The Best Camera For Divers
Just because you’re underwater doesn’t mean you can’t take the best photos of your life. Whether you’re a professional diver, an amateur scuba enthusiast or you’re going on that first trip to the Caribbean and want a camera for great underwater photographs while swimming and snorkeling, you’re going to need the best camera for diving.
And no, you don’t need to have a waterproof camera. While we are going to mention three of the best waterproof cameras on the list today, we will also give you two options that are not waterproof and require special housing units.
Waterproof cameras are great for diving, but they often don’t have the best quality in terms of megapixels and photo resolution. If you want to use a premium camera for diving, it’s totally doable. They have unique underwater housings that are available for most cameras.
The number one regret from anyone who’s gone diving without a proper camera is that they didn’t go diving with a proper camera. The underwater life you will experience while diving is out of this world. It’s like traveling to Mars. Don’t miss out on capturing these precious moments on film. Even if you’re on a low budget, a waterproof camera will change your life!
The GoPro Hero6 is one of the best action cameras ever created. It’s a huge upgrade from the Hero5, especially in terms of optical quality. You can now record videos in stunning 4K at 60 frames per second, which looks fantastic even when underwater. If you are looking to capture all the rich and dynamic colors of the fish you’ll see in diving, this is a great camera for it. The GoPro Hero6 does not require any special waterproofing, as it’s already impervious to water up to 30 feet below the surface. And you can mount it onto almost any surface for hands-free recording.
If you are going to be diving even deeper than 30 feet, you can purchase a housing unit that will give you another 100 feet of depth. When using a GoPro, you don’t even really need to take photographs. You can strap this baby to your head and film your entire underwater adventure, then separate still images later when processing on your computer. Plus, the GoPro Hero6 is super affordable.
- Super Small
- Can be Mounted to Almost Anything
- Ideal for Video
- Waterproofing is Sound
- Waterproof up to 33 Feet
- Manual Controls are Limited
- Angle is Fixed
- Images are OK
The Olympus TG-5 waterproof camera is definitely the best budget diving camera for beginners. It offers fantastic image quality, it’s built to be rugged and to stand up to water pressure even up to 50 feet below the surface, and it is super affordable. It’s definitely not a cheap camera by any means, but it’s a far cry from some of the more expensive units. And it’s built way stronger! You could probably throw this at an elephant without it breaking. It comes fully freezeproof, shockproof, and resistant to fog. It’s great for snorkelers, divers, and it works for adventure photographers as well.
That’s right, you can use this camera outside of the water as a fantastic adventure camera. It’s great for traveling because it’s basically indestructible, and it has enough features to give you much better photographs than you could ever achieve with your smartphone.
If you want to dive even deeper, you can absolutely invest in a separate housing unit. But 50 feet is pretty deep already. In any case, the only real weakness is that you might have trouble in very dim situations with this camera. If you’re diving deeper than 50 feet, there’s not going to be much light. If you’re a serious diver, you might want to get something with better low-light capabilities.
- Extremely Rugged & Durable
- 4K Video
- Fog-Resistant + Shockproof + Waterproof
- Great Budget Camera
- Waterproof up to 50 Feet
- Low Light Images Feel Soft
- Menu is Confusing
- Limited Manual Options
As you can tell by the name, the SeaLife DC2000 was designed specifically for use underwater. It works on land, as it has great resolution with its 20-megapixel sensor, but its main function is working underwater.
The DC2000 boasts a better range than the other underwater cameras on our list, being waterproof up to 60 feet without housing and 200 feet with housing. And it’s just as rugged. The camera is super tough, it’s available with loads of great wet accessories, like lenses and strobes, and it takes solid photographs. It’s a bit more expensive than some others, but if you’re a diver and you want a dedicated diving camera, this is one of your best options. There’s nothing better than having a piece of equipment dedicated to what you’re doing.
Still, this camera does come with a few negatives. It’s not great at higher ISO settings. You can shoot RAW, but it is significantly slower than shooting JPEG. As a prime camera, the lens is fixed. You don’t have any zoom options – though you do have a pretty fast aperture. And besides, there isn’t much reason to zoom underwater anyway. The controls can be a little clunky, but you will get used to them. Honestly, this a dream camera for underwater divers. The accessories alone make it super fun to use.
- Designed for Underwater
- Lots of Cool Accessories
- Waterproof up to 200 Feet w/ Housing
- Fast Aperture
- Shoots in RAW
- ISO is Not Great
- No Zoom
- Frustrating Controls
The Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II is a fantastic, reasonably priced digital camera that’s ideal for underwater shooting. No, it’s not waterproof – but there are specialized housing units that you can use for taking this underwater. This is a great camera for someone who wants a professional piece of equipment that they can use above ground and underwater by simply switching out accessories. The 1” sensor performs super well in low light situations, making it great for deep diving where there are lots of shadows. The only downside is the zoom capability, which leaves something to be desired.
One of the best qualities of this camera is its excellent macro work. If you want those super close-up pictures of fish and other marine life, this is one of the greatest cameras. You can get stunning bokeh when underwater, and for such a compact camera you get incredible results throughout all your pictures. Plus, the interface is not complex or confusing like many other professional cameras. You can use manual control, and you can shoot great photos in RAW.
- Professional Camera
- Fantastic Sensor w/ 20.1MP
- Easy Controls
- Great for Macro Photographs
- Reasonably Priced
- No 4K Video
- No Waterproofing
- Poor Zoom Quality
No list of cameras would be complete without a quality Sony model. The Alpha a6000 is a new and robust camera that will absolutely blow you away with the quality of photos you get. It performs, it’s accessible, it’s great for anyone, and it’s one of the very best cameras to use for diving. However, all this greatness does come with a massive price tag. If you’re only going on vacation once to take photos when diving, you might not want to invest so much money. However, you can use the Sony a6000 for literally any type of photography.
This camera is about the size of a phone, you can easily point and click to take all your photos, and it has more advanced features that pro photographers will find convenient. Yes, you need to buy an expensive waterproof housing to take diving, but if you are going to use the camera a lot, it’s well worth it.
- Top Tier Camera
- Super Portable
- Superb Image Quality
- Ideal for Beginners + Pros
- Shoots 4K Video Underwater
- Not Ideal for Flash
- Expensive Accessories
- Not Made for Diving
The big question is going to be whether you want a waterproof camera or a standard camera. Do you really want to go through the trouble of picking up an underwater housing for your camera? Diving photography can be an absolutely amazing experience, and the photographs you will get from your trip underwater are going to impress all your friends. For this reason alone, it might be worth investing in the best equipment for the job.
When it comes to waterproof cases for your camera, there are a few things you need to consider. It’s definitely critical that you pick up a housing that fits with your camera – duh! The best underwater camera housing units will protect against water, against the trauma of pressure, and you’ll still get the best photographs.
But not all waterproof cases are created equally. When it comes to this kind of technology, you really don’t want to skimp on quality. You should always check the maximum depth limit, what the reviews are saying from satisfied customers, what the building materials are, what kind of internal components are used, and if there are any accessory ports.
A typical underwater housing will have a solid depth range from between 150 and 300 feet. Some even come with a leakage alarm, which can be life or death for your camera. Before purchasing, always find out how deep you are going to be diving. If you’re feeling nervous, just stick with a waterproof camera.