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11 Best Underwater Cameras in 2023 (Top Waterproof Options)

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The best underwater camera is easy to navigate, compact, and waterproof, of course! The ocean can be a great source of photographic inspiration. But many cameras don’t have waterproof abilities. So you have to invest in the right kit to get started in underwater photography.

Our top choice is the Olympus Tough TG-6. This is thanks to its rugged exterior and great image and video quality.

Our Top Pick
Olympus Tough TG-6
Olympus Tough TG-6
Capture life’s most daring moments with this waterproof, shockproof camera. It’s perfect for underwater adventures.

[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here].


What Are the Best Underwater Cameras?

Here is a quick look at the best underwater cameras! Read further to find the best camera for you.

Camera Name
Why We Love It
Buy From
Olympus Tough TG-6
Our Top Choice
  • Waterproof down to 49 ft / 15 m
  • 4x optical zoom
  • Shockproof from 6.9 ft / 2.1 m
  • Crushproof up to 220 lbf / 100 kgf
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
GoPro Hero11 Black
Best for Underwater Video
  • Waterproof to 33 ft / 10 m
  • 4K Ultra HD video
  • 27 MP hi-res photos
  • HyperSmooth 5.0 image and video stabilization
  • Voice control for hands-free operation
SeaLife Micro 3.0
Best for Scuba Diving
  • Waterproof to 200 ft / 60 m depth
  • High-quality underwater 16 MP images
  • 4K Ultra HD video at 30 fps
  • Underwater color correction and manual white balance
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, compact, lightweight design
Ricoh WG-6
Best for Underwater Light
  • Waterproof to 66 ft / 20 m
  • Great 20 MP 1/2.3" sensor
  • 5x optical zoom Lens (28-140mm)
  • Shockproof from 6.9 ft / 2.1 m
  • Crushproof to 220 lbf / 100 kgf
Nikon W300
Best for All Adventures
  • Waterproof down to 100 ft / 30 m
  • 20.1 MP for low-light photos
  • 4K Ultra HD video
  • 5x optical zoom and vibration reduction
  • Built-in depth gauge, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 / FT7
Best Compact Point and Shoot
  • Waterproof to 102 ft / 31 m
  • Decent 20.4 MP MOS sensor
  • 4K video and photo capture
  • Shockproof from 6.6 ft / 2 m
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
Polaroid iE50 Wave
Best for Social Media
  • Waterproof to 9.8 ft / 3 m
  • 18 MP still image capture
  • High-resolution 4K Ultra HD video
  • Portable, lightweight design
  • Wi-Fi and rechargeable through USB
DJI Osmo Action 3
Best Alternate Action Camera
  • Waterproof to 54 ft / 16 m
  • 12 MP photos with RAW support
  • 4K HDR video recording up to 120 fps
  • Super-wide view and dual screens for easy selfies
  • Durable, portable design and stabilization
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Best Value
  • Rugged and waterproof to 49 ft / 15 m
  • 20MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor
  • 4x optical zoom lens
  • Shockproof from 6.6 ft / 2 m
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and electronic image stabilization
Akaso EK7000
Best Value Action Camera
  • Waterproof up to 98 ft / 30 m
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording
  • 2.0” LCD display
  • Built-in 2.4G remote control
  • Built-in WiFi and HDMI output
GoPro Hero8
Great GoPro Option
  • Rugged design, waterproof to 33 ft / 10 m
  • 12 MP photos and 4K / 60p video
  • HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilization
  • LiveBurst mode captures 1.5 seconds
  • Voice control and built-in mounting fingers

11 Best Underwater Cameras

We have gone through the best options on the market to find the right waterproof camera for you. You will notice a range of different styles. So read about each camera in depth to see if it will suit you!

1. Olympus Tough TG-6

Olympus Tough TG-6
Released 2019
12 MP
Camera Type Point and shoot
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 49 ft / 15 m
Other Key Features Shockproof, crushproof, 4x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, and GPS
Best For Photographers who want an all-around camera to withstand the elements

Our top choice for the best underwater camera is the Olympus Tough TG-6. You will find a 12 MP sensor that has beautiful video settings.

It allows 4K footage at 30 fps (frames per second) and Full HD at 120 fps. If this speed isn’t fast enough, it even allows 480 fps in the standard definition! A speed like this captures even the fastest fish swimming by.

But the success of this camera doesn’t come from its image quality. It comes from all the extra features which make underwater photography as easy as possible. The built-in flash, easy-to-navigate buttons, and big screen make your life much easier.

It even has different white balance settings for underwater environments as presets in the camera. You can also use an underwater HDR mode to get the most out of your underwater photography.

The Tough TG-6 finds itself at home in other adventurous environments. It can withstand the elements, whether it’s freezing outside or in places where it gets knocked about.

The camera also has great tools to make your life easier. Wi-Fi abilities allow you to transfer photos without exporting them onto a computer.

And GPS settings accurately save each location you took your photo. This GPS even gives you precise temperature information and comes with a compass!

I suggest this camera to anyone planning to venture into tough environments. This point-and-shoot can go down to 49 ft (15 m) underwater. And Olympus sells the TG-6 underwater housing separately for people who want to go to depths of 148 ft (45 m)!


2. GoPro Hero11 Black

GoPro Hero11 Black
Released 2022
27 MP
Camera Type Action camera
Video Yes, 5.3K
Maximum depth 33 ft / 10 m
Other Key Features HyperSmooth 5.0 image and video stabilization
Best For Adventurers who want to capture spectacular video and aren't fussy about photography

The GoPro Hero11 Black makes it high up this list as it is a simple and easy camera to operate with great underwater abilities. The 27 MP camera allows you to shoot 32 ft (10 m) underwater. This is the best image quality you will find on this list!

And it also has beautiful DSLR-like video abilities. It lets you film at 5.3K at 60 fps or 2.7K at 240 fps! These features make it the perfect underwater camera for families or casual snorkelers.

The problem with this action camera is that it doesn’t offer many customizable options for photography itself. It works best as a simple point-and-shoot camera. So it is better suited for people who want to capture memories rather than photos.

Professional photographers will still enjoy this camera. It still captures beautiful images in difficult environments. But you don’t get the same control you are used to.

Not only is the Hero11 Black waterproof, but it is also super durable. One of my favorite features is its image and video stabilization. This system means you won’t have to buy a gimbal for stable videos. And your videos of swimming underwater will look as smooth as they feel!


3. SeaLife Micro 3.0

SeaLife Micro 3.0
Released 2020
16 MP
Camera Type Point and shoot
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 200 ft / 60 m
Other Key Features Easy underwater scene modes, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Best For Scuba divers and those who spend a lot of time underwater

SeaLife is a brand specializing in underwater cameras. They say they developed the world’s first commercially available underwater digital camera. Their attention to detail is their biggest strong point. And they are the only brand that specializes in underwater photography lighting!

The SeaLife Micro 3.0 is one of the only underwater cameras dedicated to underwater photography. Every feature is built with consideration of how it will be used underwater. So this camera is for underwater professionals or diving enthusiasts.

With a maximum depth of 200 ft (60 m), you can use the camera in deep waters without worrying about breaking it. Its 16 MP sensor takes great-looking photos on water or land. And with 4K video abilities at 30 fps, you can capture great footage.

My favorite feature of the SeaLife Micro 3.0 is its ease and accessibility. The buttons are designed in SeaLife’s signature “piano key” style. This means they stick out slightly from the camera. It is a godsend for divers, letting them control the camera underwater with gloves on.

I am also a big fan of the easy underwater scene modes the camera comes with. This makes it easy to switch shooting styles based on your environment. The manual white balance settings change the color correction according to your underwater depth and conditions!


4. Ricoh WG-6

Ricoh WG-6
Released 2019
20 MP
Camera Type Point and shoot
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 66 ft / 20 m
Other Key Features Powerful LED ring light, shockproof
Best For Photographers looking for a rugged point-and-shoot camera

The Ricoh WG-6 isn’t Ricoh’s latest waterproof camera. But it has the highest image quality. Looking at this camera, you can see it would be at home on a worksite. And it equally finds itself just as comfortable underwater.

This camera lets you go to 66 ft (20 m) underwater without potentially breaking your camera. It also has a shockproof body at 6.9 ft (2.1 m) and can operate in temperatures down to 14 F (-10 C).

My favorite aspect about this camera is the ring lighting that comes with it. These six LED lights are spread equidistant around the camera’s lens. They are perfect for exploring corals or even for nighttime scuba diving!

The ring lights are mainly there to assist the camera’s macro mode. This can be ideal for marine biologists or scientists studying underwater features. You can even turn off a selection of lights to add more depth.

Another great feature of the Ricoh WG-6 is its accessibility and ease of use. You can even operate the camera with thin gloves on.

Ricoh has done a great job designing a simple camera that can be operated in difficult places. I recommend this camera to anyone who needs to take high-quality images underwater.


5. Nikon W300

Nikon W300
Released 2017
16 MP
Camera Type Point and shoot
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 100 ft / 30 m
Other Key Features Shockproof, 5x optical zoom, vibration reduction (VR)
Best For People looking for a powerful camera that can withstand the elements

The Nikon Coolpix W300 is one of the best underwater cameras. It lets you photograph up to 100 ft (30 m) underwater! This is seriously impressive for a camera that doesn’t need extra housing.

Its 16 MP image quality means that it operates to a high level, giving you professional results. It even has 4K video abilities. I like this camera as it is incredibly simple. The camera is very compact and offers accessible buttons for greater underwater control.

Some of these buttons may be challenging to use underwater. But they’re still a lot simpler than normal digital point-and-shoot cameras. This means you can focus on the subject in front of you rather than having to play around with the camera settings.

The Coolpix W300 is also a family camera that can withstand rough treatment. Whether it be excited kids or even professional photographers, there is always a risk of dropping your camera.

It can withstand drops up to 6.6 ft (2 m) and still functions perfectly! This makes it a great camera for adventurous trips or kids who tend to break stuff easily. It also has vibration reduction or steady shots and smooth video.


6. Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7/ DC-FT7

Panasonic  Lumix DC-TS7 / FT7
Released 2019
20 MP
Camera Type Point and Shoot
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 31 m
Other Key Features Great image quality, shockproof, ergonomic
Best For Snorkelers who want to take great pictures and video

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 (DC-FT7) is a rugged underwater camera. And it is an ideal companion for adventurous excursions. It works 102 ft (31 m) underwater and protects from dust, shock, and sub-zero temperatures.

It features a quality 20.4 MP sensor and lets you shoot 4K video at 30 fps. The camera body itself can take a couple of knocks. It is drop proof from 6.6 ft (2 m). And the lens sits in a receded circle to provide added protection to the most important element of the camera.

And I am also a big fan of the ergonomic grip. This means it’s easy to grip and hard to drop in the water, even if you have gloves on.

The Lumix TS7 suits any adventurous photographer who wants a simple-operation point-and-shoot camera. It is one of the best underwater cameras because it produces fantastic images and is easy to operate.

Panasonic is known for producing great point-and-shoot cameras. And this underwater camera is one of those.


7. Polaroid Wave 4K

Polaroid iE50 Wave
18 MP
Camera Type Point and shoot
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 9.8 ft / 3 m
Other Key Features Super simple operation, Wi-Fi USB rechargeable
Best For Casual photographers who want easy pics and videos for social media

The Polaroid Wave 4K is a simple, cheap underwater camera perfect for casual use. It was released in late 2020 and is ideal for casual or amateur photographers. You can pick it up and take great pictures without photography experience.

It has an 18 MP sensor that takes great photos. But the camera can only operate underwater down to 9.8 ft (3 m). So it is best for those who stay in the pool or play among the waves.

My favorite feature is its connectivity. It has Wi-Fi abilities that let you easily transfer photos from your camera to your phone. So it’s perfect for people who want to take phone snaps underwater without ruining their phone!

I am also a fan of its rechargeable battery. Its battery lets you charge the camera using USB power outlets. This means you can even charge your camera with a power bank!

The Wave 4K is a good camera for those who don’t need professional control over their underwater camera. It is easy to operate and looks fun to shoot with. I suggest this camera to anyone planning to go on holiday and looking to take underwater pictures!


8. DJI Osmo Action 3

DJI Osmo Action 3
Released 2022
12 MP
Camera Type Action camera
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 54 ft / 16 m
Other Key Features Super-wide field of view, stabilization, easy vertical mounting
Best For Action sports or other adventurous situations

The DJI Osmo Action 3 is a compact action camera that also functions great underwater. This is DJI’s attempt to make a camera similar to the GoPro. Friendly competition is good for us as consumers. It spurs each brand to produce the best camera on the market.

And currently, DJI doesn’t quite match up to the GoPro Hero11. But they have produced a great camera nonetheless.

You will notice the camera shoots with an 18 MP sensor and has 4K video abilities up to 120 fps. These specs alone don’t match the GoPro 11. But it is a great alternate option if you don’t want a GoPro.

The Osmo Action 3 allows you to film up to 54 ft (16 m) underwater. It even has a sensor that can switch automatically between three white balance settings. This results in great colors in challenging environments without your intervention.

This camera finds itself at home in the harshest environments. It’s so rugged you don’t even have to worry about crushing it in your bag! But it’s also perfect for slipping in your pocket to take to the beach or the pool.

And it also has plenty of extra features to help capture action sports. It includes a super-wide field of view, video stabilization, and a quick release to switch to vertical shooting.


9. Kodak Pixpro WPZ2

Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Released 2019
16 MP
Camera Type Point and Shoot
Video Yes, Full HD
Maximum depth 49 ft / 15 m
Other Key Features Electronic image stabilization, shockproof
Best For Photographers who want an underwater camera on a budget

The Pixpro WPZ2 is Kodaks’s attempt to make a rugged camera that can withstand the elements. You can spot it as a Kodak camera from a mile away. And it’s bright yellow color also helps you find the camera if you drop it in the water!

The camera can operate to 49 ft (15 m) underwater with its 16 MP sensor. And it’s shockproof from 6.6 ft (2 m). It doesn’t provide 4K video abilities, but it can still shoot Full HD 1080p video.

I am a big fan of the image stabilization that comes with the camera. It also gives you 4x optical zoom. The latter lets you get closer to the fish without scaring them away!

The LCD screen is also big enough to easily view underwater. And the camera’s simple, easy-to-operate buttons also emphasize its ease of use.

The Kodak Pixpro WPZ2 is a good option for those who want an inexpensive underwater camera. It doesn’t handle underwater colors as well as others on this list. But you do save a couple of hundred dollars.

Overall, there are better underwater cameras to get on our list. But this one is still worth mentioning.


10. Akaso EK7000

Akaso EK7000
Released 2016
12 MP
Camera Type Action camera
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 98 ft / 30 m
Other Key Features Great video abilities for a great price
Best For People who want a GoPro but don't have the budget

The Akaso EK7000 is another GoPro wannabe that can be used as an underwater camera. It aims to be a cheap alternative to GoPro cameras. And with a great price and performance, I’m happy if it’s kept on the shelves!

It has a 20 MP sensor and can shoot 4K videos up to 25 fps. And you can take this camera to 98 ft (30 m) underwater without breaking it. This is an incredible depth that outperforms the latest GoPro!

It even features some advanced features that you will find on GoPro. It has a burst mode, time-lapse, and loop recording. But these don’t function as smoothly as on a GoPro camera.

The EK7000 is for people who want a GoPro but don’t have the budget. I recommend saving up for the GoPro, but the Akaso still functions quite well underwater.

It won’t provide you with professional levels of control, but it gives you great footage to share with family and friends. And it comes at a very affordable price.


11. GoPro Hero8 Black

GoPro Hero8
Released 2019
12 MP
Camera Type Action camera
Video Yes, 4K
Maximum depth 10 m
Other Key Features Amazing video for a great price
Best For People who want to buy a GoPro for cheap

Finally, on our list, we have the GoPro Hero8 Black. I included this option as it is an old model of the Hero series that still functions exceptionally well as an underwater camera. Even though this camera was released in 2019, it’s still a viable option. 

It can shoot to depths of 33 ft (10 m). So it’s suitable for snorkelers or people participating in water sports.

It has a 12MP camera for its still photos and can capture 4K video up to 60fps. It can even shoot 2.7K video at 120 fps! This is a great quality to capture fish moving smoothly through the water.

The GoPro 8 features many similar actions to the GoPro 11 but isn’t as refined. The image stabilization on the GoPro 8 is better than most on the market, but it doesn’t compete with the GoPro 11.

Overall the Hero8 Black is my recommendation for underwater explorers on a budget. As GoPro is an action camera, it’s aimed at people participating in water sports. Jet skiers and wake borders will rejoice at a cheap way to film their activities!

Buyers Guide and FAQs

We answer common questions about underwater waterproof cameras to help you decide which one to buy.

What Is the Maximum Depth an Underwater Camera Can Go?

Every underwater camera will specify the maximum depth it can reach before it may break. The maximum depth on our list is 200 ft (60 m) with the SeaLife Micro 3.0. This depth is suitable for scuba divers and is one of the furthest for a camera without any waterproof housing.

The shortest depth on our list is the Polaroid Wave 4K, which can go to 9.8 ft (3 m) underwater. This is still plenty of depth if you are an average beachgoer staying close to the shore.

What Type of Underwater Camera Should I Buy?

You have lots of different options to choose from when considering an underwater camera. Our list is dominated by point-and-shoot cameras that function without any underwater housing. I recommend one of these cameras for a wide range of photography enthusiasts.

Cameras like the Olympus Tough TG-6 and the Ricoh WG-6 have a great mixture of manual and auto camera settings.

If you are not bothered about manual controls, consider buying an action camera. The GoPro Hero11 and Polaroid Wave 4K are great options to easily capture the fun with your friends.

Professional photographers should consider buying waterproof housing for their cameras. These can be expensive and put your gear at risk. But if you want maximum control, this would be your best option.

What Is the Best Underwater Camera for Snorkeling?

The best underwater camera for snorkeling is the Olympus Tough TG-6. This is thanks to its great image quality, compact design, and video recording features.

What Is the Best Underwater Camera for Scuba Diving?

The best underwater camera for scuba diving is the SeaLife Micro 3.0. Scuba divers designed the camera. So you know it will be tailored to your needs.

It has an incredible maximum for a compact camera. And I am a big fan of the manual white balance settings it provides. You can find the best color correction for the depth and water you’re taking pictures in.


Conclusion: The Best Underwater Cameras

The Olympus Tough TG-6 is the best underwater camera out of the 11 we reviewed. It’s an excellent choice for a reliable and versatile underwater camera. It offers a range of features and functions that make it perfect for capturing underwater photos and videos.

The TG-6 is easy to use and provides great image quality. And with its waterproof construction and robust design, it is the perfect choice for all levels of underwater photography. We highly recommend it to anyone looking for a waterproof underwater camera.

Our Top Pick
Olympus Tough TG-6
Olympus Tough TG-6
Capture life’s most daring moments with this waterproof, shockproof camera. It’s perfect for underwater adventures.

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