
  • Be able to create a 4K still image as well as deliver excellent video quality
  • Its straightforward design is ideal for beginners
  • No manual flash control
  • Not support macro shooting
  • Requires a protective case to go deeper
  • Not the cheapest underwater camera on the market

Product Specifications:

SeaLife Micro 3.0

The SeaLife Micro 3.0 is the best option for novice divers because of its ergonomic design and intuitive display. The camera includes large piano key buttons, allowing you to control and navigate easily, even with one hand.

Unlike most compact underwater cameras, the SeaLife Micro 3.0 provides divers with a manual white balance. This enables you to adjust particular settings to suit different light conditions and diving environments. From that, it is easier for you to capture stunning photos.

Besides, the camera is integrated with three digital underwater color correction filters plus an electronic image stabilization. These features minimize blur from a handshake, and hence, your video can get the utmost smoothness.

I love using the SeaLife Micro 3.0 since it comes with no O-rings. This means that the model is permanently sealed and so effortless to maintain. However, I don’t particularly appreciate that this camera’s image sensor offers limited resolution, which seems to give inferior image quality.

Key Features:

  • Five scene modes
  • Three digital underwater color correction filters
  • Manual white balance available
  • 64GB internal memory
  • Fully rubber body
  • 100-degree wide-angle lens
  • Effortless to operate thanks to large piano key buttons
  • Designed to provide you with easy maintenance
  • Ultra-fast shutter response is helpful for underwater photography
  • It can be used with Sea Dragon dive light and Flex-Connect mounting system
  • Long battery life
  • Suitable for travelers thanks to the compact design
  • The RAW image format function allows for unlimited editing capability
  • Simple to maintain
  • Tremendous memory
  • The image sensor has limited resolution
  • Some advanced manual controls are missing
  • Not the best choice for low-light environments

Product Specifications:

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II comes with rugged and sturdy construction. Hence, it can work well even in the most challenging environments. Thanks to a 20.2 MP CMOS sensor, this camera can produce excellent quality regardless of still or fast-moving photography.

The connectivity is another advantage of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. Instead of supporting Bluetooth technology as the Nikon D850 does, this model is particularly designed to be compatible with the Wi-Fi Adapter W-E1.

This practical feature gives the Canon EOS 7D ability to pair with various kinds of electronic devices for image transfer. With this smart design, you can also remotely adjust its default settings.

Key Features:

  • 20.2 MP CMOS sensor
  • Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors
  • Ergonomic design
  • Intelligent Viewfinder II
  • Autofocus function
  • Compatible with the Wi-Fi Adapter W-E1
  • 10fps continuous shooting is possible
  • Offers reliable and speedy performance
  • Simple to focus even in dim lighting
  • It can withstand the harshest diving conditions
  • Ideal for still and fast-moving photography
  • Effortless to change default settings
  • Supports remote control and image transfer via wireless communication
  • A little heavy
  • No image stabilization integrated
  • No information about maximum depth rating

Product Specifications:

Sony Alpha 7 II

The Sony Alpha 7 II is proud to be the first full-frame camera in the world to have 5-axis image stabilization compared to 2-axis one in previous versions. Therefore, it can reduce blur from camera shake almost completely.

In addition, the model comes with an updated autofocus algorithm. This means that the focusing speed and performance is faster and better by about 30% than its predecessor – the Sony Alpha 7. Meanwhile, a tiltable LCD screen makes it simple to selfie in crowds.

One thing I love about the Sony Alpha 7 II is its “one-touch connection” ability. Aside from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, this camera also supports near-field communication (NFC). This feature is so convenient when I want to back-up photos to my smartphone and laptop.

Key Features:

  • 0.5-type electronic viewfinder
  • Super-fast autofocus feature
  • Interchangeable lens
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Tiltable 3-inch LCD screen
  • WhiteMagic technology
  • Supports near field communication (NFC)
  • Remote Camera Control function
  • Compatible with Sony’s XLR Adaptor Microphone Kits
  • The image stabilization works well both on land and underwater
  • Be able to post your photos directly to Facebook or virtual cloud
  • One-touch to connect
  • WhiteMagic technology increase visibility under strong light
  • Simple to focus
  • The subject-tracking performance and focusing speed has been enhanced
  • Minimize blur
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Perfect choice for you to selfie in crowds
  • Requires high price
  • The 3-inch LCD screen is sometimes considered cumbersome
  • Its image sensor does not provide the highest resolution in this list

Product Specifications:

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III

The Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III is engineered to be a compact size that facilitates traveling by plane. It is equipped with capturing 4K video capability, ensuring excellent quality in low-light environments.

Besides, an external microphone helps to minimize unwanted sounds for your video. Its powerful DIGIC 8 Image Processor makes it easy to deliver wonderful diving shots. However, this camera comes with only 4.2x optical zoom lenses, which are hard to take telephoto.

Another advantage of the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III is that it lets you record vertical videos and share them on social platforms effortlessly.

Key Features:

  • DIGIC 8 Image processor
  • 4.2x optical zoom lens
  • Vertical Video feature
  • Compatible with USB charging
  • HDMI output
  • It comes with excellent water resistance
  • Provide you with great performance in low-light conditions
  • The interface is intuitive and offers great ease of use
  • It gives you high durability regardless of diving environments
  • It can be used as a webcam
  • Allow you to capture vertical video
  • Ideal for vlogging
  • Reduce sound distortion
  • Higher price point compared to some other models in this list
  • Limited zoom lens

Product Specifications:

Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition

What makes the Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition stand out from other competitors is its 2-in-1 design, allowing you to use it as a 360-degree camera or a wide-angle action camera. Hence, this is a fabulous saving-money option that all scuba divers should not skip!

First of all, it can shoot images or videos with up to 5.7K resolution. What’s more, thanks to a powerful processor plus the AI editing function, your underwater footage always stays clear and stunning even when taken in darkness. Besides, this camera can also produce HDR-quality photos.

Another good point of the Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition is that it is packed with a wide range of professional image shooting and editing features. Some can be easily listed as FlowState Stabilization, Invisible Selfie Stick, Deep Track, Shot Lab, and Color Plus.

The ONE R’s water-resistant ability is restricted to only 16.4 feet without a protective case. This means that you should only use it for snorkeling and shallow diving. But, with the competitive price tag and too many benefits that a few compact cameras like this model can offer, that drawback is acceptable.

Key Features:

  • The design combines a 360-degree camera and a wide-angle action camera
  • FlowState Stabilization mode
  • Up to 5.7K resolution
  • IPX8 waterproof
  • AI Editing function
  • Single tap or voice command in 360 shooting mode
  • ONE R’s Invisible Selfie Stick feature
  • A built-in GPS tracking system
  • Its lens can be changed manually to be suitable for your shooting needs
  • FlowState Stabilization offers you smooth and seamless footage
  • Come with a sturdy construction
  • Simple to use
  • Easy to switch between 360-degree and wide-angle shooting.
  • Its price point is reasonable for most divers
  • The camera enables you to preview footage
  • Be able to capture videos and images in the low-light environments high quality
  • The Shot Lab function facilities editing your diving shots
  • You can control the item with your voice when shooting in 360
  • Limited waterproof
  • Not support complete manual control
  • It requires an additional cost for buying a waterproof case

Product Specifications:

Nikon COOLPIX W300

If you want to scuba dive in icy destinations, I suggest you purchase the Nikon COOLPIX W300. This camera is constructed to be freezeproof to offer stellar images and videos. The model is also super-lightweight which facilitates moving with your bulky wetsuit.

Besides, one upside of the Nikon COOLPIX W300 favors me is that it comes with an intuitive interface and large buttons. Thanks to that, I can navigate the menus effortlessly to get one-handed shooting, even when wearing thick gloves.

The Nikon COOLPIX W300 supports recording 4K Ultra HD videos, while its Short Movie Show function enables you to edit and add background music. Additionally, the LCD is coated with an anti-reflective layer, making it simple to take photos under strong light.

When buying the Nikon W300, divers can save a lot of money on a console dive computer since this camera is already integrated with eCompass and depth gauge. However, a cheap dive computer is still a worthy investment if you desire to have more advanced functions.

Key Features:

  • 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens
  • Telephoto mode
  • Hybrid VR image stabilization
  • Integrated with GPS, eCompass, depth gauge, and more
  • Support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 16 MP Backside Illuminated CMOS Sensor
  • Macro shooting mode
  • A built-in LED light
  • Suitable for cold divers
  • Easy to operate
  • The Hybrid VR image stabilization ensures stunning pictures and videos
  • Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for remote control
  • Some features such as GPS, eCompass, and depth gauge helps you save money spent for buying a few specific dive tools
  • Be able to shoot with one hand and under direct sunlight
  • Automatically transfer and back-up photos to your smartphone, laptop, tablet, and more
  • The quality of pictures when being taken in low-light conditions is sometimes poor
  • Not support RAW shooting capability

Product Specifications:

Dimension4.4 x 1.2 x 2.6 inches
Weight8.2 ounces
Max Video Resolution4K
Max Photo Resolution16 MP
RAW FormatNo
White Balance ModesAuto
Maximum Depth Rating100 feet (with a housing)
Shooting Modes19 (Fireworks Show, Landscape, Time-lapse Movie, Snow, Backlighting, Underwater, Portrait, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Sunset, Beach, Superlapse Movie, Panorama, Party/Indoor, Night Portrait, Multiple Exposure Lighten, Close Up, Food, Sports)

For more information on the features and functionality of the Nikon COOLPIX W300, check out the following video.

Choosing the Right Underwater Camera for Scuba Diving

There are so many good models to pick on the market now, and one may get overwhelmed. Even with prior knowledge and experience, you might find it difficult to select the most suitable for you.

If you are new to scuba diving, you even might not know what to consider during your buying process. Apart from the competitive price tag, below are some criteria that your ideal underwater camera should have.

1. Size and Weight

The size and weight of scuba cameras profoundly impact how easy to transport them and your maneuverability in the water. Besides, your luggage will be packed with other accessories like dive computers, scuba fins, or masks that keep your dive safe and comfortable.

For that reason, I highly recommend you choose an underwater camera with a compact design. This facilitates storing the gear in a BCD pocket while scuba diving. Moreover, paying extra fees due to excess baggage will no longer worry you if you travel by plane frequently.

2. Ease of Use

To get wonderful underwater adventurers, you will need a lot of supporting gear and also learn how to use it competently. For example, checking the air consumption of a scuba tank and changing your scuba camera’s settings to take excellent photos must be done effortlessly and simultaneously.

Therefore, simple models like action or point-and-shoot cameras will be the best choice for most divers, especially beginners, because of their accessible interface.

However, in case you are a professional underwater photographer, you should own a mirrorless or DSLR camera since those items can offer diverse manual controls.

3. Underwater Housing

Underwater housings are indispensable for any divers who want to dive deep into the blue ocean. Whether your underwater camera is an affordable or premium item, investing in top-quality housings is worth the money.

These protective cases can give your camera a wide range of benefits, such as enhancing durability and improving water pressure resistance. Furthermore, they also equip the gear with various points to attach accessories like dive lights, lens ports, and more.

4. Image/ Video Quality

Underwater pictures or video quality depends much on three elements: sensor, lens selection, and lighting. The larger the camera’s sensor is, the easier it is to get fantastic footage.

Meanwhile, different lenses will give the footage different sharpness, contrast, and distortion. This way, the lenses of famous brands like Canon or Nikon are top choices for underwater photography and videography.

Besides, lighting is another factor to consider when taking photos below the surface. Aquatic environments are often dim, making everything seem only black, and thereby, you will need extra illumination to capture the vibrancy of underwater scenes.

5. Lens Selection

As I said above, a scuba camera’s lens is one of the decisive aspects of image or video quality. The camera’s type you are using will determine its respective lens kind.

For example, cheap underwater cameras like action or point-and-shoot models are usually integrated with their exclusive lens. This means that you cannot switch to a wide-angle or macro lens to capture entire colorful reef scenes like high-end items can do.

Hence, those cost-efficient scuba diving cameras often offer you inferior footage. However, you can still improve this downside by using them with wet lenses.

Types of Cameras

There are four main types: action, compact (or known as Point-and-Shoot), DSLR, and mirrorless cameras. Each kind has its own benefits as well as drawbacks, resulting in the fact that it caters to divers with numerous different experience levels.

If this is the first time you have searched for underwater cameras, I hope this part will give you a lot of useful knowledge to avoid making a wrong purchase.

Action camerasCompact cameras/ Point-and-ShootMirrorless camerasDSLR cameras
Pros● Suitable for various diving conditions.
● Come with affordable price tags.
● The best option for entry-level divers.
● Easy to use.
● The perfect combination among compact size, decent footage, and economical price tag.
● Simple to operate.
● Include a rugged and robust construction.
● Give excellent image quality, portability, and usability.
● Not as bulky and expensive as DSLR cameras.
● Integrated with interchangeable lenses.
● Offer more features than compact and action cameras.
● Best choice for professional underwater photographers.
● Offer durable construction.
● Give great battery life
● Effortless to change lenses.
● Include stronger shooting capabilities.
Cons● Limited waterproof, so you have to use them with a protective case to dive deeper.
● Not recommended for still photography.
● Lack of advanced functions.
● Offer small sensors, so it is hard to capture photos in low-light situations.
● Short battery life.
● Need to be used with an underwater housing.
● Not be integrated with plentiful lens ports.
● Own the most cumbersome design.
● Heaviest.
● Require the highest price point.
● Not ideal for novice underwater photographers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have any questions? You can use the comment box below. However, I’ve compiled some frequently asked questions and answered them. I hope the information that they can offer will help you a lot.

What Camera Do Underwater Photographers Use?

Professional photographers often use a high-resolution DSLR or a full-frame mirrorless camera to take pictures with first-rate quality. The models from the Canon brand are the best choices since they are able to meet strict standards for underwater photography.

How Deep Can an Underwater Camera Go?

Scuba divers need to know about the waterproof depth of their underwater cameras to ensure that they are not used beyond their limit. Generally, most items reviewed above can be water-resistant 50 feet without a waterproof case.

In case your underwater camera includes a dedicated case outside, it can go deeper. Some high-end models even enable you to dive up to 200 feet.

Why Are Underwater Housings So Expensive?

Since only 1-2% of scuba divers feel that their underwater cameras need to be used with a housing. It is the low demand that makes the numbers of housing manufacturers in the market limited.

Therefore, underwater housings are exclusively designed as well as not mass-produced. This is the main reason why their prices are usually pushed up.

Is a DSLR or Mirrorless Better for Underwater Photography?

Nowadays, most underwater photographers prefer mirrorless cameras to DSLR ones since they own interchangeable lenses. This allows scuba divers to take photos with different qualities as well as get excellent footage effortlessly.

Is GoPro the Best Underwater Camera?

A GoPro camera is well-known for its economical price tag, compact design, and great ease of use to capture amazing undersea footage. As a result, there is no doubt that it is one of the most popular underwater cameras among the scuba divers community.

Besides, the GoPro cameras can go as deep as 33 feet without a case or up to 196 feet with a GoPro Protective Housing. I think this excellent depth rating gives them high durability when used underwater.

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Final Thoughts

I’ve made a lot of emphasis on the amazing benefits of underwater cameras for both their protection and comfort to scuba divers. If you still have no idea of your perfect model, let’s check this section.

I highly recommend the Olympus Tough TG-6 for its intuitive display, high-definition sensor, and excellent waterproof. Besides, it includes sturdy and robust construction; thus, you will not worry it broke suddenly if using the camera in harsh diving environments.

I hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. You can also share this article with your friends on various social media platforms by clicking the social buttons below, which gives me lots of motivation to write my next reviews.

About Scott Maldonado

Hi, I am Scott Maldonado, the founder of You are welcome to this website. Diving is so much fun, and I’ve got a flair for it. With many diving sessions under my belt, I have transformed from just an experienced diver to a professional instructor.
I will love to contribute to your development as a diver. Therefore, I will be engaging my years of experience by discussing anything related to diving on this website.
Read more about me.

Best Underwater Cameras for Scuba Diving

Best Underwater Cameras for Scuba Diving

The greatest underwater photography tips start with finding the right camera. Depending on what kind of underwater photography you are looking to get into, you’ll need the right kind of equipment to get you started. Although, you don’t need a secondary camera just for scuba diving as long as you get the appropriate housing.

If action shots and videography is something you are more likely to get into whilst scuba diving, make sure you take a look at our 10 best action cameras for scuba diving or even look at investing in an underwater drone. Otherwise, if macro life and amazing still photography is more your style stick around for the best underwater cameras currently on the market.

Table of Contents

10 Best Underwater Cameras for Scuba Diving

Below are the 10 best land cameras that do an equally great job taking underwater shots. Once you have found your newest favorite dive gear, check out the beginner’s guide to underwater photography or explore the possibilities with an action camera in the beginner’s guide to using a GoPro for underwater video.

1. Sony A7 III + Meikon with dome port kit

Sony A7 III and Meikon with dome port kit

Depth Rating (of Recommended Housing)130 ft
Screen Type3in LCD
Continuous ShootingYes
Video4K HDR

The mirrorless Sony A7 III is an amazing alternative to the bulkier DSLR models when portability is an important factor for your dive camera. This award-winning model sports 24.2 megapixels, the biggest ISO range of 50 – 51200, 425 contrast AF points and incredibly fast continuous shooting.

The amount of technology packed into this lightweight design is almost unbelievable so expect amazing quality shots, as well. Part of this can be attributed to Sony’s new sensor, the Exmor R CMOS which combines with BIONZ X image processing for an extremely fast data readout speed.

The AF system is excellent for capturing marine life and busy scenes thanks to the 693 phase-detection AF with 425 contrast-detection AF which together covers about 93% of the entire image. This gives you incredibly clear details with natural contrast between darker and lighter sections.

Pair the Sony A7 III with this Meikon housing that has a dome port lens which is great for creative shots that are half above and half below water.

2. Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II + Fantasea FG7X II Housing

Best for Beginners

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II

Depth Rating of Housing (of Recommended Housing)200 ft
Screen Type3in LCD touch screen
Continuous ShootingYes

This compact and lightweight Canon (it only weighs 1.4 lbs) is great for those just starting out with a scuba dive camera for underwater photography or don’t want want to be hauling around a more advanced and heavy DSLR. It has 20.1 megapixels and an aperture of f/1.8 in wide-angle mode and f/2.8 when it is fully zoomed in to 4.2x.

There is a 3 inch LCD touch screen that tilts so you can experiment with different angles while still seeing exactly what you are capturing. This can be useful when you are experimenting with the best angle for your underwater subject with different light sources.

The G7X gives you good control over the white balance which is very important at lower depths where colors start to fade. The macro shots are of great quality, much better than you would expect from what is essentially just a point-and-shoot.

The most compatible housing is the Fantasea FG7X II which was specifically designed for this model.

3. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 + Fantasea FRX100V Housing

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100

Depth Rating (of Recommended Housing)200 ft
Screen Type4:3 LCD
Continuous ShootingYes

A close competitor to the Canon GX7 is this Sony RX100. This little underwater camera​ works to your advantage with moving subjects thanks to the automatic viewfinder, AF detection with 315 autofocus points and the world’s fastest autofocus of 0.05 seconds.

This is also a good scuba camera if you are hoping to take videos since it is capable of 4K quality. There is also a slow-motion video mode that captures 960 frames per second for truly awe-inspiring moments.

The LCD screen can tilt upwards and downwards but the movement is somewhat limited. However, it is a handy way to check your pictures while still diving.

Pair this Sony with the Fantasea FRX100V housing which fits the versions III, IV and V.

4. Best Without Casing: Sealife MicroHD +

SeaLife Micro HD+ 32GB underwater camera

Depth Rating200 ft
Screen Type2.4 in LCD display
Continuous ShootingYes
Video1080p HD

The beauty of a Sealife scuba diver camera​ is that it is flood-proof waterproof to an impressive depth of 200 feet without the need for a casing. There are also no O-rings which cuts down on the required maintenance, as well.

The 13 megapixels may not be as impressive as some of the conventional scuba dive cameras on this list but this device can still capture incredibly sharp photos and even take 1080 HD videos. You can also create cool effects by using the fisheye lens to make fish and coral seem even closer than they are.

You might need extra lighting for this model, though. The company recommends the Sea Dragon 650 Micro Kit which includes a flood lumen light and grip.

5. Olympus TG-870 + Olympus PT-058 Housing

Most Sturdy Design

Olympus TG-870 Tough Waterproof Digital Camera

Depth Rating (of Recommended Housing)147 ft
Screen Type3in LCD
Continuous ShootingYes

This rugged Olympus was made for extreme sports and difficult environments and makes a great action camera and therefore is one of the best underwater camera for scuba diving because it is already waterproof to 50 feet, freezeproof to 14 Fahrenheit, crushproof to 220 pounds of force and shockproof to a maximum drop of 7 feet. This is a truly tough design without skimping out on the image quality either.

It has 16.8 megapixels, an ultra-wide-angle, fisheye and lots of choice in the type of filter and scene mode so you can continuously adjust the settings to what the scene requires. Check the results on the 3 inch LCD screen that tilts up to 180 degrees which means you could even check yourself in a selfie.

There is a front LED light which is not the most powerful but it will prove useful when you are taking close-up photos and you need just a little extra front light.

Another reason why you should choose this model is for the many accessories that are specifically meant for taking better action shots. Olympus released its own housing the PT-058 for scuba diving purposes.

6. Canon EOS Rebel T6i + Ikelite 6871.75 Underwater Camera Housing

Best Entry Level DSLR

Canon EOS Rebel T6i Underwater Camera

Depth Rating (of Recommended Housing)200 ft
Screen Type3in LCD
Continuous ShootingYes
VideoFull HD

The Canon T61 is a popular DSLR for good reason; it is intuitive enough for beginners, takes great video, has a wide ISO range and can automatically adjust the exposure to deliver detailed but natural photos. Plus, this newest version in the T series has a built-in wireless connection for seamless sharing.

This model has a 19-point cross-type AF system that helps you capture moving marine life and is up there as a best diving camera for us. Also, make sure to play around with the ISO to find just the right exposure without having to resort to strobes.

This is also a good option for taking scuba diving videos thanks to the 1080p HD quality and hybrid CMOS Auto Focus III which lets you change the focus just by moving your finger across the 3-inch touch screen. The standard format is MP4 which makes it easy to transfer to your laptop and share with friends.

A fantastic housing option is this Ikelite which is an underwater photographer’s dream. It has TTL, or through-the-lens flash, for better exposure and practically cutting out the recycling time so you don’t miss a beat between shots.

7. Nikon D810 FX-format + Ikelite 6812.81 Underwater Camera Housing

Best for Professionals

Nikon D810 FX-format Digital SLR

Depth Rating (of Recommended Housing)200 ft
Screen Type3in LCD
Continuous ShootingYes

For the more advanced, this Nikon is a great choice for when you are looking for production quality shots, total control over settings and incredible resolution. It has 36.3 megapixels without an optical low-pass filter and shoots 1080p video in 24p – 60p.

This works great for high speed captures as well since it has unlimited continuous shooting and takes 5 – 7 frames per second depending on the chosen mode. The AF system is also impressive thanks to its predictive focus tracking that automatically adjust to get the best focus for the changing distance between the camera and subject.

Perhaps what is most pleasing about this device is the control that you get over lighting – a vital aspect of taking great underwater shots. It has highlight-weighted metering which gives you details on both the well-lit and darker areas, ISO auto-adjust and the EXPEED 4 for detail retention in the photo processing. So in our opinion is surely the best underwater camera for scuba diving for those of you looking for that little bit more from your underwater photography.

Ikelite has another housing design, specifically for the Nikon D810 which ensures you get the best exposure and great functionality made with high-quality sturdy materials.

8. Canon EOS 7D Mark II + Ikelite 200DL 200′ Underwater Housing

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR

Depth Rating (of Recommended Housing)200 ft
Screen Type3in LCD
Continuous ShootingYes
VideoFull HD

The Canon 7D is popular diving camera for the precise focus which makes shooting moving schools of fish, other marine life and fellow divers much easier. It has an intelligent viewfinder that lets you change settings while keeping the viewfinder on the screen.

The autofocus system is another great feature that gives you more control over the shots you take. It has a 65 point all cross-type autofocus with options to choose between larger zones or a single point, enlarge specific focus points and smoothly transition between different light levels while still keeping details.

As for videos, this version can shoot in full HD with 60p. Even for video, the focus is still great thanks to the dual pixel CMOS autofocus and movie servo AF which lets you pinpoint focus points for continuous tracking with the corresponding adjustments.

The best housing for the Canon 7D is the Ikelite 200DL which recently includes a dry lock port system.

9. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV + PU LUZ Waterproof Camera Housing

Easy Switching Between Still – Video Mode

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Body

Depth Rating (of Recommended Housing)130 ft
Screen Type3in LCD
Continuous ShootingYes

In all honesty, all the Canon D Series are suitable for underwater photography but the 5D, in particular, is a great versatile choice because of the smooth transition between taking photos to video. This version has a DIGIC 6+ image processor that allows you to switch in a matter of seconds into full HD video recording which you will be thankful for when you come upon a fast-moving surprise gem in the ocean, therefore, making it a great underwater camera​.

Another impressive aspect is the 30.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that ensures you are always shooting in high resolution. This delivers amazing professional shots with the right image quality for a variety of purposes, from magazine spreads to artful prints.

Its action recording is also fantastic for scuba divers since it can deliver 4K motion JPEG videos, partly due to the DIGIC 6+ technology that the D7 has, as well.

The ISO range is also very useful with the D5 having a standard range of ISO 100 – 32000 but you can expand this to an incredible 50 – 102400 which is excellent for low light situations. Pair this Canon with a Puluz housing which only goes up to 130 feet but you will have fun with ambient light in shallow waters thanks to the ISO specs.

10. SeaLife DC2000 Underwater Scuba Diving Camera

SeaLife DC2000 HD Underwater Digital Camera with Sea Dragon Flash Set

Depth Rating (of Recommended Housing)200 ft
Screen Type2.4in LCD
Continuous ShootingYes

If you are looking for a truly low maintenance option then this is the dive camera that you are looking for. The SeaLife Micro has 13 megapixels for sharpshooting under the sea and can also shoot 1080p HD videos at 30 frames per second.

This device has a depth rating of 200 feet, all on its own so there is no need for a dive casing. It is completely flood-proof and there are no o-rings for you to take care of.

This model is best paired with the Sea Dragon 650 Micro Kit that includes accessories like a flood lumen light and GoPro adapter that are all easily connected with the Flex-Connect mounting system. This is a truly user-friendly piece of dive gear that you won’t regret buying.

For a very quick recap, Here are Top 3 products:

OUR #1 PICK Sony ILCE7M2KB Compact Camera

7 Best Cameras For Scuba Diving (2022)

My name’s Austin, and I created OtterAquatics to help readers become better divers, help them buy their first gear, and plan their next dive vacation!

  • Last Update : October 27, 2022

Table of Contents

The number one question we get from you guys is what underwater camera gear we use on our excursions, so we finally decided to put together the ultimate list of the best dive cameras out there, as well as the housings, lighting, trays, and accessories we use!


  • Best Action Camera:GoPro HERO10
  • Best Overall:Canon G7X III
  • Best for Beginners:Olympus Tough TG-6
  • Best for Travel:Nikon COOLPIX W300
  • Best for Professionals:Sony A7S 3

While learning to shoot underwater videos and photos, we have gone through a lot of different cameras, and in this guide, will list all of the best gear for every budget and experience level.

Everything from action cams to full-frame pro systems, this guide will cover them all!

For each category, we will list the top few cameras, and then if you want a more comprehensive guide with the full list, just click on the links provided after each category!

So, now you’re little more interested in some brand new camera equipment for your next underwater adventures, let’s take a look at your options.

Read Post  Scuba Diving and Skydiving with Filmmaker Claude Evangelista

If we had to give a quick answer, the best cameras for scuba diving are:


You really don’t have to spend a fortune to be able to take good quality images and videos underwater. If you’re looking for an affordable scuba diving camera that you can easily take traveling with you, these action cameras are your best option.

  • Depth Rating: 1350ft/350m (No housing required)
  • Touch Screen: Yes
  • Auto White Balance: Yes
  • Video: up to 4K
  • Photo: 8MP
  • Battery Life: 2 – 3 Hours (Video)
  • Stabilization: Electronic image stabilization
  • Connectivity: Wifi/Bluetooth/USB
  • Official Mobile App:Paralenz

The Vaquita is the latest version from the first Paralenz camera, with big upgrades.

The Vaquita is aimed primarily for underwater videography but can still be used to take some very nice still shots.

This 4k/60fps camera still has the military-grade aluminum housing that is depth rated to over 800 feet. So there’s no need to buy extra housing!

The upgrade features include a display screen, and software that tracks your dive profile along with the current depth and temperature information, and records it to your Paralenz smartphone app, similar to a dive computer.

  • Looks great
  • Easy to use
  • Very rugged sturdy build
  • Nice depth color correction
  • Better battery life than many other action cameras
  • 4K video / 8MP photo
  • App show dive profile alongside video
  • Electronic Stabilization
  • Still photo low light capabilities a little off sometimes
  • Auto white balance struggles sometimes in complicated situations
  • Limited options when it comes to still photos

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  • Depth Rating: 33ft/10m (196 ft/60m with housing)
  • Touch Screen: Yes
  • Auto White Balance: Yes
  • Video: up to 5.3K
  • Photo: 23MP
  • Battery Life: 1 – 1.5 Hours (Video)
  • Stabilization: Hypersmooth 4.0 video stab.
  • Connectivity: Wifi/Bluetooth/USB – Cloud storage
  • Official Mobile App:GoPro Quik

The GoPro HERO10 Black is the latest and greatest in a long line of amazing action cams, and this one has some sweet upgrades. It should also note that the prices are also starting to get more reasonable.

When it comes to action cameras, GoPro simply cannot be beaten. This legendary brand continues to produce simple-to-use cameras that are capable of capturing high-quality photos and videos, even in the most extreme environments. And the Hero8 is no exception.

This tiny, but tough, waterproof camera is full of intuitive features that make taking epic underwater shots almost effortless. With ‘Super Photo’ optimization, advanced video stabilization, and a variety of intelligent shooting modes, you’ll be seriously impressed at the quality of footage you end up with.

As far as 4k action cams go, this guy does not disappoint. This dude comes with touch screen 5.3K ultra HD video, 23MP photos 1080p, and live streaming stabilization.

As with all GoPro models, the Hero10 is only waterproof to 33ft (10m). The standard price does not include the dive housing you’ll need underwater, and there is a huge variety of options for those and other options out there. It’s a tiny added cost but allows you to take this camera down to a whopping 196ft (60m).

Also with Wifi/USB connectivity to your mobile device using the GoPro Quik app you can quickly view all your footage and upload everything safely to the cloud.

All in all this is one of the best action cameras ever produced.

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  • Probably the best action camera available on the market
  • Easily the most popular action camera available
  • Looks amazing
  • Small very rugged
  • Front and back facing dispalys
  • Easy to navigate
  • Still images from 5.3K video
  • Wifi & USB connectivity with “GoPro Quik” app
  • Great for travel
  • Compatible with Hero 9 accessories
  • Over 30 mounts and accessories available
  • Only waterproof up to 10m without housing
  • Scuba divers will need to purchase the housing
  • Still not the best in low light situations
  • A little heavy for its size
  • Battery life not amazing

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  • Depth Rating: 100ft/30m (with no housing needed)
  • Touch Screen: No
  • Auto White Balance: Yes
  • Video: up to 4K
  • Photo: 16MP
  • Battery Life: Rated at 280 Shots
  • Stabilization: Optical image stabilization
  • Connectivity: Wifi/Bluetooth/USB
  • Official Mobile App:Snapbridge

The Nikon COOLPIX W300 is one of our favorite underwater cameras for scuba diving.

Because this incredibly tough little camera is super simple to use and delivers awesome photos and videos even in the most extreme environments. It’s waterproof to 100ft (30m) without underwater housing and it’s very reasonably priced.

While it may lack some of the more advanced features that a professional photographer is looking for, we love we can take this underwater camera with us on all of our adventures, both diving, and non-diving, knowing that it’ll always deliver very high-quality shots and can handle a few knocks.

The powerful camera sensor and 5x optical zoom ensure that you’ll be able to capture everything in perfectly clear detail.

What’s more, Nikon is considered one of the world’s best camera manufacturers. So you can be extra confident that this waterproof camera is a worthy investment.

If you’re looking for a versatile and compact underwater camera then you simply can’t go wrong with the Nikon COOLPIX W300.

  • Designed by one of the world best camera manufacturers
  • Flashy little compact camera
  • Super simple to use
  • Clearly marked and responsive controls
  • Tough design (listed as Shockproof)
  • Delivers great photos and video
  • Waterproof to 30m without housing
  • Built in GPS
  • No full-manual mode
  • Lacks some of the more advanced features that pros might be looking for
  • No option to shoot in RAW
  • Struggles in low-light situations

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  • Depth Rating: 200ft/60m (with housing)
  • Touch Screen: Yes
  • Auto White Balance: Yes
  • Video: up to 4K
  • Photo: 30MP
  • Battery Life: Rated at 265 Shots
  • Stabilization: Yes
  • Connectivity: Wifi/Bluetooth/USB
  • Official Mobile App:Canon camera connect

Canon is one of the most trusted and well-established camera brands on the market. So it’s no surprise that the Canon G7X delivers top-quality results.

We’ve tried out all of the compact dive cameras on this guide, and in the end, the G7X mark 1, 2 and 3, have become our favorite. It feels like they were really made for underwater, with great white balance presets you can set at depth, great video focus and more.

With a powerful 20.2 megapixels CMOS camera sensor, the G7X captures exceptionally vivid images and video even in low lighting, which is essential for underwater photography.

The Canon G7X also boasts incredible zoom capabilities and a variety of intelligent shooting modes. So even if you’re not confident with the manual settings, this camera’s point and shoot capabilities are seriously impressive.

To be able to take this camera scuba diving, you’ll also need to invest in underwater housing. But the quality of shots it’ll allow you to achieve for under $1000 make it a worthy investment.

We recommend the rugged and ergonomic Fantasea FG7X housing, which allows you to take this camera safely down to 200ft (60m).

The Canon G7X is an exceptional camera for a very reasonable price that you can use both above and below the water.

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  • One of our favorite cameras
  • Great handling and build quality
  • Pocket friendly
  • Manual controls and Raw format shooting
  • Tilting touch LCD
  • Fast focus and burst rate
  • Effective face detection
  • 4K video not available in all modes
  • No hotshoe or cold shoe for external accessories
  • No headphone socket
  • No viewfinder

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  • Depth Rating: 15ft/50m (148ft/45m with housing)
  • Touch Screen: No
  • Auto White Balance: Yes
  • Video: up to 4K
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Battery Life: Rated at 340 Shots
  • Stabilization: Yes
  • Connectivity: Wifi/USB
  • Official Mobile App:Olympus Image Share

We’ve been seeing more and more amazing footage coming out, from the TG-6, specifically the macro shots. This is because of it’s awesome “microscope mode”, that gets closer than any compact camera above, without wet lenses!

Thanks to its robust build, high image quality, and impressive underwater settings, the Olympus TG-6 Tough Waterproof is arguably the best dive camera for beginners.

With 4x optical zoom, 5 different underwater shooting modes and, 3 different underwater white balance options, the Olympus TG-6 makes it incredibly easy for everyone to be able to take great scuba diving shots.

What’s more, this rugged camera is also freezeproof, shockproof, and crushproof, making it the perfect companion for all of your adventures.

The only downside to this camera for scuba diving is that it’s only waterproof up to 50ft (15m). So you’ll need to invest in the Olympus underwater housing if you want to go deeper. Get the housing and lights, and you have a great setup.

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  • Ultra rugged design
  • Lots of advanced features
  • Bright and sharp LCD screen
  • Shoots in the Raw format
  • Handy macro modes
  • Brilliant Microscope mode
  • Simply a fun camera
  • No fully manual control
  • Not a touch screen
  • Menu isn’t particularly helpful or intuitive

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If you’re serious about scuba diving photography, then you’ll need an underwater camera that matches your ambitions. These high-end DSLR and the mirrorless cameras below will help you achieve those National Geographic-worthy shots (but only if you learn how to use them properly!)

  • Depth Rating: 200ft/60m (with housing)
  • Touch Screen: No
  • Auto White Balance: Yes
  • Video: Full HD
  • Photo: 20MP
  • Battery Life: Rated at 670 Shots
  • Stabilization: Incorporated into the lenses
  • Connectivity: USB/Wifi (optional)
  • Official Mobile App:Canon camera connect

When it comes to underwater photography, there is only so much you can achieve with a compact. So if you’re looking to take professional-level scuba diving shots then it’s time to invest in a ‘real’ camera.

Another favorite among regular photographers, the 7d is also an awesome rig underwater. Get some good macro lenses, and a good wide angle, and you have a very high quality set up. Add in some strobes for photos, or video lights if you are filming, and you can’t really go wrong.

Even in near darkness, this camera captures insanely clear images. The autofocus is super fast and consistently accurate, which pays off underwater where lighting and contrast are not often great.

Combined with its near-perfect metering for exposure and white balance, even underwater, this camera consistently delivers in a way that will impress even the fussiest of professional dive photographers.

As with any professional camera for scuba diving, you’ll also need to invest in the underwater housing. But if you’re serious about underwater photography, then the Canon EOS 6D digital SLR camera setup is well worth the investment.

It’s a truly outstanding camera that delivers excellent results no matter what, how, or where you’re shooting.

*Prices don’t include lenses, housing or dome ports. It’s the body only, then you will need to put together your perfect setup.

  • Made by one of the best camera manufacturers in the world
  • Great looking DSLR
  • Designed for sport & wildlife
  • Excellent image quality for an APS-C sensor
  • Excellent live view auto focus
  • Dual memory card slots: CF & SD
  • Built-in GPS
  • Touch-sensitive rear buttons for silent controls during video recording
  • No built-in Wi-Fi
  • Rear LCD is not touchscreen or articulating
  • Mediocre battery life for a pro DSLR

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What To Look For When Choosing An Underwater Camera For Scuba Diving


The very first thing you need to consider when buying an underwater camera is how much you actually want to spend.

Otherwise, you’ll waste a ton of time researching options that are over your budget.

Or, worse, you’ll end up overspending and run out of money for those critical accessories, such as waterproof housing!

Ease of Use

If you’re relatively new to photography in general, the best underwater camera for you is going to be one that is simple to use. There’s no point in investing in a camera that you find incredibly difficult to use.

Using a camera underwater is very similar to using one on land. However, when you’re scuba diving there’s a lot of other things you need to think about, such as your dive buddy, your buoyancy, air consumption, and equalizing, which can make using a camera more difficult.

So it’s important that the camera’s controls and understandable and accessible. The last thing you want to do is miss that manta ray circling overhead because you couldn’t figure out how to switch off the macro setting!

The best camera for scuba diving will offer a balance between usability and customizability. If you’re serious about underwater photography you want to choose one with a good range of manual controls such as a mirrorless or DSLR.

But if you don’t want to have to mess around with any settings when you’re underwater, the best camera for you will be an action camera or a simple point-and-shoot.

Size and Weight

Don’t forget you’ll need to carry your underwater camera, both during the dive and to/from the dive spot.

If you often travel aboard to dive and are worried about excess luggage fees, then make sure you choose a compact and lightweight underwater camera. And remember the housing and any accessories will also add extra weight.

Most underwater camera housings are made to be neutrally buoyant, so even the biggest setups won’t have much effect on your buoyancy. However, the size of an underwater camera will affect your maneuverability and trim underwater.

So if you prefer to keep your hands free during the dive and stay as streamlined as possible then a smaller camera that could fit in your BCD pocket is a better choice.

Image & Video Quality

If you just want to snap a few nice shots while you’re diving then you don’t need to worry too much about the image and video quality. Besides, all of the cameras we’ve reviewed above, even the more budget options, produce surprisingly good results.

However, if you want to take the best possible underwater photos then there are a few important things to consider when choosing a camera for scuba diving, which are sensors, lenses, and lighting.

Sensors: Although the number of megapixels does contribute to the quality of your photos, it’s actually a camera’s sensors that are more important when it comes to low light settings, i.e underwater. When picking a camera for scuba diving, always choose a better sensor over higher megapixels.

Lenses: This is where choosing an underwater camera can get very technical. So we’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.

A wide-angle lens is best for expansive reef scenes, schools of fish, and big pelagics. But if you’re mad about the small critters, then you should consider a dedicated macro lens. Or at least make sure the camera has a dedicated macro setting.

It’s also helpful to choose an underwater camera with a good zoom so you can get those close up shots without disturbing the marine life or getting too close to the reef.

If you want to learn more then check out this guide to choosing a lens for underwater photography.

Lighting: If you want to truly capture the vibrancy of the underwater world, you’ll need additional lighting equipment. Or at the very least a good flash. Lighting really does make ALL the difference when it comes to underwater photography and videography. There are a ton of packages and options for lighting depending on your camera and what sort of photos/videos you want to capture.

Lastly, if making underwater movies is your thing then make sure you choose a camera with image stabilization.




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