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Best Waterproof Cameras You Can Buy Right Now

If you love getting wet on the beach, in waterparks, or from a deep dive into the ocean, you’ll want to capture those vital moments on video or photos. Waterproof cameras could only be submerged a few feet not too long ago, but waterproofing technology has seen massive leaps in recent times.

Now, there are some waterproof cameras that can handle depth even up to 100 feet. If you’re in need of such compact waterproof cameras, you’ll have to rummage the market for the best ones. We’ve done the hard work for you.

Best Waterproof Cameras Reviewed

Most waterproof cameras are confined to the point and shoot niche, but there are a few action cameras (such as most of the GoPro models) that can handle being submerged. We look at the five best waterproof cameras available in the market right now based on their waterproofing and performance.

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide at the end for further insight on waterproof cameras.

Best Overall

Best Overall

Olympus Tough TG-5

Rugged, Tough, and Reliable

The Olympus Tough TG-5 is true to its name with its 15m waterproofing, shockproofing, and an incredibly overall rugged design. The camera can shoot in Raw too and has the excellent low light performance for a point and shoot waterproof camera.

For a mixture of ruggedness, performance, image quality, ease of use, and waterproofing, the Olympus Tough TG-5 is the ultimate waterproof camera out there right now.s

Great Alternative

Great Alternative

Nikon CoolPix W300

Go Deep with Your Photography

Nikon’s CoolPix W300 offers 30m waterproofing – even more than our top pick. It features a 16MP 1/2.3 inch sensor that lets you shoot high-quality images deeper than most waterproof cameras.

If you’re a scuba diver and need your hands on a good performing waterproof camera that can handle all the pressure, then the Nikon CoolPix W300 is a great alternative to the Olympus Tough TG-5.

Olympus Tough TG-5

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 12MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Waterproofing: 15m

When it comes to tough, waterproof, shockproof, and freeze-proof cameras, there’s absolutely nothing that can beat the Olympus Tough TG-5. This camera has remained king among the waterproof cameras since its release, and though many other brands have taken inspiration from it with some of their products, none of them have come close.

The Olympus Tough TG-5 is built like a tank. You know a camera is badass and means business if its name is “Tough”. With a new sensor and 12MP resolution, the camera is greatly improved its low-light shooting ability, making it ideal for capturing underwater shenanigans even in low light.

You have a fantastic burst mode in this camera as well, with a whopping 20fps burst mode. Additionally, video recording at 4K is also available, with slow motion video capture available at full HD resolution. The Olympus Tough TG-5 also has Raw format support for those who like to do their own post processing. It’s a fantastic point and shoot camera that we’d recommend to anyone, and it’s even more worthwhile for those who like to capture moments in wet conditions.

Pros

  • Rugged and tough design
  • Excellent 20fps burst mode
  • Beginner friendly
  • Wonderful low light performance

Cons

  • Average LCD panel

Nikon CoolPix W300

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 16MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Waterproofing: 30m

If you’re a scuba diver and enjoy the extra pressure, then the Nikon Coolpix W300 may suit you better than the Olympus Tough TG-5. It’s not as ruggedly built as the Olympus camera, but it offers excellent waterproofing rating among waterproof cameras.

Waterproofing up to 30 meters or 100 feet means you can take this camera in the deeper side of the swimming pool as well as for an ocean dive. The 100 feet limit is as far as an Advanced Open Water diving certificate will get you, so unless you’re a professional deep diver, this camera will serve most of your underwater photography needs.

Nikon CoolPix W300 also shoots videos at 4K, 30fps. Another standout feature of the camera is its great high resolution OLED screen with 921k dots. The wide optical zoom range also ensures you don’t need to get near any of the creatures you may be capturing 100 feet in the water.

Pros

  • Waterproof up to 30 meters or 100 feet
  • Wide zoom range
  • Great OLED panel

Cons

  • Inconsistent exposure

Fujifilm FinePix XP130

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 4MP
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Waterproofing: 20m

At less than $150, the Fujifilm FinePix XP130 is a great budget waterproof camera that comes with many filters. It’s primarily intended for beginners and casual photographers, as indicated by its price point, its cheerful design, and its plethora of different filters.

The FinePix XP130 offers a superior waterproofing up to 20 meters. It’s not as much as the Nikon CoolPix W300, but it’s still more than the competition. Combine that with freezeproofing and shockproofing and you get a rugged waterproof camera that does its job.

A high resolution 3-inch display at 920K dots shows the image preview and controls, all of which are laid out in a simple way for intuitive use. The image quality of the Fujifilm FinePix XP130 isn’t the greatest, but this is intended as an affordable waterproof camera and is an ideal point and shoot camera for a skiing holiday or some fun at the beach with family.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Plenty of filters
  • Good waterproofing

Cons

  • Average image quality

Panasonic Lumix FT7

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 4MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Waterproofing: 31m

We sung praises about the waterproof rating of the Nikon CoolPix W300 above, but the Panasonic Lumix FT7 takes it up a notch with 31 meters of waterproofing, which translates to roughly 102 feet. This is the deepest in our list, though effectively it is the same as the CoolPix W300.

The other standout feature of the Panasonic Lumix FT7 waterproof camera is its built-in electronic viewfinder. A viewfinder in a point and shoot camera is a rarity, and finding one at this price point is even rare. Yet the FT7 boasts one, which is incredibly useful in underwater situations when you can’t get an accurate estimate of your image from the display.

The display is also there though, and it’s a high resolution 1040K dots 3-inch one. 20.4 megapixels images means you have lots of detail in the images, though there is considerable image smoothing at high ISOs. Additionally, lots of pixels on a small sensor doesn’t always work that great.

The Panasonic Lumix FT7 is still one of the most rugged waterproof cameras out there, and we highly recommend it as an alternative to the Olympus Tough TG-5 if you want to stay below the $300 price point.

GoPro Hero 7 Black

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 12MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Waterproofing: 10m

We just had to include the GoPro Hero 7 in this list. Yes, we know, it’s different from the others in the sense that this is an action camera, but it still comes under the category of waterproof cameras. It is easily the best video focused waterproof camera out there.

GoPro popularized the action camera niche and dominates it since its inception, and it’s for good reason. The key feature that makes these cameras so reliable is the fantastic image stabilization, and the Hero 7 Black is no different. Brilliant image stabilization combined with beautiful 4K video at 60fps makes this the most appealing action camera out there for those who love spending time capturing memorable moments in a water park or at the beach.

The still image quality is also really good. Though not as good as some of the other models on the list, it’s more than adequate given this camera is intended for video shooting. You also get the option to shoot images in Raw format for ultimate control.

The GoPro Hero 7 Black is on the expensive side, but it’s a brilliant little waterproof camera that will serve you better than any other if video recording is your primary.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Brilliant image stabilization
  • High quality 4K video at 60fps
  • Shoots in Raw format too

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Fiddly touchscreen

Buyer’s Guide

    If you’re exploring waterproof cameras, one of the most important features you’ll need to look at is the waterproof depth. This is usually measured in meters or feet and determines the maximum depth the camera can be submerged safely.

    Higher waterproofing depths mean the camera can be taken in deeper waters for an extended period of time without damaging it. However, higher depth does not necessarily mean better image quality and overall performance.

    You should only consider the depth you’ll most likely use the camera at. There’s no point searching for a waterproof camera that can go as deep as 100 feet if you’re only going to use it in a shallow swimming pool or at a waterpark.

    Durability is essential in waterproof cameras because they need to withstand higher pressures. Additionally, if you’re capturing videos or images in saltwater, the camera build needs to be rugged enough to withstand the corrosiveness of such water bodies.

    Most waterproof cameras are also highly durable. Not only can the be submerged deep in water, they can also withstand cold temperatures that would cause icing. Many of the waterproof cameras are also freezeproof up to -10 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, waterproof cameras are also shockproof.

    You can tell a lot about the durability of the camera by its material choice and design. Rugged designs with lots of rubber reinforcement and padding ensure the camera can withstand the toughest situations.

    All that waterproofing and durability means little if the camera of your choice can’t take good photos. This is where specifications and features come into play. You should consider the sensor type, its quality, image stabilization, zoom, low light performance, burst mode, autofocus, and more. All these factors play an integral role in any camera’s performance, let alone waterproof cameras.

    Low light performance is often important for underwater photography, and you need great autofocus and excellent image stabilization as well when the camera is submerged.

    Are all waterproof cameras shockproof and freezeproof?
    Not all waterproof cameras are shockproof and freezeproof, so if the latter two features are important to you, be sure to research the waterproof camera of your choice to know if they are.

    How important is image stabilization in waterproof cameras?
    Image stabilization is particularly important when taking pictures in submerged conditions. This is due to the nature of water as a medium. The camera will naturally sway underwater, resulting in blurry images with poor autofocus if there is no image stabilization. Image stabilization becomes all the more important when shooting videos in wet conditions.

    Are there DSLR cameras that are waterproof?
    One of the key features of a DSLR camera is the lens is interchangeable. Removing the lens however exposes the mirror, sensor, motor, and other essential electronic components of a camera. Therefore, making a waterproof DSLR is extremely difficult. DSLR cameras are pricey as they are, and would end up costing twice as much if additional waterproofing was applied to them.

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