Whether as a professional diving blogger or a recreational diver who loves to capture nature’s beauty, a diving camera is a must-have in your diving gear. Diving cameras bridge the gap between diving and High Definition photography and allow us to capture all the beauty and magic the underworld that is the ocean has to offer. The ideal diving camera should be completely waterproof, compensate for decreasing light with depth, yield crisp image and video quality, and be very portable.
Best Diving Cameras
To help you save some shopping time, we have compiled a list of our top five diving cameras on the market to help you make the right choice quickly.
The Olympus TG-6 Waterproof Camera is an extremely durable diving camera that executes its functions to the latter. The camera is furnished with stunning 4K resolution for mind-boggling image qualities and a powerful battery all housed within a waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, freeze-proof, crush-proof, and anti-fog construction.
- 4K Full HD video resolution and 12MP hi-res F2.0 lens.
- Waterproof, up to 50ft.
- Back-illuminated CMOS Image Sensor.
The Dive Camera+ is a high-end underwater camera that packs arguably one of the best 4K UHD lenses available in the market today and a unique streamlined design that fits easily around the grip of your palm. It’s also fairly simple to use, ready to perform right out of the box. There is also a downloadable app available for your smartphone for an even more exciting experience.
- Durable housing with depth capabilities of up to 820ft.
- Excellent battery life; Over 2 and 3 hours for 4K and 1080p HD recording respectively.
- Depth Color Correction which eliminates the need for filters.
3. GoPro HERO8
HERO7 was a smash hit, and GoPro goes even further with its best model yet with the renowned SuperPhoto element but with an improved HDR. The HERO8 is a waterproof action camera that is touchscreen-enabled and comes with a 4K HD video recording feature and 12MP digital lenses. It also has a 3.5mm microphone adapter for high-quality sound production and clear voice audio via a compatible microphone.
- SuperPhoto feature with improved HDR for minimum blur and maximum detail.
- 4K Ultra HD recording at 2160p.
- Streamlined design with three levels of image stabilization.
The DC2000 Underwater Camera from SeaLife sports a waterproof inner camera with a large 20MP Sony image sensor and 50° underwater field of view for capturing sharp, vibrant images and videos. With a wide range of shooting modes and multiple image formats to choose from, photo editing can be taken to another level.
- Impressive depth rating of up to 200ft with housing and 60ft without housing.
- 20MP 1” SONY image sensor with OIS and back illumination.
- Rugged housing can withstand drops of up to 5ft.
Sony is reputable for producing the best image sensors in the camera game, with top-of-the-line high-res lenses as a bonus. The Alpha a7IIK packs a jaw-dropping 24.3MP camera for unrivaled image quality and an innovative and previously unheard of 5-axis image stabilization system to curb blur.
- Stunning 24.3MP camera resolution.
- 5-axis body image stabilization for still shots even while in fast or random motion.
- Ultra-fast response auto-focus with phase detection.
Diving Cameras Buying Guide
Diving cameras open us to a whole new world of beauty and magic. Unlike conventional cameras, they are designed to be highly waterproof and are a must-have if you want to capture all the beauty the oceans have to offer in the best quality. When on the market for a diving camera, there are a number of factors you want to consider to ensure you get the best gadget for your budget.
Our buying guide reviews the best diving cameras based on their specified features and customer feedback to give the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further and outline the qualities you want to see in a diving camera before you make a purchase.
The first factor you want to consider when choosing a diving camera is the camera type. Diving cameras vary in their design and functionality and can be classed in as action cameras, compacts, mirrorless cameras, and DSLR cameras in that order of increasing functionality.
Action cameras make for handy gadgets and are great for recording videos; action. A popular example is the GoPro. They are very compact, quite affordable, but will require a waterproof housing if you want to dive very deep.
Compacts, also known as point-and-shoot cameras, boast of better image quality than action cameras, are affordable, and also easy to operate. Most brands, however, are not designed for the low-light conditions when diving save for the very best compacts. Waterproof compacts offer decent resistance to infiltration and will work well in low to medium-depth dives without a housing.
DSLR vs. Mirrorless Cameras:
DSLR and mirrorless cameras are at the apex of the camera industry. DSLR cameras retain the generic image generation using a mirror and prism and offer excellent low light performance, long battery life, and a variety of lenses you can use with them. They are however quite bulky and rather expensive.
Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, use electronic projection to generate the previewed image. As they don’t require a mirror-prism system, they are more compact and portable and have higher recovery speeds. They, however, do not last as long as DSLR cameras on battery power.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of whatever diving camera you are getting is another important to consider. It should be compact, lightweight, and easy to handle. Action cameras and compacts are always a great choice for novice and recreational divers and offer decent image and video quality with great portability. Some are even designed to fit onto scuba masks for a point-of-view capture.
For more professional, high-end image and video capturing, mirrorless cameras and DSLR cameras are preferred. Everything in your gear and your camera accessories should be lightweight as this will affect your movement on land, and to an extent, the weight demand on your BCD while you are under.
Diving cameras and all the accessories you’ll need can stand anywhere between say $100 to over $1500 depending on your budget. In general, lower-end diving cameras are great for novice and recreational divers. These, however, may be restricted in their waterproof ratings and a waterproof housing should suffice.
For professional diving photography and high-end images that will make their way into journals, magazines, etc. you should be ready to invest in a more expensive, higher quality camera. These will come with good waterproof ratings and will come with assistant features for the best images and videos.