Being under the water, or snorkeling in particular is a memorable and unique experience that deserves to be recorded in our minds. You need the best underwater camera for snorkeling to help you document your own experiences to share with others. Underwater cameras are waterproof and shockproof, providing you the ability to capture every moment with the best quality.
However, it’s hard for unprofessionals to understand all the figures being advertised on the Internet in order to choose the best underwater camera for snorkeling. Each comes with its own pros and cons, in this buying guide from our site, we review the best 13 cameras, with a variety of prices and features. All you need to do is to find the one that matches your preference and budget.
Detailed Reviews Of Top 13 Best Underwater Camera For Snorkeling
GoPro Hero Black 8 CHDHX-801 12 MP Action Camera
- HyperSmooth 2.0: HERO8 Black has three levels of stabilization – On, High and Boost. Get the widest views, or boost to the smoothest video ever offered in a HERO camera. Works with all resolutions and frame rates, and features in-app horizon leveling
- Streamlined Design: The re-imagined shape is more pocketable, and folding fingers at the base let you swap mounts quickly. A new side door makes changing batteries even faster, and the lens is now 2x more impact-resistant compared to previous models
- Expandable Mods: Vloggers, pro filmmakers and aspiring creators can do more than ever imagined with our HERO8 Black mods (sold separately). Media Mod gives you shotgun-mic performance and lets you attach Light Mod and Display Mod to up your capture game
GoPro is one of the most reliable names when it comes to underwater cameras for snorkeling. Its latest model, GoPro Hero Black 8, is the result of smart innovation and minimal design. A critical improvement compared with the GoPro Hero Black 7 is the fold-out feet, which can be attached easily on anywhere. The feet fold out like butterfly wings, resembling the design of a traditional action camera mount. The exterior design is also enhanced with smaller and more portable size, which can be put into the skinnies jeans!
Considering the quality of image and video, GoPro Hero Black 8 can be regarded as the best underwater camera for snorkeling as it provides a high level of stabilization with its Hyperboost feature. The camera is able to give you stunning footage in both light and dark. The content shooted by this camera has less noise compared to other action cameras.
Another impressive feature of GoPro Hero Black 8 is the TimeWarp 2.0 to record time lapse video at the speed of 30fps and 4K quality. This feature only is a big winning point in the field of underwater cameras.
GoPro Hero Black 7
- HyperSmooth: Get gimbal‑like stabilization—without the gimbal. HERO7 Black corrects for camera shake to deliver insanely smooth footage
- TimeWarp: Capture super stabilized time lapse videos while you move about a scene. Increase the speed up to 30x to turn longer activities into shareable moments
- Live streaming in 720p: Share while you’re there. Live stream in 720p on social, get HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast via the GoPro app and save footage to your SD card to check out later
If you want to save me money but still want a GoPro high – quality camera, GoPro 7 is the reasonable choice. It has 90% of GoPro Hero Black 8 with portable design and amazing features for underwater video. It only ranks second in the competition for the best underwater camera for snorkeling because it does not mount fingers and a wide range of mods like GoPro Hero Black 8.
The newly upgraded features in GoPro 8 are mainly for talkative vloggers with slightly better audio and more shooting modes. If you are producing videos with little or unimportant voices, GoPro Hero Black 7 is just a better option to save a few bucks.
Panasonic Lumix Lx10 4k Digital Camera
- POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA: Large, 1-inch 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor plus 3X zoom LEICA DC VARIO-SU millimeter ILUX lens (24-72 millimeter) and POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) delivers brighter, more colorful photos with fewer image artifacts
- TILTING SELFIE DISPLAY: Rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD display (1040K dots) tilts upward 180 degree for easy selfie photos
- 4K VIDEO CAPTURE: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), plus exclusive LUMIX 4K photo and 4K Post Focus with internal Focus Stacking allows you to record photos up to 30fps and set your desired focus points after the photo has been taken
Panasonic Lumix LX10 is a compact yet powerful digital camera. With a fast 24 – 72 mm equivalent built – in lents and a 20.1- megapixel 1 – inch type sensor, it is able to give us the best images out of its peers produced by Panasonic. The image quality can satisfy many professionals (4K Video and 4K Photos together with many customized options) and it is easy to use for beginners. It has a touchscreen display and user – friendly interface.
It has a wide variety of shooting modes such as Clear Portrait, Clear in Backlight, Vivid Sunset Glow, Glistening Water, Clear Nightscape. It performs well in low-light situations thanks to the fast lens and good high ISO performance.
However, it is not 100% perfect. It still has trivial drawbacks such as the slippery exterior design. To use it underwater, you should be ready to get an excellent waterproof housing case together with other accessories (molds, grips, etc.).
Panasonic Lumix Lx10 II 4k Digital Camera
Panasonic Lumix LX10 is already an exceptional one in terms of the best underwater camera for snorkeling, but it dates back from 2014. If you want a newer and upgraded version, Panasonic has recently put the Lumix LX10 II on shelves. It has all the outstanding features of the first version with a few favorable improvements.
The most important change is the sensor. It is enhanced from a 16MP chip to a 21.MP chip, implying that the details in videos and photos are much better with LX10 II. The level of detail is preserved well around ISO 3200. That’s why expert photographers, professional travelling video makers are all in love with this camera. For beginners, it brings natural and nice colors even with default settings and easy to use with a smart arrangement of buttons.
A feature that we hope it will improve in the next LX10 is the fixed touchscreen. While the shooting modes and features encourage us to be creative with shooting videos, the fixed screen prevents us from experimenting with different angles.
Sony RX100 VII Premium Compact Camera
- 20. 1MP 1. 0 Type stacked CMOS sensor, Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 24 200 millimeter F2. 8 F4. 5 large aperture high magnification zoom lens
- 0. 02 sec. High AF speed, 357 point focal plane Phase detection AF and 425 point contrast detection AF
- Up to 20 fps blackout free shooting, using up to 60 times/sec. AF/AE calculations. Diopter Adjustment: -4.0 to +3.0 m-1. Operating Temperature- 0 degrees C.- +40 degrees C. / 32 degrees F. - 104 degrees F
Sony names this camera ‘Premium’ as it is premium regarding both price and quality. Sony RX100 series is already popular with travelling vloggers and video makers owing to its superior quality.
RX100 VII Premium version has a 24-200mm lens, a high-speed shooting and latest-gen AF system is amazing. Sony has tried to put a 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor into a compact camera, meaning that more minimal outside but better quality inside. Thus, it offers the most value to professionals who want to experiment with many styles.
For beginners and intermediate video makers, it is not really a good bargain because you may not need all of these amazing features. Some experts comment that Sony has overwhelmed customers with a complicated mixture of features, which leads to an obvious consequence: the buttons are small and difficult to get used to.
Dragon Touch 4K action camera waterproof
- 4K Action Camera with 4X Zoom: Professional 4K/30FPS, 2.7K/30FPS, 1080P/60FPS video enables you to capture every exciting moment. 20MP photo resolution captures incredible photos, restoring the truest colors and details for the best image results. This camera also features zoom range from 1.0X to 4.0X.
- 100FT Waterproof Action Camera: Place your camera into the waterproof case and securely fasten it, you can dive below 100ft (30m). Underwater cameras is ideal for water sports such as swimming, surfing, diving, snorkeling etc.
- Wireless Remote Control & Adjustable View Angle: Put the remote control on your wrist while installing the camera on the helmet, selfie stick, etc, convenient to record moments in places. You can choose as many different viewing angles as you need to shoot, it’s up to you to decide expand or narrow field view.
A cheaper alternative to GoPro camera is a Dragon Touch 4K action camera. This camera is the best underwater camera for snorkeling if you are a beginner with the camera world. It offers almost the same features as GoPro cameras: 4K Ultra HD, 4x zoom, 16 MP resolution and a 170 – degree wide – angle lens. Both professional and amateur video makers love Dragon Touch also because it gives us an impressive number of features such as driving mode, image rotation, time-lapse, loop recording, slow motion and exposure. For underwater activities, we just need to use a waterproof case to capture our moments of snorkeling, surfing or swimming.
Another immense advantage of Dragon Touch is that you can save a few more dollars for accessories. You can either buy the camera with some accessories related to your activities such as bicycle and helmet mounts, tethers, rechargeable batteries, etc. or you can buy a whole package.
The only drawback of Dragon Touch 4K is the instability of video quality. It can not handle shock or give you a high level of stabilization as GoPro cameras. The battery life is also shorter compared to GoPro, thus, increasing yourbudget for a few bucks to get rechargeable batteries.
AKASO EK7000 4K WiFi Sports Waterproof Action Camera
- 4K Ultra HD action camera. Professional 4K 30Fps & 2.7K 30Fps video with 16MP photos at up to 30 frames per second for incredible photos, which is 4 times the resolution of traditional HD cameras.
- Wireless wrist remote control sports camera. With a wrist 2.4G remote, you can capture the world in an all-new way. Controlling the camera, framing shots or recording video is convenient.
- Longer battery life. AKASO EK7000 action camera comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries. Each battery can record up to 90 minutes. No more worry about the recording time for this Action camera.
AKASO EK700 Sports Camera is also a strong competitor in the battle for the best underwater camera for snorkeling. With a slightly higher price compared to Dragon Touch 4K and still much cheaper than GoPro Cameras, it is surprisingly suitable for any underwater or sports activities. In terms of exterior design, AKASO EK7000 looks 90% the same as GoPro: minimal and portable size, similar mount connection, even the identical packaging. Considering features, it has 4K video, time lapse, burst mode, and built-in wifi–check. In other ways, it can give you almost every type of footage you want with an excellent quality regarding its price.
Some imperfections of AKASO EK700 include the 4K mode is limited to 25fps. It means that if you are a professional video maker, you need to consider it carefully. If you are like me, just want to capture some memorable experiences, 25 fps makes no difference on social media. In addition, AKASO EK7000 can not give you smooth footage as GoPro cameras, particularly in some activities like mountain cycling. However, for underwater videos (which do not include many sudden movements), this problem can be solved easily afterwards in the editing process.
APEMAN A80 Action Camera
Another economical alternative is the APEMAN A80. At a lower price in the range of action cameras, APEMAN offers 4K video at 24fps, 1080p at 30 or 60fps, and 720p at 30, 60 and 120fps. A noticeable feature of this camera is the accessory bundle, which saves money and satisfies the need of new video makers. The bundle comes in a convenient zipping case and includes waterproof housing, open mount with standard tripod screw, a shirt clip, adapters, clamp mount, batteries, cables, etc.
Testing the quality image, we see that the image is not as clear and excellent as other action cameras, however, at the price under $100, it is still a favorable option. The advice from experts is to avoid too bright scenes, otherwise, your videos would be overexposed or blurry.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT30
If you still want a basic, simple camera just producing good footage underwater, Panasonic Lumix DMC FT30 is the one for you. It has a strong appearance and is easy to bring with you on any trips. It is waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FT30 gives you a 2.3in LCD screen, a two-step shutter, a separate button to initiate video recordings, and a typical array of menu navigation buttons on the rear. The design is user – friendly and suitable for all kinds of users.
However, you need to be ready for an LCD screen which can not be seen in direct sunlight or too bright an environment. It will cause some troubles when you shoot videos outside, particularly under the sun. Another drawback is the lack of a lens cover. You need to always clean the lens to remove any dusts, water or fog, otherwise, the footage will be unsatisfactory.
Panasonic LUMIX Digital Camera DMC-TS30
- QUAD-PROOF TOUGH CAMERA – Made for active lifestyles, this rugged camera is waterproof (to 8m/26ft.), shockproof (to 1.5m/5ft.), dust and freezeproof (to -10C/14F), perfect for photos or video anywhere
- MEGA O.I.S. CAMERA LENS - Automatically compensates for blurring caused by hand-shake movement. Detected instantly by a sampling frequency of 4,000 times/second to produce sharp, clear images
- BEAUTIFUL UNDERWATER SHOTS - The red color reproduction of Advanced Underwater Mode easily compensates for the red tones easily lost in underwater shooting to create more natural underwater images
One feature that Panasonic Lumix excels at is creating multi – purpose cameras. The Lumix DMC – TS30 is a waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof camera which can be used in many outdoor activities and in a wide range of environments: from underwater to dry land. Some of the outstanding features are 16.1 MP CCD and an 8X Intelligent Zoom. It gives you crystal clear images even in dark environments and accurate focus. Intelligent Auto Mode and Scene Mode provide us the ability to shoot in many situations such as Sunset, Starry Sky, Night Scenery, etc.
A noteworthy point making Panasonic LUMIX DMC – TS30 the best underwater camera for snorkeling is the Advanced Underwater Mode. It compensates for the red tones lost in the underwater environment, saving us a lot of editing efforts. The navigation panel shows us the specific settings for Sports, Snow, Beach and Snorkeling.
Some drawbacks include inability to handle too much brightness and stabilization problems. You need to be careful and should not let sunlight hit the lens directly. The stabilization is not as excellent as other action cameras, implying that you may need to purchase additional accessories or more effort in the editing process.
Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
- Water proof (50 feet /15 meter), dust proof, shock proof (7 feet / 2.1 meter), crush proof (100 kgf), freeze proof (14 degree Fahrenheit / -10 degree Celsius), anti-fog
- High resolution F2.0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back illuminated CMOS image sensor
- Variable macro system comprised of 4 macro shooting modes, magnified shooting up to 1 centimeter from the end of the lens
Olympus Tough TG – 6 is a famous name for both professional and amateur video makers in terms of underwater videos. It has many white balance presets for underwater: Shallow setting for 10 – feet (3 – meters), Mid Range for 10 – 50 feet (3 – 15 meters) and Deep for below 50 feet (below 15 meters). For shooting mode, it has five preset shooting modes: Snapshot, Wide, Macro, Microscope, and HDR. These details are attractive especially if you are into many underwater activities.
Other features include superb lenses to deal with different levels of brightness) and the power to give us satisfaction in both photos and videos. It is also waterproof (50 feet /15 meter), dust proof, shockproof (7 feet / 2.1 meter), crush proof (100kgf), freeze proof (14 degree Fahrenheit / -10 degree Celsius ), anti fog.
However, Olympus Tough TG-6 is not 100% perfect. With a higher price than other action cameras, you need to consider your decision thoroughly. A minor drawback like the relatively small sensor (sometimes creating noisy and blurry background) may be the decisive factor for a professional video maker.
Nikon Waterproof Coolpix W300 camera
When it comes to exterior design, Nikon Coolpix Camera looks reliable and tough with smart arrangement of buttons. This may sound minor, however, for beginners in video making, these buttons allow us to quickly turn on flash, macro, timer and exposure compensation mode as well as specific scene shooting mode. It is also lighter than Olympus Tough and has a textured surface on the right side and the area on the back for your thumb. These characteristics are useful when you have no or little experience carrying the camera around.
For features and shooting modes, Nikon appears to be relatively similar to Olympus: 4K underwater videos, strong in a wide range of environments, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Wifi built – in. However, its quality is slightly lower compared with Oympus Tough TG – 6, particularly in dim light environments.
If you are a beginner in video making and has a medium budget, Nikon Coolpix W300 is actually a reasonable investment. Considering its price, this camera brings us more than our expectations.
Fujifilm FinePix XP140 Digital Camera
- SENSOR: Thanks to the 16.4MP BSI-CMOS sensor, even dark scenes can be captured in bright clarity. The camera features 15 fps high-speed continuous shooting. The ability to shoot at ISO12800 delivers sharp images with low-noise even in low light conditions. This digital camera is capable of delivering excellent photographs even in underwater or low light conditions
- 4K VIDEO RECORDING: It is capable of recording 4K video. Its high-speed video recording function allows you to record HD video at up to 4x frame rate to produce smooth slow-motion video even for a fast-moving subject. Enjoy a touch of creativity with the versatile video-recording functions
- LENS: The widest setting of 28mm on the high-performance, versatile Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens is perfectly suited for close up action shots and beautiful natural scenes. Clear portraits are easy using the 5x optical zoom and you can get even closer using the 10x Intelligent Digital Zoom
This camera is likely to catch the eyes of us when we surf the shopping web. It has an attractive, colorful and cute exterior design along with more affordable price (in comparison with Olympus Tough and Nikon Coolpix).
Considering its design and features, it is just a bargain. The buttons are arranged nicely, the battery and memory card door with a rotating lock mechanism give us the security, particularly in underwater environments.
In terms of features, we cannot expect more at a very reasonable price: it just gives us all we need for a holiday and personal travelling video. It produces videos with the same quality as your high-end smartphones in underwater environments. It is 25-metre waterproof, 1.8m shockproof which can tolerate harsh conditions in many trips.
Guide to choose the best underwater camera for snorkeling
Here are some important criteria for you to consider before making a purchase:
Most underwater cameras are also made for other outdoor activities. Some will have specific features for underwater videos and lower price.
Considering whether your purpose is professional and recreational is also a big question you need to ask yourself. 4K videos and nearly 4K videos sometimes make no difference on social media platforms. Even a vlog on Youtube requires just a basic camera with a good waterproof housing!
If you’re an occasional diver, consider an option that does not require an expensive waterproof housing.
Of course, we need to be careful about money with a clear plan in mind including a range of price, essential accessories and maybe your editing skills, too!
Some cameras will have a bundle of accessories to go with, offering you a bargain but you may need to purchase and choose accessories on your own for some others.
If you are a beginner, you should learn some technical words and dimensions such as:
– Housing availability and accessibility
A waterproof housing can be bought easily on the Internet with a wide range of price. That’s why you need to ask some questions such as:
– Are all of the camera’s controls accessible through the housing?
– What type of connections are available for external strobes?
– Can you get wet lenses to fit this housing?
- Good macro mode: the ability to get close to your subject!
- Ability to shoot in RAW: always good to have the option, especially if you plan on working on your images afterwards in Lightroom or Photoshop
- Manual white balance: Shooting with ambient light will reduce the “blueness” of your photos. A red filter on the front of your lens can not be as good as custom setting.
Choosing the best underwater camera for snorkeling is not difficult as you think. Consider your own wants and needs carefully, list out the features you need and make your own decision. The best underwater camera for snorkeling is not the most expensive or the one that has most features. It is the most suitable for you!
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