Scuba diving gives you a glimpse into a brand new world. Underwater environments are strange, alien-like places filled with bright, colorful creatures. There is so much majesty and wonder beneath the waves that it’s easy to see why so many divers want to capture it forever.
A good camera helps you record your diving excursions forever. However, finding the right model is not always easy as it first seems. To help you with that search, this guide will analyze the best underwater cameras for scuba diving and show why they’re so special.
- In line with other GoPro cameras, the Hero 8 works wonders underwater. This attractive device is compact, easy to use, and records smooth shots thanks to the 2.0 stabilization and streamlined design.
- If you’re someone who wants durability in their underwater camera, nothing works better than the Olympus Tough TG-6. This camera lives up to its name through its water, crush, freeze, dust, and shockproof design.
- Divers who are serious about underwater photography will love the SeaLife DC2000. This model has numerous shooting modes, works great on land, and shoots with exceptional quality.
Who Should Get This?
As you might expect, all of the cameras in this guide are best suited for people who like to dive. Every model has the ability to take excellent shots deep under the surface, allowing to capture a hidden world in many dynamic ways.
That being said, just because they work well underwater does not mean the devices are only for wet environments. The cameras listed below also work well for regular situations. They come with many premium attributes that make them especially useful for hikers or travelers who want to track their adventures.
Best Underwater Camera for Scuba Diving: What to Consider
Remember that any camera you bring with you scuba diving is a camera that you have to swim with. It is quite easy to get under the waves and then not be able to take the shots you want because the device you’re using is too heavy or unruly. When diving, compact is always the way to go. Look for small cameras, as well as ones with ergonomic designs. That goes double if you’re someone shooting underwater for the first time.
Underwater environments are beautiful places. When you take pictures or videos of them, you want that beauty to translate onto your screen. Never settle for underwater cameras with weak or subpar resolution. Not only will that give you the best possible result, but it will also allow you to take your pictures or videos without any worry about them turning out in a way different than intended.
Most underwater cameras, even if they can shoot underwater on their own, need some type of housing. The cases add a bit of extra durability to the camera and enable you to get better shots. When picking out a camera for your diving excursions always factor in the housing as well. While some come with one included, many do not. That adds into the overall cost and creates some extra bulkiness. Look for sleek housings that are easy to maneuver.
Best Scuba Diving Camera: Our Picks for 2020
1. GoPro Hero 8
The GoPro Hero 8 is an excellent action camera that allows you to capture underwater shots in stunning detail. This compact model has an all-new streamlined design, which makes it easy to swap mounts, as well as an incredibly impact-resistant digital lens. This small camera is also quite durable, which is a great feature if you want to use it in places out of the water.
The biggest features here are the hypersmooth 2.0 that comes with three different levels of stabilization for maximum versatility and the Timewarp 2.0. Both create more options and enable you to get non-blurry shots no matter where or how you take pictures. While you do need to get an extra casing if you want to take the camera past depths of 33 feet, that additional cost is more than worth the smooth performance.
What We Like:
- Sleek, streamlined design
- Incredibly smooth shots
- TimeWarp 2.0
- Digital lenses make it easy to get multiple shots
- Can shoot in both bright and low light
- Reduced blur
What We Don’t Like:
- Need special casing to go to deeper depths
Divers looking for a tough, compact camera will love the Olympus Tough TG-6. This device is not just waterproof, it is also shock, free, crush, and dustproof. That range of abilities makes it usable in just about any body of water across just about any situation. It also has a striking outer appearance and comes with a wide range of key accessories.
However, this is more than just a pretty exterior. The camera also has a special “microscope mode” that allows you to get extremely close on a range of different shots and the 460k-Dot LCD monitor looks fantastic. There are even built-in WiFi and a GPS system. The device can go underwater on its own down to sixteen feet and has the ability to go much, much further when paired with the housing.
What We Like:
- High-speed memory card reader
- Flexible tripod
- Attractive shell
- Hand strap
- Microscope mode
- Incredibly durable
- Water, shock, freeze, and dustproof
What We Don’t Like:
- Not as great in out-of-water conditions
- Accessory kit could be better
The SeaLife DC2000 is a serious scuba diving camera that’s perfect for people who value both quality and versatility. Unlike other models, this device has four underwater shooting modes (external light, external flash, dive, snorkel) and 25 different land scene modes. That combination enables you to get great video no matter where you choose to shoot or record.
On top of that, this easy-to-handle device comes with built-in color correction, a Sony 1-inch back-illuminated sensor and shoots video in full HD. The ultra-fast auto focus ensures you don’t miss any shots and the 31mm lens looks stunning. If you’re looking for a camera that provides incredible results both on and off land, there is simply no better option on the market.
What We Like:
- Four underwater shooting modes
- Built-in color correction
- Sony 1-inch back-illuminated sensor
- 1080p 60fps HD video
- Shoots great in and out of the water
- Wide field of view
- Ultra-fast auto focus
What We Don’t Like:
Useful Tips and Information
A great camera makes taking underwater photographs or videos much easier. However, just getting a solid device is not enough to take professional shots. If you want some tips on how to improve your underwater photography, check out this guide from National Geographic.
If you decide to go with the GoPro as your scuba diving camera of choice, it is important to know how to use it. The brand packs their cameras with a range of features, and that can be tough to keep track of if you’re new. This explanatory video will tell you the best way to use the device while diving underwater.
Just because you’re underwater doesn’t mean you can’t take pictures or record video. There are plenty of excellent diving cameras on today’s market, and they all come with their own look, specs, and attributes.
Every single model in the above guide ensures you’re able to get great shots no matter where or how you dive. Just understand what they each bring to the table and do your best to stay within your budget. If you know what you’re looking for, it’s hard to go wrong.
Do you ever take a camera on your dives? What model do you use and why? Let us know in the comments below!
Chris is a lifelong tech enthusiast with a broad range of interests including coding, data analysis, traveling, and more. He used to work as a software programmer immersing himself in the world of codes, now he finds it more interesting talking to real people.