GoPro HERO7 Underwater Video Settings

This guide discusses the best settings for shooting underwater video with your GoPro HERO7. So if you’re a scuba diver, freediver or just heading out on a water-themed trip, you’ll want to set up your GoPro following these tips.

HERO9 or HERO8 or other GoPro model? Check out my ultimate guide and tutorial video for the Best GoPro Underwater Settings.

I’ve also written some initial thoughts on the GoPro HERO8. For the HERO9, I’ve got a whole video series coming to my YouTube channel.

Which GoPro HERO7 Do I Buy?

There are three different versions of the GoPro HERO7: Black, Silver and White. The obvious difference between the cameras is the price, but the real question is whether the more expensive models are worth the investment. This depends on what you plan to film.

GoPro HERO7 Key Differences

Super Suit Compatibility:

Only the GoPro HERO7 Black edition is compatible with the Super Suit dive housing, which is necessary to dive below 33ft (10m). This makes it the obvious choice for scuba divers and serious freedivers.

GoPro Super Suit dive housing for the GoPro HERO7 Black

Video Resolution:

Black (4K) : Silver (4K) : White (1080p)

This can be broken down into two specific values. 4K video is great, however since 1080p is generally all you will see and stream online, we can argue that it’s too much resolution for most people. On top of that, you need a more powerful computer to process 4K video.

On the other hand, if you film in 4K but share your video in 1080p, you can crop in on the footage while post-processing. This is very useful when applying stabilization during post, cropping backscatter from underwater video lights, or zooming in for a better view of the subject.

Frame rate:

Black (60) . : Silver (30) . : White (60)

All video is filmed and edited at a specific frame rates. If the frame rate of a clip doesn’t match the frame rate in the editing timeline, it can be converted to match. Most underwater video shooters use 30fps or 60fps.

So which is better? 30fps will deliver great video, however 60fps will allow you to slow the footage down for 50% slow motion when editing in a 30fps timeline. That’s a huge benefit!


Battery: The GoPro HERO7 Black has a removable battery, which means you can buy multiple batteries and swap them out during a full dive day. The Silver and White models have a built-in battery, requiring you to plug the camera directly into a power source in between dives, which isn’t enough time for a full charge.

Stabilization: The GoPro HERO7 Black has that sweet, sweet HyperSmooth stabilization. The others don’t.

Slow Motion: The faster the frame rate, the more you can slow down the footage to create a slow motion effect. The HERO7 Black allows you to shoot 1080p at 240fps, which produces 8x slow motion at 30fps. Sweet!

My GoPro HERO7 Recommendation:

The GoPro HERO7 Black edition is the only option for scuba divers and serious freedivers, since it is the only model compatible with the Super Suit.

Snorkelers: If you plan to really start creating edited underwater videos with your GoPro, then go for the Black edition. Not only does it excel in the areas above, but it has other great features like Protune (advanced manual settings), SuperPhoto (glorified HDR), a GP1 chip.

And hey, maybe you’ll start diving deeper at some point!

HERO7 Underwater Video Settings

There are a number of different ways customize your video settings, and each depends how you plan to use the footage. Let’s break it down into Easy Sharing, High Resolution, and Fast Action.

Easy Sharing GoPro Settings

1080p / 60fps: This resolution and frame rate have a number of benefits. First, the 1080p video can be uploaded directly to almost all phones and to social sites like Instagram and Facebook. Second, 60fps will allow you to slow the footage down by 2x if you decide to play with editing software like GoPro Quik.

High Resolution GoPro Settings

4K / 60fps: 4K is the way to go if you’re planning to do some real post-processing of your video. 60fps is the fastest frame rate on the HERO7, so it’s the best choice.

HyperSmooth: Different underwater videographers have different styles, so I encourage all shooters to experiment with this footage during some test dives. This way you can decide if HyperSmooth provides the stabilization you need.

Tip: Shoot in Protune if you plan to do any color grading while post-processing. Learning the ins and outs of Protune is invaluable for serious GoPro underwater video shooters.

Fast Action GoPro Settings

1080p / 240fps: For fast action, I’m assuming we’ll want to add some dramatic slow motion to the edit. The HERO7 Black edition’s 240fps is more than up to this challenge.

Tips: As above, check out HyperSmooth and Protune settings.

Filters for the GoPro HERO7

Underwater filters will help bring color back into your underwater video. One of the great things about anyone upgrading to the HERO7 Black is that the Super Suit uses the same filters as several previous GoPro models – no need to buy new filters!

Read Post  Is Scuba Diving Safe?

Read my complete guide below on GoPro Filters, video lights and color correction, including a complete Buyer’s Guide for filters and lights.

GoPro Underwater Filters

3 Tips for GoPro Light Positioning Underwater

More GoPro Tutorials

Best GoPro Underwater Settings

How to Keep Your GoPro Steady

3 Tips for GoPro Underwater Video

Brent Durand

Professional writer and underwater photo instructor. Brent is an avid diver and surfer, and has led many intensive photo workshops around the world.

Can You Take a GoPro Scuba Diving?

Can You Take a GoPro Scuba Diving

GoPro is by far the most popular action camera brand in the world.

With millions of cameras sold around the world, the GoPro range includes some of the most durable and technologically advanced cameras money can buy. However, the question is can you take a GoPro scuba diving?

GoPro cameras are action cameras that promise to shoot amazing footage while you’re on your adventures. This is why GoPro offered owners underwater protective housing so that you can take your GoPro scuba diving with you.

GoPro has a line of water-proof cameras that are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. They also offer underwater cases that allow you to take their land cameras to depths of 200 feet. Either configuration will allow you to take photographs and video while scuba diving.

Interested in learning more about underwater photography? Here’s everything you need to know about scuba diving with a GoPro.

What Is a GoPro Camera?

GoPro action cameras can be used for snorkeling and scuba diving.

GoPro is a leading action camera brand that specializes in making durable cameras. These cameras are built to be incredibly rigid so that you can take them with you wherever you go. GoPro also designed a bunch of accessories and mounts so that you can attach them to your car, bike, surfboard, and even your helmet for some impressive shots.

GoPro released its first camera back in the early 2000s and has steadily upgraded them over the years. While the first cameras were not completely waterproof, GoPro did release waterproof cases that you could buy separately. These cases allowed you to take the GoPro to a depth of 60 meters underwater.

Can You Take a GoPro Scuba Diving?

GoPro Underwater Case

GoPro’s underwater case allows you to take photographs as deep as 196 feet.

GoPro cameras have evolved over the last few years, with the latest models allowing you to take them underwater without a case. This means that GoPros are perfect for recreational diving. If you have a HERO5, HERO6, HERO7, HERO8, or HERO9, you can use the protective housing from GoPro to dive up to 60 meters underwater.

Modern GoPros like the HERO9 Black and the HERO8 Black come in a waterproof design that can survive around 10 meters underwater. However, the GoPro MAX is only capable of going down around 5 meters.

This means that the protective housing from GoPro is the best way to scuba dive comfortably with your GoPro.

Underwater GoPro Photography Tips

Are you thinking of taking your GoPro underwater? Here are a few tips to help you get the perfect shot.

1. Understand the camera

When taking photos underwater, it’s important to understand your camera. Whether you’re using one of the older GoPros in a case or a modern GoPro that’s waterproof, take some time to figure out how it works before getting in the water. This is because you’ll be limited in time once you’re diving and might miss your photo.

Modern GoPros and action cameras are incredibly simple to use. Most of these cameras just have a button to turn the camera on and another button to take the photo. However, these cameras are incredibly advanced and offer tons of settings to help you customize the photos it takes.

This is why you should go through the settings and set everything up before you get in the water. That way you can just dive and snap away.

2. Consider strobe lights

If you’ve ever gone diving, you know that lighting is a real issue. While most cameras use flashes to help take photos in low light situations, this does not really work underwater. If you’re looking to add lighting to your underwater photo, consider taking strobe lights down with you.

Strobe lights are bigger and help diffuse the light underwater. This can allow you to get a clear shot even if the camera needs a bit more time to fully capture the image.

3. Point camera up

Aim camera up towards light

Point your camera up towards the light for dramatic effect.

If you don’t have a strobe light to take with you underwater, an important trick to keep in mind is to always shoot upwards. This means you should get underneath your subject to get the image from beneath. This allows light from the surface to illuminate the subject for your camera.

Especially if you’re in the ocean, the ocean floor can be incredibly dark. This means that showing down will provide the camera with less light to capture. However, if you manage to illuminate your subject, the dark background could help elevate the subject perfectly.

This kind of image is perfect to give you the experience of being in the vast ocean.

4. Take your time

Cameras work by allowing light to be captured. While this is almost instant nowadays, cameras need a bit more time in low light situations. Even if you’re taking a photo in low-light mode on your phone, it will take a few extra seconds to gather all the data before composing the image.

This is why you should try to keep your camera still underwater as you take your photo. Be patient and remain still until the photo is complete. This patience can be the difference between something blurry and something crystal clear.

5. Maintain your camera

Lastly, don’t forget to take care of your camera. Even if you have the latest GoPro that’s waterproof, be sure to clean it after every dive. Despite its durability, keeping the salt water away can help extend the camera’s lifespan.

If you’re using an older GoPro that requires a protective case, ensure that the case is not broken before your dive. Any cracks can risk the integrity of the entire case and ruin your camera in the process. A quick check is all you need to make sure everything is okay.

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Take Underwater Photographs with a GoPro

Ever wondered, can you take a GoPro scuba diving? The answer is yes!

GoPro cameras are designed to be as durable as possible. This means that you can take it with you on your adventures without worrying about damaging it. GoPro cameras can also come with underwater cases to allow you to dive with the camera and take some impressive action shots.

While the camera has limitations, the GoPro is perfect for general scuba diving.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about scuba diving? Feel free to visit our website for more interesting articles.

GoPro for scuba diving (everything you need to know in 2022)

The GoPro for scuba diving remains one of the best options for filming underwater. As a simple and compact action camera, it provides everything you need for amateur shooting and will provide the best shots for b-rolls out of the water.

So, let’s have an in-depth look at the GoPro for scuba diving and lay down everything you need to know.

** Disclaimer: We’ve added affiliate links to this post for you to easily find the right products for you. Using the links below comes at no cost to you and helps us run OceanVibration through affiliate commissions. We only suggest products that we use and love ourselves! **

Is the GoPro good for scuba diving

Yes. The GoPro is the best entry-level underwater camera you can get for scuba diving. Armed with the diving case, the GoPro reaches a max depth of 60 meters and its body alone is waterproof to 10 meters. Therefore, even if you get a leak in the diving case, the GoPro will remain safe with water penetrating inside.

The GoPro for scuba diving also provides very good image quality, shooting in 4k at 30fps and even high frame rates. The video stabilization is also a great help for new underwater videography or when struggling with the current.

All in all, the GoPro is one of the best options for amateur underwater videographers and the best option for making holiday dive trips videos.

I shot my first videos on the GoPro 8 Black and have been happy with the result. Check out my last one:

And have a look at the one shot at Tubattaha Reef.

Why is the GoPro the best beginners camera for scuba diving

The GoPro is the best beginner’s underwater camera for scuba diving videos. On top of the image quality and simplicity of use, the GoPro provides the following essential advantages for beginner divers and underwater videographers:

  • It is light and easy to manage during your dive;
  • The one button press to shoot and advanced AI removes unnecessary stress for you;
  • It’s lightweight and compact, allowing you to learn using your lungs for boyancy while filming;
  • The GoPro configuration and wide angle allows you to work on your approach towards marine life;
  • Makes it simple to learn safety procedures while diving with a camera (ascent, checking air, deco, buddy);
  • It will allow you to understand and manage air consumption while filming underwater;
  • It is the easiest way to learn how to kick and stabilize for shots;
  • Allows you to learn shooting angles and movements.

Which GoPro is best for scuba diving in 2022

The GoPro Hero 9 remains the best value for money GoPro for scuba diving. With the recent release of the GoPro Hero 10, you may think that it will be the best option but it is not.

Let us lay down what are the essential specs of the camera that we need when filming underwater:

Image quality

GoPro Hero 10GoPro Hero 9DiscussionConclusion
Resolution5k / 4k5k / 4k5.3k will give you the cropping option in post-production. But to what cost?

4k is already a pain when it comes to post-editing now 5.3k will make it even worse.

Higher fps allow slowing-down fast-moving shots like a big fish passing close-by but are rarely used.

When using a GoPro for UW filming, I recommend keeping the ISO on Auto.


GoPro Hero 10GoPro Hero 9DiscussionConclusion
Shutter speedAutoAutoThe shutter speed required for underwater videography is always twice the frame rate. For example, 60fps = 1/120 shutter speed.

Removing the shakiness of a shot is crucial to a good visual experience. That said, a good diver should manage that without having to rely on electronic image stabilization.


To sum up, the GoPro 9 has everything you need for amazing underwater footage. However, do get the GoPro 10 in the following cases:

  • It is your first GoPro and you have the budget;
  • You want to upgrade from a GoPro 8 or lower;
  • You will make extensive use of the GoPro for other action packed videos;
  • Buy if you just having the latest and shiniest piece of gear.

Is the GoPro good for taking pictures underwater

Komodo underwater

Grabbing a frame of my favorite moment on the GoPro.

No. The GoPro is an action camera that was made with shooting videos in mind. Not many people will get a GoPro for shooting stills. Its’ handling in itself is not made for that, let alone its sensor and depth of field.

The best option when it comes to taking pictures with the GoPro is to content yourself with ‘grabs’ from shooting either 5k or 4k with 5k providing 19.6MP images.

If you are looking for the best entry-level compact camera, I would highly suggest getting the Olympus TG-6. And it shoots amazing videos too!

Disadvantages of the GoPro

Whilst being a really good easy to use action camera for shooting videos when diving. The GoPro comes with many downsides as follows:

  • Small sensor: it does not provide as good image quality and details as a DSLR at the same resolution;
  • Depth of field: forget about bokeh when using a GoPro;
  • Focus: there is no way to focus on the GoPro. In other words, playing around and moving back and forth before hitting the sweet spot; if ever.
  • White balance: being a key aspect of filming underwater, it is not possible to manually change white balance whilst underwater.

The best setup for scuba diving with a gopro

The key elements to shooting the best videos whilst scuba diving with a GoPro are the same as for any dive camera. You want to be looking for:

  • Good lighting;
  • Steadiness
  • Easy handling.

Consequently, your GoPro set up for scuba diving will look a lot like a professional setup; just more lightweight.

This scuba diving GoPro bundle is everything you need for your GoPro. It will allow you to shoot at any depth with its different filters and lights. Furthermore, it gives you the versatility to shoot both macro (pygmy seahorse) and wide (thresher sharks) with the lens switch system and lights.

Add this macro/snoot light to your system for mind-blowing macro shots!

Gopro Hero 9 bundle

The GoPro Hero 9 is a great action camera for scuba diving as mentioned above. The GoPro Hero 10 is needed but if it is within your budget, definitely go for it.

I shot my underwater scuba diving videos with the GoPro Hero 8 Black, so the 9 will be as good as it gets for the underwater action. Check out my YouTube video of Tubbataha Reefs shot on the GoPro 8 Black with a similar setup as recommended here.

GoPro 10 scuba diving case

A good scuba diving case for your GoPro 9/10 is essential as the depth rating of the GoPro on its own is only 10m (33ft). T-Housing Action Cam Underwater Video Housing For GoPro Hero 9/10 Black brings your GoPro to a depth of 250 meters!

GoPro 10 lanyard

Keep your hands free when you need it with this BTS – Coil Lanyard for GoPro. It provides a great system to have it either close (when not using) or at arm’s length (when shooting). Do not dive without a way to secure your camera.

Are GoPro sticks good for scuba diving

Not at all. GoPro sticks are any other kind of sticks or poles are a poor choice for filming underwater with a GoPro. And that is for the following reasons:

  • Lack of steadiness: a shaky shot can be stabilized in post or with Hypersmooth on but the stick makes your footage rock left and right which is doomed to go in the trash can.
  • Non-leveled shots: perfectly horizontal shots are a must for good underwater footage. Despite the new GoPro Hero 10 providing a decent horizon leveling, the underwater landscape still makes it hard to balance it right.
  • Poor framing: the LCD is tiny on any GoPros and having it at a stretched arms length plus the length of your pole makes it hard to grab a properly framed footage.
  • Body position: Above all, scuba diving with a stick is the worse as tends to make divers forget their bouyancy and trim when at depth.

GoPro filters for diving

GoPro filters are essential to scuba diving with a GoPro. In other words, the lack of white balance capacity on the go requires you to be able to adjust the warmth of the image another way. And that is using filters.

The best all-in-one solution for using filters with the GoPro is the Flip9 which attaches to the dive housing lens and allows you to change filters depending on dives.

Best overall filter solution

GoPro filter solution

The Flip9 with fit your GoPro 9 and 10 dive housing. It includes a shallow (3-20ft) dive filter, a normal dive (20-50ft) filter, and a lens for grabbing those most sought-after macro shots.

This will allow you to have the right image color at all depths during your dive with a simple filter flip!

Other GoPro filters

GoPro for scuba diving Deep dive filter

The perfect deep (50ft+) dive filter for the Flip9 system. Just remove the shallow one and dive with both the dive and deep dive one.

GoPro for scuba diving greenwater filter

If you will be diving in green water or the water is green at the shallow end. Make sure to attach this filter to your Flip9 system.

GoPro for scuba diving nightdive filter

Grab the most rad footage of fluorescent underwater life with this GoPro night dive filter for the Flip9 system.

Best settings for shooting underwater with your GoPro

You can definitely produce some jaw-dropping videos with the GoPro when scuba diving. All you need is the right setting and good video editing software.

Heavy post-editingLight post-editing
ColorFlatFlat / Natural (GoPro 10)
White balanceNativeNative
Shutter speedAutoAuto
Max/min ISO400/100Auto
EV Comp-0.5-0.5
Field of visionWideWide

Best alternative to GoPro for diving

Yes! There is a definitive GoPro killer! Whether it is the GoPro 9, 10, or any to come in the near future. And that is the Olympus TG-6.

The Olympus TG-6 is a beast of a compact camera. As it stands on its own, it is waterproof to 50ft (15 meters), shoots 4k30 videos with focusing and zooming abilities.

Above all, it also shoots some of the best pics you’ll ever get on a compact camera, and that includes macro photography.

The perfect GoPro set up for scuba diving will cost you USD 1,600 whereas a similar setup with the Olympus TG-6 will cost you USD 1,900. That is to say, USD 300 for a world of difference in quality and performance; the choice is yours.

Below is a similar setup to the GoPro for Olympus TG-6.

Olympus TG-6 with dive housing

Camera and housing for diving down to 45 meters.

Olympus TG-6 dive tray

A minimal and dive-friendly setup that includes, the dive tray, handles, flex arms, and lights.

Stainless steel lanyard

When it comes to full photography/videography setups, do not rely on the usual Amazon or other quality products. A solid and reliable lanyard with stainless steel clips and a reinforced coil is a must.

You don’t want to watch your expensive camera gear sink to the bottom of the ocean while on your safety stop!


[…] Time flies when you are having a good time! And so is the air in your tank! Scuba diving with a camera increases substantially your air consumption (thus the fact that I always recommend starting off with a GoPro setup). […]




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