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The Best Waterproof Camera (Plus 11 Runners Up)

Looking for the best waterproof camera? We’ll be looking at high video and picture resolution, good battery life, and great audio. Bluetooth/wireless, and live stream capabilities are also important. So let’s get started.

best waterproof camera

There are many options on the market and the subtle differences can make it hard to know which is right for you. This list of top cameras will help you sort everything out. But before we get into the features and list, here’s our top pick for the best waterproof camera.

Top Pick: GoPro Hero9 Black (Best Waterproof Camera)

The GoPro Hero9 Black rises to the top for me because of the quality of the underwater footage out of the box.

You don’t need an extra housing/case to get clear underwater photos and video with this little beauty, you’ve got 33 feet (10 meters) of underwater freedom out of the box. We’re talking 20-megapixel photos and 5Kvideo! 

It’s also packed full of other features that make it versatile and competent in and out of the water.

Do I need a waterproof camera? A waterproof camera is important, even if you don’t plan on taking it underwater with you. They are perfect in rain, snow, and other wet environments.

best waterproof action camera

Want to do a little research before you make up your mind? Let’s take a look at some waterproof camera features which will help you narrow things down as you make your choice. And then we’ll share our list of the top waterproof cameras.

7 Waterproof Camera Features

Each waterproof camera you look at will have a number of different features. Very few cameras will have high-quality for each feature, and there is some give and take in every model. However, finding the features that are most important to you can help narrow down your options. 

For example, if you want to scuba dive and take amazing pictures underwater, you may need to consider a camera that is waterproof to a greater depth. On the other hand, wireless capabilities and live streaming may be important if you want to share your adventures on social media.

Let’s look at some features and see what stands out to you. 

Some features to consider when purchasing a waterproof camera:

  1. Waterproof depth: Some cameras are waterproof for more depth than others. Our list includes options that are waterproof from 16 feet to 131 feet. Always check whether the camera can be waterproof on its own or if it needs a special waterproof case to help with that. 
  2. Resolution: Higher resolutions can allow you to print larger and crop closer. Check both the photo and video resolution to find the one for you. Here’s more about sorting out megapixel ratings.
  3. Audio Recording: If you plan to live stream or share your videos online, the audio capabilities will be important on your camera. Some waterproof cameras have amazing audio recording capabilities while others may not focus on this as much. 
  4. Battery life: The longer your battery lasts, the more pictures you can take before needing to recharge. Keep in mind that videos and live streaming can eat up your battery power, even on strong batteries. If you plan to record a lot of videos, bring an extra battery or two. 
  5. Data Storage: Most cameras do not include a lot of storage for pictures without using a memory card. Some may handle a few pictures in case the card gets full, but many won’t hold any. If you want that extra protection, check to see how much internal memory is found on the camera. 
  6. Wireless: Many of the cameras on our list are wireless, making it easy to share pictures and videos when you want. Other cameras do not allow this so if wireless capabilities are important, always check for this. 
  7. Live Stream: A few of the cameras on our list make it easy to live stream your videos as you take them. This can be an important feature for many social media influencers and having this capability may make your life a little easier too. 

With those features in mind let’s take a look at the best waterproof cameras within each type of camera: point-and-shoot, action, 360-degree, and waterproof cameras for kids. 

best waterproof point and shoot camera

Waterproof Point and Shoot Cameras

The first type of camera we’ll look at is the basic waterproof point-and-shoot cameras. These are easy to take along with you because they are simple and lightweight.

Some of the best waterproof point and shoot cameras include:

1. Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera

  • Waterproof: Up to 50 feet
  • Resolution: Picture resolution is 12 MP and video in 4K UHD
  • Battery life: Lasts 110 minutes taking pictures and 29 minutes with recording. 
  • Data: 64GB card will hold up to 9000 pictures. 
  • Wireless capabilities: Yes
  • Price: See current price

The Olympus Tough TG-6 is a great little point and shoot waterproof camera. It provides a lot of features that you need in a camera on the go.

This camera is shockproof, anti-fog, and provides 8X zoom. It also has 4 Macro shooting modes, and connects wirelessly to your smartphone to make it easy to transfer pictures to save them later. 

2. Nikon W300 Waterproof Digital Camera

  • Waterproof: Up to 100 feet
  • Resolution: Picture resolution is 16 MP and video is 1080 full HP or 4K UHD. 
  • Battery life: Up to 100 minutes
  • Wireless: Can connect wirelessly to tablets or smartphones
  • Price: See current price

The Nikon W300 camera is the perfect option to use no matter what environment you encounter! This camera is dustproof, shockproof, and waterproof so it will stay safe no matter what.

It can even work well in cold temperatures as low as -10°C/14°F on land and -17°C/ 0°F underwater. The zoom helps you to get those action shots, and this camera comes with a handy GPS so you can stay on track wherever you go. 

This is a good camera to choose if you want to go deep underwater and see some amazing sights. Not many point and shoot cameras work up to 100 feet underwater, and it does an amazing job on land. 

3. Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Digital Camera and Underwater Camcorder

  • Waterproof: Up to 26 feet
  • Resolution: Video resolution is  1280X720p, still photos are 16 MP.
  • Memory: It takes an SD card but has 220MB of memory built-in
  • Wireless: No
  • Price: See current price

The Panasonic Lumix camera is great for any trip, big or small. It provides great underwater shots up to 26 feet (8 meters), for up to 60 minutes at a time.

It is also shock-resistant, dustproof, and can handle lower temperatures as well. The built-in memory helps you take more pictures, up to 34, even after your memory card is full.

Since 34 pictures will not get you far, bringing along an extra memory card or two. 

best waterproof digital camera

Curious about IPX ratings? IPX Waterproof Rating Guide: All IPX Codes Explained

Waterproof Action Cameras

If your goal is to be around the action, both in and near the water, then you need an amazing action camera to help you keep up.

These action cameras have stability and shake boosters to make the video as even as possible while providing amazing features that you are sure to love. 

4. GoPro Hero9 Black

  • Waterproof: Up to 33 feet
  • Resolution: Pictures are 20MP and video in 5K
  • Wireless: Yes. This camera provides live streaming capabilities with the use of Hypersmooth stabilization. 
  • Price: See current price

The GoPro Hero9 Black is the ultimate camera when you want to capture amazing videos in the water. It uses Hypersmooth 3.0 video stabilization, which will keep all of the action nice and smooth.

It also has 8x Slo-Mo to help slow down a scene, which will help you get a closer look when the action moves super fast, or you want to slow it down for special effects in your videos. 

The TimeWarp 3.0 feature is nice for time-lapse and the Hindsight feature helps you capture video 30 seconds before you pressed the record button. All of these come together to help you get the very best action shots and never miss a thing. 

Check out our GoPro waterproof guide

5. DJI Osmo Action

  • Waterproof: Up to 11 m. 
  • Resolution: Picture resolution is 12 MP and video in 4K HDR
  • Battery life: Up to 2 hours
  • Wireless: Yes, it works with iOS 10.0 and Android 7.0 and up. 
  • Price: See current price

The DJI Osmo action camera is great when you need a stable video even with lots of action. It is also freezeproof up to -10°C/ 14°F so you can get those action shots no matter where they take place.

The Dual Screen will help you keep up with everything and the 8X Slow Motion option can slow everything down so you never miss a thing. 

6. Akaso V50 Elite

  • Waterproof: Up to 131 feet
  • Resolution: Pictures are 20 MP and video in 4K HD
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Data: Will need a memory card (one is not included)
  • Battery: A good battery life but drains fast in the cold
  • Price: See current price

The Akaso V50 Elite is one of the best waterproof cameras on our list. It can go the deepest while providing you a lot of fantastic videos under the water. This camera uses voice control to make it easier to control and the V50 stabilization can keep videos stable while predicting your movements ahead of time. 

Users of the camera can also choose three different angles for viewing based on their needs. These include wide, medium, and narrow. It is easy to switch between the different angles and views so you can get the exact video you want.

Learn more about Akaso cameras

best 360 degree waterproof camera

360 Degree Waterproof Cameras

360 Degree waterproof cameras are perfect when video is your main focus. This option will make sure you capture the action from every angle which will also result in some amazing/unique photos.

Some of the best 360-degree waterproof cameras include:

7. GoPro Max

  • Waterproof: Up to 16 feet, but a case is needed for clear underwater footage
  • Data: Can hold up to 360 pictures. 
  • Resolution: Pictures are 16.6 MP, video is 5.6K HD and live streaming 1080p
  • Wireless: It is wireless and will support live streaming
  • Price: See current price

The GoPro Max camera is one of the best options for panoramic photos thanks to the PowerPano feature. It also comes with a feature known as Horizon leveling to give that cinematic look to everything you capture.

Max Hypersmooth gives more stabilization to your live streams as well, making this the perfect camera for all your video needs. 

This camera doesn’t go as far underwater as some of the other options, and you’ll need a waterproof case for crisp resolution underwater. However, it is a great choice for live streaming with great audio and high-quality videos without the worry of it getting wet. 

8. Insta 360

  • Waterproof: Up to 16.4 feet (5 meters)
  • Resolution: 5.7K Video and 4K wide angle video. HDR for pictures and video
  • Wireless: No
  • Battery: Up to two hours
  • Price: See current price

The Insta 360 camera is amazing at providing high-quality color to your video and pictures. It also does a great job with night shots thanks to the Night Shot setting which provides vibrant pictures in dark light, and Starlapse to look at the stars. 

It also has an invisible selfie-stick setting which is great when you don’t want a selfie stick getting in the shot. 

9. Ricoh Theta V 4k 360 Spherical Camera and Underwater Housing

  • Waterproof: Up to 30 meters when using the case
  • Resolution: 4K for video
  • Data: Need to choose an SD card
  • Wireless: Yes and it works directly with your smartphone
  • Price: See current price

The Ricoh Theta camera is light and compact, making it perfect for traveling around. The underwater housing component ensures you can go deep in the water and get the best videos and pictures possible. 

Everything about this camera is made for capturing amazing videos, from a 4-channel microphone, anti-shaking abilities, and a 360-degree spatial audio recording.

Your videos will look amazing and can sync up with your smartphone in no time. 

best waterproof cameras for kids

Waterproof Cameras for Kids

A camera can be the perfect gift for your child, helping them to capture the world around them and be more creative.

Kids can be a little hard on technology though and finding the right option that they can use and have fun with, without the camera breaking or being destroyed is important.

Some of the best waterproof cameras for kids include:

10. KODAK PixPro WP22

  • Waterproof: Up to 49 feet (15 meters)
  • Resolution: Pictures are 16 MP and video in 1080p
  • Data: You will need to use a micro-SD chip
  • Wireless: Can hook up to Wi-Fi
  • Price: See current price

KODAK PixPro is one of the best options for kid-friendly cameras out there. It is shockproof up to six feet (2 meters) so if your child drops it the fun continues.

It has wireless capabilities to share videos. 

It also includes capabilities to take amazing pictures and a 4X optical zoom so your child can take pictures they are proud to show off to their friends and family.

Let them take this one along on the next family trip and see how much fun they have!

11. Fujifilm FinePix XP130

  • Waterproof: Up to 65 feet (20 meters)
  • Resolution: Pictures are 16.4 MP
  • Wireless: It will use Bluetooth capability to help you transfer images right away
  • Data Storage: You can have the pictures instantly transferred over or use a memory card. 
  • Price: See current price

The Fujifilm FinePix is a simple and sturdy camera for your kids. It’s small, compact, lightweight, dustproof, freezeproof to 14°F -10°C, and shockproof to 5.7 feet (1.75 meters). All the durability you need in a camera for kids. 

The LCD monitor is 3.0 inches, making it easy for your child to see images on it and the anti-reflective coating keeps off the glare. Your child can instantly see the pictures they take without having to wait for them to download to a computer!

12. iSHARE Waterproof Kids Camera

  • Waterproof: Up to 9.8 feet (3 meters)
  • Resolution: Pictures are 21 MP and videos are 1080p. 
  • Data: No internal storage but comes with a 16 GB micro-SD card
  • Wireless: No
  • Price: See current price

The iSHARE camera is a great option for your child to take around with them. It even comes with a floating strap so they can grab it in the pool and take pictures with their friends, without ruining the camera. It comes with a 2-inch screen to view pictures and is easy enough for your child to use.

The pictures are amazing as well at 21 MP. Plus, the design of this camera is so much fun!

best underwater digital camera

Don’t forget to mount your camera to a floating handle.

Waterproof Cameras and You

A waterproof camera is a great choice to help you capture amazing underwater footage/pictures, and to take the worry out of weather conditions.

There are so many options out there, it is sometimes hard to know which one you should pick. We hope this list of the best underwater cameras has helped you choose the best camera for you.

Do you have a favorite waterproof camera? Please let us know by commenting on this post.

BG Davis

Wednesday 21st of April 2021

The most important thing is a balance between high resolution and density of pixels. Cramming 20mp on a small sensor does NOT improve image quality - it degrades it due to electronic "noise". For small sensors, 12mp seems optimal. For 1" sensors, 16mp-20mp is reasonable. Even micro 4/3 sensor cameras are sticking to 20mp because that is the "sweet spot" for image quality. "More MP = better IQ" is a myth, pure and simple.