Best GoPro for Scuba Diving of 2022

If you’re like us, then you love spending time underwater. Whether it’s swimming in the ocean or diving in a lake, being surrounded by water is just so peaceful and calming.

But even more than that, we love capturing photos and videos of the amazing things we can see while scuba diving.

Thinking of taking underwater photos and videos? You aren’t alone. GoPro cameras are flying off the shelves and into the hands of scuba divers as we speak.

Small, lightweight, and compact size, GoPro cameras fit neatly into your BCD pocket, ready to be whipped out at the first sign of that manta or shark you’re crossing your fingers and toes to see when diving.

You can’t go wrong with a GoPro camera. Here are some of our favorites, time-tested and used for years!

Best GoPro for Scuba Diving

  1. Best Overall – GoPro Hero 10 Black
  2. Best Budget – GoPro Hero 7 Black
  3. Runner-Up – GoPro Hero 9 Black
ProductGoPro HERO10 Black
GoPro HERO10
GoPro HERO7 Black
GoPro HERO7 Black
GoPro HERO9 Black
GoPro HERO9 Black
Ranking1st2nd3rd
Ratings5/54.5/54.5/5
Price$$$$$$
Photo Resolution23 MP12 MP20 MP
Max Video Resolution5.3K/60 fps4K60/50 fps5.3K/60fps
ProcessorGP2GP1GP1
Special FeaturesHyperSmooth 4.0
TimeWarp 3.0
8X Slo-Mo
Night Lapse
Hypersmooth 2.0
TimeWarp 2.0
8x Slo-Mo
Hypersmooth 3.0 TimeWarp 3.0
8X Slo-Mo
Warranty1 year1 year1 year

Why Do Underwater Photography

Scuba diving is such an amazing experience, with tons of underwater marvels to gawk at. Wouldn’t you want to record your dive and be able to show your friends and family your best photos or a fantastic video in top-notch quality?

Nature is at its best underwater, and while scuba diving is not about looking through lenses, you’ll regret not taking a camera down when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity shows up!

And looking at past images and videos can be SO much fun. You get to relive that dive all over again and bring back memories about how spectacular it was.

Diver holding a GoPro

Why Buy A GoPro Underwater Camera

The good thing about great equipment is that you don’t have to be the best photographer in the world to deliver stunning images. The colors and textures of the gorgeous underwater scenes will help you do that.

You just concentrate on diving!

GoPro cameras are some of the best cameras on the market for a variety of reasons. They’re durable, waterproof, and have excellent video quality. Plus, they’re easy to use, making them perfect for both beginner and advanced shooters right out of the box.

Their underwater housings are renowned for being durable while their accessories make all their scuba cameras incredibly versatile. Mount it on your BCD and for hands free shooting!

The video resolution of their top cameras is unparalleled while the quality of their diving shots is legendary.

️ About GoPro Cameras – A Short Introduction

GoPro, Inc. designs and manufactures small, high-performance cameras capable of capturing professional-quality digital video both underwater and above the surface.

Founded in 2005 by Nick Woodman, the company has built an impressive reputation with its incredibly versatile line of action cameras that are compact enough to mount everywhere and durable enough to use even in extreme sports.

Must-Have GoPro Accessories

4 GoPro Accessories for the Best Underwater Shots

GoPro is one of the best brands for underwater action cameras. Using a GoPro for underwater videos works intuitively and makes editing easier thanks to the GoPro filters for scuba diving.

Once you have invested in an underwater action camera, you will be excited to jump in the water with it and start shooting those underwater shots. Before you do, make your life that much easier, and get yourself some GoPro accessories to go with it.

Table of Contents

4 Best GoPro Accessories You Need For The Best Underwater Shots

GoPro is known for its top-quality images and video but underwater shooting still requires skill for smooth transitions, appropriate GoPro water accessories such as lighting, and focus.

Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable accessories that can help you with that with these must-have GoPro accessories. If you are looking to achieve more professional video footage underwater, then perhaps a scuba diving drone would be the perfect fit for you.

1. Sruim Diving Lens Filter Kit

Sruim Diving Lens Filter Kit

The deeper you go, the more difficult it is to capture beautiful colors. This is why you should use color filters for underwater photography.

Filter colors remove the blue shades in the color spectrum so that the red tones appear more clearly. This makes your shot more lively instead of seeming faded out without a filter.

Read Post  Scuba Diving Solo: What You Need to Know

This Sruim filter kit includes three different shades, each one with its own most suitable depth. The light red is for depths between 2 – 15 feet, the magenta for a wide range between 7 – 70 feet and the red filter works best between 15 – 85 feet.

Besides the red filters, you get a waterproof case fitting the GoPro Hero 7, 6 and 5, anti-fog inserts for each side and a little bag. Make sure that you wash the case with fresh water and wipe it dry after each dive in the ocean to prevent rusting.

2. Suptig Dimmable LED Light Fill

Suptig Diving Light High Power Dimmable Waterproof LED Video Light

Besides a loss of color, there is also a loss of natural light the deeper that you go. A lot of the more interesting marine wildlife is found at deeper depths so you need to use an artificial source of light for compensation. So here is some advice on GoPro underwater lighting.

LED lights are a popular choice among divers because LEDs give off a more natural white light and there are several designs that you can fit onto a rig or GoPro waterproof case. This makes them more practical than a strobe which you often have to hold in your hand for the correct angles.

This particular version of the Suptig is a suitable Gopro underwater light that can go as deep as 147 feet. It delivers 5500 – 6000 kelvin which is equivalent to daylight, is very bright at 500 lumens and the diodes emit the light at a wide angle for optimal coverage of your surroundings.

Each package comes with a rechargeable battery with the adapter included. This standard battery lets you enjoy the light for 1.5 hours on HI, 4 hours on LOW and 6 hours on its flash setting. GoPro dive lighting had to be a must on the list of GoPro scuba accessories.

3. MOVO GB-U70 Underwater Diving Rig

Movo GB-U70 Underwater Diving Rig for GoPro Hero with Cold Shoe Mounts

Stability is one of the key things to practice when using a camera while scuba diving. During your dive course, you will have learned to control your buoyancy and this is one of the main skills when shooting dive videos.

One of the accessories that help keep the image clear and focused is a dive tray or diving rig, preferable a setup with a grip for both hands. This u-shaped rig by MOVO gives you that double grip with an additional wrist strap for extra security. GoPro mounts accessories are really essential for the quality you will be expecting.

Besides offering you a good stable grip, it is also multifunctional since you can use it for mounting other accessories, as well. On the two shoe mounts, you can add LED lights, monitors, microphones and so on.

This piece is constructed of aluminum alloy for the sturdy build while still being lightweight enough that it does not weigh you down during your dive. Its dimensions are also reasonably compact so you have more flexibility of movement.

4. MiPremium Waterproof Floating Handgrip

Waterproof Floating Hand Grip Compatible with GoPro

If you do not want to lug around a full tray and prefer the extra distance a hand grip gives you, consider this product by MiPremium. The soft non-slip grip is 7 inches long with a J-hook for attaching the GoPro that still lets you adjust the camera angle up to 180 degrees and is the perfect example of Gopro underwater accessories.

At the bottom of the grip, there is a hollow compartment so you could potentially use this for waterproof storage for another small dive tool. However, its more appropriate function is for buoyancy since the product floats naturally when the inside compartment is filled with water.

This is a durable design with new rustproof stainless steel screws, non-slip EVA grip, and minimal parts so that there are also fewer things that can get damaged. The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can assure yourself of a good buy.

These four GoPro scuba diving accessories are just a quick example of the many possibilities that come with a GoPro camera. It is one of the easiest brands to find accessories for so you never feel limited during your scuba diving shoots.

The smartest idea is getting a waterproof case that is easily mounted with other parts so that you have all your photography and video tools in one simple setup.

Scuba diving is more than a passion to me, it’s a part of who I am. Now, I travel and dive as much as I can, exploring the world, trying new dive gear, discovering dive destinations and reviewing them here for you. All while educating people of the threats our marine life and oceans face every day and what we can do to help defend it.

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! **

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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.

Hardware

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.

Conclusion

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
ProTuneOnOn
ColorFlatFlat / Natural (GoPro 10)
White balanceNativeNative
Shutter speedAutoAuto
Max/min ISO400/100Auto
EV Comp-0.5-0.5
SharpnessMediumHigh
Resolution4k4k
FPS6060
Field of visionWideWide
HypersmoothOnOn

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!

3 Comments

[…] 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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